Heartbleed. Windows XP. Win 8.1 Start Menu
What is it? How does it affect you?
Recently there has been much talk about “Heartbleed.”
Read below to see what it is and how it may affect you!
What is the heartbleed virus?
As explained on heartbleed.com, it “allows attackers to eavesdrop on communications, steal data directly from the services and users and to impersonate services and users.” On a technical level, the website describes it as “a serious vulnerability in the popular OpenSSL cryptographic software library. This weakness allows stealing the information protected, under normal conditions, by the SSL/TLS encryption used to secure the Internet.”
What does it affect?
Heartbleed affects information stored/transferred via OpenSSL. (OpenSSL is used to transfer sensitive data over the Internet, in a way in which if it was intercepted, it would not be readable.)
What should you do about it?
Generally speaking, if you did not receive an email from a website notifying you to change your password, there is nothing for you to do about it.
What should you worry about?
While the heartbleed virus may not have affected you that much, some regular viruses are becoming more and more dangerous. Lately we have seen an influx of computers and networks which are infected by a virus which encrypts all the data files on the computer and on the shared network. An updated anti-virus and backup plan could have minimized the effect and damage of those viruses.
Photo courtesy of heartbleed.com
Windows XP Still working?
Does that mean it’s safe to use?
With all the Pesach cleaning and preparations, who had time to think about upgrading their Windows XP computers?! Even more, now that the April 8th deadline passed and the computer still works – do you need to upgrade and why?
The facts: – Windows XP was a great operating system – “Was” is the key word – Now it is time to upgrade to Windows 7 or 8
“But it’s working fine!” For the naysayers out there, who for whatever reason did not upgrade or purchase new equipment, and are saying “It’s working fine, so why break what’s not broken!” – continue reading!!
Why do you need to upgrade? Hackers are constantly looking for loopholes within Windows to infiltrate into people’s computers. As these loopholes are discovered, Microsoft patches them up, via sending out Windows Updates on a regular basis.
As of April 8, 2014 – Microsoft will no longer be sending out patches for discovered loopholes for the Windows XP operating system.
Therefore, it is imperative that you migrate over to a newer operating system ASAP!
The Start menu is really coming back?
What’s the story with Windows 8, is it any good? What should you know before you upgrade or purchase a Windows 8 computer?
The facts: – Windows 8 is quite similar to Windows 7 – There were several major complaints with Windows 8 so Microsoft released a free upgrade, called 8.1 – Windows 8.1’s biggest drawback is the lack of a complete start menu – Rumors have it that the next update will include a fully functional start menu
So if Windows 8.1 is so similar to Windows 7, what are the differences?
– Metro look: Windows 8 has “two faces”, the standard look we are accustomed to with Windows 7, as well as the mobile look. The mobile look shows everything in boxes, which is intended for a smooth transition to tablets and touch screens.
– Start menu: With Windows 8.1, there is a Start menu. However, it is not what Windows users are used to, or expect from Microsoft. So while it technically exists, it’s not as robust as it should be.
– Apps: With Windows 8.1, you can install many apps via the store, similar to what users are accustomed to on their smartphones.