One of the features of Windows 8 made me excited even though it didn’t seem to get a lot of attention from anybody else. Microsoft rebranded Microsoft Security Essentials as the Windows Defender product and included it by default in Windows 8. I thought this could be a game changer. So many of the computers that I see that are infected don’t even have an antivirus on them. This removes the decision and effort required by computer owners to install an antivirus. They might now have a fighting chance. Even if it would mean fewer clients for me, I looked forward to it because I hate to see people taken advantage of.
Unfortunately, it seems PC manufacturers are compromising this native improvement in Windows 8 through bloatware. I have seen several clients computers recently that came with Windows 8. However, primarily HP notebooks, come with a Norton 360 antivirus 30-day trial installed on them. When the trial expires, the Norton AntiVirus stops updating its definitions. The longer this goes on, the more users are put at risk.
The solution is simple. Uninstall Norton AntiVirus and Windows Defender takes over again. You may have to restart after the Norton uninstall to make sure it’s completely out of the system.
To make sure Windows Defender is updated and running, just type ‘Windows Defender’ at the Start Screen. Then switch to the Settings tab and double-check that ‘Turn on real-time protection’ is checked. You can also switch to the Update tab to make sure the definitions are up to date. Now, at least the user has one level of up-to-date real-time protection.
Bloatware like this comes because HP and other manufacturers allow vendors to pay to be pre-installed on your purchase.