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Windows 7 - 5 Steps to Securing Your Computer


The following five features are included with all editions of Windows 7 and are designed to keep your computer secure, up to date and safeguard your data. Many of these features are fully automated by default and do not require any intervention from the user. Read more for an overview of these important security features.

1 – Windows Update
Windows Update is, by default, set to run automatically at specified intervals. You can also run it manually and choose to install optional updates by opening Windows Update from the start menu.
Windows Update keeps your edition of Windows up to date. It can also be used to keep other Microsoft products updated. Keeping your computer up to date is important for security since any security or reliability flaws found by Microsoft are dealt with quickly in the form of an update for your computer. Many updates also enhance the functionality of your computer by adding or improving features.

2 – Windows Firewall
Few users will ever have much to do with Windows Firewall. Introduced in Windows XP, the firewall has become an essential component in the operating system. It helps to prevent malicious software and hackers from infesting your computer. It ensures that only certain trusted programs, such as your web browser, can send and receive data over the Internet. It is always turned on by default and requires little interaction. The only times you're likely to interact with Windows Firewall is when you install a new program which accesses the Internet. In this case, you'll be asked if you want to add the program to the list of trusted programs.

3 – Windows Defender
Windows Defender is a basic antivirus solution included in all editions of Windows 7. It provides a basic level of protection against viruses and other malicious software. The program runs automatically by default and provides real-time protection including warnings when a program attempts to change an important system setting. You can also use Windows Defender to manually scan your entire PC. Windows Defender is kept up to date with Windows Update.
Also available via Windows Update is the free Microsoft Security Essentials, which provides enhanced functionality over Windows Defender. If you choose to download and install Microsoft Security Essentials from Windows Update, Windows Defender will be disabled to prevent conflicts. Likewise, if you install any other antivirus software such as McAfee or AVG, any other similar programs should also be disabled.

4 – The Action Center
The Action Center provides you with alerts when there is something wrong with your computer. The Action Center is a small white flag icon in the system tray beside the computer time. If you can't see it, it usually means that it's been disabled.
The Action Center alerts you of issues with important system settings and also helps you to troubleshoot various computer-related problems such as faulty drivers. It will also alert you to make sure you have your firewall turned on, Windows Update is working and your antivirus software is up to date. You can change the way in which Action Center alerts you by clicking on the icon and clicking "Open Action Center." Experienced users who find the Action Center alerts annoying can turn off messages of specific types.

5 – User Account Control
Although it was controversial back in Windows Vista with its constant popups and annoying alerts, User Account Control has improved a great deal in Windows 7. User Account Control is one of those features which experienced users with an administrator account will probably still want to turn off.
User Account Control is ideal for shared computers where you don't want people trying to install new software or drivers or modify important system settings. The utility will always ask for permission before installing drivers or programs or changing system settings. People without administrator accounts will be unable to continue without entering the administrator password.

 

Microsoft Windows is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and other countries. Speed improvements vary based on your system configuration. ErrorTeck is not endorsed or affiliated with either Microsoft or the third party applications it supports.