It’s been a long time since I looked at the Security Center in Windows XP, so I decided to take a stroll through it today.
How do you get to the Security Center? Take a click on Start, then onto Control Panel, then the first click on the right (bottom of the category view) is Security Center. If you’re showing the Classic View, the icons should be sorted in alphabetical order.
The first thing I noticed was that Windows XP was happy with my Firewall and my Virus Protection. Both are labeled with a green "ON" status.
Windows wasn’t quite as happy with my Automatic Updates. It rated it a yellow (warning) and wanted me to check the settings.
The other option, which none of these showed me, was red. Red would mean that the function or protection was turned off or not installed.
First, let’s take a look at the Firewall…
A simple click anywhere on the Firewall line will open the Firewall section to tell us more. It shows that I’m using Sunbelt Personal Firewall and that it is turned on. It also briefly explains the function of a firewall. There’s also a link for even more explanation.
Let’s come back to Automatic Updates in a few seconds…
If we click anywhere on the Virus Protection line, Windows XP will expand that section to tell us more. The Security Center shows that I’m using Sunbelt VIPRE and that VIPRE reports that it is up to date and virus scanning is turned on. It also briefly explains the function of an antivirus program. There’s also a link for even more explanation.
Now, let’s see what Automatic Updates was complaining about. Clicking on the Automatic Updates line causes Security Center to show us more information.
Ah hah! Security Center wants me to turn on Automatic Updates. There’s no other choice in that section.
Notice that Security Center does not tell me what the current setting is. I need to click on the Automatic Updates link at the bottom of the dialog box to get the Automatic Updates dialog box to open.
So, I opened the Automatic Updates dialog box (below).
Windows XP’s Security Center was complaining because I did not have Automatic Updates turned on completely. I have it set to download the updates, but to alert me so that I can install them when I want to install them.
Normally, I want to install them promptly. However, I want to install them at a time that is under my control and my choice, rather than to automatically install them whenever they’re available. Sometimes the update process forces a reboot, which can interfere with some tasks I may have running overnight.
I confirmed to myself that I had selected the choice I wanted. Then, I clicked OK to close the Automatic Updates dialog box.