On Friday May 12th, a massive cyber attack was launched and has affected more than 230,000 computers in over 150 countries worldwide. The attack affects computers running Microsoft Windows operating systems, particularly the older variety such as Windows XP. This Wikipedia article goes into more detail about the ransomware called WannaCry. There is a screenshot available which you should review.
There are already measures in place to reduce the potential for a software like this to affect our internal network. However, there are still a few good things to keep in mind.
Be extremely critical of links and attachments within emails (even the one in this email). If you receive an email with a link or attachment, make absolutely sure you know who sent you the email in the first place. Even if the display name (the sender’s name that you can see) is a person or company your trust, the underlying email address may be different.
If you need to take action based on a request in an email, navigate to the website directly. As an example, instead of clicking the link above to the Wikipedia article, open your browser, start with a fresh Google search page, and search for the name of the virus directly. The first or second result should be that Wikipedia article.
At any time if you are unsure of an email or website, please feel free to ask a member of our IT staff.
If you believe you have been affected by this virus (or any virus), unplug the network cable from the back of your workstation and come find me right away.
From time to time I’ve noticed that the settings for my default applications on my Windows 10 PC are changed back to their original values. I first noticed this upon upgrading to Windows 10 from Windows 7. The default application for PDF documents was changed to Microsoft Edge. This caused PDF documents to open in Edge rather than Adobe Reader when I double-clicked on them.
To change the default application for PDF documents (or any other file type), use this checklist.
Find a PDF document in the File Explorer and right-click on it.
Choose Open With from the menu.
In the sub-menu select Choose another app.
Choose Adobe Reader (or the app that you would like to use to open the file type you right-clicked on above).
Enable the checkbox that reads Always use this app to open .pdf files.
Now all of your PDF files will open in Adobe Reader by default when you double-click on them.
So, you noticed the little Windows 10 Upgrade icon in the bottom right corner of your screen, eh? Folks have been asking if we should upgrade. My answer, in short-yes!
For two reasons. First, the upgrade will keep our workstations running the latest, most secure, feature rich operating system. Second, it’s free until July 29th, 2016.
I’ve been running Windows 10 on my workstation for 6 months with excellent results and I would suggest we all take advantage of the upgrade offer before time runs out.
Download the Files
The first step is to download the needed files. Double-click on the Windows 10 icon, or open up Windows Update from the Control Panel (Start -> Control Panel).
From there click on the link that reads start your free upgrade now.
Once the download is complete, agree to the upgrade by clicking the Accept button.
After Preparing for the upgrade is complete, you will be presented with the final window in the upgrade process. When you click the Start the upgrade now button, it will being the actual installation and upgrading process and you will not be able to use your computer until it is complete.
Kick off the Installation
Now go for lunch.
Once you click on the last button, the computer will reboot a number of times on it’s own as it works through installing the upgrade. It will complete the upgrade automatically and will take one to two hours.