Windows has security issues. That’s no big secret. It is, after all, the most largely-used Operating System in the world. As a result, it’s a huge target for hackers. The good news is, Microsoft has slowly been improving its security over the past few years. It dumped IE 6, it has taken measures to automatically turn on the Windows firewall and perform automatic updates. It now includes a free spyware program within Windows and offers a very good free antivirus program.
But because it has so many users, and because making sweeping changes to security would affect billions of people, Microsoft has to take baby steps when implementing change. The good news is, all of these tools are available for you if you take a few moments to install them.
Things You Must Do To Improve Windows Security
Since you now know the tools are at your disposal, you must act to tweak your Windows installation to take advantage of them. The three tools we’re talking about today are the Microsoft Malicious Software Removal Tool, Microsoft Security Essentials, and Windows Defender. These three programs can play a key role in keeping malware off of your system, as well as removing it once you are infected.
Microsoft Malicious Software Removal Tool – This is a removal tool, as it implies. It is post-infection. This tool does not remove every single virus that comes out, but it does focus on the most prevalent and destructive of the bunch. It is updated monthly, so if you have setup Windows to automatically perform Windows updates, you should have the latest version. Typically, the latest version is released on the second Tuesday of every month, so you might be a month behind depending on the release schedule.
To run the removal tool, go to the Start button and type mrt in the run box and hit OK. The tool launches and asks if you would like to run a quick scan or a full scan. Always choose the full scan. If anything is found, MRT will take actions to remove it from your system.
Microsoft Security Essentials – People will argue which free antivirus software is the best. Some like AVG, some like aVast!, but the Microsoft Security Essentials antivirus program is our personal favorite. Why? because we use it all the time and have had no infections, no intrusive pop-ups, and no system slow-downs. If you’re running an out-dated antivirus, make sure you uninstall your current antivirus then go to the Microsoft Security Essentials website and download it. Remember, you cannot run two antivirus programs at the same time.
Windows Defender – Windows Defender is a free anti-spyware program that protects your computer in real-time. If you’re running Microsoft Security Essentials, it automatically disables Windows Defender because Security Essentials does both antivirus and anti-spyware protection in real-time. But if you do not have Security Essentials, you’ll want to make sure Windows Defender is enabled. If you’re running an older version of Windows, you may need to download it from the Defender website.
In conclusion, you should use these free tools to protect and rid your computer of infection. You will be safer and you will make the Internet safer, as well. The video below recaps the steps we took above to install and use these great security tools.