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Security & privacy

Windows Defender adds Sandbox Mode to guard against viruses

With the online world becoming more and more dangerous with hackers and scammers seemingly everywhere, it’s good to know that there are programs that can help keep you safe and secure.

Microsoft is hard at work on improving its built-in anti-virus and anti-malware tool, Windows Defender, up to and including adding new features meant to make your computer even more secure than it’s ever been.

Now, the free Windows 10-centric suite of anti-virus protection and security software has added a special new feature that no paid or free antivirus product currently has at this time: Sandbox Mode.

How can Microsoft Defender’s Sandbox Mode protect your PC?

Announced via the official Microsoft Secure blog, Microsoft Defender’s Sandbox Mode is a way to run the program that separates it from the rest of your Windows installation to prevent the likelihood of outside hackers or unauthorized users gaining access to your PC. It runs with fewer permissions than ever before, so even if you ended up with some sort of virus or piece of malware designed to hijack your anti-virus software, you can rest easy knowing the rest of your system couldn’t be accessed through Defender as a gateway.

Essentially, it means viruses and potentially compromised files are scanned and otherwise dealt with in a secure area that’s quarantined off from the rest of your data, and in a way that’s done without affecting your PC’s performance. It’s a game-changing process for the way anti-virus software behaves, and you get it for free as a Windows 10 user.

You can check out additional details via the official Microsoft Secure blog for the technicalities on how Sandbox Mode works, but you’ll want to make sure it’s turned on in your own copy of Windows Defender as Microsoft looks to “gradually enable” the feature on various PCs going forward. It will not be automatically turned on by default, so you’ll have to do the dirty work.

With the introduction of Sandbox Mode, Windows Defender just skyrocketed to the top of the anti-virus programs out there – and it’s even free, so if you’re a PC user who hasn’t yet dabbled in the wonders of Windows Defender, you’ll want to remedy that immediately if you’re looking for easy ways to keep your PC safe.

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