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5 New Features of Windows 10 You Need to Know About

Update: Microsoft has stopped deploying build 1809 due to reports of lost data. At this time there is not a new release window. More information can be found at this link.

Microsoft Windows runs 87% of the world’s computers.

Windows 10 is the latest version and keeps evolving to bring you the best experience when it comes to your phone and PC.

In October 2018 the latest update to the popular software is rolling out and there are even more changes. But which features are really worth your while and which are just fluff?

Here are five of the most exciting Windows 10 features new in October.

Dark Mode

One of the most simplest yet biggest updates to Windows is Dark Mode.

But why is dark mode so popular? There are three main reasons.

One reason is a dark screen will extend your battery life, which is always welcome. Another reason is that less blue light has been […]

By | 2018-10-12T20:31:40+00:00 October 10th, 2018|Newsletter|Comments Off on 5 New Features of Windows 10 You Need to Know About

Warn your friends about tech support scams

used with permission from FTC.gov., by Amy Hebert

Tech support scams, which get people to pay for fake computer help or steal their personal information, are convincing. You might already know the signs of a tech support scam, but do your friends and family? Here’s what they need to know now:

  • Companies like Microsoft don’t call and ask for access to your computer. If you get a call like that, it’s a scam.
  • Real companies also won’t ask for your account passwords. Only scammers do.
  • Tech support scammers try to convince you they’re legitimate. They’ll pretend to know about a problem on your computer. They’ll ask you to open normal files that look alarming to make you think you need help.
  • If you do need computer help, go directly to a person, business, or website you know you can trust. General online searches are risky because they might pull up […]
By | 2018-10-12T20:32:45+00:00 October 4th, 2018|Newsletter|Comments Off on Warn your friends about tech support scams

Don’t let the old hardware blues undermine office security

used with permission from Tektonika (HP), by Karen Gilleland

Unlike fine wine, your cyber assets don’t get better with age. Any PC more than four years old is not only costly to keep, but it’s also hack-friendly tech that could pose serious office security risk. Old PCs lack the built-in security triggers needed to repel the thousands of malware threats discovered each hour. With new technology, you could avoid 70–80 percent of the top malware detected.

Down-level hardware could potentially jeopardize your business—and that risk carries a price tag far exceeding an investment in state-of-the-art technology. As Two River Community Bank put it, “The risk just isn’t worth it.” There’s no reason to stick with outdated hardware, especially when computing power is growing exponentially and faster than ever. Older hardware may be costing you precious time, and the longer you delay updating old equipment, the further behind you’ll fall in the skills, knowledge, and technology needed to compete […]

By | 2018-10-12T20:32:54+00:00 October 4th, 2018|Newsletter|Comments Off on Don’t let the old hardware blues undermine office security

Top 4 Computer Tricks Everyone Should Know in 2018

Computer technology is no longer a new frontier. In fact, over 85 percent of households in America have at least one computer.

With this tech being so accessible, it’s easy to feel like a computer whiz. However, there are tons of simple, time-saving daily tips and tricks that you may be missing out on.

Did you know that you can privately browse the Internet or save your laptop’s dying battery in the nick of time? And it’s easier than you think.

Curious to know more? Keep reading.

We’ll review some computer tricks everyone should know in 2018. Let’s get started!

1. Scrolling Shortcuts
If you’re perusing a long web page or document, scrolling can get tedious. This is where handy scrolling shortcuts come in.

To scroll down, press the spacebar. To scroll up, press the shift key and the spacebar at the same time. Simple computer tips like this will save you a surprising amount of time and energy while […]

By | 2018-10-12T20:33:19+00:00 October 3rd, 2018|Newsletter|Comments Off on Top 4 Computer Tricks Everyone Should Know in 2018

How to avoid a Bitcoin blackmail scam

used with permission from FTC.gov., by Cristina Miranda

“I know about the secret you are keeping from your wife and everyone else. You can ignore this letter, or pay me a $8600 confidentiality fee in Bitcoin”.

It’s enough to send shivers down anyone’s spine, but these chilling words are part of a new scam targeting men.

Here’s how it works. Scammers have been sending letters to men, demanding payments using bitcoin in exchange for keeping quiet about alleged affairs. The letter also explains how to use bitcoin to make the payment.

This is a criminal extortion attempt to separate people from their money.

If you — or someone you know — gets a letter like this, report it immediately to your local police, and the FBI.

