Welcome to POST by ResTech Solutions
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Google's Search Engine Is Squashing Local News, Study Says
With all of the hot news of the day we have been hearing a lot on the national level. Did you know if you were wanting to search your local news online you would have around a 25% change of finding what you want? This is the case if your primary search engine is Google. While Google is the most popular search engine it may not always serve your needs every time.
Consider having a few options for performing internet searches based on your needs. Here is a list of alternative search engines.
What is a search engine? Here is an article from Wikipedia about search engines.
How to improve your search engine queries. Here are two articles, one from Lifewire and one from Scientific American, to help you perform better online searches.
If you need help with creating better search queries or finding an alternate search engine then please reach out. We will be happy to assist.
Google Is Finally Fixing Chrome's Worst Traits on Windows 10
This is welcome news for Google Chrome users on Windows 10! All who use Chrome are likely familiar with how much memory Chrome uses. This can cause serious performance issues if a system does not have a lot of memory installed. This is also an issue if Chrome uses up any remaining free memory on the system. I myself have experienced this on more than one occasion. Closing Chrome also does not always resolve the issue and would require a reboot of the system. Not a very favorable option while in the middle of working on a task.
The good new is Google and Microsoft have been working together to allow Chrome to take advantage of a new Windows 10 feature that will allow Chrome to utilize the system memory more effectively. This in turn should equate to better system performance since Chrome will not be taking up as much memory to run.
At this time there is no ETA for when this feature will become available. We will provide more updates as they are released.
Should I Keep Using My Password Manager?
Last week we briefly discussed the use of password managers and what they are. We will continue to emphasize the benefits and importance of having and using a password manager.
Why is this so important? It has become a nearly regular occurrence that we hear about a new hack, breach, or compromised site. When this happens and your information is leaked and you are using the same password/login information on multiple sites then all those other accounts have become compromised. Best practice is to create a unique password for each and every account you setup. Passwords should be complex and difficult to guess.
This is where password managers come in handy as they can easily generate a long complex password for you. Here is an example: [email protected]#. You will not need to remember these passwords as they are stored in the password manager protected by your master password. Many password managers will allow you to copy the password. Many also have a browser plugin that can auto fill the information for you as well. Many password managers also go beyond just securely storing passwords. They can store secure notes and other sensitive information.
There is no wrong choice when it comes to selecting a password manager. You should review the options and narrow them down to your top 2-3 and try them out. Many offer a free trial. If you are not using a password manager you are gambling with your security. Please reach out if you need any assistance with password managers.
If you did not get to read the information we shared last week we are including it again:
What is a Password Manager? Here is what Malwarebytes has to say about Password Managers. We use and recommend 1Password but any Password Manager that works best for you is the right choice.
Microsoft Is Forcing Its Users to Update Windows | MakeUseOf
If you are behind on your Windows updates you may soon find that Microsoft will be forcing your system to update and will not give you a choice to decline. While some may not be a fan of the forced updates it is important.
When Microsoft released Windows 10 it adopted a new upgrade cycle to its OS. Instead of releasing a new OS every few years Microsoft now released to major updates twice a year, in the spring and fall. These updates are known as feature updates and are essentially new versions of Windows 10. As of this publication the current feature update is 20H2, or 2009, or the October 2020 update.
On December 8, 2020 Microsoft stopped supporting Windows 10 version 1903, which was the spring 2019 feature update. The forced update is to help keep your version of Windows supported and secured. This is important as certain bug fixes can only be delivered to certain versions of Windows (see the article below about the Windows 10 reboot bug).
How can you avoid these forced updates? You can avoid them by updating your system yourself. This will give you more control over when the updates get applied. After a Windows 10 version upgrade you will have 10 days to roll back the update. If you are concerned about updates breaking or harming your system then you need to have a backup solution in place.
View this article from Microsoft to learn how to further control how and when you will get Windows updates.
