Governments Using Location Data for Pandemic

According to the Wall Street Journal and MacRumors, the U.S. government has acquired location tracking data from mobile companies. This seems to be no surprised as cell phone companies have kept this kind of information stored. And often enough, they work along side the government to bring any kind of helpful information.

The reasoning behind the governments access to the location sharing data comes from the Conoravirus outbreak.

The information will be used to learn how well people are complying with stay-at-home orders, according to WSJ. Citing an example, the report says researchers discovered large numbers of people were gathering in a New York City park, which led them to notify local authorities.

MacRumors

There were reports of other countries implementing this kind of tracking in their areas to see how well citizens are following the rules.

For help with computer issues, call us at 1-800-620-5285.  Karls Technology is a nationwide computer service company with offices in many major cities. This blog post was brought to you from our staff at the Mesa Computer Repair Service, if you need computer repair in Mesa, AZ please call the local office at (480) 240-2950.

Video Resolutions are being Reduced

Yes, you heard that right!

Thanks to the Coronavirus pandemic, video resolutions are being reduced worldwide – with YouTube being one of them.

According to a LinusTechTips forum member, “YouTube streaming has surged due to people being under quarantine during this pandemic. Google is well equipped to handle YouTube streaming strain in the past, But the current problem is the consistency at which contents needs to be provided.”

source: animoto.com

It is said that YouTube as surpassed Netflix, the first time ever, streaming twice the amount of videos during this pandemic. This has made Youtube cut back the video resolution down to 480p to lessen the constraint on the internet infrastructure. This is a 30 day period during the month of April. Because this is a global crisis, YouTube believes that even if we don’t think that we won’t run out of bandwidth, this is a government level issue and precautions need to be in place.

Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Apple+ have all reduced their bitrate or resolution during these difficult times. This gives users to still have the ability to stream videos.

This seems to be a bad time for those who have gone completely digital nowadays. DVD’s may be making a temporary comeback.

If you are needing help with computer issues, please give us a call at 1-800-620-5285.  Karls Technology is a nationwide computer service company with offices in many major cities.  This blog post is brought to you from our staff at the Plano Computer Repair Service, if you need computer repair in Plano, TX please call the local office at (469) 299-9005.

Microsoft Pausing Certain Windows 10 Updates

Optional is out

Windows 10 updates are a crucial part of keeping your PC up to date on quality improvements and security. Beginning May of this year, Microsoft will not allow their updates to be optional. This is due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Microsoft stated in their message center, “We have been evaluating the public health situation, and we understand this is impacting our customers. In response to these challenges we are prioritizing our focus on security updates. Starting in May 2020, we are pausing all optional non-security releases (C and D updates) for all supported versions of Windows client and server products (Windows 10, version 1909 down through Windows Server 2008 SP2).
There is no change to the monthly security updates (B release – Update Tuesday); these will continue as planned to ensure business continuity and to keep our customers protected and productive. “

Security patches will still be a thing, so Patch Tuesday will continue each month. This change is specifically for the optional updates. There’s no telling how long this will last, or how future large updates will be affected.

For inquiries about Windows 10 updates, call us at 1-800-620-5285.  Karls Technology is a nationwide computer service company with offices in many major cities. This blog post was brought to you from our staff at the Denver Computer Repair Service, if you need computer repair in Denver, CO please call or text the local office at (720) 441-6460.

Microsoft Announces Changes to Office 365

There has been quite the demand for Office 365, so Microsoft had to step in to make temporary changes during the Coronavirus.

Since the outbreak, many companies have requested their employees to work from home remotely. This in turn has increased demand for Windows Tools, such as Office 365, OneNote, Streaming, and SharePoint, according to Windows Central. However, because this has occurred, Microsoft has had to lower the video resolution, deactivate any new video uploads, and restrict file attachment downloads to 100 MB.

ZDNet also includes the following specifics to the changes:

OneNote:
  • OneNote in Teams will be read-only for commercial tenants, excluding EDU. Users can go to OneNote for the web for editing.
  • Download size and sync frequency of file attachments have been changed
SharePoint:
  • We are rescheduling specific backend operations to regional evening and weekend business hours. Impacted capabilities include migration, DLP and delays in file management after uploading a new file, video or image.
  • Reduced video resolution for playback videos.
Stream:
  • People timeline has been disabled for newly uploaded videos. Pre-existing videos will not be impacted.
  •  Meeting recording video resolution adjusted to 720p

There’s no telling how long this change will last. Healthcare workers and government agencies will take Cloud priority with Microsoft.

