A Few Things You Should Know

GEEK FREE
1 December, 2015
By Joe Callison

A new year is fast approaching, and with it comes some important dates to be aware of in the computer world for 2016:

January 12, 2016 – Microsoft will no longer provide security updates or technical support for Internet Explorer versions prior to Internet Explorer 11. Note- You must have Windows 7 or later operating systems to run Internet Explorer 11. If you are still running Windows XP or Vista, then you should use a different browser such as Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome rather than the older Internet Explorer versions.

Summer 2016 – The next major Windows 10 update, codenamed Redstone, is due in the summer. A good question is, will it be ready before the end of the free Windows 10 upgrade deadline?

July 29, 2016 – The free upgrade to Windows 10 is available until July 29. If you are planning to upgrade, you might want to do so at least a day or two ahead of that date to be safe.

September 2016 – Apple’s iOS 10 release, and possibly iPhone 7 release.

Recent security threats:

If you have a Dell computer that was shipped between August and November 2015, or an older Dell computer that you updated the Dell Detect feature on between those dates, then you should be aware that a major vulnerability may have been installed on your computer. Go to the following Dell support page for a free automatic removal tool, or for more information:

http://www.dell.com/support/article/us/en/19/SLN300321

Note – it does not hurt to run the removal tool even if you are not sure you need to. If your computer does not have the problem, the tool will just say the issue could not be found.

A malware known as Dyreza (or Dyre for short) has been updated to target Windows 10 and the Edge browser. This malware has been found to target Salesforce users and banking customers as well as several other businesses. According to Microsoft, if you are prompted by your firewall to allow higher access privileges to programs such as explorer.exe and svchost.exe, you have been infected. Microsoft also says if you find the following files in Windows, you are infected:

%APPDATA%\local\[random alpha numeric characters].exe

%APPDATA%\local\[random alpha numeric characters].exe

Note that Dyre also targets Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer, regardless of what version of Windows you are using. Read the full article at:

http://www.winbeta.org/news/credential-stealing-trojan-dyre-now-targeting-windows-10-and-edge-browser

Windows 10 Privacy:

Early installers of the Windows 10 November update (codenamed Threshold 2), discovered that their privacy settings and browser preferences had been changed back to the Windows default settings. The update availability was halted temporarily to patch it to retain most of the user’s previous privacy settings. If you installed the November update, you might want to recheck all of your privacy settings.

One change to Windows 10 that users will probably not be aware of is that the Diagnostics Tracking Service (DiagTrack) appears to have been removed but it was actually just renamed as Connected User Experiences and Telemetry Service and was re-enabled even if DiagTrack had previously been disabled by the user. If you want to disable it again, you now have to run “services.msc”, locate it in the Services (Local) section, double-click it, click “Stop”, and then under the “Startup type” drop down menu select “Disabled” and then confirm and click “OK”. The service sends data to Microsoft to analyze performance and diagnose problems for the purpose of improving Windows, but some people prefer to turn it off.


Windows 10 prior to the Threshold 2 update shows ‘Connected User Experiences And Telemetry’ which executes the exact same service as DiagTrack.
Image credit: Tweakhound

1 thought on “A Few Things You Should Know”

  1. A few days ago I opened a Dropbox account. I put 2 items (29 KB) in my Dropbox folder. About 3 days later I got a message that said my Dropbox was full and was no longer syncing files. How did my Dropbox get full when I didn’t put much in it? According to what I read, my Dropbox has 1 TB of space.

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