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
Microsoft released 63 security patches for November, including a fix for a zero-day vulnerability already under active exploitation. Of the patches, 12 updates are considered critical, and almost every other patch is ranked as important. Out of the 12 critical vulnerabilities, 10 can be exploited through browsers or opening malicious files, according to a post from Jimmy Graham of Qualys. “The priority this month should be all Windows OS updates and Edge,” said Chris Goettl of Ivanti. “Internet Explorer has several Important vulnerabilities resolved as does Office, but all of the Critical vulnerabilities, exploits and disclosures are in the OS and Edge browser.” Goettl also notes Microsoft is re-releasing Windows 10 1809 and Server 2019 after pulling them in October due to user data being deleted after upgrading. “Take a moment to test before rolling out just to be cautious,” he said. Here are the highlights from this month’s release with the information you need to prioritize your patching efforts. This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click here to login.
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.
Here’s how to take charge of the information collected about you by technology companies. Like many people, you probably have online accounts with Microsoft, Google, Apple, Facebook, and companies. We all know that these businesses monitor and store certain data about our online activities. But exactly what information do they have? And how can you review, modify, and remove it? The process differs for each company, but the goal is the same. You want to be able to see what data is stored about you, clear any data you don’t want the companies to have, and restrict the type of data they can collect about you going forward. This can be a time-consuming task as the companies don’t make the process quick and simple. But you should still make an effort to review the information being collected about you. Let’s check out the steps for four of the top tech players. Microsoft Using a Microsoft Account is handy as it gives you one set of credentials for Windows, Office, Skype, and other Microsoft apps and services. But that also means Microsoft collects a lot of information about you. To review and modify all this data collection, sign into your Microsoft … Read More
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
There’s more to Microsoft than just Office, Outlook, and Edge. Here’s a look at other useful programs. You may use Microsoft Office, Outlook, Edge, Cortana, and other key Microsoft apps and programs. But those are just the main events. The folks in Redmond offer a variety of other products, especially for your mobile device. You can use Microsoft Office Lens to scan printed files and save them as Word documents or PDFs. You can use Microsoft Photos Companion to wirelessly send photos from your phone to your PC. You can use Microsoft Launcher on your Android device to tweak your home screen to make it more Microsoft-friendly. You can turn to Microsoft Translator when you need to translate something on the fly. And you can use Microsoft Authenticator to easily sign into your Microsoft Account. Let’s check out these helpful Microsoft apps. Microsoft Office Lens Need a way to scan printed documents via your mobile phone? The free Microsoft Office Lens app can serve that role. This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click here to login.
Q. What are the most useful apps you have found in the Microsoft Store on Windows 10? A. You all know I am an undeniable fan of Windows 10. Of course, you see that Windows 10 tends to be the subject of the two weekly articles I write for Windows Secrets. So, no secrets here about my focus on Windows 10 and experience with it along the way. Over the last three and a half years, a lot of operating system functionality has moved from the OS itself to what I call helper apps. Many users also call them inbox or built-in apps. However, for the purposes of answering this question, I am not going to include these apps in my list. This list is going to focus on the other apps I install as I setup or reset an existing system. Caveat: I will choose to use the Microsoft Store app version of a piece of software versus a separate downloadable desktop install of the program. OneNote for Windows 10 This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click here to login.