It’s been a while since i’ve written a post.  With things being a little quiet right now, it’s time i got back into this…and explaining some of the changes in this update that will be available for your machines (and in the case of my clients, installed on your machines) soon seemed like a good topic today.

If you want to read more about the changes in this update you can click here. I will hit on three notable changes (at least to me)

1) It appears the “control panel” is going away.  None of the features of the control panel will be, but i know i am a regular user of it since Windows 10 rolled out(i’m old school). All of the settings will still be available but you will just have to get them via other methods.



2) Some of you have mentioned to me how you don’t like those annoying alerts that keep appearing in the lower right hand corner of your screen (well, the email alerts aren’t THAT annoying Smile ). It appears that those alerts are going to be disabled by default moving forward.

3) Last but not least…there will be a change to your start menu.  There will be more “theme aware tiles” which will mean the application icons should look better.  This is not a huge change, but some of you might notice the visual difference.  You can review the article and how to change it back if so desired.


I hope this provides you with a basic overview of some of the more noticeable changes.  For those of you who I support, you will get the usual heads up from me about a “noticeable update being deployed to your machines.”

It’s “almost” looks like a legitimate Office 365 Alert

Well i’ll give this spammer credit, the email doesn’t have the usual array of blatant spelling errors…the photos look ok…..


as usual, pay attention to email addresses and check hyperlinks before you click.  Microsoft would NOT be sending you emails from spscommerce.com

Additionally if you put your mouse on the hyperlinks, those are NOT the Office 365 admin or message centers.

2-19-2020 12-44-29 PM#ThinkBeforeYouClick

It looks good…and Almost reads well enough to fall for it

So now there appears to be a rash of messages coming from “Microsoft” claiming that my account may have been compromised.

When you are reading this on a device where you have multiple email accounts and don’t take the time to figure out which mailbox it’s actually in…you might fall for it.

However looking closely, there is usually that ONE word that is misspelled Smile

imageIn addition if you put your mouse on the “recover account now” hyperlink before you click on it, you can see that it’s clearly not going to take you to Microsoft’s website.


As always, please take a moment to read these messages closely before you act on them.  It’s called “scareware” for a reason…please don’t be scared by them!

microsoft says “update immediately”

So i was reading an article from CNN and it mentioned “Microsoft warns Windows 10 users to update immediately”

To what? what’s the update that needs to be applied? That part was left out.
You can read the article here:

I did a little digging and discovered the update they are encouraging be applied immediately is the 2019-08 Cumulative Update for Windows X Version X. It was released a week ago and should be available via Windows Update.

If i am managing your computers, this being handled and approved during your normal “patch maintenance night” routines.  If i do not maintain your machines, please make sure your computer is completely patched, and everything available via Windows Update is applied and installed.

Please let me know if you have any questions.


Hey Apple users….phishing alert…

Well, the “close but not quite” emails continue.  This one arrived in my icloud inbox so i took a closer look.

It’s written reasonably well…there aren’t glaring typos. “Iforgot.apple.com” could actually catch you if you aren’t paying close attention.
If you take the time to read the details though, the “from” address is clearly not apple related. In addition the “iforgot…” URL actually redirects you somewhere you shouldn’t be. Last, but certainly not least, i was NOT seeing any errors on my Iphone connecting to my Icloud account.



Iphone users…(and i know there are many of you out there….)…please pay close attention to any of these emails you get…odds are they aren’t legitimate.

MIcrosoft Phishing emails

In the last few days, i have gotten a few phishing emails from Microsoft about my Office 365 Business Essentials account about to be deleted..my invoice is ready…things like that.

Well I USED to have a a business essentials account, but that has long since been deprovisioned so this smells phishy….

I did confirm in my office 365 portal that i had no accounts pending deletion or anything like that so then I started doing a little digging.


There are some clear red flags here…

Not only is the actual address the email came from clearly different from the “from” address but Outlook even noticed it as well “The actual sender of this message is different than the normal sender…”

and once again…if you hover the mouse over the hyperlinks you can confirm the URL first and none of the hyperlinks in the email below direct me back to a microsoft website.


If you are not sure what you are seeing….ALWAYS check with the source first before you click anything.  If it looks phishy, and smells phishy…it’s phishy.

