Windows 10 ransomware protection remains the first and only line of defense for the majority of consumers using Windows in 2021.Ransomware is one of the most dangerous kinds of malware because it not only denies access to your data but demands a ransom be paid.

Unbeknownst to many consumer users of Windows, Microsoft offers built-in ransomware protection as part of Windows Defender, found under Virus & Threat Protection.

The basics for turning it on aren’t complicated: type in “Ransomware Protection” in the Windows 10 Cortana search bar then go to the “Ransomware Protection” screen.

You’re given the option to select “Protected folders” as Microsoft spells out in this recent document. Then you have the option to select which folders you want protected.

“This is what happens to Windows Defender when the Internet goes away,” PC Security Channel says referring to offline protection, adding “it shows how cloud-dependent it is.”

On the upside, some documents were shielded by the Protected Folders feature. The PC Security Channel recommends turning on the Controlled Folder Access, which is under the Windows Ransomware Protection feature.

Microsoft agrees that cloud protection is critical. Cloud protections are an important part of defending new malware in real-time,.They allow us to continually enhance our anti-malware and other security features built into our platforms to fight the evolving complexity of threats.

Tactics to fend off ransomware

It’s strongly suggested by cybersecurity professionals that you use a a cloud-based file hosting service with automatic backup, such as Microsoft’s OneDrive, so you’re regularly backing up files.

Another good defense is a so-called “air gap” strategy where the external storage device is completely disconnected from your computer and the internet. Back up your files, then disconnect the storage device.

Another piece of advice is to separate work and personal devices, says Unit 42 of Palo Alto Networks, a cybersecurity firm. While attackers tend to target corporations, schools, and hospitals, “consumers who are working from home and doing their shopping on their work devices get targeted by attackers,”.

Summary:

“While Windows Defender has improved considerably over the years, there are several key areas where it is still largely susceptible to attacks, as we have found during our repeated testing on The PC Security Channel,”.