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Free antivirus software – Microsoft Security Essentials – webDotWiz Online Oct 8, 2009

For many years webDotWiz has been pressing the point that there’s no excuse for a computer to be running without antivirus and malware protection because there have been a number of free antivirus programs available. Unfortunately some of these have slowed down our computer systems and there’s been the continual nagging to buy the full version.

There are no excuses anymore – Microsoft’s Security Essentials antivirus and malware protection program is lightweight to download – 2 and a bit megabytes for Windows Vista, 8 and a bit megabytes for Windows XP – and doesn’t hog your computer’s memory so you can happily work away without interference.

Before going further, your first step against having your computer hijacked by malware, that is, to stop the criminals trying to steal your money (today that’s the main purpose of malware in all its forms) is to NOT run your computer on a day-to-day basis under an administrator account. You should have an account set up as a limited account under Windows XP or standard user under Windows Vista – this is the account you use for all your work on your computer.

If there are other users, they also should have their own non-administrator accounts. The only time the administrator account is used – by one particular person – is for installing new programs and some system duties (such as checking Windows updates are installed). Windows help has lots of information about setting up non-administrate accounts so go and read it up now and create a non-admin account for yourself if need be.

So, ok, it’s a bit inconvenient running with limitations as a non-admin user – it’s also inconvenient locking the car in the carpark when shopping. In summary, DO NOT use your computer under an administrator account.

Now back to MSE. When you run the installer from the MSE homepage, you’ll be told to uninstall whatever antivirus program you’re currently running – so do that and come back to finish off the installation of MSE.

When MSE starts it will check online for the latest updates to its reference detection data file and begin a quick scan. The only setting you may want to change is when MSE carries out a scan – currently you’ll see it set to each Sunday. You can change that to each day or another weekday. This scan works away quietly in the background when your computer is not hard at work doing your jobs.

Each day MSE will update its reference detection file in the background and, if need be, MSE will do an online check in realtime if it suspects any program as possibly being malware. In fact, if all is well, you won’t notice MSE protecting your computer and you’ll only be aware of its presence when it finds some malware.

With the availability of Microsoft Security Essentials, there is absolutely no reason for not having your computer, no matter how old, protected against viruses and malware.

Live Hotmail updates

You may have noticed some new features in Live Hotmail that are being currently introduced.

Firstly if you’re a keyboard shortcut user, you’re able to go to Options – More options (at top right of your Hotmail window) and choose other shortcut layouts such as those for GMail or Yahoo! Mail. Oh, if you don’t know Hotmail’s keyboard shortcut keys, go to Help for a full list.

If you’ve received lots of attachments to an email, you can download them all in one go by selecting to download them as a zip; then you can unzip this file later.

As well your email drafts are now auto-saved and if you use Web Messenger which is built in to your Hotmail inbox you can check your friends list.

Finally the rumour mill has started in regard to what will appear in the next version of Windows Live.

Live Movie Maker tips

The Auto Movie feature is proving invaluable in creating a movie and by now you should have several movies made from collections of your photos. Remember to tag your photos in Live Photo Gallery then you’re able to easily add photos to different sections when creating your movie.

If you’ve created several movies, it’s time to try out Live Movie Maker’s video editing features. For example, what about adding several of your movies to Live Move Maker, trimming some clips and creating a completely new movie from what you already have? Remember to make a copy of your original movies in case things go wrong.


Microsoft Security Essentials – free antivirus software
Live Hotmail updates
Live Movie Maker tips
For all the sites with this week’s webDotWiz Online column, see www.webdotwiz.com/sites-081009.htm

Follow webDotWiz on Twitter.

Posted using the 2009 version of Windows Live Writer.

webDotWiz Online at www.webdotwiz.com

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