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Get security updates for September 2014

September 9th, 2014 No comments

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.

To get more information about security updates and other privacy and security issues delivered to your email inbox, sign up for our newsletter.


 

 

 

Get security updates for September 2014

September 9th, 2014 No comments

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.

To get more information about security updates and other privacy and security issues delivered to your email inbox, sign up for our newsletter.

 

 

 

 

Get advance notice about August 2014 security updates

August 7th, 2014 No comments

Today, the Microsoft Security Response Center (MSRC) posted details about the August 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 turn on automatic updating during setup unless you choose to turn it off. To check this setting and turn on automatic updating, open the Search charm, enter Turn automatic updating on or off, and tap or click Settings to find it. 

Learn how to install Windows Updates in Windows 7.

If you are a technical professional

The Microsoft Security Bulletin Advance Notification Service offers details about security updates approximately three business days before they are released. We do this to enable customers (especially IT professionals) to plan for effective deployment of security updates.

Sign up for security notifications

9 ways to stay safe online this summer

July 17th, 2014 No comments

Summer is in full swing. Here are our best safety and security tips for the season.

  1. Don’t broadcast vacation plans on your social networking sites. If you’re leaving your home unoccupied and at risk for potential burglary, you might want to wait to post your vacation photographs until you return home. Get more tips for email and social networking safety.

  2. Limit who knows your location. Before you go on vacation, take a few minutes to adjust settings for sharing your location on your social networking sites and any apps on your smartphone. If you have kids who go online, make sure they know this, too. For more information, see Use location services more safely.

  3. Set computer and device rules for when you’re not around. If your kids are old enough to stay home alone when they’re not at school, make sure you talk to them about Internet safety. Download our tip sheet for pointers to jump-start—or continue—online safety conversations.

  4. Learn how to use parental controls. All Microsoft products include built-in privacy controls and safeguards that put you in charge of your children’s entertainment experiences and allow you to customize how personal information is, or is not, shared. Get step-by-step guidance on how to switch on safety settings across Microsoft technology and devices at home.

  5. Stay safe when playing games online. If your children’s summer sport of choice is the Xbox, Xbox One, Kinect, or other online or console game, learn about the core family safety features of Xbox One and find other ways to help kids play it safe.

  6. Update your software on your laptop or tablet. Before you go on vacation, make sure all your software is updated, to help prevent problems caused by hackers. If your laptop is still running Windows XP, read about the end of support for Windows XP.

  7. Check the security level of public Wi-Fi networks before you use them. Choose the most secure connection—even if that means you have to pay for access. A password-protected connection (ideally one that is unique for your use) is better than one without a password. Both Windows 7 and Windows 8 can help you evaluate and minimize network security risks.

  8. Avoid typing sensitive information on your laptop using an unsecured wireless connection. If possible, save your financial transactions for after your summer vacation on a secured home connection. For more information, see How to know if a financial transaction is secure.

  9. Watch out for suspicious messages from your friends on vacation asking for money. This is a common scam cybercriminals use when they’ve hacked into someone’s account. Find a different way to contact your friend. Learn more about scam email messages.

Microsoft takes on world’s worst cybercriminals

July 15th, 2014 No comments

Microsoft recently took legal action against a group of cybercriminals suspected of spreading malicious software to millions of unsuspecting computer users.

These social media–savvy cybercriminals have not only spread the malware themselves, but they’ve also promoted their malicious tools across the Internet, offering step-by-step instructions to completely control millions of unsuspecting victims’ computers to conduct illicit crimes.

For more information on the legal action, see Microsoft takes on global cybercrime epidemic in tenth malware disruption.

To help protect yourself against cybercrime

  • Keep your operating system and other software updated.
  • Use antivirus software (and keep it updated).
  • Don’t open suspicious email messages, links, or attachments.

Get more guidance at How to boost your malware defense and protect your PC.

Trouble installing updates? Might be a case of bad timing

July 10th, 2014 No comments

This week we released security updates for the Windows operating system. If you have automatic updating turned on, your updates have probably already been downloaded and installed for you.

Learn how to get updates automatically

Even if you have automatic updating turned on, you might see an error message telling you that your updates were not installed.

Some errors are simply a matter of bad timing. Sometimes your updates don’t install because the website is too busy or you’re using a slow connection. You can usually fix these problems by trying to install the updates again.

For more information about solving connection problems, see:

Get advance notice about July 2014 security updates

July 3rd, 2014 No comments

Today, the Microsoft Security Response Center (MSRC) posted details about the July 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 turn on automatic updating during setup unless you choose to turn it off. To check this setting and turn on automatic updating, open the Search charm, enter Turn automatic updating on or off, and tap or click Settings to find it. 

Learn how to install Windows Updates in Windows 7.

If you are a technical professional

The Microsoft Security Bulletin Advance Notification Service offers details about security updates approximately three business days before they are released. We do this to enable customers (especially IT professionals) to plan for effective deployment of security updates.

Sign up for security notifications

Windows XP registry hack will not protect your PC against all threats

July 1st, 2014 No comments

In April, Microsoft ended support for Windows XP. This means that if your computer is still running Windows XP, you are no longer receiving security updates.

