Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Windows Support Scam Calls Increase Following EOS Of Windows XP

Cases of criminals and frauds claiming to be calling from Windows to offer users computer remote support are on the rise. These calls, usually originating from Philippines or India are scams that are aimed at installing malicious software programs to steal financial and personal data or to scare users into software that they do not need. This news was confirmed after contacting the Windows support number.

These scam callers usually introduce themselves as being from Windows remote support and claim that they have found that the computer of the user being called is at risk of infections. These callers encourage the person being called to switch on their computer and then direct them to log off the Windows operating system. Here they play on the lack of advanced knowledge of the computer user, suggesting that the harmless entries on the log are in fact serious problems and encourage the user to either buy software programs to fix the issues or to allow the bogus remote support caller to access their computer to fix these fake issues.

Many of these calls at the moment are being targeted at the UK customers, where the software used to block calls on the telephones cannot be used to block international calls. In one such case, a man, aged over 80 years received about six calls in one week from someone who claimed to be calling from Windows, despite him never owning a PC. Even though the Federal Communications Commission in US has attempted to track down, charge and stop those making these fake calls, there is little that can be done to stop them.

The best advice to the users is that if someone ever calls telling you that you need to turn on the remote desktop support software for them to help you, you should simply disconnect the call. As the support of Windows XP is scheduled to end on April 2014, there is a concern that big volumes of these calls will be made and people will be conned by these Windows support scammers. Just as banks advice the users that they will never phone or mail them for the log in details, Microsoft also makes it clear that they do not make calls to the users, offering Windows assistance to fix errors and security issues.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Microsoft Updates Organizing Tools Of Outlook

Celebrating “National Clean Out Your Inbox Week,” Microsoft has added some updates to the email de-cluttering and organizing tools in the Outlook program. In addition to improving and enhancing the Sweep-to-delete features, the service has also upgraded the option to search for and categorize the messages, together with many other improvements. Microsoft notes that the average user of the Outlook program gets more than 10,000 personal emails a year and that eighty percent of these email messages are commercial mails, like newsletters, updates, and promotions. This made the company make tools that allows users to more easily access the other 20 percent —personal email messages.

One of the much popular tools of Outlook is Sweep, which is used about 7.5 million times a week. This feature allows users to clean out their inboxes, making use of the bulk delete function. With the sweep upgrade, users will be able to see a simpler interface that will need only a few clicks. Another update makes it easy for the users to organize their email messages by category. Even though the email messages are filed away under categories, the users will still be able to find them with the search tool. The Search function has also been updated with more search criteria, a simpler interface, and filters.

Mike Schackwitz, who is the Outlook principal group program manager, wrote in one of his blog posts that, "We provide a set of default categories based on the most common types of e-mail, such as newsletters and social updates, but you can also easily create your own categories based on your inbox activity." "With your email organized the way you want it, you can use the updated Search tool to quickly find email regardless of the category or folder it's in. One of the most commonly-searched criteria is for people, so we now show your contact names and pictures together when you're looking for them," he added.

In addition to updating categories, Sweep and search, Microsoft has also added more keyboard shortcuts, improvements to video, smooth Web-to-mobile email synchronizing, and enhancements to video and chat capabilities on different platforms like Facebook, Skype, Twitter, Google and LinkedIn.

If you wish to know more on the Microsoft Outlook tools, you can contact the Outlook support team. You can also visit the Outlook help modules posted on the official Microsoft website to know more on the Microsoft Outlook tools.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Getting Tech Support For Your Internet Explorer Problems

One of the benefits of using Microsoft operating system is that you would get a slew of Microsoft applications like the Internet Explorer browser, the Skype instant messenger, Windows Media Player, etc. along with it. Also, Microsoft has put in place an excellent tech support network to take care of all the problems pertaining to any of these applications as well as the operating system itself.

Accessing the Microsoft tech support for your IE browser problems

Though Microsoft has many channels for providing tech support like the Microsoft Help forum, Microsoft Support website, Microsoft chat support, etc., not many Windows users are aware about how to access them online. Typically, whenever there is an error in the Windows OS or any of the Microsoft applications, you would get an error message with an error code and some details about the problem.

