Joined: 10 Aug 2002 Posts: 16776955 Location: Portland, Oregon USA
Posted: Fri Oct 20, 2006 12:05 pm Post subject: [Tutorial] Explaining the Windows XP Security Center
What is Security Center
The Security Center provides easy access to features such as Windows Update, anti-virus, and firewall settings. This feature is only available if Service Pack 2 has been installed.
It does not actually provide any additional security, yet acts as a control center for your existing security software. Almost reminds you of MMC (Microsoft Management Console) in a way. It will let you know what's on or off, what needs updating or replacing, and it will annoy you with those famous warnings popping up from the Windows System Tray.
What it shows
Security Center will display the status of three items:
It displays if these three items are on, or off. By clicking on one of these item's bar, you can get a further explaination and a 'help link'. Note that if you are using a third party firewall, you will want to make sure it is SP2-complaint. You will also want to turn off XP's own simple firewall.
What it controls
You are also able to change settings for the following three items:
If you click on the Internet Options button, you are taken to Internet Explorer's Security tab. Sad to say, Microsoft did not include any support for third party browsers such as Firefox.
Automatic Updates is turned on by default. Here you can change how you receive those updates and when they are installed, or even turn the feature off.
Windows Firewall button allows you to configure XP's built-in firewall. It is not recommended that you put your full faith into this simple firewall. You should install a full fledged firewall right away. Then click on this button to turn off the built-in firewall or your system may experience conflicts between the two.
What it lacks
I've already mentioned the lack of support for third-party browser security settings. What is really missing is any type of support for anti-spyware software.
It would be a dream come true if Microsoft updated the Security Center to include support for Ad-Aware and Spybot Search & Destroy. Just including support for these two programs alone would double the value of the Security Center.
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