If your PC runs on Windows 10, you’re in very good company. The Microsoft operating system is the most widely used OS in the world. Many Windows 10 users have also been upgraded to Windows 11 through a rollout that began in 2021. Microsoft plans to complete the Windows update by mid-2022.
Unfortunately, its success as a widely used operating system makes Windows attractive to hackers. And if malicious software like malware can make a home in Windows, there are a lot of targets. So, this might raise the question of how best to protect your Windows 10 or 11 device.
Should you just use Windows Defender — Microsoft’s free version of antivirus software — or buy additional protection?
Read on to learn what Microsoft Defender covers and how additional virus protection can secure all of your connected devices.
Does Windows 10 come with antivirus software?
For years, Microsoft has offered anti-malware protection, but the current version provides effective security against viruses. Windows Defender is a free antivirus tool that’s built into the Windows operating system.
While it’s considered one of the best free antivirus software programs, it doesn’t have any extra features that might come with paid security software. If you’re just looking for good antivirus software, though, Windows Defender can get the job done.
How to check if Windows Defender is on
If you’re not using third-party antivirus protection, you’ll want to make sure that your Windows Defender antivirus coverage is working on your computer. Here’s how to check:
- Go to the control panel and click System and Security.
- Click Windows Defender Firewall.
- A window will open showing if the firewall is on.
- If you need to turn on Windows Defender, use the menu.
- Close all browser windows and restart your computer.
To make sure your Windows security is running, follow these steps:
- Click CTRL+Alt+Del and select Task Manager.
- Look at the tabs and click Services.
- Scroll down to Windows Defender and see if it is classified as “running.”
Do you need additional antivirus software?
With built-in coverage, you may wonder if you should invest in paid antivirus software. The answer is, of course, yes! It can be a good idea to get another antivirus solution because blocking malware and viruses should just be one part of your threat protection.
Today’s cybercriminals are using elaborate ruses to try to access your personal information, such as your bank and credit card numbers. And some of their scams might even target your devices with risky apps or links on social media.
As they always say, it’s better to be safe than sorry! Having another antivirus program can make sure you have real-time protection and access to the latest security features.
4 features you want in an antivirus software
There are a lot of antivirus protection programs out there, but they aren’t all created equal. When looking for the best antivirus software for your needs, here are some things to consider for your devices running on Windows 10 or 11.
Compatibility across multiple operating systems
If you have a Windows PC, use an iPhone, and your tablet runs on Chrome, it helps to have an antivirus app that works across multiple operating systems. The good news is that McAfee Total Protection is compatible with Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android devices, so you can continue enjoying all of your different devices without losing protection.
Protection against a variety of online threats
For greater cybersecurity, antivirus software should defend against a variety of online threats like viruses, spyware, and ransomware. And that’s exactly what you get with McAfee Total Protection. Our antivirus software can also help you avoid phishing attacks, which are fake messages to trick you into providing information or clicking a malicious link. The software will give you a warning when it recognizes a risky link, website, or file.
Easy to use
Functionality is another thing you’ll want to consider when looking for antivirus software. If the program isn’t easy to use to begin with — especially if you want to easily manage multiple devices — what good will it do you?
But you don’t have to worry with McAfee Total Protection, which allows you to connect and manage all of your computers and mobile devices from one single dashboard.
Real-time and scheduled scanning
To keep your devices free from online threats like malware, good antivirus software will scan your files for threats. McAfee Total Protection provides 24/7 protection with real-time, on-demand, and scheduled scanning of files and applications.
Additional features beyond antivirus software
McAfee Total Protection was developed with an understanding of how cybercriminals operate. Scammers may use a variety of tactics to try to steal your personal information, so our all-in-one protection also includes:
- VPN: A virtual private network (VPN) is one of the biggest benefits of using third-party antivirus protection. When you connect to public Wi-Fi, such as in a coffee shop, it’s possible for a hacker to see your data. A VPN encrypts your data to protect it from prying eyes. It also conceals your device’s IP address and geolocation.
- Identity monitoring: Get 24/7 monitoring of your email addresses and bank accounts with up to $1 million of ID theft coverage with McAfee Total Protection. With early detection, an easy setup, and extensive monitoring (keeping tabs on up to 60 unique types of personal information), you can continue to live your best life online.
- Protection score: We’ll look at the health of your online protection and give you a protection score. We’ll also recommend how to address weak spots and improve your security.
- PC optimization: There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to work on a computer that loads pages slowly or keeps freezing. To help speed up your online activities, McAfee PC Optimizer automatically pauses auto-play on pop-up videos. This gives you more bandwidth and saves battery power. The software also disposes of temporary files and cookies to free disk space.
- Password manager: One good way to keep your data secure is to use strong passwords that are unique for each website. Our password manager generates complex passwords, stores them, and even lets you access shared passwords on your mobile devices.
Personalized protection for your digital life
Using Microsoft’s built-in antivirus software can protect your Windows devices from viruses and malware. But to really keep your network and all of your devices secure, it’s good to rely on comprehensive protection like McAfee Total Protection. With services like identity monitoring, safe browsing, and a secure VPN, you can enjoy the internet without worry.