The latest update to Microsoft's Windows 10 operating system features a number of changes to its built-in security protection. Rolling out in phases since April 11, the Creators Update adds a new dashboard display for Windows Defender, introduces dynamic locking capabilities and also offers new privacy controls.
However, Microsoft is also cautioning users who have not yet received the update automatically to avoid downloading the new OS manually. That's because the company continues to work on hammering out problems the Creators Update can create on some devices.
New Dashboard Display for Security Options
One of the new safety features arriving with the Creators Update is the Windows Defender Security Center.
"The Windows Defender Security Center offers a single dashboard display so you can control your security options from one place -- everything from anti-virus, network, and firewall protection; to assessing your device performance and health; to security controls for your apps and browser; to family safety options," Windows Blog editor-in-chief Mollie Ruiz-Hopper noted last month in an overview about the Creators Update.
Enterprise users with the Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection service also have new capabilities for tracking security threats via the Windows Security Center, Ruiz-Hopper said. The security portal now uses the Microsoft Intelligent Security Graph to link to Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection, enabling IT administrators to "easily follow an attack across endpoints and email in a seamless and integrated way."
Users of Windows Hello, Microsoft's biometric security system, can also use a paired device to automatically lock PCs or tablets when they walk away. The dynamic lock feature works with paired smartphones, fitness wearables and other devices.
Update Caution for Older Devices
Microsoft is rolling out the Creators Update in phases, starting with newer devices first, to avoid potential problems the new operating system could cause for older machines, according to John Cable, director of program management for Windows servicing and delivery. As it becomes aware of such issues, the company might deploy blocks that automatically prevent the update from installing on devices with known issues, he said in a blog post last week.
"It's important to note that when customers use the Software Download Site to manually install the Creators Update they bypass many of these blocks," Cable said. "Therefore, we continue to recommend (unless you're an advanced user who is prepared to work through some issues) that you wait until the Windows 10 Creators Update is automatically offered to you."
Such blocks will be removed after an issue has been resolved, he added. When that occurs, users who had been affected by the blocks will be prompted to update their privacy settings before the Creators Update is installed.
Meanwhile, Windows Insiders who are testing even newer versions of the operating system should be alert to other known security issues, Windows and Devices Group software engineer Dona Sarkar said in a blog post Friday. These include a problem on some PCs that prevents a security reset and a glitch that keeps Windows Defender from opening upon double-clicking the Windows Defender icon.