Windows 10, despite its ups and downs, is still the most popular operating system in the world. But many organizations are still struggling with it and IT support team is working hard to fix those issues. In this guide we’ll try to look at all the challenges that Windows 10 currently faces and how you can work around them.
Learn how to solve common Windows 10 issues
Increase your productivity and efficiency
Back on July 29th 2015, when Microsoft released its latest operating system into the wild, it was expected to come with fewer issues and to ultimately make life easier for its users. However, what the world noticed was entirely on the contrary. Users, who took Windows 10 for a spin in its early days helped Microsoft discover a lot of problems in Microsoft Edge (the new web browser to replace Internet Explorer and Finally compete with Chrome and Firefox) and other areas of the system. This brought about frenzied subsequent updates that each came with a fair share of additional challenges.
Four years down the line, the latest version of the Windows Operating System still brings pain to users on various fronts. While some of these issues are brand new others have been carried down from the previous versions, a solution to each of these issues, ranging from the start page to Office 365, is sought after.
Here we show you some quick tips and tricks to solve some common problems.
Windows 10 Tips and Tricks
Here are a few problems that you must be aware of before you click the install button for installing Windows 10 on your system.
1. Space need for installing updates
While Windows 10 is out of the world in looks and feels, the installation part is where most of us have a hard time. While this may not seem like an issue at all to users with newer PCs, the guys with old desktops see bugs and issues in the installation of the updates.
If you don’t have a ton of money to spend on new systems with enhances disk space, here’s what you can do: You can use an external cleaner app that is at times more efficient and brings you more free space when compared to the inbuilt disk cleanup tool. Here is the guidebook to follow for cleaning up space on your hard drive.
2. Slow loading (slow boot time)
People have been reporting issues of slow boot time on their Windows 10 PCs, and some have even claimed it to be so slow that they literally prepared a cup of coffee and came back to their desks. Well, there’s nothing to be surprised at!
This slow boot time can be due to many reasons, out of which the main reasons are an outdated Windows version, less space in the hard drive, or if your system is attacked with malware. Now, you can replace the HDD with an SSD as the safest way to deal with the situation. Ivan Jenic has prepared a whole list of other solutions to get quick boot times.
3. File association – files opening with the wrong app
If you are running into issues with files trying to open with a completely different application, then you are in the right place. Well, you can always open it with the best app on clicking “open with” option on right-click, but we want to prevent you from doing that every time you want to open something.
You can easily change this from the default apps section in the settings of your PC. Once and for all, this will be a solution for a lifetime. In the default section, you can change the default search engine or the default music player and others.
4. Data use – uses 4G data when you don’t want it to
Even in times when you can’t have the benefit of getting access to 4G data, Windows 10 tends to use 4G data and eat all of it in the background without you even knowing it. You can set up the connection as metered and use your hotspot without any worries about the data being eaten up.
Follow the steps below:
Click on the Start menu and then Settings.
Find the Network & Internet option there and then select Wi-Fi.
Next, find your network name and set it to a metered connection, and Windows will take care of the rest.
5. Too many notifications
Although Windows provided with the feature to view at all notifications in the Action Center, sometimes these notifications can eat our head when they are in bulk. Atop this, most of these are useless. And yes, there’s a way to banish all these unnecessary notifications.
Open Settings from the Start button. Open the System section and then go to Notifications & Actions. From here, you can remove any links from where you don’t need notifications every time.
6. Privacy settings not optimum for most businesses
The privacy of a business in the 21st century becomes of the utmost importance with leaks and piracy happening now and then. Windows has a dedicated Privacy screen in the Setting panel from where you can set your privacy according to the needs of your business. Here’s a full guide to check your Windows 10 privacy settings right now.
7. Where did system restore go?
A manual intervention to ensure recovery from problems in necessary at times. However, in Windows 10, some people may find difficulty in finding the System Restore button, which may come as one of the biggest problems with Windows 10 at times.
