Microsoft Windows includes a lot of different settings and utilities that help you secure and maintain your computer system. In previous versions of Windows, you had to search all over the place to find what you needed. Not so in Windows 7, which organizes all these items into a single Action Center. Just consult the Action Center to see whether there are any actions you need to takeand keep your computer secure and in tip-top running condition.
Understanding the Action Center
Windows 7 includes a new utility called the Action Center. This utilityactually a control panel similar to the Windows Control Panelmonitors all of Windows' security- and maintenance-related activities. This where you go to check to see if your system is properly protected.
You access the Action Center from the Windows Control Panel. As you can see in Figure 1, the Action Center is divided into two main sections: Security and Maintenance. The security-related features are in the Security section; the maintenance-related features are in the Maintenance section. You expand each section by clicking the down arrow next to the section name.
Figure 1 The Windows 7 Action Center
The first thing you notice about the Action Center is that it displays notices of any actions you need to take. For example, if you haven't yet set up a file backup, you see a message alerting you that you need to do so. Each message is accompanied by a button that provides the appropriate action; in our backup example, this message includes a Set up backup button that, when clicked, opens Windows' Backup utility.