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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm currently running Windows 10 Home (a recent upgrade). I have always been a guy that installed powerful third-party security programs to handle my virus scans, real-time protection, and especially my firewall. I come from the school of "Never trust the default, get a better one installed ASAP."

Recently, more and more people have been telling me to dump any/all antivirus programs (I currently run BitDefender Total Security), because Windows latest firewall/antivirus is more than enough and can do just as good a job. Also, it does it at a fraction of the drain on the computer's resources.

I'm skeptical, but I do like the idea of speeding up my computer. But first, is this true? Can I really rely on Windows stock security settings for the same level of protection?
 

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Moderator , Security Team
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Simple up front answer ......... yes, the inbuilt Firewall and AV that come with Windows 10 & 11 are adequate protection for most people's use.


Please do not confuse the current programs Microsoft pre-installs, with earlier programs of a similar name, the current ones are much more developed and much more effective, and of course since they were developed alongside their host OS, they are much less likely to cause conflicts.


Of course no defensive program will protect you 100%, and the weakest link in your computer's defences are not which programs it has installed to protect it from infection, it's the browsing habits of the person using it, so if you really want to be more secure, then the best thing you can do, is to educate yourself about the threats you're likely to come across when you're online, and if necessary adjust your browsing habits so you don't fall foul of them.


I've been helping people remove malware from their machines (on this and other forums) since 2004, and in that time I've worked on machines with every possible combination of protection programs you can imagine, which kind of proves my point, because the common factor with pretty much all the machines I've worked on, is that it was the User's browsing habits that got them into trouble, and that irrespective of what protection you have installed, if you just go around clicking on everything, without regard, then sooner or later you will get infected.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, that is impressive info. And you're right, stock apps (especially like the old Windows antivirus) definitely have a bad rep. But I'm willing to give it a try and uninstall BitDefender. Right now it's disabled all of Windows security stuff. So do I just do a clean uninstall and then just flip everything back on as-is? Or are there security settings when it comes to Windows firewall and antivirus I should specially configure to get the most bang for my protection buck?
 

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Team Manager, Microsoft Support
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When you delete BitDefender, Windows Defender takes over. If anything isn't set right the yellow caution will display over the Defender shield in the taskbar. You can also access all settings from the shield (double click).
 

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Moderator , Security Team
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Goto ...

Virus & Threat Protection > Virus & Threat Protection Settings > Manage Settings

Check the following are enabled ....

Real-time protection
Cloud-delivered protection
Automatic sample submission
Tamper protection
Controlled folder access > Manage Controlled folder access > Controlled folder access > On

Most should be enabled by default, the last one listed is not usually enabled though, and is to help protect against Ransomware attacks, which are one of the more serious malwares that people are likely to come into contact with these days, and IMO the setting should therefore be enabled.

The best defence against ransomware though, is to backup your files to a detachable device, which you only connect when making backups, and which you disconnect as soon as the backups have been made.
 

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Team Manager, Microsoft Support
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Just FYI: Controlled folder access will affect Ccleaner FWIW.
 
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