Chapter 11. Security & Privacy

If it weren’t for that darned internet, personal computing would be a lot of fun. After all, it’s the internet that lets all those socially stunted hackers enter our machines, unleashing their viruses, setting up remote hacking tools, feeding us spyware, trying to trick us out of our credit card numbers, and otherwise making our lives an endless troubleshooting session. It sure would be nice if they’d cultivate some other hobbies.

In the meantime, these lowlifes are doing astronomical damage to businesses and individuals around the world—along the lines of $100 billion a year (the cost to fight viruses, spyware, and spam).

Microsoft has been making Windows steadily more secure for years. Evil strangers will still do all they can to make your life miserable, but they’ll have a much, much harder time succeeding.


Most of Windows’ self-protection features have to do with internet threats—because, in fact, virtually all the infectious unpleasantness that can befall a PC these days comes from the internet. A PC that never goes online probably won’t get infected. So this chapter covers many features of Windows 10’s browser, Edge (covered in more detail in Chapter 9).

Lots of Windows’ security improvements are invisible to you. They’re deep in the plumbing, with no buttons or controls to show you. If you’re scoring at home, they include features with names like application isolation, service hardening, Protected Mode, Network Access Protection, PatchGuard, ...

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