|INSTALL MICROSOFT SECURITY ESSENTIALS|
Microsoft over the years has always had some sort of free anti-virus, anti-malware, anti-spyware software that genuine microsoft windows users could
freely download and install, but since the release of Windows 7 microsoft has made its latest security software, Microsoft Security Essentials, freely
available for all windows (xp. vista, 7) users. This means many windows users can now enjoy some level of free protection.
I'm not going to go into a FREE Security Software vs Paid-For Security Software debate here, but what I will say is that Microsoft Security Essentials has had many great reviews from popular computer websites and computer magazines. You still have free security software such as AVG and Avast to choose from even if you don't like Microsoft Security Essentials, after installing it and using it for a while.
Before installing Microsoft Security Essentials you first need to download it, as it does not come supplied with new computers for example, by taking your web browser to this web address (click on that link) - http://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/security_essentials/default.aspx. Doing so will take you to the following web page where you want to click on the big orange DOWNLOAD IT... link.
The orange link is a promotional link at this time of writing. Meaning, it might change in the future; hence why I say go to the Microsoft Security Essentials web page, using the above mentioned link, so that you have the latest download page whenever you are ready to actually download Microsoft Security Essentials.
When you click on the big orange DOWNLOAD IT link the web page (window) will fade out (go black-ish/grey) and an information bar will appear at the bottom of the faded out web page giving you three options/buttons - RUN (Execute), SAVE (Download) and CANCEL. For this example just click on the RUN button to continue. There is no need to click on the SAVE button unless you want to distribute the downloaded mseinstall.exe file, and more specifically run it (install Microsoft Security Essentials) on other computers.
At this point the mseinstall.exe file has been downloaded into a temporary system folder, as opposed to your DOWNLOADS folder, because you chose the RUN
option - In previous software/installation sections I have explained why RUN places the downloaded file into a temporary system folder. Basically, it's
because you do not want it SAVEd (downloaded directly into your DOWNLOADS folder).
Anyway. If you want to see what is happening to a download in general you can click on the VIEW DOWNLOADS button. It allows you to see what is currently being downloaded and what has been downloaded. When something has finished downloading you can double click on its entry, if need be, to RUN (execute/launch) its installation (downloaded) file. In this example, if the mseinstall.exe file did not RUN after being downloaded I could of run it by double clicking on its entry in the VIEW DOWNLOADS window.
With the mseinstall.exe file downloaded and running automatically (I did not need to use the VIEW DOWNLOADS window) it then launches the Installation Wizard, whose first step is to show you the Microsoft Security Essentials welcome screen (window). Simply click on its NEXT button to begin the actual installation process.
The next step of the installation process is the License Agreement, where you must agree to the Terms & Conditions of Microsoft Security Essentials before
Read the License Agreement carefully. Although these tend to contain useless information, they usually explain Copyright issues or Usage issues that clarify who can use the software and who cannot. So if, for example, you are told that a certain piece of software is Free and/or Free To Use you may want to clarify this by reading the agreement. Some installation wizards do not allow you to continue, by fading out the CONTINUE button, until you have read (scrolled down) the license agreement. When you are ready and if you agree, click on the I ACCEPT button to continue.
The next step asks you if you would like to provide Microsoft with automated feedback information about malware (viruses etc) that might attempt to get on
your computer (their methods of entry) and about malware that unfortunately does get onto your computer (how it got on there) for whatever reason(s).
This sending of information happens behind the scenes and you do not have to give any details whatsoever, so you do not have to do anything once you have agreed to join their Customer Experience Improvement program. In this example I have clicked on the JOIN... radio button because I think it is important to send feedback about potential/actual malware, so that others benefit and hopefully don't get a certain malware due to microsoft now knowing about it. When you have decided which JOIN option to go for click on the NEXT button to continue to the next step.
