What’s this new ‘Security Center’ thing in XP service pack 2 all about?
If you’ve installed Windows XP Service Pack 2, one of the first things
you’ll be presented with is the new “Windows Security Center”.
What’s it all about?
In a nutshell, it’s an attempt to raise awareness and put security issues
“in your face” while at the same time making it all just a little easier to
Let’s look a little more closely.
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Each of these three areas has a “recommended setting” that is typically the
most secure. In most cases, the recommended settings are correct, and if you’re
unsure, they’re the settings to select.
The Windows Firewall is important to enable if you are
connected directly to the internet, or are using a portable computer on some
public network such as an internet cafe or hotspot. It’s safe to disable if
you’re already behind a firewall, such as a router, and trust all the
other computers with you behind that router.
Automatic Updates should typically be enabled in some
fashion. I personally prefer to have it automatically download, but then
inform me that updates are ready to install so that I can chose when this
and if you’re unsure, they’re the settings to select.”
You should have some kind of Virus Protection, and the
Security Center will alert you if it thinks you don’t. While Microsoft does not
currently have it’s own anti-virus package, the Security Center includes a link
to a page where Microsoft lists several partners providing reputable anti-virus
As I said, the Security Center is intended to raise awareness and make it
easier to configure these important components of keeping your computer safe on
the internet. For the most part, it’s alerting us to issues that we should all
be aware of, and dealing with.
I’ve teamed up with Lockergnome to provide a new
video tip each week. View the tip Exploring the Windows XP
Security Center and watch as I walk through the various options presented
in this new Windows feature.