Do not buy anti-virus – Instead use FREE Microsoft Windows Defender 2020

Do not buy anti-virus – Instead use FREE Microsoft Windows Defender 2020

Seriously STOP buying anti-virus for your Windows 10 computer. Yes, it is unthinkable that anyone who connects to the internet does not have an anti-virus installed on their computer, but with Windows Defender, you have all the protection you need and its FREE.

You can choose from a plethora of anti-virus programs such as Kaspersky or Norton. These range in price based on their features. Buying an anti-virus for one computer isn’t too bad, however, it is more common today that homes have multiple computers. Each requires their own license of the anti-virus program so the costs can mount quickly.

The good news is that if you have a Windows 10 operating system installed on a computer, you get an anti-virus program for free and is already built into your system!

Introducing Windows Security

Windows Security is Microsoft’s free anti-virus program that is built right into the Windows 10 operating system. Windows Security comes pre-packaged with Microsoft Defender Antivirus, as well as all your security-related products such as firewalls, account protection etc. 

What is Microsoft Defender Antivirus

Before discussing the capabilities and features of Microsoft Defender Antivirus, it’s important to explain the different name changes the anti-virus has gone through since its inception. 

Back in the olden days, we had Windows XP. Microsoft released a downloadable software called Windows Defender which only protected users from spyware. Alongside Windows Defender, Microsoft had another application called Microsoft Security Essentials which added protection from viruses and malware. 

It wasn’t until Windows 8 that Microsoft decided to build Windows Defender right into the operating system and added features from the then discontinued Microsoft Security Essentials. 

Now with Windows 10 (specifically the May 2020 update), Microsoft renamed Windows Defender to Microsoft Defender Antivirus and it is a part of a full suite of security software tools included in Windows Security

windows security

How To Use Microsoft Defender Antivirus

For the majority of Windows 10 users, Microsoft Defender Antivirus should be all they need for security-related issues; it offers real-time protection against malware, spyware, viruses, and software-related threats across email, apps, the cloud, and the web. 

With that said, it is not the most advanced antivirus available.  Third-party antiviruses like Norton or Kaspersky offer more features which may be too much for the average user. When it comes to enterprises or organizations, then those third-party vendors really shine.

Here’s how to get started with Microsoft Defender Antivirus:

  1. Click the Start menu in Windows 10
  2. In the search bar, type “Windows Security The application for Windows Security will show up.
  3. Click Windows Security. The application will launch showing the home screen.
  4. In the Windows Security home screen, click the box that says “Virus & threat protection.”

This page called Virus & threat protection is the Microsoft Defender Antivirus section of Windows Security. 

It is important to note that when using Microsoft Defender Antivirus, you will need to disable or uninstall all other third-party antiviruses.

windows defender scan options

Quick Scan Using Microsoft Defender Antivirus

The easiest way to get started using Microsoft Defender Antivirus is a Quick Scan. A Quick Scan will only scan folders and files where threats are commonly found, and usually doesn’t last more than 15 minutes. Of course, this depends on the size of those folders. 

In the Virus & threat protection page, click the button that says Quick Scan and it will start scanning your computer. If it doesn’t find any threats, that’s great! Your computer is safe and there’s no further action needed. 

On the other hand, if the scan did find any threats, a button that says Clean Threats will appear. Click that button and Microsoft Defender Antivirus will remove all the found threats from your computer.

Full Scan Using Microsoft Defender Antivirus

When you would like a more comprehensive scan, simply select the Full Scan option. A Full Scan instructs Microsoft Defender Antivirus to scan through all folders and files on your computer. This scan takes longer to complete than the Quick Scan. The larger the hard drive and the more files it needs to crunch through will determine the time it takes to complete.

For some reason, the Full Scan button does not appear in the Virus & threat protection page. Instead, you have to click the link right beneath the Quick Scan button named Scan options.

In the Scan options page, you can choose different options which include a Full Scan of your computer.  To do a Full Scan, choose the corresponding option and click the button at the bottom which says Scan now.

Other Features of Microsoft Defender Antivirus

A Quick Scan or Full Scan should be enough to get the most out of Microsoft Defender Antivirus; however, there are also other important features to note:

  • Custom Scan: In the Scan Options window, you can opt for a Custom Scan where you pick specifically which folders and files should be scanned for threats. 
  • Real-time protection: Go back to the main Virus & threat protection page and click Manage Settings underneath the section named Virus & threat protection settings. By default, real-time protection should be turned on as it prevents any threats from occurring in the first place. 

 

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Liron Segev - TheTechieGuy

Liron Segev - TheTechieGuy

Liron Segev is an award-winning tech blogger, YouTube strategist, and Podcaster. He helps brands tell their stories in an engaging way that non-techies can relate to. He also drinks way too much coffee! @Liron_Segev on Twitter
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