Security Tips & Talk

Tips about computer security, online safety, and privacy

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  • Blog Post: Do you know your kids’ passwords?

    This is the second of two blog posts on password protection. Read Part 1: Create strong passwords and protect them . Whether or not you should know all of your kids’ passwords depends on their age, how responsible they are, and your parenting values. However, kids of any age and responsibility...
  • Blog Post: Back-to-school checklist: Clean up my digital life

    Ever wonder what your online image says about you? Do you constantly “check in” on social media, take daily selfies, or post the latest images of your kids? In an era of seemingly non-stop online sharing of our thoughts, images, and experiences, it’s important to understand the lasting...
  • Blog Post: 9 ways to stay safe online this summer

    Summer is in full swing. Here are our best safety and security tips for the season. Don’t broadcast vacation plans on your social networking sites. If you’re leaving your home unoccupied and at risk for potential burglary, you might want to wait to post your vacation photographs...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft takes on world’s worst cybercriminals

    Microsoft recently took legal action against a group of cybercriminals suspected of spreading malicious software to millions of unsuspecting computer users. These social media–savvy cybercriminals have not only spread the malware themselves, but they’ve also promoted their malicious tools...
  • Blog Post: Trouble installing updates? Might be a case of bad timing

    This week we released security updates for the Windows operating system. If you have automatic updating turned on, your updates have probably already been downloaded and installed for you. Learn how to get updates automatically Even if you have automatic updating turned on, you might see an error...
  • Blog Post: Get advance notice about July 2014 security updates

    Today, the Microsoft Security Response Center (MSRC) posted details about the July security updates . If you have automatic updating turned on, most of these updates will download and install on their own. Sometimes you may need to provide input for Windows Update during an installation. In this case...
  • Blog Post: Do you know what your children are doing online?

    This week in the UK, Microsoft launches the Safer Families program for parents to help their kids stay safer online. According to recent Microsoft research*: 98 percent of UK parents with children at home agree that protecting their children online is necessary, yet almost 50 percent have not...
  • Blog Post: 5 ways to protect your Microsoft account

    Your Microsoft account (formerly your Windows Live ID) is the combination of an email address and a password that you use to sign in to services such as Xbox LIVE and Outlook.com, as well as devices such as Windows Phone and computers running Windows 8. A Microsoft account is free and you can use...
  • Blog Post: Get security updates for May 2014

    Microsoft releases security updates on the second Tuesday of every month. Skip the details and check for the latest updates. This bulletin announces the release of security updates for Windows, Microsoft Office, and other programs. Learn how to get security updates automatically For IT...
  • Blog Post: HOW TO: Recycle your old computers and devices for Earth Day

    Today is Earth Day. Show your love for the globe by getting rid of your old technology in the most environmentally friendly way possible. Step 1: Back up files or data you want to keep Use the backup utilities that are built into Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7 to transfer files from your...
  • Blog Post: Tax scams: 6 ways to help protect yourself

    We’ve received reports that cybercriminals are at it again, luring unsuspecting taxpayers in the United States into handing over their personal information as they rush to file their taxes before the deadline. Here are 6 ways to help protect yourself. 1. Beware of all email, text, or social...
  • Blog Post: Get advance notice about March 2014 security updates

    Today, the Microsoft Security Response Center (MSRC) posted details about the March security updates . If you have automatic updating turned on, most of these updates will download and install on their own. Sometimes you may need to provide input for Windows Update during an installation. In this...
  • Blog Post: 5 safety tips for online dating

    If you’re going to be connecting online this Valentine’s Day (or ever), follow these safety and privacy tips. Avoid catfishing . This is a type of social engineering designed to entice you into a relationship in order to steal your personal information, your money, or both. Always remember...
  • Blog Post: The best time to change your password is now

    You can reduce your chances of being hacked by regularly changing the passwords on all the accounts where you enter financial or other sensitive information. Set an automatic reminder to update passwords on your email, banking, and credit card websites every three months. Different sites have different...
  • Blog Post: 10 New Year’s resolutions for your digital devices and your online life

    It’s a new year, which means it’s time to resolve to create healthier habits in our daily lives. But we don’t have to stop at just improving our body, mind, and spirit. It’s also a good idea to resolve to keep our PCs, laptops, smartphones, and social networking sites healthy...
  • Blog Post: Online safety for kids with new digital devices

    We know that lots of kids will be getting new phones, tablets, laptops, gaming systems, and other digital devices this holiday season. If you’re a parent, guardian, or educator, here are some tips for helping kids stay safe. Agree on the rules. Come up with guidelines that work for your...
  • Blog Post: Online safety tips for travelers

    If you’re travelling this holiday season and you plan to be online, here are a few ways to protect yourself and your family: Before you go, make sure all your software (and especially your antivirus software) is up to date. Learn how to get security updates automatically . Be careful with...
  • Blog Post: Shop for gifts online more safely

    If you want to stay home and avoid the crowds this holiday season, you can do all your shopping online. But before you log on, make sure you know how to identify websites that won’t compromise your privacy. Before you enter your credit card number, check for signs that a site is safe: ...
  • Blog Post: Get free or paid support for your malware problem

    Is your computer running slowly? Are programs starting unexpectedly? Is the activity light on your broadband or external modem constantly lit? Does it sound like your computer's hard disk is continually working? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, your computer might be infected...
  • Blog Post: Help teens prepare for digital drama with new ebook

    October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month —a great time to check in with your family about their online safety habits. Are everyone’s devices and apps up to date with the latest security? When was the last time you reviewed your children’s online profile, or helped them update...
  • Blog Post: How do I keep my firewall on?

    Using a firewall is like locking the front door to your house—it helps keep intruders (in this case, hackers and malicious software ) from getting in. Windows Firewall is included in Windows and is turned on by default. If you see a warning that your firewall is turned off, it could be because...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft won’t ask for your credit card to unblock your email account

    Tom asks: I’m getting messages from Microsoft about my email account. The messages say that my account is blocked and I can only unblock it with a credit card number. Is this legit? No, these messages sound like a phishing scam , a type of identity theft designed to steal your personal information...
  • Blog Post: Why does my AV software keep turning off?

    Bob writes: My antivirus software keeps turning off and I can’t get it back on. Here are the most common reasons you might encounter this problem: Your computer is already infected with rogue security software The warning that you’re antivirus software is turned off might be a...
  • Blog Post: 7 ways to avoid TMI

    Technology can make everything in our lives easier—including sharing too much information (TMI). Just because you can take a picture of your new credit card and post it on Instagram doesn’t mean that you should. In fact, you shouldn’t. Sharing too much information can lead to identity...
  • Blog Post: 3 ways to help protect your Microsoft account

    A Microsoft account—formerly known as a Windows Live ID—is the combination of an email address and a password that you use to sign in to services such as Xbox LIVE and Outlook.com, as well as devices such as Windows Phone and computers running Windows 8. If you think your Microsoft account...
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