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Do you have the impression that a company is apologizing for a security violation involving sensitive data or revealing a hacker attack every day? Not just you, either. The frequency of cyberattacks and cybercrimes is alarmingly rising. Data centers are most under cyberattack and protecting data centers from attacks is important.
And not just large conglomerates are experiencing data breaches; attacks on small firms are also on the rise as hackers become aware that these companies may not have put in place a strong cybersecurity defense. According to cybersecurity defense startup BullGuard, 43 percent of small enterprises have no cybersecurity practices strategy at all. These hazards increased as remote employment became the norm during the pandemic. In this article, we shall discuss some of the top cybersecurity practices that data centers have to imply to protect their data and prevent any kind of cyberattack. Let us look into those now.1.Education
A hack may be avoided much more easily than it can be fixed. Recovery of sensitive data that has been lost due to a ransomware attack can be a difficult and time-consuming task. Ransomware attacks can be effectively stopped before they cause serious harm by educating employees on fundamental security, personal cybersecurity, and the frequency of cyber dangers. Your staff members need to be aware that they can be the object of malicious individuals looking to gain access to your business.2.Better Passwords and Authentication 3.Secure WiFi
With the rise of remote working, it’s critical that your staff securely encrypt their networks as well. It may seem obvious for a business to have a secured, encrypted, and hidden WiFi network. Your security and that of your employees go hand in hand. The company’s mainframe can easily be accessed by hacking into a worker’s distant network.4.Know Your Company
Utilize a simple resource: your knowledge. Consider your business and the areas that hackers are most likely to target. Are they more interested in your customer databases or intellectual property than they are in the private information of your employees? The most likely targets should be located and well-protected.5.More the Backups, the Better
Use a straightforward resource: your knowledge. Think about both the areas of your company and those that hackers are most likely to target. Are they more concerned with your intellectual property or customer databases than they are with the personal data of your employees? Locate and adequately guard the targets that are most likely to be attacked.6.Anti-Virus Software
Even the most skilled employees err on occasions. Computers that have anti-virus and anti-malware software installed are better protected overall, especially from phishing attempts.7.Updated Software
According to the National Cyber Security Centre of the UK, obsolete software is indirectly responsible for more than 80% of attacks. The most recent patches are the sole thing keeping the best antivirus and anti-malware software up to date. Failure to apply fixes will give hackers access to the system’s vulnerabilities.8.Secure Physical Devices
Company laptops should be secured with passwords or pins, much like you lock the doors when you leave your workplace. Employees who have left the company should get their laptops returned. Consider each computer at work as a potential entrance to your business.9.Better to Always be Safe 10.Always have a Plan
It costs a lot to hire your cybersecurity team as a small- or medium-sized business owner. Fortunately, several free resources may assist you in creating a fundamental cybersecurity plan and guide what to do in the event of an attack.
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The number of devices connected to IP networks is expected to be 3 times higher than the global population in 2023, compared to 2.4 times in 2023. This brings with it a particular challenge: securing them against cyber attacks. ~1.5 billion cyber-attacks on IoT devices were reported in 2023. In an IoT ecosystem with a multitude of connected devices, infiltrating one of them puts the whole network at risk. That is why securing them is paramount.
In this article, we will explain what IoT cybersecurity is, what access points are vulnerable, how you can secure your network, and explore how blockchain can, too, be considered a countermeasure.What is IoT cybersecurity?
IoT cybersecurity is the practice of protecting IoT devices and ecosystems from cyber threats. To counter these threats, there are tools that protect networks from data breaches while identifying and monitoring risks that aim to reduce vulnerabilities.What are IoT access points to hackers? Edge
The edge includes sensors and actuators interacting with the physical world and our surroundings.
Because, generally speaking, there is pressure on producers to keep rolling out new devices and services, less attention goes into making them secure. Harvard Business Report’s research claims that 80% of organizations do not routinely test their IoT apps for security vulnerabilities. This means the devices themselves are the most vulnerable, not least because most of the rudimentary devices do not support software updates. This leaves devices, such as cameras and DVR players, vulnerable to malware.Communication network
Communication networks are the gateways that connect devices together. Hacking Bluetooth networks is a common strategy for hijacking the device’s integrity. In Belgium, for research purposes, a group was able to hack a Tesla Model X’s Bluetooth interface with a device costing a total of $195. The researchers claimed they could compromise the system 5 meters away, gaining access to the vehicle’s locking system.The cloud Why is IoT cybersecurity important?
IoT networks are increasing in number. They are no longer only confined to our homes — a couple of smart thermostats here, some smart light bulbs there. They are growing in stature in healthcare, smart city solutions, retail, and manufacturing, among others.
As the efficiency and effectiveness of IoT devices and networks increases, so will their outreach into more sectors and, consequently, society’s dependence on their functionality. And because more businesses could migrate online (with e-commerce replacing brick-and-mortar stores, for example), keeping their integrity will be paramount in avoiding shutdowns.
While many physical stores were shuttered, digital retail sales soared by over 25% in a single year.How to increase IoT cybersecurity?
The following methods will help increase your IoT cybersecurity:
Conceive cybersecurity in your devices early on, from the design stage. Securing your devices should not be an afterthought added later.
Investing in smart devices capable of running on software and, consequently, software updates will put you in control of your IoT devices over their life span. Software patches help reduce cyber risks.
Bring in professional support. While you might be tempted to use free software applications that do not get officially maintained, you have to keep in mind that it will cause you more to ultimately undo cyber damage.
Advice for IT leaders: In addition to the previous steps, you learn more about what else you can do to increase your IoT ecosystem security.Can blockchain increase IoT security?
Blockchain technology is a decentralized storage space that houses information in a digital format and allows for transparent accessibility. An analogy could be Google Docs: Even though a document can be shared with multiple people at the same time, enabling simultaneous editing, the owner has the ability to restrict specific users’ access and not allow them to claim ownership of the document.
Decentralization of the network would make it more resilient because blockchain contains strong protections against data tampering, locking access to IoT devices, and allowing compromised devices in the ecosystem to be shut down.Can operational technology increase IoT security?
Operational technology usually focuses on securing the integrity and functionality of physical devices in industrial settings.
Advice for IT leaders: You can protect and monitor the availability, reliability, productivity, and safety of your IoT devices by implementing an operational technology framework.For more on the internet of things
To learn more about the internet of things, read:
Finally, If you believe your business will benefit from a cybersecurity software and/or IoT solution, feel free to check our cybersecurity hub and IoT hub, where we have data-driven lists of tools and software.
He primarily writes about RPA and process automation, MSPs, Ordinal Inscriptions, IoT, and to jazz it up a bit, sometimes FinTech.
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Introduction to LDAP Injection
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Web development, programming languages, Software testing & othersWhat is LDAP Injection?
LDAP stands for Lightweight Directory Access Protocol. It can be defined as a protocol that is vendor-neutral and works on the layer over the TCP/IP stack. It is used to introduce the authority checking and authentication mechanism in the web application to ensure its safety and is very frequently used while developing web applications. LDAP is used very often in web applications that are being used over the internet or intranet. Therefore, it is essential to the web application to go with LDAP as it is a very common and important factor that facilitates the secure development of the web application.
LDAP can also be defined as the set of standards used to perform security checks to find out if the user has all the permission to access the existing system. There are several ways to make the checks, but eventually, the motive of all the checks is to ensure the safety of the web application. It prohibits the unauthorized access of users that do not have the proper privileges. Based on the rights that the user hold for the particular web application, it ensures that the user could be able to access only those things to which they are entitled to. Though it is used to take care of the web application’s security, it can also be tricked by hackers to extract the juice from the application.Performing LDAP Injection with Example
The web application has to take the input from the user in order to process it further. The attacker can take leverage of this if the value entered by the users is not sanitized properly and directly goes to the database for execution. Here we will see how the LDAP injection could be launched on any web application prone to this attack.
The query mentioned above will be transformed into LDAP friendly command so that the application makes it easy for the query to be executed well.
In the above case, if the value submitted by the user is not sanitized, it can lead to getting the name of all the existing users by putting “*” in the input box. An asterisk denotes all the available options, so when the database will process the asterisk rather than any particular username, it will be given all the objects stored in the LDAP database. The actual query that will be executing in the database will be
When the data is not sanitized, and the database accepts the asterisk value to the process, the code will be like below.
As soon as the above vulnerable code runs into the LDAP database, it will through all the objects stored in the LDAP database and will lead to cause harm to the web application. The hacker will use the outcome of LDAP injection to abuse the system and cause a security breach.How can you Protect yourself from LDAP Injection Attacks?
If there is a vulnerability in the application, there must exist its remediation as well. There will be barely any vulnerability that cannot be resolved or fixed to protect the system. In the same way, there are several ways that can be used to protect the web application from LDAP injection.
