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Archive for the ‘SmartScreen filter’ Category

There is no Hotmail Maintenance Department

June 13th, 2013 No comments

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 to get you to share your personal information so that they can use it for identity theft. Delete the message—do not open it, and do not click any links or open any attachments.

The Hotmail Maintenance Department doesn’t exist—and if it did, the department wouldn’t send unsolicited email messages with attachments that asked for your personal information. Be suspicious of any email messages that appear to come from the Hotmail team; even though your email address still says “Hotmail,” the service is now called Outlook.com.

For more tips on spotting scam email messages, see How to recognize phishing email messages, links, or phone calls.

If you opened the PDF file, your computer might already be infected with malware that can be used to steal your personal information. Scan your computer with the Microsoft Safety Scanner to find out. The scanner will also help you remove any malicious software it finds.

Internet Explorer 10 now available for Windows 7

March 5th, 2013 No comments

If you’re running Windows 7, you can now get the newest version of Internet Explorer that comes with Windows 8 and Windows RT.

Download Internet Explorer 10 for Windows 7

New security and privacy features

To help give you more security and increased control over your privacy, Internet Explorer 10 includes:

  • InPrivate browsing – Use an InPrivate tab and Internet Explorer 10 will clear your cookies when you close the tab and will not store your passwords and webpage history.
  • Do Not Track – Send a signal to marketers and websites requesting them to not collect data that enables them to track you on the web.
  • Windows SmartScreen – Get help identifying known phishing and malware sites in order to make informed decisions about app downloads.

Learn more about the security and privacy features in Internet Explorer 10.

Internet Explorer 10 now available for Windows 7

March 5th, 2013 No comments

If you’re running Windows 7, you can now get the newest version of Internet Explorer that comes with Windows 8 and Windows RT.

Download Internet Explorer 10 for Windows 7

New security and privacy features

To help give you more security and increased control over your privacy, Internet Explorer 10 includes:

  • InPrivate browsing – Use an InPrivate tab and Internet Explorer 10 will clear your cookies when you close the tab and will not store your passwords and webpage history.
  • Do Not Track – Send a signal to marketers and websites requesting them to not collect data that enables them to track you on the web.
  • Windows SmartScreen – Get help identifying known phishing and malware sites in order to make informed decisions about app downloads.

Learn more about the security and privacy features in Internet Explorer 10.

Shop online with care this holiday season

November 27th, 2012 No comments

Holiday shopping is in full swing and so are the scams. The following tips can help you stay safe when you shop online.

Use a modern browser. Internet Explorer 9 and Internet Explorer 10 (available with Windows 8) include the SmartScreen filter.  SmartScreen helps protect you from fraudulent shopping websites that seek to acquire personal information such as user names and passwords. Learn more about SmartScreen.

Use strong passwords for online retail sites and keep your passwords secret. Make your passwords eight or more characters. Use a combination of numbers, symbols, and uppercase and lowercase letters (the greater the variety of characters, the stronger the password). Also, make sure you don’t use the same password for all the sites you use. Check the strength of your password.

Be careful when you shop online using a public Wi-Fi connection. If possible, save your financial transactions for a secured home connection. Passwords, credit card numbers, or other financial information are less secure on a public network. If you have to make a purchase, choose the most secure connection—even if that means you have to pay for access. Learn more about Wi-Fi safety.

Get more advice for safer online shopping

Spooky antivirus software

October 30th, 2012 No comments

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 from viruses is like chasing a phantom, and Judy’s antivirus software might be turning off because she has a virus.

Learn more about viruses and other malicious software

Having reliable support helps remove the mystery

If your computer is running Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7, Microsoft Security Essentials is available as a free download. If you’re already using it and it has unexpectedly turned off, you can uninstall it and reinstall it. And if doing that doesn’t fix the problem, you can contact support.

Learn more about Microsoft Security Essentials

Antivirus protection in Windows 8

If you’re running Windows 8, you don’t need to download Microsoft Security Essentials or install any other antivirus software. Windows Defender and Windows SmartScreen are built-in security features that provide real-time scanning to help protect your computer from viruses, spyware, and malware.  

Learn more about security in Windows 8

 

Win the battle against email fraud

March 20th, 2012 No comments

Cybercriminals use email fraud (sometimes called “phishing”) to steal your personal data or information such as credit card numbers, passwords, account data, or other information.

Cybercriminals might send millions of fraudulent email messages with links to fraudulent websites that appear to come from websites you trust, like your bank or credit card company, and request that you provide personal information. Criminals can use this information for many different types of fraud, such as to steal money from your account, to open new accounts in your name, or to obtain official documents using your identity.

Here are 5 ways to help avoid email fraud:

  1. Never click links or open attachments in emails from your bank or other financial institution. Use your browser bookmarks to access your financial websites or type the URL directly into your browser. Learn more about how to recognize scams.
  2. Use strong passwords. If you use a strong password in your email account your account is less likely to be hacked. Learn how to create strong passwords.
  3. Use email software with built-in spam filtering. SmartScreen filter helps reduce both unwanted and possibly dangerous email. It’s built into Microsoft email programs and is turned on by default. Read more about how SmartScreen works in HotmailOutlook 2010, and Outlook 2007.
  4. Add people you know to your safe sender list and unwanted senders to your blocked list. This helps you get the mail that you want and not the mail that you don’t.
  5. Look for signs that your information is safe. Phishing emails often try to lead you to malicious websites. Before you enter sensitive information on any site, ensure that the site uses encryption, a security measure that helps protect your data as it travels over the Internet. One sign of a secure site is an address that starts with https. Learn more about how to make safer web transactions.

For more information, see Phishing: frequently asked questions.

Internet Explorer blocks more malware

August 30th, 2011 No comments

The independent security research and testing organization, NSS Labs, just released two reports that say Internet Explorer leads the field in protection against socially engineered malware, specifically fake links that you might see in an email or on your social networking site. 

 According to the report, Internet Explorer caught 96% of this kind of malware.

Source: NSS Labs, August 2011 – Global Socially Engineered Malware Protection

Read the full report. (PDF)

More information about how Internet Explorer 9 protects your computer from malware



Beware of bin Laden malware on the web and in email

If you’re searching for news about or pictures of Osama bin Laden, you might find malware instead. This week the FBI warned computer users to be especially careful of emails that claim to show photos or videos of bin Laden’s death.

Cybercriminals are quick to put up fraudulent websites that people will find when they’re searching for popular news topics. These sites often contain fake security software that tries to trick you into downloading malware by making you think that your security is at risk.

Only click links on websites that you trust. If you’re on a news website and you see a pop-up window that advertises security software, do not click it. Computerworld reports that these risks apply to people who use either the Windows or the Mac operating system.

Here are two free ways to help protect yourself: