We are all guilty of falling behind on our Windows Updates, most people don't do them at all! But it's worth understanding Windows updates are a crucial aspect of maintaining the security and functionality of your computer system. These updates are designed to patch vulnerabilities that could potentially be exploited by cybercriminals, keeping your personal data and information safe. In addition, updates often include performance improvements and new features that can enhance the overall user experience. Neglecting to install these updates can leave your system open to security risks, compatibility issues and limit the performance of your computer. By regularly updating your Windows operating system, you are ensuring that your device remains secure and optimized for the best performance possible.

AJ I.T Services recommends to check for Windows updates at least once a month to ensure your system is up to date with the latest security patches and improvements. However, you can always give yourself a reminder by creating a Windows Update shortcut on your desktop.

How to create a Windows Update shortcut on your desktop:
- Right click on your desktop and select 'new' > 'shortcut'.
- In the 'Type the location of the item' box, type 'ms-settings:windowsupdate' and click next.
- In the 'Type a name for this shortcut' box, type 'Windows Update' and click finish.

In the Windows Update tab, you can also set up automatic updates to run in the background and keep your system constantly updated without requiring manual checks. Please note that major updates will still require manual download, install and restarts of the system to implement.

With so many Antivirus software to choose from and difficult choice of which one to pick when the majority of them claim to be the best. One thing is for certain, if you are running Windows, you’ll need one of the best antivirus programs to keep you safe online. Windows is constantly under attack from malware and hackers all over the world, more than any other software platform. Paid Antivirus subscriptions provide full protection with no limitations, unlike free Antivirus software. Click to read my ‘Does Free Antivirus Work?’ post for more information on free Antivirus protection.

If you insist on running a free Antivirus, stick with Windows Defender. Windows Defender (which comes with Windows) is now far better than it used to be back in the Windows 7 days, it’s free, it updates along with Windows and it doesn’t bother you with constant annoying pop ups like other free antivirus software.

If you want the best protection, you will need to purchase an antivirus subscription. With so many choices to pick from, I have split the most popular antivirus products today into 5 categories below ranging from terrible to excellent. Please note, each have been placed based on my own opinion, research and experience, all are clickable links.

Panda Security

Not Terrible:

- Windows Defender



In summary, AJ I.T Services top choice for best Antivirus of 2024 is Bitdefender. Bitdefender had perfect results against all types of malware samples, and thanks to its cloud-based virus engine, it doesn't slow down computers, even during full system scans. Bitdefender also has some of the best web protections on the market, detecting more fake and risky sites than both built-in protections from Chrome, Firefox, or Edge, and anti-phishing protections from other antiviruses.

Bitdefender has more security features that most other antivirus, features including Advances ransomware protection, system optimization, Secure web browser for safe online payments, password manager, VPN, parental controls, Webcam and microphone protection, Anti-theft protection and more!

Overall, Bitdefender is one of the best internet security products around. It’s got unbeatable malware protection, provides lots of really good features, it’s easy to use, and it offers affordable plans for all budgets. And all of Bitdefender’s packages come with a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee, so there’s no risk in trying it out.

Please note, Kaspersky Antivirus has been removed from the list above due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and as such, AJ I.T Services won't be recommending Kaspersky for the foreseeable future.

ProtonMail is currently the worlds largest secure email service which offers end-to-end encryption and lots of other great security-based features to keep your communications private.

Is Proton Mail Safe and Secure?
ProtonMail is based in Switzerland with some of the strictest privacy laws, with end-to-end encryptions, no one except you and the recipient can view your emails. The great thing is, you can even send encrypted emails to non-ProtonMail users too! Also, two-factor authentication is built in as an additional layer of protection and is a really secure way of preventing third parties from being able to access data while it’s being transferred between systems or devices, so you can rest assured that no one will be snooping through your inbox or intercepting your correspondence.

Why switch to Proton Mail?
If you’ve got an email account with a mainstream provider, chances are it doesn’t use end-to-end encryption. The big difference between a secure email service like ProtonMail and a standard email service such as Gmail, BT or Outlook is that it provides a lot more security and privacy for its users.

Proton Mail uses a smart spam detection system to automatically filter messages to your Spam folder or inbox and custom folders. ProtonMail are constantly improving their spam filtering system, but like any email provider some spam messages may slip through their filters, and some legitimate messages may be mislabelled as spam.

