Your PC is being monitored and protected.


That's what it literally says in the Windows 10 security/privacy settings.

Whether intended or not, I get extremely scary vibes from hearing that my PC is "being monitored". I know they (likely) mean that the Windows Defender (or whatever it's called this week) is locally checking any new binary files being executed, but it sounds really creepy, especially as I've gone out of my way to turn off anything that can be turned off which in any way uses the network connection in any way for any purpose other than what I actively and consciously do.

Why would they pick such a phrase? Are they so completely and totally tone-deaf to the users' need for security and privacy that they think that this is perceived as something positive?

  • Welcome to Super User! Yes, it's creepy. The word 'monitor' here probably means that the computer is monitored for malware and viruses. Only Microsoft can answer why they chose that word to begin with. – Aulis Ronkainen Feb 14 at 13:16
  • Is your question why Microsoft decided to use that phrasing? We can't answer that question, only Microsoft can. – MMM Feb 14 at 13:52
  • Windows Defender as an active component, thus your system is being monitored,not all AV software is proactive (files are scanned automatically) it's reactive (user scans a file or their system). If you have blocked the ability for Windows Defender to access the internet, you have made your system less secure, I would made sure this isn't the case. – Ramhound Feb 14 at 17:12

If you look at the image you posted it lists what is being monitored and protected (which is good), the yellow triangle bang indicates that one is unprotected.

They are not monitoring you, it is the OS that is monitoring all its built in protections to prevent tampering or at least alert you if is has been.

Windows 10 has what is called telemetry, it sends anonymous data about usage and more back to Microsoft, that's the creepy part, not what you asked about.

  • 1
    Telemetry data is completely aggregated, not personal, and beneficial. It is data Microsoft uses to improve its systems and correct errors. – John Feb 14 at 17:23
  • So you have the source code on what it is doing? – Moab Feb 14 at 19:47
  • No, not on hand. I saw a presentation on Telemetry and its workings at Redmond a year or so ago. It was non-disclosure so there were no handouts. – John Feb 14 at 19:49

That is the normal Windows Defender phrase. It means it is running and checking files for viruses.

Windows Defender is a top rated Anti Virus for Windows 10 and includes Microsoft Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET) which is great low level protection. You can rely on Windows Defender for your computer. I use it on all my machines.

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