Working with Security and Maintenance in Windows 10
In previous versions of Windows, Microsoft included the Action Center as a kind of hub for your system security. You would get a notification from the Action Center, for example, when something important related to your system's safety came up. This might be something such as a pop-up message telling you that you're running out of backup space on your hard drive or your antivirus program needs an update.
With Windows 10, Microsoft took a different approach with the Action Center . Now the center has become a hub of notifications of all sorts, which includes social media updates and new email notices, as well as messages from your computer or device that need your attention. For a quick look at the notifications, you can click the Notifications icon in the status tray of the taskbar or swipe in from the right edge of the screen. To get to the tools you need to make sure your system is working well, open the Security and Maintenance window.
Reviewing Your System Status
You can easily see which security tools are in place on your computer, change settings, and update your software in the Security and Maintenance window of the Control Panel. Here's how to get there:
- Click in the Search box in the taskbar, and type security and maintenance.
- Click Security and Maintenance.
- Click the arrow to the right of the Security or Maintenance categories to display details about the tools in each of those areas.
- In the Security and Maintenance window, review any messages that are displayed.
- Click the link that is provided for any tools you want to review or change settings for.
- Click the arrow to close the expanded tool list when you're finished reviewing.
If you aren't clear about what types of security measures you should have in place, you can let Microsoft help you make the call. Expand the Security list in the Security and Maintenance window, and scroll down to the bottom of the list. Click the How Do I Know What Security Settings Are Right for My Computer? link; Windows Help and Support displays the Security Checklist for Windows so you can learn about the different tools and make changes as needed.
User Account Control
It's not unusual today when you're downloading files from the Web to encounter websites and online programs that want to make changes to your computer. Some of these files are legitimate-perhaps you need the latest version of Microsoft Silverlight or Adobe Flash to play a movie trailer. But some programs are not so well intentioned, and these are the ones you need User Account Control to block.
User Account Control lets you easily find out when a program wants to make a change to your computer. You can set up User Account Control so you'll be notified when a program tries to change your system settings. (It's set to do this by default.) Windows 10 offers four settings, ranging from Always Notify to Never Notify, and you can easily change the settings by clicking Change User Account Control Settings in the left panel of the Control Panel. Although User Account Control prompts can be annoying, before you disable them, remember that they're there for your protection.
Changing Security and Maintenance Alerts
Each Security and Maintenance message includes a link that gives you the next step to follow as you deal with the issue. You can choose to turn off messages about that particular issue, archive the message, or ignore the message. You can change which issues you receive alerts for so that you are notified about only the ones you want to see.
- In the Security and Maintenance window, click Change Security and Maintenance Settings.
- Click to uncheck any security item you don't want Windows 10 to check for.
You can change the items Windows 10 checks for and the messages you receive at any time. If you turn off an item and then get concerned that maybe you need it after all, go to the Security and Maintenance window, click Change Security and Maintenance Settings again, and click to check any unmarked boxes of items you want to add. Click OK to save your settings.
- 3. Click to uncheck any maintenance messages you don't want Windows 10 to display.
- Click OK.
Although being alerted for every little thing can be annoying, unless you have a specific reason for turning off an alert-for example, Windows 10 doesn't recognize the antivirus program you're using and keeps telling you there's no antivirus program installed-the best practice is to leave all the alerts turned on.