2018 June e-Bytes

Windows 10 April 2018 Update
VPNFilter Malware Can Brick Wi-Fi Routers: Reboot Now
How to Remotely Troubleshoot Your Relative's Computer
GDPR Begins Today: What You Need to Know
How to Organize Your Browser Bookmarks
3 ways to send money to friends
Step inside CNET's Guide to Smart Living
12 Simple Things You Can Do to Be More Secure Online
PCMag Picks Best Video Streaming Services

Windows 10 April 2018 Update

Microsoft has begun the long, slow roll-out of Windows 10 version 1803 via Windows Update. Here's how you can take charge of the update process, avoid unpleasant surprises, and schedule the installation for a convenient time.

Note from Tom Kreuzer - I have updated my desktop and laptop at home. The only problem I have had is that my old old copy of Excel 2002 crashes if I update a cell that is a number. Not sure if Microsoft will create a fix, but I was planning on moving off Excel anyway to online Google Sheets. Sheets so far is working for me. I am having to learn new ways to do things, but have been able to do what I need to do. 

VPNFilter Malware Can Brick Wi-Fi Routers: Reboot Now

When I heard the FBI was telling everyone in America to reboot their router this weekend, I was skeptical. Turns out the threat is real. New malware called VPNFilter is capable of stealing your passwords, seizing control of your router, and even launching attacks from it. And it has already affected more than 500,000 devices. These are largely older routers and the attackers seem to be targeting devices in Ukraine, but it is safe to assume some US routers have been infected as well. A reboot will stop the spread of the malware, but to completely remove the infection, you will have to upgrade your router's firmware with a factory reset or a patch from the vendor. The good news? None of our recent Editors' Choice routers are affected.

Note from Tom Kreuzer - It is legit. BUT- The turning on and of off is not a real fix, you need a patch/update if available from the router supplier to stop an attack again after the reboot. Mostly effects old routers, see list in above link. It is always a good idea to reboot your router at least several times a year and to make sure it has the latest software. Most routers do not automatically update, you need to login as admin to your router to run the update.

How to Remotely Troubleshoot Your Relative's Computer

If you're the designated 'tech person' in your family or friend group, here's how to access a computer from afar, Mac or PC, to see what's going on.

Note from Tom Kreuzer - I use and recommend TeamViewer which has worked great for me.

GDPR Begins Today: What You Need to Know

When the EU passed the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), I was excited. Consumers need more protection and big companies need to be regulated. Since then, I have come to realize that in addition to being an editor, I've been reminded that I run a website that handles the private information of EU citizens. It isn't much, but it's enough to trigger GDPR regulations. In the last 12 months, I have spent countless hours filling out forms and being interrogated by lawyers and compliance officers. GDPR is a lot bigger than I thought, and It probably affects you too. Here's what you need to know.

How to Organize Your Browser Bookmarks

Can't easily navigate through your browser bookmark list because it's too long and jumbled? Here's your fix for Chrome, Firefox, IE, and Edge.

3 ways to send money to friends

Venmo, Zelle and Facebook: Which one will get your money there fastest and which one is most convenient to use to split the bill? 

Step inside CNET's Guide to Smart Living

Are you interested in setting up a smart home but just don't know where or how to start? Let us show you.

12 Simple Things You Can Do to Be More Secure Online

Follow these easy tips to protect the security of your devices, your data, your internet traffic, and your identity.

PCMag Picks Best Video Streaming Services

There's a wide world of streaming services beyond Netflix and Hulu. Which one(s) deserve your subscription dollars? We break it all down.

Links - News, Tips, & Downloads

How to Silence Notifications on Windows 10 - Bombarded by alerts on your PC? Here's how to tell Windows 10 to leave you alone when you're busy.

What Is USB-C? An Explainer - With many Mac and Windows laptops now featuring the interface, it's clear that the USB-C connector is sticking around. Here's why that's a good thing.

Windows 10 tip: How to turn on System Protection and create System Restore points - One of the oldest Windows recovery tools, System Restore, is disabled by default on most Windows 10 installations. Here's how to re-enable this still-useful feature.

How to Control Your Smart Home With IFTTT - If This Then That (IFTTT) can circumvent communication problems between all your smart devices, from smart speakers to connected light bulbs. Here's how.

27 Things You Didn't Know Your Chromecast Could Do - Bring out new and hidden features with these tips for Google's streaming dongle.

