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If you're connected to the internet, which most people are, you know there are dangers. There's malicious software out there that can be downloaded to your computer without your knowledge, installed and do things like gather important information or do damage. Well, here in Windows 8.1, and its been around for quite some time is something called, Windows Defender and it's going to defend against those types of attacks. In fact you may not even know you have it and that it's running and defending you on the fly. Let's check it out.
All we're going to do from the start screen is start to type in the word defend. You can see there is a Windows Defender icon. It's going to run in our old desktop environment when we click it. So let's do that. Alright, what you're going to see now is the window for Windows Defender with your status. Mine is protected. Down below with the Home tab selected, you can see my PC's being monitored and protected. I have something called Real-Time Protection, turned on. And my virus and spyware definitions are up to date.
Now part of Windows update when you're viewing the history will include updates to Windows defender, in fact, you'll see most of the updates deal with Windows Defender and because we have our Windows update on, we know that Windows defender is up to date and always doing its best. Over on the right we have some scan options. We can do a quick scan right now. It's going to do a quick scan of the areas where malicious software is normally downloaded to. We could do a full scan, which is going to scan the entire computer. And we can also do a custom scan, picking and choosing what areas we want scanned for malicious software.
But, instead of me just scanning and you watching, let's go on to some of the other options. Down below you'll see the latest scan for me, was done just hours ago. But, we can go to the update tab and from here see when definitions were created and updated. We could do an update right now if we wanted to, but it looks like I'm up to date with my virus and spyware definitions. So I'm going to go on to the history. Now the history details are hidden by default. For quarantined items, any items that are allowed, as well as detected items, these are items that were detected on my PC.
If I want to see any of those, I have to click the View Details button to reveal them. It looks like I'm clean. There's nothing to worry about here, nothing quarantined, allowed, all detected items selected. I have nothing to see here. That's why the two buttons down below for removing items and allowing them are inaccessible to me at this point. Let's go to settings now because here's where you could go if you wanted to turn it off. I wouldn't recommend it. And it is turned on automatically here in Windows 8.1 when you install.
But you do need to be the administrator and when you click it down here on the left hand side, you can see it is checked off for this app to run, you could turn it off. Let's not do that. Real-time protection, for me it's turned on, that means, as it's coming in it's going to be recognized and I'm going to see messages popping up, telling me whenever malicious or potentially unwanted software is attempting to install itself or even run on my computer? Excluded files and locations can be added. Same thing for file types and processes. If there are certain locations that you don't need scanned, for example, you can click the Browse button and browse to those locations.
So, for example, maybe on my hard drive and, if I go to Users here and find my own User account. Maybe I don't care to have my Music folder scanned. Well I can click OK and it gets added. So now that I have something there, I can do the same thing with certain files types, and this just speeds up the scan so it doesn't take so long as soon as you start excluding files and locations, files types, and processes. Alright, let's go down to advanced. There are a couple of items here that could be very important.
One of them is to scan removable drives, for me. I always have a removable drive plugged into one of my USB ports. I don't want anything hiding in there, so I want those included in my scan. And that would be a full scan. And notice, I could also create a system restore point. So if things are being removed, and all of a sudden, things aren't working properly in Windows 8.1, I can go back to that point before the scan happened and do my own custom scan, for example. So I like that. We need to save our changes if we're going to do that before continuing on.
Right, so that, as you can see, is what we want to see across the top. Green, protected, Windows Defender up to date. All of that is done automatically for you here in Windows 8.1. You may not have even have known that it's running in the background but that's how you get to it, windows defender here in the old desktop environment, protecting you from unwanted or malicious software. Let's go back to our start screen, pressing the Windows key and continue from here.
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