Section 3.5. Security

3.5. Security

Controls the way children can use the computer and the Internet.

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Control Panel [User Accounts and Family Safety] Parental Controls

Control Panel [User Accounts and Family Safety] Set up parental controls for any user

Control Panel Set up parental controls for any user

Control Panel [Security] Parental Controls

Control Panel [Security] Set up parental controls for any user


Many parents are justifiably worried about how their children use computers and the Internet. The Internet can be a dangerous place for childrenparticularly young children, preteens, and even teens. They may inadvertently come across pornography, violent images, or other unsuitable content, and they could even be targeted by predators.

In addition, parents may want to block access to certain programs on a shared PCgiving children access to your personal finance software, for example, could prove to be disastrous.

Provides easy access to the Windows Firewall, antivirus and antimalware settings, Windows Update, and other security settings.

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Control Panel Security Security Center

Command Prompt wscui.cpl


The Security Center doesn't actually provide any additional security, but it does act as a control center for your existing softwarekeeping tabs on what's on or off and what needs updating or replacing, and providing impossible-to-miss warnings that erupt from the Windows notification area. You'll get a warning from the System Tray if the Security Center detects that something is amiss with your security; otherwise, the Security Center won't appear there.

Tip: Don't confuse the Security Center with the Security Control Panel category. The Security Control Panel category includes links to a wider variety of security settings and controls than does the Security Center. The Security Center's main purpose is to issue alerts and warnings about your security settings, not to provide a front door to every security feature in Windows Vistafor example, it doesn't link to BitLocker Encryption and Parental Controls like the Security Control Panel category does.

The Security Center keeps an eye on firewalls (Windows Vista's own or any Windows Vista-compliant third-party program), your antivirus software, your antispyware software, your Internet security settings, UAC, and the Automatic Updates feature in Windows. The Center will pop up an alert if it thinks there's a problem in any of these areas. You can turn off monitoring by clicking the "Change the way Security Center alerts me" link in the main Security Center window. Note that the Security Center monitors your software only for activation and updatesit doesn't actually provide any security itself.

Protects users against threats by controlling access to important settings.

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User Account Control is turned on by default.


User Account Control (UAC), new to Vista, is designed to protect users against a variety of threats, but it is by far the most controversial change to the operating system. The feature caused enough outcry during the beta (testing) phase of Windows Vista that Microsoft changed how it works several times.

Like it or not, though, UAC is here to stay, and it offers substantially increased security over previous versions of Windows. It is designed to prevent unauthorized changes to your computer so that the system and its files cannot be damaged or tampered with. This protection is designed not only against external threats and malware, but also against users of the computer who accidentally make dangerous changes.

Automatically downloads and installs updates to Windows Vista over the Internet.

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Control Panel [Security] Windows Update

Control Panel Check for Updates

Start All Programs Windows Update


Windows Update downloads and installs updates to Windows Vista quickly and easily. These updates are important because they often contain security patches that plug holes found in the operating system.

By default, Windows Update is turned on in Windows Vista. Windows Vista checks for new updates daily. It categorizes three types of updates: important updates, recommended updates, and optional updates. Important updates include security and critical performance updates. Recommended updates are those that help fix or prevent problems. Optional updates are less important updates, such as new or updated drivers. Optional updates are not automatically installed, but Windows Update will list any available and let you download and install them if you want.

Protect your PC against spyware, home-page hijackers, and other threats.

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Start Control Panel Security Windows Defender

Double-click the Windows Defender icon in the System Tray.

Command Prompt \Program Files\Windows Defender\MSASCui.exe

Windows Defender offers you automatic protection against spyware. It runs in the background as you use your computer, and it is designed to stop spyware before it infects your computer. When a piece of spyware attempts to install itself, hijack your home page, or do other damage, Windows Defender deletes the software and puts it into a quarantine area, where you can examine it later on. Should you decide that Windows Defender deleted the software in error, you can restore it.

Encrypts entire drives so that data can't be read, even if your computer is stolen (available only with the Enterprise and Ultimate editions of Windows Vista).

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Control Panel [Security] BitLocker Drive Encryption


BitLocker Drive Encryption, new to Windows Vista, is the best way to keep all of your files safe from others. It works even if you have a laptop and it's stolen. It's designed so that your laptop or PC won't even start up without your encryption key, so a thief will not even be able to boot your PC, much less read any of its files. BitLocker Drive Encryption encrypts all files on a drive, including those needed for startup and logon. By doing this, it ensures that a thief cannot start your system, log on to it, and then steal your encrypting password as a way to decrypt and read your files.

BitLocker encrypts all new files you add to your protected drive. The files are encrypted only when they are stored on the drive you've encrypted. If you copy them to another drive or computer, they are automatically decrypted. Shared files are encrypted when they are stored on the encrypted drive, and any user who has access to BitLocker-protected shared files will be able to use them as she would normally.

Windows Vista Pocket Reference
Windows Vista Pocket Reference: A Compact Guide to Windows Vista (Pocket Guides)
ISBN: 0596528086
EAN: 2147483647
Year: N/A
Pages: 63 © 2008-2017.
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