Microsoft has been long known to release their Windows products with a multitude of security holes, and Windows 10 is no different. Like many of the security holes of the past, many are intentional and can be disabled! I have yet to figure out why, from a liability standpoint, a company with such deep pockets continues to put their users at risk and get away with it.
Nonetheless, if you've decided to run Windows 10 then you may want to address the several security issues we know about at this point, which range from minor to downright scary.
This is one of those features that, even if you think is a great innovation, you'd think would be turned off by default. Windows Sense is a WiFi sharing feature, recommending open hotspots and potentially sharing your secured wireless network information over Facebook. It's not necessarily as bad as it sounds, but it isn't good either. I compare it to leaving your car running outside the grocery store, with the doors locked; your car will probably be there when you get back - or you might not! Turn if off by going to Settings -> Network -> Wifi -> Manage and choose to turn off "WiFi shared by contacts" - which also turns off sharing yours.
Updates from more than one place, aka share your internet
Microsoft, by default, shares your internet connection to deploy its updates. It's a P2P service built right into the operating system. The problem is, your bandwidth is consumed by redistributing Microsoft's updates. In addition, there is the risk hackers will spoof Microsoft's service and could potentially use this service to deploy viruses masquerading as Microsoft Updates! Turn it off by going to Settings -> Chose How Updates Are Delivered -> Updates from more than one place and turn of the "PCs on the internet" option.
Privacy Settings - Advertising
Microsoft wants to ensure you enjoy internet advertising and spam as much as possible, so they give you your very own advertising ID and share your personal information so you can be better targeted by vendors who purchase their service. To turn this option off go to Settings -> Privacy -> General and turn off the option to share your advertising ID.
Privacy Settings - Camera
Apparently Microsoft wants to make it easier for others to enjoy using your webcam, so they allow you to default to all apps access to your camera. This would include rouge software. To turn this option off go to Settings -> Privacy -> Camera make sure "Let apps use my camera" is off. Some have reported this option was ON by default. You can also select apps that you know should legitimately access your camera.
Privacy Settings - Location
To turn this option off go to Settings -> Privacy -> Location make sure "Location" is off. If it was "ON" then I'd recommend clearing the history (scroll down to find it). Also, you might want to go through the various apps and turn them off as well.
Privacy Settings - Account Info
Microsoft figures the world ought to know your name and what you look like. Just think what this info, along with location means. To turn this option off go to Settings -> Privacy -> Account Info make sure "Let apps access my name, picture, and other account info" is off. You can also control which apps should legitimately access your microphone.
NOTE: If you use Cortana, then Microphone and Contacts privacy invasion must be left ON.
Privacy Settings - Microphone
Apparently Microsoft wants to make it easier for others to enjoy hearing your wonderful voice, so they allow you to default to all apps access to your Microphone. This would include rouge software. To turn this option off go to Settings -> Privacy -> Microphone make sure "Let apps use my Microphone" is off. Some have reported this option was ON by default. You can also control which apps should legitimately access your microphone.
Privacy Settings - Contacts
Microsoft wouldn't want to leave spammers out. I already get too much spam because of people's contacts being stolen by malware and (I don't know why) uploading their contact lists to social networking sites. But Microsoft allows apps to access and share the information without you knowing. To turn this option off go to Settings -> Privacy -> Contacts and make sure "Let apps access my contacts" is off. You can also control which apps should legitimately access your contacts.
Privacy Settings - Messaging
Microsoft really doesn't want to leave spammers out. But Microsoft allows apps to both READ and SEND messages without you knowing. To turn this option off go to Settings -> Privacy -> Messaging and make sure "Let apps read or send messages (Text or MMS)" is off. You can also control which apps should legitimately send and receive messages.
Advanced Computer Systems is a 30+ year young small business support company, started by Brian Keahl, specializing in telephone, computer. networking, implementation, and technical support, including data recovery and virus protection/removal; We also offer custom software, database, and web development services. We'll be glad to help you design and implement your small business computer systems, support them, and even develop custom solutions where needed.
We've developed custom software for manufacturing, barcode/RFID based asset tracking systems, custom web applications for real estate, online payment/contributions, and event registration (such as conventions). We've set up offices from one person to twenty-five and production plants with as few as twenty and as many as two hundred employees.
What we want to do now is help you make computers a useful tool for your business! So feel free to contact us by phone or online and we'll be glad to arrange a meeting to discuss the future of your business or work to solve your current technical issues.
ACS announces the release of our cloud-based recycling application. The software was written primarily for the needs of the metal recycling industry, but functions well for other industries as well. The software eliminates much of the paperwork and record-keeping headaches by storing the information electronically for easy recall.
For industries that require keeping a copy of the driver license or a picture of the peddler, the software allows scanning of the peddler's ID into the system. Once in the system the information can be recalled the next time the person comes in, as long as they haven't renewed their ID/Driver's License. A friendly name search feature makes recalling a repeat peddler quick and efficient.
Pictures of the material can be taken with a webcam or cell phone / camera and uploaded for permanent storage on the server, tied to the individual transactions. Instant recall of an individual and all transactions is built into the system as well, for easy compliance reporting.
Advanced Computer Systems can be your one-stop shop for web site design and hosting. We can provide "static" web sites, much like an online billboard, or more elaborate sites with interactive services, online customer support services, remote access for employees, and support for regular updates to the site by your own employees.
Naturally, this web site was produced by Advanced Computer Systems. Here are some examples of our work, so feel free to take a look at a plastics recycling site, this political activist website, an amateur radio operator website, an electrical contracting company website, an interactive weather website, an extension of the weather website that allows people to sign up for weather alerts, a club website, and this metal recycling website (a little different).
As you can see from these examples, we can produce relatively simple "basic" sites or more elaborate database driven sites, depending upon your needs.
Studies show that a vast majority of businesses that lose data fail within the following two years. Worse yet, those numbers increase as each additional month passes after that. Customer lists, accounts receivable data, emails, contracts, and wide variety of other information resides on failure-prone hard drives and could disappear with a simple power spike, spilled liquid, or just plain-old mechanical failure.
Studies show overall hard drive failure rate failure of 2-4 percent. In some environments that number jumps as high as 13%. In many cases the data isn't always recoverable, or the cost of recovery exceeds the capacity of the business to absorb. ACS offers data recovery services in the event of a catastrophic failure of a computer or hard drive, but we recommend (and can provide) a reliable backup plan.