The very first and most essential way is to sanitize the input before taking it further for processing. The input submitted by the user has to be validated if it matches the requirement that suites whatever the application is expecting through that text field. For instance, if the user tries to submit any special characters in the text field asking for the name, the user should be alerted that they cannot fill special characters in that field. That is the client-side validation. Now the server-side validation will also be required to ensure the data provided is genuine.
The next one is to configure LDAP, keeping safety in mind. The LDAP configuration should be done to restrict unauthorized users to make any malicious changes to the system. Also, the next one is, the outcome of the LDAP query must be limited and cannot disclose any data that could lead to security breaches. If the data are not sufficient to harm the system, the attacker will not be able to affect the web application in any way, even if they were able to launch the LDAP injection attack.Conclusion
The Lightweight Directory Access Protocol provides the way to the application to ensure that the user who is trying to access the system is properly authenticated and authorized to use the system. It is very important to consider LDAP while taking care of all the security concerns. The system should be ample to strong to not let any hacker launch an LDAP attack. As the LDAP database holds very lucrative information, the administrator has to ensure that the input from the user has been sanitized very carefully, and the configuration has to be done by keeping all the security factors in mind.Recommended Articles
This is a guide to LDAP Injection. Here we discuss what is LDAP injection, its examples, and how to protect against LDAP injection attack. You can also go through our other related articles to learn more-
Credit cards, social security numbers, logins—each of us passes enough personal information through our PCs and mobile devices to complete a dossier. All that data isn’t just tough to remember, it’s also difficult to keep secure. Writing everything down on a piece of paper or in a text file or PDF is risky, but do you really want to encrypt your hard drive for a few lousy passwords and account numbers?eWallet
eWallet, by Illium Software, is easily the most modern-looking program in the roundup. Compatitible with Windows, OS X, Android, and iOS, it sports a two-pane, browsing tree/viewer interface that’s styled to match the latest version of whichever OS it’s running on. The Windows version is $20; the rest, $10. You can synchronize them all via the network or Web, but there’s no online service or portal.
With a modern UI look, cross-platform support, and highly customizable card looks, eWallet stands at or near the top of its class.
Synching between PC and Mac OS X clients can be done via FTP/SFTP, but to synchronize with an iOS device both the PC and iPhone/iPad must be on the same local network, which will be a drawback for some. Otherwise, eWallet is easy on the eye, easy to use, and covers all the bases.DataVault
DataVault employs the browsing tree and viewing pane that’s standard for this type of software, but where eWallet records mimic business cards, DataVault’s look like Rolodex cards. The browsing tree can be switched to a list view. The toolbar may also be hidden for a cleaner look, although for some reason it returns every time you reopen the program.
DataVault’s UI is colorful and lets you easily show, hide and copy information, but the browser tree always defaults to full blossom.
DataVault provides a number of templates for cards/records that should cover most user’s needs. There’s also a versatile password generator that lets you vary their strength and a virtual keyboard for entering them in in dicey situations. It doesn’t shift layouts as some do, but unless you’re in covert ops, that’s probably not a concern.KeePass
If you’re only interested in storing passwords, KeePass 2.25 is the best program reviewed here. It has a very versatile password generator that produces anything from 40-bit to 256-bit passwords, as well as random MAC addresses and passwords that match the length of your existing one. You can also set an expiration date to remind you it’s time to generate a new password, and there’s also support for the single-use transaction authentication numbers (TANs) used by banks.
KeePass has no peers in the handling of passwords, but support for other types of data is minimal.
Like eWallet, KeePass lets you create groups and subgroups in the left-side tree pane, and uniquely, you can also secure your KeePass file with your Windows account login information or a key file so you can use a super-strength main key. There’s remote sync capability via FTP/SFTP as well.TK8 Safe
TK8 Safe takes a no-nonsense attitude towards safeguarding lots of data types, with many more esoteric, IT-type features. But the full-featured pro version is pricey for the average user.
There are a number of ways to filter records within folders in TK8 Safe, including Boolean filters for the various fields. Once you’re used to it, it’s easy, but as with KeePass there’s no search field, which in my experience is the quickest to find what you want. Instead, you must open a find dialog. Not a huge deal, but not as convenient when you’re in a hurry.
TK8 Safe offers a number of nice templates for credit cards, bank accounts and other types of data. Because all records are filtered and arranged by type in the list view, TK8 Safe can show specific field names at the head of columns rather than the generic field 1, field 2, you get with MiniSafe Desktop.
