Phishing has been the main driver behind most big security breaches over the past few weeks, including LastPass, Uber, and Rockstar Games. While steering safe from phishing involves a lot of common sense, there are ways for tech to help you, such as a new feature in Windows SmartScreen.
Microsoft has announced a new feature for Microsoft Defender SmartScreen, called “Enhanced Phishing Protection,” which warns people if they are entering a known password into an unsecured application or file. The feature is present in Windows 11’s latest 22H2 update.
Enhanced Phishing Protection can help you take care of your passwords in three different ways. If you visit a malicious site on any Chromium browser (including Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge), SmartScreen will alert you if you type your password in a non-password field, and give you instructions to change it. SmartScreen can also warn you if you’re re-using your Microsoft password on other accounts or services, and prompt you to change it if it’s the case. Finally, the feature will alert you if you’re storing your passwords in plain text, like in Microsoft Office or Notepad, since that can result in your password being stolen.
The new feature is mostly intended for PCs managed by a school or workplace, but it may roll out more widely to normal PCs in the future. The computer also must be running the latest build of Windows 11.