As well as having a firewall, Windows 8.1 and 10 provide further built-in protection via the SmartScreen Filter, which blocks malicious webpages and downloads. It's a handy tool to switch on to stay safe online.
What is Windows SmartScreen Filter?
SmartScreen Filter is a feature built into Windows 8 and 10 - it's designed to recognise potentially dangerous websites. For example, sites that carry viruses or scam phishing websites that imitate genuine sites to harvest personal details.
It's similar to the web protection tools offered by various paid-for security software packages, but SmartScreen is free to use.
Windows 7 has a version of the SmartScreen Filter too, but it only provides protection when you’re downloading files or viewing web pages in Internet Explorer.
How to switch on SmartScreen Filter
To enable SmartScreen Filter, open the Control Panel and click System and Security, then Action Center (Windows 8.1) or Security and Maintenance (Windows 10).
Click Change Windows SmartScreen settings on the left. In the window that opens, we recommend selecting the first option: Get administrator approval before running an unrecognised application from the Internet. Click OK.