There are a couple of answers to this question.
There are a couple of answers to this question.
Published Mar. 15, 2020 by Mark McGinnis
Most of us have enough occupying our minds over uncertainty and are even likely experiencing a crisis, even on a small scale.
In a crisis, as a former paramedic, I’m reminded that people often don’t act rational, calm, sane, or even anything like someone’s normal. This abnormal behavior is actually normal in an abnormal circumstance, if you are following me! With reminders about what is true and that things are going to get better, we pull out of this. Our country will; you and I will too!
The internet is a great place to help us come together as community. There are wonderful platforms, email, chat, video conferencing and more that build community.
But be reminded that the internet is also a fertile ground for mis-information and scams. Here are a few ways to be careful, as there are people out there taking advantage of the weak and those in crisis.
Use reputable sites for your information, online shopping and entertainment
Go to sites you normally would use. Don’t click strange links that are targeting your emotions to try to get you to a website you normally wouldn’t go to. Many pop-ups and ads are targeting people’s emotions right now!
Donate to Reputable Organizations
If you do donate, go directly to the organization’s website that you want to donate to. Don’t click links or assume that an email is legitimate! Links and images in emails can be misleading and send you to incorrect sites, or even get you to download SPAM. Instead, retype the address in your web browser.
Even if someone on Facebook posts something about what they think is true, doesn’t make it true! Fact and fiction can both be written in the same font-type and it’s everyone’s job to decipher the difference. I know, someone just needed that reminder. Even the media spreads false information. It’s everywhere. https://www.snopes.com is a good resource to check internet facts/scams. Especially before sharing information, make sure it’s true. YOUR integrity is on the line once you share it.
If you have any comments, share in our blog online here. As always, you can contact me about security questions or concerns. Be smart. Share. And carry on!
I know, I know, you are saying “this is usually a scam!” But I’m not going to ask you for money and, no, there’s no number to call.
If you have Windows 10 you should be aware of an important security issue that affects the security of https (Secure Socket Layer) connections. Today (January 14th), Microsoft posted an important security bulletin, severe enough for the the National Security Agency (NSA) to actually disclose first. This announcement is a first for the NSA. This security issue affects some (not all) Windows 10 users.
The Quick Details
What You Should Do
Run your Windows Update if it hasn’t run today. Virus Scan programs aren’t equipped to protect users from this issue, so you can protect your computer by updating this now. It takes 2 minutes!
If you want the nitty gritty, the security update is included in “2020-01 Cumulative Update for Windows 10 Version 1909 for x64-based Systems (KB4528760)”
Published Jan. 14, 2020 by Mark McGinnis
Published Jan. 14, 2020 by Mark McGinnis
Today’s the day that Microsoft has been preparing us for. Preparing us by trying to sell us a new computer that is!
But buying a new computer isn’t what most of us have done. The people I talk to are just upgrading to Windows 10–for FREE! (That’s a $139 savings!) Over the last few weeks I have been helping people people upgrade and it’s been a smooth transition.
What’s the big deal about today, anyways? Well, starting tomorrow, Microsoft is no longer providing updates for Windows 7. This means that any security patches and driver updates will no longer be sent to these computers. If you’re concerned about security, this is kind of a big deal.
Is it worth the risk? It might be. If you don’t do any online banking, send any sensitive information such as credit cards or social security numbers via websites, or send emails with private information, you may be okay without an upgrade.
For most of us, though, upgrading is worth it! You can do this yourself for free with just a little computer know-how. You can also have us help. Either way, there is only a slight learning curve we can explain to you in 15 minutes or less.
Save $129+ by upgrading now! Right now (as of today), Microsoft is still letting this upgrade go for free by downloading it from their website. But it’s also being sold on Amazon for $129+ and on their site for $139 and up! So why would you purchase it, then? We’re really not sure. When you download the free upgrade, it will give you a new Windows License (confirmed by running a license scraping program like Belarc Advisor). BaBoom! No need to buy it–for now anyway. There’s no indication on whether this free upgrade will continue or not.
