Join Jess Stratton for an in-depth discussion in this video Installing and maintaining antivirus software, part of Learning Computer Security and Internet Safety.
- Every computer needs to have anti-virus software installed. It's designed to constantly scan files that you download, open, and access. Windows 8 and 8.1 comes with a built-in virus protection called Windows Defender. If you're using any other version of Windows, you can download Microsoft Security Essentials to get the same protection. You can download it by searching the Microsoft website or doing a Google search for Microsoft Security Essentials. From here, you can click the purple 'Download Now' button, and then follow the instructions to download it and install it on your computer.
You can also instead choose to use any other virus protection that you prefer, such as, "(mumbles)" McAfee. At the end of the day, it's your computer, and it should be your personal preference as long as you make sure that you have some sort of anti-virus that's running. It's also important that you only pick one anti-virus app that scans your computer in real time. You'll run into trouble with more than one running because they'll constantly be trying to access and scan the same file. Because I'm using 8.1, I'm going to be using the default Windows Defender software.
Now, this is going to give me real time file protection against viruses, but to space save on the Internet, while I'm browsing, I also need spyware, adware, and other intrusion detection software. For this, I highly recommend Malwarebyte's Anti-Malware and you can download that from malwarebytes.org. You can run this for free as a one time spyware removal utility if your system runs into trouble, but it's worth it to purchase the extra protection to keep it running and updated all the time.
This won't interfere with your existing anti-virus program. They work together to scan completely different things. It's also very important that it's not just enough to have an anti-virus app on your computer. Even if it's running and doing real time scanning, it needs to run a full scan at least once a week. Windows 8 will automatically scan your computer. To find out when that happens, let's go to the system maintenance settings. We do that by opening the Charms bar, clicking 'Search', and start typing 'Maintenance'. In the search results, click 'Change automatic maintenance settings'.
Your computer is set to run maintenance tasks every day. These tasks include doing things, such as, installing software updates, doing full scans, and other diagnostics. So, right now, by default, your system is set to run a full scan every day at 3AM. Now, if your computer happens to be turned off at 3AM, then the next time your computer is idle, it will scan it. I'll click the 'X' in the top right hand side to close out of this. Finally, you can always run a scan manually, whenever you feel like you need it.
Your system might be acting a little different, or you could be running into problems. To do that, open the Charms bar again, and this time, search for 'Windows Defender'. Click 'Windows Defender' from the search results, and this is going to bring up the scan box. Now, this is the same box that you'll get if you downloaded and installed Microsoft Security Essentials on a different version of Windows. To run a scan at any time, you can first choose your scan options. For example, a quick scan will take much less time, and it scans the area where most viruses commonly hangout.
A full scan will take much longer, and will thoroughly scan every file on your computer. When you've made your choice, click 'Scan Now', and your computer will start to do a manual scan. So, the first step when your system starts acting funny should always be running a scan on your anti-virus software.
- Installing updates
- Using antivirus software and protecting against viruses
- Enabling Windows Firewall
- Using password-management software
- Encrypting files that contain sensitive data
- Securing your router and protecting the SSID
- Understanding the signs of a secure website
- Checking settings for Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, and Safari
- Unsubscribing from email subscriptions
- Reviewing site privacy settings
- Browsing on a public computer
- Understanding cookies
- Protecting other people's names and locations
- Fact-checking email warnings