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Malware Protection CenterMicrosoft Malware Protection

The Microsoft Malware Protection Center shows the latest information from Microsoft about the new additions to Security Essentials and Forefront, for Enterprises.

What the Microsoft Malware Protection Provides

The Microsoft Malware Protection Center provides:

  • Information about the latest Viruses and Malware that have been discovered
  • Detailed information about specific Viruses
  • Advices on how to avoid Viruses and Malware
  • Access to the Threat Encyclopedia

What else is available in the Microsoft Malware Protection Center?

In addition to the detailed information about specific Threats you can also download Anti-Virus updates for the following Microsoft Security Products.

  • Microsoft Forefront
  • Microsoft Security Essentials
  • Microsoft One Care
  • Microsoft Defender

Microsoft have a robust anti-virus and Malware portfolio of products with the Forefront range of Enterprise products. Small Businesses and home users can now benefit from the same infrastructure and investment.

Free Anti-Virus Software – should I use it?

Everyone who uses a computer should have anti-virus software installed, but should you use the Free Anti-Virus Software that several companies offer? The free products typically use the same core anti-virus engine as the companies chargeable products, they are just missing some of the advanced features of the big brother.

There are a lot of Free Anti-Virus software products available on the Internet, so where should you get your copy from and which one should you use?

What Free Anti-Virus Software is available?

Most of the Anti-Virus companies offer some form of Free product, these include:-

AVG-Free Antivirus Software
Microsoft Security Essentials Free Antivirus software for up to 10 PC's
Avast Free Anti virus software Avira Free Antivirus Software
AVG Microsoft Avast Avira

All of the above links direct you to the website of the company who write the software, check before you download.

There are other Free Anti-Virus software products available from other manufacturers, but we know that all of these work and we don’t have experience of the free versions of all of the other products.

Where  Should I download Free Anti-Virus Software from?

You should make sure that you download all forms of Security Software, including Anti-Virus software and Anti-Malware Software, direct for the appropriate company website. i.e. Download Security Essentials direct from the Microsoft website and Avira from the Avira website. That is the only way that you can make sure that the software you are downloading is genuine and isn’t a scam, or some form of malware.

Which  Free Anti-Virus Software should I use?

All of the anti-virus applications above are for Windows PC’s and they all do a good job of keeping viruses at bay. They all get scheduled anti-virus signature updates, typically only once a day for the Free products. So in the end it does come down to personal preference and the features that you are looking for in the product. My personal preference would be for Avast or Microsoft Security Essentials, but that is because I have more experience with these products.

Can I use Free Anti-Virus Software in my Business?

All of the Free Anti-Virus software products are licensed for use on personal, or home, computers. Of the 4 Free Anti-Virus Software products above only Microsoft Security Essentials allows you to use it within a small business.

Microsoft Security Essentials is now licensed to allow small business with up to 10 PC’s to use the product for free.

Free Anti-Virus Software is a good option for home PC’s and is now an option for Small Businesses, with Microsoft changing their licensing for Security Essentials.

Download Microsoft Security Essentials - The Best Free Anti virus product

Microsoft Security Essentials

If you are looking for the best free anti virus product on the Internet for your home PC, or Small Business, now you can work and play on your PC more safely. With Microsoft® Security Essentials, it’s easy to help protect your PC from viruses, spyware, and other malicious software for FREE* with the same award-winning technology used by millions of consumer and enterprise PCs around the world. Security Essentials provides Malware protection in addition to Anti-Virus protection, making it possibly the best free anti virus tool available.

Is Security Essentials the Best Free Anti Virus Product?

You don’t need to pay for Home, or Small Business, Anti Virus software

Microsoft are the latest company to to make their Anti Virus products free for home users. Several other anti-virus providers, probably the best knows is AVG Free, have a version of their Anti Virus software which can be used for free on Home PC’s. In a recent update Microsoft have now made Security Essentials available free of charge to Small Businesses with up to 10 PC’s.

Is Security Essentials the Best Free Anti Virus product?

Well its certainly at least as good as the other Free Anti Virus products, if not the best free anti virus product that we have tried. Security Essentials is based on the Forefront technology that is used by hundreds of thousands of Microsoft enterprise customers, so it has a lot of research behind it.

Installing Security Essentials

Microsoft Security Essentials Website To get your copy of  the Free Anti Virus product from Microsoft click on the ‘Security Essentials, Free Download’ graphic above.

This connect to the Internet and display the Microsoft Security Essentials site, where you can either download and install Security Essentials or you can find out more about the product by watching the video.

Click on the Download Now button and follow the instructions to complete the installation.

You can see the steps outlined for the download and installation, for what is possibly the best free anti virus product available, in the process below:-

Download Security Essentials

Download Microsoft Security EssentialsAfter you have selected to Download Microsoft Security Essentials you will see the screen to the left.

Confirm the Language version that you want to download and then click on the Operating System Version that you are using. XP 32 bit, Vista/Windows 7 32 bit or 64 bit.