Several tech news sources have recently reported a change that you can make to your Windows registry (known as a “registry hack”) that tells your Windows XP computer that it’s running Windows Embedded or Windows Server 2003.

Although this hack might allow your Windows XP computer to receive automatic updates, these updates will not fully protect your Windows XP computer. And because these updates are not intended for Windows XP, they might also cause your computer to stop working correctly.

If you are running Windows XP, the best way to protect your computer is to upgrade to a modern operating system, like Windows 8.1.

Learn more about your options if your computer is still running Windows XP

Get security updates for May 2014

May 13th, 2014 No comments

Microsoft releases security updates on the second Tuesday of every month.

Skip the details and check for the latest updates.

This bulletin announces the release of security updates for Windows, Microsoft Office, and other programs.

To get more information about security updates and other privacy and security issues delivered to your email inbox, sign up for our newsletter.

10 New Year’s resolutions for your digital devices and your online life

December 31st, 2013 No comments

It’s a new year, which means it’s time to resolve to create healthier habits in our daily lives. But we don’t have to stop at just improving our body, mind, and spirit. It’s also a good idea to resolve to keep our PCs, laptops, smartphones, and social networking sites healthy this year.

1. Keep your software up to date. You can help protect against viruses, fraud, and more by keeping your operating system, antivirus software, antispyware software, web browser, and other software updated. Microsoft releases security updates on the second Tuesday of every month. Learn how to get security updates automatically.

2. Create strong passwords, keep them secret, and change them regularly. This is particularly important for those passwords that safeguard your computer, important accounts (like email or Facebook), and sensitive information, like financial and health data. Get more information about creating strong passwords and protecting them.

3. Use antivirus software. If your computer is running Windows 8, you can use the built-in Windows Defender to help you detect and get rid of spyware and other malware. If your computer is running Windows 7, Windows Vista, or Windows XP, Windows Defender removes spyware.

4. Check and adjust your privacy settings. You can participate in the online world and keep your information private. Learn more about how to manage your privacy settings in Windows, Internet Explorer, your Microsoft account, Windows Phone, and more. 

Watch a video about privacy in action (1:19).

5. Teach your children about online safety. Before kids use computers, gaming consoles, or mobile devices, make sure you agree on clear limits, talk about how to keep accounts and passwords secret, and help them stand up to online bullying. If your child got a new device this holiday season, read this checklist for safety tips.

6. Monitor your children’s online behaviors, and continue to talk to them about Internet safety. If your kids are online, it’s important to have regular online safety conversations and to continue to keep track of what they’re doing. For more information, see Age-based guidelines for kids’ Internet use.

7. Upgrade to modern software that provides the latest security technologies and protections. Advanced security technologies in modern operating systems are specifically designed to make it more difficult, more complex, more expensive, and therefore, less appealing to cybercriminals to exploit vulnerabilities. Learn more about how support for Windows XP ends this year.

8. Use SkyDrive to help protect your personal information. Ransomware is 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. One of the best ways to protect your files is to back them up using a removable drive or a cloud service like SkyDrive.

9. Explore new tools for PC protection. If you feel comfortable performing more advanced computer tasks, consider downloading the free Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET), which will make it even more difficult for malicious hackers and cybercriminals to get into your computer.

10. Ignore fake tech support phone calls. Neither Microsoft nor our partners make unsolicited phone calls (also known as cold calls) to charge you for computer security or software fixes. If you receive a suspicious phone call from someone claiming to be from Microsoft, all you have to do is hang up. For more information, see Avoid tech support phone scams.

 

Get advance notice about November 2013 security updates

November 7th, 2013 No comments

Today, the Microsoft Security Response Center (MSRC) posted details about the November 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 turn on automatic updating during setup unless you choose to turn it off. To check this setting and turn on automatic updating, open the Search charm, enter Turn automatic updating on or off, and tap or click Settings to find it. 

For other versions of Windows, you can check whether automatic updating is turned on through the Microsoft Update website. This will open Windows Update in Control Panel; if automatic updating is not turned on, you’ll be guided through the steps to set it up. After that, all the latest security and performance improvements will be installed on your PC quickly and reliably.

If you are a technical professional

The Microsoft Security Bulletin Advance Notification Service offers details about security updates approximately three business days before they are released. We do this to enable customers (especially IT professionals) to plan for effective deployment of security updates.

Sign up for security notifications

Get security updates for September 2013

September 10th, 2013 No comments

Microsoft releases security updates on the second Tuesday of every month.

Skip the details and go to Microsoft Update to download the latest updates.

This bulletin announces the release of security updates for Windows, Internet Explorer, and other programs.

To get more information about security updates and other privacy and security issues delivered to your email inbox, sign up for our newsletter.

Notice: We have received reports that customers are receiving repeated reminders for updates. For more information on how to solve this problem see:

Get advance notice about August 2013 security updates

August 8th, 2013 No comments

Today, the Microsoft Security Response Center (MSRC) posted details about the August 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 turn on automatic updating during setup unless you choose to turn it off. To check this setting and turn on automatic updating, open the Search charm, enter Turn automatic updating on or off, and tap or click Settings to find it. 