Now, these specific error codes are assigned to the various problems in Microsoft software applications so as to make it easier for the tech support personnel to identify them and then, rectify the problem easily. Indeed, you can make use of the Microsoft tech support facilities to find the solution yourself.

Go to the Microsoft Support webpage and type in the error code into the search box you would find there. Now, the displayed results would take you to the troubleshooting page for that particular problem. If you follow these steps correctly, then you would be able to rectify the problem yourself without contacting the Microsoft tech personnel.

Using the Microsoft Help forum

One of the most popular Microsoft tech forums online is the Microsoft Answers website. This website, as the name suggests, would help you get answers to all your Microsoft product-related queries. You can get in touch with other Microsoft users, who had the same problem, and find solutions easily.

Just phrase your problem with all its details and post it at the Microsoft Answers website using your Microsoft Account. The Microsoft tech support personnel would be keeping track of all the posted questions and they would give you a reply that would detail all the troubleshooting steps required to fix the problem.

Microsoft Fix It

Using the Microsoft Fix It solutions is yet another way of solving the problem. When you search for the solution online at the Microsoft tech support page, you would be provided with a link for downloading the Microsoft Fix It application. Install and run this application to solve your IE problems.

Monday, May 19, 2014

About Windows Anytime Upgrade Experience In Windows 7

Windows 7 is the most popular operating system released by Microsoft and still, majority of the people use the OS for personal as well as business purposes. It is because of its rich features and characteristics that it became so popular among the techies and day by day, its popularity is increasing. Microsoft has already ended their support given to the 12 year old operating system Windows XP. Therefore, more users are expected to migrate from Windows XP to Windows 7.

If you are upgrading from a lower edition of Windows 7 to a higher edition of Windows, then it requires to follow some step-by-step processes. The systematic experience of upgrading the OS from a lower version to a higher version are neatly explained in the below given paragraphs. For more, read the full article.

Step 1

A customer is presented with two options, when he/she launches the Windows Anytime-Upgrade (WAU) from their Windows 7 computer. Then you need to enter the product key for the Windows Anytime Upgrade (WAU) that you purchased from the retail store or you can get the product key online. After getting the product key, proceed with the upgrade, and you need to choose the option called 'Enter an upgrade key'.

Step 2

As a second step, a customer needs to enter the product key for Windows Anytime-Upgrade in the appropriate space.

Step 3

Next, Microsoft will verify the product key that is entered by the customer to check whether it is valid or not. Those who have purchased the product key online do not need to accomplish the steps 2 and 3. For them, they can directly move on to the step 4. You are given the ability to print out a receipt, when you make a purchase of Windows Anytime Upgrade online. Moreover, you also will receive a copy through email.

Step 4

To proceed to the next step, you need to agree to the license terms of the Company. Without accepting this, you will not be allowed to move forward.

Step 5

Now, the machine will ask the customer to shut down all the opened programs and to save the existing work. To move on to the next step, you need to click the button called Upgrade.

Step 6

Now, the machine will start upgrading their OS to a higher version. Reboot your Windows 7 PC.

When the upgrade finishes, the customer can use the latest version of Windows 7 and thereby enjoy all its features. For more assistance on Windows, contact the Windows support number.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Microsoft Reminds Users About Windows XP EOS Through Pop-Ups

About a year ago, Microsoft made an announcement that broke many computer lovers' hearts; they announced to end the support for their thirteen-year-old operating system Windows XP from April of 2014. Until Microsoft announced the end of support for the operating system, it was the second most popular Windows operating system in the industry. The operating system was widely accepted mainly due to its simple design and ease of access. The funny fact is that even after the company released the end of support for the operating system through their Microsoft tech support blog, people are still refusing to upgrade from the operating system.

The operating system still holds about thirty percent of the overall computer market share while the latest operating systems from Microsoft like Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 together hold a share of just 10.36 percent. However, with the end of support for the operating system now in place, we can hope that the numbers of Windows XP operated computers will be getting low in few days. However, the market leader in the operating system field is Microsoft’s own Windows 7 operating system, which is the successor of the Windows Vista operating system.

The company has announced through their Microsoft tech support forum that they will be reminding users of Windows XP who have not upgraded to the new operating system from the thirteen year old operating system that is nearing its end. However, this popup message will be only shown to users who have Windows XP Professional or Home installed in their computers. According to the company, they will be showing the message from March 8, exactly a month before the end of support date of the operating system.

