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  • December 2021 Office non-Security Updates are now available

    Posted on December 7th, 2021 at 12:29 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    The December 2021 Office non-Security updates have been released Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2021. They are not included in the DEFCON-3 approval for the November 2021 patches. Unless you have a specific need to install them, you should wait until Susan Bradley (Patch Lady) approves them and any problems have been reported.

    Remember, Susan’s patching sequence and recommendations are based on a business environment that has IT support and may have time constraints on the updating process. Consumer patching should be more cautious due to limited technical and mechanical resources. The latter is the reason for the AskWoody DEFCON system.

    Office 2016
    Update for Skype for Business 2016 (KB5001940)

    There were no non-security listings for Office 2013.
    On April 10, 2018, Office 2013 reached End of Mainstream Support. Extended Support will end for Office 2013 on April 11, 2023.
    Office 2016 also reached  End of Mainstream Support on October 13, 2020. EOS for Office 2016 is October 14, 2025.

    Updates are for the .msi version (perpetual). Office 365 and C2R are not included.

    Security updates for all supported versions of Microsoft Office are released on the second Tuesday of the month (Patch Tuesday).

  • Not getting the Free Newsletter?

    Posted on December 7th, 2021 at 07:49 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Email Problems?We’re in the process of scrubbing our mailing list for the free edition of the AskWoody Newsletter. We took some initial steps this past weekend and we will be making some other changes in the coming weeks. Most of what we are doing is removing invalid email addresses (usually the result of misspellings such as “gmal” instead of “gmail”) and removing addresses that, for whatever reasons, are not being delivered.

    A few people expecting to get this week’s newsletter wrote to tell us it did not arrive. We regret any inconvenience. However, it’s a simple matter to sign up for the free newsletter again, after which delivery will resume. The link to sign up is in the top banner of the site, on every page. If you missed an issue, all the issues are here on the site and available to you at any time.

    This is important work for us because we pay for emails sent, whether delivered or not. We appreciate your patience while we perform this business chore.

  • Gravatar data leak

    Posted on December 6th, 2021 at 21:50 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    You may have seen in the news that the site that provides the icons/images for this site and other WordPress based sites has been involved in a breach. But as I read it, it’s not really a breach, but rather sloppy coding.

    Nothing breached. Someone found Gravatar is using sequential id’s with JSON based API, which means they can very easily get your publicly available data. Slightly easier than scraping the page. But nothing has leaked, everything that was/is available came under a notice that Gravatar would make those details publicly available. Nothing has leaked, just perhaps Gravatar shouldn’t have made it so easy to get details.

    That said, take the time during this holiday season to review your passwords and especially stop reusing passwords. One of the best proactive things you can do this holiday season is to make yourself a big mug of hot chocolate, sit down in front of your computer or iPad and review the passwords on ALL of your sites. Ensure that you change passwords to much longer and stronger versions of what you are currently using. Do not reuse passwords over and over again on different web sites, as all it takes is an attacker to gain access to one password in an account and the attacker will attempt to reuse it on other accounts. Even if you don’t reuse passwords over and over again, if you haven’t changed passwords in a while, it’s wise to update and revise them. Next look to see if you can add multi-factor authentication on sensitive accounts such as banking as well as email. Review your options for setting up multi-factor. Often you can set up services to trust a browser you use all the time and to send multi-factor prompts when you – or an attacker – tries to log in from a new location.

    Action items for 2022: Choose better passwords and add multi-factor wherever you can.

  • OneDrive app support ending on older Windows

    Posted on December 6th, 2021 at 02:45 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge
    AskWoody Plus Newsletter Logo
    ISSUE 18.47 • 2021-12-06

    MICROSOFT 365

    Peter Deegan

    By Peter Deegan

    Microsoft dropped a minor bombshell with the announcement that the OneDrive app would stop working for some Windows 7, 8, and 8.1 users beginning in March 2022.

    The changes have some unusual elements, such as a split between personal and work use. Microsoft has (deliberately?) added confusion with poor and incomplete communication.

    Office 365 users are affected by these changes, yet Microsoft hasn’t said a word about that.

    Read the full story in the AskWoody Plus Newsletter 18.47.0 (2021-12-06).
    This story also appears in the AskWoody Free Newsletter 18.47.F (2021-12-06).

  • How to safely test-drive Win11 on your current PC, for free!

    Posted on December 6th, 2021 at 02:44 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    LANGALIST

    Fred Langa

    By Fred Langa

    The anticipated flood of Win11-occasioned fixes and updates has begun: Microsoft, hardware makers, and software publishers are all scrambling to correct the problems encountered with the original Windows 11 release.

    I think the signs point to a somewhat premature release of Win11, as if Microsoft had skipped or shortened testing of the final “Release Candidate” version, shipping the software before it was adequately vetted in real-world conditions.

    But the fixes are arriving, including work by Microsoft and Oracle to release a 100% free, preconfigured, Win11 Pro virtual PC for testing and evaluation! Read on to see how to use it to safely set up a Win11 test drive on your current PC, plus more on Fred’s early Win11 experiences.

    Read the full story in the AskWoody Plus Newsletter 18.47.0 (2021-12-06).

  • Freeware Spotlight — Autorun Organizer

    Posted on December 6th, 2021 at 02:43 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    BEST UTILITIES

    Deanna McElveen

    By Deanna McElveen

    Making breakfast. Washing the dog. Getting a haircut.

    If you have time to do any of these while your computer finishes starting, you may need Chemtable Software’s free Autorun Organizer. It’s one of those programs I would gladly pay for, but they won’t take my money.

    Read the full story in the AskWoody Plus Newsletter 18.47.0 (2021-12-06).

