Microsoft Security Essentials Client Overview

The Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) is the current recommended Antivirus/Malware application for personally-owned computers.  This application is a Non-Managed client, below is an overview of the client.  The University recommends Microsoft System Endpoint Protection for university-owned computers please visit Microsoft System Center Endpoint Protection for more information.

General Overview

The Microsoft Security Essentials has four main tabs.  The tabs are Home, Update, History, and Settings.

Windows

Home

 

Microsoft Security Essentials Home Tab

Microsoft Security Essentials Home Tab

 
  • Allows you to choose to run a Quick, Full, or Custom scan.
    • Quick scan – checks the areas that malicious software, including viruses, spyware, and unwanted software are most likely to affect
    • Full scan -  checks all files on your hard disk and checks all running programs.  Depending on on your system this scan may take more then one hour.
    • Custom scan – checks only the locations and files that you select.
  • Shows the following
    • If the Real-time protection is On or Off
    • If the Virus and spyware definitions are Up to date

Update

Microsoft Security Essentials Update Tab

Microsoft Security Essentials Update Tab

  • Allows you manually update definitions
  • Shows the following:
    • Definitions created on:  Date and Time
    • Definitions last updated:  Date and Time
    • Virus definitions version:  Version Number
    • Spyware definition version:  Version Number

History

Microsoft Security Essentials History Tab

Microsoft Security Essentials History Tab

 
  • Allows you to view the following Items
    • Quarantined Items – Items that have been deemed as malicious software, virus, or spyware.
    • Allowed Items – Items that you chosen as acceptable files.
    • All detected items – Items that were detected on your computer.
    • View Details – Shows more information about the items that have been quarantined and allowed items.  You will need to click on this to view any of the items.

Settings

Microsoft Security Essentials Settings Tab

Microsoft Security Essentials Settings Tab

  • Allows you to set the below items. 
  • Scheduled Scan- Sets the time when a scan should be ran on the computer.  
    • Scan Type – Allows  Quick, Full, or Customer scan be chosen.
    • When – Choose the day the scan will run.
    • Around – Time the scan runs.
    • Daily quick scan time around: – Allows you to set a time to run a quick scan during the day.
    • Check for the latest virus and spyware definitions before running a scheduled scan – This option sets the ability to run a definitions update before running a scan.
    • Start the scheduled scan only when my PC is on but not in use – Setting for the scan to only run while your computer is on.  If the computer is in hibernation or sleep mode the scan will not run.
    • Limit CPU usage during scan to – The sets the limit for the amount or percentage of Central Processing Unit used to run the scan.
  • Default actions – Allows you to set a default action to take when System Center Endpoint Protection finds a potential or known threat based on alert level. There are four threat levels, Severe, High, Medium, and Low.  You are able to set whether MSE will Remove, Quarratine, or Allow a threat for the level.
  • Real-time protection – This setting allows the user to turn on real time protection meaning the MSE will run and protect the computer while in use.  This will allow you check the options to scan downloads, monitor file and program activity, enable behavior monitoring, and enable Network Inspection System.
  • Excluded files and locations – Allows a user to set certain file types and locations where the files are stored to be excluded from the scan.
  • Excluded file types – Allows you set the specific file types that you would like to be excluded in the scan.
  • Excluded processes – Allows you to set the specific process to exclude from the scan. 
  • Advanced
  • Scan archive files – Allows archive files to be included during the scan.  
  • Scan removable drives – Allows removable drives such as (usb or external HDD) to be scanned.
  • Create a System Restore point – This option creates a restore point that can be used by MSE to return to in case the items deleted or removed from the system cause an issue.   
  • Allow all users to view the full History Results – Allows all the users of the computer to see the history results for that computer (Not Recommended to set this).
  • Microsoft Active Protection Service (MAPS) – This setting allows you to control what information is sent to Microsoft about the current potentially unwanted software, malware, and viruses.  The recommend setting is Basic membership and is the default setting for Managed client users.