However, the message can be viewed by only users who have their automatic update option for the operating system turned on. In addition, the users will see the message only if they are connected to the internet. The company but failed to mention whether they will be providing the popup message only on March 8th or will continue to display the message throughout. If you are not sure whether you are running the Windows XP operating system or not, you can know that by checking the System Properties option in the My Computer window.

It is better to upgrade to Windows 8 as soon as possible and enjoy the many attractive features that come along with the latest OS from Microsoft.

Friday, May 16, 2014

One Of The Microsoft Support Scam Leaders In UK Caught, Sentenced

At least some of you might have heard about the Microsoft support scams that have been going on for the last few months. A few of you might have even been at the receiving end of a few such fraud tech support phone calls. This has been going on for many months now taking different phones.

One such Microsoft tech support scam teams busted in UK

The good news is that one such tech support scam team was recently busted by the National Trading Standards eCrime Team in UK. They successfully apprehended Mohammed Khalid Jamil of Luton and his members, who were busy fooling naive Microsoft team customers into believing that they were actually official Windows tech support personnel trying to help them with tech problems for a small fee.

The operation was called Smart Support Guys and they used overseas call centres to make phone calls to such Microsoft customers in UK claiming that they were the Microsoft certified tech support personnel. After convincing these customers about their credentials, they would then gain remote access to their systems with their permission.

Once, they gained control the customer’s system in this manner, they would began installing some malware that would slow the system down considerably. They would then point this problem out to the naive customer and make him pay a ‘small fee’ to fix this problem.

Of course, I should also mention here the fact the tool these ‘Microsoft tech support personnel’ would then use to fix the problem is actually available for free at the Microsoft support website online. It was reported that they used charge such gullible customers anywhere between £35 and £150 for such ‘tech support services’.

Recently, the leader of the group, Mr. Jamil was sentenced to a four month suspended sentence and above £24,000 in fine. Part of this would go towards the courts costs – about £13,929 and about £5,665 would go to the victims.

The chairman of the National Trading Standards Board, Lord Toby Harris made the following statement to the press, “This is a landmark case, as we believe it may be the first ever successful prosecution of someone in the Microsoft scam in the UK. Now that one of the many individuals who been operating this scam have been brought to justice, it’s a stark warning to anyone else that they can be caught and prosecuted.”

Friday, May 9, 2014

Few Guidelines To Safeguard Windows XP Machines

Those of you who are using Windows XP are already aware about the end of support for the operating system. According to Microsoft help forum, Windows XP computers will no longer receive any form of support from the software giant. The last day for Windows XP support from Microsoft was April 8, 2014. Since then, Microsoft has stopped release of updates, security patches, bug fixes etc. for the operating system.

Now, a new rootkit malware has been detected in some Windows XP operating systems, named as Alureon. As you all know, a rootkit is a dangerous virus that is designed to steal important information like your credit card number, passwords etc. With something like this, a hacker would find it easier to intrude into your computer system. Now, since Microsoft has stopped Windows XP support, users cannot expect a fix from the software giant. So, what are the other measures that you could take to avoid this type of virus? Let us find out in detail.

Install a good antivirus program

It is always good to take precautions to safeguard your computer. A good antivirus program will ensure that your computer is working fine, free from viruses and other threats. Keep in mind that most of the major antivirus programs in the world still work on Windows XP operating system, and they’ve not stopped support for it. So you may download any of these programs off the internet and run it occasionally. Now, you can go for either a free version of the antivirus programs or a paid version. However, trial versions do not have all the features necessary for complete protection of the computer. Since Microsoft no longer supports your operating system, it is a good strategy to buy a premium version.

Avoid unwanted emails

One of the easiest ways in which your computer could be infected is through malicious emails. Therefore, it is important that you avoid the emails from unknown sources. It is important to delete suspicious emails and make sure that you do not click on the links found in such messages.

Scan USB flash drives

Since viruses can be transferred through pen drives, it is important that you scan them with the antivirus program before using it.

