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Why do I need antivirus and antispyware software?

Updated: April 1, 2012

Applies To: Forefront Endpoint Protection, System Center 2012 Configuration Manager, System Center 2012 Configuration Manager SP1, System Center 2012 Endpoint Protection, System Center 2012 Endpoint Protection SP1, System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager, System Center 2012 R2 Endpoint Protection, Windows Intune

It is critical to make sure that your computer is running software that protects against malicious software. Malicious software, which includes viruses, spyware, or other potentially unwanted software can try to install itself on your computer any time you connect to the Internet. It can also infect your computer when you install a program using a CD, DVD, or other removable media. Malicious software, can also be programmed to run at unexpected times, not just when it is installed.

Endpoint Protection offers three ways to help keep malicious software from infecting your computer:

  • Using real-time protection—Real-time protection enables Endpoint Protection to monitor your computer all the time and alert you when malicious software, including viruses, spyware, or other potentially unwanted software attempts to install itself or run on your computer. Endpoint Protection then suspends the software and enables you to you to follow its recommendation on the software or take an alternative action.

  • Scanning options—You can use Endpoint Protection to scan for potential threats, such as viruses, spyware, and other malicious software that might put your computer at risk. You can also use it to schedule scans on a regular basis and to remove malicious software that is detected during a scan.

  • Microsoft Active Protection Service community—The online Microsoft Active Protection Service community helps you see how other people respond to software that has not yet been classified for risks. You can use this information to help you choose whether to allow this software on your computer. In turn, if you participate, your choices are added to the community ratings to help other people decide what to do.

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