Windows 10 continues and so do the hackers!

S3_greenfinal-close-cropIt’s been a while since I’ve sent out any updates on the Windows 10 upgrade. Since my last post, Microsoft has moved from the upgrade being optional to automatically installing it without the user’s permission. If they can reduce their support to one operating system by eliminating the need to support Windows 7 & 8, they will cut their costs dramatically! Of course this may not be in the best interests of the user community.

Although Windows 10 is a very secure operating system and a definite improvement over Windows 8, equipment that is more than a couple of years old may experience problems attempting the upgrade or if the upgrade succeeds, after the upgrade. Hardware changes as time goes by and there may not be drivers available to ensure compliance with the new operating system. If you’ve upgraded from Windows 7 and can’t find Windows 10 drivers, try to download and install Windows 8 drivers. Most of the time they’ll work fine.

Microsoft has been working and making changes in the new operating system and cumulative updates may occur which can take an hour or more. They often times reset your default programs from those that you had chosen requiring you to change them back to your preferences.

One nice thing I recently experienced was the ability to do an in place, non-destructive, upgrade of Windows 10. One of my computers wouldn’t update any longer. I performed and in place upgrade, even though it was already running Windows 10, and if fixed the issue while leaving all my files and applications alone. This could be done in Windows 7 but not in Windows 8. Very handy.

For those of you who don’t want the Windows 10 upgrade there is a handy utility available written by another techie that prevents the upgrade. It’s called GWX Control Panel (get windows 10 control panel). It’s reversible if you should later decide to do the upgrade but at this point, prevents the unwanted, unasked upgrade.

On another matter is the ongoing onslaught of ransomware. We suggest you not open Word documents contained in emails unless you definitely know who they’re from. Hackers are spoofing Fedex, UPS, USPS, Turbotax, and various retailers with supposed discounts, invoices, etc. Opening the attachments installs the ransomware encrypting all your data and asking you to pay to unlock the data. Just avoid opening attachments in emails unless you absolutely are expecting the document and know who it’s from.  Remember when a computer gets infected, they try to send the virus out to everyone in your contact list.

Tom FitzGerald
Shamrock System Solutions


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