Upgrading your IPhone to iOS16

I have upgraded my IPhone to iOS16 earlier this week. So far so good…
This cheat sheet is definitely worth the read. I would focus on the “using iOS16” section but probably after you have done the update as you start to see some of the changes in action.
(i do know MANY people including myself are going to like the “edit IMessages” feature…you know…all those “damn you siri for autocorrecting moments”)

the second article i would suggest you review is “10 settings you need to change right now”
I am not sure i agree that you need to change them all right now, but you should definitely review them. I know there were 3 or 4 that i was interested in reading more about and changing.

It isn’t “necessary” to update to OS16 right now…but please make sure your phone is on the most current version of 15.7

As always i’m happy to answer any and all questions you might have.

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learning something new….

I recently added a new client…and while doing an initial assessment, every time i opened up task manager there seemed to be an excessive amount of msedge.exe instances open (the Microsoft Edge web browser) when the browser on the computer was NOT open.  In today’s “computer age” with faster machines, SSD hard drives, etc. this isn’t a HUGE memory but to an old school guy like me, seeing lots of extra memory usage catches my attention.

The client’s use was still new but this was bugging me Smile  I recently logged in one day and NOTHING was open but yet there were a few msedge.exe instances running. Time to do some investigating….

It didn’t take me too long to find this:
Microsoft Edge always keeps running in background

As it turns out there is a new feature in Microsoft Edge called “startup boost” to make the browser launch faster.

I can understand (a little) if you have an older machine but lets go back to these SSD hard drives and machines with 16+ GB of RAM? is that really necessary?

it’s a simple fix to turn off.  if you are using Microsoft Edge on an older machine or at times feel your computer is slowing down it might be worth turning off…

to make that happen:

1) go to “settings” in Microsoft Edge
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2) go down to system and performance and turn off system boost.
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too comically bad not to share…

I know i have reiterated with many of you the need to be diligent in watching what (and where) you click. I have also given many of you clues to watch out for to spot obvious malicious emails…

this one showed up in my junk email folder and it was too comically bad NOT to share (so many easy clues that it’s not legitimate)

I mean when did JCPenney start sending critical Microsoft Critical Update messages?! 🙂

I hope you all have a safe (digitally and in-person) 4th of July holiday weekend!

Staying secure in this unsecure world we are living in

I just read a great post from Malwarebytes, a software company i strongly believe in and has pulled my bacon (and some of yours) a few times. Smile

They just wrote a great piece on “Tips to protect your data, security, and privacy from a hands-on expert.”
I am sharing this with you because many of these topics i have been emphasizing over the years and they ring even more true in this uneasy world that is challenging us every day.

if you want to read the full article you can click here but i will highlight many of the security tips i feel are relevant to each of you.  Many of these points i am already doing with you but sometimes they get reinforced when heard from another source.

  • Keep your operating system and apps up to date. (we do this)
  • Use a strong, unique password 
  • Use multi-factor authentication (MFA) to help protect your accounts wherever it’s offered.
    (i have talked to many of you about this.  Some of you get frustrated entering passwords and yes the MFA (so you get a text or email confirming it’s you) can be annoying, but it’s also for your own safety and security.)
  • Pay close attention to installation screens and license agreements when installing software. Custom or advanced installation options will often disclose any third party software that is also being installed. Take great care in every stage of the process and make sure you know what it is you’re agreeing to before you click “Next.”
    (we have had this discussion more about the “other stuff” that gets installed when you install or update software.  You can “uncheck” things and installations will finish).  Most of you also work with me when installing software anyway.
  • Use a browser-based content blocker, like Browser Guard. Content blockers help reduce ads, Trojans, phishing, and other undesirable content that an antivirus product alone may not stop.
    (we haven’t talked much about this..if any of you want to learn more i am happy to discuss with you)
  • Slow down and think before clicking (heard this from me before ?! Smile
  • Be alert for people trying to trick you. Whether it’s your email, phone, messenger, or other applications, always be alert and on guard for someone trying to trick you into clicking on links or replying to messages. Remember that it’s easy to spoof phone numbers, so a familiar name or number doesn’t make messages more trustworthy.
  • Never open unexpected attachments and be cautious about attachments from friends and family. 
  • Back up your data frequently and check that your backup data can be restored…Never connect the backup drive to a computer if you suspect that the computer is infected with malware.
    (this is why i am a strong proponent of “off-site backups” – if a computer gets infected, ransomware, etc. that infection can easily spread to attached devices).
  • AN alert…to closely read those Spam alerts

    So with all the two-step verification going on, there has definitely been an increase in SPAM text these days…

    and it seems some of the SPAMMERS are getting a little more sneaky in the way they are wording their texts.

    Case in point. the one i just got from Amazon:IMG_0388

    First of all: I am not signed up for any text alerts from Amazon so i shouldn’t be getting any unusual activity alerts sent to my cell phone.

    Second of all: That number doesn’t look like something that is legitimately from Amazon.

    Third of all: ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS pay close attention to the link you are being asked to click on.  Does that look like a legitimate Amazon link?

    Regardless of the clear giveaways, if you read it closely it seems like it’s written backwards.  IIRC, you are usually asked to confirm if it WAS you…in this case it asks you to confirm it WASN’T you.

    The moral of the story is ALWAYS please read these closely…and if it smells phishy it usually is.



    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!