Real-time protection enables Microsoft Security Essentials to monitor your computer all the time and alert you when potential threats, such as viruses and spyware, are trying to install themselves or run on your computer. Because this feature is an important element of the way that Security Essentials helps protect your computer, you should make sure real-time protection is always turned on. If real-time protection gets turned off, Security Essentials notifies you, and changes your computer’s status to “At risk”.

Whenever real-time protection detects a threat or potential threat, Security Essentials displays a notification. You can now choose from the following options: