Microsoft has introduced a new password protection feature for Windows 11, which aims to discourage the use of computer login password elsewhere and prevent others being stored in unsafe places.
The new security tools are called Enhanced Phishing Protection and Microsoft Defender Smartscreen, and arrive as part of this month’s Windows 11 22H2 update.
It’s a two-pronged approach that firstly looks to protect the login to your device itself by making sure you aren’t tempted to reuse that password within an app or website where there’s been a known security compromise.
So, say there is an active phishing attack, you aren’t handing over the administration password to your laptop or desktop, where much more havoc can be reaped by the perpetrators. Secondly, Microsoft will “promote good credential hygiene” by warning users when they try to store passwords in unknown locations, like text files.
“This goes beyond browser-based protection to build advanced phishing protection into the operating system itself, empowering users to take proactive action before passwords can be used against them or their organisation,” Microsoft says in a blog post.
Of course, Microsoft’s preference would be for users to go completely passwordless with Windows Hello, but in a world not quite ready to ditch passwords forever, the company is doing its level best to ensure yours don’t get you into a pickle.
Elsewhere in the big Windows 11 update, Microsoft further tweaked the Start menu, brought tabs to the File Explorer experience, debuted the Clipchamp video editing app, and introduced a new Focus feature.
You can download the update for the best laptops and desktop PCs by opening the Windows Update settings (Settings > Windows Update) and selecting Check for updates. Microsoft has provided a helpful video on updating to the new Windows 11 update, which you can see above. You can download the update for Windows 11 and straight from compatible Windows 10 PCs.