How do I install and configure Microsoft Security Essentials?

Dire warnings in the Security Action Center

It may be unfortunate, but the reality of the situation cannot be denied - we live in a time where computer viruses, malware, spyware, Trojan horses, keyloggers, and other nefarious dangers are everywhere. Connecting a computer to a network, especially a network connected to the Internet, should never happen without at least the bare minimum of protections.

Microsoft Security Essentials is a decent anti-virus and anti-malware application available for free from Microsoft. It integrates seamlessly with the Windows operating system and takes up very little system resources. Installing Microsoft Security Essentials and running the required initial updates and configuration is relatively straightforward.

As you can see, if your computer has no anti-virus software, you will get some dire warnings in the Security Action Center. You navigate to the Security Action Center through the Control Panel.

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Mark W. Kaelin has been writing and editing stories about the IT industry, gadgets, finance, accounting, and tech-life for more than 25 years. Most recently, he has been a regular contributor to,, and TechRepublic.