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Archive for the ‘Windows Vista’ Category

Check security settings in Windows Vista

September 3rd, 2013 No comments

The newest version of Windows is Windows 8, but we know that many of you still use Windows Vista.

The best way to ensure that Windows Vista is as secure as it can be is to use the Windows Security Center, which is built into Windows Vista.

The Windows Security Center can help you check the status of several security features on your computer, including firewall settings, Windows automatic updating, anti-malware software settings, Internet security settings, and User Account Control settings.

To get to the Window Security Center, click the Start button , click Control Panel, click Security, and then click Security Center. If Windows detects a problem (for example, if your antivirus program is out of date), Security Center displays a notification and places a Security Center icon  in the notification area. Click the notification or double-click the Security Center icon to open Security Center and get information about how to fix the problem.

Download Microsoft Security Essentials

Windows 8 comes with Windows Defender to help protect your PC from viruses and other kinds of malware.

For Windows Vista, you can download Microsoft Security Essentials to help guard against viruses, spyware, and other malicious software.

Get more security information for Windows Vista

What do I do if my updates don’t install?

August 15th, 2013 No comments

The easiest way to get security updates automatically is to go to the Microsoft Update website and make sure that you have automatic updating turned on.

Microsoft Update provides very important updates for performance and security. If you have automatic updating turned on and it isn’t working, you will see a warning message if an update can’t be installed.

To troubleshoot Microsoft Update in Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP

If your computer is running Windows 7, Windows Vista, or Windows XP and your updates don’t install, you can use the Windows Update troubleshooter to find and fix problems. To open the troubleshooter:

  1. Click the Start button.
  2. In the search box, type Troubleshooter.
  3. In the results list, click Find and fix problems.
  4. Under System and Security, click Fix problems with Windows Update.

To troubleshoot Microsoft Update in Windows 8

Windows 8 has an automatic troubleshooter that can fix some common problems with Windows Update. To open the troubleshooter:

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Search.
    If you’re using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, and then click Search.
  2. In the search box, type Troubleshooting.
  3. Tap or click Settings, and then tap or click Troubleshooting.
  4. Under System and Security, tap or click Fix problems with Windows Update.

Learn more about how to get security updates automatically.

For more information about troubleshooting problems with Windows Update in Windows 8, see Troubleshoot problems with installing updates.

Protect your PC from the Conficker worm

May 10th, 2012 No comments

The most recent Microsoft Security Intelligence Reports (SIR) describes the ongoing threat of the Conficker worm and urges businesses and individuals to apply security updates.

Microsoft first recognized the Conficker threat in November 2008 and since then the Microsoft Malware Protection Center has been regularly releasing security updates to help protect against Conficker. The worm continues to spread when businesses and individuals don’t install these patches and update their systems and the use of weak passwords in the business sector environment. The worm was also able to infect large numbers of computers when system administrators used the Autorun feature in Windows XP and Windows Vista and through the use of weak passwords.

Think you’re computer or network is infected with Conficker? Get clean up tips.

Download free security updates for May

May 8th, 2012 No comments

Microsoft releases security updates on the second Tuesday of every month. 

The bulletin announces the release of 7 security updates:

  • 2 updates for Microsoft Windows only
  • 3 updates for Microsoft Office only
  • 1 update for Microsoft .NET Framework only
  • 1 update that combines multiple products: Microsoft Office, Microsoft Windows, Microsoft .NET Framework, and Microsoft Silverlight

Get the updates.

Watch a video about the updates.

To get more information about security updates and other privacy and security issues delivered to your email inbox, sign up for our newsletter.

End of support for Office XP and Windows Vista Service Pack 1

August 11th, 2011 No comments

If you use Office XP or Windows Vista Service Pack 1, upgrade now to help keep your computer safe.

On July 12, 2011 both Office XP and Windows Vista Service Pack 1 reached the end of the Extended Support phase of their lifecycles. This means Microsoft Update and automatic updating will not offer security updates for these versions any longer.

If you use Office XP, upgrade to Microsoft Office 2010. Microsoft recommends that you upgrade to Windows 7, but you can use Windows Update to get Windows Vista Service Pack 2 (SP2) automatically.

 For more information see:

Upcoming Action Center Changes for Security Vendor Software

May 6th, 2009 No comments

We have been working in partnership with our independent software vendor (ISV) community to move the ecosystem to a set of new application programming interfaces (APIs) that many ISVs use to report status to Security Center (integrated within Action Center in Windows 7). The interfaces are used by many antivirus, antispyware, and firewall programs. Te interface changes were introduced in Windows Vista SP1. These new APIs supersede the ones originally shipped in Windows Vista.

From the release of Vista SP1, we jointly established with the security ISVs an 18 month grace period where they could use both the old and the new interfaces. After the 18 month grace period expires, a security application using the older interface will cause the Windows Security Center system tray icon to indicate a warning. In addition, the Security Center control panel will display a “<program name> is on but is reporting its status to Windows Security Center in a format that is no longer supported. Use the program’s automatic updating feature, or contact the program manufacturer for an updated version” warning message, a sample screen shot is included below. The grace period begins at the time Vista SP1 is installed on a Windows Vista system. As a result, the grace period will begin expiring in September 2009, 18 months after Windows Vista SP1 was released on the Microsoft Download Center in March 2008.

Through our partner outreach and the Ecosystem Readiness Program, we have been working with the ISVs since October of 2007 to help them get ready for the final transition to this new interface. As a result, we have removed the old API from the Windows 7 RC.  Users who are running security software that does not use the newer API will see the “non-compatible” message shown below from the new Action Center, which instructs customers to contact their security software provider. 

Although you may receive this “non-compatible” message from your security software, it should continue to work and help protect your system even though it is not able to report its status through the Action Center UI.

If you encounter this message today on Window 7 or in the future on Windows Vista, I encourage you to check with your software vendor to see if they have an updated version of software available. Many of our partners already have products that use the new APIs and the others have committed to having compatible versions by the end of the Windows Vista grace period and for Windows 7. Having the latest, compatible software from your security vendors will help ensure that your system remains protected and that you are accurately informed when your security software is not running properly.