Security Tips & Talk

Tips about computer security, online safety, and privacy

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  • 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...
  • Blog Post: Have authorities detected illegal activities on my computer?

    John writes: I got an email saying that illegal materials were found on my computer and it would be locked until I paid a fine. Is this a scam? Yes, this sounds like a common blackmail scam called ransomware. Ransomware is an email, website or pop-up window that displays warnings about possible...
  • Blog Post: “Cyber Crime Department” scam

    We’ve received increased reports of a new phishing scam email message that uses the name and official logo of the Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit (DCU). The wording varies, but it looks like a security measure and says you need to validate your account by confirming your user name and password or...
  • Blog Post: Help! My email’s been hacked

    If you use Outlook.com or Hotmail and think your account has been hacked , you should act right away to help protect your Microsoft account . If you can still access your Microsoft account, sign in and immediately change your password. For Outlook.com, go to the Password and Security section; for...
  • Blog Post: Clean up malware resulting from the Bamital botnet

    On February 6, Microsoft announced that its Digital Crimes Unit had worked with Symantec to successfully deactivate a major botnet called Bamital . Below is an overview of Bamital and how you can remove it from your computer. Botnets are networks of compromised computers, controlled remotely by criminals...
  • Blog Post: Watch out for fake Java updates

    You may have seen reports about security alerts for Java recently. Java is a commonly used piece of software from Oracle, so there’s a good chance you have it installed on your computer. Cybercriminals often use fake virus alerts to lure you into buying fraudulent antivirus software. These alerts...
  • Blog Post: What to do if you think you’ve fallen for a phone scam

    In recent years, many of our customers have reported phony tech support phone calls from people who claim to be from Microsoft. These callers are cybercriminals who want to: Trick you into downloading malware . Take control of your computer remotely and adjust its settings to expose it to security...
  • Blog Post: Get security updates for January

    Microsoft releases security updates on the second Tuesday of every month. The bulletin announces the release of 7 security updates. Download the January security updates for Microsoft .NET Framework, Microsoft Developer Tools, Microsoft Office, Microsoft Server Software, and Microsoft Windows....
  • Blog Post: Make room for your new PC

    Lots of us have new computers and other devices on our gift lists this holiday season. But getting rid of the old ones can seem more daunting than joyful. If you have two computers that run the Windows operating system, you can use Windows Easy Transfer to transfer your files and settings from one...
  • Blog Post: Win cool prizes for your online safety creation

    Calling all teens! Here's your chance to create something fun that can help others. Start by reading the eligibility requirements and prize information in the official rules . Then have a look at the online safety materials from Microsoft for ideas to do one of the following: Stage a skit or...
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