Windows Vista; time to move on

Google’s Chrome browser is warning that Windows Vista is no longer supported. Here’s what you should do. For TLDR, see last paragraph of this post. Click here to find out what TLDR means.

Chrome support ending on Vista

The exact message is “This Computer will soon stop receiving Google Chrome updates because Windows XP and Windows Vista will no longer be supported”. Well, if you’re using Windows XP, stop it! Now! If you’re using Windows Vista, now is a good time to think about an upgrade or a new computer.

Google’s Chrome blog here states that they’re removing support for Chrome on Windows Vista  this April (2016) “since these platforms are no longer actively supported by Microsoft [snip]. Chrome will continue to function [snip] but will no longer receive updates and security fixes. [Snip] We encourage you to move to a newer operating system to ensure that you continue to receive the latest Chrome versions and features.”

Well, that’s not strictly true, Microsoft will issue security patches through Windows Update until April 2017. Google will not be updating the security features of Chrome on Vista from this April. Microsoft haven’t updated the security on their Internet Explorer on Windows Vista either. Maybe you could install and use Firefox from Mozilla as an alternative, but that’s just a temporary fix.
I think Windows Vista and the software running on it will become less secure from now until the end of Microsoft support for Vista in April 2017, after which I would not recommend using Windows Vista for anything financial certainly, for anything important to you, and for anything password-based like email or Facebook as these passwords could be leaked on insecure Vista.

TLDR and the bottom line: For Windows Vista users, over the next year I recommend either upgrading to a new version of Windows, or buying a new computer, and making a gentle transition to the new system rather than waiting until the last minute. I can advise and help with the purchase and the transition.

You will get Windows 10 this Tuesday whether you want it or not *

If you don’t want Windows 10 installed automatically on Tuesday 9th February (or shortly after) then you need to take action now. I have this from two very reliable sources.Windows 10 enforced upgrade
*This applies to Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1. If you have these versions then Microsoft will “upgrade” you to Windows 10 as part of Windows Automatic Updates starting this Tuesday 9th February.
Some software (programs and apps) and hardware (printers and other things you plug in to your computer) will not work with Windows 10.
I can block this unwanted upgrade and turn off all the annoying popups about the upgrade.
I expect to be busy with this fix. I may not be able to reply to emails until after the deadline.
So, if you don’t want Windows 10 then phone me as soon as possible and leave a message if I am not available so I can get back to you.

26th Anniversary of self employment. Financial Services and IT Services.

family-222128_640Today is the 26th Anniversary of me becoming self employed. on 15th January 1990 I stopped working at a bank and became a self employed financial adviser. I had previously worked in pubs and clubs, and for the local education authority in the “computer lab” at the school where I was still a student. I kept up to date on computers and other IT and continued to support family, friends and colleagues.

mobile-971480_640Around ten years ago I started Colin Bowen IT Services, mainly as a way to fix more computers than I had access to at the time, and to generate a little extra income in my spare time (I didn’t have kids then, so I had spare time). I never intended it to become my main business, but over the years the IT services business has grown quite steadily, and I’m now at a point where I don’t have time to spend on both businesses and spend time with my family.

I’m giving up my financial adviser licences in April to develop my IT and computer services business. People can still come to me for financial services, and I will pass them on to other financial services companies that I have dealt with for years, and those companies will provide the advice.

So, I’d like to thank all my existing clients from both businesses. I hope you will continue to come to me for your IT services and financial services needs, and I’ll help you personally or point you towards trusted third parties who can help you. Of course, I also welcome new customers, so please tell people about me, and get in touch if you need help.

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Virgin to switch your email from Gmail to another service

I’ve just had an email from Virgin Media saying they’re moving their email service from Gmail to someone else. I did some research and they may be moving to TalkTalk, which most of my TalkTalk customers say is a dreadful email service.
I always recommend that people have an email service that is independent of their broadband provider, so if you ever switch internet providers you can carry on as usual with your own email address.
If you use a virgin.net or blueyonder email address, I recommend that you set up an independent email address as soon as possible so you can let your contacts know your new email address in plenty of time before the Virgin changeover. You will then also have to change the email address used by any banks, Facebook, and any other accounts that use your current email address. I recommend Gmail. If you would like help setting this all up, please contact me.