In the real world, common sense can make a big difference in your general well-being. For instance, a defensive driver can expect to go years without an altercation before the law of averages crumples her fender. In the computing world, however, leaving your PC, notebook, or Mac unprotected from malware is like driving into oncoming traffic without your seatbelt fastened. Sooner rather than later, you will get hit with viruses, spyware, and other malicious software.
Anti-Malware To The Rescue
Microsoft Security Essentials is an anti-malware utility that delivers comprehensive protection against spyware, viruses, worms, Trojans, adware, and rootkits.
You can download and install it on any Windows XP SP3 (Service Pack 3) and higher, Windows Vista, and Windows 7 computer, free of charge. Microsoft Security Essentials only performs its scans in the background, and you can configure it to run when you’re away from your computer. In this article, we’ll provide step-by-step instructions for how to install and run Microsoft
Security Essentials, so you can browse and download with confidence.
Visit microsoft.com and click the Free Download button. As long as you’re running Genuine Windows software, validated by Microsoft, the download will begin immediately after you click Run on the browser’s download notification.
|Click Run to download and then launch the Microsoft Security Essentials installation wizard.|
Click Next on the Microsoft Security Essentials Wizard to initiate the installation. On the following screen, you have the opportunity to read the Microsoft Security Essentials license terms. When you’re finished, click I Accept to proceed.
You can click the hyperlink on the first page of the wizard to view the Privacy Statement.
Click the appropriate radio button to join the Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP; lets Microsoft gather statistics about your system and usage) or to opt out. If you want to learn more about the CEIP, click the hyperlink on this page. Click Next when you’re ready to proceed.
To accept the Software License Terms, scroll down to read the document and then click I Accept.
On the subsequent screen, the installation wizard informs you that if the Windows Firewall is not on, the installation process will turn it on for added protection. Although running more than one antivirus or anti-malware utility can cause software conflicts, a firewall is designed to work with your antivirus software, as a means of stopping threats before they appear on the system. If you are using a third-party firewall, or do not want the Windows Firewall enabled, then uncheck the box on this screen. Otherwise, leave this box checked and click Next to proceed.
It’s important to only run a single antivirus application at once, so if you’re already running one, uninstall it now.
The next screen warns that running another antivirus and anti spyware application can cause conflicts with Microsoft Security Essentials, so now would be a good time to uninstall any of those you might have previously installed. There’s a hyperlink here to help you uninstall your old antivirus utility if you need help.
Click Install to continue.
After a few minutes, the wizard will complete the installation. By default, Microsoft Security Essentials updates itself and runs a scan when you click Finish. If you don’t want to run the utility immediately, then uncheck the box. Click Finish to complete the installation. If you left the box checked, Microsoft Security Essentials will automatically download the latest update and run a scan of your system.
The initial scan may take several minutes to more than an hour depending on the number of files your system needs to scan.
To perform a manual scan, click the up arrow in the notification area in the lower-right corner of your screen. Click the Microsoft Security Essentials icon and then click Open to display the interface. On the Home tab, you can click the Quick, Full, and Custom radio buttons and the Scan Now button to perform the designated operation. Click the Update tab and then the Update button to download the latest virus and spyware definitions.
The History tab shows you the results of past scans, and the Settings tab lets you perform various functions, including scheduling the scans, enabling/disabling real-time protection, and excluding certain file types from the scan.
Safe At Last
Microsoft Security Essentials is just one of several anti-malware utilities from which you can choose. It’s fast, unobtrusive, and free. Don’t jeopardize your computing experience—get protected now.