New Year’s resolutions to make – and keep – for your digital devices and online life

You may be focusing on New Year’s resolutions about being fit, but there’s one more resolutions list to consider making, and that’s about security for your digital devices and your online life in 2014.

On the Security Tips & Talk blog, Eve Blakemore offers 10 resolutions that make good sense as criminals get craftier and our digital lives continue to expand not only with the number of devices we use, but also on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Among the resolutions to consider:

· Use SkyDrive or another cloud service, or even a removable drive, to protect your personal information. Ransomware is a growing problem, a type of malware “designed to infiltrate your computer and hold your files (photos, documents, reports, etc.) hostage until you pay the demanded amount of money to a cybercriminal,” Blakemore writes.

· Explore new tools for PC protection, such as Microsoft’s free Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit, which will make it even more difficult for malicious hackers and cybercriminals to get into your computer, she writes.

· Ignore fake tech support phone calls. You should know that neither Microsoft nor its partners make unsolicited phone calls to charge you money for computer security or software fixes. If you get such a call, just hang up. For more information, see Avoid tech support phone scams.

· Upgrade to current software that gives you the latest security technology and protection. If you’re still using Windows XP, it’s time to shift. Support for Windows XP ends in April, and there won’t be any new security updates for it, making it an easy target for cybercriminals. Learn more about how support for Windows XP ends this year.

· Learn more about your privacy settings for when you’re on the Internet. Visit this page to get educated about how privacy settings can be managed in Windows, Internet Explorer, your Microsoft account, Windows Phone and more.

To get ready and welcome in 2014 safely, head over to the Security Tips & Talk blog for the full list of resolutions.

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Suzanne Choney
Microsoft News Center Staff