Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Using Windows Defender
Another common method attackers use to infect your computer is through
exploits in the applications you use the most, such as your web browser. The
browsers are becoming much more secure, but as I discussed earlier, the
plugins or add-ons that run within them are getting attacked the most.
In Windows 8 it is getting much more difficult for outsiders to install software
that you don’t want on your computer because of User Account Control for
anything that requires administrative rights. If something is installed, it is because
you authorized it when you clicked Allow in the UAC authorization box or via
an exploit. What do you do if you made a mistake or if your PC was exploited?
The next section shows you how to use the updated Windows Defender utility
to protect your computer and clean it of any spyware threats.
Using Windows Defender
Windows Defender in Windows 8 has been completely revamped. It is the result of
the combination of the anti-spyware utility, previously called Windows Defender
in Windows 7, and Microsoft’s antivirus utility called Microsoft Security Essentials.
For the first time, Microsoft has built antivirus and anti-malware protection into
Windows and it’s turned on by default.
I was a big fan of the Microsoft Security Essentials for Windows 7 antivirus
protection, so I’m excited that Microsoft merged its two security utilities into
one and included it on every Windows 8 box.
Windows Defender works similarly to any third-party antivirus utility. It runs
in the background and scans every file opened and also performs entire system
scans. The signature definitions that it uses are updated very often and are also
assisted by Microsoft Active Protection Service (MAPS) to find out about new,
unknown malware that is not yet widespread. When Windows Defender finds
a file that looks suspicious but does not know exactly what it is, it sends that
information back to MAPS for tracking.
Scanning Your Computer
Windows Defender is very effective at scanning your computer. By default, Windows
Defender is configured to run a quick scan daily. If you ever notice something
strange happening to your computer or just want to perform a full system scan,
follow these steps:
1. Open the Start screen, type Windows Defender , and press Enter.
2. After Windows Defender loads, click Full and then click Scan Now as
shown in Figure 19-9.