Protecting Your Computer

ayF7indows 7 uses the Action Center to keep ww you informed of security and maintenance issues that need attention, such as antivirus protection and file backup. The Action Center alerts you to issues you should investigate by displaying a flag with an X over a red circle in the notification area of the taskbar.

The Action Center divides issues into Security and Maintenance sections. As far as maintenance goes, Windows 7 automatically performs certain functions to protect your computer. But in the last section of this chapter, I do show you how to check your hard drive for file system errors. Your hard drive's well-being is essential for your computer's overall well-being.

Then you have security issues. For most new computers running Windows 7, the pressing security issue is protection against viruses. Viruses are programs designed to work undetected against your interests, and they can employ a variety of tactics. A virus may

"" Search your system for information that's useful for identity theft, such as your Social Security number (which should not be anywhere on your computer), credit card numbers, or bank and investment account numbers.

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