TK8 Safe is a very competent secure data manager with some unique features, but it’s PC-only and pricier than the cross-platform competition.MiniSafe Desktop
This blast-from-the-past, basic freebie from Simprit is no longer supported, but still works just fine. It’s old-school in appearance with lots of tiny icons, but it’s versatile, and unlike KeePass, the other freebie in the roundup, suitable for more than just passwords.
There’s no school like the old school. MiniSafe Desktop will meet the needs of most users who don’t need a password generator of remote file synching.
MIniSafe Desktop shows you a filterable list of records/cards to the left, and the usual more-palatable card view to the right. You filter cards by type and category, and you may define new kinds of either. For instance you can create a type of card solely for workstation users in a large company, or Internet passwords. You can also decide which fields are masked and unmasked. MiniSafe Desktop provides only five fields, but that’s enough for most purposes and there’s an additional “note” field that can hold a lot of data.
MiniSafe Desktop isn’t much to look at, but if you don’t need file syncing, or a password generator, it will certainly do the job. And there’s no arguing the price.
Smart grids, upgraded versions of electricity networks with two-way digital communication, should make the European energy system more efficient. But their dependency on computer networks, applications and the Internet makes society more vulnerable to malicious cyber attacks with potentially devastating results, European Network and Information Security Agency said in a report published on Tuesday.
Smart grids are built to enhance the communication between the power supplier and consumers to ensure a sustainable power system with low losses and high quality, security of supply and safety. However, connecting energy supplies as consumer solar panels and small wind turbines as well as smart meters to the regular power net information security problems.
The threats to the electricity grids are real. Criminals have been able to hack into computer systems via the Internet, enabling them to cut power to several cities in the U.S., the CIA unveiled in 2008. The hacks were followed by extortion demands, and in at least one case the disruption caused a power outage affecting multiple cities, according to the CIA at the time. In 2009, the Wall Street Journal reported that cyberspies from Russia, China and other countries had penetrated the U.S. electricity grid.
Intrusions like these prove that software and hardware used for smart grids are high risk targets, ENISA said, adding that reducing barriers to information sharing is vital for the success of smart grids.
While cyber security is almost always considered an important topic in any smart grid project, it is often ignored because of project budgets, scarce funding and lack of expertise when it comes to a practical implementation, according to the report. Therefore it is necessary to have a robust and resilient grid infrastructure that is able to overcome potential attacks, especially denial of service (DoS) attacks, ENISA said.
An end-to-end security approach is needed from the lowest levels where the smart meters are to the upper layers that include application systems and integrations with corporate systems, ENISA said. Devising a standard centralized architecture for smart grids in the E.U. is a basic requirement to secure the system, ENISA said.
ENISA said an incident detection system for smart grids is also needed. That system should have security monitoring sensors using signature-based software distributed across the grid, able to process data in a monitoring centers that could perform research, write new signatures and study new threats. Those recommendations for secure smart grids should also be considered when discussing the creation of a pan-European entity to manage large-scale cyber incidents, ENISA said.
In total the report contained 10 recommendations to make European smart grids more secure. Besides solving technical difficulties, the European Commission and the member states should provide a clear regulatory and policy framework on smart grid security on a national and European level as this is currently missing, ENISA said. The Commission should also collaborate with ENISA and the private sector to develop a minimum set of security measures the same time as it is being defined, is the greatest revolution of the electricity power grids since their
Windows 11 is perhaps the most secure version that Microsoft has ever released, but there’s always more you can do to further protect your computer and files from viruses and hackers. Keeping your computer secure will help minimize direct hacking attempts and virtually any type of malware (such as viruses, spyware, ransomware, and rootkits) from stealing your personal information.
You have many features to protect your computer for free on Windows 11. For example, you can use the Microsoft Defender Firewall to secure your device from unauthorized network access and add two-step verification and biometric authentication to strengthen the account sign-in process.
It’s also possible to enable data encryption with BitLocker to make your files unreadable to others. The Microsoft Defender Antivirus is among the best antivirus you can use to keep viruses, spyware, rootkits, and ransomware out.
In this guide, you will learn the best ways to protect your device and files from malware and hacker attacks on Windows 11.Protect your computer securing account on Windows 11
On Windows 11, you can protect your account in many ways. If you use a local account, you can improve security by switching to a Microsoft account. You can enable two-step verification to add a physical layer of sign-in security. You can enable the modern passwordless option to sign in by simply using the Microsoft Authentication app. And you can set up Windows Hello to secure access to your account using biometric authentication, such as your face.
