Windows 8 : The SmartScreen Filter

SmartScreen is part of Internet Explorer 8 and 9; now with Windows 8, it’s integrated into the operating system. SmartScreen is a useful security feature that will help prevent bad applications from running, but it may occasionally prevent a legitimate application from running.

How SmartScreen Works
By default, Windows 8 sends information about every application you download and install to Microsoft’s servers. Microsoft’s servers respond with an assessment of the application – if the application you’ve downloaded is something legitimate and fairly popular, such as Angry Birds or iTunes, Windows 8 will run the application.

If SmartScreen doesn’t know about an application ( whether it’s a new form of malware or just a niche program that few people use ), Windows 8 will prevent the application from running on your computer. It will also prevent known-bad programs from running.

This is similar to the way SmartScreen works in Internet Explorer 8 and 9. When you download an application, Internet Explorer’s SmartScreen filter contacts Microsoft’s servers to determine whether the download should be allowed or not. However, with Windows 8, this is now integrated into Windows itself , if you download an application with another browser, such as Firefox or Chrome, SmartScreen will check the application

Running An Unrecognized Application
When you try to launch an application SmartScreen doesn’t recognize, it will display a message saying it “protected your PC” by preventing the application from running. It’s good to be cautious if you encounter this message – however, some legitimate applications may be considered unrecognized.

If you’re sure that an application you want to use is safe, click the More info link, then Click the Run anyway button and Windows will allow the application to run, bypassing the SmartScreen filter.

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