Security Tips & Talk

Tips about computer security, online safety, and privacy

  • Security Tips & Talk

    Earthquake in Japan: How to help and avoid donation fraud

    • 7 Comments
    When we hear about a disaster like the earthquake in Japan today, most of us try to think of ways we can help. But some cybercriminals try to think of ways they can take advantage of online givers to steal money and personal information. Here are a...
  • Security Tips & Talk

    What is a cookie?

    • 0 Comments
    Cookies are small files that Web sites put on your computer hard disk drive when you first visit. Think of a cookie as an identification card that's uniquely yours. Its job is to notify the site when you've returned. Cookies should not be confused...
  • Security Tips & Talk

    Can I use Microsoft Security Essentials with Windows 8?

    • 17 Comments
    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...
  • Security Tips & Talk

    Free PC safety scan

    • 11 Comments
    Think your computer might have a virus ? The Microsoft Security scanner is a free download that will scan your computer and help you remove viruses, spyware , and other malicious software. Download Microsoft Safety Scanner The scanner is not a replacement...
  • Security Tips & Talk

    Hide your real name in e-mail

    • 0 Comments
    You and your kids might already know the dangers of sharing your e-mail address with people that you don’t know. But everyone who e-mails you might not know this. They could forward an e-mail message that you or your kids send, or add you or your kids...
  • Security Tips & Talk

    How to get Microsoft security updates for August

    • 0 Comments
    Microsoft releases security updates on the second Tuesday of every month. This month Microsoft released nine security updates for Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Office, Internet Explorer, Windows Media Player, Visual Basic, Microsoft Virtual PC for Mac...
  • Security Tips & Talk

    Did you win the Microsoft Lottery?

    • 0 Comments
    In the past few weeks we've received dozens messages from readers who've received e-mails that claimed to be from Microsoft. The mails stated that the recipient was the winner of a large amount of money. These e-mails are a type of scam called ...
  • Security Tips & Talk

    Avoid spam from your online communities

    • 1 Comments
    Avoid spam from your online communities Whether it's parenting, politics, or ping-pong, chances are there's an online community out there where people are chatting about something you're interested in. There are several different kinds of communities...
  • Security Tips & Talk

    Ask us a question about home computer security

    • 1 Comments
    Want to know something about protecting your computer, protecting yourself, or protecting your family online? Click the Email link above this entry or ask your question in the Comments section. Then keep an eye on this blog for answers in...
  • Security Tips & Talk

    Help! My account is sending out spam

    • 4 Comments
    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...
  • Security Tips & Talk

    Free tool helps prevent viruses

    • 14 Comments
    One of the best defenses against viruses and other kinds of malicious software is ensuring that all of your built-in security settings are turned on and running smoothly. Microsoft offers a free tool that will help diagnose and fix Windows security...
  • Security Tips & Talk

    Download Microsoft Security Essentials

    • 0 Comments
    Today marks the launch of Microsoft Security Essentials, a new, no-cost security software for your computer. Security Essentials can help you defend against viruses and spyware , including Trojans, worms , and other malicious software. One of the best...
  • Security Tips & Talk

    Guidance for Internet Explorer vulnerability

    • 39 Comments
    On April 26, 2014, Microsoft notified customers of a vulnerability in Internet Explorer. To date, we are aware of limited, targeted attacks and are working on a fix. UPDATE: Microsoft released a security update for this vulnerability on May 1. For...
  • Security Tips & Talk

    Free security tools from Microsoft

    • 0 Comments
    You don’t need a personal IT staff or even a geeky family member to help keep your home computer safe from viruses , hackers, and other threats. Microsoft offers the following free security tools and scans: · Microsoft Security Essentials Downloadable...
  • Security Tips & Talk

    Watch out for fake Java updates

    • 6 Comments
    You may have seen reports about security alerts for Java recently. Java is a commonly used piece of software from Oracle, so there’s a good chance you have it installed on your computer. Cybercriminals often use fake virus alerts to lure you into...
  • Security Tips & Talk

    How to uninstall Microsoft Security Essentials

    • 2 Comments
    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...
  • Security Tips & Talk

    Internet Explorer 8: Stay safer online

    • 4 Comments
    Want to learn how the latest Web browser from Microsoft offers increased protection against phishing, malware, and other online threats? Download this white paper about the new safety features in Internet Explorer 8 . Internet Explorer 8 provides...
  • Security Tips & Talk

    Why didn't Windows Defender recognize spyware on my computer?

    • 0 Comments
    A reader tells us that he uses Windows Defender to scan his computer for adware and spyware every other day. So far it has reported finding no problems. However, he writes, he also scans his computer with two other antispyware programs -- Ad Aware...
  • Security Tips & Talk

    How Windows Vista can help you protect your kids online

    • 2 Comments
    Since when did the average preschooler know how to operate a mouse? Since now. Kids are going online earlier and earlier. It’s never too soon for you to start protecting them online. Windows Vista (available January 30, 2007) makes it easy to monitor...
  • Security Tips & Talk

    Help me with Hotmail

    • 3 Comments
    We've received several questions from blog readers who need help with their Hotmail accounts. While we can't answer each question individually, below we answer five commonly asked questions. And we show you a few different places where you can get...
  • Security Tips & Talk

    Scammers exploit Facebook friendships

    • 1 Comments
    Most scams (online and off) depend, in part, on the victim's interest in getting something for nothing. This is true for lottery scams, stock scams, and other frauds .   But a recent scam on the social networking site Facebook relies instead on trust...
  • Security Tips & Talk

    Can you spot the 6 signs of a scam?

    • 0 Comments
    We recently received an email that provided a great example of the tools in a cyberscammer's toolbelt. Here's the email. Can you spot the signs of a scam? Scroll down to read more. Dear Account Owner We are having congestion due to the anonymous...
  • Security Tips & Talk

    4 tips to help secure your phone

    • 6 Comments
    We’ve heard a lot of news lately about how smartphones are the new frontier for hackers, virus writers, and cybercriminals. We talked to the folks on the Windows Phone 7 team and they haven’t heard any complaints about mobile viruses yet,...
  • Security Tips & Talk

    Windows Defender for Windows Vista

    • 1 Comments
    Some of you have been asking about whether or not you should download Windows Defender. Here's the short answer: Windows Defender comes with Windows Vista . If you use Windows Vista, do not download Windows Defender. If you use Windows XP...
  • Security Tips & Talk

    Fake support phone calls could lead to identity theft

    • 69 Comments
    Patrick writes: A person called and said my computer would no longer be supported by Microsoft. Is this true? What Patrick describes sounds like a typical phone scam, designed to take advantage of the news that support for Windows XP will end in...
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