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Safety is an active verb
Kim Sanchez, Director of Trustworthy Computing
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...
12 Sep 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
There is no Hotmail Maintenance Department
Cassie writes: I received an email from the Hotmail Maintenance Department requesting personal information verification. The message included a PDF file. Is this a scam? Yes. This is one of many types of email cybercrime, also called phishing . Cybercriminals often use the Microsoft name to try...
13 Jun 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 if I no longer have access to my secondary email address?
Last week we answered a question about what to do if your Hotmail account is sending out spam . We mentioned resetting your password if you can’t sign in because your account has been blocked. One way you can unblock it is to respond to an email message sent by Microsoft to the secondary address...
16 Aug 2012
Help! My account is sending out spam
Laura writes: My Hotmail email address has been hacked. Someone sent out a spam email to everyone in my address book. What do I do? If it makes you feel any better, Laura, we get this question a lot. Here’s what to do right now: If you can still sign in to your account, change your...
7 Aug 2012
Outlook.com is Microsoft’s new free cloud email service for personal use. You can use Outlook.com with the Outlook desktop application, via the web at http://outlook.com , or via other email apps that support Exchange ActiveSync or POP3. The new Outlook.com offers several security and privacy...
2 Aug 2012
Get rid of junk in your Hotmail inbox
Spam and other email that you don’t want can clog up your inbox. Some spam can be fraudulent and can contain malicious software or links to malicious websites, but some email can just be annoying. Graymail is email that you signed up for, but you don’t want anymore. If you use Hotmail...
3 Jul 2012
Don’t click text message spam
Several readers have contacted us lately about suspicious text messages that they’ve received on their smart phones. Some of these messages appear to be from Microsoft , Starbucks, Best Buy, or other well-known companies and are designed to trick you into clicking links with lures of free gifts...
31 May 2012
Win the battle against email fraud
Cybercriminals use email fraud (sometimes called “phishing”) to steal your personal data or information such as credit card numbers, passwords, account data, or other information. Cybercriminals might send millions of fraudulent email messages with links to fraudulent websites that appear...
20 Mar 2012
Beware of tax scams
It’s officially tax time in the United States again. We’ve reported here that tax scams arrived early this year. Tax scams come in many different forms. Some scams are attempts to spoof the IRS to convince you to click malicious links or attachments. Other scams offer tax preparation help...
6 Mar 2012
Research firm rates spam filters
Spam filters for email programs are a little like the roof on a house. You wouldn’t want to live without one, but some are better than others. Recent research from Cascade Insights showed that no email program they tested did better than Hotmail at filtering spam. Get tricks for getting rid...
23 Feb 2012
Who’s more likely to fall for scams? The answer might surprise you
A recent Ponemon Institute study (in cooperation with PC Tools) challenges the myth that people who fall for scams are generally older. According to survey results, 18-25 year olds are among the groups that are more susceptible to online scams. Respondents also said that a free prize or free antivirus...
7 Feb 2012
Income tax scams already!?
You’d have to be a real early bird to be expecting your income tax return in the United States already. And yet, we’ve begun to see phishing scams that appear to come from email@example.com and offer links where you can check the status of your return. The message uses language straight...
19 Jan 2012
Avoid fake emails
We sometimes hear from customers who want to know if an email which appears to be from Microsoft is real or not. If you receive an email that claims to come from Microsoft, but it contains an attachment or asks you to send passwords, user names, or financial information, it’s probably a fake. Te...
2 Dec 2011
Beware of “confirm your account” scams
Last week a member of our team shared a phishing scam that she’d received in her personal email account. The bogus email claims to come from Microsoft and asks the recipient to respond to the email with their user name and password to avoid permanent cancellation of their account. This is a...
1 Nov 2011
Rustock: civil case closed
Microsoft has officially announced that our civil case against the operators of the Rustock botnet (a major source of spam) has been closed and our teams have turned over the information we’ve gathered to the FBI. The Rustock botnet is considered one of the largest sources of spam on the Internet...
30 Sep 2011
Microsoft offers $250,000 reward for information on botnet
This week, Richard Boscovich, Senior Attorney for the Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit, announced a $250,000 bounty for information that results in the identification, arrest, and criminal conviction of those responsible for controlling the Rustock botnet . Microsoft shuttered Rustock (a major source...
22 Jul 2011
Rustock report: Stopping a major source of spam
In March we reported that Microsoft, in cooperation with industry and academic partners, had taken down the Rustock botnet , a notorious source of spam, fraud, and cybercrime. Hard disks confiscated from Rustock command and control servers This week Microsoft released new information that explores...
6 Jul 2011
Secure your Hotmail account
We used to recommend that you increase the security of your Hotmail account by creating a new account, one that you would give to online retailers or other organizations that might send a lot of unwanted email . Now, if you have a Hotmail account, you can create an alias within your account instead...
9 May 2011
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...
4 May 2011
Beware of Facebook email scams
A friend recently forwarded us the email below because they thought it was a scam. They were right. This email is a great example of three easy ways to detect a scam . Spelling and bad grammar. Cybercriminals are not known for their impeccable grammar and spelling. A professional company like...
18 Apr 2011
Microsoft helps defeat major spam botnet
Watch experts from Microsoft and other organizations explain how botnets work and how Microsoft and Pfizer helped bring down the Rustock botnet , a notorious source of spam, fraud, and cybercrime. Watch the video from CNBC World Business: Rustock Takedown Is Part of Larger War on Spam
7 Apr 2011
Hotmail hacked? Change your password
We received this email message from a reader: "My Hotmail account keeps getting hacked and my contacts are getting a message from me requesting money. I had gotten two [email messages] from Microsoft asking me to confirm my Hotmail account with my password. It happened twice and I thought it was...
17 Jan 2011
“I’ve been mugged. Send money!”
We recently received this message from a reader of our blog: People on my contact list have received an email that's supposed to be from me telling them that I am in trouble and asking them to send me money. An address of a hotel where I was supposed to be staying (the address is genuine) and a...
3 Nov 2010
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