Security Tips & Talk

Tips about computer security, online safety, and privacy

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  • Blog Post: New research shows rise in “deceptive downloads”

    According to the latest cybersecurity report from Microsoft, “deceptive downloads” were the top threat for 95 percent of the 110 countries surveyed. What are deceptive downloads? Deceptive downloads are legitimate downloadable programs (usually free) such as software, games, or music...
  • Blog Post: 3 ways to speed up your PC

    Here are three ways to speed up a sluggish computer. 1. Scan your computer for viruses If your computer is slow or restarts often, it could be infected with a virus or other malicious software . If you have Windows 8, you can use the built-in Windows Defender to help you get rid of a virus or...
  • 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: 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: How to get rid of a computer virus

    Is your computer running more slowly than usual? Does it stop responding or freeze often? It might have a virus. If you can connect to the Internet These instructions are different depending on which operating system you’re using. Check your operating system Windows 8 If your computer...
  • 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: 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...
  • Blog Post: Protect your PC from the latest threats

    Since the Microsoft Security Intelligence Report was released last month, we’ve been discussing some of the findings here, including research on the Conficker worm and the prevalence of rogue security software called scareware . Here are three Microsoft tools that can help you protect yourself...
  • Blog Post: 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...
  • Blog Post: FBI warns against hotel net connections

    The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) issued a warning earlier this month that travelers should be careful using Internet connections in hotels. Some travelers had inadvertently downloaded malicious software onto their computers when they accepted fake security updates. Reportedly, hackers had...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft battles Zeus ID theft botnet

    Microsoft, in collaboration with the financial services industry, successfully executed a coordinated global action against the Zeus botnet . Zeus is a type of malware that can monitor your online activity and record your keystrokes to commit identity theft. Learn more about the botnet takedown ....
  • Blog Post: Latest privacy and online safety tweets

    The Microsoft Privacy Team and the Microsoft Online Safety Team have gathered all the latest news in privacy and online safety, so you don’t have to. If you like what you see below, follow @MSFTPrivacy and @Safer_Online . Microsoft’s Brendon Lynch recognizes NCSA's new leadership...
  • Blog Post: Computer security tales of woe: What’s yours?

    I recently received two email messages from people who had been the victims of cybercrime. These people weren’t just readers of our blog—they work on our team. That means that they spend almost every day thinking about viruses , online fraud , security updates , and other issues of computer...
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