Responding to Windows Defender Alerts

If Windows Defender detects the presence of spyware, whether during the course of a scan or caught by real-time protection, you must decide how to handle it. If you see an alert triggered by real-time protection, as shown above, click the alert balloon (or, if it deflates before you have a chance to click it, click the Action Center icon and click Potentially Harmful Software Detected). Alternatively, on the Home page of Windows Defender (shown earlier in Figure 15-8), click Review Detected Items . A Windows Defender Alert dialog box opens, as shown in Figure 15-9 .

Windows Defender Alert

Review harmful or potentially unwanted software

Programs that might compromise your privacy or damage your computer were detected. What do the alert levels mean?

Detected items

Alert level

Action

Status

@ Spyware: Win32/MPSpyTestFile

Severe

Remove

Active

$ Spyware: Win32/MPSpyTestFile-Low

Low

[Remove

▼ J Active

1 Remove

Quarantine

— Allow

1-

Show details >>

Show details >>

Figure 15-9 Clicking Clean System removes all detected items from your system, regardless of the setting in the Action column .

For each suspected spyware program, you can specify one of three actions:

• Remove Windows Defender permanently removes the detected spyware from your computer.

• Quarantine Windows Defender moves the program to a different folder and prevents the program from running.

• Allow Windows Defender allows the program to be installed or to run and adds the program to the allowed list; Windows Defender no longer alerts you to its presence and its risks . You should allow only software that you know to be safe .

If you simply want to remove all detected items, click Clean System; Windows Defender begins the removal process and reports the results when it completes. If you're unsure which action to take, click Show Details to display additional information, advice, and a link to online details about the selected item. After you select an action for each item, click Apply Actions . If you later change your mind about items you chose to quarantine or allow, you can reverse those decisions, as described in the following section .

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