• As always, Microsoft continues to encourage customers to follow all of the steps of the “Protect Your PC” guidance of enabling a firewall, applying all software updates and installing anti-virus and anti-spyware software. Unfortunately, technology alone cannot stop the impact of this malicious activity so Microsoft continues to recommend that people adhere to its online safety guidance, which is also outlined at www.microsoft.com/protect:
    • Keep personal information to yourself. Guard account numbers, Social Security number and passwords with special care.
    • Be careful about sharing files; file-sharing can increase the risk of installing worms, viruses and spyware on a PC.
    • Download files only from sites you know and trust.
    • Be careful about using public computer networks, and don’t use them for banking or sales transactions.
    • Delete Spam e-mail, and do not open attachments from people you don’t know.
    • Use strong passwords, with a mixture of numbers, letters and symbols, at least eight characters in length.
    • And importantly: Think first; click later. Treat links and attachments in e-mail and instant messages carefully. Don’t click in banner ads or pop-up windows.
  • By helping people understand the threats that exist and how to avoid potential pitfalls this holiday season, they can get the most out of the Internet and maintain that holiday spirit.
  • Customers who believe they have been attacked should contact their local FBI office or report their situation on www.ic3.gov. Customers outside the U.S. should contact the national law enforcement agency in their country.
  • Customers who believe they are affected can contact Product Support Services at no charge using the PC Safety line at 1-866-PCSAFETY (North America). All customers, including those outside the U.S., can visit http://support.microsoft.com/security for assistance.