JSI Tip 4786. How do I use the Microsoft Personal Security Advisor Web site?

NOTE: The text in the following Microsoft Knowledge Base article is provided so that the site search can find this page. Please click the Knowledge Base link to insure that you are reading the most current information.

Microsoft Knowledge Base article Q314997 contains:

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SUMMARY

This article describes how to use the Microsoft Personal Security Advisor Web site.

The Microsoft Personal Security Advisor Web site is an easy-to-use interface that home and small-business users can use to assess the security configuration of their Windows NT 4.0-based, Windows 2000-based, or Windows XP-based computers. The Microsoft Personal Security Advisor software is installed on the computer and scans key security elements of the Windows configuration. After it scans your Windows configuration, the Microsoft Personal Security Advisor generates a report that lists the results of the scan.

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How to Start and Run the Microsoft Personal Security Advisor

  1. Start Microsoft Internet Explorer and then open the following Microsoft Web site:


  2. http://www.microsoft.com/technet/mpsa/start.asp
  3. Read the description of the Microsoft Personal Security Advisor, and then click Scan Now on the Web page.


  4. You are prompted to install and run the Microsoft Personal Security Advisor. Click Yes to install the software.


  5. After the Microsoft Personal Security Advisor software is installed, you are prompted to install and run the MSSecure XML file. Click Yes to install the software.


  6. You see a Scanning dialog box as your Windows configuration is scanned. When the scan is finished, a report is displayed. The report contains three columns:


  7. Issues
    Advice
    Grade
    Each issue can have one of five grades. These grades are:
    Severe Risk
    Potential Risk
    Strong Security
    Security FYIs
    Unable to Scan
    An ideal security configuration has a Strong Security grade for each issue.

    It is a good idea to address issues that have a Severe Risk grade as soon as possible. Intruders can take advantage of issues that fall into this category.

    Address issues that have a Potential Risk grade depending on your personal requirements. Review the Advice column for these issues for help.

    Security FYIs include information about a number of security issues that do not require you to make changes to your computer, but provide helpful information about your computer's security configuration.

    An "Unable to Scan" grade indicate that the issue was not addressed by the Microsoft Personal Security Advisor. You may have to perform further research on these issues. Check the Advice column for the issue for additional help.

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Troubleshooting

  • The hotfix-checking portion of the tool works only for English-language versions of Windows.


  • Internet Explorer 4.01 or later is required to run this tool.


  • Do not use the Microsoft Personal Security Advisor to scan Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 Server-based or Microsoft Windows 2000 Server-based computers.


  • The Microsoft Personal Security Advisor does not check for Microsoft Internet Information Server or Microsoft Personal Web Server patches. You can use the Hfnetchk tool to check for Web server patches.


  • For additional information about the Hfnetchk tool, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
    Q303215 Microsoft Network Security Hotfix Checker (Hfnetchk.exe) Tool Is Available
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REFERENCES

For more information about security, visit the following Microsoft Web site for the most current information about securing Microsoft products:
http://www.microsoft.com/security
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