Another way you can protect your account is by switching to a standard account to limit system access to prevent misconfiguration or apps running in administrator mode that could cause problems. You would still have an administrator account, but only to perform administrative tasks.
Finally, if you are in an environment with a lot of people, you can also configure “dynamic lock,” a feature that uses Bluetooth devices (such as your phone or watch) to lock the computer automatically as you step away from the device.Switch from local account to Microsoft account
Although it might sound illogical, switching to a Microsoft account can improve security since you can implement other security features like two-step verification and passwordless sign-in. Also, it makes it easier to reset the login password if ever lost or compromised.
To link a Windows 11 local account with a Microsoft account, use these steps:
Confirm your Microsoft account email address.
Confirm the account password.
Confirm the local account password.
Create the new PIN to sign in to your Windows 11 account.
Select the option to verify the account.
Confirm the email address to verify the account.
Confirm the code send to your recovery email address.
Once you complete the steps, the local account will link to your Microsoft account.Enable two-step verification authentication
The two-step verification (or “two-factor authentication” (2FA)) feature adds a second form of identification using the Microsoft Authenticator app on your phone to sign in to your account on Windows 11, making it virtually impossible for someone else to gain unauthorized access to your computer.
To set up two-step verification on your Microsoft account, use these steps:
Open your Microsoft account online.
Sign in to the account (if applicable).
Sign in to the Microsoft Authenticator app on your phone with your Microsoft account.
After you complete the steps, the next time you try to sign in to Windows 11 with a password, you will need to authenticate with the Microsoft Authenticator app on your phone.Enable passwordless option
If you use a Microsoft account to sign in to Windows 11, you can also remove your password from the account to enable the passwordless experience. This means that you will use the Microsoft Authenticator app, Windows Hello, security key device, text message by phone, or email verification to sign in to your account without a password.
This feature works in combination with two-step verification. If you don’t have the feature enabled, turn on two-step verification and continue with the steps below.
To enable the passwordless experience on Windows 11 with your Microsoft account, use these steps:
Open your Microsoft account online.
Sign in to the account (if applicable).
Open your phone.
Confirm the request from the authenticator app.
Once you complete the steps, you can start signing in to your account without a password.Enable Windows Hello authentication
To configure Windows Hello facial recognition to unlock a computer with your face, use these steps:
Under the “Ways to sign in” section, select the Facial recognition (Windows Hello) setting.
Confirm your current password or PIN.
Look directly into the camera for Windows 11 to create a facial recognition profile of your face.
After you complete the steps, you can lock your device (Windows key + L) and then look into the camera to sign in.
If the sign-in experience is not working as expected, under the “Facial recognition (Windows Hello)” setting, you will now find an “Improve recognition” option that you can use to keep training the system to detect your face better.
Alternatively, you can also set up a fingerprint reader if you don’t have a camera that supports Windows Hello.Switch to standard account and use admin only for management
Windows 11 offers two types of accounts, including “Administrator” and “Standard User,” with different levels of permissions to manage apps and the system. The Administrator account has unlimited access, giving users the ability to change system settings, run elevated tasks, and everything else.
The Standard User account offers a more restrictive environment. A user with this level of privileges can work with apps, but it cannot install anything else. Also, they can change settings, but not system settings or settings that will affect all users.
Since using an account without limits can be a security risk, switching to a standard account is recommended to improve security. You can create a new “Administrator” account that you will only use for management and then change your account type to “Standard User.”Create local administrator account
To create an administrator local account through the Settings app, use these steps:
Open Start on Windows 11.
Create a Windows 11 administrator account by confirming a name and password.
Create the security questions and answers to recover the account if the password is lost.
Use the “Account type” drop-down menu and select the Administrator option.
Once you complete the steps, the new account will appear on Windows 11.Switch to standard account
To change an Administrator account to a Standard Users account on Windows 11, use these steps:
Sign out of your current account.
Sign in to the newly created administrator account.
Under the “Other users” section, select your primary account.
Select the Standard User option using the “Account type” drop-down menu.
