Microsoft has unveiled a new tool that it says should help keep Windows 11 users protected from losing their valuable passwords.
Part of the recently-announced Windows 11 22H2 update, the new Enhanced Phishing Protection feature will now warn users when they write out their passwords in certain applications or websites deemed to be possibly insecure.
This even includes Microsoft’s own apps, including the likes of Notepad and Microsoft Word, as the company looks to try and make sure users remain protected at all times.
In a blog post(opens in new tab) announcing the launch, Microsoft says that the new tool should stop unsuspecting users from accidentally writing out their passwords in plain view, and keep them safe from hackers or scammers.
It uses the company’s SmartScreen protection platform to spot any saved passwords from being entered, displaying a warning that “It’s unsafe to store your password in this app…we recommend removing your password from this file”.
Users will need to toggle the feature on, as while Windows 11 22H2 has Phishing protection enabled by default, the password protection options are disabled.
To enable it, go to Start > Settings > Privacy & security > Windows Security > App & browser control > Reputation-based protection settings.
Scroll down to the Phishing protection section, where there are options labeled ‘Warn me about password reuse’ and ‘Warn me about unsafe password storage’.
Microsoft adds that IT admins can customize alerts using a mobile device management (MDM) solution like Microsoft Intune.
The launch was one of several new security-focused additions in Windows 11 22H2, which was the first significant update to the platform for several months.
Also included was Smart App Control, a new AI-enabled system that stops users running malicious applications in Windows 11. Using an AI model that refreshes daily, the tool assesses the level of threat posed by an executable, and if the threat level is high, the application will not be allowed to run.
Separately, Windows 11 users will benefit from new protections designed to shield against risk posed by vulnerable drivers, a common target for malware authors by virtue of the level of privilege given to the Windows kernel.