Later this year Windows 8 will be released and along with this the new start screen and Metro style apps, you will notice all these changes first and all these are not the only thing which you will see. Microsoft is also making some other security enhancements which can help your system safer and will improve the ability of windows to viruses and malware. This may be the largest improvement for windows security till now.
Antivirus comes preinstalled
This will be the first time in the world of history that you will be able to enjoy the protection from spyware, viruses, rootkits, and some other malware and this will be from the first day after you turn your windows PC. Now windows 8 will come with the updated version of windows defender which has a traditional anti-virus functions and also the spyware protection with some others security options as it has offered since windows Vista. Now Windows Defender almost provides the same security and same look of free Microsoft security essentials antivirus program and this has already offered to users like an elective download since 2009.
Now as Windows Defender will give you the basic virus and malware security, so purchasing antivirus yearly (like McAfee or Norton) or downloading free antivirus package will be an elective for you. Previously, it was necessary to purchase if you wish to stay free from virus. There is a option for you to disable Windows Defender and can use some another anti-virus program which will provide you better protection along with some extra features but the default protection will be the first choice for everyone.
Better download screening
When Internet Explorer 9 was released then it updated the browser’s Smart screen filter which helps to check and block the unknown nasty programs which you download. Beginning with windows 8, in Smart screen the program monitoring portion is built into windows itself and will work whether you are using Firefox, IE, Chrome or some other browser.
When you run a program for the first time in windows 8 which you download from the internet, SmaerScreen Filter checks in a list of known application that are safe and aware you if it is an unknown which points to be a malware. If you get a pop-up then you have the option to check the program totally before you run it.
As Microsoft is attaching the SmartScreen option, on the other hand, the company is removing the security alert that was previously appeared at first time when opened a downloaded program (if the program is old then it will show you a verification status of the publisher and would advise you to run the program which you have downloaded from the internet). This is quite a good change as it will less the number of alerts to hit and with windows 8; you will get an alert only when there is something wrong.
Faster, more secure startup
Microsoft will start to promote new type of boot method with windows 8 which is UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface). This improves and replaces the archaic BIOS boot system as this is used by many PCs for decades. UEFI will offer you better security, more fast startups and some other benefits.
You should be thankful to this new boot method as this will start your PC more quickly within eight seconds from when you click the power button till Windows fully loads to the desktop. The new boot feature of UEFI will protect you from advanced malware like rootkits and bootkits from damaging and also stops from other attacks as well.
However windows 8 will work on system with the old BIOS boot system and on the other hand Microsoft will use new PCs which can carry the Windows 8 certifications to use UEFI boot system along with secure boot feature come by default. The secure boot requirement is making some worry with PC industry along with power users. Though, Microsoft has promised that it will keep boot control in users hand while the company will require some system makers for taking part in windows 8 certification so that it can offer a way for users so that they can disable the feature of secure boot on PCs.
Two types of new password
Two new types of passwords are released by windows 8 and this can be used when you will log in to your windows account: four digits PIN and a “picture password”.
For picture passwords, you can select a photo and draw three gestures (combinations of straight lines, circles or taps/clicks) in several places to make “password.”
IF you select these new types of passwords, then also you have to set a regular password. PIN offers you a faster way to login whereas a picture password offers you in creative way to do so. You will have to enter your regular password sometimes when you need administrative approval for changing the system settings but no matter you can login to your account by using the PIN, picture or with a regular password.
Some other noteworthy defense measures
Improved Windows Defender, boot system, SmartScreen and password protection are some other important security measures that you will get in Windows 8. But in new OS you will get better system improvements which you have not seen at all. In this some core Windows components like ASLR, Windows kernel have already been updated so that it can help you to decrease the common attacks further.