After you complete the steps, the original account will switch types from “Administrator” to “Standard User.” If you ever need to make system changes or install new apps, you will be prompted to confirm the administrator credential. Or you can also sign in to the administrator account to perform system changes.Enable Dynamic Lock
Dynamic Lock is a feature that locks your device when you step away from your desk based on the proximity of a Bluetooth-paired device, such as your phone or wearable, adding another layer of security.
There are two parts to this security feature. You first need to pair a Bluetooth device (such as your iPhone or Android phone) to the computer, and then you have to enable Dynamic Lock in the Settings app.
To connect a supported Bluetooth like Android or iPhone to Windows 11, use these steps:
Turn on the Bluetooth device.
Turn on the device’s Bluetooth pair option to make it discoverable.
Open Settings on Windows 11.
Turn on the Bluetooth toggle switch to enable the wireless radio (if applicable).
Select the Bluetooth option.
Choose the Bluetooth device from the list.
Continue with the on-screen directions (if applicable).
Select the Dynamic lock setting.
Check the “Allow Windows to automatically lock your device when you’re away” option.
Once you complete the steps, if your Bluetooth device isn’t near the computer, Windows 11 will wait 30 seconds and then turn off the screen and lock the account to secure your computer.Protect your computer in the network on Windows 11
On Windows 11, hackers usually gain access to a device by exploiting software vulnerabilities and poor security configuration.
To keep your computer secure, you want to ensure that the default Microsoft Defender Firewall is turned on. You want to change the network profile to “Public” mode when in a public place or untrusted environment. Also, if you are not using Bluetooth, you should keep it disabled as it could be another backdoor that nearly malicious individuals can exploit to steal information or gain unauthorized access to your computer. (It’s rare, but it could happen.)Enable firewall to block ports
On Windows 11, the Microsoft Defender Firewall is a feature that checks incoming and outgoing network traffic to allow or block traffic depending on predefined rules to protect your device from unauthorized access. The feature is enabled by default, but it’s always a good idea to check and enable it as necessary.
To enable the firewall on Windows 11, use these steps:
Open Windows Security.
After you complete the steps, the Windows 10 firewall will enable again on your device.Change network profile type to Public mode
On Windows 11, you can use different network profile types with specific settings to improve security or share files, printers, and other resources in the network.
The feature provides three network profiles, including Private, Public, and Domain. The Private and Public are available for all computers, and the Domain is only available when a device is joined to the domain.
The Private profile is tailored for trusted networks like your home or work. This profile makes the computer discoverable for file sharing, network printing, and sharing other resources with people you trust.
The Public profile makes the device invisible in the local network. This option is recommended for most locations, including public places, work, and home.
If you want to add an extra layer of security, you should always set the profile type to Public. Unless you need to share resources in the network with people you trust.Change network profile type for Ethernet
To change the Windows 11 network profile type to protect your computer, use these steps:
Under the “Network profile type” section, select the profile type:
Public: Your device is not discoverable in the local network. You should use this option in most locations, such as home, work, or public places.
Private: Your device is discoverable in the local network. You would use this option to share files or other resources like printers over a trusted local area network.Change network profile type for Wi-Fi
To change the network profile type for a wireless connection, use these steps:
Under the “Network profile type” section, select the profile type, including Public or Private.
Once you complete the steps, the connection will apply the profile type you select.
You can only change profile type per network. If you have an Ethernet and Wi-Fi connection connected to the same network, the new setting will not apply to all network adapters when changing the profile type.
On Windows 11, it’s also possible to change the network profile type using the Registry and PowerShell.Turn off Bluetooth and Wi-Fi when not needed
Any available wireless connection can be used to attack a device. If you are in a public place like a coffee shop or airport, and you only need to use an application without internet, you can always turn off Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to work more securely. Once you are in a secure environment, you can turn the wireless radios back on.Disable Bluetooth on Windows 11
To turn off Bluetooth to protect your computer, use these steps:
Turn off the Bluetooth toggle switch on the right side.
(Optional) Turn off the Bluetooth toggle switch to disable the feature.Disconnect Wi-Fi on Windows 11
On Windows 11, you can disconnect from a wireless network in several ways. You can turn off the wireless adapter using the dedicated button on a laptop (if available). You can disable the adapter from the “Network & Internet” settings. Or you can disconnect from the Settings app or “Quick Settings” flyout.
To disconnect from a Wi-Fi network on Windows 11, use these steps:
Turn off the Wi-Fi toggle switch.Protect your computer with data encryption on Windows 11
BitLocker is a security feature that allows you to use encryption on a drive to protect your data from unauthorized access to your documents, pictures, and any data you may have on the computer.
