Using Software Explorer
Changing how a program runs on your computer, such as blocking Internet or network connections and ending processes, can cause problems with Windows and other programs that you use. Use Software Explorer to change how a program runs on your computer only if you are certain the program is causing a problem. Once you open Software Explorer, you can select which category of programs you want to view or adjust.
Other Related Tools
In the Tools and Settings dialog of Microsoft Defender, you can find links to more tools and settings. Here you will find SpyNet, a very useful Web site that helps you find information on malware as well as information on combating it and protecting yourself and your system from its threat of damage.
Using Microsoft SpyNet
Microsoft SpyNet is the network of Windows Defender users that helps determine which programs are classified as spyware. Because the face of malware constantly evolves, so does SpyNet and its hardworking team of security enthusiasts.
SpyNet works to build known signature files for commonly seen malware and to find malware that is new to the scene. It is recommended that you visit SpyNet to get acclimated with the site and the benefits it offers, and that you check back often for updates.
If you commonly surf the Internet and are worried about the effects of malware on your system, visiting SpyNet can give you an advantage, as you will be better educated on what can happen to your system, what is currently happening to others, and how you can support and better secure your OS, your browser, your identity, and your personal data.
Windows Defender Summary
Malware is a threat to computer systems, networks, and the public Internet. With the release of Windows Vista, Microsoft has developed new weapons in the battle against malware. Windows Vista, Internet Explorer 7, and associated software are hardened and ready for war.
Malware is any software product or program created with an intent to cause damage or harm. The most common forms of malware are viruses, Trojans, and worms. Viruses are malicious programs that are commonly installed on a target host with the intent to cause harm or damage. Common virus types include e-mail viruses, boot sector viruses, application viruses, and macro viruses. Worms are a form of malware that will propagate from host to host in order to spread and replicate across a network. A Trojan will appear harmless to the recipient, but actually contains a malicious payload. Trojans that contain a virus as a payload are called droppers. Spyware is the biggest malware issue to date. Spyware exploits include malicious scripts that do everything from rewriting browsers to perform malicious functions, to forcing payment for legitimate revenue streams to a secondary source (usually that of the attacker).
Windows Vista and Internet Explorer 7 were developed to thwart many common exploits and build a foundation in which new ones can be mitigated. New to Vista and Internet Explorer 7 is an updated Windows Firewall. The new outbound filtering feature in the personal firewall helps to apply more granular control over traffic traversing it, and is more flexible than previous versions. The new Phishing Filter is used to verify the validity of the sites you visit so that your personal information and data are not compromised.