Demo: Security basics

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You can help protect your computer from Internet threats by taking a few simple precautions. This demo introduces you to Windows Security Center, which shows your computer's security status. You'll also learn how to automatically download the latest security updates, how to use Windows Firewall to block harmful programs, and how to use Windows Defender to keep your computer free of spyware and other potentially unwanted software.

Read the transcript

Windows gives you several ways to help protect your computer from Internet threats such as hackers and viruses.

To get to the security options for your computer, open Control Panel, and then click Security. The best place to start is the Security Center. It's the quickest way to check your computer's security status and fix security problems.

See how the lights for Firewall, Automatic Updating, and Malware Protection are either green, yellow, or red? The colors indicate the security status of each area.

First, there's the firewall, which is built into Windows. Here we can see that it's already on, which is the recommended setting. The firewall helps block potentially harmful programs that try to send or receive information on your computer. You can choose to allow programs you trust.

Next, there's Automatic updating, which downloads important security updates to Windows when you're online. Here, Security Center shows us that updates are not being installed automatically. To fix this, you click this arrow, and then click Turn on now. When updates are downloading and being installed, this icon shows in the taskbar. You can click it for more information about the update.

The Malware protection area monitors the status of tools that can help protect your computer from malicious software.

The Virus protection area shows whether your computer is running an antivirus program. You can click this button to learn more about antivirus programs and to purchase one online. After you install an antivirus program, its status appears here.

Finally, there's the Spyware protection area. Here, we can see that Windows Defender is turned on. This tool automatically looks for and removes spyware and other potentially unwanted software.

Notice how all the lights are green now? This means all of these tools are on and helping to protect your computer.

That's it…now you know how to check a few security settings to help ensure the safety of your computer and your critical data.