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Microsoft Security Essentials

The Settings Screen: The settings screen is where the real meat and potatoes of the application hides.  As with many applications, there are a lot of customizable options here.  Some of which you wouldn’t expect from a free AV application.

  • Scheduled Scan: Allows you to configure the times when your machine will be scanned…. duh!
  • Default Actions:  Allows you to configure how the application reacts when a thread is found based on 4 levels. The four levels are Severe, High, Medium, and Low.  The configurable options for each threat level allows you to perform the recommended action, remove, or quarantine.  In case you have any confusion as to what the Recommended action would be, Microsoft provides you with some clarification via a hyperlink in the application.  Recommended Action
    • Severe or high level alerts : If Microsoft Security Essentials alerts you about potential threats that are severe or high, the recommended action is to remove these programs.
    • Medium level alerts : For medium alerts, you should review the alert details (click the Show details link) to see why Microsoft Security Essentials detected the item. If you don’t like what the software does or if you don’t recognize and trust the publisher, consider blocking or removing the software.
    • Low level alerts : This type of alert typically indicates a benign program, unless the program was installed without your knowledge or consent. If you’re not sure whether to allow the software, review the alert details, or check to see if you recognize and trust the software publisher.
  • Real-time Protection: You can turn it on or off, Monitor file and program activity on your computer, Scan all downloaded files and attachments.
  • Excluded files and locations: This is one of my favorite areas to play.  I personally run and test a ton of apps on a regular basis and most of them come up as false positives to just about every AV product I have used.  Here I can configure the application to ignore specific files (Like UltraVNC) and my download locations I use to store them.
  • Excluded file types: This allows you to have the scanner ignore a specific file type.  If you would like your scanner to ignore *.jpg, *.gif, *.rar you can.
  • Excluded Processes: Similar to the other two listed above, but allows for running processes.  This is useful if you are running some type of repeater and/or vnc process that you don’t want to be bothered with an announcement made about it (.cmd, .com, .exe, .bat, etc.)
  • Advanced:
    • Scan archived files: You can deselect whether you want archives scanned.
    • Scan removable drives:  Configures the application to scan removable drives when doing a full scan.
    • Create a system restore point: This will create a daily restore point on your computer before performing a clean.  I personally don’t use restore points…
    • Allow users to view the full history results: This will allow non-administrators to view the results in the history tab.
  • Microsoft SpyNet: The Microsoft SpyNet antimalware community is a voluntary, worldwide community that includes Microsoft Security Essentials users. Through Microsoft SpyNet, users can report malware and other forms of potentially unwanted software to Microsoft. Through Microsoft SpyNet, reports about malware and potentially unwanted software are sent to Microsoft. The type of information that is sent in reports depends on your level of Microsoft SpyNet membership.

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About Joe D

I have always had a passion for everything computing. In early 2000, I decided to take my passion to the web. Thus, C.O.D. was born. Through the years we have made many great friends at C.O.D. and hope to continue our journey for years to come.

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