Are you falling prey to this terrible new internet ploy to get your personal…

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Have you been falling prey to this terrible internet ploy to gain your personal information?  There is a terrible thing on the internet right now and you are likely to have been affected.  Whether we like it or not we are prone to fall for this trickery being practiced on the innocent participants of the internet.

OK scary intro paragraph done.  You have indeed fallen prey to what I want to talk about by simply clicking this article.  It is not as terrible as I made it out to be, however it is not fully innocent either.  Facebook in particular is full of “Click Bait“.  Articles that simply want you to open them.  The title and intro are full of subject matter that makes you want to open the link but no substance, promising that if you just click the link you will be “in the know” or get to see something you have always wanted to see.

These articles are actually formulated by trending search results on the internet.  Meaning that if a lot of people are searching for “Taylor Swift” and maybe “Apple” on Google, then lots of Click Bait articles will be either written by hand or in some cases even computer generated and posted to social media like Facebook.

cb_example

Oh no REALLY!  Who got into a FIGHT on the RED CARPET!  MUST CLICK!!!  (Oh wait just another example of Click Bait, I hope you didn’t try to click that image)

SO what do Click Bait articles want from us?  Well have you ever tried to read the articles?  I know from te many times I have gotten sucked in that it almost impossible to even read the articles or complete the quiz to figure out which Eight is Enough character I would be…  The sites that host these “articles” and quizzes are so loaded with advertisements it is incredibly frustrating!  I mean I came to this article to find out who got in a fight and all I get is an Advertisement for facial cream!!!  Worse yet Google, Amazon and other websites are spying on you and will give you targeted advertising.  So remember that time you searched to see if anyone makes “electric monkey trimmers” as a joke well forever more now you get targeted advertising for Laser Hair removal clinics (insert *GASP* here).

OK there could be worse things than advertisements right?  Well yes unfortunately.  These sites get money from advertisers for every unique visitor they get, but this amount is very small per visitor.  They want hundreds of thousands if not millions and billions of views/unique visitors to their crappy articles.  Also they overload the pages with a lot of advertising space and many times even advertisements that take over the face of the page.  They are also gathering information about you when you visit the page.  Nothing major, but over time they can start to build a profile on what you click on and are interested in seeing.  Also since they sell that much advertising real estate on their pages they don’t pay that close attention to the advertisers they sell space to and sometimes those advertisers get infected by Malware advertisements that can infect your computer/mobile device/tablet  (an no your are no immune just because you have a MAC).

Upworthy-example-kickbait

What can you do to stop this madness?  Stop clicking on Click Bait articles.  I know it is hard and they are so tempting but eventually if enough people stop falling prey to these formulated articles they will fade.  I know Facebook is trying to weed them out too, but they need our help.  Stop reposting dumb articles.  I know it is hard not to post the results of the latest “Which Teletubby would you be?” quiz, but DO RESIST!

Only you can prevent Forest Fir…  Oops I mean Only You can prevent Click Bait only you!

-Teh Torbs…

New weird/unexpected “Get Windows 10” icon in your system tray, What it means

If you see this it is legit, read on to know what it means.

Get Windows 10 Icon in System Tray
Get Windows 10 Icon in System Tray

(This is legit)

 

Some of you may be seeing a new icon in the lower right of your home computer screen, don’t worry this is not a virus, malware or spyware but actually Microsoft informing you that you can get a FREE upgrade of your windows to Windows 10 their soon to be released new Operating System.

 

You will not see this on your work computer due to the fact we are on a business network and things like this are managed by the Administrators of the Network (like Travis and I).

 

What does it mean for you at home?

  • You can get a free upgrade of your operating system within the first year that Windows 10 is released.
    1. July 29th Microsoft will release Windows 10 the latest Windows Operating system
    2. If you choose to upgrade within a year of that date you can get Windows 10 for free
    3. If you upgrade during that period of time you will NOT be required to pay for it later, it will remain on your computer for free as long as you own that computer
    4. You will be opted into taking every update that Microsoft pushes out for windows without being able to deny patches, this is the price of free
      1. In my opinion this should not be a problem, unpatched computers tend to be a bigger problem so automatically updating your computer should be a good thing
  • Accepting this offer will get you access to the new software July 29th
    1. I am not sure of the specifics on this, but it appears that they will make the upgrade available to all the people who opt in using this Icon
    2. You are also supposed to be able to access some method of doing a FULL (fresh, clean) install, again I am not sure of the details on this yet
  • You can ignore this Icon for now or forever if you want
    1. This is an offer, not a requirement
    2. You have 1 year to decide whether you want to take the free offer, though I wouldn’t wait for July 29th 2016 to decide
    3. You can disable this icon, but the method is not exactly easy
      1. I think over time, someone will develop an easier method to remove the icon

My Opinion:

I think this is a great offer by Microsoft.  I have been running a preview version of Windows 10 and like it, but keep in mind this is my business to work with software.  I like how it brings back some of the desktop workability to windows that Windows 8 took away.  The biggest thing I like is the return of the “Start Menu”, when you click the windows icon in the lower left of the screen you get that familiar list of programs (though it looks very different).  Windows 10 Start Menu has the tiles right in the Start menu, so it can be useful if you know how to configure and use those live tiles.

Windows 10 Start Menu
Windows 10 Start Menu

If you are not a techie and don’t like a lot of change I would not upgrade right away, unless you are struggling with Windows 8.  If you consider yourself a techie or are tired of not having a real start menu in Windows 8/8.1 then perhaps you should consider this upgrade fairly soon.  I would expect when Windows 10 becomes available there may be some hiccups so if you are not one that wants to be on the bleeding edge maybe wait a week or two to see if there are any huge problems.  I have not seen any huge problems with the early release that is available for testing, so it may be perfectly fine when it goes live.

For those of you who might be slower to upgrade, I would seriously consider how long you plan to keep your current computer.  If you plan to have this computer for another year or more I would consider upgrading to Windows 10 likely around September/October once more people are using it and bugs have been worked out more.  I can give better advice once we get to that time and I have more experience and answers to questions.