October is national Cyber Security Awareness month

On October 15, Ken Knapp will speak on Cyber Security at 1:00 p.m. in the MountainView Ballroom at the free monthly public presentation of the SaddleBrooke Computer Club. Ken has extensive experience as security consultant, system administrator and system operator in private, military and governmental settings, some involving top secret clearance settings. This event is open to all SaddleBrooke residents and their guests. If you can’t attend now, look for Ken’s classes on our calendar in the near future or visit staysafeonline.org for tips and free resources to learn how to stay safe online. Cyber security will be of particular interest to business owners, especially if they are unsure what a pci test is, or how to protect against brute force methods that are growing in popularity such as DDoS (Distributed Denial-of-Service) attacks. Businesses should do their utmost to protect themselves from the threat of a cyber-attack. Something like it asset management would be a simple way of doing this.

Each month from September through the following March we hold a free public presentation on a computer related topic at 1:00 p.m. on the third Monday of the month in the MountainView Ballroom. Our November 19 talk will be Dian Lineback. Dian will be presenting the new Apple Watch. Dian is an Apple expert and former Apple VP, who always gives an excellent presentation.

The smart phone classes that we have all been expecting have been postponed, again. The sponsoring store remains shorthanded and hopes to start the New Year right with a user group presentation on January 21, followed by a series of classes.

Six new classes have recently been added to our class calendar at saddlebrookecc.org. “What’s New in Google Chrome” and “Google Maps and Google Earth” are appropriate for most computing devices; “Move to Windows 10,” “Windows 10 Backup and Recovery Tools,” “What’s New in Windows 10” and “Ask Dennis Anything PC” are intended for Microsoft Windows device users. Registration for 2019 classes will open December 15.

This is the time of the year when new electronic gadgets are announced and soon become available to the public, building up interest for holiday sales which will begin the day after the Great Pumpkin disappears again. Apple announced three new iPhones and the new Apple Watch on September 12 and Microsoft announced their latest 2018 creations on October 2. Amazon has already announced several new Alexa-powered A/V devices plus smart home products including a smart plug allowing Alexa to control anything electrical.

Fall is also the season for new operating systems for older personal computing devices. The Windows 10 October 2018 update started rolling out in early October. If your device is compatible, this semi-annual feature update will automatically download through Windows Update. We will delay installation in the club classroom until the fall semester ends, as the process can be disruptive and problematic.

The release date for iOS 12 was September 17; beta testers have reported that older iPhones will be 40 to 70 percent faster at certain tasks with the new software. MacOS 10.14 Mojave is expected in mid-October; it appears that support for Macs made before 2012 will be dropped. Android 9 Pie was officially released August 6, 2018; availability of updates on your device is at the whim of your product manufacturer and/or your cell phone carrier.