Threats, intimidation and high-pressure tactics are classic signs of a scam. Learn how to stay ahead of clever crooks with these practical tips, […]

By | 2018-09-11T17:51:39+00:00 September 7th, 2018|Newsletter|Comments Off on How to avoid a Bitcoin blackmail scam

Watch out for card skimming at the gas pump

used with permission from FTC.gov, by Colleen Tressler

With the summer travel season in high gear, the FTC is warning drivers about skimming scams at the pump.

Skimmers are illegal card readers attached to payment terminals.  These card readers grab data off a credit or debit card’s magnetic stripe without your knowledge. Criminals sell the stolen data or use it to buy things online. You won’t know your information has been stolen until you get your statement or an overdraft notice.

Here are a few tips to help you avoid a skimmer when you gas up:

  • Make sure the gas pump panel is closed and doesn’t show signs of tampering. Many stations now put security seals over the cabinet panel. If the pump panel is opened, the label will read “void.”
    Photo credit: National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) and Conexxus
  • Look at the card reader itself. […]
By | 2018-09-11T17:51:37+00:00 September 7th, 2018|Newsletter|Comments Off on Watch out for card skimming at the gas pump

Office 365 and Outlook on the web dropping support for connected accounts

Microsoft will soon be disabling the ability to add new connected accounts to Office 365 and Outlook Online. This update will only affect Office365 Business accounts. This change will prevent you from being able to read or send mail from any email addresses that are not controlled by Office 365. New accounts will no longer be able to be connected starting September 15th. On October 30th all connected email accounts will stop syncing. This only affects the Outlook online web application and will not affect your ability to use the Outlook application installed on your computer.

While this change may be alarming Microsoft has a few suggestions, which can be in found in this article which will allow you to continue to see your other emails: link

By | 2018-09-11T17:51:32+00:00 September 6th, 2018|Newsletter|Comments Off on Office 365 and Outlook on the web dropping support for connected accounts

SpireTech will be using our .net domain as well as our .com domain

SpireTech continues to change and grow. As such we have added a new domain to our emails, Spiretech.net. Within the coming month SpireTech employees will start sending emails from our spiretech.net domain as well as from our spiretech.com domain. Our support email addresses and employee email addresses will continue to receive mail at spiretech.com so there is no need to update your contacts, and there will be no change to any customer email addresses. Please make sure to note that some emails from us will now be from spiretech.net and are not spam attempts. If any emails claiming to be from us alarm you or cause you to question the validity of the email, please feel free to call our main office line and we’ll be happy to discuss the email with you.

By | 2018-09-11T17:51:30+00:00 September 5th, 2018|Newsletter|Comments Off on SpireTech will be using our .net domain as well as our .com domain

What are cookies?

used with permission from Norton by Symantec

Mention “cookies” and most people expect a chocolate chip treat to appear. When talking about computers, however, cookies aren’t on the dropdown menu. In fact, they’re not even physical objects. Yet they do a great deal of the work that makes it more convenient for you to browse the Internet — and they can be troublesome if you don’t know how to clear or delete cookies.

Meet the computer cookie

A computer “cookie” is more formally known as an HTTP cookie, a web cookie, an Internet cookie or a browser cookie. The name is a shorter version of “magic cookie,” which is a term for a packet of data that a computer receives and then sends back without changing or altering it.

No matter what it’s called, a computer cookie consists of information. When you visit a website, the website sends the cookie to your computer. Your computer stores […]

By | 2018-08-03T20:37:34+00:00 August 2nd, 2018|Newsletter|Comments Off on What are cookies?

5 questions every SMB should ask about workstations – but rarely do

used with permission from HP Tech@Work

How can SMB owners determine if workstations are right for them and, if so, how to select the best machines for their particular needs?

Workstations have been around long enough now that it’s safe to start talking about how modern versions of these machines are nothing like the pricey behemoths grandpa used back in the ‘90s.

Today’s workstations are vastly improved with processing, graphics and storage capabilities being enhanced on a continual basis. At the same time, they have become much more compact, mobile, stylish and affordable over the years, with prices on some models starting at less than $1,000.

Considering all these benefits, it should come as little surprise that small- to mid-sized businesses are starting to consider workstations as an alternative to the consumer PCs they’ve traditionally favored.

But how can SMB owners determine if workstations are right for them and, if so, how to select the best machines […]

By | 2018-08-03T20:37:31+00:00 August 2nd, 2018|Newsletter|Comments Off on 5 questions every SMB should ask about workstations – but rarely do