Type “system restore” after clicking on the Start button.
Select “create a restore point.”
Next, click on the System Protection tab.
Select the C drive and press Configure.
Turn On the system protection.
8. Printer issues
Printers have always been problematic on certain Windows versions, and it is the same with Windows 10 too. Well, here’s a quick way to fix any printer issues on Windows 10.
9. Is your PC powerful enough to support Windows 10?
It’s a dream of every computer owner to run the latest versions of the Operating system on their desktops. However, with Windows 10, there are specific criteria from Windows, which you need to follow to ensure that Windows 10 works fine on your PC.
10. How to manage and schedule software updates, so they don’t get in your way
Windows 10 comes with exclusive and necessary updates now and then. For users, it becomes essential to schedule the updates so that they don’t get n the way. You can set the Update to Automatic from the Services option, after which Windows will take care of the updates every time you are connected to the Wi-Fi.
Conclusion: The features on board with Windows 10 are amazing but being aware of all the issues that you may face and how to come out of these issues becomes essential. The problems stated above are all understandable, and you don’t have to panic in any such situation. For IT support or consulting regarding Windows 10 issues and more, please contact us. We are always happy to help.
Get fully transitioned to Windows 10, avoiding Windows 7 end of life.
Keep your business safe with the latest security patches.
Microsoft Windows 7 end of life is coming and you need to be prepared! Critical security updates will stop on January 14th 2020. We can help manage the transition and deal with the nuances of Windows 10 to help keep your business running smoothly.
Cost comparison and considerations of Windows 7 vs Windows 10
When is Windows 7 no longer supported?
Although the official end of life date is January 14th, 2020, Microsoft will continue to support Windows 7 through a Windows 7 end of life extended support service agreement. This is a paid monthly fee for maintaining and extend support for Windows 7.
This is a possible option.
How long will Windows 7 be supported?
Until January 14th, 2020
When is Windows 7 no longer supported?
January 14th, 2020
The Windows 7 end of life countdown is on. When Microsoft introduced Windows 7 in 2009, the Windows 7 end of life countdown clock was set at ten years. The company committed to supporting the product for a decade. They stated that once this period was over, the product would be discontinued so that the company could focus on supporting newer technologies and great experiences. That time has come, and businesses need to put provisions in place so that they are not negatively impacted.
What happens when Windows 7 support ends?
Windows 7 is supported by Microsoft until the date mentioned, but you can still continue to use Windows. There is nothing stopping you. The question is should you continue to use it?
Can I still use Windows 7 after 2020?
Yes, you can, but it is not recommended. Why not? Well, there is not going to be any support for the product. So, if something goes wrong, there is nothing you can do about it. Plus, this means that security patches and updates won’t be released, which could put you at risk of a cyber attack.
Is Windows 7 still updated by Microsoft?
Until January 14th, 2020, it will be. After this date, there will not be any updates.
Microsoft will still likely provide some critical patches, after all, they recently provided a patch for Windows XP, which has long since been unsupported. However, your business can’t rely on that. Some patches will come, but many won’t and you will be vulnerable every day that you don’t update to the latest supported version of the Microsoft operating system.
Will Windows 7 support be extended?
Yes, Microsoft will be ending support for Windows 7. However, they are offering an extended support package, which will run until January 2023. Nevertheless, this comes at an added cost and it won’t last forever, so the sooner you upgrade your system, the better.
Why is Microsoft ending support for Windows 7?
Microsoft releases new operating systems and updates with a cyclic schedule to keep pace with technology development and implement new features enabled by improved hardware and industry trends. The useful life of a PC with windows is typically 5-7 years although a 3-year cycle is more appropriate to keep your hardware updated in step with technology advancements.
What happens if I continue to use it?
You won’t get feature updates or security updates, you will essentially be running a vulnerable unsupported windows operating system. Basically, you lose mainstream support and are at risk. It will still continue to operate just fine for a period. We can look to the history of Windows XP, now not allowed in many organizations due to the many unpatched security holes that exist.
