Posts Tagged ‘top_articles’

The End of the 10-year Support for Windows7: What’s In It for You?

Monday, May 15th, 2023

All good things sometimes have to end. That’s the case with the good old Windows 7 that we’ve all cherished since 2010. This 10-year-old operating system will stop receiving support on January 14, 2020. It is suggested to upgrade to Windows 10 before January to keep your computer secure.

windows 7 end of life

What Does Windows 7 End of Life Mean?

Windows 7 end of life means that Windows 7 users will never receive technical support, software updates and security updates after January 2020. This means that your computer will no longer be secure enough against malware and viruses that may attack your computer. There will also be no bug fixes available for you and your organization.

In Microsoft’s blog post last April, Matt Barlow has mentioned that notifications are all sent to Windows 7 users in advance to prepare them for the end of support. Internet Explorer will also be ending support as well because it is also managed by the same team maintaining Windows 7.

What if Your Business Can’t Move to Windows 10 Before January 2020?

Nothing will really change to your computer. However, after January you will be exposed to malware and viruses because there’ll be no security updates available from Microsoft. As you know, cyber attacks are rampant so they can put your whole organization at risk. Good thing, Microsoft knows that moving to a new operating system will not be easy that’s why they have two options for organizations to choose from. 

  1. You can purchase the Extended Security Update(ESU) until the 3-year period. However, purchasing the ESU  will no longer include bug fixes/patches and help desk support. It was available since April 1, 2019, and will still be available until 2023. When you’ve decided to purchase this service, you need to pay for the next two years because the update is cumulative starting from January.

  2. The second option is best for organizations who use virtual solutions. Microsoft suggests the Windows Virtual desktop which is a cloud-based platform that can support a multi-user Windows 10 service. It is designed to work with Office 365 ProPlus which also works well Windows 7 Extended Security Update.

Reasons for Ending the Support

Of all the Microsoft’s operating systems Windows 7 has been the most loved. It’s so good that people still use it over Windows 8. However, in Microsoft’s effort to improve Windows 10, they needed to divert more resources to improve its performance and defenses against stronger malware and viruses nowadays.

This end of support, however, was already forecasted already long before the operating system was launched in 2010. Supporting an outdated OS have a number of resources that makes it hard to maintain. Though, Microsoft has mentioned that they may be able to have extended updates only if you will send requests to them. 

How Can I Upgrade to Windows 10

It is much better to start upgrading your operating as early as possible so that you can get used to its new user interface and features. You can use either a licensed disk or a thumb drive to install it. Windows 10 Pro is at $95 Windows 10 Home is at $108 in Amazon. Good news is, if you’re   Office 365 for Business, Windows 10 will be free of charge. Below are the minimum requirements of the Windows 10

Processor:1 GHz or faster 

RAM:  1GB for 32-bit / 2GB for 64-bit 

Disk Space:·16GB free space

Graphics:· Microsoft DirectX 9 with WDDM driver 

One of the differences between the older versions of Windows is you have to have a Microsoft account and access to the Internet to get started with Windows 10. In order to get the optimal performance from your computer, it is recommended to use have a core i3with 2+Ghz processor, 4GB RAM and 60GB hard disk space. 

Some people find it more practical to also upgrade their computers that already have Windows 10 installed in it. Since most applications nowadays require higher hardware requirements to run them smoothly. 

Biggest Difference of Windows 10 with Windows 7

To prepare you on your new operating system, here a few of the changes that you will experience with Windows 10. From interface to features, it a much-advanced platform that allows you to keep you everything connected. 

A Cozier Start Menu

The aesthetic of the Start Menu in Windows 10 will give you a cozy experience with its borderless edges. It still works the way we had it with Windows 7 but it organizes your files alphabetically to make it easier to navigate. You can even customize it to your liking. Though the power button and settings will be found on the left side of the menu. 


Cortana: Voice-Controlled Navigation Assistant

The popularity of virtual assistants is also available in your Windows 10. Her name is Cortana. You may find the search bar below your desktop where you can type your instructions to Cortana. It usually shows the results through a new dialog box. Whenever lazy days hit you, there’sCortana to help you out. 

