Intro To Windows Security

This guide will show you how you can harden your Windows device. Windows by default is plagued with security issues. A lot of complaints against Microsoft are that they aren’t doing much to fix these, but there’s more to it than that. Microsoft has to design their operating systems with a massive amount of compatibility between hardware and software, whereas something like Mac OS is made for specific hardware and the software then has to work with said hardware.

That being said, if you are willing to forgo some of the convenience and compatibility and are okay with having some issues here and there running programs or doing certain things with your computer, you can really harden Windows to get rid of a lot of the security issues. If Microsoft applied these methods by default, there would be a huge stream of people complaining about not being able to run certain programs or perform certain tasks with their computers. If you are going to use these methods, you need to have some level of technical proficiency.

As far as Microsoft goes with security, they have taken huge steps in the last few years to make Defender a much better product. Things like memory integrity and kernel-mode hardware-enforced stack protection have added a lot to the security of their OS. They are also in the process of rewriting the Windows kernel in Rust, which is a memory safe programming language. Security engineers at Google and Microsoft have said that about 70% of vulnerabilities were caused by memory safety issues. The Windows 23H2 update has about 30k lines of code rewritten in Rust, and I imagine by the launch of Windows 12, that all the code in the kernel will be Rust.

This section was written for Windows 10 and 11. Anything older is not supported by Microsoft anymore and is full of security holes. Some people like to argue that their install of Windows 7 or XP is still the best and is unhackable. Those people are trying to play some mental gymnastics. If Windows 10 or 11 isn’t your forte, there are plenty of flavors of Linux available, or you could switch Mac OS.

When going through the different sections, you can feel free to pick and choose what you want to do. Make sure to read the legal disclaimer. If you don't know what you're doing and you break your device and/or lose your data, you are solely responsible for your actions. Make sure to pay attention to the warnings throughout the guide. If you don’t you could completely break your system and lose all your data!