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Still Using These Programs? Your PC Is At Risk

Microsoft continues to aggressively push everyone to use their latest and not-so-great software. Everything from the operating system running your computer to the productivity software you use to type letters, check email, and calculate spreadsheets.

How do they do this? They stop supporting and updating the older software.

By continuing to use these programs after their end-of-life date, you leave your computer greatly exposed to virus and malware infections and attacks by malicious hackers looking to steal personal information.

What home users need to know

The three most common programs I see on home users’ PCs putting you at risk are: Windows Live Mail, Microsoft Office 2007 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), and the Windows Vista operating system.

  • Windows Live Mail is a very popular program providing an easy and free way to check your email. It also keeps your friends’ email addresses in one convenient location.

Support and updates for Windows Live Mail, as well as Windows Movie Maker and
Windows Live Messenger, ended on January 10, 2017. While they still function, continuing
to use them today leaves your computer at risk.

  • Microsoft Office 2007 – which includes Word, Excel and PowerPoint – allows you to type letters, create spreadsheets, and design presentations. Trial versions of this software often came preinstalled on many store-bought computers. You may also have purchased the Home and Student edition of the software.

Support and updates for Office 2007 ends on April 11, 2017. Again, while these programs
will still work, using them after that date exposes your computer to serious problems.

  • Some home computer users still use desktops and laptops running the ancient Windows Vista operating system.

Support for Vista ends on April 11, 2017, although many software vendors discontinued
updating programs for it over a year ago. Most new programs won’t install or run on it.

Continuing to use a computer running Windows Vista after April 11 is a VERY bad decision.

Business users are affected too

Most businesses use the Microsoft Office suite in their daily operations – Microsoft Word for typing correspondence and memos; Microsoft Outlook for sending and receiving email; Microsoft Excel for spreadsheets and budgets.

Just like home users, if your business uses the 2007 version of these software programs, support and updates will end on April 11, 2017.

Continuing to use these programs after that date will expose your computers and network to serious vulnerabilities. It could potentially cost your business thousands of dollars in fines and penalties if customer information is stolen or hacked because you were using non-supported, out-of-date software.

How to tell if you have these programs installed on your PC

Open the Control Panel from your Windows start menu. Click on Programs and Features. Look through the list for any of the following: Microsoft Office 2007, Windows Live Mail, or Windows Live Essentials.

To determine if your operating system is Windows Vista, open the Control Panel. Click on System. Under Windows edition at the top of the window, it will tell you which operating system is installed.

What you need to do

If you have any of these programs installed on your computer, you should stop using and uninstall them.

Call us at (812) 386-8919 for advice on alternative software or solutions to replace these no-longer-supported programs.

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These Two Apps Made Getting Around D.C. A Breeze

The painfully sore blisters on my pinky toes remind me I need to buy a good pair of walking shoes before my next excursion.

Many of you know I had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to secure tickets to attend the Presidential Inauguration in Washington, D.C. earlier this month. No matter your political stance, the privilege of watching American history in the making live, in-person, and up-close is something I’ll never forget.

Although my friend and I rented an apartment only a mile from the White House, we walked thousands of steps as we explored our nation’s capital for the first time.

Two apps on my iPhone quickly became our best friend for our five-day adventure: Uber and Google Maps.

We flew into Washington-Dulles International Airport on Thursday. Since Washington doesn’t have mass transit fully finished to that airport, Uber provided the fastest and most direct way to get to our apartment.

As a new Uber user, I secured a $15 off coupon for my first ride.

We used Uber several times throughout our stay, including once when my poor feet hurt so bad that I absolutely couldn’t walk another block.

The Uber app is super-easy to use. It automatically detects your current location and asks where you would like to go. You’re then given several Uber vehicle options, depending on what’s available in your area.

Alec and I often used UberPOOL. You’re given a guaranteed, low-cost fare because you’re sharing the ride with one or two other people going the same way you are. Our average was about $3.50 for the both of us each time we used UberPOOL.

Within moments, an available Uber driver accepts your request and heads to pick you up. The app shows your driver’s first name, a description of their vehicle and the license plate number. Often times, the driver calls your cell phone as they near your location so they can watch for you.

Because of the massive crowds using public transit, Uber made navigating long distances throughout the capital convenient.

When Alec and I chose to explore the sights and landmarks of D.C. on foot, the Google Maps app gave us the turn-by-turn directions needed to make sure we didn’t get lost. It also told us how long it would take to reach our destinations.

I used Google Maps as we explored the Lincoln Memorial, the Martin Luther King Memorial, and the Washington Monument on the cool, misty, foggy Saturday night.

On Sunday, the Google Maps app helped us time our rides on the Washington Metro trains to visit Arlington National Cemetry, the U.S. Marine Corps Memorial, the Pentagon, and the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum.

I encourage you to make these two apps an important part of your next road trip or vacation. They’ll make life a lot easier!

Oh – be sure to take a portable battery charger. These apps run in the background on your phone and can quickly drain the battery.