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What do the simple folk do for security?

Posted by on July 28, 2016.

I don’t mean to offend anybody with that title: it’s just a joke on the song from “Camelot.” But it does raise an issue.

I’ve never been an uber geek. It’s been decades since I was a network maven. But I do know network basics, and something about internals, and the difference between an app and an operating system.

I also know lots of geeks, in lots of different fields and communities. I know that in the last post I wrote for you, it sounds as if I did all this troubleshooting myself, and that is very definitely not true. I contacted hundreds, and possibly thousands, of knowledgeable people, and many sent me very useful suggestions, putting me on the path of finding a fix.

But we (you, the reader, probably are fairly technically competent because of the nature of this blog) are in the minority. What about the average user who upgraded to Windows 10 and lost connection, or plunked down cash at London Drugs and can’t get online. What are they supposed to do?

I got no help from Microsoft. Zero. Nada. Not a sausage. The troubleshooter did not find any trouble. Well, OK, after following a Google link to a Microsoft page, I found no help, but I did find another link to another page, which was no help, but I also found another link to another page, which did give me the net resetting commands (along with a bunch of guff that was no help). Which was a help, but certainly took a) time on my part, b) effort on my part, and c) knowledge on my part that following *those* links might lead to further info. It wasn’t clear or obvious.

Google gave me a bit of help. But searching on “Windows 10 Internet problems” didn’t. That gave me a bunch of advice on how to connect to nearby wifi hotspots. It was only because I had been following and researching Windows 10 problems for the past year that I knew to add the word “intermittent,” and that made all the difference. Lots of people have encountered this, or some related, issue with upgrading to Windows 10, and they usually describe it as an intermittent or sporadic issue that goes away and comes back, or will let you contact some sites and not others. (A lot of them gave up and reverted to earlier versions of Windows.)

My ISP gave me some help, although probably because I was able to describe the problem in enough technical detail to intrigue someone in the technical support department.

To be fair, while Microsoft didn’t deliver on it’s promise of a pain-free, compatible upgrade, it did handle pretty much everything automatically. (Although it seems to have lost my scanner. It knows the device is attached, under the device manager, but it can’t find it when it looks for “printers and devices.”) Windows did the download, did the necessary rebooting, and doesn’t seem to have messed with the files. But, for some reason, it doesn’t like using Shaw’s DNS anymore.

Apple is in much the same position. Most things are handled for the user, including updating. But, with both companies, when something *does* go wrong, it is getting harder and harder to fix.

What do the simple folk do?

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Submitted in: Expert Views, Insights, Perspectives, Rob Slade, Security |