Microsoft Security Essentials Client Overview

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

General Overview

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

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 your system this scan may take an hour or more.
    • Custom scan – checks only the locations and files that you select.
  • Shows the following
    • Whether Real-time protection is On or Off.
    • Whether Virus and spyware definitions are Up to date.

Update

Microsoft Security Essentials Update Tab

Microsoft Security Essentials Update Tab

  • Allows you to 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 have 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 about 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 items listed below.
  • Scheduled Scan - sets the time when a scan should be run on the computer.
    • Scan Type – allows the Quick, Full, or Customer scan be chosen.
    • When – choose the day the scan will run.
    • Around – choose the time the scan will run.
    • 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 – 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 – specifies that the scan will 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 – sets the limit for the amount or percentage of the Central Processing Unit to be 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 may set whether MSE will Remove, Quarantine, or Allow a threat for each level.
  • Real-time protection – allows the user to turn on real time protection. “Real-time protection” means that MSE will run and protect the computer while the computer is being used.  This will allow you to check options to scan downloads, monitor file and program activity, enable behavior monitoring, and enable Network Inspection System.
  • Excluded files and locations – specify certain files and locations to be excluded from the scan.
  • Excluded file types – specify file types to be excluded in the scan.
  • Excluded processes – specify processes to be excluded 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 hard disk drives to be scanned.
  • Create a System Restore point – 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].
  • Microsoft Active Protection Service (MAPS) – allows you to control what information is sent to Microsoft about the malware detected during a scan.  The recommended setting is Basic membership and is the default setting for Managed client users.