Windows 10 ransomware protection remains the first and only line of defense for the majority of consumers using Windows in 2021.

Ransomware is one of the most dangerous kinds of malware because it not only denies access to your data but demands a ransom be paid.

And the amount of ransom demanded keeps going up. The average ransom payment jumped 31 percent to $233,817 in the third quarter of 2020 from $110,532 in the second quarter, according to statistics posted by Coveware.

Are you protected? Windows ransomware protection basics

Unbeknownst to many consumer users of Windows, Microsoft offers built-in ransomware protection as part of Windows Defender, found under Virus & Threat Protection.