With the release of Windows 8 Consumer Preview, the most important step to securing the PC is installing a good antivirus even if you are only testing Windows 8. With that in mind I went to the Windows security center to see what is pre-installed in Windows 8, I was surprised to see this under Virus protection:
Windows Defender is helping you protect your PC
Previously, in Windows 7 and earlier versions of Windows, Windows Defender was only used for spyware protection. Actually Microsoft had released Microsoft Security Essentials as a free antivirus to protect against viruses. Now Windows Defender has taken over in Windows 8 and will do the job of antivirus as well as anti-spyware.
I wonder if Windows 8 will come with a pre-installed antivirus and people will not need any third party security app to protect their computers, what will happen to the security companies like Symantec, Kaspersky etc.? But upon further research I came to know that Microsoft itself is actually recommending third party security tools to secure Windows 8 Consumer Preview!
To see this for yourself, go to this Microsoft recommendation page. The following security apps have been recommended by Microsoft:
All the above given security apps work on Windows 8 Consumer Preview. You should only install one of these security apps as installing two or more antivirus will result in unstable system performance. One thing to note here is that if you install any of these security suites or antivirus, Windows Defender will automatically get disabled. You don’t need to disable it manually.
I recommend that since Windows 8 Consumer Preview expiry date is 15th January, 2013, and you will be using it for testing purposes, you can try out all these apps one by one during this period. You can use the trial versions free of cost and be protected throughout the Windows 8 evaluation period without investing anything in security.