Using Windows Defender
You are the first and last lines of defense against malicious programs on your com-
puter. Pay close attention to the content you access with your browser. Also, take the
time to scan your computer regularly for spyware content to help Windows Defender
protect your computer. As with antivirus programs, you should employ different dic-
tionaries and programs to defend your computer against malware and spyware.
Scanning Your Computer for Spyware and Malware
In Windows Defender, you can run a quick scan of your computer by clicking the
Scan button on the toolbar. A quick scan checks the most common areas of the com-
puter affected by spyware, including the computer’s memory and the program exe-
cutable files and registry settings currently in use. Figure 15-8 shows an example of a
quick scan being performed.
Using the Scan Options button on the toolbar, you have the option of performing a
full scan or a custom scan, in addition to a quick scan. A full scan scans the entire
operating system and every file on the hard drive. A custom scan allows you to define
the specific areas you want to scan for spyware or malware on the computer.
Regardless of which type of scan you choose, you’ll see a results window, similar to
the one shown in Figure 15-9, when the scan completes. The scan statistics show you
the start time of the scan, the total elapsed time of the scan, and the number of items
scanned. The scan status shows the last scan date and time, scan type, scan sched-
ule, real-time protection status, and a definition version of the product.
Using Windows Defender Tools
In Windows Defender, you can access the Tools and Settings page, shown in
Figure 15-10, by clicking the Tools button on the toolbar. As the previous section
discussed how to configure general and administrative options, let’s now look at the
other selections available on this page.
Figure 15-8. Scanning your computer for malware and spyware