Norton introduces the “new” Norton 360

Norton introduces the “new” Norton 360

Norton has recently reintroduced the “new” Norton 360, replacing the Norton Security which has existed over the past few years, which had replaced the product of the same name form many years prior.

In the “new” Norton 360 product, Norton has introduced additional security protection as well as the usual computer and internet security, cloud backup and performance improvement features. It now includes a Secure VPN for online privacy, Dark Web Monitoring by LifeLock (which monitors your primary email address), and SafeCam to block webcam takeovers. The remainder of the product is relatively unchanged from Norton Security, aside from a new front “My Norton” screen that starts when you load the application.

If you have an existing Norton Security subscription, you may be offered a free or discounted upgrade to the new Norton 360 as a special offer. Should you do this, you may be required to sign up for automatic renewal and provide your credit card details for verification. Alternatively, you may wish to wait until your subscription falls due before you upgrade and purchase this product then.

Here at CyberGuru, we have used and recommended Norton products continuously over the last 20 years which has provided ourselves and clients confidence that their devices are protected from internet security threats and vulnerabilities. This recommendation is based on our own experience with the software, not because we are paid to do so. We appreciate some clients have experienced various performance issues with such software, however such internet security software is worthwhile overall considering given the strong value it provides for a reasonable yearly subscription.

If you would like us to assist you to purchase, install or configure Norton 360 in your environment, please feel free to contact us.

The Windows 10 November 2019 Update has been released!

The Windows 10 November 2019 Update has been released!

Windows 10 November 2019 Update

Microsoft has just released the newest feature update to Windows 10, known as the November 2019 Update or as 1909, which includes the latest features and security updates.

The Windows 10 November 2019 Update introduces some modest new features include:

  • being able to create a calendar entry directly from the Taskbar
  • integrating Windows Search to as part of File Explorer to include of OneDrive content
  • the ability for third-party digital assistants to be used when the device is locked
  • various general improvements to the user interface

For a full list of new features, please see Microsoft’s website, What’s new in Windows 10, version 1909 (link opens in new window).

The most significant improvement is that it is a very fast update to install for those already running Windows 10 May 2019 Update, as Microsoft is using a new way to deliver the update similar to the monthly updates are issued.

To check if you are able to install this update now, you can open Windows Update and click Check for Updates. It is available for your device, you can select to download and install this. It requires a restart and the update shouldn’t take too long to complete. Depending on your type of your device, it may not be available just yet as Microsoft works through compatibility issues. If you are running a Windows 10 Home or Pro device currently on the Windows 10 May 2018 Update, you will likely receive an automatic update to this.

As part of our computer maintenance service for our contracted clients, we will be implementing this update in the next few months. If you have any questions or would like assistance to perform this update for you, please contact us.

Three months to go until end of extended support for Windows 7

Windows 7

In less than three months’ time, Microsoft will end support for Windows 7. As noted in our earlier blog articles, Windows 7 will no longer be supported by Microsoft on 14 January 2020 and as a result no further software and security updates or technical support will be made available.

Once Microsoft ends support for Windows 7, it is possible that security risks will arise from the continued use of this outdated operating system. Furthermore, software and hardware manufacturers in turn will likely no longer support this.

We strongly recommend you review computers running Windows 7 to determine if they are suitable to upgrade to Windows 10. If you are looking at replacing any of the computers, then they will come with Windows 10 automatically.

Due to the short time period and being that it shortly after Christmas, we strongly believe all organisations should make it a priority to upgrade as soon as possible to avoid any complications.

For further details, please contact us for more information.

Are you ready for the Windows 10 May 2019 Update?

Are you ready for the Windows 10 May 2019 Update?

Are you ready for the Windows 10 May 2019 Update?

It’s been a while coming, but the Windows 10 May 2019 Update is finally on its way to computers around the world.

Microsoft has announced that as the Home and Pro editions of Windows 10 April 2018 Update (version 1803) will reach end of service on 12 November 2019 they will begin updating devices running this as well as earlier versions of Windows 10 to ensure that they can continue to service these devices and provide the latest updates, security updates and improvements.

