HOW TO: Report the Microsoft phone scam

If someone calls you from Microsoft technical support and offers to help you fix your computer, mobile phone, or tablet, this is a scam designed to install malicious software on your computer, steal your personal information, or both. Do not trust unsolicited calls. Do not provide any personal information. You can report this scam to the following authorities: In the United States, use the FTC Complaint Assistant form. In Canada, the Canadian … Read more »

What to do if your antivirus subscription has expired

Phil asks: I’m new to Windows 8.1. Now that my free security software has expired, how do I go about making Windows Defender my choice security method? Windows Defender is included with Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 and helps protect your PC against malware (malicious software). Many new computers come with free subscriptions to antivirus software and other security programs from companies other than Microsoft. If the subscription runs out and you … Read more »

How do digital youth of the "app generation" learn, communicate, and express themselves

I recently had the opportunity to speak with Katie Davis, an assistant professor from the University of Washington Information School to discuss her role and a book she co-authored called, The App Generation: How Today’s Youth Navigate Identity, Intimacy, and Imagination in a Digital World. The University of Washington is the first to have an Information or iSchool focused on youth and technology. Tell us about the school and your … Read more »

Get security updates for September 2014

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Microsoft releases security updates on the second Tuesday of every month. How to check for the latest updates. This bulletin announces the release of security updates for Windows, Microsoft Office, and other programs. Learn how to get security updates automatically For IT Pros: Microsoft Security Bulletin Summary for September 2014 To get more information about security updates and other privacy and security issues delivered to your email inbox, sign up for our newsletter. … Read more »

Get advance notice about September 2014 security updates

Today, the Microsoft Security Response Center (MSRC) posted details about the September security updates. If you have automatic updating turned on, most of these updates will download and install on their own. Sometimes you may need to provide input for Windows Update during an installation. In this case, you’ll see an alert in the notification area at the far right of the taskbar—be sure to click it. In Windows 8, Windows will … Read more »

Congratulations! You’ve won $800,000!!

Well, maybe not. But that’s just one of the many ploys that scammers send in their relentless efforts to part people from their money or sensitive personal information like passwords and account numbers. Microsoft is asking people to take a survey of their experience with online fraud—what kinds of scams they’ve encountered (including those on mobile devices and Facebook), how concerned they are about online or phone fraud, and what … Read more »

5 passwords you should never use

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This is part three of three posts on stronger passwords. Part 1: Create stronger passwords and protect them Part 2: Do you know your kids’ passwords? The news is filled with stories about hackers cracking passwords. You can help avoid being a victim by never, ever using these passwords: Password. Believe it or not, this is still a common password. Don’t use it. Letmein. We recommend that you use passphrases … Read more »

Do you know your kids’ passwords?

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This is the second of two blog posts on password protection. Read Part 1: Create strong passwords and protect them. Whether or not you should know all of your kids’ passwords depends on their age, how responsible they are, and your parenting values. However, kids of any age and responsibility level need to know how to create strong passwords and how to protect those passwords. Sharing is great, but not … Read more »

Create stronger passwords and protect them

All week we’ll be posting our best guidance on how to create, protect, and manage your passwords. Passwords are your first line of defense against hackers. Pick passwords that are difficult to crack but easy for you to remember. What does “difficult to crack” mean? Each time cybercriminals hack into a database of passwords, they learn more about the kinds of passwords that people use. (Come back on Friday to … Read more »

Why do I have to update my email account information?

We’ve noticed comments from many of you asking why we want you to verify your Microsoft security information. We’d like to explain why verifying this information is important. To help protect your email account and your personal data, we ask everyone who has a Microsoft account to make sure that the security information associated with their account is correct and up to date. When your security information (like an alternate … Read more »