Cortana in Windows 10


Account-based Login 

With Windows 10, you needed to have a Microsoft account that can be synced to a lot of services provided by Microsoft including Skype. Unlike in Windows 7, you no longer need to create a separate account for your operating system. This allows Microsft to detect all the activities happening to your account. You’ll also notice the aesthetic of the lock screen below. 


Windows Defender

The best feature of Windows 10 would be its Windows Defender that proactively secures your computer from viruses and malware, It is more advanced that it can detect suspicious behavior of malware right away. It almost works as a built-in antivirus for your computer. You can control over files that are suspected to contain virus and malware.


 Android Phone Integration

The October 2018 update allows you to text from your PC to your phone app. You may even access your phone activities in your timeline. This feature makes work easier for people who are always on the go and works on multiple tasks. So when you’re traveling you don’t need to carry your laptop all along. You just need your phone and send the important stuff to your PC so that you’ll never miss any important idea as soon as you got it.

windows 7 end of life


There are good things that are hard to let go especially if it has been useful like Windows 7. But we need to keep moving forward to experience better services and security from ever-mutating malware everywhere. We hope this article helped you understand why you need to embrace Windows 10 from now on. If you need more in-depth technical advise you may contact our technical experts here. Windows 7 end of life serious and need to be addressed to protect your business ASAP.

Four Ways to Block Spam From Your Inbox

Saturday, April 15th, 2023

The fact that email is so accessible, free and fast, makes it a very convenient tool for us. It also makes it a very convenient tool to use to spam your inbox. Buy simply purchasing a list of email addresses, professional spammers can bombard their victims with as many messages as they please. We have our ways of preventing these attacks but, of course, they have a host of automated tools to help them expand their volume and slip past filters. They are sneaky but there are things that you can do to proactively keep spam out of your inbox for good.

Here are five strategies for blocking spam:

1. Train your spam filter

Most email platforms include some form of spam detection. Messages that seem fraudulent or unimportant will be red-flagged by your provider and sent to the spam folder. The best thing about these filters is that you can train them to fit your inbox. This means that with the click of a button, you can decide if the spam detector made a mistake or missed a spam email. You can configure its settings and actions to improve its performance.

For example, let’s take a look at Gmail. Every time you open an email, a Report Spam button that looks like an exclamation point appears at the top of the email. If you find a message that is obviously spam that slipped through the spam filters, click this red button and your spam will filter messages like this to its memory bank so that you no longer get them. On the other hand, if you check your Spam folder and find that a useful email was placed there, open it and click the not spam button at the top of the page.

2. Employ alternative email addresses

One way to avoid spam is to create an alternative email address that is separate from your personal or business email address. When we order a product, often times the company that we ordered it from takes the liberty of spamming our inboxes with irrelevant content that has nothing to do with our purchase. This can also include receiving unwanted marketing updates or sharing your contact information with an advertiser. By creating a secondary email address you can keep all spam from entering your important inbox of your main email address. This alternative address can be used for traveling purposes, online shopping and more. Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook, or offer free email address setups so you can make one with ease of mind and wallet.

However, it’s important to note some details when creating a new account. Gmail addresses ignore dots in email addresses, so an email sent to “[email protected]” and an email sent to “[email protected]” will both arrive at the same inbox. The same can be said for email addresses that contain plus signs. So messages addressed to “[email protected]” and “[email protected]” will both land in the same inbox. Good news though, this is actually helpful! Why? It means you can enter the variation on your current email address whenever you sign up for or buy something and then create a Gmail filter to put anything sent to that address in its own folder, separate from the main Primary tab.

Instructions: To create a filter in the web interface, click the Options button on the top right, followed by Settings and then Filters and blocked addresses. Click Create a new filter, enter your tweaked address in the To field, and then decide what you want to do with these types of emails.

3. Download third-party extensions

The internet truly offers a fix for everything. If you are finding that a lot of spam slips through your email provider’s spam filter, try adding a third-party app to supplement it. This type of service stops messages as they travel between an email server (the cloud where messages are stored) and your inbox.

