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Info Advantage has been serving the Upstate New York area since 1993 , providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Four Power Tips for Windows 10 Users

Four Power Tips for Windows 10 Users

Windows 10 is almost one year old, and people have found all sorts of ways to best leverage Microsoft’s great new operating system to their business’s advantage. Yet, some folks tend to forget some of the most basic new features that got everyone so excited about Windows 10 in the first place. Have you taken advantage of these Windows 10 features yet?

Virtual Desktops
Have you ever used a virtual desktop before? Basically, it lets you open up multiple desktops on your machine, which can be used for different things. This is helpful if you want to spread out your use of apps and windows, rather than cram them onto one desktop screen. To open a new virtual desktop, click the Task View icon next to the Cortana search bar in the taskbar. Then, select the New desktop feature in the right corner of the screen. If you want to move an app to a different virtual desktop, just click it and drag it like you would a file.

Advanced Screenshots
In Windows 10, you can take screenshots quickly and efficiently. One shortcut that you can use is to hold down the Windows key and press Prt Scn. This will capture the entire screen and place the file in a Screenshots folder. Alternatively, you can use Alt + Prt Scn to copy the screenshot to your clipboard, for use in an image editor. You can then use Windows 10’s built-in Snipping Tool to customize your screenshot.

We want to add that this is particularly useful for communicating with tech support, as more often than not, a visual representation of what’s happening on your screen can be beneficial toward resolving whatever your problem is.

Record Your Screen
Windows 10’s new Xbox app allows users to record their screen, perhaps to give a tutorial or simply to record whatever you’re doing for later review. Launch the Xbox app and open the app that you’d like to record. Once you’ve done that, all you have to do is press Windows + G. You’ll be shown the message, “Do you want to open the Game bar?” Check the “Yes, this is a game” option, and hit the record button. Whether it’s a game or not is irrelevant; it’s just a cheap and easy way to record something on your computer.

Battery Saver
If you’re using a Windows 10 laptop or tablet, you can customize when the Battery saver mode turns on. Normally, it will kick on once the battery has reached 20 percent, but you can set your own preference. To do so, go through Settings > System > Battery saver.

If you can’t take advantage of these Windows 10 features because you don’t yet have Windows 10, we want to remind you that it’s not too late to claim your free version from Microsoft. You have until July 29, 2016 to claim it, but only do so if you’ve already thought about the migration process. Otherwise, you could accidentally bring about downtime and incompatibility with legacy applications.

By using these four tips, you can take full advantage of Windows 10 and perhaps even take advantage of your operating system in new and unprecedented ways. What are some of your favorite Windows 10 features? Let us know in the comments, and be sure to subscribe to our blog for more great tips and tricks.

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3 Built-in Windows 10 Security Tools that Keep Hackers at Bay

3 Built-in Windows 10 Security Tools that Keep Hackers at Bay

Windows is perhaps the most widely-used computing tool in the workplace, and as such, it remains a huge target for hackers of all kinds. Criminals are always trying to uncover vulnerabilities in the operating system, but this time around, Microsoft has truly outdone themselves. Windows 10’s built-in security, according to hackers at the Black Hat conference in Las Vegas, allows for the most secure Windows operating system in several years.

It was expressed that, in comparison to its previous incarnations, Windows 10 is much more difficult to break into. That hasn’t stopped some hackers from trying, though. Among the Black Hat hackers at the convention were many who had tried to pinpoint potential outlets for malicious threats, and while they still managed to come up with a couple of solutions, it became clear that Windows 10 is much more challenging for hackers to infiltrate. Below are a few of the proposed attack models, and how Windows 10 challenges them.

Windows 10 Uses Built-In Anti-Malware Tools
Windows 10 uses what’s called the antimalware scan interface (AMSI), which is capable of identifying and capturing malicious scripts in memory. The idea is that applications can access this information, and any antivirus or antimalware program can process it. For example, Windows Defender and AVG use AMSI. The reason that this is such a huge problem for hackers is that many prefer to use script-based attacks. The kicker here is that while AMSI is a valuable tool to detect and prevent attacks, it requires secondary security protocol in order to be most effective. While it’s great for detecting scripts executed in PowerShell, since PowerShell records logs, it still requires someone to regularly monitor the logs in order for it to be most effective.

