Have you updated your PC?

Well you should. Now. Seems there’s another (yes another) here-to-fore undiscovered vulnerability, this time affecting OpenType fonts. You probably don’t use OpenType, but it doesn’t really matter. You need to make sure the PC/Server/WinMobileDevice is up to date.

See the full story here, from ZDNet.

Just to beat the dead horse: don’t let updates lapse. Regularly update Windows, Java, Reader, and Flash, at a minimum. A little bit of caution goes a long way to preventing problems in the future.

How will updates change with Windows 10?

With the upcoming roll out of Windows 10, one of the important questions to consider is how will updates change with Windows 10?

They will happen automatically. That’s both a good thing and a bad thing, as noted in this article . It is my experience that most users will ignore updates (Windows, Java, Flash, Reader, etc) so having the updates downloaded and installed automatically will make that process less-error prone.

That said, we are already annoyed enough by update-initiated reboots (in the middle of presentations, important meetings, etc). I don’t see that changing, even given that the new update scheme will allow for choice of update time.

So, what to do to avoid the often lengthy inconvenience? My advice is to attend to the PC, making sure it is up to date and free from pending reboots well before the urgent meeting. Maybe once a week – before going to lunch, perhaps? Set a reminder to make sure it is up to date and reboots.

But that’s just good practice in any event…

Be aware of scam IT calls

How to be aware of scam IT calls? Some good advice from the QuickBooks blog.

Have you received these scam calls? The caller is usually very brazen, rude, and heavily-accented. Do you just hang up or do you cuss them out?

I am usually inclined to ask them questions, like the IP address or machine name of my affected PC. The insistent caller never knows those answers (because they can’t). They’d always ask to connect remotely to my PC to begin checking it out.

Do I need to say? Never let an unknown person connect to your PC for any reason.

Questions? Comments? Let me know your thoughts –

How do I protect my computer from electrical spikes?

As the summer has heated up, we’ve certainly had our share of storms. These strong storms have caused some power outages throughout the area, lasting minutes or hours, or even days. Such events can really take their toll on our electrical devices, to say nothing of our nerves.

 

But you have played it safe, and have all your sensitive equipment connected to surge suppressors and not to generic power strips, right? The power strip just has a bunch of outlets in it, but a surge suppressor has the ability to bleed off sudden spikes in current due to lightning or a utility problem. Suppressors are usually good enough to protect electronics from spikes, but are not enough for real protection. They do not protect from low power events or brown outs, for example. And after a suppressor does its job once, it is no longer reliable and should be replaced.

 

A better solution is a battery backup. Backups are more expensive; at least $50 compared to suppressors which can cost as little as $10. Backups protect against low power, high power, and since they have a battery, give you a couple of minutes to save work and shut down properly. A battery backup will provide reliable service for at least three years in normal home usage. Its well worth the investment to protect your valuable equipment and data.