However, in some cases, when you leave your computer turned off for a longer while, it will be necessary to start the update process manually (a click of a button should not be too much of an effort for any sort of user).
Also, if the definitions are outdated, you will be notified by Microsoft Security Essentials and the interface will turn from the safe green to the alerting red, so you can't miss it.
Under “Home,” the first tab of the interface, Microsoft Security Essentials presents the current condition of the machine it is protecting.
Thus you will be informed if real-time protection module is active or if the virus and spyware definitions are up to date.
For the quarantined ones the same details are available, along with the possibility to remove or restore them to the original location. The configuration panel of an antivirus is generally the most dreaded screen for a beginner and even an average user because the amount of jargon and complex settings is above their level.
Microsoft put an effort into making Security Essentials as uncluttered and easy to use as possible. It is not the case of Microsoft Security Essentials.
Once Microsoft Security Essentials is installed, you can't escape joining the Spy Net, which sends information to the mother-ship about the application's detections, including the actions you undertake, even if your life depended on it (no pun intended).
The second, in addition to the aforementioned, sends out more info, such as the location of the software detected, how it operates, its impact on your machine and file names.
The “History” tab is where all items detected during various scans are present, quarantined or allowed to function freely.
For each selected malicious item you will benefit from information such as malware category it pertains to as well as a brief description, Microsoft recommendation and path to its location.
They kept the setup screen down to the essential elements, such as scheduling, defining the default actions the program should take when meeting malware (these can be configured according to the threat level), enabling real-time protection, setting the safe files and locations that should be excluded from the scan as well as file types or processes. It just presents a set of clearly explained options: enabling archive scans and removable drives, creating restore points before cleaning the system and allowing all users to view the full History results.
There is one more section on the menu: Microsoft Spynet.