Security checklists for Windows 8

What is Microsoft Windows 8?

Operating system is required for operating a computer. To use a computer it is better to know how to use properly. For your security and to prevent damage you need to follow safety instructions optimally. Microsoft Windows 8 is an operating system for operating a computer. Windows 8 has a dual operating system mode with a new “Start screen” and existing “desktop mode”. Windows has more similarity with smart phones. Software is now using as an “app”. Execution time and uninstall time is reduced considerably. With this majority of applications are now running as app in a virtualized environment inside “Start screen” mode. Windows 8 has new “Charms” menu at the right corner of the screen; it provides search, Share, Start, the device and Settings, functions. The “Search” function of it is highly optimized one as it seems it is acting as per artificial intelligence. Microsoft has introduced artificial intelligence in car computing environment, in which the gesturing control seems to be working great inside of car environment.
Microsoft has learned this from its car computer operating system, which was two years back in US and has been a highly successful product launch.

Inside Windows 8, there is a significant improvement of search function, which started from the launch of Legend Windows XP and then gets some improvement in Windows 7. As in the predecessor operating system, the search function has been optimally used and responded almost correct due to the advent of library functions in which Windows will automatically index files according to documents, music, pictures, video and so on. In this manner, the indexing function of search used to track these nodes to get the relevant feedback when the user commands a search function. The library is one such brilliant search function which can ever be ignored, though there is always space for considerable improvement. The search functions of Windows 8 consist of three categories, such as: Apps, settings, and files. When you command a search you will be given three pertinent results in the above mentioned categories and surely you will find your intended result.

The search function of Windows 8 is hidden under the newly introduced “Charms” menu. Place you Mouse pointer on the edge of the top or bottom right of the screen to demonstrate the Charms. Search function works in conjunction with library functions which is now highly optimized with constant indexing of all the files inside Windows 8. At the first instance, Windows 8, to a lay man, seems a confusing idiot box, with due course of time one should feel ease while operating this new operating system. Before releasing this operating system, it was completely rewritten, this has been done after Windows XP in 2000, this shows how Microsoft is giving importance to Windows 8 as it is a completely a new era of operating system. This operating system is mobile centric, touch centric with a fine gesture controlling with future proof technology. With the advent of Google in mobile and smart phone operating system through its flagship Android operating system having more than 80% of market share, Microsoft seemingly look to the future, when Google might have entered into desktop and desktop replacement operating system, Microsoft decides to jump into this arena with the same old marketing technology, in which jump to opponent arena with completely overhauled new and innovating operating system.

Microsoft is aiming to make the desktop replacements computers to touch and gesture centric operating system. In gesture centric technology, in which Microsoft is way ahead from its counterpart Google, it is trying to utilize the same technology with desktops through this new operating system. It is a new concept with highly sensitized security overhaul in which the user can switch to its standard setting in which most functions work in a seamless manner and all the malwares cannot be installed on it due to it’s less privileged mode of the Windows operating system.

Using the Charms:

The Charms is the combination of erstwhile Start Menu and control panel. You can activate the charms menu by pointing the mouse pointer to the right corner at top or bottom and there you will find the charms menu consists of searching, share, start, device, and setting functions. From here the user can find all the relevant functions of a personal computer, and here you will find the software as applications. This is the new addition to Windows 8 where software can be converted into applications just like android mobile operating system, in which executive files are treated as apps, and with this more and more heavier software and games which can now been played into smart phones easily. Now all the apps can be downloaded from Google Play store, and it is entirely controlled by Google. All the apps are constantly scanned by Google for malware infections. So in this manner, Android is becoming a smart and secure operating system. Microsoft has taken the clue from Google and Windows 8 is the result of this. In Windows 8, all the executives files are converted into apps and for this un-installation of applications are becoming easier within seconds from the charms menu one can uninstall apps within seconds.

With Android, where the apps are updates each month and in six month’s cycle the new version is inducted to your mobile operating system. Microsoft is also planning this with its Windows 8 through an integrated Windows log in mechanism with Hotmail or Outlook mail and then automatically you will be logged into Windows Market Place. Windows market place is same as Google Play. From here, the user can install apps and use it. Though there are not so many apps here, Microsoft is trying hard to convince vendors to build their apps for Windows 8. Due to earlier misconception about the difficulty in using Window 8 for the first few months its sell is not at higher value, one more reason for dipping of sale of Windows 8 in the first few months of its introduction. Microsoft has changed the standard hardware specification for Windows 8 and with this numerous software vendors initially apprehensive about launching this product. Owing to lack of coordination among business to business (B2B) vendors for the first instance seem to be not interested in launching this product. Then, towards the second half of its launch, Samsung electronics tied with Microsoft to launch the hybrid version of Windows 8.

It is the perfect launch and with it there is absolutely no booting time and also there are scope for the vendors to make some workaround with basic codes, as Microsoft is for the first time allowing them so that more and more customized vendor related solutions will be presented to the public. It is like engaging them in decision making and sharing revenue with them. In the long run, this will provide rich benefits and proper utilization of resources within stipulated mindset. In the earlier version of windows you will see while booting the logo of Microsoft, but in the case of Windows 8 you will have a logo of software vendor and its booting time is absolutely none as compared with an earlier version of Windows. With Windows 8, you will get more virtual sound a complete surround environment. The ‘virtual sound’ encodes the surround audio for transfer as output of surround audio to a receiver with a matrix decoder. With this a desktop replacement of a nice sound model you can get the best sound out of any audio format and the clarity and density of music with full density of range of sound boosted for notebook users.
The power option of Windows 8 is at par excellence and here you can run your notebook with constant power supply without bothering about consumption batteries as the batteries will always be charged to 80 percentages in case power failures.