Active Directory
Active Directory is a crucial part of how Windows administration functions, and it’s useful for both managing workloads in the cloud, and controlling identity and authentication management on in-house networks. Microsoft Azure uses Active Directory, which can provide exceptional security for an Azure-based cloud computing platform. The problem that admins run into in most circumstances is that any user account can access Active Directory, unless the administrator removes those permissions. Therefore, it falls to your IT administrators to ensure that the credentials for your Active Directory authentication are secured, and to control user permissions to mitigate potential access to AD.

Virtualization-based security is a series of security features that are built into the hypervisor of Windows 10. In essence, Hyper-V can create a virtual machine that isn’t connected to the root partition. This virtual machine can then execute security commands as needed. The idea here is that Hyper-V creates a virtual machine that can’t be compromised, even if the root partition has been taken over. It’s a way of minimizing the extent of data breaches, should they happen in the first place. Of course, if the root contains credentials that allow hackers to access the virtual machine, it’s all over. Therefore, administrators need to take measures to ensure that hackers cannot access the VBS machine.

Of course, no matter how secure an OS is, hackers will always find a way to get in. One way or another, criminals who are determined to bypass defenses will create a way to do so. Microsoft patches known vulnerabilities as soon as they’re discovered to be active, so it comes down to outplaying the opponent. Hackers will inevitably find ways to crack Windows 10’s innate security, so it’s your responsibility to complement your OS’s security with your own solutions.

If you need assistance securing your Windows 10 devices, or any other workstations, servers, or network components, reach out to Info Advantage at (585) 254-8710.

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Windows 10 Gets a High Score From PC Gamers

Windows 10 Gets a High Score From PC Gamers

Windows 10 has been gaining traction in the workplace, but to see a different side of the value that Microsoft’s latest operating system provides, let’s look to the exact opposite of the workplace: recreation. Specifically, Windows 10 has gained in popularity amongst PC gamers, reaching almost half of the total user base of Steam, the PC gamer’s cloud-based preferred gaming solution.

This year, for the month of June, the total number of gamers using Windows 10 for Steam, in both 32-bit and 64-bit format, reached 44.6 percent. This presents an increase of 3.41 percent from the previous month, and a 1.54 percent increase from the month before that. It’s safe to say that Windows 10 is “picking up steam,” so to speak, but it seems that the free* upgrade is likely playing into these gamers’ decisions to make the upgrade to Microsoft’s latest operating system. And, well, why wouldn’t it? Gamers want to take advantage of this opportunity to improve their experience while they still can.


Of course, not all Steam users utilize Windows 10. 36.97 percent of Steam users have Windows 7 installed on their PCs, which is down 2 percent from last month. Windows 8 and 8.1, however, make up about 12 percent of Steam users. Altogether, Windows users account for about 95.5 percent of gamers on Steam, while OS X retains about 3.6 percent, and Linux snags a paltry 0.8 percent.

Whether you’re a gamer or not, there’s no denying that there’s at least one lesson to be learned from these statistics, and it’s that the latest operating system for your Windows computer is needed if you want to get the most out of it. Gamers are often known for their meticulous attention to PC performance and specifications, so it’s no surprise that we see such a huge increase in Windows 10 statistics concerning PC gamers.

If anything, this should be a testament to how valuable the latest software solutions can be for your business’s workstations. Gamers take their hobby seriously, and they want only the best and brightest way to experience their entertainment. Why shouldn’t you try your hand at experiencing greater productivity and efficiency with Microsoft’s latest operating system?

If you haven’t yet upgraded to Windows 10, the fact remains that it’s a great operating system that can keep your business running throughout the near and not-so-distant future. Info Advantage’s technicians can help your organization implement it in the best way possible. It’s important that you assess your current needs and ensure that Windows 10 is compatible with your legacy applications and software solutions. In this scenario, it’s best to have the expertise of a professional to lean on. To get started, reach out to us at (585) 254-8710.

And who knows? Maybe Windows 10 will help your business achieve its next high score.

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Sneaky: Some Microsoft Users are Reporting Unwanted Upgrades to Windows 10

b2ap3_thumbnail_windows_10_updates_400.jpgWindows 10, the latest operating system in Microsoft’s repertoire, has several business-friendly features that can potentially improve your organization’s workflow. However, many users are reporting that Windows 10 is installing on their devices automatically without their consent. If this is true, and your organization’s software is upgraded without your consent, you could be facing a big issue.

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