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Windows Defender

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Detect And Eliminate Malware Using Windows Defender

Windows Defender is a tool built in Windows Vista. Currently it's also available as a free download from Microsoft for Windows XP users.

This application lets you do manual, scheduled, and real-time scanning with automatic updates of spyware signatures, without a large performance penalty.
You can also use it to control what applications run at startup.

Of course, if you are already using a third-party anti-spyware application, there's really no reason to have Windows Defender's real-time scan enabled.
(You can get a performance increase by disabling it)

Firstly, to get to Windows Defender open your 'Control Panel' > 'Security' > 'Windows Defender'.

After playing around, you might notice Windows Defender is more than a scanning tool.

Select 'Tools' > 'Software Explorer'.
Now you can see the Windows Defender screen that lets you manage the startup programs.

You can choose to Remove or just Disable any startup item using this panel, as well as lots of other useful information so that you can see what each item is.
(Disabling startup program that you rarely use could improve booting up time)

One of the feature which I find annoying is the Real-Time scanning.
It's one of the reason which caused hard drive to be always busy. To disable it, simply go to 'Tools' > 'Options' and disable it.

Uncheck the box for 'Use real-time protection (Recommended)'.
This can be especially helpful on a laptop, as every little bit of tweaking helps improve battery life.

Just like another other protection tools, you can have automatic updates turn on so you won’t need to worry about updating the protection database.

Windows Defender also provide us with several scan options.

Quick Scans - scans all essential OS directories
Full Scan - scans all files and folder
Custom Scan - it allows us to choose what to scan

Windows Defender is really a solid anti-malware application and has tons of features including scheduling scan times, viewing scan logs, and allowing user to control its behavior.

If you're a Windows XP user and has not install it yet, you can get it right here:
Download Windows Defender For XP and Server 2003

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JMorris said...
September 27, 2008 at 12:32 AM  

A lot of people give Windows Defender flack; however, I've used it extensively and found it to be a good, basic spyware prevention solution. This is particulary true for organizations or users who lack the technical savvy to use an application like AdAware, SBS&D, HijackThis or Ewido (now part of AVG).

Is it a perfect solution? Absolutely not. NO anti-spyware solution is. Nevertheless, for the average user, it is a good solution that is tightly integrated with Windows and it doesn't pester you every time you turn around.

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