How can I upgrade without a lot of disruption?
The best thing to do is to use the assistance of a specialist IT company who can manage this upgrade for you. That is where we come in. You need to upgrade your computers while ensuring all of your data is backed up, security is at an optimal level, and you’re not offline to your customers. You cannot afford to cut corners. An experienced company will be able to navigate this for you.
How do I deal with Windows 10 issues?
Windows 10 is distinctly different from running Windows 7. Windows 7 users will need to understand the key differences so they can learn how to make the most of this platform. The good news is that Windows 10 brought back the feel and look of Windows 7; it is not as radically different as Windows 8 was. The difference being, of course, the new added features and the enhanced performance. Windows 10 saw the return of the start menu where you can access everything from Microsoft Edge to Microsoft Word, just like Windows 7, yet it brings the live tiles from Windows 8, which are featured to the right of the main menu.
One of the biggest changes to the Windows operating system, when Windows 10 was introduced, was Microsoft Edge. This was the company’s update to Internet Explorer. It represents the first time the browser has been rebranded since 1995. Not only did it bring a new interface but plenty of new features too. This may take a little bit of time for your business to get used to but with the help of experts who can configure it to suit your company, it will be a lot easier.
Cost comparison and considerations of Windows 7 vs Windows 10
There are some savings to be had by buying a new computer with Windows 10 already on it (to the tune of $100 or so).
Furthermore, the expected lifetime for computers is 5-6 years (not in terms of failures only, but at the point where they become too slow to continue using them at a business, due to lost productivity).
Most computers with Windows 7 still on them are close to that age, so it doesn’t make sense to throw more money at them by upgrading the operating system (since they’ll be thrown out soon), but rather to upgrade the whole machine (and get the OS already installed on, and at a discount).
Windows 10 Life Cycle
Finally, you will want to know about the Windows 10 life cycle. After all, with Windows 7 ending, you may be concerned about the same happening to Windows 10 in the near future. The truth is that all Windows products have a life cycle. By knowing the key dates, you will be able to make the best decisions regarding when to upgrade and update your software. At the moment Windows 10 will be updated twice every year. First in March and then again in September. Updates are cumulative, meaning each update is built on the one that preceded it.
The world in which we live gets more technologically advanced every day and things that were previously accessible to only a select few have now become available to pretty much everyone. During the 1980’s when personal computers were the newest thing, the desktop devices were much more expensive (not to mention cumbersome) than they are today.
Thirty plus years later, personal computers are commonplace in homes around the industrialized world and everything on the internet is now available anywhere at anytime thanks to a large variety of handheld mobile electronic devices, including cell phones, laptops and tablets.
Another electronic device that is quickly changing the way we live and work is the drone that began as a hobby for flying enthusiasts or expensive gifts to kids from parents who could afford them. Today multiple companies are manufacturing affordable drones which have made them more popular and the devices are quickly becoming mainstream business tools.
Multiple government agencies and a variety of businesses are now using drones to assist in accomplishing their goals which include photography, news media, farming, law enforcement, shipping and more uses for drones are always being found.
Both UPS and Amazon plan to start delivering packages using drones instead of the typical mail transporting services. When that becomes reality you will have to worry about your package even making it to your doorstep to be stolen by someone watching for package deliveries because hackers will be able to gain control of drones in-flight and redirect them to another location.
As we have seen in the past any type of electronic device that gets connected to a network becomes a potential target for hacking. These nefarious efforts are made easier by devices that have little or no security measures in place and are easy to set up facilitated by using open ports and unencrypted communications.
A recent example sparked anxiety in the up-and-coming drone industry when a drone was found outfitted with hacking capabilities that would allow it to hack into local wireless networks after landing on roofs of businesses, homes or government facilities.
