Security Tips & Talk

Tips about computer security, online safety, and privacy

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  • Blog Post: Is Windows Security Center real or rogue?

    A reader writes: What kind of warnings from Windows Security Center are real, and what should I do about them? Windows Security Center is a feature that was introduced in Windows XP Service Pack 2 and was also included in Windows Vista. ( Action Center replaced Windows Security Center in Windows...
  • 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: 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: 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 get rid of malware that keeps coming back

    Windows Defender and Microsoft Security Essentials can get rid of most malware, but here’s what you can do if it comes back. Make sure you have automatic updating turned on . This feature ensures that you have the latest security improvements from Microsoft installed on your computer. If...
  • Blog Post: How to recover an account if you haven’t already added security information to it

    A reader asks: What can I do if my account has been hacked and I haven’t already added security information to it? It would be easier to recover your account if you had already associated it with information that cybercriminals can’t easily access, like your mobile phone number or an...
  • 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: Get security updates for March 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 Word, and other programs. Learn how to get security updates automatically For IT Pros...
  • Blog Post: Best ways to battle botnets

    What is a botnet? Botnets are networks of compromised computers that criminals use to commit fraud, such as: Secretly spreading malware Stealing personal information Hijacking Internet search results to take you to websites that are potentially dangerous How do I know if my computer...
  • Blog Post: How do I know if I already have antivirus software?

    If your computer is running Windows 8 If your computer is running Windows 8, you already have antivirus software. Windows 8 includes Windows Defender , which helps protect you from viruses, spyware, and other malicious software . If Windows Defender is turned off and you don’t have another...
  • 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: Do I need anything besides Windows Defender?

    A reader asks: If I have Windows Defender, do I need to buy anything else to protect my computer? If your computer is running the Windows 8 operating system, Windows Defender will help protect you from viruses, spyware, and other malicious software. You don’t need to buy anything else. ...
  • 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: Detect and remove spyware

    Spyware is a general term used to describe software that performs certain actions—generally without appropriately obtaining your consent—such as: Advertising Collecting personal information Changing the configuration of your computer If your computer is running Windows 8...
  • 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: Using SkyDrive this holiday season can help protect your personal information

    It’s no surprise that the holidays are one of the busiest times of the year for online shopping. But did you know it’s also one of the busiest times for uploading pictures to photo sharing and social media sites? On average, more than 250 million photos per day were uploaded to Facebook alone...
  • Blog Post: Newer software can increase your computer security

    This week we released volume 15 of the Security Intelligence Report (SIR) , which covers our research on computer security, including software vulnerabilities, exploits, and malicious and potentially unwanted software . One of the key findings to surface from the latest report is the increased risk...
  • Blog Post: Safer is sweeter

    Each fall when kids go “back to school,” parents and caregivers prepare their kids for homework, school programs, sports, even “trick-or-treating.” It’s also important that families have the same preparedness when using technology. We should encourage all children to enjoy...
  • Blog Post: EMET: A valuable tool for PC protection

    If you’re a regular reader of this blog, then you’ve probably already taken steps to help protect your PC. You have antivirus software that you trust and you keep it updated automatically. You’ve activated your firewall. You regularly install security updates. You know not to respond...
  • 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: Download fix for Internet Explorer vulnerability

    We’ve confirmed that cybercriminals are currently targeting a limited number of Internet Explorer customers through trusted websites. If you’re not running a modern version of Internet Explorer, we recommend upgrading immediately to ensure that you receive the benefit of additional security...
  • Blog Post: Safety is an active verb

    When we are young, we are taught to brush our teeth in order to develop healthy and preventative habits. Hopefully by the time we reach adulthood, the act of brushing every morning has become second nature. Yet, when we go online, we don’t always take the same preventative measures with our personal...
  • Blog Post: Check security settings in Windows Vista

    The newest version of Windows is Windows 8, but we know that many of you still use Windows Vista. The best way to ensure that Windows Vista is as secure as it can be is to use the Windows Security Center, which is built into Windows Vista. The Windows Security Center can help you check the status...
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