Some new options in “disk cleanup”

Since i have had laptops for the past year with SSD drives(faster but smaller), i have spent more time monitoring storage space on my C drive.

Disk cleanup is a very useful tool. With many “major” windows 10 updates, that’s the way you can clear up the “previous windows installations” option.

windows 10 tips-3

During one of my recent cleanups, i noticed two new options.  I wanted to bring these to your attention as one is ok to enable, if needed, but one i absolutely would NOT touch.

windows 10 tips-1

If you are in serious need of space, this could be an option.  However all it does is compress certain files.  Yes that frees up some space, but depending on the file(s) performance could be affected as the file will need to be uncompressed before opened.  I wouldn’t recommend this option unless as a last resort.

windows 10 tips-2

Under NO circumstances would i endorse you deleting all of your system restore points.  These are “checkpoints” saved before your computer at critical times (before software installs, etc.).  They allow you to roll back your computer to an earlier date if you are encountering issues.  If you are in dire need of space, and you have many system restore points, there are other ways to free up this space specifically then this option.

As always, please feel free to ask any questions you might have.

If it walks like a duck…and quacks like a duck…

I have reminded many of you over the years to please pay close attention to unusual popups and if something smells fishy and aren’t sure if you should follow up, you probably shouldn’t.

Well let me share an experience (with the person’s permission of course) of this happening in real time.

Someone was busy with work but accidentally hit a site that caused one of those “your computer is infected” popups.  She was busy, and distracted, but this is scareware…and it worked.  She called the number and allowed someone to connect to her computer.  The standard speech started about how the computer is infected and needed immediate cleaning but a “Cisco specialist” needed to help.  She was then transferred to a second person and the fishiness started kicking in.

She put the person on hold and called me and asked if i was Cisco certified.  I was in the middle of something but a quick review said something didn’t sound right and i thought it was scareware.  I suggested she hang up with the other person, shut her computer down, and i would call as soon as i could.  When she went back to the person and asked for a phone number to call back because she wanted to talk to her IT person, the back-pedaling started.  A bunch of “well, since you’re not a member…you have to call this number to get transferred back to me….”


She did take pictures on her phone of some of the screens she was being shown.  The first screen is one of those normal fake warning screens.


What i found very amusing was the second screen that this alleged “support specialist” said were the list of infected files.  It turns out it was the errors in her EVENT VIEWER


As soon as i saw this (as i was on my way over to help) i had a feeling things would be ok.  I got there and was able to do my due dilligence in doing a thorough security check.  Also malwarebytes scans came up clean.


PayPal phishing is getting better…but :)

So i got another Paypal phising email….it looked “better” but there were still some key flaws in it.  When i opened it up, uh…I am not Jamie Parsons….


The body of the email is “better” – no spelling issues, no brutal flaws….but it’s not personalized at all…and when you hover over the button to “log into paypal” – you can clearly see that’s NOT a legitimate Paypal URLpaypal-2.JPG

So as always…please pay close attention to these emails…I had just made a purchase via paypal so i was mildly concerned…but the first giveaway was that it wasn’t addressed to the email address associated with my Paypal account…then i found the flaws above.


Office 365 warning…

I have been made aware of some malicious Office 365 “administrative” emails are starting to make it’s way into user’s inboxes.

Many of you are Office 365 subscribers…so this could affect you.

It comes to your inbox masquerading as an email from the “Support Team.”  The subject line is also titled “e-mail error notice”.  You are also encouraged to click the “preview mailbox” link to retrieve your emails.

Please do not do any of this!

If you click on the link you will be taken to a fake website that looks exactly like a Microsoft Office 365 landing page where you will be prompted for your password.  If you go that far, you will be compromised.

o365-021018(it looks legit…but it’s not)

As i repeatedly preach, please check the hyperlinks before you click on them (if you hover your mouse over anything hyperlinked you will see the address it’s actually going to).

If it looks fishy…it’s usually phishy..(see what i did there? 🙂 ).  Think before you click!

you can read more about this topic here: https://www.mailguard.com.au/blog/office365-phishing-attack-0

and as always..please do not hesitate to ask me any questions you might have.