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 Editor's Pick Computer News - from ITDefenses - 2018 -December Newsletter
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Little-Known Windows Features You'll like
Microsoft comes through with some very helpful tools for improved security
December 2018
ITDefenses has been keeping up with all the Windows features added with some of the latest Windows updates.

Microsoft has added many tweaks that are melding elements to its Fluent Design System.

Windows users will appreciate all the features now built into Windows 10. In this article we will talk about many of these features.

Require sign-in

Although this has been in past versions of Windows, many are not aware of the two options available. The first standard option is "When PC wakes from sleep" and "Never". If you have power settings that eliminate sleep then you are essentially setting the pc to Never. You can judge the security risk of not requiring a sign-in.

Windows Hello

Windows 10 will tell you if your system has Facial and Fingerprint Recognition available. One or the other are required to use Windows Hello. You must have systems that support using fingerprint or facial recognition. Surface Pro 4, Surface Book, and most PCs with fingerprint readers, already work with Windows Hello. You can also sign in to your PC using Windows Hello companion devices, such as Microsoft Band and Windows phones. For help getting your system to use Windows Hello click here or phone ITDefenses.


You can also provide a security PIN that can be used in place of a password. Navigate to Settings > Sign-in options > PIN Click on Add, enter your login information. You will have a screen displaying Set up a PIN. Click on OK to complete.

Security Questions

Local accounts are accounts that were not setup using a Microsoft account. Local accounts in the past were not able to have passwords recovered like the Microsoft accounts. The April 2018 update added the ability to setup security questions, that when answered correctly, can help you recover your password.

To add/Update your security questions go to Settings>Accounts>Sign-in options and click on "Update your security questions to setup your security options.

Nearby Sharing

Finally Microsoft has Nearby sharing. Nearby sharing can share files and links with local PCs. Neighboring PC's must be running Windows 10 with the April 2018 Update and also have Bluetooth and Nearby sharing turned on.

Nearby sharing can be turned on and off from the Action Center. With the feature turned on you'll see a new area in the share menu in File Explorer, Edge, Photos and other Microsoft apps


Fire it up!:Click on Start > Settings > System > Shared experiences to set your sharing level, select Everyone nearby or My devices only.

The Shared experiences display also gives you control for your Microsoft Account (requires web-based login for control) and a Work or school account. Give it a try!

Activity History

Another cool feature add-on is the Task View function. Press the Windows Key + Tab and you will see a timeline of applications accessed.

On my own desktop it went back six days. It is a pretty cool tool to see what was accessed over that period. It also gives you the ability to open that app by just clicking on the app graphic. Edge also tracks that history and provides the ablity to visit previously visited sites. Microsoft does not track other browsers, however you may have noticed that Chrome and Mozilla now display past history as well. You may be wondering what else is being tracked?

Want to control what past history is being recorded? You have that ability by navigating to Settings > Activity history and un-check Store my activity history on this device

Many other options are also found on this page including

  • Send my activity history to Microsoft. This option must be selected by you. It is not a default selection.
  • Show activities from these accounts Will list specific email addresses and logins. There is a switch to turn activities tracking on or off.
  • Clear activity history - Press the Clear button to have the history for the login and email address shown cleared.
  • A link for Manage my Microsoft account activity data - This will take you to a web-page that will require your Microsoft login and password. Once you login, you'll be able to view and clear the data that Microsoft saves to the cloud. When accessed it will display Privacy dashboard

    There are many other options too numerous to mention here. We recommend reviewing what we have represented here to protect yourself.

  • Picture Password

    This is a new way to protect your touchscreen PC. Select a picture and draw the gestures you use with it to create a password that's uniquely yours.

    This does require a touchscreen-based computer to create a combination of circles, straight lines and taps. The size, position and direction of gestures become your picture password. This does require logging in to setup this feature.