Windows 10 to Start Warning Users of Imminent SSD Failure | PCMag
For those who have computers running Windows 10 with Solid State Drives should welcome this news. Traditional hard drives have always had more audible clues to indicate that a drive was failing due to the mechanical nature of the drive. Solid State Drives do not have any mechanical parts which makes this more difficult to detect. This is what makes the new warnings from Windows a welcome addition.
I want to take this opportunity to also remind you that a drive could fail at any time without warning. Please be sure that your data is being backed up. If you are not sure if you have a backup solution in place or would like to add one or upgrade your current solution please reach out to us and we would be glad to assist.
If you are unsure of the type of drive you have or have concerns about your data backup we are here to help. Please reach out and we would be happy to take a look at your system.
Here is an article from PCMag that explains the difference between a Hard Disk Drive (HDD) and a Solid State Drive (SDD).
Windows 10 bug causes PC to force reboot, fix on the way
Have you had issues with your Windows 10 system randomly giving you a warning about a reboot that would occur in one minute without anyway to stop it? Microsoft has confirmed this is a bug and they are aware of it.
A fix has been released but in order to receive it there is just one small catch. You have to be running the latest version of Windows 10, version 20H2 otherwise known as the October 2020 update. This update has recently become available to more PCs and they should receive the feature update via Windows Update. Once on 20H2 your system can then get the patch to fix the reboot bug.
Are you not receiving the October 2020 update via Windows Update? Check out this article from How-To Geek on how to manually download and run the 20H2 update. If you have been getting errors with Windows update this is another way to update and resolve any underlying issues with Windows. I had this issue and had to go through this exact process and can confirm it worked.
Unsure of your version of Windows or need help to update your version of Windows? Reach out and we will be happy to help!
How to check your Windows version: See Microsoft's instructions
Apple Shares Manual on How to Lock Down Devices When Personal Safety is at Risk
Many individuals have good reason to be extra cautious regarding their personal safety. Even if you are not as concerned about personal safety as much as your privacy, this article and the linked manual may be very welcomed by you. Apple takes great strides to protect the privacy of its users and this is another example.
Regardless of your circumstances everyone with an Apple mobile device should read the linked manual in the attached article. The guide is fairly detailed and easy to follow. However, if you need assistance with any settings or configurations we are here to help.
iPhone 12: Change these 14 settings on your new phone right now
If you bought yourself a new iPhone 12 or received one as a gift over the holidays you will find some useful information in the linked article on how to tweak some of the phone's settings.
In last week's newsletter we touched on the topic of 5G and how some networks and locations may not have true 5G yet. If you are having issues with your 5G coverage then check out items #1 & #2 in the linked article.
Many of the tweaks also cover changes made in iOS 14. If you are looking to get started with your new iPhone and/or iOS 14 then we highly recommend reviewing the linked article. There is also an audio option as well if you rather listen to it.
As always we are here if you need any assistance.
10 hidden iPhone features we discovered after installing iOS 14
This article covers more tweaks and newer features for iOS 14. Learn how to change some of the default apps, use picture in picture, clean up your home screen, and more! Check out the linked article.
How to Boost Your Wi-Fi Speed by Choosing the Right Channel
How many times have you connected to your wireless network only to discover your speed was slower than the day before? Why does this happen?
Just like your TV has different channels Wi-Fi has different channels. These channels run at slightly different frequencies. Many times your wireless connection may be slower because the channel becomes too crowded, like when there are too many cars on the highway things slow down. When this happens you may want to get on a different highway, or in the case of the Wi-Fi, a different channel.
The other possible cause the the general frequency you are connecting over, 2.4GHz & 5GHz. Generally the 5GHz band will allow you to connect over a greater distance and with higher speeds. If you have a device that can connect to a 5GHz connection and one is available then that would be the recommended network to connect to.
The linked article does a good job of explaining how this works in more detail. We are also available to help fine tune your wireless network if you are having any issues. Please do not hesitate to reach out.