Have you ever got a phone call from a Microsoft representative that states “your computer is in risk, or it needs instant virus removal service or any security updates”? The scam has hit Western Washington, Oregon and Alaska, as revealed by Better Business Bureau (BBB) in a recent report, and also confirmed by Eric Foster on behalf of Windows Security Blog. This is not something new. Internet cones often use names of well-known companies, like Microsoft, in their scams to convince victims to divulge personal information and squeeze out money from their accounts.

Answering “How does the scam work?” the agency exposes that the rogue Microsoft representative may claim that there is a serious virus or issue with the consumer’s computer and if the problem is not solved, the computer may become unstable. To “fix computer problem”, the consumer is directed to visit a website or download a program that gives the caller remote access to log in to the computer. Through this gateway now the remote users can have the authorized access to steal personal information. At times, experts can try to woo your confidence saying that you have won the “Microsoft Lottery” and to know more you need to click on certain web-link. Microsoft through this blog post clearly disclaims of making any such approaches to provide update or fix issues, also it doesn’t organizes any Microsoft Lottery kind of thing. No one from Microsoft Tech Support is going to call you or ask for credit card information to validate your copy of Windows. So avoid these dangerous hoaxes. Treat all unsolicited phone calls with skepticism. Do not disclose any personal information.

News and alerts from third-party Computer Technical Support providers can also help you to stay safe against such fake security alerts. Even if you have got into the trap, and your system has got the infection then you can rely on their experts to clear off viruses, spyware and malware from it through the use of Microsoft recommended tools or Windows compatible software. Manual removal is also feasible through the editing of the registry settings and clearing off susceptible files or entries through the hidden system files. You can also download Microsoft Safety Scanner to know the status of machine, and further use the Microsoft Malicious Removal Software Tool to get rid of potential threats. However, for real-time protection you should install and download Microsoft Security Essentials. In case, you want to use any third-party antivirus or malicious removal tool then you should either ask experts at PC repair portals, or verify it with the help of Microsoft Compatibility Center that lists all software or hardware products that are compatible with current versions of Windows including Windows XP, Windows Vita, Windows 7 and Windows 8 Release Preview.

However, prevention is better than cure. Have frequently usage of the Internet then go through the must-to-follow security tips.

Protect your privacy on the Internet

Don’t go bare on the Internet when it comes to privacy. Before posting your content or views on any website first, read the website's privacy policy. However, in state of no privacy statement, take your business elsewhere. Do not share more than you need to, and do not post anything that you don’t want to be public, don’t reveal information that can say about your whereabouts. Keep your account numbers, user names, and passwords secret.

Guard your information

Use an Internet firewall. Windows Firewall is an inherent feature of the operating system and by default it remains turned on. However, frequently you should keep an eye on its status, for some virus attack it may get disabled. Navigate to Microsoft Update to verify your settings and check for security updates.

Protect Kids on the Web

A reliable research says that on an average 7 hours and 38 minutes are spent by kids on the Internet. Citing this, you should take care that you kids are using the Internet the correct way. Keep you kids in a comfortable zone, so that they can share about any obscene or anxious experience regarding the Internet. Let them know you will work with them to help fix the problems. Make sure that kids know about the age limits on the site. The recommended age for signing up for social websites is usually 13 and over. Educate them about the different social networking sites and their usage and managing privacy. Make sure that they understand the privacy policy and the code of conduct well. Many social websites allow kids to join public groups that include everyone who goes Guide kids as which information to share and which to avoid. For instance discourage them from posting photographs revealing personal information such as street signs, license plates on their cars, or the name of their school on their sweatshirts.

Author's Bio: 

As a senior computer technical support engineer at Techvedic, the author offers out-of-the-box PC repair service remote support to global customers for issues related to hardware and software. Moreover, he has a passion to write articles and blogs related to computer support, so as to empower consumers to fix computer problems on their own.