Here’s the link to download it for free on Microsoft’s website: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10
You probably heard that on January 14, 2020 Windows 7 will no longer be updated. The still-popular version of Windows with the best user-friendly interface of its time will sadly be replaced by a newer, more sleek design: Windows 10.
It’s not all bad news, though!
When Microsoft announced (or didn’t really announce) that you would be upgraded to windows 8.0 in 2012, some were outraged. It took the desktop, as we knew it, away. We saw the writing on the walls—everything was going to touch/mobile. It didn’t help that it was forced upon some of us, nearly overnight, either. I remember the pop-ups almost every week telling me to upgrade and that it had already downloaded onto my computer. Wait, what!? It was already downloaded? Yup, it was automatically downloaded and taking up about 1 GB of space (somewhere) on my laptop.
Well some things have changed since version 8.0 and, subsequently, v8.1 (which is when they gave our desktop back to us). Windows 10 has become much closer in functionality to Windows 7, using icons again, as well as a start menu.
If you are still scared to upgrade, let me give you a little hope that not all is lost. Microsoft has heard you and is making Windows 10 a better platform than it’s ever been. You can access your programs with desktop and task-bar shortcuts, or even type the program name in the search bar and it will find it almost instantly. The search bar also has many new “smart” features, such as finding a setting, Windows feature, or even a personal file. It comes with a built-in virus scan (Defender) that also searches for Malware, Spyware and Ransomware.
It’s not too late to upgrade for FREE. Although Microsoft is actually advertising that you should buy a new system, they haven’t even removed the ability to upgrade your system at no cost. Many of our customers have asked if they need to buy a new system. The answer is likely NO.
Please let us know if you have questions or to discuss your options when January 14th hits! We’d like the opportunity to help you make a decision about your situation. Don’t wait, though. If you plan to upgrade, consider doing this soon.
First, did you know you may not be upgraded to the latest version of Windows 10? That’s right. They don’t roll the updates out all at once. Several customers have had issues with their system running slow and, come to find out, not being upgraded is part of the issue. To see if you have the latest version (1903), type “About This PC” in the search bar and scroll down to the version.
To download the latest updates, type “Windows Updates” in your Windows 10 search bar. You may find a couple of updates that haven’t been installed. But if you notice an error message that the updates can’t be performed, it may be due to the latest announcement that a program from Intel needs to be updated first. Wait until next week and try this process again.
You may not want to know the details because they are creating a fix that will probably be out this week. But if you are really interested, you can go here to read about it. It also explains how to fix this, which I have also created a short-link to at http://rst.mcs.bz from where you can download and run the needed upgrade.
Last week Google finally admitted that a SPAM issue was actually a security flaw. Users of Google Calendar have seen events that they don’t plan on attending pop up in their calendar! Included in this has been alerts to “go to pickup your free iPhone” on a particular day, among other bogus calendar events.
There’s a feature tied to Gmail that will automatically import calendar events into your Google Calendar. Great feature! But not if the event is from a SPAM email. So the crooks have been sending spam with a calendar event and the event will populate in your calendar but get pushed to spam in your email.
If this is happening to you, here’s how to fix it.
In my last message I reminded readers that Windows 7 will become obsolete in January, 2020. There are many choices on what to do about this, from nothing to letting us help you transition with ease!! To read the article on how to do this yourself, check it out here.
But first… Do you need help figuring out which version of Windows you are running? If you are still on 7, 8, or 8.1, now is your chance to upgrade to Win 10 for free!
If you see one of the following screens below, then you are running either Windows 8, 8.1, or Windows 10. In this case, keep reading for more details.
If you are seeing one of the above 2 screens on your desktop, click in the search bar on the bottom left and type “This PC.” Then Right-click Properties. Your Windows version will be displayed. Alternately, you can open Settings–>System–>About to see which version of Windows you are using.
If you are running Windows 8 or 8.1, you can also take advantage of this free upgrade from Microsoft. We charge a fee to make this transition easy for you.