Default printer changing by itself in Windows 10? See here for the why and how to turn it off.
PC [system software] insurance policy:
FIVE key considerations to help with protecting your data, your network, your identity and your money.
"Take some time to think about the quality and diversity of your online
passwords would all your online accounts fall domino fashion if one was
I'm reposting this article from October 2013 even more relevant today than then...
The recent Adobe hacker-fest has again brought up the subject of passwords so here is my recommendation...
There are a full set of password rules and suggestions that are already widely recognised as being crucial for online security, see here for a great article: http://www.thegeekstuff.com/2008/06/the-ultimate-guide-for-creating-strong-passwords that pretty much says it all.
However, particularly relevant for now, you need to ensure that your passwords are always different from each other, if your Adobe password has been compromised you don't want that same password to have been used for your banking.
Take some time to think about the quality and diversity of your online passwords would all your online accounts fall domino fashion if one was breached?
If you're having difficulty in tracking all those passwords consider a password manager, there are a number of different product options. I use https://lastpass.com/ which is available in a free version or paid if you want the smartphone apps as well ($12 per year).
Finding how to logoff or switch users on Windows 10 is less "discoverable" than it could be, I have made a quick guide on how to do this here.
Q: Now that I have Windows 10 can I stop it from updating at the most inopportune times?
A: Yes and no, go to start -> settings -> "update & security" -> "Windows update" -> advanced options -> defer updates
This will defer them for a while but does not affect security updates:
"Defer upgrades in Windows 10 - Some Windows 10 editions let you defer upgrades to your PC. When you defer upgrades, new Windows features won't be downloaded or installed for several months. Deferring upgrades doesn't affect security updates. Note that deferring upgrades will prevent you from getting the latest Windows features as soon as they're available.http://windows.microsoft.com/en-au/windows-10/defer-upgrades-in-windows-10
However that's probably not want you are after. The intended approach is to leave the PC *on* overnight but *not* logged in same way Windows has handled updates for years. That way it will handle all that stuff overnight when you are not using it and restart around 3am - 4am if needed. This would require sleep setting to be set appropriately (I always recommend that sleep is turned off on PC's and laptops anyway), bear in mind that with a Windows tablet that's probably not feasible.
One of the big changes that Microsoft made in windows 10 is that it WILL do its updates eventually regardless, its created a bit of angst within the industry but the problem they were facing is that people never allowed Windows to update (mostly by turning the PC off overnight every night) and as such Windows didn't get the security fixes and PC's were often vulnerable to the bad guys long after Microsoft had released the patch.
There are a couple of ways of "hacking" this so that it won't do updates unless you manually force it, but for the reasons above it's not recommend because you really want to get the security fixes without manual intervention.
Consider leaving your laptops and desktop PC's on overnight (and logged out) or at least over "a" night during the week.
If you are a junior IT admin or an administrative staff member that needs to access the servers on occasion *and* you have Microsoft Hyper-V visualization this article may help: (It may just confuse you more as well, sorry about that if that's the case).
Interesting article from ZDNet. This is why I prefer a company specified and IT retained password for small organizations. It also means that IT support work can be done outside business hours so as not to impact on staff productivity:
Forcing users to change their passwords may do more harm than good: (ZDNet) http://www.zdnet.com/article/forcing-users-to-change-their-passwords-may-do-more-harm-than-good/
Further, Cranor notes that "There is also evidence from interview and survey studies to suggest that users who know they will have to change their password do not choose strong passwords to begin with and are more likely to write their passwords down."
I have prepared this handy flowchart to assist with resolving issues when you have to deal with your internet service provider(s) for your actual internet, Telstra for half the infrastructure and NBNco for the rest, enjoy! (After 38 days without internet I certainly am.)
This is a pretty succinct summary of the way that Office 2016 licensing works for a Microsoft store purchase which is slightly different than previous versions. This is AU$299 for 1 (only) PC for the Home and Business edition (with Outlook).
Make sure you have one centrally administered Microsoft account for your organization to hold all these MS office products.
[Note the information below is relevant to Fibre to the building only, this article is due for a rewrite]
Seeing as neither myself or a single one of my customers has access to that mythical telecommunications product the Australian NBN I haven’t bothered about this in the past. However I was specifically asked a modem/router future compatibility question a couple of days ago and I did some brief investigation and came back with this information, I have highlighted the main thrust of the info below:
An “NBN/fibre-ready” router means that the model [has] a Gigabit Ethernet WAN port, which allows for fibre or cable connections.
In an NBN equipped household the NTU effectively takes the place of the modem that you would currently use for ADSL or cable internet. This means the death of the commonplace modem/router hardware – moving forward you'll just need a router to spread internet around the home. At a base level this means that ‘NBN ready' modem routers have the capacity to disable the ADSL modem and take an internet signal directly.
