Bryley Basics: Enabling GodMode in Windows 10 (and Windows 8)

With Windows 8 and Windows 10, Settings and Control Panel are separate entities with different functions; it would be nice to access both from the same folder when making configuration changes, rather than switching between the two.

GodMode is a simple and useful Windows shortcut:  It combines Settings and Control Panel into one folder on your desktop.

To enable GodMode:

  • Create a new folder on your desktop.
  • Copy and paste the following into the folder’s name: {ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}
  • You will now have a folder named GodMode that contains all Settings and the Control Panel

Please review Sarah Jacobson Purewal’s article Activate GodMode in Windows 10 in the August 18, 2015 edition of CNet.

Bryley Basics: Undo a sent email via Microsoft Exchange or Google Gmail

Google recently introduced a new feature, Undo Send, which permits the sender to retract a sent email; Microsoft has a similar, though somewhat limited, feature with the ability to recall or replace a sent email named Recall This Message.

Google’s Undo Send works for all emails, but it is time-constrained:  Google permits up to 30 seconds after an email is sent to Undo Send; however, any email-oriented activity other than Undo will end the countdown prematurely.

The Undo option is displayed along with View this Message after every sent Gmail-based email.  You must first access your Gmail account settings and enable Undo Send to make it work.

Bartie Scott of Inc. highlights Undo Send in her article How to Unsend an Email in Under 30 Seconds Flat.

Microsoft’s Recall This Message tries to stop delivery and, optionally, can replace a recalled email message.   Recall This Message requires an Exchange Server and stops email messages sent, but only email sent internally within your organization.  Also, the success of a recall depends on the recipient’s settings in Outlook:

  • If Automatically process requests… is enabled, recall will be successful
  • If disabled, the recipient will receive both the original email and the recall request; the original email is deleted only if the recipient opens the recall message first.

For more information, please view the Microsoft article Recall or replace an email message that you sent.

Given the short timeframe of Undo Send and the limitations of Recall This Message, your best option is to avoid recalling a message by:

  • Double-checking the To, Copy, and BCC recipients,
  • Ensuring that you have attached the desired file (if any), and
  • Giving yourself enough time to cool off before sending a heated email.

Microsoft Windows 10

Microsoft is releasing Windows 10 on July 29th.  It is available as a free upgrade to licensed users of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 through the Get Windows 10 (GWX) application which is part of Windows Updates.  (Note: Some companies, including Bryley Systems, are temporarily blocking this update to permit a controlled migration to Windows 10.)

To minimize bandwidth and processing disruptions, those who reserve now for this 3Gb upgrade periodically receive parts of it until the entire upgrade is downloaded and ready for installation on 7/29/2015.

Windows 10 will run most Windows XP applications.  The Windows 10 Home Edition will likely sell at $119; the Pro edition at $199.

View the article from Mark Hachman at PCWorld It’s official: Microsoft says you can download the final version of Windows 10 on July 29

Anna D achieves Microsoft Sales Specialist

ad16Anna D, Account Executive at Bryley Systems, successfully completed the training and testing to become a Microsoft Specialist for SMB Infrastructure.

Congratulations Anna!

Winner of our monthly Service-Ticket Survey drawing

Monthly, we select a winner from all respondents to our service-ticket surveys. Congratulations to RL of EAG, our survey-response winner from last month.

Our winner received a $10 gift certificate, compliments of Bryley Systems.

Case-study contest with a $25 drawing in April

Read our recent case study.  Then answer three questions to be entered into our drawing for a $25 VISA gift-card.

Bryley Basics: Introducing Microsoft Windows 10

With the usual hoopla, Microsoft previewed Windows 10 at its Redmond, WA offices on Wednesday, January 21st.  What they unveiled was a solid attempt to provide one operating system for both PCs and for mobile devices that adapts to the device on which it is installed.

Prominent, new features include:

  • Internet Explorer 12 and a new, less-obtrusive browser – Spartan
  • A new, Siri-like, context-aware, digital assistant – Cortana
  • A platform-sensing/shaping utility – Continuum

There is an effort to bring Windows users into the future by fixing past mistakes:

  • The Start menu reappears and displays the traditional desktop, but includes a list of apps on the left (similar to the traditional Start menu) along with the tiles (now named Modern rather than Metro apps) found in Windows 8
  • The Charms bar, a source of controversy in Windows 8, has been removed

Also, Windows 10 may be offered as a service (WaaS); updated will be constantly and automatically applied, potentially with a monthly or yearly subscription.  (Preston Gralla of Computerworld expands on this topic in his 1/21/2015 article “Forget Windows 10 – Here are the four most important words Microsoft said today”.)

For more information, please see Preston Gralla’s preview in the ComputerWorld article: “Windows 10 deep-dive review: Finally, a unified operating systems”.

Winner of our monthly Service-Ticket Survey drawing

Monthly, we select a winner from all respondents to our service-ticket surveys. Congratulations to LR of WI, our survey-response winner from last month.

Our winner received a $10 gift certificate, compliments of Bryley Systems.

Winner of our monthly Service-Ticket Survey drawing

Monthly, we select a winner from all respondents to our service-ticket surveys. Congratulations to AS of PI, our survey-response winner from last month.

