Microsoft has been trying to do their part in the constant battle against spyware and malware. They have come out with free utilities that you can install on your computer to monitor and remove these threats. They do a pretty good job but not quite as good of a job as other free programs such as Malwarebytes' Anti Malware or Combofix.
Microsoft Security Essentials is an anti spyware/virus program that provides real time protection for your computer against viruses, spyware, and other malicious software. It is the successor to the Microsoft’s Windows Live OneCare.
Microsoft Security Essentials is a free download and is easy to install, use, and is kept up to date so you can stay one step ahead of spyware infections. Security Essentials takes Microsoft’s basic antivirus system and combines it with Windows Defender which is designed to block spyware. Security Essentials runs quietly and efficiently in the background so that you are free to use your computer while it’s running without interruptions or long computer wait times.
In real world testing, Security Essentials stopped 12,935 out of 14,222 spyware samples, earning a detection grade of 90.95 percent. It also found and eliminated all 25 rootkits that the testers threw at it but did only a fair job of cleaning up infections. The speed of Security Essentials scanning was about average compared with that of other security products.
The Security Essentials Home tab shows the status of the program and tells you if you are up to date on the virus and spyware definitions. This is also where you can start a manual scan or schedule a scan to run automatically at a given time.
The Update tab allows you to update your definitions so you have the most up to date protection.
This History tab shows your past scan results and shows what it found and what action was taken to fix the infection.
The Settings tab is where you can further configure Security Essentials and do things such as change your scheduled scans, choose what action is performed on infected files, exclude files from being scanned and so on.
Microsoft Security Essentials is compatible with Windows XP, Vista and 7 and can be downloaded here.