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If you use a Windows computer, you’ll have an inbuilt security tool that protects against viruses and malware. It’s known as Microsoft Defender, or Windows Security that provides an integrated experience for managing security, antivirus, and performance features. It also lets you monitor the health of your device, and protects your data with password management and hardware encryption. Third-party antivirus software disables the Microsoft Defender Antivirus Engine, but does not affect Windows Security.

Microsoft Defender’s real-time protection is one of the most important features of Windows Security. This feature scans the entire system, spotting and blocking malicious software as it runs. It also has the ability to identify and restore malicious applications that it’s incorrectly blocked. It’s important to keep in mind that the Microsoft Defender scanner relies on cloud and online malware definitions. This can cause it to fall behind paid competitors in virus and malware detection rates in some cases.

Other settings accessible from Windows Security include User Account Control which alerts you whenever someone or something attempts to change the system-level settings by locking the screen until an administrator is able to confirm the change. It also lets you determine how often the center will run a background scan and look for updates.

You can also make backups of important files from the Microsoft OneDrive folder using Windows Security, and you can also use it to safely erase your hard drive and begin with a new one. It’s a great method of keeping your computer’s operating system and private information secure, and it’s a good alternative for those who don’t want to pay for a security program that isn’t included.