A lighter Patch Tuesday this month as Microsoft released just 38 security patches for December, including a fix for a privilege escalation bug that has been reportedly exploited in the wild. A patch for a denial-of-service vulnerability in web applications built with .NET Framework was also released, but is not under active exploit at this time. Of the patches, nine updates are considered critical, and most of those are browser related. The rest are rated important and should also be prioritized. “The mix of affected products is fairly standard, with most fixes being browser-related and a handful of Office patches. The most critical this month is server-side: CVE-2018-8626 is an RCE against Windows DNS Server which could allow an unauthenticated attacker to run arbitrary code by issuing a malicious request to the server,” said Greg Wiseman of Rapid7 in a blog post on the releases. Wiseman said server-related fixes to note this month include two CVEs for SharePoint, as well as patches for Exchange Server 2016 and Microsoft Dynamics NAV. Here are the highlights from this month’s release with the information you need to prioritize your patching efforts. Notable Patches CVE-2018-8611 – Windows Kernel Elevation of Privilege Vulnerability This article is part … Read More
Close out 2018 on an organizational high note by getting your filing system right, deleting old data, protecting yourself against viruses and malware, and freeing up space on your devices. If spring is a great time to clean your physical house, then the end of the calendar year is a great time to clean your fiscal one. It’s very satisfying to spend some time as the year closes out getting your inbox and files in order, unsubscribing from mailing lists you don’t get anything out of, and ensuring your important documents are backed up properly for the present and the future. This is a huge task for larger organizations, says Eric Hobbs, CEO of Technology Associates. “On a larger, corporate-wide scale, there’s a lot to consider — a comprehensive equipment audit, ensuring that your data security is sound, implementing a reliable backup strategy, and evaluating your tech and IT management options and budgets are usually at the top of the list,” Hobbs said. But you can take this small scale for your personal digital files, devices, and storage. Here are tips on ending 2018 with a digital house cleaning that will set you up for efficiency, productivity, and security in … Read More
There are legitimate reasons to critique Google for how it chooses to track and use our data, but it does have some very helpful tools. One that I found extremely useful was Google Reader (October 2005 – July 2013). It was a well-conceived and executed service that enabled users to subscribe to any RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed and subsequently keep up with new content on those feeds. Its popularity also meant developers were building tools to interface with that service to make it more accessible across different platforms. Google Reader was also a de facto social sharing site — people could start discussions on items in their RSS feeds. Unfortunately, Google shut down Reader in an attempt to move users over to its fledgling social media service Google+. Instead, they killed the working social site they had and booted a community of RSS fans out of the Google ecosystem. Following Google Reader’s announced sundown, a few different services stepped in to take up that void. The one I went with at that time was Feedly. As a replacement, Feedly made it very easy to import my 150 RSS feeds. They were also not new to the business of helping users access … Read More
This latest Windows 10 iteration — the sixth update since Windows 10 debuted — has had a rocky roll-out thanks to a data-deletion issue. After figuring that out and making the appropriate fixes, the October 2018 Update was re-released in mid-November but it is still not generally available through Windows Update. Currently, seekers can go initiate an upgrade to this feature update by visiting Windows Update or using either the Media Creation Tool (MCT) or the Update Assistant. There is no evidence at this point that the October 2018 Update is being automatically pushed out to any users through Windows Update. Apparently, there is a very good reason for the lack of automatic updates based on information listed on the Windows 10 Update History page. Last month, just as Microsoft re-released the October 2018 Update, Corporate Vice President for Windows Michael Fortin laid out the company’s plans for better quality for future Windows 10 updates. He also discussed the company’s plans to be more responsive and transparent about issues impacting the roll-out of these updates. Well, the Windows 10 Update History page has become the portal they are using to increase at least the transparency around these semi-annual feature updates and monthly … Read More
Continuing our theme of taking care of old business in the old year — now that you’ve safeguarded your data, what about ensuring it’s not lost or erased? Several Windows Secrets writers have tackled the unglamorous but vital question of how to safeguard your files so you can always get to them. Dig in. Backup on OneDrive: It Finally Makes Sense Three Built-In Options to Back Up Your Data on Windows 10 How to Move Your Windows Personal Files to a Different Drive Why It’s Important to Back Up Your Cloud Storage, And How to Do It
I have a friend who calls Cyber Monday “Happy Unsubscribe Day,” for her practice of seeing which unasked-for emails from businesses pop into her inbox, then deleting the offenders. It’s a nicely automatic piece of digital housekeeping: Cyber Monday happens and you find out from whose email lists you need to depart. In this season of online transactions and end-of-year assessments — coming off a year in which we keep learning how tech companies use our data without our knowledge or consent, and we keep learning how loosely they value security — it behooves us to do a little digital housekeeping. Below, you’ll find a collection of helpful how-tos on safeguarding your data. Here’s hoping for a more rigorously private 2019. Know What Your ISP Knows About You How to Secure Your Outlook Email Messages with a Digital ID Best Practices for Backing Up and Securing Your Personal Files How to View and Control Your Private Online Data
The pending spring update of Microsoft’s flagship operating system (a.k.a. Windows 10 19H1 Build 18282) showed off several UI tweaks which continues to be an area of focus for this development branch. They also added a couple of tweaks to Windows Update that appear to be a move towards giving users a little more control over the mandatory update process. I have speculated a few times over the course of the 13 builds released for the 19H1 update that Microsoft may be choosing to focus on fit and finish aspects of the operating system rather than big new features. This latest build supports that theory. Of course, we will be keeping an eye on the development progress and sharing our insights along the way. For Build 18282 let’s take a closer look at some of the latest work. Note: This is a pre-release build of Windows 10. Nothing is written in stone when it comes to what changes will make it into the final release for this feature update. Windows Light Theme Windows 10 19H1 Build 18282 “Windows Light” Theme This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click here to login.
A couple of weeks ago in this newsletter, I highlighted some of the apps that are automatic installs for me when setting up a Windows 10 device. Of course, they are not the only apps I use daily and over the last couple of years, Microsoft has come along way with some helper apps that are in various stages of development. Many are released broadly for Windows 10 while others are currently being tested by Windows Insiders in the Fast, Slow, and Release Preview Rings of the program. That is right – the three rings in the Windows Insider Program are not just for testing updated development builds for the next feature update to Windows 10. Many of the app development teams now use these rings to test their apps and new features in a smaller test environment. If you do not want to test early development builds, then Release Preview, which doesn’t get builds until very late in the development process, is the perfect spot to help test out new features in some of these apps. Let’s check out a few of these apps. Microsoft Photos Windows 10 Photos App This article is part of our premium content. Join … Read More