Security Tips & Talk

Tips about computer security, online safety, and privacy

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  • 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: 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: 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: 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...
  • Blog Post: 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...
  • Blog Post: 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...
  • 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: 4 signs of scareware

    “Scareware” is fake anti-virus software (also called “rogue security software”) that cybercriminals trick you into paying for or trick you into downloading along with malicious software. According to the latest Security Intelligence Report from Microsoft, one of the most prevalent...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft releases newest Security Intelligence Report

    The Microsoft Security Intelligence Report (SIR ) provides information about current security threats to help protect organizations, software, and people. The report covers exploits, vulnerabilities, and malware based on data from over 600 million systems worldwide, Internet services, and three Microsoft...
  • Blog Post: Beware of bin Laden malware on the web and in email

    If you’re searching for news about or pictures of Osama bin Laden, you might find malware instead. This week the FBI warned computer users to be especially careful of emails that claim to show photos or videos of bin Laden’s death. Cybercriminals are quick to put up fraudulent websites...
  • Blog Post: Looking for Japan's earthquake news? Don't fall for fake search results

    Last week we told you about how to avoid fake donation websites and emails if you want to help Japanese earthquake and tsunami victims. Eweek reports that cybercriminals have also started using Japanese earthquake related search terms to lead people to their malicious websites. These fraudulent...
  • Blog Post: Watch out for Security Essentials 2011

    The Microsoft Malware Protection Center reports that there's a new name for an old version of fake security software (also known as rogue security software .) Security Essentials 2011 pretends to be antivirus software from Microsoft, but instead of protecting you from malicious software it infects...
  • Blog Post: Fake software alert: Security essentials 2010

    Security essentials 2010 is the latest fake security software to use the Microsoft name to spread malware instead of to help protect against it. Security essentials 2010 is a form of rogue security software that cybercriminals use to trick people into infecting their own computers. This fake software...
  • Blog Post: Don’t fall for phony phone tech support

    Here's another form of Internet fraud that combines a variety of other common scams- social engineering , fake security software , and phishing . Cybercriminals have started calling people on the telephone, claiming to be from Microsoft, and offering to help solve their computer problems. Once cybercriminals...
  • Blog Post: Rogue security sites sully search results

    Rogue security sites are Web sites that claim to offer you security software, but could infect your computer with viruses , spyware , or other malware. These fake sites try to scare you with pop-up windows and warnings that your computer is unprotected and that you need their software to protect yourself...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft vs. Malvertising: Tackling the threat of malicious online advertising

    Malvertising might sound like a fancy kind of dry cleaning, but it’s really fake online advertising designed to trick you into downloading malicious software onto your computer. The most common kind of fake ad is for security software that you don’t need and that could harm your computer. This is often...
  • Blog Post: Bing helps filter scareware

    In the past few weeks, we’ve been talking here about Microsoft’s new search tool called Bing . Bing helps you find Web pages, images, video, and more. It also helps you avoid downloading unwanted software to your computer (also known as malware) and helps you avoid unsafe Web sites. One of the fastest...
  • Blog Post: Scareware can be anywhere

    Scareware (also known as “rogue security software”) is a new breed of malicious software that pretends to be the good guy in the war against viruses and worms . Scareware is any kind of fake software that appears to help protect your computer’s security, but instead generates misleading or annoying...
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