Author Archives: Kristin Willis

Windows PIN Revamped

Windows Hello

There are a plethora of ways to log into your Windows operating system. This includes the Windows Hello Face, Fingerprint, and more. Windows Hello is a useful feature that “creates a data representation—not an image; it’s more like a graph—that is then encrypted before it’s stored on your device,” according to Windows Support.

They also add, “To help us keep things working properly, to help detect and prevent fraud, and to continue improving Windows Hello, we collect info about how people use Windows Hello.”

The recommended option, however, is the Windows Hello PIN, which only requires 4 digits. And sometimes, Microsoft users forget their PIN. Thankfully, Windows is always finding ways to streamline the features on devices. Windows Insiders can try this new feature out on the lock screen of their device.

Athima Chansanchai, a writer for the Windows Blog says that the Windows 10 Update now offers a “revamped Windows Hello PIN reset experience” by clicking on I forgot my PIN. You’ll then be prompted to sign in to your e-mail account to reset your PIN.

For help with Windows 10 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.

Microsoft Contractors Can Listen in through Xbox

This has apparently been going on for a while now. With voice commands on the Xbox, contractors from Microsoft have had the ability to listen in on Cortana voice exchanges.

Before, they were able to hear any voice commands to Kinect. Cortana, Microsoft’s voice assistant, was removed from Xbox back in July but Cortana could still be controlled on there via app on iOS or Android. It is also said that Skype calls are being monitored as well and the information is acquired by Motherboard.

Microsoft’s defense says that they’ve been open about using contractors to listen in on commands in order to accumulate information and improve their services.

“We’ve recently updated our privacy statement to add greater clarity that people sometimes review this data as part of the product improvement process. We always get customer permission before collecting voice data, we take steps to de-identify voice snippets being reviewed to protect people’s privacy, and we require that handling of this data be held to the highest privacy standards in the law. At the same time, we’re actively working on additional steps we can take to give customers more transparency and more control over how their data is used to improve products.”

-Microsoft Spokesman

This does raise the question that if they’re able to listen in through Cortana, do they have the ability to listen in through other Microsoft devices? Other companies, such as Apple and Google have done the same thing and have since withdrawn from recording audio through contractors.

If you are needing help with 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 Plano Computer Repair Service, if you need computer repair in Plano, TX please call the local office at (469) 299-9005.

Microsoft Office 365 Phishing Scam Hitting Emails

Scammers are at it again. If you open your inbox and notice a Windows 365 e-mails that appear rather genuine, be weary. Many hackers are quick to gain any kind of personal information from your Microsoft and Outlook accounts. They have the brand logos and everything! Companies in the medical field, financial, insurance and many more are being targeted.

According to Bleeping Computer, “The potential victims’ emails are checked against huge lists of validated email addresses before redirecting them to the phishing forms, which allows the crooks to scrape their targets’ company-branded tenant login pages containing custom backgrounds and banner logos, and have them “dynamically inserted into the phishing landing page.”

I checked in my old company e-mail, and though there were none in my inbox, there were a few scams in my Junk folder. And they legitimately looked like it was from Office 365. And yes, I do have an Office 365 account.

Often times, you can click on the sender (in this case, Administrators Team) to see the e-mail it was sent from. However, in my case, I was unable to click on it. Obviously, this particular e-mail being in my Junk folder was the first red flag. The second red flag was that I couldn’t see fully who had sent this.

This scam is still active and doesn’t appear to be stopping anytime soon. Pay attention to the senders’ e-mail address and do not click any links in your Junk folder e-mails. That’s all it takes to get your sensitive information compromised.

For inquiries with Microsoft 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.

Apple Puts Hold on Push 3rd Party Ad Restrictions

In June, Apple announced they would be restricting third-party ad tracking on kid related apps as a safety precaution. This stops any child information getting leaked out. This raised some concerns to those who developed kid apps, fearing that this push will force the shutdown of the kid category of the app store. Many of them include businesses.

However, last Friday, Apple reports that they are putting it on hold. This will allow developers time to fix their apps to adhere to the new App Store Guidelines, by September. “We aren’t backing off on this important issue, but we are working to help developers get there,” Fred Sainz, an Apple spokesman wrote in an emailed statement to the Washington Post. 

Guidelines 1.3 and 5.1.4 enforces, “In order to help keep kids’ data private, apps in the kids category and apps intended for kids cannot include third-party advertising or analytics software and may not transmit data to third parties. This guideline is now enforced for new apps. Existing apps must follow this guideline by September 3, 2019.”

No one is sure how many apps this will affect or issues will arise, but developers are requesting more details regarding the new guidelines in order to fully understand what all it entails.

For help with Apple 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.

Windows Notepad Getting Upgraded?

Microsoft announced yesterday the Insider Preview Build 18963 for Windows 10 to the Windows Insiders Program.

First, If you are part of the Windows Insiders Program, you can update your computer before anyone else does – great for future reference. If you’d like to sign up, you can register here, accept the terms and you’ll receive a Welcome E-mail. Be sure to read the Important Notice before agreeing to join, as it adds a variety of risks to your computer.

Okay, now back to the upcoming build for 20H1…

According to Microsoft, this build is testing features like renaming your virtual desktops, which assists you in multitasking. And Windows Notepad, which has been around since 1985, has gotten a few small upgrades to it. But something a bit bigger is coming.

