Earlier this week, Microsoft released their completely free anti-virus/anti-spyware solution, and we already gave it a thorough review—but it deserves our official endorsement, and that’s right here.
That’s right, we’re officially recommending Microsoft Security Essentials as our free Anti-Malware utility of choice. Not only is it simple, easy to use, and effective—it also barely slows down the computer compared to some of the giant “suites” out there.
As a real-world test, I installed MSE and started downloading from some really shady sources—pirated video games, crack files, etc. I simply opened up the directory containing the files, and MSE had already detected the threat and offered to quarantine the files.
The same thing happened again when I tried to extract a pirated piece of software that contained a virus. (I specifically downloaded one containing a virus to test… but please, don’t try this at home).
Of course, it should go without saying that you should STILL BE CAREFUL! when downloading files—you can’t simply trust your anti-malware utility to protect you all the time, because new threats come out daily. Don’t download from shady sources, don’t install crapware on your computer, and whatever you do… make sure to use a custom install and be prepared to uncheck the options for junk software when installing.
For more, check out our must-read series on Spyware and Malware:
- How Does Spyware, Malware or Crapware Get on My Computer?
- Remove Malware Quickly with Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware
- Remove Stubborn Malware with SuperAntiSpyware
- Remove Malware from an Infected System with Ad-Aware 2009
- Exterminate Malware Efficiently with Spybot Search & Destroy
The How-To Geek is on Twitter
Over the last few months, we’ve started using Twitter a lot more as a quick and easy way to communicate with the readers. It’s like an instant message client where we can talk directly with our readers and share fun links as we find them. Here’s just some of the best stuff we’ve shared recently:
- Everything’s amazing, nobody’s happy – So true!
- Now this is one slick laptop. I want.
- Helped my buddy Ross upgrade his Simple Help website to a blazing fast quad core box. Nice and fast!
- Is it legal to download music if you don’t upload? Probably not.
- Google & Yahoo Banner Ads spreading Malware and seizures.
- Turn Your Windows 7 PC Into a Wireless Hotspot – I am seriously loving this
- Apple Software Update continues to suck. One has to assume it’s on purpose.
- Totally Badass Super Mario desktop wallpapers
- Gizmodo:The only people who should buy Monster cable are people who light cigars with Benjamins http://bit.ly/1nWRmD
- Ubuntu 9.10 + Solid State Drive = 5 second boot time. How? they implemented PreFetch
If you want to connect with us on Twitter, you can find us here:
Ask the Super Users
The week’s hottest threads over at our favorite Question/Answer site include some great questions, and loads of answers from all of the super users on the site.
- What are the most useful findings which made your life easier with computers?
- Would Microsoft Security Essentials be adequate protection?
- When are we going 128-bit? How it will be? What gets better?
- Are there big differences in speed between different hard drives?
- What are healthy color settings for a terminal window?
- How do I save an image PDF file as an image?
- What is the Best iTunes Audio Format to use during ripping from CD?
- Does Microsoft Security Essentials replace Windows Defender
- Where do my emails go when I click on ‘Archive’ in Gmail?
This Week’s Posts
And here are the links to all the articles from this week that you probably already read.
- Customize the Notification Area in Windows 7 Using Local Group Policy
- ChromePlus – Enhanced Version of Chromium Browser
- Search Websites from Your Desktop in Windows 7 with Search Connectors
- Add the Bookmarks Menu to Your Bookmarks Toolbar with Bookmarks UI Consolidator
- IBM Lotus Symphony is a Free Alternative to MS Office
- Microsoft Security Essentials is a Free Antivirus Utility
- Work On and Enhance Your Photos with PhotoFiltre
- Open Images in New Tabs the Easy Way
- Make Bookmarks Always Open in New Tabs the Easy Way
- Get a Great Out-of-the-Box Audio Player with Jaangle
- Friday Fun: Go Retro with Pacman
The Geek’s Note
Yeah, I know. Instead of the “Week in Geek”, I should really change the title to “The Every-So-Often-In-Geek”.