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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
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