Once you’ve updated Windows 10, turn this feature on…:
Microsoft has taken various steps to thwart ransomware over the last few years, but its most recent move should be the most effective, by far. The recently released Windows 10 Fall Creators Update (FCU) includes something called Windows Defender Exploit Guard. Windows Defender Exploit Guard is essentially a set of security and anti-malware related features, which includes a new feature (among many others) dubbed “Controlled Folder Access”. The Controlled Folder Access feature is designed to stop ransomware by preventing unauthorized access to files stored in specific folders.
With Controlled Folder Access, only a pre-defined set of applications can access certain folders. If any other application or executable tries, Controlled Folder Access simply prevents it. Microsoft describes Controlled Folder Access as a “…feature [that] protects your files from tampering, in real-time, by locking folders so that ransomware and other unauthorized apps can’t access them. It’s like putting your crown jewels in a safe whose key only you hold. Cybercriminals can’t extort money if they can’t encrypt your files.”