Security software such as antivirus programs, anti-spyware programs, and firewalls block all kinds of incoming viruses, malware, and attempted hacks, most of the time without drawing much attention to itself. Depending on the program being used to safeguard your computer and its settings, you may receive a notification that a malicious attempt has been blocked or the software may automatically quarantine or block the problem files without telling you. If you want to see exactly what the security software has blocked, you'll need to take a peek at the software's log, quarantine, or history files.
For example, if you are using Microsoft Windows Defender, which comes with Windows Vista, and you want to see what Defender has blocked, you'll need to first launch the Defender application. Once Windows Defender is open, click on the History icon. From here, you can either view items that you have chosen to allow or those items that are blocked from running on your computer. Your choices are: go to Allowed Items or go to Quarantined Items.
Defender also has different "default actions" which you can adjust. These changes affect how Defender alerts you when alert levels have been detected. For example, you can instruct Defender to automatically remove the offending malware rather than prompting you first.
Different security applications have different options for viewing what's been blocked. For example, if you use Trend Micro's Internet Security Suite 2007, you'll need to open the interface and then click on the Other Settings tab. Next, expand the Logs section and then select the log that you want to view followed by clicking the View Log button. This particular application offers numerous logs that you can view including virus, updates, spyware, personal firewall, spam and fraud attempts, Trojan horse cleanup, and data theft prevention.
Like Windows Defender, Trend Micro's product also allows you to adjust how you are notified when viruses, spyware, and other malicious attempts are blocked. Simply click the Notification and Tutorial Preferences tab followed by the Settings button.
The same is true of Paretologic's Antivirus Plus product. Simply go to Active Protection and click on Logged Events. To change the settings, click the Settings tab.
Just about all security software products on the market today have a means for viewing logs, quarantines, and histories as well as customizable settings. Take a few minutes to get familiar with the particulars of the security product that you are using. It shouldn't take too long to find the logs. If you can't readily find them, check the Help files.