As mentioned, the main thrust of SP2 is security, and several new Security Tools are included to create a more secure computing environment. They are presented in Table 1-2.
Table 1-2. Security Tools in Service Pack 2
Windows Security Center
This is the first window that opens when rebooting XP after installing SP2. It lets you view the security status of your system and change general security settings, as shown in Figure 1-2.
Windows Firewall update
The Firewall tool has been available since the release of XP, but it has now been enhanced. The new Firewall helps protect against worms, viruses, and other Internet-borne ills.
Windows Firewall simple compatibility setup
Unfortunately, not every application works well with the new Firewall settings. To allow certain applications to pass data through the Firewall, use the simple compatibility setup.
Windows Firewall startup
As the name suggests, this allows firewall protection at both and shutdown support startup and shutdown time.
This is another improvement to an existing feature. It helps your enhancements XP machine automatically stay current with the latest fixes and patches. It also includes enhanced features to optimize download effectiveness over dial-up connections.
Figure 1-2. The new Windows Security Center.
As you can see in Figure 1-2, Windows may not be able to recognize your particular version of antivirus software. However, most software vendors are releasing hotfixes and service packs of their own to make their software work in harmony with the Security Center. When the screenshot in Figure 1-2 was taken, for example, my version of Norton antivirus was not able to "talk to" the Security Center. A recent update of the program now enables this feature, and if I took the screenshot today, it would not show the antivirus status as "NOT FOUND."
Most of the improvements in SP2 can be managed from the new Security Center.