28 Hidden Facebook Features Only Power Users Know - Think you're a Facebook expert? There are probably a few tricks you don't know.

How to Create Your Own Alexa Skills Via Blueprints - Here's how to create your own Amazon Alexa skill for customized stories, quizzes, responses, and more.

PCMag Picks the Best Antivirus Protection - We've tested more than 40 utilities to help you pick the right one for your computers.

The Best Cheap Laptops We've Tested - Here's what you need to know to achieve the perfect balance of price and features in a budget laptop along with our under-$500 favorites.

Ask a Question


Send any Tips & Downloads, Ask a Question, For Sale, or articles to:  TheMiningPCC@gmail.com


Q. From a PCC Member - I am suddenly having an issue seeing/accessing the computers on our home network.  More specifically I have been accessing my desktop PC in the house from a laptop in the shop via a hardwired router in the shop set-up as a WAP.  We have a home network in our house consisting of the subject desktop (Windows 7), a laptop (Windows 10), a Mac laptop, and in the shop an old Windows 7 laptop.  Without exception this set-up has worked flawlessly since Oct ’17 when you provided counsel on how to set-up the router to access the other networked PCs.  And even when I can’t see the networked PCs, the WAP is consistently providing i-net access. At this juncture when I am in the shop and use Windows Explorer to see the network and view desired files on the desktop, it shows only the shop laptop I am working on in the list of PCs available on the network.  One peculiar thing I note is that when working on the shop PC, I can open files on the home desktop that I have accessed from the shop during the last few months by selecting them from the list of “Recent” files in MS applications. I can work on these subject files and save them to the desktop PC even though I cannot see desktop or its directories on the network.  Similarly my wife can no longer see the desktop PC from here laptop in the house, which is in the same room and uses the same wireless router as the desktop PC. To the best of our knowledge no changes to the network have been knowingly made by any of us.  The only change I’ve seen lately that is new would be that MS OneNote has recently started running on its own with no known changes made by me to activate it.  I don’t want it to run and don’t use it but it nevertheless pops up indiscriminatingly. The wild card in the entire process is that on occasion after rebooting everything or logging out and logging in on both the shop PC and the home desktop, the network suddenly reappears.  As I was drafting this memo I logged out of both machines, logged in again and the mystery network reappeared.  The image below is what the shop laptop thinks the network looks like when it appeared a few minutes ago The other 2 home PCs don’t’ show as they are not presently turned on. Any thoughts on what may have changed or how to resolve this issue?
A. From Tom Kreuzer, a PCC Board member. Each version of Windows handles networking a little different and has many issues. That is part of the reason for versions of Windows Home and Windows Pro. The Windows Pro versions along with a proper network of servers can offer Network Admin and Security. Since most people do not have the Windows Pro versions, servers, and knowledgeable Network Admin to setup and maintain, I can not recommend anyone use the file sharing.

We have talked before that I personally do not recommend home sharing of drives/folders due to the lack of security. Because a home network does can not authenticate other machines and users, it can be hacked easily. I recommend using Internet Cloud sharing of files on sites like Google Drive, Google Photo, and Google Music which are all free. I am not sure how the Windows Home Network version works when you start Windows, but it sounds like you might be getting some sort of user credentials that lets you see the HomeGroup. Those credentials must expire over time and that is why you can sometimes re-logon and it works.

Sharing a printer on your home network is something that is easy to do when you follow the printer instructions and will not comprimise security. 

You talk about MS OneNote running on its own. MS OneNote is software that has the feature to synchronize the files and folders across multiple machines and devices. I has local copies, but syncs to all your other devices all the time. You can turn the sync off, but that defeats the entire purpose of OneNote for sharing and having access on everything. You can also uninstall it if you do not use it. OneNote is a great free software that I highly recommend because it works on every device.

Q. From a PCC Member - After the last PCC Meeting notice a member sent this - Thank you Tom for transferring meetings to Thursdays, but today is Ray Farm’s funeral, many years 3M’er.
A. From Tom Kreuzer, a PCC Board member.

The PCC Meeting dates and room are subject to whatever is available, so they are not always the 3rd Wed of the month. The Club can not reserve them a year in advanced like we did in the past. Our dates are whatever is left which can be Thursday, Friday, or anything.

Sorry to hear about Ray. He was a great guy who served on the PCC board for many years. He helped me grill for the PCC Picnic at Tarton. He will be missed.