Microsoft dropping support for old versions of Internet Explorer

raod-ends-imageIn August of 2014 Microsoft announced that after January 12 they will no longer be updating Internet Explorers older than version 11. This leaves almost half of Internet Explorer users (368 million) with browsers that are no longer secure if they don’t upgrade or switch to a different web browser. The unsupported versions of explorer will continue to work, but Microsoft will no longer be giving security updates, which leads anyone using these browsers very vulnerable.

Some users may rely on older versions to run certain programs, but these versions will no longer guarantee that your information will be secure. There will be some exceptions for certain versions of Internet Explorer, but version 7 and 8 will not be secure on any device. The exceptions include IE9 on Windows Vista, IE10 on Windows Server 2012 and IE11 on Windows 7 and Windows 8.

To upgrade to a new Windows operating system users also have to upgrade to a new version of Internet Explorer. By dropping older versions of their browser, Microsoft is encouraging people to upgrade to a newer version of Windows and IE. By dropping the old versions of IE they are also decreasing their technical support costs.

Check which version your computer is running by opening Internet Explorer and pressing the alt and H key at the same time and then clicking on “About Internet Explorer”.

SCAM ALERT: Fake Windows 10 Upgrades Install Ransomware

A recent article from securityweek.com raises awareness of how cyber-criminals are fooling unwary computer users with phony offers to update computers to Windows 10.  These emails are known as “ransomware”, malicious files intended to trick computer users into supplying credit card information, thinking that they are purchasing a product or service.  Once installed, the malicious file can harm your computer and files. Here is what you should look out for:

  • E-mails with the subject line “Windows 10 Free Upgrade”
  • Any mail appearing to come from “update@microsoft.com”
  • Any email offer to upgrade to Windows 10 – Windows upgrades are not supplied from Microsoft via unsolicited email.

If you have a Windows 10 eligible computer and want to know more about Microsoft’s newest operating system, our technicians can assist you with all of your computing needs. At this time, our advice is to let Microsoft work out all the kinks that come along with a new operating system release, allowing 90 days or so before fully considering doing the upgrade.

Original Article: SecurityWeek.com

Pros and Cons of Upgrading to Windows 10

Check out this great article in WSJ, which identifies some pros and cons of upgrading to Windows 10.  Here is a summary of what we found:

  • The “Start Menu” is back!
  • There is no hurry to update.  Windows 10 is free for Windows 7 and Windows 8 users for one year (updating more than a year from now will cost you $120)
  • Upgrading won’t negatively impact your data
  • Gamers need not worry about upgrading, DirectX 12 is included in Windows 10
  • Performance improvements including faster start up time and better battery life for mobile devices
  •  Media Center is no longer supported, and will be removed
  • Microsoft may share some of your usage preference data
  • Microsoft is still working out bugs for some hardware drivers

For those computer users who can wait to upgrade, SAMSA’s advice is to let the dust settle a bit.  For those who are chomping at the bit and can’t wait, just be aware that there may be some bumps in the road initially, although we expect Windows 10 to smooth out in the next 90 days or so.

For our clients in Michigan’s Tri Cities region, SAMSA will be offering free Windows 10 training classes – dates to be announced shortly.

Farewell to Windows XP

For the past twelve years, Windows XP has been the most recognizable face of desktop computers, but on April 8th, Microsoft finally pulled the plug on the popular operating system. If you’re still using Windows XP, your computer will still work, but there’s some important things you should know.

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