Security Tips & Talk

Tips about computer security, online safety, and privacy

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  • 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: Transfer your files to a new computer for free

    Product support for Windows XP ended in April. Moving forward this means that Windows XP based-systems will not receive security updates. Find out if your computer is running Windows XP . If it is, you might be able to upgrade your computer, or buy a new one. If you buy a new computer, learn how...
  • 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: Get the latest security updates and find out what to do if your computer is running Windows XP

    Microsoft releases security updates on the second Tuesday of every month. Learn how to get security updates automatically For IT Pros: Microsoft Security Bulletin Summary for April 2014 Support for Windows XP has ended Microsoft has provided support for Windows XP for the past 12 years...
  • 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: Help! Someone is holding my computer hostage

    If you see a pop-up window, webpage, or email message warning you that your computer has been locked because of possible illegal activities, you might be a victim of a criminal extortion scam called ransomware . Ransomware often masquerades as an official-looking warning from a well-known law enforcement...
  • 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 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: 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: Catfishing: Are you falling for it?

    The news is filled with stories about people, famous and otherwise, getting caught in online dating scams. The phenomenon is so common that it now has a name: Catfishing. The term catfishing comes from the 2010 movie Catfish about a man who was lured into a relationship by a scammer who was using a fake...
  • Blog Post: Privacy is our priority

    Microsoft has long believed that you should get to decide what information you share online and what you keep private. That’s why we've made privacy settings for our products a priority. Learn how Microsoft can help you protect your online privacy . Privacy in Internet Explorer 10 Internet...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft Security Intelligence Report v14: Why antivirus software matters

    The latest volume of the Security Intelligence Report (SIR) highlights the importance of using antivirus software . Antivirus software helps protect your computer from malicious software (malware) and can be downloaded or installed inexpensively or at no charge. Still, according to the SIR v14 findings...
  • 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: Filing taxes? Beware of scams

    It’s tax season in the United States, which means it’s time for us to remind you about tax scams—especially email messages that appear to come from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or another legitimate organization. These seemingly valid offers are designed to trick you into turning...
  • 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...
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