DefCon demonstrated in 2015 that someone could very easily take control of a drone while in flight. Since shipping drones will likely be launched each time from a specific location, it won’t take long for hackers to determine flight patterns and easily assume control of regularly flying drones and their cargo.
The logistical nightmare created by dronejacking for companies like Amazon and UPS could negatively impact the success of such programs even though successful dronejackings would be unreliable and package contents are unknown.
Drones have also been known to annoy people when they fly over their houses and many have resorted to throwing rocks or shooting guns to bring them down. This presents questions about invasions into personal space and “no-fly zones,” which are just a few of the issues currently being considered by national and local authorities. Ordinances and regulations about drones are still being formulated so many agencies don’t know how to handle drone complaints.
The media and photography enthusiasts use drones to get pictures that are not easily accessed otherwise using expensive high-quality photographic equipment. Hackers could easily assume control of not only the expensive drone, but the costly equipment it carries which creates a tempting target for dronejacking by those who resell various devices including drones and camera equipment.
Multiple federal, state and local law enforcement agencies use drones for surveillance and to assist with crowd control in highly charged scenarios like protests and situations involving active shooters. Protesters could look to technology to take out surveillance drones and security feeds upon which law enforcement agencies rely.
Researchers have found open ports and weak authentication tools in many drones used for consumer shipping which allows hackers to send remote commands to drones to redirect them. Most of these redirections are currently being done manually but it won’t be long before someone produces a format that makes exploitation easier.
Most vulnerabilities are easily remedied with a software update from the drone manufacturer and those who manufacture more expensive high-end drones will probably offer fixes sooner than cheaper drones for which fixes will be a long time coming.
Cybersecurity experts predict that drone exploit kits will soon start making the rounds on the internet and more media stories about dronejackings will appear in newscasts worldwide. Questions about personal no-fly zones will abound and debates on social media will be heated about solutions that may include running software from a laptop instead of hurling rocks and loading weapons.
Experts also predict drones will be taken out of the air by individuals using directional antennas and that hackers will develop a way to quickly eliminate surveillance drones used by law enforcement.
Commercial aviation grew slowly over a long period of time as did rules and regulations governing it. Drones are advancing at a much more rapid pace which is leaving the United States Federal Aviation Administration scrambling to formulate regulations governing where and when both private and commercial drones can fly and local authorities are awaiting those rules and regulations, as are individuals who operate or are affected by drones.
Intel Corp is a leader in the tech world of cyber security and uncovers an average of 245 new computer related threats daily. The experts at Intel have developed a Threat Dashboard that lists all the current threats, vulnerabilities, ransomware, exploit kits and campaigns of which their experts are aware that are designed to nefarious invade electronic devices for the purpose of stealing valuable personal and confidential information.
Intel has determined the following to be the Top 10 Vulnerabilities of which computer users everywhere need to be aware:
Cyber security vulnerability list:
A vulnerability in Microsoft Windows could allow remote hackers to gain access to sensitive information. The flaw exists in the Graphics Device Interface (gdi32.dll), which hackers can exploit using an EMF file. The EMF file format is an extension of the spool file format, Enhanced MetaFile, which Windows uses for reading, filing, storing, and printing documents.
Uncovering CloudFlare Vulnerability: Cyber Security Risks and Customer Data Exposure
Cyber security researchers discovered a vulnerability affecting websites that use CloudFlare, a content delivery network that sits between the computer user and their internet host. The vulnerability could result in possible memory leaks that expose private customer information, posing a serious risk to website users’ sensitive data
This cyber security vulnerability affects Adobe Flash Player, a popular freeware used for accessing internet applications, viewing multimedia, and streaming audio and video. Remote hackers can exploit the vulnerability to cause a denial of service, application crash, and/or execute arbitrary code using unspecified vectors. As such, it poses a serious cybersecurity risk to users of the software
This vulnerability also affects Adobe Flash Player’s by enabling remote code execution.
