One year to go until Microsoft ends extended support for Windows 7

One year to go until Microsoft ends extended support for Windows 7

One of the Microsoft’s most loved operating systems, Windows 7, has extended support close to ending. On 14 January 2020, Microsoft will no longer issue security updates and will stop providing assistance those using Windows 7 Service Pack 1.

NetMarketShare (link opens in new window) reports that as of December 2018, 40.86% are still using Windows 7, with Windows 10 close behind on 36.37%. 5.07% are running Windows 8.1.

Introduced nearly 10 years ago, Windows 7 improved on existing versions of Windows including Windows XP and Windows Vista. Microsoft also added many new features we are now take for granted, including touch capabilities, and others we have become more comfortable with, including Libraries in File Explorer.

According to the Windows Lifecycle Fact Sheet (link opens in new window), mainstream support for Windows 7 ended on 13 January 2015, with extended support ending 14 January 2020. For users running Windows 8.1, support ended on 9 January 2018 with extended support for 10 January 2023.

Over the coming year, we suggest all computers running Windows 7 are upgraded to Windows 10 or replaced with new computers depending on their age and purpose. We are happy to assist clients and advise the most appropriate requirements for their needs.

If we can be of assistance to upgrading you from Windows 7 to Windows 10, and in need of consulting, support or training to help you make the move to a modern desktop, please contact us.

Looking after your IT over Christmas

Looking after your IT over Christmas

Looking after your IT over Christmas

Christmas is coming and it will soon be time for holidays. But before you head off on that well-deserved break here are three important IT safety tips.

  1. Perform a backup and bring home a copy with you. Data is increasingly essential to businesses and you cannot afford the downtime associated with its loss. Backup all your data including files, email, settings and even your website. Make at least two copies and bring one home with you, so if something happens to your office while you are on holidays you have another copy.
  2. Unplug all non-essential equipment. Summer is storm season and the best way to protect against surges is ensure your equipment is not plugged in. Some ISPs recommend leaving your modem plugged in, but CyberGuru would suggest that you disconnect your server, computers and other devices connected to mains power. Ideally over summer you may also wish to consider an Uninterruptable Power Supply in case your power is distributed due to electrical or weather conditions.
  3. Undertake maintenance so your devices will be running optimally in 2019. Ensure you have a working backup by testing whether you can successfully restore a file, remove or archive old documents and photos from your computer, confirm all recent updates have been applied including website updates, tidy your email inbox and then set up your automatic reply so every knows you are out of the office!

Everyone loves Christmas, especially scammers. So whether you’re checking emails or taking advantage of the online sales, remember to stay safe online.

Windows 10 October 2018 Update released

Windows 10 October 2018 Update released

Windows 10 October 2018 Update

The latest Windows 10 feature update, known as the October 2018 Update (version 1809) has comes with new features. From our exploration, we have found three that will be of interest, namely the Your Phone app, Snip & Sketch app and the Cloud clipboard.

The new “Your Phone” app is a useful addition to Windows 10, replacing the previous Phone Companion app. Currently, the Your Phone app works predominately on Android phones. In particular, it enables you to access the contents of your phone (namely recent photos) and view and send text messages on your Windows computer. In order for you to access phone and access the photos, you need to access your phone over WiFi. New features have been promised as well as adding these features into iPhone, however this is an interesting start and we hope it is added to over time.

Another new feature is the “Snip and & Sketch” app, providing improvements over the former Snipping Tool in earlier versions of Windows. Snip & Sketch allows for the ability to capture screenshots using the Windows + Shift + S keyboard hotkey, then mark up and share these images. It doesn’t yet have all of the features like selecting the type of snip (although you can crop, and only selective timings are included, but will again, become more useful over time. The existing Snipping Tool will be removed in a later Windows edition.

One long-awaited feature is the Cloud Clipboard. This isn’t set up by default but allows you to copy contents from one device and paste into other. It hasn’t been fully tested by us yet, but we understand that it will enable you to work alongside other recent features introduced into the earlier Windows 10 April 2018 Update, such as Timeline, in order for you to share content between devices.

When the Windows 10 October 2018 Update was first released, Microsoft became aware of some issues. The rollout of this update was then put on hold until these issues were resolved. The Windows 10 October 2018 Update was re-released on 13 November to Windows Update and will be installed onto your computer through the usual Windows Update process. However, you may decide to elect to update now by checking for updates, or wait for it to install automatically, or choose to defer the update until you are ready to do so.

Some of the features removed or planned for replacement in the Windows October 2018 Update have been documented on the Microsoft Docs website (link opens in new window).

If you need a hand with taking advantage of the new features, performing or would like assistance in upgrading to the latest version, please contact us.

Stay Smart Online Week 2018

Stay Smart Online Week 2018

CyberGuru is once again a proud partner of Stay Smart Online Week from 8-14 October 2018. This year’s campaign is Reverse the Threat, which is designed to “mobilise a movement against cybercrime with our partners and the wider community.”

Each year, Stay Smart Online hosts an awareness week to empower people, business and the community to protect themselves when online. Similarly, at CyberGuru, we seek to empower and enable our clients to be more self-sufficient in maintaining their computers as well as helping people be safe online.

According to the 2017 Norton Cyber Security Insights Report Global Results, one in four Australians were hit by cybercrime last year. As part of Stay Smart Online, we seek to bring together the Australian public, business and government to reverse the threat of cybercrime.

Here’s four tips on how to do this:

  1. Carefully check email messages that you receive before clicking or taking action. If you receive an email or text message that you are not expecting, call the company that supposedly sent it (using their official website or phone book, or listed details from a separate document).
  2. Don’t use public wi-fi connections, use a VPN or private network instead. Public wi-fi connections at airport lounges, libraries and coffee shops are not as safe as you may think. Cybercriminals may be able to see the information being sent between your phone and the Wi-Fi hotspot.
  3. Install new updates regularly. Smart phones, computers and apps require updates to add new features, resolve bugs and fix security holes. Install updates as they arrive or set them to automatically update.
  4. Create strong passwords that are different on all of your accounts. You may use a phrase or series of words that are easy to remember but hard to guess. You may use a password manager or implement multi-factor authentication to help protect you further.

For more information about protecting yourself and for more tips and advice, please see the Stay Smart Online website.

We encourage you to sign up to the CyberGuru Newsletter, as well as to sign up for the Alert Service.

Microsoft announces price increase for Office software

Microsoft Office 2016

With Microsoft Office 2019 due for release shortly, Microsoft has advised that their price for the Office software will be increased by approximately 10% on 1 October 2018.

If you are considering upgrading your Office license, we suggest one of the three following options:

  • Buy a perpetual license of Microsoft Office 2016 before 1 October and save 10%.
  • Wait until 1 October and buy a perpetual license of Microsoft Office 2019.
  • Buy a subscription to Office 365 and receive the latest version of Microsoft Office.

There are different editions of Microsoft Office available for each option depending on your needs.

If you would like further information about these options or for assistance in determining which option best suits your needs, please contact us today.