7 Must Know Things About Windows Defender

Top 7 Must Know Things About Windows Defender- Daily Techno Review

While the new features of Windows 10 are promising, including improved security and a complete overhaul of Internet Explorer, those of us still using Windows  8 have our own security issues to worry about. Is Microsoft’s built-in security enough?

For a long time, Windows did not come with a useful native security suite as part of the operating system. Vista brought us Windows

Top 7 Must Know Things About Windows Defender- Daily Techno Review

Defender in 2007, but it turned out to be a flop, falling short of third-party alternatives. There are a number of advantages and disadvantages to using it and disadvantages you should be aware of before considering it as your primary security tool. Microsoft has tightened security with Windows 8 and changed all that.

Here we’ll discuss 7 Must Know Things About Windows Defender.

1. It’s more than just an anti-spyware

Microsoft did not develop Windows Defender from scratch. In the early 2000s, they acquired another software company that was developing a program called GIANT AntiSpyware and then renamed it Microsoft AntiSpyware.

During the beta development phase, they renamed it Windows Defender again, and that’s what we all know today.

Top 7 Must Know Things About Windows Defender- Daily Techno Review

Between Vista and Windows 7, Windows  Defender kept its anti-spyware roots, which limited its usefulness. With Windows 8, Microsoft has demonstrated intelligence and decided to expand its functionality to include virus detection and removal.

If you’ve forgotten about Windows Defender since the Vista days, now is the time to reconsider your bias and try again.

2. It replaces Microsoft Security Essentials

A few years after the debut of Windows Defender, Microsoft announced that it would provide a free, comprehensive security product for Windows users. The name of this product? Microsoft Security Essentials.

On the one hand, this was great news because Windows

Top 7 Must Know Things About Windows Defender- Daily Techno Review

would now be equipped with full anti-malware protection right out of the box. Unfortunately, Microsoft Security Essentials proved to be weak and many experts suggested that users replace it with a suitable anti-malware product.

When Microsoft enhanced Windows Defender in Windows 8, they announced that the new Windows Defender was now the spiritual successor to Microsoft Security Essentials. As such, Microsoft Security Essentials is not available on Windows 8 and users can only choose between Windows Defender or a third-party tool.

That being said, the underlying anti-malware engine and virus definitions are exactly the same between the two, so there’s no reason to think you’re missing out in any way.

3. Automatic, manual, or real-time

Although Windows Defender provides only one form of protection – scanning for problems and quarantining anything found – it gives you the freedom to choose between three different frequencies.

The most basic one is the Manual scan, which requires you to launch Windows Defender and click on the Scan Now button.

Top 7 Must Know Things About Windows Defender- Daily Techno Review

Automatic Scanning is a scheduled scan that runs at a particular date and time. Real-Time Protection is a permanent option that prevents malware or unwanted software from installing without authorization.

In addition, there are three types of scans: Quick scan (checks only the current malware locations on the disk), Full scan (checks an l l available disk space), and Custom scan (checks only the locations you dictate).

4. It can be configured

In addition to the different types and frequencies of scans mentioned above, Windows Defender can be customized a bit more to your liking. All you have to do is go to the Settings page.

Here you can: toggle real-time protection; exclude particular file names, file types and file locations from

Top 7 Must Know Things About Windows Defender- Daily Techno Review

all scans; exclude particular system processes from being scanned or reported; exclude archive files or external drives from the scan;

force a system restore point before scanning or switching between MAPS participations (discussed in the next section).

In other words, Windows Defender is more advanced than it appears at first glance. Is it as sophisticated as a dedicated third-party tool? Not sophisticated enough. Is it enough

advanced for the everyday user? Absolutely.

5. Community-based spyware protection

One of the advanced features of Windows Defender is what is called Microsoft Active Protection Service (or MAPS for short). This feature is disabled by default and must be enabled manually if users wish to participate.

So what is it?

Top 7 Must Know Things About Windows Defender- Daily Techno Review

When you sign up, your computer sends Microsoft automated reports describing the different types of malware and unwanted software that are found on your computer. These reports help Microsoft develop more robust definitions that other Windows Defender users can benefit from.

Involvement can be basic (where the threat came from, what steps were taken to resolve it, was it successfully removed) or advanced (full path to infection, details on how the infection affected your system).

It is essentially a peer-based protection network that allows all Windows Defender users to benefit from a user’s infection. Sounds pretty cool, doesn’t it?

6. It is surprisingly up to date

Microsoft is generally criticized for “being behind” and “catching up” with modern trends. There is of course some truth to this criticism,  and Windows  Defender is a good example.

After all, it took Microsoft half a decade to expand it from “just anti-spyware” to “complete protection against

Top 7 Must Know Things About Windows Defender- Daily Techno Review

malware”, and even now it is not as complete as it could be. That said, you have Microsoft to thank for staying on top of serious problems.

For example, news broke in February that Lenovo laptops were loaded with malware hidden by an advertising company called Superfish. Unfortunately, it was discovered that Superfish compromised the security of the system so much that even the U.S. Department of Homeland Security recommended that it be completely uninstalled.

In the same month, Microsoft announced that Windows Defender successfully eradicates Superfish, leaving Lenovo users with a large peace of mind. How do you stay relevant in a high-tech world?

7. Sometimes it’s better to turn it off

Despite the advantages of Windows Defender, it is important to note that its protection against malware is weak compared to the competition. If you want something simple and native, this is perfect. If you want something more reliable and with higher security ratings, you’ll want to look at alternative security software.

Top 7 Must Know Things About Windows Defender- Daily Techno Review

If you install a third-party tool, Windows Defender will probably realize this and automatically disable itself. However, in some cases it does not work properly, so you will have to disable Windows Defender yourself.

Computer Sounds And What They Mean

What do you think of Windows Defender? Do you keep it on in real-time or have you disabled it completely? If not Windows Defender,

What do you use for anti-malware protection? Let us know in the comments below!

Image credits: Notebook behind the brick wall via Shutterstock, Cloud network security via Shutterstock, Lenovo enlarged via Shutterstock

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  • the windows
  • Security
  • Windows 8
  • Anti-Malware
  • Windows 8.1
  • Computer security
  • Windows Defender
  • Antivirus

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