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What is the Windows Security Center?

Celeste StewartWindows Security Center

Today's computers are more connected than ever before. Not only do home computer users connect to the Internet, they are also often part of a small wireless home network. In addition, many Internet connection types such as cable modems and DSL are "always on." Being connected to the Internet 24/7 means and being part of a wireless network makes the computers more vulnerable to malware and hacking than ever before.

Fortunately, for Windows Vista users, their operating system comes with tools to help keep the computer secure.

The Windows Security Center is a collection of security essentials including:

  • Windows Update
  • Windows Firewall
  • Windows Defender
  • Internet Options

Opening Windows Security Center

When you first open the Security Center, you'll see an overview of your computer's current settings. Green and red colored bars and dots give you an at-a-glance indication of whether or not your computer is properly secured. For example, if the main display shows all your settings in green bars with green dots, then the settings are acceptable. On the other hand, settings in a red bar need your attention. Click the down arrow next to any setting for more information.

Correcting Errors

The Security Center gives you options for correcting any detected problem with your computer's security. For example, if the Windows Firewall is turned off, you'll see an option that you can click to turn it on.

To go to the Security Center, first go into the Control Panel, which is accessible via the Start button, and click on Security Center. You can also simply go to the Start button and type Security Center in the Search bar and then click the related icon to launch it.

Windows Security Center Problems found

If your computer finds a problem with its security, it will automatically notify you (unless you've changed the notification settings). It will also display a red shield in the Taskbar's tray. Double click this red shield and it will take you to the Security Center where you can learn about what's wrong and take the necessary steps for securing your computer.

Don't want to be notified each time?

For example, if you prefer not to run the User Account Control utility because you find all of the prompts annoying, you may grow weary of the alert telling you that User Account Control has been disabled. Simply go into the Security Center and click on Change the Way Security Center Alerts me. Choose, "Don't notify me but display an icon" or "Don't notify me and don't display an icon (not recommended" depending on your preferences.

What good is the Windows security center

The Security Center isn't the most comprehensive security solution on the planet, but it is a good place to go to check and see that all of your other solutions, including third party anti-virus programs, are enabled.

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