Posts tagged "update"

10 Things You Should Know About Windows 10 Creators Update

April 19th, 2017 Posted by Best Practices, Data, Desktop, Devices, Internet, Newsletters, Windows 10 0 thoughts on “10 Things You Should Know About Windows 10 Creators Update”

Microsoft officially released its significant update to Windows 10 on April 11th. The company is calling it the “Creators Update”. In comparison to the monthly updates that usually only contain minor changes and security fixes, the latest update has new features that are large and small.

BUT, before you go through with ANY update, be aware of the risks that you might be taking by completing the install. You may have insufficient hardware, driver problems, and application incompatibilities to name a few.

Please consult your IT support provider to hear if Windows 10 Creators Update is right for you. We always recommend time for any major update for bugs to be worked out. You don’t want to be the guinea pig. If there is no pressing need for the update or you do not require any of the new features or improvements to perform your job, hold off.

But, if you are interested, here are the top things to know about the Windows 10 Creators Update.

1. Phased Approach

The Creators update was released on April 11th, so why hasn’t your computer updated yet? Well, Microsoft is taking what it calls a “phased approach”. Which means that not everyone will get the update right away. Newer devices will receive the update first, then updates to other devices based on feedback Microsoft receives from the first group. This process will be repeated over the next several months according to Microsoft’s Director of Windows Servicing and Delivery, John Cable.

But, you can manually update via the Software Download Site if you can’t wait. The suggested way is to take advantage of the Update Assistant. In order to do so, go to the Software Download Site and click the “Update Now” button. While it’s manually updating, the privacy settings will appear as part of the first experience with the Creators update.

 

2. Mini View

The Mini View feature creates a compact overlay on your computer. Which means certain apps can go into picture mode in the corner of your screen. You can stream videos from YouTube, make a video call, keep a timer on top or place many other apps in the corner while you multitask with the rest of your screen. The minimalist mode can potentially be very useful for the multitaskers out there.

 

 

3. Night Light

If you’re wondering why you can’t sleep at night it might be because of the blue light coming from your screen. There’s already software out there such as F.lux that filters out this blue light. The Creators update will add a new function called the “Night Light” which will filter blue light, so you can sleep with ease. To activate Night Light, open the Settings app and then go to System > Display.

 

4. Microsoft Edge

Once the Creators update goes into effect for you, you’ll notice that the Edge browser is faster with better functionality. Utilizing Google’s own benchmark tool, the updated Edge browser scored faster than Chrome for loading and rendering sites. It also blocks more malware and phishing sites than Chrome with the SmartScreen Filter (read the report from NSS Labs). You’ll be able to manage your tabs easily in the Edge with the ability to organize and preview tabs without leaving your current page. You can set aside open tabs with one click and reopen them with the “tabs you’ve set aside” section. The Edge becomes an e-reader and it has the basic functions to adjust the font and text size on e-books, set bookmarks, search for terms and other features you’d expect from an e-reader.

 

5. Game Mode

If you’re one of the 150 million Americans that plays video games then this new feature should interest you. The Creators update includes “Game Mode” which allows Windows 10 to adjust its resource allocation logic to prioritize a game when it’s running. The update will also have a service called “Beam” that lets you take screen caps or videos of any game you are playing, load them up to your channel, and share them. Own an Xbox? Lucky for you because you can buy a game once, then play it on your Xbox or your computer. Now you can take your gaming on the road easily!

 

6. Improvements to Defender

A central dashboard for monitoring the security of your machine will be added to your computer called the Windows Defender Security Center. Your new dashboard will allow you to view your antivirus protection as well as your network and firewall protections. It also includes health & performance, application and browser controls, and family options. You can read more about it here:
Introducing Windows Defender Security Center.

 

7. 3D Paint

Here’s an upgrade everyone can get excited about: the new app, Paint 3D! You don’t need artistic creativity to use Paint 3D according to PCWorld’s Mark Hachman. People that don’t have any creative skills can actually create stunning 3D scenes. When you’re done making your work-of-art you can send it off to a 3D printer!

 

8. Dynamic Lock

Are you the type of person to hit Win + L to lock your computer every time you walk away? Well, here’s a handy new option for you, the Dynamic Lock. Pair your phone with your Windows 10 PC via Bluetooth and when you walk away with your phone for more than 30 seconds, your computer will lock and shut off the display. Users can setup the Dynamic Lock option within Settings > Accounts > Sign-in options.

 

9. Windows Ink

According to Microsoft, the Creators update will allow users to directly write on Word documents, web pages in Edge, maps, photos and videos.  The update will also add an ink toolbar with a tilt pencil effect and a protractor tool.

 

10. Windows Themes are Back

The Creators update will include new system colors and themes which will make your Windows 10 PC even more personal. You can head over to the Windows Store to choose from a large variety of pre-made themes.

