- Happy New Year – 2013 is behind us and we’re excited about the opportunities that 2014 will bring. The good news is, we made it through another year. The other news is that we still don’t have affordable flying cars or one of those cool Rosie house-cleaning robots like the Jetson’s had. With the maker movement seemingly in full swing and making a significant impact at CES this year though, neither may be too far off. If you’re into the maker movement or would be interested in getting together with a few like-minded folks to talk tech and tinker with things like the Raspberry Pi, Arduino, Beagle Board, etc., hit us up on Facebook and let us know.
- Policy Changes for 2014 – We’ve made some changes to our pricing and policies and have posted a summary on our website here. If you have any questions or would like more information about MyIT or the Priority Blocks, don’t hesitate to give us a call (770.396.8900) or email us.
- Stay in Touch – In addition to this monthly email newsletter, we also post a lot of information on security and technology in general on our Facebook page. If you haven’t already, head over to https://facebook.com/cybertechcafe and like us.
- Support Ending for Windows XP (and others) – For some, I know that this is getting a little tedious but we still have a LOT of folks who are simply ignoring the fact that Microsoft is ending support for a number of older products including Windows XP, Windows Server 2003 and Exchange Server 2003, still the flagship in many small business networks. We are currently scheduling upgrades but as 8 April gets closer and closer, scheduling for us (and, I suspect, pretty much every tech support business around) is going to get very tight. If you still have any of these products installed, now is the time to get the plan in place to upgrade or replace them if you haven’t already.
Microsoft – According to the Advanced Notification, there are only 4 bulletins this month, with all of them listed as important. Affected products include Windows, [Windows] Server, Office and Dynamics.
Microsoft releases regular updates the second Tuesday of each month, often referred to as ‘Patch Tuesday’. These updates are categorized as Low, Moderate, Important or Critical. Details on the categories is available here. The updates can include any *supported* Microsoft product from Windows (Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows 8, Windows Server, etc.) to Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Publisher, OneNote, and even MS Office for Mac) to Internet Explorer to server products like Exchange, SQL Server and more. If you have one of these products installed, especially if the update is listed as Important or Critical, it’s important that the update be installed.
Adobe – Adobe released a prenotification of multiple critical updates for Adobe and Reader that would be available on 14 January 2014. These updates address vulnerabilities on the Windows and Mac platform and is advising users to update as soon as possible.
Like Microsoft, Adobe now releases updates to their products on the second Tuesday of each month. Adobe will also release ‘out of band’ updates if necessary to address critical vulnerabilities in their products. Adobe products include Adobe Reader (for viewing PDF files), Adobe Flash Player (often used to watch videos like YouTube and in interactive web content like games) and Adobe Shockwave.
These updates have already been staged for install for MyIT Clients. If you have a MyIT plan in place, please be certain to reboot your computer(s) by close of business on 14 January 2014 to ensure that the updates are properly applied. If you do not have a MyIT plan in place and would like additional information, please contact us.
Java – I’m not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing but the most up-to-date version of Java is still Java 7 update 45. Oracle has released a significant number of updates for other [Oracle] products, but, so far, Java seems to be holding it’s own. If you still have any Java versions prior to 7 update 45, they need to be removed and (if Java is required) replaced with Java 7 update 45 but, if you were up-to-date on Java last month, you’re still good to go.
Java is a tool that’s widely used by Banks, online service providers and even security companies for VPN connections. Java’s ‘official’ release cycle is approximately quarterly but Java updates have been ‘fast and furious’ for the past several months. It’s worth noting again that, if you don’t absolutely need Java on your computer, it’s worth removing it altogether (this can be done from Add / Remove programs).
Monthly Update Clients
* If you are not currently taking advantage of our MyIT service and would like more information or to sign up, additional information is available here.
If you aren’t already taking advantage of one of our MyIT plans, there’s no time like the present to get started. Visit our website for more details or to get started today.