Security Tips & Talk

Tips about computer security, online safety, and privacy

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  • Blog Post: Get the latest security updates and find out what to do if your computer is running Windows XP

    Microsoft releases security updates on the second Tuesday of every month. Learn how to get security updates automatically For IT Pros: Microsoft Security Bulletin Summary for April 2014 Support for Windows XP has ended Microsoft has provided support for Windows XP for the past 12 years...
  • 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: 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: 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: 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...
  • Blog Post: Counterfeit software likely to contain viruses

    Results of a recent study conducted by the International Data Corporation (IDC) found that one in three consumers with counterfeit software installed on their home computer will be infected with malware in 2013. Additionally, consumers worldwide will spend 1.5 billion hours and $22 billion identifying...
  • Blog Post: The best New Year’s resolutions for your PC

    Perhaps you're making wise plans to lose weight, exercise more, or quit smoking in 2013? While you’re at it, you can follow our resolution recommendations to help protect your privacy and safety online. Make sure all your passwords are strong , and change them regularly. Use long phrases...
  • Blog Post: Beware of deceptive downloads

    The Microsoft Security Intelligence Report (SIR ) analyzes online threats using data from Internet services and over 600 million computers worldwide. Volume 13 of the SIR is now available and focuses on vulnerability disclosures from the first and second quarters of 2012. A featured article, Deceptive...
  • 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: 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: 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: 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...
  • Blog Post: 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...
  • Blog Post: Protect yourself from online tracking

    Third-party websites have the ability to track your online behavior and share this information without your knowledge or consent. Tracking Protection , a new feature in Internet Explorer 9 , lets you choose which third-party sites can receive your information and track you online. When you add a Tracking...
  • 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: Improve security for your Windows 7 computer

    We were browsing through the Windows online help pages this week and came across an excellent source of information for Windows 7 security. Want to know more about how to prevent viruses and spyware? Want to make sure your web browser can help protect you against phishing scams and other fraud? ...
  • Blog Post: Avoid scams through your phone

    We recently received this email message from a reader: "I got a call from someone who said that he was from 'Windows Technical Department Support Group.' He said he was calling to fix my security system. He wanted me to log onto a website so he could walk me through a process that would give him...
  • Blog Post: How to uninstall Microsoft Security Essentials

    We've received some email from blog readers who want to uninstall Microsoft's no-cost antivirus and antispyware software ( Microsoft Security Essentials ). If you've had trouble removing the program, see How to manually uninstall Microsoft Security Essentials if you cannot uninstall it by using...
  • Blog Post: Free virus protection for your small biz

    Microsoft Security Essentials (free antivirus and antispyware software) is now available for small businesses. Small business owners can download and install Microsoft Security Essentials for no cost. For more information, see Microsoft Security Essentials available to Small Businesses on October...
  • Blog Post: Hey! Did MSN hijack my browser?

    Did your home page or search page suddenly change to MSN or another Microsoft website? If you use Microsoft Security Essentials , Windows Defender, the Microsoft Malicious Software Removal Tool , or other anti-malware software from Microsoft, these tools might have detected browser hijacking software...
  • Blog Post: Do I need both Microsoft Security Essentials and another antivirus software program?

    A reader recently asked us if they need both Microsoft Security Essentials (free antivirus and antispyware software) and another security suite that requires a paid subscription service. The short answer? No. The long answer? Microsoft Security Essentials is free software that helps protect against...
  • Blog Post: CSI Microsoft: Disc “fingerprinting” helps catch counterfeiters

    Pirated or counterfeit software can put your computer at risk for viruses , spyware , and other kinds of unwanted software. This can happen in at least two different ways: Malicious software could be written into the code of the pirated software, or the software could prevent you from getting critical...
  • Blog Post: Click Fraud: Cybercriminals want you to ‘like’ it.

    You probably already know not to open suspicious looking email attachments and not to send money to foreign princes proffering elaborate sob stories. But the tiny images that you can click on your favorite websites are safe, right? Not necessarily. Cybercriminals can create fake links even...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft Security Essentials rated "the best" free option for finding new malware

    The popular technology site lifehacker reported the results of independent testing by AV-Comparatives.org showing that Microsoft Security Essentials is the best at "figuring out what's bad—while also avoiding annoying false positives." Download a copy of the test results from the lifehacker site...
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