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Every PC needs protection and Windows 8.1 PCs are no exception. Windows 8.1 does have built-in security software, however, it is widely accepted that this built-in security is not enough. Therefore for better online security, you need a third-party antivirus to keep you safe from viruses, ransomware, and other malware.
Windows 8.1 does have Windows Defender built-in, however, it only offers basic protection to Windows 8.1 PCs. Therefore, for true online security, it would benefit you and your device to invest in third-party antivirus software that can make up for the limitations of Windows Defender.
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Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) is an antivirus software (AV) product that provides protection against different types of malicious software, such as computer viruses, spyware, rootkits, and trojan horses. Prior to version 4.5, MSE ran on Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7, but not on Windows 8 and later versions, which have built-in AV components known as Windows Defender. MSE 4.5 and later versions do not run on Windows XP. The license agreement allows home users and small businesses to install and use the product free-of-charge. It replaces Windows Live OneCare, a discontinued commercial subscription-based AV service, and the free Windows Defender, which only protected users from spyware until Windows 8.
Built upon the same scanning engine and virus definitions as other Microsoft antivirus products, it provides real-time protection, constantly monitoring activities on the computer, scanning new files as they are created or downloaded, and disabling detected threats. It lacks the OneCare personal firewall and the Forefront Endpoint Protection centralized management features.
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For some time now, Microsoft has been developing its own antivirus software. Microsoft Security Essentials is a pack of tools designed for Windows 7 and earlier that adds a number of non-standard features for protecting your computer, including a comprehensive antivirus software called Windows Defender.
Microsoft Security Essentials is a real-time protection system that will protect your computer from all kinds of malware – like viruses, rootkits, and spyware – by analyzing your computer and alerting you whenever it detects unfamiliar and potentially dangerous elements. It detects malware by consulting its huge database which is constantly and automatically updated. You can use it without an Internet connection, too, so it can analyze your computer even if it’s not online. It also consumes very little resources, unlike antivirus suites made by third parties. This makes Microsoft Security Essentials an ideal solution since it won’t affect the use of your computer while it works.
The program is divided into several sections: analysis, upgrade, history, and configuration. If you don’t have much experience, you can focus on the first two. In the history section, you can check what was found when your computer was analyzed. It shows the detected items, quarantined items, and allowed items. In the configuration section, you can schedule scans, automate tasks, modify protection options in real time, add files and folders to the exclusion list, and edit advanced antivirus settings.
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Windows 8 comes with an improved Windows Defender, it offers the same real-time anti-virus/anti-malware protection as Microsoft Security Essentials. Windows Defender also shares the same malware signature definitions as Microsoft Security Essentials, and Forefront Endpoint Protection. Technically, Microsoft Security Essentials has not been renamed Windows Defender, or combined with it in Windows 8, but it sure feels and looks that way.
Windows Defender runs very silently (unless there’s a detection), no system tray icon or notifications of updates. To view Windows Defender, or run a scan go to the Start screen, type Windows Defender, and the Settings filter.You cannot uninstall Windows Defender, but if you install another anti-virus program Windows Defender will disable itself. Windows 8 Consumer Preview, and Release Preview will allow Microsoft Security Essentials to be installed. If you’ve installed Microsoft Security Essentials, uninstall it now.More info on the improvements to Windows Defender: http://blogs.msdn.co…om-malware.aspx