Once you have confirmed your Operating System Version, in the download screen,  then the download of Security Essentials will start automatically.

Note: you may get the ‘Standard’ Windows file download warning, you can safely ignore this warning message and proceed with the download.

The Download Process

Download  Microsoft Security Essentials for Free

The file will then be downloaded for you to save locally on your computer. Make sure that you note where the file is downloaded to, as you may need this information later on.

Once the download has completed you should select the option to run the installation file and then follow the detailed on-screen instructions. This will ensure that Microsoft Security Essentials is installed and configure correctly and that the latest updates are applied to ensure that your home computer  is protected by, what is possibly, the best free anti virus product available.

The instructions on screen will guide you though the installation process and make sure that Security Essentials has the latest updates installed.

Install Security Essentials

Accept the Security Essentials License TermsBefore you can proceed with the installation process You will need to accept the Microsoft End User License Agreement (EULA).

You should, of course, read the ELUA before you accept and agree to it, by pressing the I accept Button.

Once you have accepted the EULA then Microsoft Security Essentials will verify that you are using a genuine version of Windows before continuing the installation process.

Should you be  using a pirate, or unauthorised, version of Windows the installation will terminate at this point as Microsoft Security Essentials will only install on a system which passes the validation process.

Note: Microsoft does not collect any information during the Validation process which can be used to identify who you are, neither do they ask for any contact information such as an email address.

Operating System Validation

Remove other AV productsPress the Validate > Button to continue with the Validation process. This will verify that your versions of Microsoft Windows is a genuine version and that it has a valid license.

Once the validation of your Windows Operating System has been confirmed you can start the installation by pressing the Install > Button.

Once you have pressed the Install Button then the installation process will start and a Status Bar will be displayed, showing you the progress of the installation.

This will continue to update during the installation of Microsoft Security Essentials.

Security Definition Updates

Installed & ScanningAfter the installation process has completed the Computer Status will be set to ‘At Risk’ whilst the virus and spyware definitions are updated to the latest version.

Whilst your computer remains At Risk the Status Line will be bright red, to indicate that you are not currently fully protected.

This process will always happen as there will have been additional anti virus and anti malware updates which have been issued since Microsoft Security Essentials was packaged. The security updates will take a few moments to download and install.

Once the definitions have been updated the status line will change to Green and the status will be set to protected. At the same time a Quick Scan of the computer will be carried out. The status of the scan will be updated as things progress.


The Update Tab will show you the version of the virus and spyware definitions and also show when they were last updated. If you want you can manually update the definitions, or more likely you will set the updates to take place on a regular schedule.
Computer Protected

Once the initial scan is completed then you are protected from Viruses.  Security Essentials will automatically update the virus definitions on a regular basis.

One of the advantages of the Free Anti virus products is the fact there there isn’t a subscription which can expire. So the virus and spyware definitions should always be up to date, so it truly should be a ‘set it and forget it’ product.

In another post we will discuss how to configure and use Microsoft Security Essentials to ensure that you are always up to date and protected for viruses and malware. This will help you to get the most out of Microsoft Security Essentials and show you that it is, possibly, the best free anti virus product available.

Is Security Essentials the Best Free Anti Virus Product?

We certainly think its one of the Best Free Anti Virus products that you can get. Why not let us know your experiences with Security Essentials by filling out the Comments below.

* Microsoft Security Essentials is available at no charge for Home customers who are verified to have a copy of genuine Windows in select countries. No registration or personal information is required, only automatic verification of your genuine Windows installation.

Need security for your business?

Microsoft Security Essentials is now  available for small businesses with up to 10 PCs. If your business has more than 10 PCs, you can protect your computers with Microsoft Forefront Client Security.

Do you think that Microsoft Security Essentials is the Best Free Anti Virus Product available, let us know.

Windows 7 Inside Out Book/CD Package

Windows 7 Inside Out Book/CD Package

ISBN Number 0735626650

Authors: Ed Bott; Carl Siechert; Craig Stinson

This book continues the well known Inside Out Series from Ed Bott and Carl Siechert. These authors take a technical subject and make it readable, whilst still keeping the value in the book. If you already use  Windows 7 and you’re beyond the basics, then this book will provide deep insights into the inner workings of Windows 7.  This highly organised reference book is packed with hundreds of time saving solutions, trouble shooting tips, and workarounds. Using the knowledge gained from Windows 7 Inside Out will help you to get the most out of your computer. Discover how the experts tackle Windows 7  and challenge yourself to new levels of mastery!

At a high level Windows 7 Inside Out will:

  • Compare the features and capabilities of each of the Windows 7 editions
  • Show you how to configure and customise your Windows 7 implementation using the advanced setup options
  • Demonstrate the best way to manage files, folders, and media libraries
  • Show you how to set up a wired, or wireless, network and manage shared resources
  • let you find out the best way to administer user accounts, passwords, and logons to help secure and control access to resources
  • Explain the Internet Explorer 8 settings and help you to understand the differences between the security zone types
  • Show you how to master Microsoft Security Essentials to protect your PC against viruses, worms, malware  and spyware
  • Discuss how to troubleshoot problems and fine-tune your computer performance
  • Let you automate routine maintenance tasks with scripts and other tools

Its not a lightweight book, at over one thousand pages,  but it never seems to be heavy going or overly complex. Even when attacking complex subjects, which delve into the Windows Registry, the book remains informative and readable.