There are many other features on the Windows 10 Creators update. Such as mixed/augmented reality, 4k monitor support, new sharing options, scheduled update installs, “My People” feature and much more!

We hope you found these tech tips handy! Remember, it’s not just about technology solutions. It’s about partnering with our clients to drive business success.

Let the Think specialists help you and your company! Please contact our sales team at [email protected] if you would like our recommendations or a quote.

Think IT Town Hall Helps Locals with Tech Advice

March 17th, 2017 Posted by Best Practices, Community, Data, Desktop, Devices, Hosted Services, Internet, Microsoft, Networks, Newsletters, Operating System, Security, Services 1 thought on “Think IT Town Hall Helps Locals with Tech Advice”

Matt Glick and Prudencio Dimas from Think have over three decades of experience in the IT world working side by side with organizations, both large and small, to understand and resolve ongoing IT challenges.  Their understanding of network infrastructure, design and implementation was offered to participants of the TechKnowledge 2017 Conference in a Town Hall forum.  Topics such as servers, backups, disaster recovery, cloud storage, Office 365, virus protection, malware, ransomware, and security best practices were all discussed.  Matt and Prudencio fielded a range of questions but it was obvious what was the most concerning topic among the group.

Ransomware and backups.

The duo talked about best practices when it comes to backups and ransomware for almost an hour with the group. It was a very productive session and their favorite question came from Diana Murray, Manager for ASAP Accounting & Payroll, Inc.  Ms. Murray asked “What are the three most important elements of IT when talking about small business?”  We thought we would summarize their answers below.

1. A layered approach to security:

Matt brought up an older Blog post Think published entitled “Is Your Security Layered Like Your Bean Dip?”  It says you should layer your security like a seven-layer bean dip.  Just one layer at the bottom, and it just not as enticing.  But when you get all those layers, working together, it’s an explosion of excellence!  And even more important, the layered security approach tells us the more hoops a hacker has to jump through, the less likely they are to be successful.

2. Backups are key:

Matt posed a few questions business owners should consider when it comes to their backups.  What kind of backup you have is just as important as what is being backed up.  Is it file level backup?  Do you have a full image?  And, what is your expectation of downtime in the event that you do deal with a server crash?  And, he reminded everyone there to be realists.  Emergencies happen.  So, anticipate that they will happen and be prepared.  Practice.  Exercise your backup recovery process; test and retest it, so you have time to work out the kinks.

3. Standardization:

Prudencio explained IT standardization is a strategy for minimizing IT costs within an organization by keeping hardware and software as consistent as possible and reducing the number of tools you have that address the same basic need. It may take the form of ensuring that every computer has the same operating system, or of purchasing hardware in bulk so that every PC in your office is the same make and model. By streamlining your IT infrastructure, you can simplify decision­ making and minimize purchasing and maintenance costs.

Thank you to the Chamber of Commerce for organizing this event for our community and for asking Think to be involved.

Tech Knowledge Conference 2017

February 22nd, 2017 Posted by Best Practices, Community, Data, Desktop, Devices, Hosted Services, Internet, Microsoft, Networks, Newsletters, Operating System, Security, Services 0 thoughts on “Tech Knowledge Conference 2017”

The Durango Chamber of Commerce will host its 3rd Annual Tech Conference on Wednesday, March 15th at the DoubleTree Hotel featuring keynote speaker Jeff Walker.

There will be a variety of breakout sessions throughout the day which include topics about cyber security, email marketing, makerspace, web policies, digital marketing, facebook marketing, hackathon, and much more. Think Network Technologies is a sponsor for the Tech Conference, but they will also be a presenter for one of the breakout sessions.

Matt Glick(CTO) and Prudencio Dimas(Solutions Architect) will be holding an “IT Town Hall” on March 15th from 2:30 – 3:20p in the Silverton/Purgatory room at the DoubleTree Hotel. You’ll be able to ask Think’s senior engineers all your business tech questions about servers, backups, disaster recovery, cloud storage, Office 365, virus protection, malware, ransomware, security best practices, and IT policies.

As CTO of Think Network Technologies, Matt manages network operations, business development and provides guidance to the technical team.  He brings more than 18 years of experience delivering technology solutions to regional private and public sector accounts. Matt has a Bachelor’s of Science in Sociology and Environmental Science from Fort Lewis College.  He started his career in Seattle, where he worked for a corporate consulting company and got his start in systems administration.  He pursued further education at Colorado Mountain College for Microsoft Server OS, Directory Services and Architecture; completing MCSE, MCSA and MCP certifications.  He also completed the Cisco CCNA, CCDA and CCNP certification coursework while being employed as a network administrator for a school district in Roaring Fork Valley, CO.  In 2002, Matt returned to Durango to start his own venture, thus the inception of Think Network Technologies.  His understanding of network infrastructure, design and implementation has benefited Think’s customers in finding solutions to fit the business requirements in both smaller and larger environments.