  • Should we rush to install Windows 11?

    Posted on December 6th, 2021 at 02:42 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    WINDOWS 11

    Susan Bradley

    By Susan Bradley

    The other day, a reader took me to task for my doom-and-gloom perspective about Windows 11.

    He said he was on the Windows Insider program on the developer channel and that he’d had no issues whatsoever using Windows 11. He said he’d “installed 11 on 2 towers and 2 laptops and [that] he had a brand-new tower and immediately installed 11 on it the day it was delivered.” He added that he’d not had any issues on any of the machines he had installed it on.

    He also thought we were Chicken Little, claiming the sky was falling.

    Read the full story in the AskWoody Plus Newsletter 18.47.0 (2021-12-06).

  • Do you know about the known issues?

    Posted on December 4th, 2021 at 23:33 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Here’s a tip for the weekend.

    Video here.

    There’s an interesting spot on the Microsoft web site to track acknowledged issues with Office software.

    Fixes or workarounds for recent issues in Outlook for PC (microsoft.com)

    I normally bookmark that and see what side effects are happening with Outlook, Word and Excel.

    You’ll notice some things about that page. Firstly, someone needs to get a bit of spelling and grammar lessons (Know issues instead of Known issues) and then how there is a lot of “workarounds” and “investigating”.

    Have you had any recent issues with Office applications?  What bugs have you seen lately that aren’t listed on that page?

  • You are being investigated

    Posted on November 29th, 2021 at 21:57 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    A female friend of my Dad (he’s 93) called tonight and relayed to him that she got a call from someone indicating that she was under investigation and that as part of the process she needed to buy and provide them the codes from gift cards.  The scammers were able to get $1,000 out of her before she finally realized that something was wrong.

    Please warn anyone that you interact with and talk to that NO ONE asks anyone for gift card numbers. No one is calling from the IRS, the Social Security, or any other agency to ask for payment via gift cards.

    Don’t fall for this, and warn anyone you know not to fall for this either.

  • So Edge? One step forward but…

    Posted on November 29th, 2021 at 19:24 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Just a reminder, this week’s newsletter is a special edition and the full contents can be viewed by both Plus and Free subscribers as well as anyone who merely clicks on the links in the post. As a special holiday gift to our readership everyone gets the full newsletter contents this week.

    While Brian was researching Brave browser in this week’s Holiday newsletter, I was looking at Edge. And while I’m very happy with their Super Duper mode, I’m NOT so happy with their planned Buy now Pay later offering that is in beta. There had better be a way to block this on ALL platforms and not just Enterprises. (116 responses so far and hardly anyone is a fan).  Not to mention most financial folks indicate that the Buy now Pay later isn’t the greatest thing for you to do.  “But generally speaking, if you don’t have the cash now, you probably shouldn’t be doing this.”

    What do you think?  I think Microsoft really needs to rethink this.

  • Browsers with the best security and privacy in 2021

    Posted on November 29th, 2021 at 02:45 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge
    AskWoody Plus Newsletter Logo
    ISSUE 18.46 • 2021-11-29

    PUBLIC DEFENDER

    Brian Livingston

    By Brian Livingston

    Most of us use a Web browser on our personal computers or smartphones every day, but few of us truly know what those browsers are really doing for us — or to us.

    Too many browsers “leak” information about us and our everyday activities to backend servers, which are run by ad-tracking firms, search-engine giants, or the browser makers themselves.

    It’s extremely difficult to guess which browser is the “most secure” for surfing the Web. There are, to be sure, many respectable review sites that rank browsers. But most of the reviews weigh a browser’s security against unrelated features — ease of use, speed of throughput, memory usage, etc. — producing only a composite score.

    In this article, I focus solely on how well browsers deliver security against malware and protect the privacy of your personal identity.

    Read the full story in the AskWoody Plus Newsletter 18.46.0 (2021-11-29).
    This story also appears in the AskWoody Free Newsletter 18.46.F (2021-11-29).

  • Can you install Windows 11 home without a MS account?

    Posted on November 28th, 2021 at 00:30 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    In a word YES.

    There are several ways to do it.

    The key way around the issue is to either close down a certain screen at a certain time using Alt-F4 to close the window right after it asks you for Ethernet access.

    On Windows 11 pro this process is easier because you don’t HAVE to have your computer connected to the Internet, whereas Windows 11 home gets you to this Ethernet screen and won’t let you go past this.

    As the link above explains …”However, for Windows 11 Home Edition users, this operation cannot bypass OOBE, because there is no “I don’t have Internet” option on the interface. User Adam provided a simple and practical method, which is both interesting and surprising; when Windows 11 Home Edition prompts the user to connect to the network, a simple Alt + F4 shortcut key will close the prompt and the screen will directly enter the local Account creation page. This is never provided to the user in the usual process.”

    I personally found that if I unplugged the Ethernet right at the point it asks for the Microsoft account and then clicked the upper arrow back at the top, it then went onto the next screen where it wanted to ask for a user. You must have Internet to start the install process. Windows 11 home will get to an Ethernet connection screen and unless you have a connection, it won’t go forward. BUT. And this is the key here:  After it checks for Internet, asks you for the name of the computer and reboots and then gets to the spot where it asks you for a Microsoft account, disable the Internet connection right then and there. At that point in time it will then allow you to click the big arrow key at the top of the windows back and it will bypass the setup for the Microsoft account.

    Let’s see if I can capture this process here in this video that is my tips for the weekend.

    I did!

    Click the video here to view the process.

    But bottom line, there are SEVERAL ways to set up a Windows 11 Home without a Microsoft account.