Another great thing about ProtonMail is the fact that it allows you to get complete anonymity if you want it. You don’t even need to input any personal data when you create your account, so your privacy will be completely protected. And by default, ProtonMail doesn’t track IP addresses, so there’s no information that an outsider could use to tie you to that account. That way, you know your emails are completely private.

ProtonMail Free
The free account comes with 1GB of storage. This isn’t loads, but it’s enough if you like to keep your inbox clean and aren’t sending or receiving hi-res images or videos. Since you can always see how much space is left, you can easily manage how it’s used or upgrade to ProtonMail Plus for more storage. The free account is also capped to 150 emails a day which, for 9 out of 10 people, is more than enough.

ProtonMail Plus
The premium email plan offers more premium features and some additional organization and productivity tools for £2.94 a month (€3.49). This includes 15GB of storage, unlimited messages a day, 10 Email addresses, support for one custom domain email is also available if you want to use a personalized email address instead of a ‘@protonmail.com’ one. Also, the plus plan will include contact groups, email client support, auto-reply and catch-all email functions.

Proton Unlimited
The unlimited comes with unlimited featured from the entire Proton product line. 500GB of storage, 15 email addresses, unlimited folders, unlimited messages per day, 3 custom domain email addresses, priority support and access to Proton calendar, proton drive and proton VPN. All for £6.73 a month (€7.99).

"What's my password", "What's the password for this?", "I can't remember my password".

Let's face it, passwords, for most people, are a nightmare! Every online account requires one and it can be a an inconvenience trying to remember what your passwords are. Even if you can find your old scribbled password book, this doesn't take away from the fact that most of your passwords are most likely not secure enough to keep up with todays standards of online account safety. Everyone knows the number one rule with passwords is to NOT use the same password twice, we are all guilty of reusing passwords and we did this for convenience, but now we can have secure passwords and the convenience together by using a password manager.

It's time to ditch that old handwritten scribbled password book and get a password manager!

Password managers store your login information for all the websites you use and help you log into them automatically. With a password manager, you only need to remember ONE master password which will grant you access to all your other encrypted passwords in the password managers database. Because password managers sign you into your accounts automatically, this now frees you up to change your weak passwords into seriously strong passwords.

For example, millions of people around the world have had messages sent to them from an apparent friend on Facebook and WhatsApp asking for money and more. Inevitably, you will also get targeted by crooks, thieves and scammers, AKA cyber-criminals, if you don't take control of your weak passwords. This is why investing in a password manager should be a top priority!

AJ I.T Services recommends Dashlane. Click the video below for a more in depth look:

AJ I.T Services Dashlane review
Dashlane remains one of the top password managers on the market in 2022 and still stands out with an excellent list of features with airtight security. Dashlane has, for years, topped the list of the best password manager and it's east to see why. It's packed with features and uses an airtight security model to keep your data safe.

Dashlane has, in a way, always aspired to be more than a password manager. It has several unique features that other password managers don't offer. All the basics are accounted for, Dashlane is easy to use with the browser extension/ add-on (pictured below) and has a snappy autofill feature which will automatically log you in to your accounts, autofill your name and other personal info upon filling out an application or auto filling your payment details online, saving you to reach for your card all the time! The other good thing about the autofill is that it automatically captures passwords as you log in to websites. Dashlane also supports multi-device sync on paid plans, secure notes and unlimited password sharing.

Dashlane's most unique feature has to be the automatic password changer, weak passwords can become unhackable secure passwords in seconds, automatically!

The Dashlane extension is available on all Chromium-based browsers (Chrome, Opera, Brave, etc), as well as Firefox, Microsoft Edge and Safari.

Dark Web Monitoring and Password Health:
As the video above states, Dashlane is more than just a password manager. Dashlane also has a password health check-up which provides a more accurate look at how secure your passwords are. The password health page shows weak, reused and compromised passwords, and then uses that information to give you an overhaul health score. It's great for checking up on your accounts but the mean reason for this is help you make your passwords more secure. Compromised passwords are detected by Dashlane's dark web monitoring, which will monitor up to five email addresses for you. It will search for any data breaches related to your added emails and notify you. Dashlane also offers a VPN as part of its premium plans.

Mobile App
Like any good password manager should, Dashlane offers mobile apps for iOS and Android. Testing on Android, everything went off without a hitch. After logging in, the app immediately synced my account and autofill worked right away. Autofill is the main purpose of the mobile apps, but Dashlane includes most of the features of the desktop web browser extension too. Dark web monitoring and the VPN are available on mobile, as is the password health screen.

