Purchasing a new computer is a big investment. Many small businesses and home PC owners end up struggling with older systems because they want to get as many years out of them as possible. 


Have you found yourself banging on your keyboard in frustration? Have you tried every tip and trick you found online, only to still struggle with a slow PC?

There are some promising upgrades you can do that will cost much less than the price of a new computer, while making your PC feel like new again.

UPGRADE TO A SOLID-STATE DRIVE (SSD) 


Prices for solid-state drives have come down quite a bit in the past few years, making them an affordable upgrade that can breathe life back into an older PC that might be slowing down.

Unlike hard disk drives (HDDs), SSDs do not have any moving parts and use a flash memory that allows for a quicker response time. You can improve your time to boot and your experience when searching files, opening applications, and other activities.

Advantages of upgrading your computer’s hard drive to SSD include:




  • SSD read/write speeds up to 2500 MB/second compared to HDD at up to 200 MB/second


  • SSD access time of 0.1ms as compared to HDD at 5.5-8.0ms


  • SSDs use between 2-5 watts of energy compared to HDD at 6-15 watts


Stolen login credentials are a hot commodity on the Dark Web. There’s a price for every type of account from online banking to social media. For example, hacked social media accounts will go for between $30 to $80 each. 


The rise in reliance on cloud services has caused a big increase in breached cloud accounts. Compromised login credentials are now the #1 cause of data breaches globally, according to IBM Security’s latest Cost of a Data Breach Report.

Having either a personal or business cloud account compromised can be very costly. It can lead to a ransomware infection, compliance breach, identity theft, and more.

To make matters more challenging, users are still adopting bad password habits that make it all too easy for criminals.



34%








34%


The amount of people who admit to sharing passwords with colleagues


44%








44%


The amount of people who reuse passwords across work and personal accounts


49%








49%


The amount of people who store passwords in unprotected plain text documents


Cloud accounts are more at risk of a breach than ever, but there are several things you can do to reduce the chance of having your online accounts compromised.



Any cyberattack is dangerous, but the particularly devastating ones are those on supply chain companies. These can be any supplier – digital or non-digital – of goods and services.


We’ve seen several attacks on the supply chain occur in 2021 that had wide-reaching consequences. These are “one-to-many” attacks where victims can go far beyond the company that was initially breached. 

Some recent high-profile examples of supply chain attacks include:

Colonial Pipeline

A ransomware attack caused this major gas pipeline to be shut down for nearly a week.

JBS

The world’s largest supplier of beef and pork products was hit with ransomware that caused plants in at least three countries to shut down for several days.

Kaseya

This software company had its code infected with ransomware, which quickly spread to IT businesses that used its products and to roughly 1,500 of their small business customers.

Why do you need to be worried about supply chain attacks even more so than in the past? Because they’ve been growing and are expected to continue this trajectory.



Supply chain attacks rose by 42% during the first quarter of 2021. A surprising 97% of companies have been impacted by a breach in their supply chain, and 93% suffered a direct breach as a result of a supply chain security vulnerability. 

If you’re not properly prepared, then you can be impacted by a breach of software you use or have a vital service or goods supplier go down for several days due to a cyberattack. 

As part of any good business continuity and disaster recovery strategy, you should look at supply chain risks in light of the current increase in attacks and formulate a plan.

We all know Windows 10 has lots of capabilities that most people don’t even know exist. This checklist is a handy way to identify the teams in your business that could benefit from some new tools and techniques.

Once you’ve filled it out, you can email each user, showing them how to take advantage of Windows’ hidden features












Windows Sandbox

WHAT IT IS
Windows Sandbox provides a virtual machine environment you can use to download and test software and suspicious files separate from your regular operating system. It works  as a “window inside a window”, which enables you to drag and drop  safefiles from the Sandbox window onto your normal desktop.
WHERE TO FIND IT:
Start > Apps > Windows accessories












Windows Timeline

WHAT IT IS
Windows Timeline enables you to group related apps you’ve used in the past to create “activities”. This makes it easy to access apps you frequently use to complete certain tasks or workflows, boosting productivity for any employee who completes repetitive tasks or needs repeated access to a certain set of documents.
WHERE TO FIND IT:
Taskbar > Task view OR Windows key + Tab












Cloud Clipboard

WHAT IT IS
Microsoft 10 has taken the copy-and-paste function to the cloud. It enables multitaskers to share content copied to the clipboard across Windows 10 devices. You can also hold multiple passages of text and images on the clipboard, and the Pin function allows you to retain pinned items in the clipboard.
WHERE TO FIND IT:
Start > Settings > System > Clipboard > Sync across devices/Clipboard history










Your Phone Companion 

WHAT IT IS
Strengthen the link between your smartphone and your Windows 10 PC with the Your Phone Companion app. It enables you to view and manage notifications, text messages and images on your PC.
WHERE TO FIND IT:
In the Microsoft store.










Snip & Sketch

WHAT IT IS
Take a screenshot of any portion of your screen with the upgraded Snip & Sketch tool. The screenshot will be automatically copied to your clipboard and available to share with other Windows 10 devices via Cloud Clipboard.
WHERE TO FIND IT:
Press Windows key + Shift + S












Near Share 

WHAT IT IS
Many organisations are banning the use of flash drives due to the security risks they pose. Thankfully, Near Share is here to replace those once-prevalent gadgets. Use it to wirelessly share URLs and files with Windows 10 devices that are within range. It works via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and automatically selects the available channel, with recipients getting a  pop-up notification.
WHERE TO FIND IT:
Enable Near Share in “System > Shared experiences”, then open Share in Microsoft Edge or File Explorer.










Controlled Folder Access

WHAT IT IS
Windows 10 is combating ransomware attacks with Controlled Folder Access. It prevents malicious apps from making unauthorised changes to your files and folders. Manually select folders to be protected and grant access to trusted software.
WHERE TO FIND IT:
Windows Security > Virus & threat protection > Manage ransomware protection












Aero Shake 

WHAT IT IS
Don’t suffer from desktop clutter any longer. The Shake features allows you to instantly close superfluous windows. Just grab the title bar of the window you want to keep open and give it a shake to close all other windows. Shake it again to reopen the windows.
WHERE TO FIND IT:
To enable Aero Shake, search for “edit local group policy”, then navigate to User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Desktop. Open the “Turn off Aero Shake” window and click “enable”.












Secret Start Menu

WHAT IT IS
Enjoy much easier access to administrative tools like the Command Prompt, Control Panel and Task Manager via the Secret Start Menu. It also displays more shutdown options and gives you access to Power Options.
WHERE TO FIND IT:
Right-click the Windows Start button.










Dictation

WHAT IT IS
Speech recognition has been given a 21st-century makeover in Windows 10. It’s so good you might be tempted to throw away your keyboard. Just press the Windows key + H in any text field and Cortana will start taking dictation.
WHERE TO FIND IT:
Settings > Time & Language > Speech


Make sure your organisation is getting the best productivity bang for its Windows 10 buck by helping your teams get on top of its hidden features and capabilities.
Please contact Ultimate IT today on 1300 858 468 for more information on enabling Windows 10 hidden features.