I hope everyone is enjoying the last days of summer. With schools about to start for millions of students, it is a good time for both students and businesses to buy PCs and Macs. There will be good technology deals before, during and after Labor Day. If you know someone who is a student, they should check with their school or school bookstore to see what special student deals are available (usually requires an email address ending in .edu for education).
The public can also look forward to Apple’s annual iPhone update next month, along with other Apple products (Apple Watch, iPad). Rumor has it that Apple will be offering an evolutionary iPhone update that will include enhanced cameras. More significantly, the Apple Watch may be moving to a brighter, easier to read display technology (OLED).
Major security news during this quiet month: Microsoft has discovered 2 security risks which it classifies as “critical”. “Critical” is Microsoft’s most severe category which they advise users to patch immediately. The security risks allow remote control execution (RCE), which is a fancy technical way of stating it is malware that can take control of your PC, access your data and infect other PCs on your network. This impacts Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 users (all versions) so it has potential to spread to hundreds of millions PCs. The good news is that Microsoft has issued patches to close these security holes in the August 2019 Microsoft updates (also known as “Patch Tuesday”).
The bad news is that patch to fix these 2 security risks has also created problems for many users. Some users are reporting that their machine does not boot after applying the patches. Other users have stated problems with scripting engines. This puts users in a bad situation: live with the security risks or take a chance with applying the patches. My advice is to perform a system backup (best option) or create a system restore point and apply the patch. If you should run into an issue after the patch has been installed, you can roll back to the backup or system restore point.