WHy is the temperature now on my taskbar?

There was a recent addition in one of the cumulative windows updates which added a “news and interests widget”  to your taskbar.

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It can give you quick access to news and other topics if you really want to utilize it but i am guessing that many of you don’t actually want this on your taskbar.  I have connected to some of your machines since then and turned it off, but that’s only a small few.

If you want to disable it that can happen with a few quick easy steps:
1) right click on the task bar and you will see a menu similar to below.  Choose “news and interests”
2) choose “turn off” or uncheck “open on hover” or however you would like to edit it.

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Security Saturday

Good morning everyone!

I am not a big user of Linkedin but some of you are.  This article about a second breach came across my inbox this AM and caught my attention.  I know changing passwords is a headache, but if you are a regular user of Linkedin I would strongly advise you to change it.  I even just did…the first time I have in a long time (since I don’t use the service much).  You also might want to revisit just how much of your information is public and could be “scraped” as is how this “hack” has apparently happened.

If you want to read more about the details you can click here

While i was in the process of checking what’s showing in my Linkedin profile i got a text “allegedly” from one of my credit card companies saying “as a result of multiple failed sign-in attempts…we have locked your account. You can unlock it by verifying your account details (with a very suspicious link).

(I don’t think the issues were related, but when i have two “security issues” on the same day, it’s good to share the stories)

First of all the text came from some random phone number in Columbus, OH. That’s red flag #1. Second of all the link in the text is highly suspicious. I have always encouraged you to read before you click. This link didn’t have my credit card domain anywhere in it. I know many organizations are doing “two step” verification these days…and many of those steps involving sending text messages, so that leaves the door open for more questionable texts to maybe slip through. If you get any message about a bank or credit card account and it looks suspicious…a) it probably is..trust your spidey senses…and b) call the institution directly- that’s the best place to get a direct answer!
Also did you know you could report texts as SPAM? forward the text message to 7726 (yes just type those four numbers)…your carrier will respond and most likely ask for the phone number.

Enjoy the rest of your Saturday! stay safe (in all ways possible! physically and electronically! 🙂 )

OCTOBER WINDOWS 10 “Feature UPDATE”

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.

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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.

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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.

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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…..

but….

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.

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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:
https://www.cnn.com/2019/08/14/tech/windows-10-microsoft-security-update-trnd/index.html

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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….”

Click.

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.

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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

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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.

#ThinkBeforeYouClick