Windows 7 More Secure

Whether your hard disk drive contains irreplaceable family photos or the financial data critical to your business, the information on your PC is valuable. Viruses, spyware and other unwanted software, root kits, and phishing scams pose a constant risk today. In Windows Vista, we created multiple layers of defense to help protect you against online and offline threats. Windows 7 builds on this foundation of security with new and improved features. In addition, we’ve created new ways to protect your data and help safeguard against loss, theft, or accidental erasure due to hardware failures. Windows 7 even provides new ways to securely store data and files on removable USB storage devices making them less risky for transporting and sharing data.

User Account Control
The User Account Control (UAC) feature we introduced in Windows Vista has been successful at reducing the incidence of malware infection, with Windows Vista customers experiencing 60 percent fewer malware infections than users of Windows XP with SP2. However, we’ve heard your call for better control of how often a UAC prompt launches a notification window. In Windows 7, you won’t see as many prompts because fewer operating system programs and tasks require elevation. And if you have administrative privileges, you can adjust what you are prompted for. In order to help ensure your security, the UAC control panel runs in a high integrity process. Any change to the level of the UAC will prompt for confirmation.

Parental Controls
If you’re a parent, Windows 7 Parental Controls can give you greater peace of mind and confidence in your ability to manage what your kids can do on the PC. You can specify which PC games your children can play and which programs they can use. You can even specify the times when your child is allowed to use the PC. Windows Live Family Safety is a free download that works with Windows 7 and gives you tools to manage and monitor what your children do on the Web. For example, Web filtering and contact management help you manage who your children can talk to on Windows Live Hotmail, Messenger and Spaces. When you customize the settings for each of your children, you’ll even get an activity report that informs you how your children have been using the PC and what Web sites they have visited. And with the ability to view reports or modify settings remotely, you can keep tabs on your kids no matter where you are.

Internet Explorer Security
The Web can be a dangerous place, with sites that attempt to download malicious code, trick you into divulging personal information, or track your actions without your knowledge or consent. Internet Explorer 8 improves your defense against security and privacy threats, and includes the ability to help identify malicious sites and block the download of malicious software.

SmartScreen Filter
Microsoft SmartScreen® fi lter in Internet Explorer 8 boosts the anti-phishing protection found in Internet Explorer 7 by more closely examining the entire Web address and comparing it to a continually updated reputation database. If SmartScreen is active, the browser checks with the centrally hosted reputation service on the Web to help ensure that the site isn’t a known phishing or malware hosting site. It also notifies you if you’ve navigated to a site that is known to distribute malicious software or has attempted to download files that others have reported as unsafe.

Cross-Site Scripting Filter
You could do everything right with respect to security—such as always installing the latest security updates—yet still remain vulnerable to some types of security threats. For example, cross-site scripting attacks are a leading threat against Web sites and can be used to steal cookies or other data, deface pages, steal credentials, or launch more exotic attacks. Cross-scripting is not a browser vulnerability in itself, but Internet Explorer 8 includes a Cross-Site Scripting filter that runs silently in the background to help detect type-1 cross-site scripting attacks. If an attack is detected, the filter sanitizes the script to prevent it from doing harm.

Domain Name Highlighting
Phishing sites frequently use part of a legitimate domain name in a Web address to trick people into thinking they are on a trusted, familiar Web site. Internet Explorer 8 highlights the domain name portion of the Web address in the Address bar in bold text, making it easier for you to tell which site you’re on and helping you identify phishing sites and other deceptive sites.

InPrivate Browsing
There may be times when you’re not comfortable leaving traces of your Web browsing on a PC, such as when you’re researching health information during your lunch break at work or checking e-mail on a friend’s PC. InPrivate Browsing in Internet Explorer 8 helps protect your data and privacy by preventing your browsing history, temporary Internet fi les, form data, cookies, and usernames/passwords from being stored by the browser.

