Windows 10 Does one Thing by Default that puts your PC at Risk: So You Can Avoid It
There are dozens of Windows 10 settings that should be enabled by default. The fact that the icons are always grouped into icons on the taskbar implies wasting a lot of space, although in that case we are not endangering our PC. However, there is one of the settings that are not activated that do put our PC at risk.
We are talking about file extensions. We do not know why, but since Windows 10, Microsoft believes that it is convenient to hide them by default. This means that on many occasions we do not know what type of file we are opening beyond the icon. Thus, it is easy to identify if we are opening a .txt, a .docx, an .exe, etc.
However, as it is disabled by default, we will not know the default file format. This is a serious danger, since it is possible to change the icon of the files regardless of the format. For example, it is possible to make an .exe file have a PDF icon that misleads the user into thinking that they are opening a PDF, rather than malware.
In the case of .exe files, Google Chrome tries to prevent us from downloading them, in addition to analyzing them to see if they contain malware. The problem is that the files can come compressed, for example in .zip format, and with that they can bypass the blocking mechanisms and introduce the .exe file with the modified icon, since we can only see the file inside after unzipping it.
That is why changing many of the settings that are disabled by default in Windows 10 is not something trivial, but rather it is something that is putting our security at risk when we use the computer, and therefore Microsoft should consider activating it by default. It makes no sense that the operating system depends so much on file extensions, and by default it is hidden from users to make it more difficult for them. It is similar to Google’s tendency to eliminate HTTPS, although in this case at least it distinguishes between a secure web with a padlock, and an insecure web.
In case we want to activate it, we have it quite easy. We just have to go to the file explorer, and at the top go to the View tab. There, on the right side, we will find an option called Filename extensions. With this, the extension of the files in any folder will always be shown. By the way, it is advisable to also activate the option just below so that the hidden files and folders are shown.