Understanding Security Threats to Your Windows 10 Laptop

By Nancy C. Muir

It’s important to understand the potential security threats that could impact your laptop. Every day you carry around a wallet full of cash and credit cards, and you take certain measures to protect its contents. Your laptop also contains valuable items in the form of data, and it’s just as important that you protect it from thieves and damage.

Some people create damaging programs called viruses specifically designed to get at your laptop’s hard drive and destroy or scramble data.

Companies might download adware on your laptop, which causes pop-up ads to appear, slowing down your laptop’s performance. Spyware is another form of malicious software that you might download by clicking a link or opening a file attachment; spyware sits on your laptop and tracks your activities, whether for use by a legitimate company in selling products to you or by a criminal to steal your identity.

Your laptop comes with an operating system (such as Microsoft Windows) preinstalled, and that operating system has security features to protect your valuable data. Sometimes the operating system has flaws or new threats emerge, and you need to get an update to keep your laptop secure. You can also use Windows security tools such as Windows Defender to protect your laptop from dangerous computer programs collectively known as malware.