Windows Defender runs in the background as real-time protection, looking for suspicious activities on your computer in order to prevent a break-out.

Windows Defender is software that
helps protect your computer against
pop-ups, slow performance, and
security threats caused by spyware and
other unwanted software by detecting
and removing known spyware from your
computer. Windows Defender features
Real-Time Protection, a monitoring
system that recommends actions against
spyware when it’s detected, minimizes
interruptions, and helps you stay
productive.

Main features:

  • Spyware detection and removal
  • Improved Internet browsing safety
  • Protection against the latest threats (MS researchers and a voluntary, worldwide network gather information ybout security threads

You can use the Malicious Software Removal Tool (mrt.exe) to scan for malicous software which has already infected your computer.

The Microsoft Windows Malicious
Software Removal Tool checks computers
running Windows Vista, Windows XP,
Windows 2000, and Windows Server 2003
for infections by specific, prevalent
malicious software—including Blaster,
Sasser, and Mydoom—and helps remove
any infection found. When the
detection and removal process is
complete, the tool displays a report
describing the outcome, including
which, if any, malicious software was
detected and removed.

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