Welcome to POST by ResTech Solutions
Thank you for subscribing to our newsletter. Every week we will bring you new content covering recent events and news related to technology, Microsoft, Apple, Google, tips & tricks, useful information, and more! To read the full articles in our newsletters you can either click on the image or article headline. We've had a great response each week to our newsletter and we've been hard at work to bring you even more great information this week. Please let us know what you've enjoyed thus far about our newsletter. To see past issues click on the archives link above.
Why the name POST? In the world of computers POST stands for Power On Self Test. This is the action computers take when they are first powered on to check their basic functionality prior to loading the operating system. We decided to take this same concept and to provide you with useful technology information at the beginning of your week to help get you started. POST is also a term associated with news as well and we felt this was an appropriate and fitting name.
If you have suggestions about topics you are interested in or would like more information on any of the articles presented in our newsletters you can fill out our Content Request form to let us know what you would like to know.
Do you need any help or assistance with any item in our newsletter? Reach out and we will be happy to help.
Reply to this email to let us know what you liked. Please forward this newsletter to anyone who needs this information.
The best thank you that you can give us is by sending us referrals. It means so much to receive a referral. We look forward to having you with us every week! Let's POST and get started with this issue.
How Hackers Are Exploiting Microsoft Word Documents to Hack Windows
Image from MUO
The latest bug in Microsoft's software can leave users vulnerable to attack when users open a weaponized Word document. With Microsoft Word being widely used this is an important reminder to never open a document or file you do not recognize. This also includes any emails, attachments, and web links as well.
As long as you are running Office with the default configurations you should be safe. If you are running a user account with admin privileges you are at a higher risk with this latest vulnerability. For added protection, you should create a standard, non-admin, user account to use for your daily tasks.
If you would like to go a step further you can disable ActiveX controls on your computer per Microsoft. See the linked article for details on this process.
3 Ways to Check if an Email Is Real or Fake
Image from MUO
Malicious emails have become a serious and major cybersecurity issue we have to contend with on a daily basis. If you are dealing with a lot of malicious emails you should consider adding a third-party email filtering solution to your email service or using built-in email filtering settings. If you are using a free email service such as gmail.com or outlook.com you will have to primarily rely on what is provided with the service.
You should also know what to look for to determine the legitimacy of an email. You can find examples in the linked article.
Check the email address the email was sent from. Make sure the sender is who they claim to be. Fake emails will tend to come from a free email service or an email the looks similar to the legitimate email address.
Another common item to check is the reply-to email address. Usually, this is the same but many fake emails have a different reply-to email listed. There are still legitimate cases when the from and reply-to emails will be different.
Check the links in the email. By hovering over a link you can see the actual URL or web address the link will take you to. If the link does not look correct then that may be another sign pointing to the email being fake.
You can also check the email message header to verify the email security checks. Here is how to check the headers in Outlook.
Email has become a very common method for initiating attacks, scams, and phishing attempts so it is important to know how to verify if an email is real or fake.
Microsoft adds a passwordless option for Microsoft accounts
Image from PCWorld
If you've ever struggled with passwords or just do not like using them then you will likely welcome this new option from Microsoft. Microsoft now has an option for Microsoft accounts to get rid of passwords entirely. This move is building upon the current options that have been used as a second authentication method. Typically these methods have been used to prove who you are by using a device you own or a biometric method, such as facial recognition or a fingerprint.
Once the feature has been enabled on your account we recommend giving it a try.
Backup 101: Windows Files and Folders You Should Always Back Up
Image from MUO
Backing up your data is critical! Should something happen, such as ransomware, a good backup is the only method that will save you from the stress and hassle that comes with losing your data.
With all the available backup types how do you know what to back up and how? The simplest backup includes backing up the following:
- Documents - in any folder location you may have them (Documents, Desktop, Downloads, etc.)
- Media Files - Music, Pictures, and Videos
- Game Save Data - if you play games you will also want to ensure this data is backed up
- Other Folders - folders such as the AppData and ProgramData folders hold user and app settings for your various programs that are installed - it is not always necessary to back up every folder on the computer
- Email - this is extremely important as most email services do not provide any backup
This is done through a file/folder backup option and can be initiated via Windows and saved to an external drive. The best option would be to also use a cloud-based backup service to ensure redundancy with your backup.
The next step would be to consider a disaster recovery backup. This essentially backups up the entire system (operating system, apps, data, etc.) and is typically cloud-based. This is best for critical desktops or for users who perform critical tasks as well as all servers.
Every business and individual should have some backup in place. Without a good backup, it can be difficult to recover data. At ResTech we provide multiple backup options suitable for any need and situation. Reach out if you need to have your backup system reviewed or even established.
You'll Be Able to Upgrade to iOS 15 On Sept. 20
Image from Gizmodo
If you own a supported iPhone or iPad the newest version of iOS was released yesterday. The most common question we always hear is 'Should I upgrade?'.
The best answer we can give is yes, but wait a bit. With most new OS releases there are some issues to be worked out. Within the first month of release, we can expect to see around 1-2 subsequent updates to address those issues. Ultimately when you upgrade will also be based on your comfort level with new software.
Another factor to consider is the number of people/devices downloading the update right after it is released. During the initial release, the time to perform the update may also take more time because everyone else is trying to update as well.
Regardless of when you update, do not forget to backup your device first. This way if something goes wrong you can roll back the update and/or recover any data that may have been lost or corrupted.
Moving From Android to iPhone? Here Are 9 Differences to Consider
Image from MUO
If you are an Android user and have considered making the switch to an iPhone there are several items to consider before making the switch. Androids and iPhones have many similarities and just as many differences. Check out the linked article for the list of differences to consider.
Our take though is if you want a smartphone that has an ease of use and more security and privacy focus then the iPhone is the device you will want.
5 Important Security Features Built Into Your Mac
Image from MUO
If you are a Mac user or are considering getting a mac, it is important to know about, and understand, the important security features built into the Mac. Check out the linked article to learn about 5 of these features.
5 Pointless Bits of Technology That Actually Make Your Life Better
Image from MUO
Have you ever wondered about some of the odd features of the various tech products you own? Why do some of the keys on the keyboard have bumps? What are the cylindrical beads on the power cables for?
There is a reason for all of these items and more. Check out the linked article for some insight into these and other items. Some of them are quite interesting.
You're About to See a New 5G Icon On Your T-Mobile iPhone
Image from Gizmodo
As mobile carriers update their 5G networks there will be new indicators showing up on your phones to denote which network speeds you are getting. If you are on T-Mobile they recently announced their 5G UC or Ultra Capacity indicator. Other carriers have different indicators. Check out the linked article for more information.
FAQ of the Week
Why Is My Windows PC Always Running Out of Memory?
Image from Lifehacker
Each week we will address a frequently asked question. This week we are looking at why Windows PCs run out of memory. The memory we are referring to is the system RAM and not the hard drive storage for your data. This is the active memory that is used when the computer is on.
When it comes to checking the amount of memory being used it is best to just check the Windows Task Manager. Using other third-party tools or applications may not always be accurate when reporting on memory usage. If Task Manager does show a high usage of memory you can sort by memory usage to see which apps are using the most memory. You can then take the necessary actions to address this.
If you are constantly running out of memory you may not have enough installed for your needs or can have an application that just uses too much memory. Norton is an example of such an application and when this happens you should consider finding an alternative app to use if one is available.
Today, the base amount of memory or RAM that should be installed is 8 GB. As we do more on the computer and run more complex apps the minimum may need to be increased to 12 or 16 GB. The bottom line is you need to have enough for your daily workload.