InPrivate Filtering
You probably know that the Web sites you visit can track your activity, but you may not be fully aware of the degree to which additional Web sites and content providers can track you as well. Most Web sites today are mosaics of content that come from many different sites. As a result, the sites you visit often pull in content from third-party sites, which can track your activity even though you’re not aware of it. There are many security risks inherent in this model—you can be exposed to potentially malicious content from every third-party site that is referenced. InPrivate Filtering in Internet Explorer 8 is designed to protect your privacy by helping prevent information about the Web sites that you visit from automatically being shared with other sites. It works by observing the Web sites you visit and building a table of the unique calls for third-party content or objects that are observed for each unique domain. When InPrivate Filtering is active, it blocks thirdparty content based on the default threshold of 10 unique such observances.

Data Execution Prevention
Some Internet-based threats—such as a virus disguised as a picture—exploit certain types of memory related vulnerabilities. Data Execution Prevention helps prevent code that resides in memory space marked as nonexecutable from running. This security feature works silently in the background, helping to protect against viruses and malware being installed on your PC without your knowledge.

Tab Isolation and Crash Recovery
Have you ever been in the middle of filling out a long form on a Web site when the browser crashed, forcing you to start over? In Internet Explorer 8, if a tab does crash, it is automatically restored and reloaded, and any information you may have already entered on the page (such as writing an e-mail or filling out a form) is restored. Similarly, if the entire browser crashes or closes unexpectedly, Internet Explorer 8 restores the entire session (including all tabs).

Windows Filtering Platform
The Windows Filtering Platform (WFP) architecture in Windows 7 helps software companies create firewalls, antivirus software, and other types of applications and services that work with Windows. For example, third-party developers can use the WFP to create a product that selectively turns parts of the Windows Firewall on or off, which allows you to choose which software firewall you want to use and have it coexist with Windows Firewall. As a result, you’ll have a wide range of choices for security software, yet know that they will work with your PC running Windows 7.

Each year, hundreds of thousands of PCs are retired, lost, or stolen. BitLocker, which was first introduced in Windows Vista, gives you a way to encrypt your hard disk drive to better protect data in case your laptop is stolen or lost. In Windows 7, we’ve improved BitLocker in many ways. For instance, you can now right-click a drive to enable BitLocker protection. In addition, you no longer need to repartition your hard disk drive, because BitLocker automatically creates the necessary hidden boot partition. It’s also easier to recover your data with Data Recovery Agent (DRA) support for all protected volumes.

BitLocker To Go
There are numerous ways you can lose your data without losing your PC, especially if you use USB flash drives and other personal storage devices. For example, you might want to take your household budget to a meeting with your financial advisor or transport some work to a PC in your home using a removable storage device. BitLocker To Go extends support for BitLocker drive encryption to USB removable storage devices, such as flash memory drives and portable hard disk drives, helping protect the data on those devices if they’re lost or stolen. When you use BitLocker to Go, your data will be protected with a password, helping to ensure that only authorized people can access it. In addition, you can view the information on a device using BitLocker To Go with a PC running Windows XP or Windows Vista.

Backup and Restore
Even the most reliable PC can be subject to a hardware failure, and even the most careful person can delete a file by mistake. When these things happen, it’s important to have a recent backup of important data—yet many people forget to back up their PCs regularly. Windows 7 helps streamline the backup process. Now you can configure backup settings in three quick clicks, capturing all your personal files and, if you want, your system files too. You can easily schedule regular backups, so you won’t have to remember to do it manually. Choose to back up everything or just specific files, and then choose from a number of advanced backup options, such as backing up files to a network location and performing system backups to DVD. Windows 7 also improves the restore experience, so you can restore individual files, selected folders, or all of your personal files. You can even re-image or restore your entire PC from a recent backup if your hard disk drive fails or your PC becomes infected with a virus.

System Restore
If your PC isn’t working properly, you may want to return to a previous confi guration—back to a time when it was running well. However, you still want to retain all of the new data and changes to existing files that you’ve made since then. Introduced in Windows XP, System Restore provides a nondestructive way to return your PC to the way it was at a previous point in time, without deleting any of your personal files. With Windows 7, System Restore is more reliable, predictable, and effective. You’ll see a list of programs that will be removed or added, providing you with more information on which restore point to choose. System restore points are also available in your backups, giving you more restore points to choose over a longer period of time.

Source of Information : Windows 7 Product Guide


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