My Verdict
Dashlane is still as impressive as it has always been and remains a great password manager choice. It's more user friendly application look compared to other options and extra features that most other password managers don't support make Dashlane a top choice pick for AJ I.T Services. I have personally been using Dashlane since 2018, and in that time, I have tried other password manager and always find myself reverting to Dashlane straight away. Remember, difficult passwords make a hackers life difficult!

With Dashlane's Free, Premium and Family plan options, why not give it a try and you can save 20% for yearly payment plans!

Get Dashlane - Pricing, Premium, and Free Trial Plans | Dashlane

More info:
What Makes Us Great | Dashlane
How Our Password Manager Works | Dashlane
Pricing, Premium, and Free Trial Plans | Dashlane
Find out if your data has been breached | Dashlane
Personal Tips (dashlane.com)

A VPN (Virtual Private Network) protects your connection while you're using the internet by establishing a secure connection between you and the internet. This disguises your IP address and makes your browsing private and ensures your internet service provider doesn't track you. This means your internet service provider won't be able to see what websites you visit or anything you do online.

Best VPN Service AJ I.T Services recommends Surfshark. Surfshark has long been an excellent and popular VPN service, and no wonder. It's competitive price and unlimited simultaneous connection all look very attractive! It also has a generous unlimited devices policy, making Surfshark the only VPN service that provides this service letting you hook up as many devices as you'd like with one subscription! The network has 3,200+ servers distributed across an impressive 160+ locations in 65 countries. Surfshark was a finalist at Cybersecurity Excellence Awards in 2020 as Cybersecurity Company of the year. Surfshark also comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee!

Get 82% off AND 2 months FREE with the AJ I.T Services affiliate link! - https://get.surfshark.net/SHcS

Surfshark Price

Surfshark is available on Android phones and tablets, Apple devices like iPhones, iMacs and MacBooks, Windows computers and TVs!


Surfshark is more than just another VPN!

How does Surfshark compare to other VPNs? With two years of sky-rocketing brand growth, Surfshark VPN is #3 blobally by brand searches. Surfsharks CR% is also higher than the industry average with its vast features that some other VPNs lack such as the unlimited devices support, add blocker, Two-factor authentication and more!

Other reasons to give Surfshark a try!

Click here to get 82% off and 2 months FREE!

Frequently asked questions regarding VPNs

Get 82% off AND 2 months FREE with the AJ I.T Services affiliate link! - https://get.surfshark.net/SHcS

More about Surfshark - What is Surfshark: About Us, Our Product, & Our Story
Surfshark Blog - Blog: All things digital privacy & security - Surfshark
Benefits of using Surfshark - Top 12 VPN Use Cases - Surfshark

In this tough economy, getting something for free is always a good thing, right? Short answer: It depends on your tolerance for risk.

Take free antivirus software as an example. It may seem like a bargain, but it’s not. Here are the issues to consider before you download or already use this particular “freeware.” First and foremost, free antivirus software doesn’t provide the comprehensive protection you need against today’s biggest online threats. So when you trust your computer, applications, files and identity to free antivirus software, it can end up costing you more in time, aggravation, and money than you ever imagined. After you install most free antivirus software, you can expect to be hit with a barrage of annoying, time-wasting pop-up alerts telling you that it only provides “basic” protection. Then you’ll receive recommendations to switch to one of the software maker’s paid security products for “complete” protection.

Another point to keep in mind: Experts agree that today’s biggest online threats come in forms that free antivirus software doesn’t stop. Threats such as rootkits, bots, keyloggers, hackers, phishing scams, and infected Web sites breeze right past most free antivirus software. These threats can pose an even bigger danger than viruses, not only to your computer and files but to your bank account as well. They can lead to a hard drive crash, system failure, or worse, identity theft. Free antivirus software is generally reactive, That means it only deals with threats after they’ve attacked and had an opportunity to do damage to your computer and files.

So what’s the bottom line? Free antivirus software simply doesn’t provide the comprehensive protection you need in today’s online world. When you add up the various costs listed above, free antivirus software isn’t free at all.

There are lots of efficient paid antivirus software on the market that will do the job. You can do some research, or you can always get an independent Computer Support Technician like myself to help you with what I recommend.

Please don't hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions.

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