The potential issue with such devices is that the hardware is designed around low ADSL speeds and may not actually cope with the demands of the highest end 100Mbit down / 40Mbit up NBN speeds. If you aren't going with this high end plan then router performance is less of an issue, but it is best to think of an ‘NBN Ready' ADSL modem/router as a transitional technology at best.
TPG have a good diagram here:
I also found this useful FAQ on the NBN:
Lies, damned lies and "The Cloud" - Part 1: Cloud accounting…
[Warning opinion ahead, your mileage may vary]
In 2004 I bought QuickBooks accounting, as I recall it was $350. It's still going strong for me and I don't have a reason to change. Admittedly I am a micro-business and I don't pay wages and have to worry about all that. I just had a look at Xero online accounting I watched their introductory video, looked pretty good although they do get a penalty for overuse of the word "beautiful".
Then I had a look at the monthly fee $50 per month. Let's calculate that out $50 x 12 months x 11 years that's $6600 (plus another $6600 for the next 11 years). No thanks cloud I'm fine thanks with my less beautiful product from 2004.
Definition of "The cloud" 1: A way of taking something that you would otherwise "purchase" and making you "subscribe" to it while costing you 20 times as much (and counting), but it is "beautiful" and you do get some nice extra features.
Beware the current run of Australia post malware emails, see below (this one is not really from Australia post). Remember to hover over the link in Outlook with your mouse before you click, in the screen shot below the link goes to a Russian web site: I expect is some sort of ransomware. Click on the link below to see the full post...
When you are purchasing MS Office its always been the case that if you purchase the OEM version with the computer (original equipment manufacturer version) the software is locked to that computer and can't be transferred to another new computer when it gets replaced. If you spend sometimes as little as $5 more and purchase the retail version from Officeworks or your local computer store you can install that on your new PC when it comes up for replacement time.
Remember that you can only install retail version software on one PC at a time, there are lots of other purchasing options if you need something different.
Microsoft had a go at changing that licensing for office 2013 but then pretty quickly changed back to what we have traditionally had in the past see here for more details on that:
We already know that almost nothing comes for free and if you're getting something for free in the world of IT this normally means that your being served up advertising or you are trading your personal data for the purpose of advertising, people differ in their opinion on that, I have heard it said "I love adds because that means that I don't have to pay for the service", others prefer a traditional model where they can just purchase whatever it is and get on with things without interruption. However antivirus manufacturer AVG has sent a few ripples through the tech industry by announcing that if you use their free antivirus product they will collect sell your data, however the data will not be personally identifiable. If you use AVG free for home PC's for example here are some resources to help you consider if your happy with the change.
Microsoft has released a Windows 10 tool to download the required files and make an install DVD disk, USB or ISO image:
If you have multiple PC's that your upgrading and you don’t want to download 3+GB of data per PC this is the way to go. Also doing this at a time that you specify may be better than risking your PC's auto updating at the most inopportune moment.
The install media also gives you the ability to erase your PC and do a fresh install (after backing up your data) just bear in mind that the mechanics of how licencing and product keys work in terms of your free entitlement is still unknown present.
My initial "don’t upgrade yet" recommendation still stands unless you are a "tech enthusiast" and either way I highly recommend you take a full "system" backup first see here for more detail.
As you know in the past digitalwelcomemat hasn't typically “sold” any hardware or software products and have preferred to keep that at arm’s length to prevent any “possible, perceived conflict of interest” I like to make recommendations free of any perception of favouring a certain product based on profitability, sales volume targets or other benefit for my business.
I hope that by now my valued customers trust my integrity and that I will always recommend the best product for the situation regardless of where it comes from, and I'm just letting you know that I will be reselling a select few software products from now onward.
The reason for this change I have noticed that with a couple of products recently the purchasing experience for customer has been sometimes frustrating and inefficient, particularly with the changeover of Eset NOD32 distributor for Australia so, as a start, I have signed up to be a NOD32 antivirus reseller and will “sell” this product to you directly if you would like to take advantage of that arrangement.
There are another couple of other products which I have become a reseller for as well, both of these are products that digitalwelcomemat has been using in-house and I have been so impressed that I would like to sell these also, more information follow shortly on those.
Please note that in the foreseeable future I will only be providing select software and possibly 3rd party online services as a reseller. Hardware or physical products will still remain on a purely consultative and recommendation basis, additionally if you prefer not to purchase from me that’s fine as well. Based on my reseller profit/volume vs administrative time I am providing this additional service only to supplement my main business income which is providing IT support services.
If you have any questions please let me know.
digitalwelcomemat now has a blog!
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Digitalwelcomemat provides IT consultancy and services for business customers on the NSW Central Coast in Australia.