Microsoft Corporation is a company that involves in the development or production of excellent software products. Two of its products, Windows 7 and Windows Vista, were no exception. But no matter how meticulous the company has been in developing such software, it is hard to foresee every possible threat, error and corruption. This is what is happening with Windows 7 and Windows Vista.
It happened with Windows XP, and we all know how difficult life was in the XP times, when you always had to deal with one bug, error, malware or virus or the other. Windows Vista and Windows 7 are now more likely to be affected by malicious programs than even XP. This is obvious because the software maker has already pulled Windows XP off support. So, there is no Windows help and support available for Windows XP anymore from Microsoft.
As per the latest data, number of malware being detected has increased from 5.3 to 32.4 for Windows Vista. For Windows 7, the jump is from 4.9 to 25.9. When you compare it with the latest figures for Windows XP, you see that the number of threats or malware per 1,000 has not increased at the same rate.
The Microsoft Corporation mentioned that the incidence of threats or malware detection seen in Windows XP shows the recently-expired operating system is more stable and secure now, compared to its successors. Though it seems that way, it does not mean that this aging Windows operating system is perfectly secure, or should be preferred over its successors for that reason.
The problem is not actually the security; it is mostly the lack of knowledge on how to make the correct settings to make the system more secure and stable. If you make the appropriate settings then you can ensure that Windows 7 provides much better security than Windows XP.
Some modern or newer Windows versions allows to take full advantage of Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit, a utility that can effectively block malwares that are making use of zero-day vulnerabilities, and make things more difficult for attackers.
This Windows help article would like to emphasize on the fact that “Windows XP is not more secure than newer operating systems”. To understand this better, it should be remembered that not all the malicious threats act on security lapses and vulnerabilities. Some may be as simple as tricking users into clicking suspicious and malicious links or executing malware-infected files sent to them.
So, just because some statistics shows a decreasing trend in malware detection for Windows XP, you should not choose Windows XP over latest Windows operating systems available. You should remember, Microsoft has stopped support for XP.
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According to the reports published on Windows help forums online, Microsoft recently had to deal some issue with fake security certificates issued by the Indian online certification authority, Controller of Certifying Authorities (CCA). These reports claim that there was some breach in the CCA certification process and that fake certificates have been issued as a result.
What are the security implications for Windows OS users?
In simple language, what this means is that the Windows OS and the browser applications using these certificates can be easily fooled by fake websites posing as genuine ones. So far, only the Google and Yahoo websites are mentioned in these reports. It is clear that the hackers targeted these websites for the reason that they are so widely used around the globe.
When you are accessing a website online, the operating system or the browser checks its security certificate to verify authenticity of the website. It is easy to set up a fake website, but, without proper security certificates, these websites can be easily identified as fakes. These digital certificates are issued by different certification authorities, like the CCA in India, mentioned above.
In this case, certificates were issued by the National Informatics Center (NIC) of India on behalf of CCA, as is the norm. The fake certificates issued by NIC were first detected by the Google’s security and they immediately alerted both CCA and Microsoft of this. Microsoft has now identified these fake security certificates from their library and issued a warning to its users on its official websites and Windows help forums online.
The Google Security team has also published a report on this breach on their Google Online Security blog site. In this blog post, it is mentioned that Google and Yahoo were the main targets for this hacking attack. But, they point out that many other websites might have been affected by this problem.
Since different browsers use different security certification verification systems, not all of them were affected by this problem. For example, Google Chrome and Internet Explorer rely on Microsoft Root Store, where the certificates to verify the authenticity of these websites are stored. But, Mozilla Firefox uses their own root store for this.
Since fake certificates were found only in the Microsoft Root Store, Firefox browser users have nothing to worry about. Visit the Google Online Security blog site to read their full report on this.
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Folders are probably the most used and accessed feature in Windows. Like actual physical folders, these digital folders provide similar convenience by adding files to it, to organize and group it. Windows provides this amazing ability to organize and categorize files with the help of folders, this way it becomes easy for you to search the particular file you need to access, just like keeping files in folders and folders in a filing cabinet.
