Windows 7 – Security Essentials You Need to Know

Guest writer Mark Schneider gives you some important pointers on how to take advantage of Windows 7 security features.

image Windows 7 is a big deal. Many people, in the tech industry, believe it will be the catalyst for the next tech boom in hardware sales. Could be – Windows 7 is a great OS.

Staying secure in Windows 7 however, still requires users to be careful. If you upgrade to Windows 7, one of the first things I recommend most users do is, go to UAC in “start search” and click on “Change User Account Control Settings”.


Once the UAC window appears, use the new slider interface to move your security settings all the way to the top to “Always Notify Me” – the most secure setting you can have. The reason is obvious: the UAC is there for a reason, to protect you. There’s no point in turning down the protection you already have built in to your computer.

To back up this point, I found a post from Sophos, a security software company, that found a random sample of 10 malware samples infected Windows 7 running UAC, at its default mode. It also ran the test on a machine running no security software.

Neowin, a popular Windows blog, however cried fowl, and ripped the methodology of the “study”. I admit, Sophos sells sell security software so their motives might be questionable. But I still think it’s prudent, and wise, to turn up your UAC.

So the next step after turning up UAC is to make sure you have an antivirus program. The free Microsoft Security Essentials is a fine, free program and I’m running it on several machines. I’d also get Malwarebytes Anti-Malware software, and top it off with SuperAntispyware another great antispyware program.

Microsoft Security Essentials


Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware




Another common item on the security checklist – type “Folders” into “start search”, open “Folder Options” and select “View”. Uncheck “Hide Extensions for known File Types” – this way, if someone sends you a picture you normally see as a .jpg file but it is in fact, an executable file, then you will see the jpg.exe it really is.

Folder Options

Pictures don’t normally have executables in them, and for some unknown reason Microsoft continues to hide known extensions by default.

Security threats being what they are, a few quick techniques will help keep you safe, even with the latest, and greatest, from Microsoft.

This is a guest post by Mark Schneider of the Techwalker Blog, who brings a background as a high level techie, to the blogging world.

Why not pay a visit to Mark’s site today.

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Filed under Anti-Malware Tools, Antivirus Applications, Don't Get Hacked, downloads, Free Anti-malware Software, Freeware, Guest Writers, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Software, System Security, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools

5 responses to “Windows 7 – Security Essentials You Need to Know

  1. Pingback: Windows 7 – Security Essentials You Need to Know « Bill Mullins … | Windows (7) Affinity

  2. Kai

    Is there any official explanation from MS regarding that file extension default setting?

    • Bill Mullins

      Hey Kai,

      The “official” explanation from MS is, keeping the default setting this way stops an average user from having access to critical system files (that they don’t understand), so that they can’t damage these files. Still, there has to be a better way so that users are protected, and at the same time guarding critical system files. Maybe in the next OS?


  3. Hi Bill,
    I just love how large corporations can make incredibly poor decisions even when they undoubtedly have some very smart people working for them. Considering, that when someone opens a jpg.exe and gets infected they blame Microsoft and the operating system, and not the user. They took the responsibility away from the end user when they denied them the information they needed to act responsibly.