There’s more to Office 365 than just Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. You may have a subscription to Office 365 mostly to gain access to Word, Excel, and possibly PowerPoint. But there’s a lot more to an Office 365 plan than just the core Microsoft programs: You can use Office 365 to store and sync files on a hefty 1TB of OneDrive space. You can use Skype to make and receive phone calls and text messages in more than 60 countries with 60 free minutes each month. You can access your calendar and contacts. You can store up to 50GB of messages and file attachments in the online version of Outlook. And you can use most of these features and apps on a mobile device. Let’s go over some best practices for getting the most out of your Office 365 subscription. Choose Your Office 365 Subscription This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click here to login.
With malware running amok and hacking of personal files at insane levels, now is not the time to get scared and panic. Now is the time to take steps to protect your data on your PC, external drives, and even in an actual hardware safe. Fortunately, there are numerous data protection hardware and software solutions for wherever you store your data and backups. Some are free, some are inexpensive, and some are pricey, but all make it easy to keep your files safe from thieving eyes Here’s a mixed bag of hardware products and software tools which I can recommend after a few weeks of hands-on testing. Datalocker’s Unique USB Flash Drive Comes Armed with Keypad and Display Security experts always advise us to copy or move sensitive data to external drives or the cloud. But even when you are not making a backup, saving confidential files to an external drive, be it a portable hard drive or a USB flash drive, is essential. But flash drives without some level of encryption are still as vulnerable to intrusion as logging on to a public Wi-Fi network at a coffee shop. Enter Datalocker’s Sentry K300–an encrypted micro SSD drive with an onboard … Read More
We have been focused on the misfires during the initial release of the latest feature update for Windows 10. As that situation seems to be slowly resolving itself through patches and other public fixes, I wanted to talk about accessibility in this October 1018 Update. I had an opportunity during Microsoft Ignite a few weeks ago to sit down with Microsoft’s Jiaxin Zheng, a product marketing manager for accessibility in Windows. We discussed the new accessibility features that were going to be part of the October 2018 Update and I gained an understanding about inclusive design that I had never comprehended before. Accessibility is one of those areas of Windows 10 that has come a long way since the initial release of Windows 10 back in July 2015. Every one of the six feature updates released for the operating system have built upon and improved accessibility features. While the advancements may look incremental in updates that come out every six months, the growth of this feature set over the last three years has been tremendous. Zheng shared with me three key areas of improvement in this feature update release. Ease of Access This article is part of our premium content. … Read More
Q: What is the status of the Windows 10 October 2018 Update? I heard it has been canceled – any idea what Microsoft is up to? First, I can confirm the October 2018 Update (Version 1809) for Windows 10 has not been canceled. However, it did get pulled temporarily late last week due to user reports of data deletion after the upgrade process. Earlier this week, in our October 9th edition of the newsletter, I wrote about this issue and the mess on Microsoft’s hands considering data deletions issues has been reported to the company well ahead of their release of the October 2018 Update (Version 1809). The same day that edition of the newsletter landed in your inboxes, Microsoft published a new blog post addressing the issues around the October 2018 Update (Version 1809). This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click here to login.
We all know about good habits – exercise, brushing your teeth, putting your dirty dishes in the sink. Here are nine good habits I’ve picked up in 35 years of working with computers. Some of them I learned the hard way. Good Habit #1: Back Up Daily When I wrote PCWorld’s Answer Line column, I got several emails a week from desperate people who had lost their data. When I asked if they had a backup, the usual response was “I was going to get around to that.” Back up to an external drive, even if you’re backing up to the cloud. The first rule of computing: Never have only one copy of anything. Second rule: Each copy should be on a different storage device. Arguably, this may no longer need to be a habit. With online backup tools such as Carbonite, you can set up your backup and forget about it. This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click here to login.
