What’s New?

The new version of Windows 10 launched. Have you seen it yet? Microsoft patches an Office security hole. Are your updates up to date?

 

Windows 10 Creators Update is rolling out

Windows 10 version 1703, called Creators Update started rolling out last Tuesday, April 11. It showed up for me on my test machine, but not yet on my production machine, which is a year and a half older. I have only just started to explore this update, so look for more details in future columns. This week I want to walk you through the update screens and let you know what I experienced.

Almost all of it is good. The process went smoothly. The update took about an hour and a half from start to finish on a machine with a fast processor and 8GB of RAM over a speedy internet connection. The only irritating things were:

  1. Some of the default programs changed. (I don’t want EDGE as my default browser! I don’t want to use the built-in Mail app!)
  2. Some of the Settings locations changed so I had to hunt for things that I used to be able to find.

The process begins with a screen that pops up informing you that “New Windows features are almost here!” and inviting you to review your privacy settings. Several screens later, you’ll be informed that Windows will be ”working behind the scenes” to prepare for the update, and that you’ll be notified when it’s ready to install.

I peeked behind the scenes to check on the update progress. A quick look at Windows Update showed a progress bar just as with any other update. After the download and preparation completes, you’ll see another notification that the update is ready to install. At this point you can elect to Restart now, Pick a time, or Snooze. According to Microsoft, Snooze will delay the update for three days.

Before clicking on Restart now to begin the install, I disabled my antivirus and antimalware programs, and you should too. These programs try to prevent system changes, and this update is a big honking set of system changes. Turn on the antivirus and antimalware after the update completes, and check the settings.

The update will roll along, displaying different coloured screens and various reassuring text along with a percentage of the work completed. Your computer will reboot several times. This is normal. The final reboot will make you sign in and take you to a welcome screen in the Edge browser. You can take a little tour, or close it and poke around for yourself. It looks a lot like the version you just upgraded from, but when you go to Settings, you see some different choices.

To make sure your upgrade worked:

Click on Start | Settings | System | About

Next to Version, you should see 1703. You’re good to go!

Weird Malware Attack on Word, Excel, PowerPoint

This problem starts with a file attached to an email. And because it’s tax season in two large North American countries, the scammers usually send an email purporting to be from some kind of tax officer.  If you click on that file, which has an extension like a Word document or Excel spreadsheet, it runs code that links your computer to the attacker’s server, giving him complete control of your computer.

Microsoft issued a patch for this security vulnerability on the same day it started rolling out Creators Update. Make sure you “regular” Windows Updates are current. Antivirus/antimalware products are starting to catch it, too. Make sure your protection is up to date!

Practising safe computer will help protect you from this and other exploits:

  • Run an antivirus/antimalware program with “Real Time Protection” or an “On-access scanner” which will block many types or malware.
  • Open Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files from email or the Internet in Protected View to prevent malicious code from executing. (Learn about Protected View here.)
  • Do not open attachments from people you don’t know and trust. Ever. And be careful about opening them from people you do!

This is just the newest attack. Remember: Microsoft doesn’t call you about viruses on your computer. Those scary pop-ups with toll-free numbers for Tech Support are always scams. Always. Do not call them. More here. Don’t fall for it!

 

Do you need help with your computer? I’m here to help you and your home or business computer get along!

Cate Eales runs Computer Care Kelowna, a mobile service helping home users and businesses get along with their computers. To arrange an appointment phone her at 250-764-7043. Cate also welcomes your comments and suggestions. Send email to help@computercarekelowna.com.

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Links

The Next Big Thing http://computercarekelowna.com/the-next-big-thing/
What is Protected View https://support.office.com/en-us/article/What-is-Protected-View-d6f09ac7-e6b9-4495-8e43-2bbcdbcb6653?ui=en-US&rs=en-US&ad=US&fromAR=1
Don’t Fall for It! http://computercarekelowna.com/fake-tech-support/
Computer Care Kelowna http://computercarekelowna.com/
Getting Along With Your Computer Column Archives http://www.castanet.net/news/Getting-Along-With-Your-Computer/
Get Cate’s column by email http://eepurl.com/cqhaTL
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© Cate Eales 2017 – All Rights Reserved
This column appeared on Castanet April 17, 2017

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