Free is always a plus so try Mailwasher. Plug in your email login details and Mailwasher applies a series of filters to identify unwanted messages. With this, if you like, you can review the stopped emails online before they show up in your inbox.

There is also the free SpamCop service. This is like a mini police station. It allows you to report bad actors to internet service providers (ISPs) so they can block these messages at the source. This not only helps your inbox stay clean but helps others as well because you will be shutting down certain spam altogether.

4. Protect your email address

You should aim to keep your primary address as secret as you can. Do not display it on public pages such as social media platforms or a personal website. You should have a whole separate email address for this. This is the first place bots and spammers will look.

If you don’t want to keep track of too many email addresses but you have to have your email address available, try writing it out longhand. For example, try “John Smith at Google’s email service” whenever you need to display it on the web. This will make sense to a human but a bot will not be able to process and collect it.

In addition to this, there are some email marketers that will use a tracking pixel, or something similar, to decipher the difference between email addresses that are actually used and ones that are not. They send messages to a variety of addresses and as soon as a human opens one of them, the spammer will receive a confirmation that the address is in use. In order to avoid this, just don’t open spam. You most likely know what spam looks like at this point so just trash it or filter it out right away.

Spam is inevitable if the right tactics are not implemented to block it. Here at NVIT Solutions, we understand the ins and outs of email solutions and we are here to help. Give us a call to start blocking spam today!

5 Effective Tips for a More Secure Office

Wednesday, February 15th, 2023

When thinking about securing your business from cyber threats, the mind quickly turns to phishing, hacks, and viruses, but there are many security threats in and around the office that can expose your business to a host of threats and cybersecurity issues. In conjunction with a solid cybersecurity solution provided by your MSP, be sure you and your employees follow these office tips to protect your physical workspace from system comprises, unauthorized breaches and data loss.

Unlocked devices

Mobile phones, laptops, desktops, tablets, and even printers/multi-function devices should all be locked and password protected when unattended, as any of these (and any other) network-connected devices can be comprised, allowing for unauthorized access into your system or unauthorized removal of data from it. Even though most devices lock/power down after idling for some period of time, create an office culture where locking devices becomes second nature for all employees.

USB Drives

USB drives pose a host of security issues. Unknown drives should never, ever be used, as they could easily contain hidden malware or spy software that could exfiltrate data or install ransomware on your network. However, those drives that you do use for normal business functions must be kept under lock and key, so they are not compromised with malware, misplaced or stolen. USB drives make it far too easy for curious eyes or unauthorized user to get a peek into sensitive or confidential business information and are unfortunately left behind in public places (airports, coffee shops, etc.). Make sure any and all USB drives used in your business are cataloged and their whereabouts known at all times—or perhaps look to cloud solutions for sharing/transporting data.

Paper Documents

What may be innocuous to your employees could be valuable to others who’d want to infiltrate your systems. At the end of the day, be sure that papers, reports, financial records, and any other proprietary data is off desk surfaces, locked away, or shredded (i.e., not in the trash). After they are no longer needed, shred any documents with financial records, proprietary data or confidential information. And of course, to minimize this issue, go digital wherever possible.


It’s a common occurrence, even in the face of many strict cybersecurity policies, but many employees use notes or cheat sheets for the various usernames, logins, and passwords they require for day-to-day work. Nothing could defeat the purpose of a password more easily than this practice, and leaves the door wide open to anyone who accesses your office to gain entry into your network and systems. Discuss a software-based password management system with your MSP and seek out an option that will work best for your business in order to prevent this risky behavior.

Wallets and Keys

Just like easily-accessed passwords are a threat, wallets and keys that are left on desks during meetings, bathroom breaks, lunches, etc., can all leave your business exposed to unauthorized entry. Pay special attention to this if there are areas of your business under lock and key, or if ID/keycards are used, as these are typically kept in wallets. Misplaced keys and access IDs can quickly lead to tampered or duplicated methods of access, so if need be, offer lockers or secure places where employees can store their personal belongings while they work.