If you are needing assistance with any Microsoft issues, please give us a call at 1-800-620-5285.  Karls Technology is a nationwide computer service company with offices in many major cities.  This blog post is brought to you from our staff at the Arlington Computer Repair Service, if you need computer repair in Arlington, TX please call the local office at (817) 756-6008.

Tech Companies Donating to Health Workers

Worldwide companies are banding together to help the healthcare professionals with supplies for the pandemic.

Tech companies are pitching in to help with the Coronavirus pandemic. According to Cnet, Intel and Apple have supplied millions of masks for those in the healthcare industry to help the fight against COVID-19.

“We will donate masks, gloves, face shields and other gear that we have sourced from our factory stock and emergency supplies, and we’ll continue to look for additional sources of personal protective equipment that we can source and donate as quickly as possible to meet our commitment of more than a million items,” said the director of Global Public Affairs for Intel in a press release yesterday.

The Trump administration announced Apple’s plans to contribute to the cause as well. 2 million industrial masks were committed by Apple to assist healthcare workers to avoid the spread of this virus. Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple also tweeted throughout the week that they were pledging $15 million during this troubling time. This assistance included a large amount of medical supplies to Italy. Facebook has also added to this donation with 750,000 masks.

For help with computer issues, call us at 1-800-620-5285.  Karls Technology is a nationwide computer service company with offices in many major cities. This blog post was brought to you from our staff at the Mesa Computer Repair Service, if you need computer repair in Mesa, AZ please call the local office at (480) 240-2950.

During Pandemic, This is What’s Happening to your Internet

The Coronavirus has led the world into full-blown crisis mode. This has made multiple businesses, schools and other companies to shut down their operations until further notice. Quarantine has been set for many cities across the globe. This had led many families to go without pay due to work closures.

Thankfully, Internet providers have made it their mission to allow customers to keep their internet on during this difficult time. This also applies to the users who aren’t able to pay the monthly balance.

According to Axios, a journalist company:

“Companies that adhere to Pai’s “Keep Americans Connected Pledge” commit for the next 60 days to:

  • Not terminate service to any residential or small business customer because of an inability to pay bills due to coronavirus disruptions.
  • Waive late fees that customers incur because of changes in their economic circumstances related to the pandemic.
  • Open Wi-Fi hotspots to those in need.

“I don’t want any American consumers experiencing hardships because of the pandemic to lose connectivity,” Chairman Pai said in a statement.”

This outcome will allow people to work, or school, from home for the next 60 days. Over 60+ companies, such as T-Mobile, Verizon, Comcast and more have joined in with the FCC.

For inquiries with computer issues, call us at 1-800-620-5285.  Karls Technology is a nationwide computer service company with offices in many major cities. This blog post was brought to you from our staff at the Frisco Computer Repair Service, if you need computer repair in Frisco, TX please call or text the local office at (469) 299-9005.

Possible Future Features for iOS and MacOS

According to MacRumors, Apple is in the process of working on certain features for your messages. It’s possible that this could end up in the upcoming iOS and MacOS software update.

The first feature would allow you to tag your friends in messages. When you use the @ sign, you could choose from your friends list in group chats. This tagging component can also be seen in Slack, an online platform for work groups in replacement of e-mail.

The second feature would allow you to withdraw texts from your chat. A text would replace your retracted text, stating that the message has been removed. This specific one is similar to WhatsApp, a Facebook owned messaging app. Many Apple users seem to believe that adding this feature would be a waste of time, as you can use other apps in the same way.

Of course, we won’t know for sure if these features will be available in the upcoming update, or ever, really. Apple Insider shared on their blog, “The one Apple release that gets barely any rumors is also the one we can be pretty certain about when we’ll get it. Barring major changes, iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 will be unveiled at WWDC in June 2020. They will then both go into a developer beta preview period, followed very shortly after by a public beta. And finally they will be released at least in time to come pre-installed on the new 2020 iPhones and iPads announced in September.”

For help with iOS or macOS, call us at 1-800-620-5285.  Karls Technology is a nationwide computer service company with offices in many major cities. This blog post was brought to you from our staff at the Mesa Computer Repair Service, if you need computer repair in Mesa, AZ please call the local office at (480) 240-2950.