This vulnerability allows remote hackers to execute arbitrary code, cause a denial of service or memory corruption in Microsoft JScript 5.8 and VBScript 5.7 and 5.8 engines, which are used in Internet Explorer’s versions 9 through 11 and other products.
Cybersecurity experts have identified a vulnerability in Microsoft Internet Explorer that could lead to remote code execution. The flaw is related to the “HandleColumnBreakOnColumnSpanningElement” and could potentially be exploited by remote attackers. It poses a significant cybersecurity risk to users of the browser.
This vulnerability also affects Microsoft Edge and could result in execution of arbitrary code or a denial of service and the flaw lies within the scripting engines that are exploitable using crafted websites.
This vulnerability causes memory corruption in Microsoft Windows applications and could result in a denial of service with the flaw lying in mrxsmb20.sys and the way SMB traffic is handled.
Enhance Cyber Security: Partner with “EyesEverywhere” for Reliable Consulting Services
Computer users face an ongoing challenge of keeping up with the latest computer viruses and hacking vulnerabilities, which can affect anyone, anywhere, anytime. To fight nefarious computer invasions, it’s crucial to maintain up-to-date security software and develop a working relationship with competent IT professionals. For reliable cyber security consulting services in Toronto, consider partnering with EyesEverywhere. Our team of experts can help assess your vulnerabilities and implement effective security measures to protect your business from cyber threats.
Yahoo’s Cyber Security Crisis: What You Need to Know
Hackers Forge Cookies to Steal 32 Million Yahoo Accounts: A Security Breach
Yahoo has faced numerous cyber security crises with high-profile hacking incidents, including one that impacted over half a million account holders. Months later, the company acknowledged another cyber security breach from 2015 that endangered more than half a million account holders.
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) confirmed that more than thirty two million Yahoo accounts were hacked in a cookie forging attack that dates back to 2015.
Apparently, hackers used a sophisticated cookie forging exploit which they were able to execute without having to know or use account passwords.
Yahoo will determine which accounts were invaded by hackers that took or used forged cookies and will notify account holders potentially affected by the breach. The tech giant identified and invalidated the cookies which essentially cut off the hackers.
Regarding the cyber security breach involving the cookie forging exploit, Yahoo wrote in SEC filings:
“In November and December 2016, we disclosed that our outside forensic experts were investigating the creation of forged cookies that could allow an intruder to access users’ accounts without a password. Based on the investigation, we believe an unauthorized third party accessed the Company’s proprietary code to learn how to forge certain cookies. The outside forensic experts have identified approximately 32 million user accounts for which they believe forged cookies were used or taken in 2015 and 2016 (the “Cookie Forging Activity”). We believe that some of this activity is connected to the same state-sponsored actor believed to be responsible for the 2014 Security Incident. The forged cookies have been invalidated by the Company so they cannot be used to access user accounts.”
Internal investigation by the SEC determined that Yahoo had enough knowledge of the hacking situation to disclose it in 2014, that several unidentified senior executives of the company failed to “properly comprehend or investigate” the breach and that its legal team should have opened an inquiry about the hacking in 2014. An SEC filing states:
“The Independent Committee found that failures in communication, management, inquiry and internal reporting contributed to the lack of proper comprehension and handling of the 2014 Security Incident.”
This latest information saved Verizon $350 million in its prolonged negotiations to acquire Yahoo which will be deducted from its initial $4.83 billion buyout offer. Also in light of these recent developments, Yahoo’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) has agreed to take full responsibility for the oversights and will forgo the annual bonus and equity grant which will be redistributed to Yahoo employees.
Alexa: Amazon’s Revolutionary Virtual Personal Assistant
Amazon’s contributions to the tech world continue with the introduction of Alexa which is a “virtual personal assistant” that uses Amazon Echo (hands-free speaker system) to provide audio to multiple electronic devices for purposes of asking and receiving responses to a variety of questions. Alexa can also be used for playing music and audiobooks, setting alarms, creating “to do” lists, providing real time information about traffic and weather and other voice interaction capabilities.
