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Windows Update ‘Update’ Disabling Windows Updates

Say that five times fast.  🙂  Throughout the morning, I’ve had about a dozen systems show that Windows Updates have been disabled:

Windows Updates Disabled | Click to Enlarge

When you go and inspect Windows Updates, it shows it is Downloading and installing updates, but it’s just spinning its wheels…

Windows Update Update
Windows Update Update | Click to Enlarge

I’m seeing this systems running Windows 7 and Windows XP as well…

Windows Updates Disabled on Windows XP
Windows XP ~ Updates Disabled | Click to Enlarge

The first system I worked on this morning, I thought maybe a user had made an adjustment to Windows Updates.  It didn’t seem likely, but the user has access to do so.  I noticed the ‘update’ for Windows Update and figured maybe it choked, as Windows Updates do from time to time.

As I continued working on clients’ systems throughout the early morning though, I came across system after system in this state.  From everything I can see, this would not have fixed itself and Windows Updates would’ve remained disabled.

We’re inspecting each of the systems we maintain for clients who are on our Monthly Support Plan.  I thought I’d share my findings though, as disabled OS updates can and will lead to security issues.

Facebook Profile Viewer: Maybe, just MAYBE, this one is real :D

Ok, we used to go through the Who/What/Where/When/Why when it came to this sort of Facebook post.  I don’t think this one requires such an explanation.  I just can’t believe how much of this, well, crap is still floating around on Facebook.

If you’re a business and you’re looking for alternatives, here are some recommendations:

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  • Twitter – If you have a Facebook page, chances are you have a Twitter account as well.  Twitter is a bit more streamlined, as far as content goes.  You can still run into the occasional bogus phishing link or childish drivel, but Twitter is a bit more of a straight-forward approach to broadcasting information.
  • Google Plus – Some scoff at G+ and think it’s a no man’s land.  That simply is not the case.  Businesses and individuals looking for a better way to share – e.g. Hangouts, Circles, search result tie-ins, comment formatting, etc. – are using G+ to their advantage.
  • Reddit – Reddit is a great place for news, information, and sharing with others.  Network with other users in topic-specific communities called Sub-Reddits.  Spend a week on Reddit and you’ll start to realize you “saw that last week” as you watch the news or scroll through Facebook.
  • Pinterest – Pinterest is becoming a more and more popular way to share anything from clothes you like, to architecture.  Consignment businesses can really utilize Pinterest’s ‘pin’ feature to share new outfits that were recently consigned.
  • Blog – If you’re a business and you provide a service or sell products, you really should have a blog.  With a WordPress-based website, you can easily post to your blog and keep your customers in the loop.  Adding new content keeps your site rich with content, which can boost search results.

[/checklist]

 

WordPress: Anyone Can Do It, Right? Riiiiiiiight…

I’ve been building consignment websites and websites in general for over a decade.  I’ve stumbled, made mistakes, got hacked…and learned.  When you’re responsible for a server, databases, and clients’ data, you have no choice but to learn what it takes to manage a server.  From Apache to MySQL, to PHP versions and security best-practices, there’s a lot going on.

WordPress is software that you can install on a server and then have a professional website up and running relatively quickly.  A template is then installed + configured and with a higher-end template, Shortcodes provide convenient access to styling the site and building a complete website.  WordPress is famous for its “5 minute installation” and most anyone with a little time and some basic tech experience, can install WordPress.  This seems to attract a lot of people who really don’t know what they’re doing.

This week alone, we’ve worked with two clients whose sites were not properly handled by their previous *Web Developers.  One look at the WordPress installation and you could immediately see these were not professionals.  One of their developers who was “moving on to do bigger and better eCommerce sites,” hadn’t even activated and registered Akismet.  Scary to think that person is going on to manage sites that process credit card info.

Professional Web Developer
Professional Web Developer

There are so many moving parts to a website, especially a WordPress site.  Updates are constantly being released for WordPress, its plugins, templates, etc.  In addition to the front end of your website, the components that run a WordPress website – e.g. Apache, MySQL, and PHP – all have to be properly secured and maintained.

The fact that pretty much anyone can slap a WordPress site together, is actually quite the troubling notion.  Sites are hacked on a daily basis.  Just choosing the wrong host could lead to your site getting hacked.

Here’s a small glimpse of some of the uglies that are rubbing up against your site on a daily basis…

Cloudflare IDS
Cloudflare IDS | Click to Enlarge

Just because WordPress is easy to install and easy to use, does not mean it’s easy.  If the proper measures aren’t taken during installation and if your WordPress site is not properly maintained, you’re simply asking to be hacked.  That can turn into a loss of real money for you, especially if your site ends up serving out malware.  That could lead to your customers’ and consignors’ systems getting infected, which could really end up blowing up on a business.  Also, a domain name that is associated with that kind of malicious activity can be blacklisted, effectively wiping your site off the web and making it virtually impossible to use for email.

Don’t get caught by surprise just because someone you know said they can “do WordPress” for you.

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Is your website secure?  Contact The Computer Peeps today for a free consultation.

New Consignment Websites | Stuff! Consignments

We’re just about to launch Stuff! Consignments’ new website!  Take a look!

http://www.stuffconsignmentshop.com/

Additional consignment websites coming up soon, Upscale Fashions, Inc. and Larger Than Life Resale!

The Computer Peeps can help whether you don’t have a website at all or you are looking to have your website redone! The Computer Peeps develop websites with functionality in mind. Consider a stylish and functional website done by The Computer Peeps if you can’t update your website whenever you please!

With a website from The Computer Peeps, you can:

  • Easily create image galleries
  • Easily create new blog/news/new inventory posts
  • Update your website on your own
  • Post to your blog from your Android device, iPhone, or iPad
  • Have a fully functional email system for your business

2012 NARTS Conference in St. Louis

We had a blast at this year’s NARTS Conference in St. Louis!  It was so great to see so many clients I’ve known for years, but haven’t met in person.  It was great meeting all the new store owners and new consignment software users out there!

Congratulations to Lisa @ Alaskan Dames, who won the Peeps’ hardware + consultation package at this year’s NARTS Auction.

See you next year in San Diego!

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