Why update?

General software updates for operating systems like Mac OS, Windows OS and Linux OS fix problems in the code that can be exploited by bad guys. Other software needs patching too, things like your browser (Firefox,Internet Explorer, Chrome, Opera, Safari), Adobe Reader, Java, Silverlight, .net, virus killers, Office … if you’re running it, it probably needs updates at some point.

None of operating systems listed here are without code issues. The question is who finds it first — hackers or the company releasing the bad guy blocking patches.

Older operating systems get sidelined; if you’re lucky, they’ll have emergency updates but in most cases, the folks that make the OS just stop supporting older systems.

In general, Apple runs shot cycles: users of OS 10.5 are out of luck with updates with the release of OS 10.8. OS 10.6 will be left out as soon as the next OS comes out. (They do not tell you that on their website but look it up in their forums.)

Here are a few standard life expectancies for common operating systems.

Get in touch if you need help keeping your OS leak free and up to date.

Configuring a wireless network really isn’t that hard. Honest. Security doesn’t have to be difficult either. Here are a few tips that will help you set up your home wireless router or access point — and keep your data safe.

  • Don’t hide the hardware in a cupboard. Place it out in the open and, if possible, higher up. This will give you more range.
  • If your hardware has it, use the basic encryption that’s enabled by default.
    You’ll have to open the manual and follow instructions but at  your connection will be secure. Encrypting your signal keeps others off your network. You don’t want no good password stealing types taking advantage of you and those that use your network to send and receive data.
  • Set a new password for the router and write it down. Do the same with the wifi key — but don’t leave that information on a sticky note on your router! Put it with your support docs, or somewhere you can find it if you need it.
  • Be aware when you use any unsecured network. Don’t use a public network for online banking or sensitive information — you never know who’s listening in.

Not sure how to configure your home network? West Seattle Tech Support Guy can set up your network, give you tips on how to keep it safe, and help you understand the risks in using public networks.