Alexa can also act as a “hub” for several “smart” electronic devices which operate using various wireless protocols. Most of those devices allow activation of Alexa by speaking a “wake word” but some require users to push a button to activate Alexa’s listening capabilities. Currently Alexa is only available in English and German languages.
Alexa has created a lot of buzz about privacy issues and questions as to whether or not the device can be used for nefarious spying purposes. After WikiLeaks revealed that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) employs a huge arsenal of remote hacking tools, registered users of the website Reddit.com raised the issue of Alexa’s possible collaboration with the CIA. Reddit.com is a website that allows registered users called Redditors to submit content in a variety of forms and those submissions are voted up or down by fellow-Redditors to organize posts and determine where they rank and appear within the website under a variety of categories.
One of the recent submissions was a video clip that poses questions to Alexa with regard to its connection to the CIA in which viewers can hear a woman ask “Alexa, would you lie to me?” to which the device responds “I always try to tell the truth. I am not always right but I would never intentionally lie to you or anyone else.”
The anonymous lady posing the questions in the video then asks “Alexa, what is the CIA?” to which the device immediately responds “The United States Central Intelligence Agency, CIA.” She then asks “Alexa, are you connected to the CIA?” A noise can be heard that resembles the dull “dunk” sound you hear when you click on something that can’t be viewed but Alexa offered no answer. The lady asks the same question again and gets the same sound and no answer, which is completely atypical of the device’s normal response capabilities.
Some folks give Alexa the benefit of the doubt suggesting that it doesn’t respond because it’s experiencing some kind of problem registering the question but others fear the device didn’t know how to respond and is actively recording and spying on them.
Interestingly, Redditors got the same response from other virtual assistants known as Google Now and Apple’s Siri. When they asked Google Now “Are you connected to the CIA?” the device responded “Me? I don’t know.” Similarly, when Redditors asked Siri the same question, the device responded “I can’t answer that.”
It’s not surprising that this video has unleashed a flurry of conspiracy theories about the CIA using multiple electronic devices, including telephones and televisions, to spy on people. Contributing to the conspiracy theories is the fact that it is well known that Amazon has previously worked with the CIA, including in 2014 when the agency paid $600 million for Amazon to develop a cloud computing infrastructure designed to specifically meet the needs of the CIA. Recently Amazon also became involved in a murder trial during which it claimed First Amendment rights to requests for releasing recordings that Alexa might have in relation to the case.
Most companies don’t want to alienate clients by collaborating to exchange information with any government agency but a few have been known to do so in addition to Amazon, including Yahoo which is suspected of being in cahoots with the FBI and NSA by providing user data to those intelligence agencies.
The liberal voice for world, business and sports news, reviews, opinions and analyses known as The Guardian indicated in 2014 that Amazon is also not particularly careful about protecting private user information which promotes and contributes to the perpetuation of conspiracy theories about Alexa.
Amazon attempted to quell conspiracy implications by releasing a statement about the video reviewed by Reddit saying:
“This was a technical glitch which we have fixed. Alexa’s response to this question is:
Mitigating Privacy Risks: The Importance of Cyber Security Consulting for Virtual Personal Assistants
In light of privacy concerns surrounding virtual personal assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa, it’s important to consider the potential risks and how to mitigate them. Cyber security consulting can play a crucial role in helping individuals and businesses protect their sensitive information from unauthorized access or data breaches. These services may include conducting security assessments to identify vulnerabilities, developing security policies and protocols, implementing encryption and other data protection measures, and providing ongoing monitoring and support to prevent and address security incidents. By working with a cyber security consultant, individuals and organizations can take proactive steps to safeguard their privacy and mitigate the risks associated with using emerging technologies like Alexa. Give us a call today to find out more about our services.