On Windows 11, the feature is only available in the Pro, Enterprise, and Education edition. However, on Windows 11 Home, you can use device encryption on some devices like Surface Pro 8, Laptop 4, and others.Enable device encryption on Windows 11 Pro
To configure BitLocker on a Windows 11 drive, use these steps:
Select the drive with the volume to encrypt.
Select the option to backup the recovery key – for example, Save to your Microsoft account.
Select the “Encrypt used disk space only” option.
Select the New encryption mode option.
Quick note: If you intend to encrypt a drive that you will end up using on an older version of Windows, you should choose the Compatible mode option.
Check the Run BitLocker system check option.
After you complete the steps, the computer will restart to apply the settings and enable BitLocker.
You can also enable encryption for secondary and external drives. And using BitLocker To Go, you can protect your data on USB flash drives.Enable device encryption on Windows 11 Home
To configure BitLocker encryption on Windows 11 Home, use these steps:
Turn on Device encryption to enable BitLocker on Windows 11 Home.
Once you complete the steps, the feature will encrypt the entire system drive.
If you no longer need encryption, it’s possible to decrypt the drive with the same instructions.Protect your computer against viruses and ransomware on Windows 11
Viruses are still among the biggest security threats on Windows 11, Windows 10, and other versions. As a result, it’s always recommended to have an antivirus solution installed and updated on your computer.
Although almost every third-party antivirus is now capable of protecting your device from threats (such as viruses, spyware, ransomware, rootkits, and other types of malware and hackers), Windows 11 comes with the Microsoft Defender Antivirus, which is considered one of the best antivirus applications for home and commercial users.Install an antivirus
On Windows 11, you technically don’t need to spend money on an antivirus, but you can always opt for a third-party solution that may include other features to up the security of your device. For example, Symantec’s Norton Antivirus, AVG, Avira, BitDefender, and McAfee.Enable periodic scanning
If you choose to use a third-party solution, you can also enable the “Periodic Scanning” feature from Microsoft Defender Antivirus. When you enable the feature, the default antivirus will remain disabled. However, the system will periodically scan the system to add a second line of defense to detect threats that your current solution may not be able to detect.
To enable “periodic scanning” on Microsoft Defender Antivirus for Windows 11, use these steps:
Open Windows Security.
Turn on the Periodic scanning toggle switch.
After you complete the steps, the Windows 11 antivirus will use the “Automatic Maintenance” feature to run the scans at optimal times to minimize the impact on performance and battery life.Perform a full antivirus scan
If you choose to stay with the Microsoft Defender Antivirus, the anti-malware software will proactively monitor and protect your computer and files from virtually any type of malware. However, sometimes, it might still be necessary to perform a complete scan of the device to ensure that the installation hasn’t been compromised.
To perform a full virus scan on Windows 11, use these steps:
Open Start on Windows 11.
Select the Full scan option to check the entire system for viruses and any other type of malware.
Once you complete the steps, the antivirus will scan the computer for viruses and other types of malware. If anything is detected, Microsoft Defender Antivirus will automatically remove (or quarantine) the threats.
If the computer is already infected, you can use the Microsoft Defender Offline scan to detect and remove viruses that the antivirus may not be able to remove while Windows 11 is fully loaded.Enable reputation-based protection
Windows Security also includes a feature to protect your computer against unwanted malicious apps. The feature is known as “reputation-based protection” that can detect and block low-reputation apps that may cause unexpected behaviors on Windows 11, such as poorly designed apps or apps that cause harm.
To enable reputation-based protection for unwanted apps on Windows 11, use these steps:
Open Windows Security.
Turn on the “Potentially unwanted app blocking” toggle switch to protect the device from unwanted apps on Windows 11.
Check the Block apps option.
After you complete the steps, Windows 11 will be able to detect and block apps with a low reputation that may cause problems.Enable ransomware protection
Windows 11 also has the “Controlled folder access” feature to protect your files against ransomware.
Ransomware is a fairly new form of malware that encrypts the files on a computer, making the data inaccessible and unreadable. Once the attack is successful, the malicious individual will demand ransom to unlock the device and files.
Controlled folder access monitors the changes apps make to your files on Windows 11. If an app tries to modify the files inside a protected folder and the app is blacklisted, you will get an alert about the suspicious activity.
To enable the ransomware protection on Windows 11, use these steps:
Open Windows Security.