These are just a few security best practices to enact in your workplace, alongside an effective cybersecurity solution. If you’re thinking about protecting your business from cyber threats, let’s discuss a few options that could work best for you. Securing your office shouldn’t be that hard. It’s just another layer to protect your assets.

What is Penetration Testing and Why is it Important?

Wednesday, February 1st, 2023

With the arsenal of tactics that hackers have today, we must fight back and protect our data with an arsenal of prevention tactics, including testing. Penetration testing is an important step towards safer applications and organizations. Penetration testing (A.K.A. pentesting, or security testing) is the process of testing your applications for vulnerabilities and put yourself in the hacker’s shoes. To do so, we start by answering a simple question: “What could a hacker do to harm my application, or organization, out in the real world?”

To ensure that a penetration test is effective, it must involve experts in all things IT. This includes a skilled hacker or a team of skilled hackers. Don’t worry though, it is the good kind of hackers, the ones that are on your team.

To start, we purposefully ensure that the hacker(s) don’t have access to any source code, and then try to gain access to your systems and applications. Penetration tests can be implemented IP address ranges, individual applications, or even as little information as a company name. The tests can vary depending on specific needs. The level of access you give an attacker depends on what you are trying to test. Here are some examples of penetration tests:

  • To test if an application is well secured, a penetration tester could be given access to a version of a web application you haven’t actually started using yet. They will then be told to try and gain access or cause damage by any means possible. The penetration tester will then employ a variety of different attacks against various parts of the application in an attempt to break in. If they succeed, then we will try another or implement security measures.
  • Hackers can even gain access by simply having your business address. The team of penetration testers will be given your company’s office address, and tell them to try and gain access to their systems. The team could employ a wide range of various techniques to try and break into the organization, ranging from social engineering to complex application specific attacks.  

The purpose of a penetration test is to identify key weaknesses in your systems and applications, to determine how to best allocate resources to improve the security of your application, or organization as a whole. This is the time to find weaknesses in your systems, rather than a bad hacker finding them. This is your chance to fully secure your organization. Nevada IT Solutions is here to help.

Why Are Penetration Tests Important?

  • It’s a great way to educate your employees and security personnel on real experience in dealing with an intrusion. A penetration test should be carried out without informing staff, like a fire drill, to allow an organization to test whether its security policies are truly effective and studied. This test should be taken just as seriously as a fire drill.
  • Penetration testing reports can be used to help train developers to make fewer mistakes. These tests highlight faults in the security systems, which is a very good thing. If developers can see how an outside attacker broke into an application or part of an application they helped develop, they will be more motivated to improve their security education and avoid making similar errors in the future.
  • They provide feedback on the most at risk routes into your company or application. Penetration testers think as a real world attacker would. They think outside of the box, and will try to get into your system by any means possible, just like the actual situation would play out. This could reveal lots of major vulnerabilities your security or development team never considered.
  • It can uncover aspects of security policy that are lacking. For example, many security policies give a lot of focus to preventing and detecting an attack on an organization’s systems but neglect the process of handling an actual attacker. You may uncover during a penetration test that whilst your organization detected attacks, the security personnel could not effectively remove the attacker from the system in an efficient way before they caused damage.

If your company has not carried out a penetration test, it is absolutely time to do so. Time is of the essence because hackers will carry out their attacks without warning. Are you prepared? Your first few penetration tests will probably deliver some shocking results, and highlight that your organization is much more vulnerable to attack than you ever predicted. Nevada IT Solutions is your partner in preventing future attacks through the use of penetration testing. Don’t be caught off guard. We will help you be prepared for anything.

15 Ways To Protect Your Business From A Cyber Attack

Tuesday, January 31st, 2023

Just because your a small business, doesn’t mean you’re beyond a hacker’s notice or reach. Unfortunately, most small businesses are particularly susceptible to cyber-attacks and breaches, simply because they are small, don’t have all the IT security control needed to protect them.

In the video below we compiled a list of ways that you can protect your business from a cyberattack: