Everyday Tips from the ComputerMom 

May 2017
Join Our Mailing List
Welcome to May - one of my favorite months! We can finally put away those winter clothes, and enjoy the great outdoors.

You Windows 10 users might have noticed a big update lurking in the wings - or not.  My first article will tell you what to expect. Additionally, phishing emails are getting more sophisticated - learn what to look for to keep yourself safe. And many of you Verizon email users are still getting migrated, so I've included more information about that in this issue.

Enjoy the spring!
Julie Marto 
PS - Is your college student complaining that they need a new laptop? Drop it off with me for a tune-up and an SSD upgrade - it'll be like a new system for less than half the price!
Windows 10 Creators Update

Microsoft is slowly rolling out a major update to Windows 10, called the Creators Update - a strange name that references new tools meant to make Windows 10 more useful for creative types. Truthfully, most of you won't see many major changes when you get the update, but you should be aware that it's coming. 

There have been some compatibility issues with the Creators Update, so the roll out has been delayed, but when it's your turn here's what to expect:
  • The update takes anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes to complete, depending on the speed of your system. So don't be surprised if you have a very long Windows Update at some time in the near future!
  • Unfortunately, during major updates such as this one, there are sometimes hardware driver compatibility issues. It's possible that your sound, or your touch-pad, or another device will not work correctly after the update. If that happens and you need some assistance resolving the issue, please give me a call.
Phishing Alert

A couple of my clients asked me about the recent Google phishing warning, where almost a million Gmail accounts were compromised though a very effective looking email, that looked as if it came from a trusted contact. If you recently opened an email from a friend that asked you to link to a Google Doc, please take action as described here.

Even if it seems like you only get junk mail in your email account, most other sites will reset your password by sending a link to your email account. That means that crooks, who might want to gain access to your banking or other sites, start by trying to gain access to your email account. The bottom line is, your email account is more important than you think, and you should always keep your email account secure.

Phishing attacks are designed to entice you to click on a link, which takes you to what LOOKS LIKE a real site. At that site you are asked to enter your log-in credentials. As soon as you do, the scammers have your username and password for whatever site they are imitating, which might be your email account, your credit card or bank account, or something like Ebay or PayPal. 

The best way to keep yourself safe from phishing attacks is to NEVER log in to a site from a link in an email. Even if you are confident that the email telling you that you need to take action is legit, go to the site directly, by opening up a web browser and typing in the web address of the site.

Verizon/AOL Migration Update

I am still hearing from people who haven't yet been notified by Verizon about their email migration, and are concerned they might have missed the notifying email. If this describes you, a simple way to check is to log into your Verizon account and try to access your email. If you have been migrated, you will be taken to a page asking you to choose your option, rather than directly to your email. If you are sent directly to your email, look for a message at the top right of the page letting you know you will be migrated soon.

I've helped dozens of you with this process in the last month, and I have to say everybody's situation is a little bit different and, without question, a learning experience. I continue to recommend that you take the AOL option in order to keep your Verizon email address. However, I have heard some reports that AOL wants to charge $5.00 a month to "block ads from your inbox". That's totally unnecessary - AOL has a good spam filter, so the bulk of what you want to block are ads from AOL itself. In order to block AOL ads, log into your AOL email and go to this link. Set all of the preferences to "off" and then choose "save settings". Viola, no more ads from AOL!