Microsoft has invested a lot into its development of Windows 8. One of the most important parts of that operating system is Microsoft Security Essentials, which provides users with a basic first line of defense against viruses, malware, and other threats.
Well, at least that’s what Microsoft wants you to think. According to recent testing, Microsoft Security Essentials might not provide a good first line of defense against viruses and malware.
Microsoft Security Essentials recently failed AV Test’s seal of approval. For years, AV Test has provided verification to antivirus software in the industry. Its tests are important for both consumers and developers, and they allow users to make sure they’re buying software that lives up to at least some of its PC security promises.
AV Test is an unaffiliated third-party organization. Following testing, it places an AV-TEST Certified logo on software that has met requirements on three factors: protection, repair, and usability. Software is also given a numerical rating, with a maximum rating of 6 being awarded on each of these three factors.
Here’s how today’s top antivirus software fared:

You see all of those antivirus programs listed there? You probably recognize top names like F-Secure, Symantec, Kaspersky, AVG, and Avast, right? But what about lesser known security programs like Fortinet, AhnLab, and Qihoo: 360?
Those are real antivirus programs, and according to AV Test, they’re all markedly better than Microsoft Security Essentials, which scored a measly 10.5/18 on those three security ratings.

Microsoft Security Essentials’ rating

10.5/18 may not be a failing grade in most schools, but it’s a failing grade for AV Test, which requires an 11/18 in order to award certification. MSE was the only software – out of the 24 total tested programs – that failed the test and was awarded less than 11/18.

And here’s the worst part: Microsoft Security’s Essentials’ worst category was protection, on which it was awarded a 1.5/6. That was the lowest of all tested products. It also managed a 3.5 for repair and a 5.5 for usability.
So there’s good news for Microsoft fans. Your flagship security software is very usable. It’s just not very useful. What’s more important to you?

Not the first time

Sadly, this is the second time Microsoft Security Essentials has failed security testing by AV Test. Microsoft failed AV Test’s verification process once before since its inception.
Anyways, the point of this article is that if you’re using Windows 7 or Windows 8 without antivirus software and depending on MSE in order to protect your system, you might want to rethink your strategy. Download one of the other programs listed above – preferably one of the ones that scored 14.5 or higher – and rest assured that your system will be protected.

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