Protect Your PC with Microsoft Security Essentials

January 3, 2010

If you are looking for FREE software that will protect your PC from  viruses, spyware and other malicious software (malware), then Microsoft Security Essentials is a good solution.

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I have tried and tested every FREE antivirus (and anti-malware) package out there and have found all of them to be sufficient in protecting your PC; however, when Microsoft released Security Essentials in 2009, it immediately got me thinking about a couple of things that convinced me to install it on my PC.

  1. Since Microsoft has the most intimate knowledge of their operating system (Windows), then logically they should be able to offer the best anti-malware solution(s) to protect that operating system.
  2. Ever since the turmoil surrounding the release of Windows Vista, Microsoft has been (in my opinion) making great strides to right itself and gain favor with us (the everyday computer user).  In other words, every effort is being made by Microsoft “to do it right”.  Security Essentials, in my opinion, would be no exception.

I have been running Security Essentials for several months on my PCs and here is what I like about it:

It is FREE (no cost and no annoying subscriptions to worry about). Updates and upgrades are automatic.

It is very easy to download and install (NOTE:  Prior to installing Security Essentials it is important that you uninstall any existing anti-virus software. You may need to download and run a cleanup utility for your previous security application for it to be completely removed.  A nice application to assist you with the uninstall process is AppRemover).

The GUI (graphical user interface) is simplistic in appearance, not obtrusive, or bloated.  Basically it was designed to be understood.

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It is non-intrusive, runs quietly in the background, and only displays alerts that requires your attention.  You can always tell when you are protected by the visual appearance of the Security Essentials icon (in the System Tray or notification area). When the icon is green you are protected and your status is OK.  When the icon is yellow, you are potentially unprotected.  When the icon is red, you are at risk.

The notification area is the area on the right side of the Windows taskbar. It contains shortcuts to programs and important status information.

It provides “real time” protection” and is very light on system resources (which is an uncommon characteristic of security software).

Whenever real-time protection detects a threat or potential threat, Microsoft Security Essentials displays a notification. You can now choose from the following options:

  • Clean computer to remove the detected item. Microsoft Security Essentials will automatically remove the item from your computer.
  • Show details link to display the Potential threat details window, and then choose which action to apply to the detected item.

You can perform manual scans of your PC and/or schedule scans to automatically occur at designated times.

Overall, I have been very pleased with the performance of Security Essentials and recommend it as a “go to security app” on your PC. If you opt to install Security Essentials, I encourage you to do your homework and visit the Microsoft Security Essentials web site to learn more.  Videos are available [ HERE ] on how to install Security Essentials; how to scan for malware; and, how to fix a problem.

System Requirements for Installation: Operating System: Genuine Windows XP (Service Pack 2 or Service Pack 3); Windows Vista (Gold, Service Pack 1, or Service Pack 2); Windows 7

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The New Cloud Version of SuperAntiSpyware

September 20, 2009

Bill Mullin’s Weblog – Tech Thoughts does it again by bringing to us important information about the NEW (and FREE) online version of SuperAntiSpyware. I found this to be important enough that I was compelled to shout about it here on the blog.

First, you need to visit Bill’s Weblog – Tech Thoughts to get the fine details on this NEW cloud driven app.

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Second, you really need to try SuperAntiSpyware Online Safe Scan. It is very easy to download and run a scan on your PC.  The definition updates are automatically updated daily so you do not need to do anything other than download and run.

The scanner does NOT install anything on your Start Menu or Program Files and does NOT need to be uninstalled.

This is another excellent layer of protection to compliment the security software that you should have already installed on your PC.  Make SuperAntiSpyware Online Safe Scan part of your normal maintenance routine. Thanks to Bill Mullins’ Weblog – Tech Thoughts for bringing this important security application to our attention!

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FREE Online Virus and Malware Scanners

August 30, 2009

Listed are FREE online virus and malware scanners that can be used to compliment the scanner(s) already installed on your PC.  Some only scan individual files that you upload to the scanner; while others are full blown scanners that will scan your entire computer.  Keep in mind these are not substitutes for the virus or malware scanner on your PC that have the ability to perform real-time detection.  My favorite on the list is Trend Micro’s Housecall.

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Virustotal is a service that analyzes suspicious files and facilitates the quick detection of viruses, worms, trojans, and all kinds of malware detected by antivirus engines.

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Jotti’s malware scan is a free online service that enables you to scan suspicious files with several anti-virus programs.

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VirusChief offers a free service for online virus scan suspicious files (which *could* contain a computer virus) using several antivirus online virus scan engines.

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Panda ActiveScan is an advanced online scanner based on Collective Intelligence (scanning in the cloud) that detects malware that traditional security solutions cannot detect.

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Trend Micro HouseCall™ is an online application that scans, detects and cleans your computer of possible infection by viruses, spyware, or other malware.

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Symantec Security Check tests your computer’s exposure to a wide range of online threats. It’s free and an effective tool that helps determine your Internet security needs.

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The Kaspersky Online Virus Scanner scans your computer for malicious code and offers the same exceptional detection rates as other Kaspersky Lab products.

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ESET Online Scanner is a user friendly, free and powerful tool which you can use to remove malware from any PC utilizing only your web browser without having to install anti-virus software.

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F-Secure Online Scanner can help get rid of viruses and spyware causing problems on your PC.

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BitDefender Online Scanner is an on-demand antivirus and antispyware tool that shows how safe your PC is.

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McAfee FreeScan helps you detect thousands of viruses on your computer. FreeScan searches for viruses, including the latest known “in the wild” viruses, and displays a detailed list of any infected files.

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If you discover a suspicious file on your machine, or suspect that a program you downloaded from the internet might be malicious you can scan it here.

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VirSCAN.org is a FREE on-line scan service, which checks uploaded files for malware, using antivirus engines, indicated in the VirSCAN list.

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The CA Online Threat Scanner scans your computer for viruses and spyware and can detect malware threats from within your web browser.

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Windows Live OneCare safety scanner is a free service designed to help ensure the health of your PC.

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Avast! online virus scanner gives the possibility to check your files quickly and free of charge.

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