    Dynamic Lock

    Another Creators update from April 2018. It's a creative new way to lock your system whenever you leave your computer, such as going into a meeting, having lunch or getting a cup of coffee. It uses Bluetooth technology that most cell phones have built in. It requires Bluetooth on your Windows 10 hardware.

    To get your Dynamic Lock setup follow these steps:

  • Go to Settings > Devices > Bluetooth & other devices.
  • Turn on Bluetooth with the toggle switch there. (Turn on your phone's Bluetooth as well).
  • Next, tap the "+" button for Add Bluetooth or other device.
  • In the pop-up Add a device window, tap Bluetooth , then choose your device from the list that appears.
  • Prompts should appear on both your PC and phone. Accept them to pair.

    If you still have issues with finding your cell phone, it may require updating your Bluetooth driver. To update your Bluetooth driver go to Device Manager click on the Bluetooth line drill down and look for Bluetooth USB Module and choose Update driver and choose Search automatically for updated driver software.

    Once your cell phone and PC are paired you can enable Dynamic Lock. You should note the following:

  • Your PC stays unlocked until you walk out of Bluetooth range
  • Your PC will stay unlocked for 30 seconds before it locks

    Just note that Bluetooth connections are not 100% dependable. Dropped connections are common, so check your connection on a regular basis.

    Choosing your GPU
    (Graphics Processing Unit)

    Portable devices with dual graphics make it easier to select which apps use the onboard graphics chip (better battery life), or your dedicated graphics chip (better performance).

    Windows 10 does a great job deciding which application needs dedicated graphics. However, with this new feature it provides the ablity to put that control into your hands. If your video card does not offer this kind of power you will see a message "We couldn't find any app specific preferences to show here" This new feature gives you more granular control of your systemís graphics performance.

    I hope you find the information contained in this article very useful for getting the most out of your Windows 10 system. Knowing about the additional security features within Windows is the first step in protecting yourself against unwanted intrusion. Questions? Give us a call anytime at 513-275-9712.

    2018 Cyber Attacks
    The most common exploited applications

    According to the most commonly exploited Cyber Attacks for applications are:

  • Office at 47.15%
  • Browsers at 23.47%
  • Android at 20.68%
  • Java at 5.46%
  • Adobe Flash Player at 2.47%
  • PDF at 0.78%

    ITDefenses guards against these perils by offering leading edge technology that Monitors, Maintains and helps guard against these intrusions.

    Base cost for this service is just $15 per month for each workstation (call for pricing 513-275-9712 on getting your company protected - special year-end multiple workstaton pricing is now available).

    Server protection is also available (click to view). Our recent addition of CCleaner cloud services at just $2 per month is a powerhouse of protection that many companies have been getting from ITDefenses.

    Strange Fun Facts
    Coffee Break Facts that you should know

    I was browsing for some interesting information on computers, technology and some fun activities when I found several items that are just plain cool.

    Be sure to check the last item for Mom's, Dad's, uncles, aunts, and Grandparents. Hope you enjoy this small treasure chest of Normal and Strange items.

  • The first removable storage media was the IBM 1311. It was as big as a washing machine and had a total storage of just over five megabytes. It had a wooden body and metal wheels for portability.

  • When Bill Gates/Microsoft started to develop its operating system the original name was interface manager that changed over time to Windows which was more appealing.

  • The CEO of Pixar, John Lasseter was fired from Disney because he wanted to use computer animations.

  • The concept of web banners was created by

  • Rumor has it that the architects/engineers of Bill Gates home used a Mac program running on a MAC system. What? No evidence either way, but it's funny for sure.

  • The average person blinks almost twenty times per minute, and a person using a computer blinks seven times per minute. Why so little using a computer? The computer user tends to concentrate on the computer and therefore blinks less.

  • For those of you that don't believe in Santa you should know that in Canada Santa has a postal zip code and it is officially HOH OHO

  • In the United States, you can get your children a letter from Santa by following this link! Just be sure to follow the instructions and you will get a reply! Click here to view instructions
  • Enjoy!

  • NASA does it again!

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