If you feel like you need extra protection for your computer, Microsoft Safety Scanner may be your answer. It is a free tool available for download from the Microsoft website. The tool is intended to be an aid to already installed anti-virus software on your computer that works alongside other Microsoft software such as Internet Explorer and Windows Live to create a suite of protection.
Microsoft Safety Scanner is on-demand scanning software. This means that you manually turn on its scanning capabilities. Most advanced security software automatically scans computers at regular intervals or continually scans while the computer is connected to the internet.
When scanning, the software finds viruses, spyware and other malicious software that may cause problems on your computer. When the scan is complete, you can choose to dispose of the threats using the software.
Just like more-advanced scanning software, Microsoft Safety Scanner has three scanning styles. You can scan your entire system, which can take a while, perform a quick scan, which may miss some items, or scan specific files that you suspect may be infected.
Why It's Not a Permanent Fix
The downside to the Microsoft Safety Scanner is that it only works for 10 days after its initial download. If you would like to keep using it, you must uninstall the software and then reinstall it from the Microsoft website.
One reason you must download the Microsoft Safety Scanner every 10 days is that the software doesn't automatically download updates like other software does. This means that it won't recognize newer threats. Only freshly downloaded Safety Scanners have updated protection.
If re-downloading every 10 days this isn't an option for you, you can always download Microsoft Security Essentials, the company's full version of Microsoft Safety Scanner. This software is a free download as well, and it works very well for protecting your computer and removing malicious software.
A Good Scrubbing Tool
Why should you download software that only lasts for 10 days? That is a good question. It seems that Microsoft Safety Scanner is intended to be a quick fix for a particularly hard-to-remove infection. For example, this tool seems to work well for removing fake security software that is laden with hidden malware. This type of hoaxware is extremely hard to remove with normal security software. In many cases, the computer owner must have a professional remove the fake software or remove the infected files themselves, which is a risky task that could damage the computer's operating system. So, you can see how this free tool can be a great device to download for just a short time. Once the problem is solved, you can uninstall it and move on.
Is the Microsoft Safety Scanner the answer to all your computer safety needs? No, but it is a good addition to anti-virus software that you already have running on your computer if you need a quick fix to a troubling infection you can't seem to get rid of.
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