Even though the above-mentioned steps could restrict viruses to a certain extent, there is still no guarantee that your operating system would work smoothly for the coming years. According to Microsoft help forum, an upgrade to any of the newer Microsoft operating systems is the best option available for Windows XP users.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Why Did Microsoft Release The Windows XP Security Patch

Recently, the tech giant Microsoft came up with shocking news to end the Windows support given to the Windows XP operating system, a 12-year-old operating system from Microsoft. Even after so much years of its release, it is still being employed in many organizations and it holds the second place in the computer market share. With the end of support, the Windows XP users will no longer receive any security updates or support and your machine will become susceptible to viruses and cyber criminals.

Microsoft claims that their decision to end the support given to the XP was not just threatening and in fact, they have been planning this for years and those users who are not upgrading the Windows XP systems will make your machine more prone to cyber attacks. Moreover, the efficiency of the machine will also be decreased.

Microsoft’s official blog said, “After April 8, 2014, Microsoft will no longer provide security updates or technical support for Windows XP. Security updates patch vulnerabilities that may be exploited by malware and help keep users and their data safer. PCs running Windows XP after April 8, 2014, should not be considered to be protected, and it is important that you migrate to a current supported operating system – such as Windows 8.1 – so you can receive regular security updates to protect their computer from malicious attacks.”

From the above statement, it is clear that Microsoft really intended to stop all support for Windows XP. However, an issue in its Internet Explorer made them to reconsider the decision to stop support. For this reason, Microsoft was forced to release a patch to fix the issue found in its internet browser. The company’s general manager of trustworthy computing, Adrienne Hall, wrote on the Microsoft’s official blog saying, “We decided to fix it, fix it fast, and fix it for all our customers.”

An upgrade is imminent

The company officials said that Microsoft was forced to release an update since the issues with its IE occurred soon after they officially announced to end the support. This issue in the Internet Explorer made many organizations and companies switch to other browsers. Therefore, they released a security patch soon to ensure customer retention and to fix the issues that were seen in its Internet Explorer.

In the month of April, according to the studies conducted by StatCounter, Windows XP desktop computers constitute nearly 17.2 percent of the computer market share. When comparing the stats, this is a lower number, where a year ago, it was around 22.8 percent. This itself makes clear that most of the Windows XP users have started migrating to other OSs because of the end of Windows support for Windows XP. For more news on this, contact Windows customer care.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Removing The WhiteSmoke Toolbar From Your Computer

Whitesmoke toolbar has its advantages and disadvantages. One of the major advantages of the toolbar is that it helps users in translating web pages to a different language and checks the grammar in it. Now, not all of you might have installed the program knowingly as it comes bundled with other programs. In such conditions, you might find the toolbar annoying. If you are one among them, then this post would help you. Here, we will go through the steps involved in WhiteSmoke toolbar removal.

Removing WhiteSmoke from Chrome browser
  • Launch Google Chrome browser and click on the wrench icon found at the right top corner of the window.
  • From the drop down box, select the option Settings.
  • The above step opens a new tab in the browser with the title Settings.
  • Select Extensions found at the left pane of this window and this shows the extensions installed in the browser. 
  • Uncheck the Enabled option next to the WhiteSmoke toolbar.
  • If you wish to delete the toolbar, select the Recycle bin icon near it.
  • Close the Settings window and then Chrome browser. 
  • Launch the browser again and you will find that the WhiteSmoke toolbar has been removed from the browser successfully. 
Removing WhiteSmoke from Internet Explorer
  • Run Internet Explorer and select Tools from its menu bar.
  • Click Manage Add-ons and this launches the Manage Add-ons window.
  • From the different Add-on Types, select the option Toolbars and Extensions.
  • From the list of toolbars in the browser, locate WhiteSmoke toolbar and choose the button Disable located at the bottom of the window. 
  • Select the button Close and then close the internet browser. 
  • Launch the browser again and you will find that WhiteSmoke is no longer present in it.
Removing WhiteSmoke from Control Panel
  • Open Control Panel window and double-click on Add or remove programs.
  • In the window for Add or Remove programs, you can locate WhiteSmoke toolbar in the last section, since the programs are sorted in alphabetical order by default.
  • Select the toolbar and click on the button Remove.
  • Restart your computer to finish the removal process.
The above steps would help you with the WhiteSmoke toolbar removal process. Once this toolbar is removed from the computer, you will find that the internet browser no longer redirects you to unwanted pages and runs faster than before.