Windows Defender for Windows Vista - Antispyware Software from Microsoft ~ Download and Review Software

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Windows Defender for Windows Vista - Antispyware Software from Microsoft

The definition of spyware in is any software that covertly gathers user information through the user's Internet connection without user knowledge, usually for advertising purposes.

Spyware applications are typically bundled as a hidden component of freeware or shareware programs that can be downloaded from the Internet. Once installed, the spyware monitors user activity on the Internet and transmits that information in the background to someone else. Spyware can also gather information about e-mail addresses and even passwords and credit card numbers. Also called adware.

Why Spyware is Dangerous ?

Spyware is more dangerous than you think. Spyware is not a random action like virus. Spyware is a targeted attack directed to specific people to get a very specific information like personal profile that includes account access information or bank or credit card account.

Today, spyware is the fastest growing threats on internet. National Cyber Security Alliance reports that over 80% of computers are infected with spyware according, it is estimated that spyware infections will soon surpass computer viruses.

The FTC reports that combination of Internet fraud and identity theft cost consumers $437 million in 2003. A recent Gartner report noted that theft from personal bank accounts was the fastest-growing type of financial fraud. Spyware attacks are blamed for much of the increase where thieves have stolen account numbers and passwords to get into accounts online or through telephone banking services. Meridian Research estimates the financial sector will lose $8 billion by 2006!

How to Know if Your Computer is Infected With Spyware

Spyware maybe on your computer even if you don't see any indications. To get protect your private privacy, we recommend that you install and run Windows Defender from Microsoft. You might have some form of spyware on your computer if:
  1. You notice a new links, toolbars, or favorites that you did not intentionally add to your web browser.
  2. Your home page, mouse pointer, or search program changes unexpectedly.
  3. You type the address for a specific website (for example, a search engine), but you are taken to a different website without notice.
  4. You see pop-up ads, even if you're not on the Internet.
  5. Your computer suddenly starts running more slowly that it usually does.

How to Prevent Your Computer From Spyware

It's very important to install and run antispyware software on your computer. After that, you must get the latest update of your Operating System, and off course the latest update of your antispyware software thay you have been installed on your computer.

If you are using Windows Vista as your operating system you can use Windows Defender as your private antispyware software. You can access Windows Defender from the Security section of the Windows Control Panel so you don't need to install this software because Windows Defender is included in Windows Vista. But If you are Windows XP SP2 user, you must download Windows Defender for no charge.

What is Windows Defender

Windows Defender is a free software from Microsoft that will helps you protect your computer from popups, slow performance, and spyware.

Windows Defender now available for Internet Explorer 7 to help you make conscious choices about software installed on your PC by providing always on protection that monitors key system locations, watching for changes that signal the presence of spyware.

Windows Defender protects and will removes spyware as well as provides control over modifications to software installed on the system.

Windows Defender provides you a real time monitoring functionality, which means it will always run and keep you protected while you’re using your Windows Vista system. The Windows Vista version of Windows Defender features an updated scanning engine, simplified alerting functionality, multiple-language support, and other enhancements.

Windows Defender provides top-notch spyware detection and removal, and it is connected to an online service that will keep it updated and on top of the latest threat trends. Because malware constantly evolves, so does Windows Defender and its support team.

How to Update Your Windows Defender

Because spyware is continually being developed, Windows Defender automatically makes sure it has the latest definitions before a scheduled scan, so you are better protected from new threats. Definition updates are created by Microsoft analysts with help from an active network of Windows Defender customers who submit spyware reports. These reports help keep Microsoft—and you—ahead of new and emerging threats posed by spyware.

Windows Defender works with your Windows Update settings to automatically install the latest definitions. If you don't want updates to be installed automatically, you can choose instead to be notified when updates apply to your computer, so you can download and install them yourself, or you can set Windows to automatically download updates, and then notify you so you can install them yourself.

  1. Open Windows Update by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking All Programs, and then clicking Windows Update.
  2. In the left pane, click Change settings.
  3. Click the automatic updating option that you want.
  4. To get important and recommended updates for your computer, under Recommended updates, select the Include recommended updates when downloading, installing, or notifying me about updates check box.
  5. Click OK. Administrator permission required If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

Windows Vista Specific Functionality

Windows Defender in Windows Vista automatically blocks all startup items that require administrator privileges to run (this is considered a bad behaviour for a startup item). There is no known easy way to automatically unblock these items, the only suggestion given is to "contact the software vendor for an updated version" which is Vista compatible (does not require administrator privileges to run). This automatic blocking is related to the UAC (User Account Control) functionality in Windows Vista, and requires the user to manually run each of these startup items each time they log in. If there is no updated version of the startup item, the only currently known way to circumvent this behavior is to disable UAC altogether (since this is also a UAC related functionality, disabling Windows Defender while not disabling UAC will not solve the issue)

Windows Defender uses three ways to protect your computer form spyware and other potentially unwanted software:

Real time protection
At a real time, Windows Defender will alerts you when spyware attempts to install or run itself your computer. It also give you alerts when a programs run to change important Windows settings on your computer.

Get SpyNet community
If you use Windows Defender, you will be able to see how other people respond to the software that has not yet been classified for risks. This is called The online Microsoft SpyNet community. you will know what software is allowed by other people on Community so you can choose whether to allow it on your computer. In turn, if you participate, your choices are added to the community ratings to help other people choose what to do.

Scanning options
You can use Windows Defender to scan for spyware that might be installed on your computer. You can schedule it and get report on regular basis.. Off course it can automatically remove any malicious software that is detected during a scan.

System Requirements To Use Windows Defender

Minimum system requirements for Windows Defender:
  • Personal computer with an Intel Pentium 233-megahertz (MHz) or higher processor; Pentium III recommended.
  • Operating system: Windows XP Service Pack 2 or later, or Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 or later.
  • 64 megabytes (MB) of RAM (minimum); 128 MB RAM (recommended).
  • 20 MB of available hard disk space.
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 or later.
  • Internet access with at least a 28.8 Kbps connection.
  • Windows Installer version 3.1 or higher. Visit the Microsoft Download Center to download the installer.

Download Windows Defender

To start protect your computer system from spyware, go to Microsoft Windows Defender official site. The download request a genuine Microsoft Windows. Read the terms and go install. After that, you maybe run and scan your computer and delete or quarantine if any spyware found on your computer.

About Windows Defender

Windows Defender is based on GIANT AntiSpyware, which was originally developed by GIANT Company Software, Inc. The company's acquisition was announced by Microsoft on December 16, 2004.

While the original GIANT AntiSpyware supported older versions of Windows, support for the Windows 9x line of operating systems was dropped. However, Sunbelt Software, which was originally GIANT's partner, sells a product based on the same technology called Counterspy which still has support for older Microsoft operating systems.

At the 2005 RSA Security conference, Chief Software Architect and co-founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates, announced that Windows Defender (which was actually known as Microsoft AntiSpyware prior to November 4, 2005) will be made available free of charge to all validly licensed Windows 2000, Windows XP, and Windows Server 2003 users to help secure Windows users world-wide against the increasing threat of malware. Microsoft's Windows Vista operating system has Defender included as an integrated part of the operating system, and is enabled by default.

Windows Defender not only features scanning of the system similar to other free products on the market, but also includes a number of Real-Time Security Agents that monitor several common areas of Windows for changes which may be caused by spyware. It also includes the ability to easily remove ActiveX applications that are installed. Also integrated is support for Microsoft's SpyNet network that allows users to report to Microsoft what they consider to be spyware, and what applications and device drivers they allow to be installed on their system.

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