After clicking on the NEXT button (above) make sure you keep the Firewall option ticked on the next step (below). It makes sure the Windows Firewall is switched on (activated) if you have no other firewall software installed and more importantly switched on. With that option ticked click on the NEXT button to continue.
With all the information and settings in place the installation wizard is now ready to perform the actual install; so click on the INSTALL button (below) to continue. This part of the installation is quite fast and before you know it you will be ready to click on the FINISH button (Fig 1.10 below).
Although the above steps will be quick, the installation process has not finished yet. Meaning, microsoft security software has been installed but it's
not fully up-to-date with its malware definition database files for example. So the next steps involve updating it so that it knows about the current
viruses and malware threats. Hence why the option SCAN MY COMPUTER FOR POTENTIAL THREATS AFTER GETTING THE LATEST UPDATES is ticked by default (which
you should leave ticked when you click on the FINISH button).
After clicking on the FINISH button (above) you will see the UPDATING Progress Bar (below) that first shows as SEARCHING for updates, then DOWNLOADING updates and then INSTALLING updates. This process can take up to 5 minutes, or more on a slow computer, depending on how big the update files (malware definition database files) are.
When the malware definition files have been installed Microsoft Security Essentials, now with the knowledge of current malware attacks, will do a quick scan of your computer for any known malware problems and so on. It will switch from the UPDATE Tab to the HOME Tab to show the scanning process. A quick scan can take between 6 and 10 minutes on an average computer and up to 20 minutes on a slower computer. Anything longer than 20 minutes and you know your computer is sllooowwww!!!!!
A quick scan is only ideal if you have been using another security software quite recently with no malware problems whereby you have uninstalled it, for
whatever reason(s), and have now decided to use/try Microsoft Security Essentials instead. Another reason for a quick scan only is when you are installing
Microsoft Security Essentials on a new computer. Otherwise, in most other cases, a full scan is recommended; which you can manually do after the quick
scan - Select FULL and then click on SCAN NOW (above).
Updating microsoft security essentials is automatic but only updates once or twice a day (if you are lucky), which is okay for general use but not if you are security conscious. You can manually update, which I always recommend, via Windows Updates or by manually clicking on the UPDATE Tab and then clicking on the UPDATE button. There is nothing worse than not being up-to-date when a serious malware is roaming the internet.
Manual updating is not just applicable to Microsoft Security Essentials but should be done for other security softwares such as Norton Internet Security, Spybot, Ad-Aware and so on. A piece of security software is only really useful if it's bang up-to-date. Fortunately, many security softwares also check for updates upon computer boot-up and/or when you actually open/run the software manually.
|GENERAL SETTINGS AND ADVANCED SETTINGS|
To change the day and time when a scheduled scan is due click on the SETTINGS Tab, change the WHEN and AROUND settings and then click on the SAVE CHANGES button to apply those settings. You can also change the type of scan from QUICK SCAN to FULL SCAN for example by using the SCAN TYPE drop-down menu.
The settings above belong to the heading called SCHEDULED SCAN, to the left of the window. By clicking on the other headings you can adjust their settings too. Clicking on the REAL TIME heading for example allows you to add more layers of protection for your computer - Make sure all the check boxes are ticked for maximum protection.
Clicking on the ADVANCED heading allows you to change settings such as; Do you want removable media scanned for malware? And do you want to create a restore point before taking action on malware problems?
The beauty of Microsoft Security Essentials is that most, if not all, of its settings can be left alone as many of them default to common sense settings. Hence why I have not gone into too much detail about them. The only real settings you should change are the Scheduled Scan settings.
If you want to keep track of Microsoft Security Essentials and more importantly have quick access to it, it can be opened via its notification area icon. The green icon means it is up-to-date and all is well malware-wise, according to it - Meaning, as long as it is up-to-date and it can identify the latest and even oldest malware attacks; which is true for all security softwares. They need to be up-to-date in order to fully protect your computer.
Microsoft product screen shot(s) reprinted with permission from Microsoft Corporation. As stated here by the Microsoft Corporation.