Some of you may wonder why I'm writing about the topic again after having published two articles Microsoft Security Essentials Final Announced and Microsoft Security Essentials Final Available about it recently.
The main reason for this third article originates from an article about SEO poisoning that was posted a few days ago at Websense. SEO poisoning describes a method of using SEO to rank rogue websites highly in the search engines for specific search terms.
The release of Microsoft's Security Essentials software seems to have sparked rogue websites that rank highly for related search terms. They do not offer the Microsoft product for download but a rogue antivirus software that is infecting the computer system instead when installed on it.
While Ghacks readers know to distinguish between rogue and legitimate versions of antivirus software, at least some Internet users seem to download files from the first link that search engines present to them without further verifying if it is legitimate or not.
The best way to download Microsoft Security Essentials is therefor directly from Microsoft. You can point your web browser directly to the Security Essentials website which is hosted on Microsoft.com.
Make sure you verify the address before you start the download. As long as you are on http://*.microsoft.com/* you are fine and can proceed with the download of the application.
The most recent design of the download page has changed and looks like this now.
The only valid alternatives are trusted download portals like Softpedia or Betanews but definitely not third party websites that are offering the download. Most experienced users may not have a problem distinguishing legit and rogue websites but many Internet users seem to have them as these rogue applications tend to get downloaded by a lot of users.
Update: Microsoft Security Essentials 2.0 Final released
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.