Fighting infection with real-time protection

Although there is no such thing as a perfect security product, the findings in this section clearly show that using real-time security software from a reputable vendor and keeping it up to date are two of the most important steps individuals and organizations can take to reduce the risk they face from malware and unwanted software. With attackers becoming ever more proficient at exploiting software vulnerabilities and trusted relationships to spread malware in unexpected ways, it is dangerous for even expert users to assume that they will be able to detect threats on their own without the help of real-time protection before being affected by them. Simply installing and using real-time antimalware software can help individuals and organizations reduce malware infection by more than 80 percent. See for a list of vendors that provide consumer security software solutions for Windows.

Users who believe their security software may have been disabled by malware should take advantage of a tool like the Microsoft Safety Scanner ( or Windows Defender Offline ( to scan their computers for malware and remove any threats that are found.

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