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A Microsoft account?

[Updated 15/01/15] If you have Windows 8 (or a Windows phone) and you want to use Windows to its full capacity including getting apps from the Windows Store you’re going to need a free “Microsoft account”, basically this just equates to a hotmail.com or outlook.com email address, note that you don’t need to use this as your primary email (or use it at all beyond just getting access to the store and logging on to your PC).

Logging on to Windows in versions 8 and later now utilizes a "cloud" based logon name for example This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to tie all the accounts and services to you as the user and also gives you the ability to log on to multiple computers or devices. You can, if you chose, still use a traditional "local account" and in fact I always recommend another local administrator account so that your always covered if you can't logon via your normal account. However if for some reason you chose to set yourself up to use a "local" account initially it will pretty soon convert to a Microsoft account anyway (or at least try) as soon as you connect to various services. That can be pretty confusing so its best to start out the right way from the beginning, so setup your Microsoft account first before you even turn-on your new PC, tablet or phone.

Just a note if you logon in a business setting either via a domain or even peer to peer things are little different. In a domain you logon as the domain user and can then optionally "connect" the Microsoft account to the domain logon, peer to peer needs a bit more planning.

A Microsoft account is basically an email address and password. The good news is you probably already have one. If you use Microsoft services like hotmail.com outlook.com, Xbox, or SkyDrive/OneDrive, the email address and password you already use is your Microsoft account. You don't have to do anything else to get one. Just use that Microsoft account to sign in to your Windows 8 PC, tablet or phone, and you'll get free online storage, apps in the Windows Store, access to Xbox music* (on windows 8). You can also use your Microsoft account to synchronize your photos, documents and files to and from One drive to whatever devices you sign in from, on your phone, laptop, and tablet.

Here is the link to signup if you don't have one already:

https://signup.live.com/signup.aspx

Tips

  • Setting you the account is free however once you have the account setup and if you want to purchase apps for your shiny new PC or tablet then you will also need to add your credit card details (only required if you want apps that cost money).
  • If you do logon with a domain account you can "connect" your Microsoft account to the domain account as well.
  • I suggest you do NOT chose to save all your files to one drive by default, firstly its a bad idea and secondly Microsoft has realized its a bad idea and that concept has been depreciated in windows 10 which is in public beta as of the date this was written. See a screen shot here about where you get asked that question.

 

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Microsoft Autologon [to Windows]

Great for media centre or kids PC's but not for business PC's or sensitive data:

Microsoft Autologon enables you to easily configure Windows' built-in autologon mechanism. Instead of waiting for a user to enter their name and password, Windows uses the credentials you enter with Autologon, which are encrypted in the Registry, to log on the specified user automatically.

Autologon is easy enough to use. Just run autologon.exe, fill in the dialog, and hit Enable. To turn off auto-logon, hit Disable. Also, if the shift key is held down before the system performs an autologon, the autologon will be disabled for that logon.

(it works with windows 8 as well)

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb963905.aspx

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“Phishing” (What!?)

phish·ing
/ˈfiSHiNG/
Noun
The fraudulent practice of sending e-mails purporting to be from legitimate companies in order to induce individuals to reveal personal information.

The article below is a good timely reminder from AVG about blindly clicking on a link that you receive in an email.

“Phishing” is a jargon name for emailing you something that purports to be from a legitimate source and tries to get you to click on a link and then enter some security information which they can use for their own purposes.

Have a read though the article, it’s important.

My recommendation is to NEVER click on a link that you receive in an email for banking or any other important service. If you get an email from Westpac (for example) saying something needs to be done no matter how legitimate it looks, delete the email and open the Westpac website directly from your browser (preferably from a favorite item), if something needs to be done I’m pretty sure they will tell you.

Here is the link:
http://resources.avg.com.au/security_risks/warning-new-westpac-bank-email-scam

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Digitalwelcomemat provides IT consultancy and services for business customers on the NSW Central Coast in Australia.

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