Microsoft Safety Scanner

Microsoft Safety Scanner

Not a replacement for your anti-virus, it's an on-demand scanning tool

Microsoft Safety Scanner

Article first published 04-06-2011
The free down loadable tool is designed to work with your existing anti-virus software and helps to remove viruses, spy ware, and other malicious software from your computer.
Microsoft Safety Scanner is not a replacement for your anti-virus software which is designed to offer continuous protection to your computer, it is an 'on-demand' scanning tool that comes loaded with the latest set of virus definitions for the date that you download the tool from the Microsoft website to your computer.
To ensure that you are scanning your computer with the latest set of "Safety Scanner" virus definitions, Microsoft recommends that you should download the latest version of the tool every 10 days.
Since the launch of the new service on 12th May, Microsoft has released figures saying, that, in the first week, 420,000 copies of the Microsoft Safety Scanner tool were downloaded and infections of some sort or, another, were discovered and cleaned from more than 20,000 computer systems.
They also report, that, the most prevalent threat to your computer nowadays, seems to be Java-based exploits which account for 70% of the infections that were discovered using the tool.
This is hardly surprising considering that attackers can use a single piece of malicious Java code to infect numerous computer systems and it will run on the vast majority, regardless of the type of operating system or, internet browser that is running on them.
Microsoft "Safety Scanner" is available free from: Microsoft Safety Scanner
Before you visit the Microsoft web page, it's worth discovering exactly which Windows' operating system that you are running on your computer and whether it is the 32 or, 64 bit version because it's the first thing that you need to know to continue with the process.
Click on the Windows' "Start" button in the bottom left hand corner of your screen and then, right click on the "My Computer" icon before selecting "Properties" - if your computer is running the 64 bit version of your operating system, it will tell you under your computer "System Properties".
If it doesn't mention "64 bit" under your computer "System Properties", it's safe to assume that you are running the 32 bit version of your operating system.
When you visit the Microsoft web page, you are presented with a blue "Download Now" link at the top, in the centre of the page. Clicking on the link reveals a pop up window that asks you whether your computer is running the 32 or, 64 bit version of your operating system. Make the appropriate selection to continue with the download process.
You will be asked whether you want to "run" or, "save" the 67MB "Safety Scanner" installation file. As Microsoft recommends that you should download the application with the latest virus definitions every 10 days so, I recommend that you "run" the file as opposed to saving it.
When the download of the installation file is complete, you will be asked whether you want to run this software on your computer - click on "Run"
It can take up to a minute for the first window to appear so, be patient, but the first thing that will happen is that you will be presented with a pop-up window that asks you to "Accept" the End User License Agreement - place a green tick in the box "Accept all the terms of the preceding license agreement" before clicking "Next" and then, "Next" again.
Next, you'll be asked whether you want to run a "quick", "full" or, "customised" scan. Initially, run a "quick" scan which scans the areas of your computer that are most likely to contain an infection. If "Safety Scanner" finds anything unusual on your computer, it will prompt you to run a "full" scan which, depending upon the amount of data that is on your computer, could take up to several hours to complete.
During a "quick" scan, "Safety Scanner" scans your computer for viruses, spy ware and any other potentially unwanted software and removes any that it may find before presenting you with a report.

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