This post is part 2 of 4 about the new security features in Windows 8. This 4 part post is based on the “Protect your PC” section of the getting to know Windows 8 Site on Microsoft’s website:
Windows Defender and Windows SmartScreen fight viruses and other malware
Windows Defender and Windows SmartScreen are built into Windows 8 and Windows RT and help guard your PC against viruses, spyware, and other malicious software in real time. Windows Defender uses green, yellow, and red color codes to show your PC’s security status.
When Windows Defender detects a suspicious app or other unfamiliar software, it checks it against a Microsoft database to make sure it isn’t known to do anything potentially harmful. Windows Defender keeps track of known malware automatically, but you can also get updated lists whenever you want.
Windows Defender runs in the background, and only notifies you if there are specific actions to take—but you can also run your own scan whenever you want. If your PC isn’t working properly, or you got an email from someone you know that just doesn’t seem right, use Windows Defender to check for malware you might have downloaded inadvertently.
In Windows 8 and Windows RT, Windows Defender provides the same level of protection against malware as Microsoft Security Essentials. You can’t use Microsoft Security Essentials with Windows 8 or Windows RT, but you don’t need to—Windows Defender is already included and ready to go.
Windows SmartScreen is a new safety feature in Windows 8 and Windows RT that can help protect you from new malware that antimalware software hasn’t detected yet. When you download and run an app downloaded from the Internet, SmartScreen uses information about the app’s reputation to warn you if the app isn’t well-known and might be malicious.
SmartScreen Filter in Internet Explorer helps protect users from phishing and malware attacks by warning you if a website or download location has been reported as unsafe.
Scan your PC with Windows Defender
From the defender and then open Windows Defender.
On the Home tab, choose a scan option and then tap or click Scan now.
Choosing what to scan
There are several ways to scan only certain files, drives, or processes with Windows Defender. Not scanning everything on your PC can help speed up a Windows Defender scan, but it can also leave your PC vulnerable to threats in the areas you didn’t check.
Windows Defender found something! What do I do?
In addition to the color codes for your PC’s overall security status, Windows Defender applies an alert level to any suspected malware it detects. You can decide whether to remove an item entirely, research it further, or let it run because you recognize it.
Adjust Windows SmartScreen settings
You can adjust SmartScreen settings in Action Center. Here’s how:
From the Action Center and then open Action Center., search for
Tap or click Change Windows SmartScreen settings.
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