For other versions of Windows, you can check whether automatic updating is turned on through the Microsoft Update website. This will open Windows Update in Control Panel; if automatic updating is not turned on, you’ll be guided through the steps to set it up. After that, all the latest security and performance improvements will be installed on your PC quickly and reliably.

If you are a technical professional

The Microsoft Security Bulletin Advance Notification Service offers details about security updates approximately three business days before they are released. We do this to enable customers (especially IT professionals) to plan for effective deployment of security updates.

Sign up for security notifications

Get advance notice about July 2013 security updates

July 4th, 2013 No comments

Today, the Microsoft Security Response Center (MSRC) posted details about the July 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 turn on automatic updating during setup unless you choose to turn it off. To check this setting and turn on automatic updating, open the Search charm, enter Turn automatic updating on or off, and tap or click Settings to find it. 

For other versions of Windows, you can check whether automatic updating is turned on through the Microsoft Update website. This will open Windows Update in Control Panel; if automatic updating is not turned on, you’ll be guided through the steps to set it up. After that, all the latest security and performance improvements will be installed on your PC quickly and reliably.

If you are a technical professional

The Microsoft Security Bulletin Advance Notification Service offers details about security updates approximately three business days before they are released. We do this to enable customers (especially IT professionals) to plan for effective deployment of security updates.

Sign up for security notifications

Get advance notice about May 2013 security updates

May 9th, 2013 No comments

Today the Microsoft Security Response Center (MSRC) posted details about the May security updates. On Tuesday, May 14 at approximately 10 AM Pacific Time Microsoft will release 10 bulletins.

The easiest way to get the updates when they’re available is to turn on Windows automatic updating. You can also go directly to Windows Update.

The Microsoft Security Bulletin Advance Notification Service offers details about security updates approximately three business days before they are released. We do this to allow customers (especially IT professionals) to plan for effective deployment of security updates.

Advanced Notification includes information about:

  • The number of new security updates being released
  • The software affected
  • Severity levels of vulnerabilities
  • Information about any detection tools relevant to the updates

Microsoft Security Intelligence Report v14: Why antivirus software matters

April 17th, 2013 No comments

The latest volume of the Security Intelligence Report (SIR) highlights the importance of using antivirus software.

Antivirus software helps protect your computer from malicious software (malware) and can be downloaded or installed inexpensively or at no charge. Still, according to the SIR v14 findings, 24 percent of computers worldwide were not running up-to-date antivirus software, leaving them 5.5 times more likely to be infected with viruses.

Possible reasons why your computer may not be protected:

This new edition of the SIR compares infections on protected and unprotected computers, offering evidence as to how many people are not using up-to-date antivirus software and are thus facing increased risk.

If you don’t have antivirus software, Microsoft recommends that you download it now from Microsoft or from another trusted vendor. If you already have Windows 8, antivirus software is included with the operating system. You are not required to do anything to set it up. If you are using older versions of Windows, Microsoft provides a free antivirus software called Microsoft Security Essentials, which can be downloaded from our website. Many of our partners also offer antivirus software.

Data used in the SIR analysis includes (but is not limited to):

  • Threat intelligence from more than 1 billion systems in more than 100 countries and regions.
  • Microsoft Security Essentials—operating globally in more than 30 languages.
  • Malicious Software Removal Tool—downloaded and executed more than 1 billion times in the second half of 2012.
  • Billions of pages scanned by Bing each day.

Learn more about the SIR findings related to antivirus protection.

Take action to help protect your computer and reduce the risk of becoming a victim to cybercrime:

Get security updates for February 2013

February 12th, 2013 No comments

Get security updates for February 2013

February 12th, 2013 No comments

Watch out for fake Java updates

January 28th, 2013 No 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 buying fraudulent antivirus software. These alerts state that your computer or other device is at risk, but clicking a link in one of them could lead you to downloading malicious software.

In the case of the fake Java updates, cybercriminals are taking advantage of news about security vulnerabilities in Java and recommendations to update Java immediately. We agree that if you use Java on your device you should update it directly from the Oracle website:  

If you don’t, then it’s a good idea to uninstall older versions of Java and disable Java in your browser like you would for any unused software.

Java is just one piece of software that cybercriminals target. It’s important to keep all the software installed on your system up to date. For Microsoft software, you can use the Microsoft Update service.

If you think you have a virus, visit the Microsoft Security Support Center for assistance.  

Watch out for fake Java updates

January 28th, 2013 No 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 buying fraudulent antivirus software. These alerts state that your computer or other device is at risk, but clicking a link in one of them could lead you to downloading malicious software.

In the case of the fake Java updates, cybercriminals are taking advantage of news about security vulnerabilities in Java and recommendations to update Java immediately. We agree that if you use Java on your device you should update it directly from the Oracle website:  

If you don’t, then it’s a good idea to uninstall older versions of Java and disable Java in your browser like you would for any unused software.

Java is just one piece of software that cybercriminals target. It’s important to keep all the software installed on your system up to date. For Microsoft software, you can use the Microsoft Update service.

If you think you have a virus, visit the Microsoft Security Support Center for assistance.