IT Consultants Empower Apple’s Next Generation iPhones with Enhanced Face Detection
What’s in Store for Apple’s Next Generation iPhones? IT Consultants Drive Enhanced Face Detection Technology!
What could Apple possibly come up with to incorporate into its next generation iPhones that will make everyone want the updated version? Well, according to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the tech giant has applied for and been issued a Patent for a technology that enables “enhanced face detection using depth information.” That should do it!
The tech giant will use specifically modified software and hardware modules in its newest iPhone creation. According to the Patent and Trademark Office, Apple’s new technology will be available for both still images and videos.
The Patent Application indicates that the new technology uses a combination of camera modules, depth sensors and computer imagery to produce “depth maps” which it uses to accurately identify human faces that appear in the image. Apparently, the new technology breaks down the image into smaller frames or “windows” and then selects one or more in which to “test for presence of human faces.”
The feature uses depth information to make the identification process easier and more accurate, but becomes less reliable when more faces appear at varying depths and locations within the image/video, which could contribute to false detection issues, according to the Patent and Trademark Office.
This news comes amid rumors that c may be ramping up its reality capabilities and might introduce an innovative 3D selfie camera, which will rely on infrared modules that are capable of projecting patterns of optical radiation into images that will allow the device to split the image or video into depth maps.
Until the announcement is made by Apple, these innovative features are pure conjecture but, if and when the new technology becomes available, it will only be included on premium iPhone models and is expected to also have a premium price of over $1000.
The Intersection of Technology Advancements and IT Consultant
It’s interesting how technology advancements like Apple’s new face detection technology can impact different industries, such as IT consulting. With the introduction of new features and capabilities in smartphones, there will be a growing demand for IT consultants to help individuals and businesses navigate and optimize the use of these technologies. In today’s fast-paced and ever-changing tech landscape, having the right IT support is essential for staying competitive and efficient. So, while Apple’s new technology may not directly relate to IT consulting, it’s a reminder of the importance of staying up-to-date with the latest tech advancements and seeking the right expertise to fully utilize them.
In today’s digital landscape, cybercriminals are raking in millions of dollars through ransomware and malvertising schemes, leaving authorities perplexed on how to tackle this escalating threat. In this article we will explain more about malvertising schemes Malvertising Prevention.
The FBI recently reported that cybercriminals are netting an estimated $325 to $500 million every year using ransomware and malvertising schemes. Because of the increasing prevalence and sophistication of these scams, authorities are completely baffled about how to handle this rising threat that often causes business owners and computer users to just “pay the ransom” in order to continue their business operations.
Ransomware is a malicious computer software designed to do nothing more than block access to computer systems until a sum of money is paid, thus “Ransomware.” “Malvertising” is a combination of the words “malicious” and “advertising” and involves the use of internet advertising to spread malware by injecting malicious ads (or malware-laden ads) into an otherwise legitimate online network of web pages and the advertising featured on those pages.
You’ll know if your computer has been infected by blatant signs of infection that include sluggish internet connections, programs that take too long to load or your cursor being 20 seconds behind your mouse. Other times it’s a silent destructive force and you need to know the signs of infection.
The most obvious is getting a “pop-up” that indicates your files have been encrypted and there’s a deadline to pay a certain amount of money (ransom) in order to retrieve them. Creators of ransomware want you to immediately know that your computer is infected because that’s how they make their loot … and the sooner the better!
Browser redirects are also typical problems with infected computers which means that you are constantly redirected to a different page than the one you’re trying to access and repeated attempts result in the same redirection.
You may also notice that your home page has changed or the presence of new toolbars that you can’t remove or bombardment with pop-ups. Close one and another one pops up and there’s no escaping the vicious circle. Sometimes a particular website will have awful ads that make you feel like something wicked is happening but, most of the time, if your monitor screen is full of pop-ups, you have an adware infection.
Other not so obvious signs of infection include a slow running computer, constant crashing, unresponsive web browser, freezing of browser or unfamiliar icons on your desktop. It’s also possible that you downloaded legitimate software that contained one or more Potentially Unwanted Programs (“PUP”), which weigh down the operation of your computer.
Another problem typical of infected computers is “bounced” emails, or those that return to your inbox as “undelivered.” An infected computer will attempt to send out emails to the addresses in your contacts list and, if the “to” address doesn’t work, the email bounces back to the “from” address, which is your email address. So if you’re receiving a lot of bounced-back emails you probably have a malware infection.
There are also stealth infections, such as “botnets” and others that are designed to use your computer as part of an infected network of computers, used for attacking other networks/systems, which you will not discover unless you regularly scan your computer with a security program that detects potential problems.
Your computer is not the only electronic device you need to worry about because your cell phone is not immune to malware infections. If your phone battery drains quickly, it could be all those games you play or the music and videos you stream OR it could be infected with mobile malware. You should pay close attention to your cell phone bill to be sure you aren’t being charged for messages you didn’t send or for things you didn’t purchase.
Ransomware and malvertising are interrupting internet business daily and you need take measures to ensure that you protect your systems to keep your business operational and free of these nefarious infections.
Protect your business from cybercriminals with IT security measures. EyesEverywhere IT Consulting to stay one step ahead of these malicious infections, ensuring the uninterrupted operation and security of your data and business.
Contact the professionals at EyesEverywhere IT Consulting today for a better understanding of the tactics used by cybercriminals to infect your electronic devices and for tools and solutions designed to detect and eliminate ransomware and malvertising and thereby protect your data and business from cybercriminals.
As if Torontonians didn’t already have enough to do, Microsoft has launched a new version of Windows for everyone to master. Microsoft Windows is the most popular software for business and personal use because it contains a wide range of applications that include everything from simple word processing to complicated spreadsheets.
Windows is the preferred computer operating system throughout the world, but is quickly losing ground as more people turn from clunky computer desktops to more portable tablets and smartphones, which use operating systems created by Microsoft’s rivals, Apple and Google. Both rivals indicate a preference for maintaining separation between operating systems for PCs and mobile devices and reject Microsoft’s plan to combine the two.
The last release by Microsoft was Windows 8, which was introduced two years ago and attempted to meet growing demands for hand-held mobile devices, but failed because users hated it and its tablet-like design and inapt controls for devices that use keyboards and mice.
Microsoft jumped from unpopular Windows 8 to Windows 10 in an attempt to emphasize its ongoing efforts to move forward by reviving popular features from older versions and combining them with new features in the hope of regaining the loyalty of desktop PC users while, at the same time, meeting increasing customer demands for modern touch-screen technology on smartphones and tablets.
Windows 10 offers “the familiarity of Windows 7 with some of the benefits that exist in Windows 8,” according to Joe Belifore, an executive who oversees Windows design and evolution.
Terry Myerson is the Executive Vice-President of Microsoft’s Operating Systems Group and indicated “Windows 10 represents the first step in a whole new generation of Windows.” He compared it to buying a new car with a better sound system and more powerful engine without the necessity of having to “learn a new way to drive.”
Windows 10 is a blend of old and new and will have various controls that are familiar to users of older Windows versions with new features that are easily learned, even by those who still use Windows 7 or earlier versions.
Beware that if you use the “express” setting when you upgrade to Microsoft 10, doing so will enable Microsoft to gather any and all of your personal information unless you configure your privacy settings otherwise. Do not use the express settings unless you want Microsoft to know everything about you and what you are doing online.
The experienced professionals at EyesEverywhere understand Windows 10 and every phase/version of its evolution and are always ready to help by sharing valuable information with Torontonians who maintain hectic personal lives and demanding business schedules that require the assistance of tech savvy experts in various fields of expertise.
Call the expert professionals at EyesEverywhere today to discuss Windows 10 and any transitional problems you may be experiencing so that you can get back to your area of expertise.