Dona Sarkar and Brandon LeBlanc write, “Over the last few releases, we’ve been making a number of small improvements to Notepad based on your feedback (including expanded line ending supportwrap around search, and indicating when there’s unsaved content.) Starting with this build, we’re making a change so that future Notepad updates will be automatically available via the store.”

So Notepad updates will be accessible through the Microsoft Store so that any bug fixes can be made throughout the year. I also heard that you will be able to uninstall Notepad, which I think is a crime against humanity. But I digress.

For inquiries with 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 Frisco Computer Repair Service, if you need computer repair in Frisco, TX please call or text the local office at (469) 299-9005.

Fix Camera Recognition on Windows 10

Windows 10 is pretty good about detecting any issues with its OS, including its camera. However, it is not always perfect and things happen. Some users have issues with their built-in webcams and luckily, there’s an easy fix.

Take the steps below
  1. Start Menu < Imaging Devices, Cameras (or Sound, video and game controllers)
  2. Notice if your camera has been recognized. If you don’t see it, click on Action from the top left menu.
  3. Click on Scan for hardware changes

Remember if these steps don’t work out the first time, it’s recommended that you restart your computer and try again. If that doesn’t work, it might be the following issues:

  • USB port issue
  • The camera itself needing replaced
  • Incompatible or outdated driver
  • possible anti-virus program blocking camera
  • privacy settings

If you’re needing your camera, be sure to give permission, check your anti-virus program or try the steps above to alleviate the problem.

Your website’s SEO is a valuable part of your business, and if you need help with your search engine optimization, 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 Arvada Computer Repair Service, if you need better SEO or computer repair in Arvada, CO please call or text the local office at (720) 441-6460.

Windows 10 Needs Users to Update Now

Two severe vulnerabilities are causing problems

Simon Pope, the Incident Response Director, wrote in a blog post on Tuesday about 2 vulnerabilities to Windows OS. This in turn has Microsoft urging users to immediately update their Windows 10.

Pope writes, “The affected versions of Windows are Windows 7 SP1, Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, Windows Server 2012, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012 R2, and all supported versions of Windows 10, including server versions.”

However, he also includes that Windows XP, Server 2003 and 2008 are not affected by this issue.

Your OS is protected from it if your OS automatically updates. If you manually update, go to the Start Menu and type in “Windows Update” access your settings.

For help updating to Windows 10 version 1903 or dealing with any Windows 10 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 Scottsdale Computer Repair Service, if you need computer repair in Scottsdale, AZ please call the local office at (480) 240-2960.

New Trojan Malware through Word

New phishing emails that contain trojan malware are spreading, according to experts. The malware, named Ursnif, is contained in Word documents through emails and allow cyber hackers to steal personal credentials.

Ursnif isn’t the first of its kind, however. It was reported that this particular variant has been around since 2007 and specifically targets Windows OS. Fortinet, a top-rated security platform, recently stated this threat to be highly active.

“When a victim opens the Word document, it displays a security warning message designed to protect MS Word users from malicious macros (VBA code).  However, the document content deceives victims to click the “Enable Content” button, as shown in Figure 1. When the button is clicked, the malicious VBA code is executed because the code is in an AutoOpen sub that is executed at opening the document.”

Source: fortinet.com – Figure 1

It’s highly advised that you do not open any documents through e-mails unless you know exactly who it is from. Be sure to double check the address it was sent from as well. Many times, the name will show up legit, but the email address itself does not match.

Windows PC Warning – Attack Risk

Your Windows PC may be susceptible to an attack by hackers. If your PC Intel processor was made after 2012 and you haven’t updated your system, any personal information may be compromised. The attack can maneuver around security that is used to protect from Spectre and Meltdown exploits.

There was a July Patch this past Tuesday to fix the bug, and Windows and Intel are urging users to update their computers.

ZDNet blogs, “The bug has been called SWAPGSAttack because it exploits SWAPGS, an instruction for x86/x64 CPUs that switches the system to start addressing the protected memory set aside for operating system kernels. Attackers taking advantage of SWAPGSAttack [CVE-2019-1125] could use it to secretly monitor and steal sensitive information from a targeted machine – all without leaving a trace of an attack against the hardware.”

This bug was eventually found by BitDefender and shared their information to help fix the Tuesday’s Patch.

For help with Windows 10 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.

Only Apple Batteries in iPhones – Only by AASP

“Your iPhone battery may need to be serviced”

Published in September of last year, Apple Support reported that if you have the iOS 10.2.1 – 11.2.6, you may see the notice “Your iPhone battery may need to be serviced.” This is because diagnostics ran through the phone recognized your battery life low. The result in this will cause you to charge your phone more often because of quick battery drainage.

You can easily find an iPhone battery and replace it. However, your phone will still display the “Service” message.

According to IFIXIT, “It’s not a bug; it’s a feature Apple wants. Unless an Apple Genius or an Apple Authorized Service Provider authenticates a battery to the phone, that phone will never show its battery health and always report a vague, ominous problem.”

This feature will be on new iPhones and will show that it’s “unable to verify this iPhone has a genuine Apple battery.” Simply put, your iPhone won’t work properly if you don’t have an Apple Authorized Service Provider (AASP) installs an Apple battery.

To check if your iPhone is receiving this battery message, go to your Settings and scroll down to Battery, then Battery Health.

For inquiries with Apple 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.