Summary of the chapters included in Windows 7 Inside Out

Whilst Windows 7 Inside Out has 26 Chapters the book is divided up into 6 sections, looking at the high level topics. This allows you to focus in on a specific topic area, without having unwieldy huge chapters.

Windows 7 Inside Out – Part 1 Getting Started

  • Chapter 1: What’s New in Windows 7
  • Chapter 2: Installing and Configuring Windows 7
  • Chapter 3: Obtaining Help and Support
  • Chapter 4: Personalising Windows 7
  • Chapter 5: Adding, Removing, and Managing Programs
  • Chapter 6: Using Internet Explorer 8
  • Chapter 7: Adding Windows Live Programs and Services

Windows 7 Inside Out – Part II: File Management

  • Chapter 8: Organizing Files and Information
  • Chapter 9: Using Windows Search
  • Chapter 10: Advanced File Management
  • Chapter 11: Backup, Restore, and Recovery

Windows 7 Inside Out – Part III: Digital Media

  • Chapter 12: Playing and Organizing Digital Media Files
  • Chapter 13: Sharing and Syncing Digital Media
  • Chapter 14: Using Windows Media Center

Windows 7 Inside Out – Part IV: Security and Networking

  • Chapter 15: Security Essentials
  • Chapter 16: Managing User Accounts, Passwords, and Logons
  • Chapter 17: Setting Up a Small Office or Home Network
  • Chapter 18: Sharing and Managing Network Resources
  • Chapter 19: Fixing and Tweaking Your Network

Windows 7 Inside Out – Part V: Tuning, Tweaking, and Troubleshooting

  • Chapter 20: Tuning Up and Monitoring Performance
  • Chapter 21: Performing Routine Maintenance
  • Chapter 22: Using Advanced System Management Tools
  • Chapter 23: Troubleshooting Windows Errors and Crashes

Windows 7 Inside Out – Part VI: Windows and Your PC

  • Chapter 24: Setting Up and Configuring Hardware
  • Chapter 25: Managing Disks and Drives
  • Chapter 26: Using Pen, Touch, and Voice Input, Windows 7 Editions at a Glance, Working with the Command  Prompt, Index to Troubleshooting Topics

In addition to the printed version of the book you also get a CD as part of the Package. This allows the authors to include additional material in Windows 7 Inside Out.

What is included on the Windows 7 Inside Out CD

The CD included as part of the Windows 7 Inside Out Package includes:

  • Fully searchable eBook version of Windows 7 Inside Out
  • Downloadable Windows gadgets along with other tools for customising Windows 7
  • Insights direct from the Microsoft product team on the official Windows 7 blog
  • Links to the latest security updates and products, demos, blogs, and user communities

Overall Windows 7 Inside Out is an excellent read, Messrs Bott, Siechert  and Stinson have another hit book to add to the Inside Out Series. Find out more about Windows 7 Inside Out and order your copy today, or take a look at the available Windows 7 Training courses.

What is Malware?

The term Malware is generally accepted to be a short form of the words Malicious software. This typically encompasses multiple categories of software such as viruses, trojans, worms, spyware, etc. The goal of malware is to install software that can destroy your data, effect your computer’s performance, cause a crash or allow spammers to send email through your account. Typically the authors of Malware want to use your computer to send spam or phishing emails that will ultimately generate money for them.

How do I know if my PC is infected with Malware?

“My Anti-Virus software doesn’t show any problems, so how do I know if I have any Malware installed?” Unfortunately most antivirus software doesn’t recognise malware, or if it does then it doesn’t do a good job of cleaning up the malware.

What is the best way to get rid of malware?

malware removal with malwarebytesThere are several good products available to identify and remove Malware from your computer. The best and most effective Anti Malware software that I am aware of is Malwarebytes which is available in 2 versions. Both versions of Malwarebytes are fully functional, the two versions are:-

  1. Malwarebytes Free edition
  2. Malwarebytes Full version (approx £16.00)

Both versions perform full scans and will remove malware from your computer, so you get to try the full capabilities of the product without having to hand over your credit card information. The main difference is that activating the full version unlocks real-time protection, scheduled scanning, and scheduled updating.

Note: Anti-Malware software isn’t intended to replace your anti-virus software, it should be used in conjunction with a traditional anti-virus product – like Microsoft Security Essentials.

Can I Automate Anti Malware Software?

The short answer is yes, you can automate anti malware scans and clean up. You can buy a full copy of Malwarebytes, so that you can schedule the scans and updates.

Another option is to use a Systems Management solution, like SystemAssure, which provides full automation for anti-virus and anti-malware scans and cleanup, alongside monitoring and management.