Every year, Microsoft releases two majority updates for Windows 10, being generally in April and October, however, the latest one, Windows 10 May 2019 update has arrived later than expected.

As per the Windows Experience blog (link opens in new window) article, for those Windows 10 devices “that are at, or within several months of reaching end of service, Windows Update will automatically initiate a feature update; keeping those devices supported and receiving the monthly updates that are critical to device security and ecosystem health”.

Some of the new features introduced in Windows 10 May 2019 Update include:

  • Windows Update itself: Windows will seek your permission before installing the major updates (ie. the next October 2019 Update) and Home users can pause updates for up to 35 days (in seven-day periods up to five times). Microsoft provides greater control as to when you wish to install the update and will no longer do so without your permission. You will have approximately 18 months until it will eventually force the update.
  • Troubleshooters: Windows 10 has increased further troubleshooting options for this update. It will provide recommended troubleshooting guidance if required, as well as assistance when you are in trouble. Of course, we are always happy to help with that! In addition, Windows Security is also improving but we would still recommend internet security software for your computer.
  • Passwordless login: One interesting announcement as part of this update is Microsoft’s promise to remove passwords, by replacing them with a PIN or prompt on your mobile phone.
  • Dark mode (light mode): One popular enhancement we are seeing across many apps and websites these days is to introduce a “dark mode” to darken how the interface appears. This includes the start menu, task bar, Action Centre, notifications as well as other areas. In addition, there is also a “light theme” also.
  • Start menu: Microsoft has also reduced the number of programs appearing on the Start menu, making it easier to remove out-of-box apps which you may not use (such as Candy Crush, Xbox Console and Groove Music). This will allow you to also have a smaller start menu, down to a single column. There are changes to separate Cortana and search also.

Usually in the subsequent months, we receive calls from our clients who advise they have seen a particular change or looks different to what they are familiar with. If you are considering updating to the Windows 10 May Update, you may wish to review the new Windows release health dashboard (link opens in new window) which as advises on known and resolved issues

You will generally receive a notification when your device is ready to upgrade to the latest Windows 10 update, however we suggest waiting until at least a few weeks afterwards to iron out any issues.

If you need assistance to upgrading to this update, or would like consulting, support and training, we are happy to provide for this to small businesses, not-for-profit organisations and individuals. Please contact us for more information.

This article is also featured on the CyberGuru Blog.

CyberGuru proudly supports Privacy Awareness Week in 2019

CyberGuru proudly supports Privacy Awareness Week in 2019

Privacy Awareness Week 2019

As part of our commitment to protecting your privacy, CyberGuru is proud to announce its support of Privacy Awareness Week in 2019. Running 12-18 May, this year’s theme is “Don’t be in the Dark on Privacy”, with an emphasis on what businesses and individuals can do to maintain privacy.

For businesses, privacy protection is vital to building and maintaining clients’ trust in our management of their personal information. Privacy should be integrated into all projects that involve personal information so that risks are identified and addressed as soon as possible. Privacy is about transparency – it’s about being upfront about personal information handling practices so that individuals can make informed decisions and won’t be surprised about how their personal information is used.

For example, some of the practices we have taken at CyberGuru to protect privacy include:

  • Undertaking a Privacy Impact Assessment as part of our obligations under the Notifiable Data Breach Scheme.
  • Displaying our privacy policy online, which informs you how we handle your personal information, including collecting only required information necessary to provide our products and services to you and not sharing your information with third-parties unless consent is provided.
  • Ensuring our website and email communications are secure and protected using HTTPS, SSL and encryption technologies.

Individuals need to take responsibility for protecting their privacy. Some companies do not take reasonable steps to protect privacy, exemplified by Facebook’s myriad of privacy scandals in the past year.

This year, Privacy Awareness Week has identified the following five priorities to assist individuals in protecting their privacy:

  1. If you are notified of a data breach act quickly to reduce the risk of harm
  2. Protect yourself online and safeguard your passwords
  3. Check your credit report for free once a year
  4. Sharing your health information is your choice
  5. Be aware of what data you share

For further information and resources on these priorities, please visit the Privacy Awareness Week website (link opens in new window). If you would like assistance in implementing any privacy practices, please contact us today.