Our winner received a $10 gift certificate, compliments of Bryley Systems.

Email Best Practices

Recommended practices – Part 4:  Email use

This is a multi-part series on recommended practices for organizations and their end-users.  Additional parts will be included in upcoming newsletters.

Email is still the primary business application, although alternatives like texting and social media are gaining ground.  Most business people email to clients, prospects, vendors, stakeholders, etc. on a regular basis; they also accept emails from those in the outside world, occasionally with unforeseen consequence.

Organizations should consider email use in these areas:

  • Inbound – Email received by the organization’s end-users
  • Outbound – Email sent from end-users to others outside the organization
  • Etiquette – The appropriateness of the email’s message and content
  • Archiving – The ability to store and retrieve historic email

I’ll describe the specifics and offer IT solutions to manage each area.

Inbound email

End-users constantly receive email, usually without incident.  However, one misstep in responding can lead to a malware outbreak (or worse).  Plus, failing to block inappropriate email content, even unknowingly, can lead to legal repercussions.  (For example:  An employee could object to receiving an email with explicit pornography and decide to pursue legal recourse.)

Most email-based attacks occur via an attachment; the attachment holds malware designed to activate, usually without fanfare, when the attachment is opened.  Often the email message is enticing, in-disguise, or just plain compelling; the end-user believes that opening the attachment is the right thing to do.

Basic rules for opening an email:

  • Do not open email from an untrusted source; when in doubt, check it out
  • Do not click on an attachment before verifying its integrity
  • Always ask for help if uncertain

The best tool is an email-filtering service or device; a service sits outside your organization (Cloud-based) while a device typically sits inside (on-premise).

A Cloud-based, email-filtering service can improve Internet performance by reducing incoming traffic; all emails are captured by the service before they enter the organization’s Internet connection.  Some services (i.e.: McAfee SaaS Email Protection and Continuity™ or MEPC) also offer email continuity, which provides the ability to receive and respond to email even when your email server or email service is unavailable.  Most email-filtering services are billed monthly on a per-user basis, requiring little or no up-front expenditure.

An on-premise, email-filtering device requires upfront expenditure, but can provide a cost-advantage solution at organizations with many users.  To calculate the true cost per user, you would figure the annual cost of the device, add the annual maintenance fee and support costs, and divide by the total number of users.

Both offer advantages; pick one or use both.  (We offer McAfee Email Protection and Continuity and our Secure Network™ as service options, but also deploy, on-premise, Barracuda’s Spam Filter, Cisco’s IronPort, and WebSense.)

Outbound email

Outbound email should be secure; you don’t want to expose confidential details to an outsider.  However, email is typically sent via open-text format; the contents of the email are unencrypted and can be pieced together by others.

Email typically flows in this fashion:

  • Sender composes the email; this might be on a standalone application like Microsoft Outlook or on a web-based interface like Google Gmail.
  • Sender sends the email, which ships it to the sender’s email server/service.
  • The email server/service addresses the email according to the recipient’s email domain and then forwards it to the email server/service within the recipient’s email domain.
  • Email server/service within the recipient’s email domain receives the email, verifies that the recipient exists within this domain, and then forwards the email to the recipient.
  • Recipient receives the email.

Email within an organization’s email domain via an internal email server is usually secure; an external email service must be examined to ensure messages are encrypted between the sender, service, and recipient.

Security can be enforced through encryption, which offers levels of enforcement.  For example:  You can be forced to encrypt any email with the words “social security number”, but not encrypt other emails.  Likewise, you can encrypt all email from the Accounting team while not encrypting emails from the Marketing team.

Email encryption is available via external services (we recommend McAfee SaaS Email Encryption™) or through an on-premise device (Cisco IronPort or WebSense).

Email etiquette

You should consider what you are saying and how it might affect the recipient.  Even more important, for legal reasons, you should block inappropriate content and malware from being emailed by end-users within your organization.

Outbound policy enforcement and management is available as an external service through McAfee SaaS Email Protection and Continuity, which monitors outgoing email for inappropriate content and malware.  Both Cisco IronPort and Websense provide this capability on-premise.

Beyond the basics listed above, email etiquette extends to these areas:

  • Sending – Always verify grammar, spelling, courtesy, and content
  • Formatting – Don’t type all CAPS; use a white background for readability
  • Forwarding – Don’t forward emails unless relevant and desired by recipient
  • Attachments – Zip large attachments and virus check before sending
  • Privacy – Hide recipients email address when sending to a group

My favorite rules (which I sometimes break):

  • Don’t say things in an email that you would not say verbally to the recipient.
  • If your email is emotionally tinged, sleep on it overnight before sending.

For tips on email etiquette, please visit http://www.101emailetiquettetips.com/.

Email archiving

Archiving is all about reliable storage and quick retrieval; you never know what you might need to bring back to life or when it will be needed.  Saving tens or hundreds of thousands of emails can be challenging; finding the right email can be virtually impossible, but might be required at a moment’s notice.

Archiving can reduce management and storage costs while satisfying e-discovery and compliance requirements.  Archiving can also simplify requests for email histories during litigation.

We recommend these archiving options: