Blog Date: 
Sunday, April 1, 2012
Amy Mason

Anti-Virus software is one of those things that everyone (including you Mac and Linux users) ought to have, but it’s not really all that much fun to think about, much less employ.  Furthermore, as a screen access software user, it’s often an exercise in frustration.  I don’t know what it is about the security suites out there, but they seem to be built with every intention of being difficult to use, cryptic, and downright unpleasant to use.  Often they are difficult to use with a screen access software (if not impossible), and they have an unfortunate tendency to be expensive, both in terms of monetary investment, and computer resources.  So, it made sense to mention an alternative for Windows users at least.  (Sorry Mac and Linux folks, I’ll have to get back to you after a bit of research.).

Microsoft Security Essentials does a surprisingly good job of securing your computer for the low, low, price of free.  I’ve used the program on my own computers at home for the last few years, and continue to be pretty impressed with it. I’m sure that many of our readers already have the program, but I find it to be a good alternative to all of the anti-virus packages that I have had to pay for in the past.  It’s less bloated than MacAfee or Norton, and doesn’t add extra bloatware to my browser like AVG. 

After downloading Microsoft Security Essentials, and installing it, there are a few simple options that you can set up as the user, such as the frequency of deeper scans, and how often the program downloads updates (though to be honest, the defaults are pretty reasonable, so even that step is optional).  Otherwise, you can just leave it alone.  It handles its business in the background, and generally, I have found it to have a very minimal impact on system resources.  Another bonus is that the interface works fairly well with screen-access software.  It’s been good about keeping Malware off my system, and doesn’t seem to suffer from a high rate of false positives, so it’s worth considering. 

If you are looking for a new anti-virus package and want to give it a try, you can either get it from the Ninite silent installer service(, or directly from Microsoft at


Amy Mason