Security Tips & Talk

Tips about computer security, online safety, and privacy

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  • 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 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: 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: Windows Defender and Microsoft Security Essentials: Which one do I need?

    Depending on which operating system your computer is running, you can use either Windows Defender or Microsoft Security Essentials to get rid of malicious software and viruses. If your computer is running Windows 8, you can use the built-in Windows Defender to help you get rid of viruses, spyware...
  • 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: My antivirus software won’t remove malware

    Windows Defender and Microsoft Security Essentials (antivirus software from Microsoft) can detect and remove most malware. If you’re running antivirus software and you’re still having trouble removing malware, follow these steps: Make sure you have automatic updating turned on . This...
  • 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: 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...
  • 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: 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: Can I use Microsoft Security Essentials with Windows 8?

    A reader writes: Can I use Microsoft Security Essentials with Windows 8? No—but you don’t need to. Windows 8 includes Windows Defender, a program that provides enhanced protection against viruses and spyware. Learn more about Windows 8 If your computer is running Windows 7, Windows...
  • Blog Post: Top 5 online safety tips for summer

    To help stay safe on your travels this summer, we recommend these Internet safety and privacy tips. Make sure your laptop or tablet has up-to-date antivirus and antispyware software installed. Windows 8 includes antivirus protection that’s turned on by default. If your computer isn’t...
  • Blog Post: How to combat tech support phone scams

    Nana writes: “I received a telephone call at home from a person claiming to be from “Microsoft Operating Systems.” He had an urgent need to "fix" a virus. I had trouble understanding him, and when I starting asking questions, he got frustrated. Was this person calling from Microsoft...
  • 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: Do I have to pay for antivirus software?

    Jo Anne writes: I received a message that said that my Microsoft security software is turned off and I am not protected. What can I do? I even ran the scan. The warning says that I can buy antivirus protection, but I don’t want to pay for it. If your computer is running Windows, you do not...
  • Blog Post: Should I use more than one antivirus program?

    You don’t need to install more than one antivirus program . In fact, running more than one antivirus program at the same time can cause conflicts and errors that make your antivirus protection less effective or not effective at all. Windows 7 and Windows Vista include spyware protection called...
  • 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: Spooky antivirus software

    Judy writes: My virus protection doesn't seem to want to stay on. I’ve been able to turn it back on, but when I shut down and then restart my computer later, the virus protection is off again . Is this some kind of Halloween trick? Having a virus is no treat Achieving 100 percent protection...
  • Blog Post: Important security information for your small business

    A computer virus is bad news for anyone, but it can be especially devastating to a small business. Microsoft Small Business Support Center resources include a free step-by-step guide to help you protect your computers from spyware, viruses, Trojans, and rootkits. The interactive guide will help...
  • Blog Post: Free anti-virus scanner won’t clog PC

    Thomas writes: “My computer is already slow. If I download your security scanner , it will probably bring it to its knees.” The Microsoft Security Scanner is a free downloadable security tool that helps remove viruses , spyware , and other malicious software . If you’re worried...
  • Blog Post: 17 percent of PCs have no anti-virus protection

    According to a new study by McAfee Research , one in every six personal computers has no working anti-virus protection. Without anti-virus software your computer is vulnerable to viruses , spyware , and other malicious software. In March of this year, the development tools and data services company...
  • Blog Post: On Facebook? Download Microsoft Security Essentials for free

    This month Microsoft teamed up with Facebook to offer its free anti-virus protection. Microsoft Security Essentials is now one of the choices in Facebook Anti-Virus Marketplace to help protect your computer. Microsoft Security Essentials: Offers protection against viruses, worms, and other malware...
  • 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...
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