Use Microsoft Security Essentials to guard against viruses, spyware, and other evil software. It provides real-time protection for your home or small business PCs.

Microsoft Security Essentials is free* and Microsoft designed it to be simple to install and easy to use. It runs quietly and efficiently in the background so you don’t have to worry about interruptions or making updates.

Follow these steps to download and install Microsoft’s new Security Essentials program:

Important: Antivirus programs don’t get along with each other. Turn off any other antivirus programs before trying out or switching to Microsoft Security Essentials. You can keep your antispyware programs running, as they coexist peacefully.

1. Visit the Microsoft Security Essentials Web site at and click the Download Now button to download Microsoft Security Essentials.

2. Click Save to save the installation file to your PC.

3. Start the Installation program by double-clicking the downloaded file.

4. Click Next when the installation program appears onscreen.

5. Read the licensing terms and click I accept to agree to their conditions.

6. Click Validate to make sure your Windows copy is legitimate.

7. When the PC passes the validation test, click Install.

8. Click Finish to complete the installation and scan your PC for any existing viruses.

9. If desired, change the scheduled time and date for the program’s weekly antivirus scans by clicking the Settings tab.

When you’re through, click the minimize button and let the program live in your Taskbar’s notifications area, in the lower right. The program will start automatically when you log onto your user account, and notify you if it detects any incoming viruses.

When combined with Windows built-in firewall and Microsoft’s free Windows Defender program that catches spyware, Microsoft’s new Security Essentials adds the missing piece to a complete security solution.

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