11 Security Settings You Should Know About in Windows 11

Microsoft insists that all computers must have a Trusted Platform module (TPM 2.0) built into their motherboards to be eligible for Windows 11 upgrades. This is a sign of how serious the company takes security.
TPM 2.0 is a feature which verifies user identities and protects data against attack. TPM, among other protections makes it difficult for anyone who isn’t sitting in front a Windows computer to gain entry to it.

The Trusted Platform module is just one of many security and safety features Microsoft has integrated into Windows 11. Here are the security settings that you should be aware of if you have the new operating software installed on your computer.

To get to Windows 11's Settings screen, click on the Start menu button or Search button on your taskbar. Next, choose Settings from the panel.

1. Keep Windows 11 up-to-date

Security starts with updating your software. If you choose Windows Update from Settings you can verify that the latest patches have been applied. To ensure that Windows doesn't restart or apply updates during your work day, click Advanced options and Active Hours.

2. Verify your Login Options

To view the different ways you can log in to the computer, select your name from the Settings pane. These are safer than passwords and can be used with your webcam or fingerprint sensor.

3. Sign out when you're gone

Use the Sign-in options screen to access the "If you've been absent, when should Windows ask you to sign back in again?" option. To ensure that logging in is required at all times, you can use the If You've been away, when should Windows require you to sign in again? option. Dynamic lock can be used to tell Windows to lock your device if you move away (as indicated in the location of a connected Smartphone).

Windows 11 includes a variety of security tools built in. Screenshot: David Nield via Microsoft

4. Allow the built-in security tools to be activated

You can enable the security software included with Windows by selecting Privacy & Security and then Windows Security From Settings. If you don't have any third-party security software installed, this is a must. You will see a yellow exclamation mark next to any security issues that need your attention. Click on the one to find out more.

5. Run a Malware Scan

You can also click Open Windows Security from the Windows Security screen to access the built-in Windows 11 Security Center. You should have most of these features running in the background. However, you can still run a scan manually by clicking Virus & Threat Protection and choosing Quick scan.

6. Device Security

After you have opened the Windows Security Tool, any hardware problems on your Windows 11 computer including issues with the TPM or the secure boot process will be listed on Device security. These pages will list any immediate measures you need to secure your operating system and all data.

7. Keep Your Online Activity Safe

You can choose App & Browser control from the Windows Security utility to see two settings: Reputation-based security (which means Windows 11 will always be looking for suspicious or poorly performing applications) and exploit protection (which helps reduce the impact of various remote hacking attacks).

8. Make sure you have the right security tools in place

To see the software protecting your Windows 11 computer, open Settings in Windows Security. This could be the security software that came along with Windows or third-party options. To ensure you are always informed, you can also change your security notification settings here.

You can check the permissions that each program has. Screenshot: David Nield via Microsoft

9. Control Application Permissions

You can also decide which permissions apps you want to use in Windows 11, just like on your smartphone. Scroll down to view the permissions. To manage which programs have access to the permissions, click on Location, Camera or Microphone.

10. Make sure your device can be found if it is lost

To have your device's location recorded periodically, go to Privacy & security and select Find my device. This allows you to log in to your Microsoft account from another device. It will allow you find out the location of your Windows 11 computer. This is useful if you have lost it on the train, or can't recall if it's at work or at home.

11. Encrypt your Device's Data

If you have the ability to remove the hard drive from your computer, encryption makes it harder for anyone else to access the data. You may not have this option on every computer, but you can make sure it is enabled by going to the Windows 11 Settings screen and selecting Privacy & Security, then Device encryption.

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