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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...
1 Aug 2013
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...
23 Jul 2013
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...
18 Jul 2013
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...
16 Jul 2013
Don’t post your email address in a blog comment
To post a comment or a question on one of our blog posts, use the Comments form at the bottom of the post. We appreciate your comments and questions, and we read all of them. Although we don’t answer them individually, we do use the information to answer the most popular questions in new blog posts...
27 Jun 2013
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...
20 Jun 2013
Fraud alert: Free "Xbox points"
Although Microsoft was founded 38 years ago this month, don't fall for a widespread scam that offers free “Xbox points” for wishing the company a happy birthday. Online offers that seem too good to be true probably are. Learn more about common scams that use the Microsoft name . One way...
25 Apr 2013
Spring break online safety tips
If you’re traveling with your laptop, tablet, smartphone, or other device this spring break, the following tips can help you stay safer online with a mobile device. Make sure your laptop or tablet has up-to-date antivirus and antispyware software installed. Windows 8 includes antivirus protection...
15 Apr 2013
Online scams are no April Fool’s Joke
On April Fools' Day you might have fun being the recipient or the instigator of a harmless prank or two, but it's good for you to know about online pranks we’ve seen that are far from harmless. Phone scams. Cybercriminals don’t just email you or post on your social networking site anymore...
1 Apr 2013
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...
26 Feb 2013
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...
22 Feb 2013
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...
8 Feb 2013
Watch out for prize scams
We’ve seen an increase in scam email messages that promise recipients they have won some kind of prize or a lottery. These unsolicited messages will often claim that the prize is sponsored by Microsoft or another well-known company. They request personal information that cybercriminals can use...
16 Jan 2013
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...
11 Jan 2013
Top 10 security stories of 2012
From the latest scams and fraud to how, when, and why to update your computer, here are the stories that you viewed and clicked on the most this year. Download security update for Internet Explorer . In September, Microsoft released a security update for Internet Explorer. To help protect your computer...
27 Dec 2012
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...
19 Dec 2012
Take care with ransomware
Have you ever received an email or seen a warning page on a website claiming that legal authorities had detected illegal activities on your computer? This scam infects your computer with a type of malicious software called “ransomware.” The aim of ransomware is to prevent you from using...
4 Dec 2012
Shop online with care this holiday season
Holiday shopping is in full swing and so are the scams. The following tips can help you stay safe when you shop online. Use a modern browser. Internet Explorer 9 and Internet Explorer 10 (available with Windows 8) include the SmartScreen filter. SmartScreen helps protect you from fraudulent shopping...
27 Nov 2012
Online fraud: Get practical advice
Need help spotting an online scam? Download our new free 12-page booklet called Online Fraud: Your Guide to Prevention, Detection, and Recovery . This guide includes: Real-world examples of false promises made in fake emails Images of scam emails to help you avoid them Tips for guarding...
22 Nov 2012
The $500 Costco card scam
Many respondents to a recent Microsoft survey expressed concern about trickier scams that are happening on social networks. The Microsoft Malware Protection Center recently blogged about one of these new scams that claims to offer a free Costco gift card to all Facebook users. But don’t click...
1 Nov 2012
Get rid of your old devices more safely
If you have an old computer, phone, gaming system, or other device that you want to sell, recycle, or give away, the first step is to erase all your personal information from the hard drive. You can do this yourself, but we recommend using a refurbisher that can also help you with donation or disposal...
23 Oct 2012
Avoid scam phone calls
Gabby writes: I just wanted to let you know that I received a phone call this evening from a guy called “Daniel” from “Technical Maintenance of Microsoft Windows.” He said that Microsoft had received error messages from my computer and he asked me to turn my computer on and...
22 Aug 2012
Fraud alert: Prize scams
John writes: I received an email that said that I won a prize from Microsoft and I am concerned that others may fall for this scam. Can't anything be done about these types of scams? The Microsoft Lottery scam is a fraudulent email that claims that you have won a lottery, a prize, a sweepstakes...
17 Jul 2012
How to spot fraudulent tech support phone calls
Betty writes: I just received a call from a guy who said that my Windows was infected. He wanted me to sit in front of my computer while he fixed it. He became angry when I told him no and I hung up. Thanks for writing, Betty. This type of call is a popular scam and you did exactly the right thing...
24 May 2012
Help, I’ve been hacked!
A reader named Karen asks: “I received a message in my Hotmail inbox that said that I’d been hacked and I should change my password. How do I do this?” If you think your Hotmail account has been hacked, go to the Reset your password page. Karen didn’t say whether the...
26 Apr 2012
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