December 2020

We now recommend installing (or having us install) the Windows 10 October 2020 update (Version 20H2, released October 2020) along with the Cumulative Update KB4586853  which fixes some serious bugs.

Again, Windows 10 version 1903 (and earlier) will reach end of support this month on December 8, 2020.  There will be no security updates, making your computer more vulnerable to malware. We will be contacting you to schedule an update if you have systems that will be unsupported.

As mentioned last month, changes in Windows 20H2 are minor:  PC World review  ZD Net review  Known issues  Download it here  Support page.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Microsoft has postponed retirement of Basic Authentication for Exchange Online until the second half of 2021. This will affect Outlook 2013 and earlier, and those using “app passwords” for Outlook.

Microsoft Teams is now free to use for 24-hour video calls – all in a browser. They are rapidly adding improvements. ZDNet article  Forbes article  The Verge article

Your complete guide to videoconference filters and background effects

We have had inquiries about purchasing Zoom since it is so popular. If you have an Office 365 subscription, you probably have already paid for Teams. You can send invitations to non-Teams users, but it takes a few extra steps compared to Zoom.

Schedule a meeting

  1. Select New meeting.
  2. Type in a meeting title and enter a location.

An online meeting is created by default.

  1. Choose a start and end time and add details if needed.
  2. Enter names in the Invite people box to add them to the meeting.

Note: To invite someone outside your organization, type in their email address, and they’ll get an invite to join as a guest — even if they don’t have Microsoft Teams.

The recipient just needs to click on a web link to join the meeting.

Zoom’s Microsoft Teams integration allows you to start an instant (Zoom) meeting or join a scheduled meeting from within the Microsoft Teams persistent Zoom Meetings tab.

Zoom Rooms (dedicated hardware) will be able to join Microsoft Teams meetings, and Microsoft Teams Rooms will be able to join Zoom meetings, all without the purchase of additional licenses or third-party services.

Older Android phones will start failing on some secure websites in 2021

If you’re inactive for 2 years (24 months) in Gmail, Drive, or Photos, Google may delete the content in the product(s) in which you’re inactive.

Comcast to Institute 1.2TB Data Caps for Xfinity Users in Northeast US

The 1.2TB data cap has already been in place in the Western and Southern US for about two-thirds of the Xfinity customer base.

FBI warns of disinformation campaigns about hacked voter systems.

William Evanina, the Director of the U.S. National Counterintelligence and Security Center (NCSC), shared info on real and ongoing election influence efforts linked to China, Russia, and Iran, before the 2020 US elections.

Election Security facts

Tech innovations to watch as they move forward in light of the response to coronavirus.

Latest tech advances and the fight against COVID-19.

Innovators are helping address COVID-19 with their innovations across 12 categories.


Hotel Booking Firm Leaks Data including full names, email addresses, national ID numbers and the phone numbers of hotel guests. For hundreds of thousands of individuals, card booking details including card number, cardholder’s name, CVV and expiration date, were also exposed.

Prestige’s Cloud Hospitality platform appears to be used by many of the top online travel agent sites, including Agoda, Expedia, and

Over 300K Spotify accounts hacked in credential stuffing attack

Affected users will have gotten an email asking them to change their password.  If you have used the same password on other sites, change those as well.

The Fortinet products with unpatched Fortinet FortiOS are under targeted attack. And Darknet has a list of credentials for such systems in circulation. We will contact you if your Fortinet firewall needs updating to prevent this risk.

Sam’s Club customer accounts hacked in credential stuffing attacks

Hacker sells access to hundreds of corporate executives’ email accounts


Pricing for the workstation agent we use to assist our customers will go up from $5 to $6 starting January 1st next year. We will be migrating to an improved antivirus product. We have been using Bitdefender antivirus. We will be migrating our managed clients to Endpoint Detection and Response, which is a SentinelOne product – with a higher cost.  It uses significantly less memory and CPU, yet provides better protection.  It received a top rating from Gartner.

Pricing for Server backups will go from $50 to $55.



By Tim Torian

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The Torian Group Times Newsletter is a service to our clients, and anyone who finds it useful. Topics include security updates; known problems with recent patches; new and upcoming software and hardware that might affect your business; and information about technology in the Visalia area.  It is free to anyone who wishes to subscribe by providing their name and email address. We will not do anything with this information other than sending the newsletter – no unsolicited marketing of any kind.

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