How to Prevent Ransomware with Windows Defender

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Many people are concerned about ransomware hijacking the data on their computer. There are many ways to protect yourself. If your running Windows 10, one of these ways many people are still not aware of is to enable “Controlled folder access”, which is a security feature built-into Windows Defender designed to protect your files and folders from ransomware. In this video, I will show you the basic steps needed to enable it on your PC.

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37 Comments

  1. This feature is only available if you're running the Windows 10 "Fall Creators" update or newer. Additionally, keep your your operating system and drivers updated, and back up your data on a regular basis. Only plug-in external hard drives when needed because they can be infected too… Thanks for watching 🙂

  2. Thanks to this clip, I did learn about CFA > and Immediately enabled it.

    Less than 24 hours later, I disabled it again.

    Whilst Ransomware would be an inconvenience, and I would doubtless lose some data, CFA, in the current iteration, makes one's computer unusable anyhow.

    The problem, as others have noted, is that when CFA reports a problem it shows a truncated path to the offending app. A path which would take quite awhile to sort.

    For example the path is given as something like "C:UsersUserName…updater.exe"

    Other than the traditional Microsoft disconnect from reality, I can think of no valid reason to not show the entire path, so that one could then make a decision as to if one wanted that app to have that access.

    Bear in mind, that such access issues result from the last about 40 years of Microsoft deploying insecure hobbyist OSs.

    I well recall when Windoz introduced account password control. At first I thought this a good step. It soon became evident though that the protected access was an illusion, for, if one entered the incorrect password several times, then the system would simply grant access!!

    CFA could be of great value.

    But only if Microsoft would pull its head out of its … so that one has a chance of finding the offending program > which, evidently, is not something which Microsoft is actually interested in.

  3. Hey, your videos are pretty useful. Thank You for such informations.
    Can you tell about some useful website where i can learn game designing and development in future videos.
    i will really appreciate it, if you will be able to help me out.
    Thanks and regards.

  4. This might be good for buisness computers where you not suppose to install stuff. A home PC where you install games or other softwares pretty often this will be irritating. I believe common sence while downloading softwares or browsing the web is the best way to protect yourself. And by using sandbox on softwares that you're not sure if it contains an ransomware.

  5. For all the crap that MS got wrong, there's at least one shining moment where they create a perfect or near-perfect app. Windows Defender is one example of those shining moments for Microsoft.

  6. I have a new laptop (Lenovo Y720) running Windows 10 Pro from the factory, but the Controlled Folder Access toggle is disabled. Is there any way I can update Windows to enable it? Thanks.

  7. Having used this feature for a while, you can run into issues even if you give permission to an app to use these folders. After installing a music program, I couldn't save my new file to the newly protected folders, so I gave the app permission and things worked fine until I went to do a file conversion in the music program, which runs another *.exe file, which was buried deep in one of the program folders… Problem was that I now needed to give permission to this different exe file, but the path was so long I couldn't find what program was actually being denied because the 'Defender Warning' list wasn't detailed enough.

    I then temporarily turned off the folder protection, ran the music file conversion program within the main program and then looked at what was running in task manager, there I could find the path to the new exe and also make that an exception to the protected folders, then turn the protection back on. Hope this saves someone some of the frustration I went through…

  8. I was wondering why this defaulted to OFF when it seemed like such a good idea. Now I know! Looks like every non-Microsoft program I have installed has to be added to the list of allowed apps. Some apps, such as Adobe Photoshop Elements 2018 need many additions to the list of allowed apps. To make this harder, the Windows notification truncates the path and filename, so it's a bit of a guessing game to find the exact app path. I'll push ahead a little longer, but I'm old and life is short.

  9. While this feature is nice, the problem is that it won't work with any 3rd party Antivirus programs, because Controlled Folder Access requires Real-Time Protection to work, which is disabled since it conflicts with 3rd party AVs. It's really annoying that Controlled Folder Access is tied to Windows Defender like this 🙁

  10. Sometimes in videos that feature a computer's screen, the watcher's screen is so small that we cannot see details of what the presenter is doing. While in the current video the words in the Windows screens were small — the mouse icon pointer was large and easily visible, and your instructions were good. Me, I wonder if this protection should be turned on for when one is online, but can be turned off at other times so we can do normal things when not worrying about unwanted visitors. It's something I'll have to play with I guess.

  11. I have 2 questions:
    1) Do I still need to do this if I already have a different anti-virus software?
    2) Are my files still safe if they are saved on a external hard drive?

  12. Windows Defender is actually great. My pc was infected with Ground.exe virus awhile ago. It hide any legit .exe program then generate a fake & infected copy of it. I've tried so many 3rd party AV like Malwarebytes, AVG, Eset, Kaspersky. None of them are really work. Until I finally try windows defender. It's not only remove the infections. It also fixed the infected .exe :'D

    Such underrated~

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