Microsoft Safety Scanner Rollout Successful, Hundreds of Thousands of Downloads Recorded
Article by George Norman
On 31 May 2011
According to Microsoft, the rollout of its free malware scanner, the appropriately named Microsoft Safety Scanner, was pretty successful. According to the Redmond-based software giant, in the first seven days after the security software solution was released to the public, close to 420,000 downloads were recorded. That all averages out at about 60,000 downloads per day.

The users who go the Microsoft Safety Scanner application obviously suspected their machine had been compromised. Turns out they were right. Microsoft explained that its malware scanner cleaned 20,097 infected computers and applauded the users for “having security awareness” and using Microsoft Safety Scanner to clean their machines.


If this is the first time you hear about the Microsoft Safety Scanner application, then let me put things in perspective for you. Here are the main things you need to know about it:

What it does

Microsoft Safety Scanner is a free malware scanner based on the Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool. It can be used to run on-demand computer scans to detect and remove viruses, spyware, and other malicious software.

How it does it

Microsoft Safety Scanner uses a complete signature database to detect malicious software that may have compromised a user’s machine. To use Microsoft Safety Scanner simply download the application (you can get it straight from Microsoft here) and run it; you don’t have to install anything (which also means its portable). Microsoft Safety Scanner will work alongside your existing antivirus application.

Please note that Microsoft Safety Scanner has a 10-day expiration date. Ten days after you downloaded it, it will expire; you will have to get a fresh version that has the latest signature database.

What it doesn’t do

It does not provide real-time protection against viruses, spyware, and other malicious software. It only scans your system and detects/removes malware. For real-time protection you need to use an antivirus product. Microsoft advises you to try its free Microsoft Security Essentials (which you can download straight from Microsoft here).

Tags: Microsoft, Security, Microsoft Safety Scanner, Microsoft Security Essentials
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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