Microsoft Windows Vista Certification Tutorial:
Configuring Windows Defender
By Chris Bryant, CCIE #12933
Windows Defender is Microsoft Vista's built-in defense against spyware, and the basic configuration of Defender will look familiar to anyone who's used an antivirus program. Starting today, we'll take an illustrated look at Defender, which is sure to be a topic on the upcoming Microsoft Vista certification exams.
For this tutorial, I've launched Defender on a brand new laptop. The opening screen tells you what Defender does and offers an easy way to check for the latest definitions - just click the button!
After checking for updates, we need to run a scan, brand-new laptop or not! We can scan the entire system for spyware, run a quick scan, or choose a particular drive or folder.
If we chose to scan a particular folder or drive, selecting "Scan selected drives and folders" will bring you to the following window, where you can drill down to the file you want to scan.
Microsoft's website says that a quick scan "checks the places on your computer's hard disk that spyware is most likely to infect". A full scan is just what it sounds like - all files on the hard drive and all running programs are checked. Here, we'll run a quick scan. After choosing that option, the scan begins.
Luckily for us, Defender's scan finds nothing!
Note that the Status report tells you when the last scan was run, what the regularly scheduled scan time is, whether real-time protection is on or off, and the creation date of the current definitions.
Naturally, it's vital to run a regular full Defender scan. The default setting is what you see above - a daily scan at 2 AM. You can change this default from Defender Home via Tools and Settings > Options.
In Defender's Options area, your first option is to change the scan schedule. You can change the frequency, time, type, and whether new Defender definitions should be checked for right before the scan runs. I personally like these defaults, but it's a good idea for any Microsoft Vista certification exam to know how to change these settings.
There's also a selection to "Apply default actions to items detected during a scan". We'll take a look at those actions in a furture installment of my exclusive Microsoft Vista Certification tutorial series - make sure to bookmark that page!
To your success,