There has been much written and discussed regarding the recently discovered Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities. First the good news, there is NO known instance of either of these two vulnerabilities being used in the real world, however that will probably change in the near future. The concern is what the “bad guys” could do with these security holes. Right now all you can do is update your anti-virus, malware, web browser, other security programs, and your operating system as patches are released. I highly recommend making sure you have a backup of your data before installing these updates. In some cases with computers 5-6 years old the updates are “breaking” the computers, and there is no current fix (other than temporarily disabling Windows Update). This assumes your System Restore is on, and creating restore points for you to go back to. If not, you will only be able to return to a working operating system by utilizing a system image file (which most people don’t have), or reloading the operating system from scratch! If you don’t know if your System Restore is on or not, I recommend you contact us ASAP to verify this for you. If you want to learn even more about this subject, please checkout this great in-depth article from Ask Leo!
Are you using free email services like Yahoo!, Gmail, etc.? One of the biggest benefits of using them is not being “tied” to an Internet Service Provider if you decide to switch later on. Leo Notenboom, of Ask Leo! fame, has written a great article on the “cost” and risk of using free email services; it also discusses how to prepare for a disaster (loosing access to your account), and drives home the fact that there is usually no customer support for these services because they are free and revenue is not generated to provide salaries for tech support.