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Securing the Vista Environment by Peter Gregory

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Protecting Against Malware

Malware is the inclusive term meaning viruses, Trojan horses, worms, and similar malicious software (for more on this see the earlier section Why Security Is Needed"). While Windows security has incrementally improved with Vista, you must still have anti-virus software, and you should also have a firewall. I'll go into much more detail in this section on protecting yourself against the plague of malware that is constantly trying to worm its way into your computer (pun intended).

The Windows Security Center

The Windows Security Center is the nerve center for security on your Vista system. It is basically a dashboard that shows you the status of many security systems on your computer, including:

  • Firewall

  • Automatic updates

  • Malware protection

  • Internet security settings

  • User account control (UAC)

    Figure 24 shows the Windows Security Center.

The Windows Security Center shows us the status of security in Vista

Figure 24. The Windows Security Center shows us the status of security in Vista

In this example, 'Automatic updating' is not automatic. It is yellow and not red, because Automatic Updates are configured to automatically download, but not install, security patches and other updates. 'Other security settings' is also red because I have turned off User Account Control (UAC) (just for this example here—I usually keep UAC on).

The Windows Security Center provides a convenient means for viewing and managing security. You can see status, and ...

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