Here is a complete guide on Windows 11 Privacy and Security Settings. Microsoft has officially launched Windows 11 and you can download it for free on your system provided that it meets minimum requirements. As it claims, this time the prime focus is on enhancing the overall security of your PC. It has made some minimum security requirements that your PC must meet to install Windows 11. Now, to further improve the security and privacy of your system, you can set up some settings provided in Windows 11. Let us check out what are these Privacy and Security settings and how you can enhance your PC’s security.
Privacy and Security Settings in Windows 11
Here are the Privacy and Security settings you should know about in Windows 11:
- Keep your Windows 11 up to date.
- Check your sign-in options.
- Log out when you’re away.
- Turn on the built-in security tools and features.
- Run a virus scan at regular intervals.
- Check out Device Security.
- Turn off your advertising ID.
- Stay safe when online.
- Control app launch tracking.
- Control Diagnostics and feedback data.
- Manage Application Permissions.
- Ensure your device can be found if lost.
- Encrypt the data on your device.
- Disable suggested content.
- Control website access to the language list.
1] Keep your Windows 11 up to date
With each update, new security patches are installed on your system that enhances the security of your PC. Hence, it is important to keep your Windows 11 up to date and install each and every update available. You can do that by opening the Settings app and then going to the Windows Update tab. From here, click on Check for updates and then down and install available updates.
You can also set up update options like Receive updates for other Microsoft products, Download updates over metered connection, and more as per your preference. Also, make sure to set up Active Hours inside Advanced options so that Windows doesn’t restart and apply updates when you are in the middle of your work.
2] Check your sign-in options
To make sure only you have the access to your account, you should set up secure sign-in options provided in Windows 11. It is recommended to enable sign-in options like Facial recognition (using your webcam) or Fingerprint recognition as they are more secure than a PIN or password. You can access and configure sign-in options from Settings > Accounts > Sign-in options.
There are some additional sign-in features that you can set up as per your preference, like show/hide account details on the login screen, only allowing Windows Hello sign-in for Microsoft accounts, etc.
3] Logout when you’re away
You can also choose to sign out from your account when you have been away from your device. There is an option named If you’ve been away, when should Windows require you to sign in again inside sing-in options. You can set this option to When PC wakes up from sleep. This will ensure that when you are away, you are logged out and required to sign in again. Now, you can be sure that no one else can access your account when you are away from your device for a while.
Additionally, you can also enable the Dynamic Lock feature to automatically lock your device when you move away from it
4] Turn on the built-in security tools and features
Make sure you have turned Windows Defender Firewall and Windows Security to keep your device protected from viruses and malware. Also, you must take required action on scans performed on your system. You can check the protection areas and their current status by opening Settings and going to Privacy & security > Windows Security. Here, you will see if you need to take action on a specific area or not. If so, tap on the security issue and then take the required action to eliminate the security risk.
5] Run a virus scan at regular intervals
You should also make sure that you scan your system for viruses and threats at regular intervals. Launch Windows Security and run the Virus & threat protection scan.
6] Check out Device Security
If there are any hardware issues including security processor (TPM), secure boot process, etc., they will be listed under the Device Security option on the Settings > Privacy & security > Windows Security page. So, do check and take the action required.
7] Turn off your advertising ID
A Microsoft Advertising ID is generated for each user on a device that is used by app developers and advertising networks. It is basically used to provide relevant ads in apps. If advertising ID is enabled, apps can collect data about you for advertisement and personalized experiences. Now, if you don’t want that, you should turn off this feature to maintain your privacy. Here are the steps to do that:
- Firstly, open the Settings app.
- Next, go to the Privacy & security > General section.
- Now, disable the Let apps show me personalized ads by using my advertising ID option.
Read: Privacy Settings in Windows 11 you should change to protect your privacy.
8] Stay safe when online
While browsing the web, make sure you are safe. You can go to Settings > Privacy & security > Windows Security and click on App & browser control. Then, you can enable Reputation-based protection (lookout for suspicious applications) and Exploit protection (to mitigate remote hacking attacks) settings.
Read: How to stop Microsoft from tracking you on Windows 11.
9] Control app launch tracking
Windows personalizes your Start menu on the basis of the apps you launch. However, you can control app launch tracking if you want by tweaking some privacy settings. Here are the steps to do that:
- Go to Settings > Privacy & security > General.
- Enable or disable the Let Windows improve Start and search results by tracking app launches feature as per your preference.
10] Control Diagnostics and feedback data
You can also control the data that you want to send to Microsoft or probably NOT. These data include diagnostic, inking and typing diagnostic data, and more. You can go to the Settings > Privacy & security > Diagnostics & feedback section. Here, you can set up diagnostics data and feedback options as per your preferences. Additionally, you can also clear the diagnostic data collected by Microsoft about your device so far. For that, tap on the Delete diagnostic data option.
Read: Privacy and Security Settings in Edge browser on Windows 11.
11] Manage Application Permissions
You can choose the permissions you want to allow or disallow apps on your PC. These permissions include access to your location, camera, microphone, notification, account info, app diagnostic, pictures, music, and more. You can open the Settings app and then go to the Privacy & security tab. After that, scroll down to the App Permissions section and then select the permission you want to set up.
12] Ensure your device can be found if lost
Microsoft provides a handy feature to find out the location of your device when it is lost. The feature is called Find my device which you can find under Settings > Privacy & security. So, make sure you have enabled this feature to track your device when lost.
13] Encrypt the data on your device
Encryption is a handy feature that prevents unauthorized persons to access your private and confidential data. However, not all systems have this feature. If your computer has a device encryption feature, you can enable it from Settings > Privacy & security > Device encryption. It will help you secure data on your device.
14] Disable suggested content
Windows show suggested content including apps and new content throughout Settings. However, if you prefer privacy, you can disable this feature. For doing that, here are the steps to follow:
- Firstly, launch the Settings app and then go to Privacy & security > General.
- Now, disable the Show me suggested content in the Settings app option.
15] Control website access to the language list
Windows can collect and send information regarding your preferred language list with websites. This is basically to automatically set your language preferences for each site. However, if you want, you can control website access to your language list using the below steps:
- Go to Settings > Privacy & security > General.
- Set up the option Let websites show me locally relevant content by accessing my language list as preferred.
What privacy settings should I use on Windows 11/10?
We have shared some privacy settings that you can use on Windows 11/10. For example, you can disable app launch tracking, turn off advertisements, disable suggested content, change app permissions, and more.
What are the key features of Windows Security?
Some key features of Windows Security include Windows Defender Smart Screen, Windows Defender Application Guard, User Account Control, Windows Defender Device Guard, Windows Defender Exploit Guard, and some more. There are some more features like Microsoft Bitlocker, Credential Guard, and more than improve your security.
That’s it! Hope this helps!