Security Tips & Talk

Tips about computer security, online safety, and privacy

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  • 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: Free tool automatically checks and builds up your computer’s defenses

    Want to know an easy way to make sure you have the most up-to-date security settings and software for your Windows operating system? Microsoft offers a free downloadable tool that scans your computer and makes recommended changes based on your current settings. Run the Microsoft Malware Prevention...
  • Blog Post: Protect your PC from the Conficker worm

    The most recent Microsoft Security Intelligence Reports (SIR) describes the ongoing threat of the Conficker worm and urges businesses and individuals to apply security updates. Microsoft first recognized the Conficker threat in November 2008 and since then the Microsoft Malware Protection Center has...
  • Blog Post: NEWS: Microsoft offers most popular US antivirus program

    Have you recently installed Microsoft Security Essentials? Earlier this month, the development tools and data services company, OPSWAT , announced that Microsoft’s free antivirus software was the most popular antivirus program in North America during the last 12 months. Microsoft Security Essentials...
  • Blog Post: Fake security software: Know the risks

    If you’re browsing the web and you see a security warning, beware. Cybercriminals use fake security warnings (also known as “ rogue security software ”) to steal personal information or to charge you for a program that doesn’t work. You should only download software from a...
  • 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...
  • Blog Post: Valentine’s Day e-card security tips

    Electronic greeting cards are easy, cheap, and fun to get and send, but cybercriminals also use them to try to steal your personal information or to spread malicious software. Legitimate companies have standard, obvious ways for you to recognize that the email is not a fraud. For example, with...
  • 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: Microsoft security chief on the future of protecting PCs

    We can increase collective computer security by taking cues from the healthcare industry, argues Scott Charney, Corporate Vice President of Microsoft Trustworthy Computing. Charney outlined this position in a recently published paper entitled Collective Defense: Applying Public Health Models to the...
  • 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: Got a virus? Get free help fast

    If you think you have a computer virus or other security help needs, you can get free help at the new Virus and Security Solution Center . You can: Find out if you have a virus with the Windows Live Safety Scanner . Get rid of viruses with the Microsoft Malicious Software Removal tool . ...
  • Blog Post: Speed up your PC

    It's true that a slow computer could be a sign of a virus or other malicious software, but it could be something else. If your computer is acting funny, take these three steps to help diagnose the problem: 1. Scan your computer for viruses with Windows Live Safety Scanner . 2. Remove viruses...
  • Blog Post: Use Microsoft Office 2010 Protected View to help avoid damage

    Our friend Ed from Microsoft Office recently stopped by to fill us in on how to reduce the risks associated with opening potentially unsafe files. Here's what Ed has to say: With hackers working overtime to create sophisticated tricks, computer viruses, worms, and other huge hassles that cost us...
  • Blog Post: What is Win32/FakeRean?

    Our friends on the Microsoft support team tell us that they’ve heard a lot of complaints lately about Win32/FakeRean , a rogue antivirus program that claims to scan your computer for viruses and spyware and displays fake warnings. Win32/FakeRean isn’t new. According to the Microsoft Malware...
  • Blog Post: Get virus help from a local security expert

    If you think your computer has been infected with a virus , spyware , or other malicious software there are a few steps you can take to help remove it: Visit Microsoft Update and install the latest updates. If you currently use antivirus software , visit the manufacturer's website, update your...
  • Blog Post: Reviewers like Microsoft Security Essentials

    Lately we've been recommending that you to download our new free antivirus and antispyware software called Microsoft Security Essentials . Read what others are saying about it. The Lifehacker blog recently called Microsoft Security Essentials "a great antivirus application" and told readers that they...
  • Blog Post: If I have Microsoft Security Essentials do I still need Windows Defender?

    Microsoft Security Essentials is a free download for home computers running on the Windows operating system. This software helps protect your computer from viruses, spyware, and other malware. Windows Defender is built into Windows Vista and Windows 7 and it's available as a free download for Windows...
  • Blog Post: Get your Microsoft security updates for October

    Microsoft releases security updates on the second Tuesday of every month. Today Microsoft released 13 new security updates. Get the updates To download the updates, visit the Microsoft Update Web site . If you have automatic updating turned on, your computer will update and install these security...
  • Blog Post: Watch out for fake Security Bulletin Notifications

    There’s another scam making the rounds that promises to deliver an urgent security update from Microsoft. These e-mail messages attempt to lure you to Web sites to download spyware or other unwanted software. They may also include a file attachment that contains a virus . Microsoft does not send unsolicited...
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