Windows Vista is officially available, so we thought it was time for you to get to know this new operating system.
Here are five security features in Windows Vista that might just surprise you:
1. Check your spyware protection through the Windows Security Center. If you've used Windows XP, then you already know about Windows Security Center, the all-in-one monitoring tool that helps you keep track of your firewall, automatic updates, and antivirus software.
Windows Security Center for Windows Vista has more security categories. It now warns you if your antispyware software is not up and running like it should be.
For more information on the new features of the Windows Security Center, see the Windows Vista Security blog.
2. Help prevent identity theft with Phishing Filter. Windows Vista comes with Phishing Filter, which is built in to Internet Explorer 7. You just need to turn it on.
The filter checks Web pages before you connect to them and warns you about sites that have typical characteristics of fraudulent Web sites designed to steal your identity, sometimes called phishing scams.
The filter is updated several times an hour using the latest security information from Microsoft and several industry partners. This can help you avoid identity theft from phony sites that might look, for example, like your bank's site.
For more information, see Phishing Filter: Help protect yourself from online scams.
3. New junk mail filter for Windows Mail. Windows Mail, the new e-mail program that comes with Windows Vista, helps reduce the risks of junk mail and scams.
In fact, Windows Mail comes with a junk e-mail filter that until now has been available only in Microsoft Office Outlook.
For more information, see Windows Vista: Windows Mail.
4. Track what your children are doing online. If you’re a parent, you already know how important it is to have open communication with your children about their computer use.
You might also want to review what your child is doing online. With Windows Vista, you can create activity reports that provide details of how your children have spent their time on the computer, including the Web pages they've visited, programs they've used, and games they've played.
For more information, see Windows Vista Parental Controls.
5. Find security tools faster. When you want to change settings on the security tools in Windows Vista, there’s no need to dig through the Start menu or the control panel.
Simply type "Windows Security Center," "Phishing Filter," "Parental Controls," or any other program or file into the Instant Search box on the Start menu and then select it from the programs list.
For more information, see Windows Vista: Improved productivity.