The Fall Creators Update has finally found its way onto most Windows 10 computers. Here are four new features and capabilities that can help secure your business’s computers and make everyone more productive while working on them.
If your business’s computers are running Windows 10, you probably now have the Fall Creators Update installed on them. Although this major update was initially released back in mid October 2017, it has taken a while to find its way on the majority of Windows 10 machines.
The Fall Creators Update has many new features and capabilities. Here are four that you might want to use to help secure the Windows 10 computers in your business and make you (and your employees) more productive while working on them:
1. Windows Defender Exploit Guard
Antivirus software is important in the fight against cybercrime because it identifies and removes viruses and other malicious programs that hackers try to install on computers’ hard disks. However, it is not very effective in detecting fileless attacks. In these attacks, cybercriminals exploit vulnerabilities in order to run malicious code or scripts directly from a computer’s memory. The vulnerabilities include not only the software kind (e.g., security holes in legitimate apps) but also the human kind (e.g., people’s propensity to click links or open attachments in emails).
To help defend against fileless attacks, Microsoft rolled out Windows Defender Exploit Guard in the Fall Creators Update. Exploit Guard is designed to prevent intrusions and block behaviors commonly used in fileless attacks. It fights these attacks on four fronts:
- Attack surface reduction — helps block Microsoft Office-, script-, and email-based threats
- Network protection — stops any outbound process trying to connect to untrusted websites or hosts
- Controlled folder access — protects against ransomware by blocking untrusted processes from accessing protected folders
- Exploit protection — helps mitigate app and system vulnerabilities
Exploit Guard is designed to complement Windows 10’s built-in Windows Defender Antivirus solution and typically cannot be used in conjunction with third-party antivirus software.
2. OneDrive Files On-Demand
If your business stores files on Microsoft OneDrive, Files On-Demand will likely become one of your favorite new features in the Fall Creators Update. Files On-Demand makes it much more convenient to access and edit OneDrive files, which can save you time.
With Files On-Demand, you can view and access all your OneDrive files through File Explorer, just like you can with the files on your hard disk. To open an online file, you just double-click it in File Explorer or use the appropriate app’s open-file functionality. OneDrive will then download a local copy to your computer so you can view and edit it. If you edit the file, OneDrive automatically syncs the changes to the file being stored in the cloud. Once you close the file, you can remove the local copy to free up the disk space it took up. It just takes a couple of mouse clicks. Alternatively, you can keep the local copy of the file if you want to be able to access the file when you are offline.
3. Contacts on the Taskbar
If you email a lot of documents to business contacts, a new feature rolled out in the Fall Creators Update could save you time. You now have the ability to pin a contact to the taskbar, as Figure 1 shows. You can then email that person a document by simply dragging the file to the icon representing the contact. A new email will open with that person listed in the “To” field and the file saved as an attachment. After you write a quick message, you can send the email — all without having to open the email app. You can also send messages via Skype to pinned contacts.
4. Continue on PC
Smartphones are ideal if you need to access web content when you are out of the office. However, it is easier on the eyes to view web pages on a larger screen. The Continue on PC functionality debuting in the Fall Creators Update lets you make the switch to a larger screen without having to email yourself a link or manually search for the site you were visiting on your phone. All it takes is a few taps to forward the site information to your computer. You can have Windows 10 open the page immediately in the Microsoft Edge web browser. Alternatively, you can have it display the link in the Action Center if you want to view the site later.
The Continue on PC functionality works on both iPhone or Android phones. To take advantage of it, you need to install the free Microsoft Apps package on your phone.
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