A power-plan is a collection of hardware and system setting, which manages how your computer uses power. Here, you can customize power plans according to your choices. In some notebook, the manufacturer gives you their own customized power options. In addition to this if you buy any such highly valued burning software they will give you the power plans and these will be there at the power-plan setting inside Windows 8. The only power plan available for Windows 8 users from Microsoft are “balanced Power Plan”. It is recommended as it automatically enhances performance with power consumption at the best available hardware configurations. You cannot delete balance, power saver and high performance plans from power options. You can delete the power settings of which you have created as well as the power setting given by PC manufacturer.

With Windows 8, you have a newer “Control Panel” with the addition of newer categories. “Ease of Access” suggests settings for optimizing visual display. You can view by category, large icons and small icons. With Windows XP the design of control panel commences, though in it there are provisions for previous version Windows control panel. Inside the control panel, go to “Performance Information and Tools” and from there you can rate and improve your computer performance on key components access experience on a scale of 1 to 9.9. The key components include processor, RAM memory, graphics, gaming graphics and primary hard disk’s data transfer Rate. From time to time you can re-run the assessment of the score determined you’re on performance information and tools.

In the “Action Centre”, you have one or more detected issues for you on your computer. It deals with security of network firewall, windows update, virus protection, spyware and unwanted software protection, internet security settings, user account control, windows smart screen, network access protection, windows activation, Microsoft account and from time to time it will suggest you for maintenance of Windows. The principal work of Action center is to check security settings of your notebook and also check for critical updates and software vulnerabilities and patches. It deals with Windows Defender, the complete malware protection for your notebook. Malwares or malicious software are dangerous, as it can without your knowledge installs the software and connects the Internet or installs some weird apps.

With on access protection from Windows Defender, it notifies you when malware trying to trespass on your personal computer. The scanning is scheduled so it can scan at any time, if it detects suspicious activities inside of your pc. It is always nice to have a decent internet connectivity to have up to date virus definitions. Windows Defender engines utilize these definitions to find out malwares. It is set for automatic updates, in turn you can set it for manual updates, it is not recommended to set. Windows Defender begins with Windows XP. There it acts a anti-spyware. It is not full proof of XP. In turn; it is now a complete anti-malware with Windows 8.

User Account Control (UAC):

UAC ask for permission before PC installs software or a certain kind of apps that could be potentially harmful and can create vulnerability to security threats. Windows update can automatically download and install patches and critical updates from Microsoft website. On Windows 8 the update part is hidden and it is automatically connected to Microsoft. Unlike its predecessor version where you will have to connect to Microsoft updates on websites in order to install manual updates. With Windows 8, the user cannot reach to Microsoft website on its own instead he will have to turn on automatic installation of updates. Windows 8 is a complete operating system with a revamped security outlook, here you will not need any third party anti malwares, firewalls, as with it you will get a completely new anti malware renamed as “Windows Defender” and a great firewall which helps to prevent hackers and viruses from accessing your PC through the internet.

Family Safety:

If you are running Windows with standard account setting, then you will be asked for administrative privilege while running “Family Safety” apps. With it, you will get reports straight to your PC from Microsoft of your kid’s use of PC. You can restrict their PC usage and choose what to see and what not to see. You can manage these settings on your PC or in family safety website. Family Safety will oversee Internet and other activities on a PC by selective different rating system from famous regulatory authorities from all over the world. “Entertainment Software Rating Board” is selected by default. The ratings include game, age, entertainment, information, literature, publication, justice and so on. From all these setting you choose what kind of information you need to block for kids and then apply these settings. The only drawback is that the rating system will apply to all users. The settings of UAC are in semi cloud, so in order to access basic settings like, web filtering, time limits, windows store and game restrictions and control panel app restriction. Some settings work according to online ratings and some work according to your own personal choices. Turning on web restrictions also turns on safe search filtering inside Bing, Yahoo and Google searches. Adult images are also blocked. It is in a way act like ad blocking and filtering and it is highly recommended to use it while you are using PC as standard user.

There are five web restriction levels. The first one “Allow list only” is a tough one and it is for extremely wild child who is with the computer all the time. It is recommended to click on the last option “warn on adult” if you are using the PC all by yourself and with it you can view all the websites. But receives a warning when a site contains suspected adult content. The next setting is time allowance inside “Family Safety”, here you can set the number of hours the user can use the PC per day, thus restricts the access of your children to PC for longer hours and in this way you can prevent their eyes to be damaged. Here you have two options, one is time allowance and the second one is curfew, in which set the time of the day you can use the PC. There is a huge difference in working with “family safety” with Window 8 than Windows XP. In XP, the user has to activate it and then log in with user name and password all the time in order to connect to the cloud so that it works while you are browsing the internet.

In this manner, you have two draw backs as with this you cannot track and block kid’s usages of computer, on the other hand, with Windows 8, you will have automated semi cloud configuration, and it is inbuilt within your PC, and if you have properly password protect yours Administrator account and open the standard account for kids, then in order to change the modify the configuration of “Family Safety” PC will ask for password, and in this manner, kid will not able to change the settings. For security, you must keep secret the password of an administrator account in a safer place.

About Mohan Manohar Mekap

Mohan Manohar is a blogger from India who founded Ittech back in 2007. He is passionate about all things tech and knows the Internet and computers like the back of his hand.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

IndiChange - Harnessing the collective power of blogging to fight evil.