30 Second Tips - Microsoft Security Essentials

This is the 21st post in a series called 30 Second Tips. My goal is to show you how to do some neat stuff in 30 seconds or less!

Most of the tips that I write about in this series are related to the technology I use daily (OSX, iOS, Facebook, and Google). However, a good amount of the people that I help use Windows and I thought that I would show them some love this week.

About a year ago I was in the Microsoft Store at the Mall of America visiting my friend Mike Meirovitz who I use to work with at the Apple Store. He informed me that Microsoft had it's own anti-virus software and he explained that it was pretty good, it was free, and lots of people don't know about it. Ever since that day, I have been recommending it to clients and installing it for them whenever I am hired to clean up a PC.

Here is a description of Microsoft Security Essentials directly from Microsoft.

Use Microsoft Security Essentials to guard against viruses, spyware, and other evil software. It provides real-time protection for your home or small business PCs. Microsoft Security Essentials is free and we designed it to be simple to install and easy to use. It runs quietly and efficiently in the background so you don't have to worry about interruptions or making updates.

Here's the verdict from TechRadar's review:

MSE is one of the simplest and easiest to use anti-malware tools around. It's quick, unobtrusive and works without slowing your PC down. Malware is caught quickly, and the default actions work well for most users. It's a small download, and keeps itself up-to-date. And above all, it's free – with no need to register or re-register.

Steps to Start Using Microsoft Security Essentials

Uninstall any anti-virus and spyware software already on your computer. Multiple anti-virus programs installed on your PC can cause problems

Download and Install Microsoft Security Essentials

Once the install is complete, make sure that the checkbox that says Scan my computer for potential threats after getting the latest updates is checked. Click Finish and you should be good to go.

Click on the Settings tab and change the default scan time to a time when your PC is likely to be turned on. The default is Sunday at 2am.

I have installed Microsoft Security Essentials on many PCs for clients and my experience has been that it works really well even on older computers that are slower. If you would like help cleaning up your PC because it's loaded up with viruses and spyware please contact me.