The Importance of Multi Factor Authentication

Last month, the RSA had their security conference, and Microsoft shared quite the alarming statistic about user accounts.

They stated that while 95% of users are protected, there’s still 5% that remains compromised. This 5% is what hackers feed upon. And while 5% of users doesn’t seem like a big number, that rounds out to be around 1.2 million logins every month.

Not only that, but Microsoft engineers said that most, if not all, of these risked accounts are not using MFA, or multi-factor authentication. This system allows a lower risk of a possible compromise to your account – which is incredibly important to any personal information you may have stored. For Office 365 users, set up a 2-step verification here.

Using multi-factor authentication is one of the easiest and most effective ways to increase the security of your organization. It’s easier than it sounds – when you log in, multi-factor authentication means you’ll type a code from your phone to get access to Microsoft 365. This can prevent hackers from taking over if they know your password. Multi-factor authentication is also called 2-step verification. Individuals can add 2-step verification to most accounts easily, for example, to their Google or Microsoft accounts.

-Microsoft Docs

For help updating, restoring or dealing with any security issues, call us at 1-800-620-5285.  Karls Technology is a nationwide computer service company with offices in many major cities. This blog post was brought to you from our staff at the Denver Computer Repair Service, if you need computer repair in Denver, CO please call or text the local office at (720) 441-6460.

Microsoft Edge Browser Blocks PUAs

Microsoft announced a handy feature yesterday for the new Microsoft Edge browser, allowing the users the option to block certain applications. This feature came after raising concerns from users who stated certain free applications come with baggage that could slow down their PC’s.

Potentially unwanted applications can make the user less productive, make the user’s machine less performant, and lead to a degraded Windows experience. Examples of PUA include software that creates extra advertisements, applications that mine cryptocurrency, applications that show offers for other software and applications that the AV industry considers having a poor reputation.

Microsoft Blog
PUA’s aren’t cancerous

Microsoft did state that PUA’s (or potentially unwanted applications) are not regarded as malware. Advertising, Trojan, and Marketing software are just a few categories considered as PUA’s. This browser feature is defaulted to be off, however you can turn it on easily in the browser settings. Here’s how:

  1. On the top right corner of the browser, click on the “ . . .
  2. Click on Settings
  3. Once there, go to Privacy and Services
  4. Scroll to the bottom to the Services header and click on Block potentially unwanted apps. This will turn on the feature

For help troubleshooting PC issues, call us at 1-800-620-5285.  Karls Technology is a nationwide computer service company with offices in many major cities. This blog post was brought to you from our staff at the Mesa Computer Repair Service, if you need computer repair in Mesa, AZ please call the local office at (480) 240-2950.

Tech Support Scam Victims Receive Refunds from FTC

Yesterday, the FTC announced on their website that they will be sending out refunds to those who were victimized by tech support scammers.

In a statement, they wrote, “The FTC, along with State of Connecticut and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, alleged that the perpetrators of the scheme, which operated under Click4Support and other names, used ads on search engines like Google and popups on websites. The ads and popups claimed to be from major tech companies such as Microsoft and Apple and tricked consumers into calling the defendants and buying tech support services that consumers did not need.”

This operation led to many users’ computers getting infected with viruses and malware. Many of the viruses look legit, as hackers tend to use the brand logos.

The refund total comes to over $1.7 Billion, and will be dispersed through checks or PayPal over the year. The FTC warns consumers that they will never ask you to pay any fee to cash your check. And if you are asked to do so to call Rust Consulting, Inc., at 1-877-389-4472.

Be sure you are handling computer viruses properly by downloading anti-virus software, which can detect and remove harmful trojans or malware. It is beneficial to have even if you’re not concerned about a potential threat. Norton and McAfee are well known anti-virus software subscriptions, available for you to purchase online.

Keeping your OS updated to the latest version is helpful as well, as it contains the protection and security needed.

If you are having security problems or any other issue with your computer and would like some assistance, please give us a call at 1-800-620-5285.  Karls Technology is a nationwide computer service company with offices in many major cities.  This blog post is brought to you from our staff at the Arvada Computer Repair Service, if you need computer repair in Arvada, CO please call the local office at (720) 441-6460 or schedule an appointment at www.arvadacomputerrepairservice.com.