Now, you see many folders in your Windows Explorer or your desktop screen that look the same; that is, they share the same icon (Folder). It looks similar to a small yellow folder. This makes it pretty hard to find your file (without using the search feature). So, in order to make things much better, and easily identifiable, you can change the icons that you consider important. This will actually help you identify the files as you can change a folder icon to any custom icon available, or you have developed in a graphic design program. The icon changes pretty much immediately, and you can then return to the folder’s default icon if you do not like the one you have selected. The Windows OS provides a special button that allows you to make changes to a folder’s icon instantaneously. Here are the Windows help instructions that will help you to change the folder icons:
Windows help instructions
The above instructions should help you change Folder Icons quickly. Try out a few before you settle for the ones you really like.
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As per the recent reports, the sales of the desktop computers this year could see an increase in the numbers. Microsoft has implemented certain plans to make Windows operating system rein in the decline in the worldwide shipment of personal computers.
According to a study by Gartner, the global PC shipments would decline lesser than in previous years. The increase in the upgrade of old business computers to the latest ones has been seen as the prime reason for such a boost in the sales of desktops this year. According to the Windows help and support team, there has been a considerable amount of increase in the sales of Windows PCs, especially over the last few months. The reports also state the same i.e. the sales of the Windows’ share of the operating systems on all the devices such as PC’s, tablets and smartphones would increase modestly in 2014.
Gartner estimated that the PC shipment worldwide would decrease to almost 308 million in 2014, which is 2.9 percent less from the previous year. As per this ongoing trend, the PC shipment sales could go well upto 317 million this year, which is much more than what was expected for this year. The projected number of sales for this year’s Windows PC shipments was estimated to be about 333.4 million, which was almost 2.3 percent from 2013. In 2015, however the sales can even reach figures that are more interesting.
As of now, the Windows’ devices shipment sales are estimated to be around 373.3 million, which is a phenomenal 12.1 percent increase. According to the Windows help and support team, many Windows users have finally relented and started migrating to the latest operating systems. This is clearly a positive sign, especially when Windows 9 is expected to arrive next year. Moreover, it is also clear that by that time, Microsoft will also implement new business strategies to boost up the sales of the latest versions of the Windows operating system.
As stated by the Financial Times, the available 26 analysts who have been offering annual price targets for Microsoft are said to have a target of $43.05. The high estimate is said to be around $50.00 while $33.00 is the lower one. When a consensus forecast was done among 47-polled investment analysts who covered Microsoft, the investors were advised to hold their position in the company. This is definitely a positive sign for the software giant.
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The Windows help files in the operating system have come under attack numerous times. The large number of threats to these files has even pushed Microsoft to discontinue these files. The major threat with these help files are that it could aid in the execution of malicious code in a system.
According to Symantec Corp., a user can easily open a malicious HLP file, as they are unaware of the threats associated with the file. Once the file is executed in the computer, it triggers commands, which will lead to the download of malware programs to the user account. With this, the attacker can even take over the control of your computer.
You might have used some of the email clients in the market. In these email programs, the Windows help file icon is displayed as a pile of books. Many users are unaware that such help files, which are received through emails, pose a big threat to the security of your computer. Now, in such situations, it becomes difficult for the user to identify threats. Therefore, the best solution is to stop downloading and executing attachments, which have an extension .hlp. It is also advisable to block the URLs of such files. Another method to prevent the execution of such files is the change in file association services. When the file associations are changed, it becomes impossible to launch the malicious HLP files. You may go through the following tips to prevent virus attacks on the computer.
Install a good antivirus program
You have numerous antivirus programs available in the market. Choose any of these programs and install it on your computer. An updated antivirus program will help you avoid virus attacks to some extent. You must ensure that this antivirus program is updated regularly after connecting to the database of the developer so that it is equipped to fight all the latest viruses.
Avoid clicking links sent by unknown senders
This is one of the major points, which you should keep in mind while using an email program. You might receive numerous emails each day from different sources. However, before opening or clicking a link in an email, you should carry out a scan or verify if the email comes from a secure source.
With the above guidelines, you can avoid viruses and other malicious programs to a certain extent. For further assistance on this issue, you may contact Windows help center or our technical support team.
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