As a Solutions Architect at Think, Prudencio plays a role in nearly all phases of the IT service delivery life cycle, from the initial consultation and needs assessment, to implementation and ongoing solution support. Prudencio got his start as an intern while earning an Associate’s Degree in Information Technology. Prudencio is well rounded with experience ranging from small computer repair shops to networks of five thousand plus endpoints.  His primary focus is on windows systems administration and he carries certifications in Microsoft and Cisco technologies. In 2012, Prudencio left the IT world behind for 6 months of world travel. When he returned, an opportunity with Think brought him to Durango where he works side by side with businesses large and small to understand and resolve ongoing IT challenges.

Please contact Think’s IT specialists at [email protected] if you have any questions or concerns.

WordPress Sites Hacked Due to Exposed Vulnerability

February 8th, 2017 Posted by Best Practices, Hackers, Internet, rest api, Security, wordpress 0 thoughts on “WordPress Sites Hacked Due to Exposed Vulnerability”

WordPress 4.7.2 was released last Thursday, January 26th. If you have not already updated, please do so immediately.

A WordPress bug called REST API Endpoint allowed more than 100,000 websites to be hacked over the past two weeks. According to security firm Sucuri, websites have been hacked solely because the admins did not make an update to their WordPress as advised by the company. The exploit allows hackers to update content published on a WordPress website running with the 4.7.0 or 4.7.1 versions.

The security flaw, a zero-day vulnerability which affects the WordPress REST API, allows attackers to modify the content of posts or pages within a website backed by the WordPress content management system (CMS).

The reason the vulnerability wasn’t made public at the time of WordPress 4.7.2’s release was the real worry that malicious hackers might race to exploit the flaw, attacking millions of blogs and company websites. We have here, but not before a few headlines on Data Center Knowledge were altered to read “Hacked by (insert group name here)”. Sucuri also warned that version 4.7.2 may not automatically update even if that feature is turned on in WordPress.

MuhmadEmad, a Kurdish anti-ISIS hacktivist working for the Kurdlinux team, has hacked thousands of websites, leaving a message praising the Kurdish Peshmerga forces. This is not the first time the Kurdish hacker targeted websites leaving a message saying ‘Long Live the Peshmerga’. On Monday, the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) said that its official website was hacked by MuhmadEmad. “The perpetrator also posted a picture of the Kurdish flag, and wrote ‘long live Peshmerga’.”

To avoid your websites from being hacked with this exploit, Cyber Security professionals have requested to update to the latest WordPress version 4.7.2.

Please contact our sales team at [email protected] if you have any questions or concerns.

Extra! Extra! Read All About It! Free Windows 10 Upgrade!

August 13th, 2015 Posted by Services 0 thoughts on “Extra! Extra! Read All About It! Free Windows 10 Upgrade!”

Free Windows 10 Upgrade

We all dread the release of another Microsoft operating system because of the price tag that comes attached to it. It is the very reason why some people are still on Windows XP (hopefully no one is relying on an earlier version of Windows)! But what’s this? Microsoft is offering a free upgrade to its newest operating system, Windows 10?

Should You Upgrade to Windows 10?

Yes. It is true. Well, not if you are on Windows XP or Vista, sorry. But if you have Windows 7 or higher, you can upgrade to Windows 10 for free. This morning my laptop popped up an upgrade box that said, “Reserve your free copy of Windows 10 before it is too late.” So this may not be an everlasting offer; I would recommend jumping on the opportunity if you can!

Though I have not gone through the free upgrade experience myself, the numerous articles that I have read are actually recognizing Windows 10 as being a solid operating system and a recommended upgrade! I do plan on upgrading soon. While still similar to Windows 8.1, there were some improvements Microsoft made based on customer feedback… or so they say!

Gone is that dreadful Start screen and the child-like full-screen app page. And added is your personal digital assistant, Cortana, virtual desktop capabilities, and the DirectX 12 graphics API (The Windows 10 upgrade: Who should do it, who could wait).

How to Avoid Windows 10 Upgrade Scams

It is also important to note that one should be hyper-aware of the scammers that are also taking advantage of the free Windows 10 offering. Email scams are popping up left and right, and as always, looking more legit than ever before.

Knowledge is your greatest ally, so be sure you do your research and always err on the side of caution. Below is an example of a recent Windows 10 email scam from Beware this Windows 10 upgrade scam.

Windows 10 ransomware email

Windows 10 ransomware email (credit Cisco)

Notice the incorrect characters, the large zip attachment, and the footer of the email noting it has been scanned for viruses. A free Windows 10 upgrade is hard to pass up, but just make sure you are not getting scammed in the process!

Need Help?

It is also crucial to ensure application compatibility before upgrading to Windows 10, so if you have any questions or are unsure about the compatibility of your critical applications, please contact Think prior to performing an upgrade!

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