Windows 10 adds new security and privacy features in May update

Windows 10 release 2004 is out, with a slew of new features. They include several updates to its and privacy. Here’s what you get when you download it, as outlined in the company’s blog post.

Microsoft has updated its System Guard Firmware Measurement. This feature, launched in Windows 10 1903, helps guarantee the integrity of a system when it starts by checking system firmware, and it’s part of a broader System Guard protection feature.

This system now checks more things when launching Windows (specifically IO ports and memory-mapped IO, which is a computing feature that uses the same address register to access both main memory and peripheral controllers). It provides more evidence that the system hasn’t been tampered with during bootup. You’ll need newer hardware to use this latest enhancement though, warns Microsoft, adding that it will be along shortly.

Also on the menu is Chromium-based Edge support for Application Guard, which is a Defender feature that allowlists trusted websites and puts everything else in a container using the Hyper-V hypervisor technology build into Windows 10. That stops malicious sites from snooping on your enterprise data. Microsoft switched its Edge browser to the open-source Chromium engine in April 2019, so this is a welcome addition.

Application Guard isn’t the only tool that Microsoft uses to shield the rest of the system from your activities. In Windows 10 1903, it launched the Windows Sandbox, which is a lightweight desktop environment that isolates anything you run in it and wipes all its files when you close it down. Think of it like a temporary scratchpad for running Windows programs, offering a good way to test applications or to run them once.

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