It has been less than a week since I wrote about the release of the Windows 10 October 2018 Update at Microsoft New York City software & hardware event. As of late last Friday, that update was pulled from download servers after multiple reports of users finding their personal files deleted after the upgrade. If you browse over to Microsoft’s Windows 10 Version 1809 Update History page, you will find this notice posted on October 6th: As you can see, Microsoft is stating this issue is impacting isolated users and it will be hard for external to the organization to understand the full scope of the issue because that data is Microsoft Confidential. This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click here to login.
It has been an on and off situation over the last several weeks, but it appears Microsoft has made a final decision about the end of support for their classic Skype software. This one blog post from the Skype team was originally posted on July 16 and stated that the classic version of Skype, aka Skype Version 7, would shut down on September 1, 2018. Then, six weeks later, on August 31, 2018, they updated the blog post for the first time and stated they would keep classic Skype working for a limited time based on customer feedback. There were no specifics given beyond that vague time reference — for all we knew, “limited time” could include the few hours between August 31 and September 1. Last week, during Microsoft Ignite on September 27, 2018, they updated the blog post for the third time with the new end of life dates for classic Skype. Desktop versions will stop being supported on November 1, 2018, and mobile/tablet versions will see the end of support two weeks later on November 15, 2018. They do add a caveat that classic Skype (Version 7 and below) might continue to work past those dates but they … Read More
Earlier this week, I traveled up to New York City to attend Microsoft’s October event where, as expected, they revealed updated Surface hardware, the availability of the Windows 10 October Update, and even surprised everyone with a new Surface product line. This was not your typical product launch with a couple hundred media and analysts in attendance. Instead, it was a small group of 50 or so people, in what likely used to be a warehouse. The one-hour briefing was headlined by Microsoft’s Yusuf Mehdi, the Corporate Vice President for Windows & Devices. However, the bulk of the session was presented by Microsoft’s Chief Product Officer Panos Panay. If you have watched a Surface hardware event or launch in the past, you know that he has a particular style of presentation, interleaving the development behind the Surface’s latest features with the end-user experience of those features. Windows 10 October 2018 Update The first piece of news from the event was that the latest feature update for Windows 10 has been released. The initial release will be for what Microsoft calls seekers. They are users who go looking for an update by manually checking Windows Update or using either the Update Assistant or … Read More
We update monthly on Patch Tuesday, install firewalls, anti-virus and anti-spyware, and always coach users to use complex, secure passwords. But apparently it is still not enough. A recent poll of 300 hackers conducted at Black Hat finds Windows OS is still a very hot target for attack. Those that answered the survey were a combination of white hat, gray hat and black hat hackers. Nearly 50 percent of those surveyed said they had compromised Windows-based systems more than any other within the past year. Most said they infiltrated Windows 10 most frequently, followed by Windows 8. Microsoft says Windows 10 has been deployed on 700 million devices since its launch in 2015. Microsoft has prioritized security in recent years, recently noting it will continue to invest over $1 billion a year on cybersecurity and research in order to further enhance the defenses of its products. But clearly, Windows is still seen as a sitting duck for hackers seeking a quick win. Why is that? “With more than 80 percent of the desktop OS market share, it is no surprise that Windows is a hot target for hackers,” said Michael Maltsev, a security researcher at Reason Software Company. “Microsoft is well aware of this, and … Read More
Cloud storage is often the backup storage, but what if that fails? Having a solid backup for your second option is a matter of convenience and security. You may wonder why you should have a plan for backing up your cloud storage — after all, your cloud storage often is our backup option for physical storage on computers, servers and physical hard disks. The options we used to use for file backup are often less convenient than cloud storage, which can make us overly reliant — and overly confident — in the security of the latter. “We all love the convince of cloud storage,” said Mike Vannelli, head producer of Envy Creative. “However, many people have a preconceived notion that storing your files on Dropbox or Google Drive is enough.” Spoiler alert: it isn’t. Cloud storage is at risk of failure and erasure, just as other types of storage are. For example, an Amazon cloud storage failure in February 2017 caused when Amazon Web Services had a breakdown in its U.S. east coast region lasted for hours and created problems for thousands of apps and services. This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click … Read More