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Protect Your PC with Microsoft Security Essentials

Last Updated Jun 28, 2009 10:19 PM EDT

The open beta for Microsoft's Security Essentials came and went like a thief in the night. Which is too bad, because it's hard to find an article that didn't like the program; every review I've found complimented both its effectiveness at finding malicious software and the overall performance and footprint. Thankfully, I've found a place you can still download Security Essentials and try it for yourself.

As a long-time user of AVG Free, I have been pleasantly surprised by Security Essentials. The program does all the stuff you'd expect -- like allow you to schedule regular system scans, perform real-time scans, and optionally specify locations and file types to exclude from the scans. PC World reports that Security Essentials has a tiny footprint and had little impact on system performance, and I can anecdotally confirm that myself. If your PC is not already managed with anti-virus software, give this one a shot.

Dave Johnson was employed by Microsoft Corporation at the time this article was written.