Turn on the Controlled folder access toggle switch to enable ransomware protection.
Once you complete the steps, Microsoft Defender Antivirus will monitor the protected folders as applications try to modify your files. If suspicious activity occurs, you’ll get a notification about the threat.
You can also configure various aspects of the features. You can also allow apps you trust that the system mistakenly blocked, add more folder locations and drives to the protection list, and it’s possible to disable the feature if it’s not working as expected.Enable core isolation protection
As part of the device security, Windows 11 also ships with “core isolation,” a virtualization-based security feature that isolates core processes in memory from malicious code to protect memory integrity.
On Windows 11, core isolation should be enabled by default, but it’s not always the case. However, if you cannot enable the feature, the problem could be a compatibility issue with a driver.
To enable core isolation on Windows 11, use these steps:
Open Windows Security.
Turn on the Memory integrity toggle switch.
Restart the computer.
After you complete the steps, the device will have an extra layer of protection to prevent attacks from adding malicious code into high-security processes.
One of the best ways to protect your computer is to ensure that Windows 11 and apps always have the latest security and maintenance updates. The reason is that cumulative updates are essential to fix bugs, patch security vulnerabilities, and improve system performance. Windows Update usually applies updates automatically on Windows 11, but you may still need to check and install them manually.Install updates on Windows 11
To install security and maintenance updates on Windows 11, use these steps:
Once you complete the steps, it will download and install automatically on your computer if an update is available.Install updates for Microsoft Store and other apps
Updates are also essential for applications as they can improve security, fix bugs, improve performance, and introduce new features. If you use apps from the Microsoft Store, they will update automatically. Depending on the app, if you have desktop apps, they will also automatically receive updates. However, you may need to download and install those automatically in some cases.
To check and download updates for Microsoft Store apps, use these steps:
Open Microsoft Store.
After you complete the steps, the Microsoft Store app will check and download any available updates for the apps.
If you have a classic desktop application, you may receive a notification to update the software manually. However, you can usually check for updates from the “Help” or “About” menu. If you can’t find the option, you can always check the manufacturer documentation website for more information.Protect your computer by creating periodic backups on Windows 11
On Windows 11, a full backup creates a copy of the entire system that allows you to recover in case of critical system problems, malware attacks like ransomware, hardware failure, or when you are upgrading the primary drive. In addition, a backup can help you roll back to a previous installation after upgrading to a new feature update or an entirely new version.
You can always choose a third-party solution (such as Macrium Reflect or Veam), but you can still use the (deprecated) legacy “System Image Backup” tool to save a full backup to a USB hard drive.
To create a full backup of a computer running Windows 11, use these steps:
Select the external drive to save the Windows 11 backup.
Once you complete the steps, a full backup of the Windows 11 device will be created with the installation files, settings, applications, and personal files.
You will also receive the option to create a repair disk, but you can ignore it since you can use the Windows 11 bootable media to access the recovery settings to restore the backup.
In addition to periodically backup your computer, it’s also recommended to use third-party services like OneDrive to store your files in the cloud. This approach will protect the files from hardware failure, ransomware, or theft.
Alternatively, copying your files to an external drive with a simple copy and paste (as long as you don’t have a lot of data) is another way to protect your documents, pictures, videos, and other files.Protect your computer with common sense tips on Windows 11
Whenever possible, avoid browsing not secure and untrusted websites. You would typically know if a website is not secure because the site address will start with “HTTP” in the address bar instead of “HTTPS.” Also, Chrome, Edge, Firefox, and most modern websites will alter you that the site is not secure with the “Your connection is not private” message.
Also, avoid installing software from untrusted sources. You should only be using the Microsoft Store to download apps on Windows 11. If you install unlicensed software, you will be at a higher risk of getting the device compromised with malware and other malicious code.
Finally, you should never connect USB or external drives that you don’t own to your computer. If this is the case, you should consider using a spare computer to format the drive to make sure it’s clean of viruses.Wrapping things up
This guide shows you many steps you can use to protect your computer against viruses and hackers. However, it’s not necessary to implement all these recommendations in most cases. You can always pick and choose the ones you consider will be most effective in your situation.
For example, if you have a device in a secure environment, you probably don’t need to configure the “dynamic lock” feature. If you don’t have a camera with support for Windows Hello Face, using a fingerprint reader or PIN should be more than enough protection. If you decide to use the built-in ransomware protection and get a lot of false positives, you may need to consider switching to another solution or disabling the feature.
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