Protecting Your Computer with Windows
Defender and Windows Firewall
Hackers and malicious individuals enjoy nothing more than creating nasty programs
that destroy your data or cause your computer to crash. Your computer is at risk
every time you connect to the Internet, browse the Web, or work with files from
another computer. To protect your computer and your data, you need to secure your
computer with protection software.
Microsoft has taken a firm stance with security in Windows Vista. It has added many
new security features in this release, alleviating some of the most common security
threats used against Windows users. Some of the features in Windows Vista are
updated versions of security enhancements to Windows XP, and some are newcom-
ers to the scene. This chapter discusses the nature of many common security threats,
and the applications Microsoft offers to eliminate them. We will discuss malware,
viruses, spyware, and the tools available to eliminate these threats from your Win-
dows Vista installation. We will also discuss Windows Defender and the updated
version of Windows Firewall.
Please take the time to read this chapter and understand how to use the products
Windows Vista offers to help you retain the data on your computer, reduce security
problems, and eliminate programs that may try to leech computer resources or
exploit your personal data. Malware, viruses, and spyware are serious problems, and
protecting against them is vital to the use of a computer housing any type of confi-
dential or private information.
Navigating the Computer Security Maze
It seems like every time Microsoft or other software providers find a better way to
protect your computer, hackers and malicious individuals find new ways to exploit
computer vulnerabilities. In this section, we’ll introduce the various techniques being
used to attack computers and discuss the software programs used to prevent these
types of attacks.