Microsoft has introduced a few great security features that have helped to make Windows 8 safer than Windows 7 in protecting users from threats.
"After reviewing the layers of technologies used by Microsoft to protect Windows 8, it is our opinion that it is the most secure version of Microsoft Windows to date," Aryeh Goretsky, a distinguished researcher at ESET, wrote in a whitepaper examining security technologies in Windows 8.
Windows 8 adds two features to the boot process that greatly enhance security by protecting against rootkit infections: Secured Boot, with Early Launch Antimalware (ELAM); and Measured Boot. Together, these technologies combat rootkits by minimizing the likelihood of their successful launch and by using remote trusted systems to identify the presence of untrusted software that bypassed antimalware controls. Details: http://www.biztechmagazine.com/article/2013/04/windows-8-worth-trying-security-features-alone
While without adding third-party security, Windows 8 is safer than the previous operating system, to benefit from "the best of all worlds", it helps to have some insight into some options:
Buying a new PC instead of upgrading is the best choice.To take full advantage of Windows 8’s new security your computer needs to run a new type of boot system called Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI). This system replaces the archaic Basic Input/Output System (BIOS). It not only speeds up Startup, but it adds many new features. Included in UEFI is Secure Boot, mentioned above, that helps prevent unauthorized operating systems and malware from running at startup. This makes it more difficult for data thieves to use bootable discs or flash drives to access your files. In addition, it helps prevent rootkits, a form of advanced and difficult to detect malware, from infecting your computer during bootup. For those who have upgraded from Windows 7 or Vista, and who are not ready to purchase a new PC, the next best option would be supplementing 8's security. Some folks suggest using a third party suite. Most of those include an anti-virus that will disable Defender, Windows 8's built-in anti-virus/anti-spyware, so that the suite's anti-virus can be used instead. The regular volunteers at Dell Community suggest using a "layered" approach when it comes to security. That is, combining paid and free software, or using several free security applications that work well with each other: For example: Windows 8's resident anti-virus/anti-spyware, Defender, which is built into 8; an anti-spyware/ anti-malware, such as Free or Pro version Malwarebytes Anti-Malware; a program such as Free or Paid version WinPatrol to monitor for system changes; and another free application such as The Secunia Personal Software Inspector (PSI) to scan software on the system and identify programs in need of security updates. PSI can find vulnerabilities that can leave the system open to attacks.
Those are simply a few basics. Members of Dell Community's Virus & Spyware Forum have shared their various configurations, sometimes using additional programs depending on what setup meets their needs. Whether you choose to buy a new Windows 8 Certified PC, or upgrade your current system, as always, the very best security is the person in the chair behind the computer. Using good security practices online and off has always been the key.