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It appears that Oracle CEO Larry Ellison is aggressively either buying or putting out of business potential chúng tôi and HP look to be his latest targets on the latter path and his goal appears to be total account control, that is, a situation in which one vendor single-handedly has an enterprise’s entire account.

Ellison says he is building a company like IBM in the 1960s, which wouldn’t be a bad thing. But I’m pretty convinced he is building a company more like IBM in the 1980s and that IBM and EMC both are closer to the way IBM was in the 1960s than Oracle ever will be.

However, Oracle isn’t the only company going after this total account control concept. And given total account control often has historically led to account abuse, I thought it would be timely to revisit the defenses you have when a vendor gets this bug and then decides to abuse chúng tôi let’s talk about all of that this week.

Looking back, the IBM of the 1960s was in line with many companies of that time. Employment was for life, there were pensions, even a company song and that was when the phrase “no one ever lost their job buying from IBM” was chúng tôi was trusted and didn’t abuse that trust and had unbreakable rules with regard to disparaging competitors. The idea of chasing a competing CEO across the country with process servers would have been below the chúng tôi defined ethics, honor, and good behavior in business.

Not many companies like this exist anymore, but if you were to make a list, firms like IBM and EMC would head it.

Avoiding the Downside of Account Control

First and foremost is, you should do everything you can to avoid letting any vendor get the kind of control that would allow them to dictate pricing. But even if they get that kind of control you have options.

One option is to freeze new purchases and expand on other chúng tôi reduces the account control over time and you can increasingly use the very real threat to negotiate more favorable terms when you renew your licensing agreements.

Your second option is to negotiate some flexibility for things like virtualization during initial contract negotiations or during chúng tôi do have to look at credible competitive alternatives, but in this market you should be able to find strong migration offerings from competing vendors and seriously bring them into the process to give you negotiating leverage.

You may have to do one or two competitive migrations before any dominant vendor gets the hint. But this will pay dividends long term and balance out the negotiating process.

You can also form buying blocks or use centralized buying services. The US Government has the General Accounting Office, which often sets contract terms for most agencies and state governments, often for buying blocks to get more favorable terms. Similarly, companies can often use large services organizations like HP’s, Dell’s or IBM’s to get more favorable terms. I expect HP’s services organization would be especially aggressive at the moment.

Notify the damaged vendor. If one of your other vendors is damaged by the practices of the dominant vendor, that firm may be able to argue anti-competitive practices. They’ll likely be able of offer ways other customers have used to get around the chúng tôi gives you access to more information on how to respond and may put additional pressure on the dominant vendor to discontinue this practice.

Finally, think about outsourcing the solution. Often large service providers have much more power in a negotiation than you do because they aggregate customers and can use their massive size to gain more favorable terms.

Wrapping Up: Avoid Account Control like the Plague

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How To Protect Your Small Business Against Online Fraud

Most small businesses are all too aware that cyber criminals are becoming more inventive in their hunt for vulnerable or accessible financial information. They’re targeting individual consumers and small businesses, and the costs for businesses can be high.

The face of online fraud today

More than three-quarters (78%) of consumers have concerns about fraud when paying for goods or services online, and 65% of businesses are concerned about cyber security. Moreover, 89% of the general public believes online payment providers should do more to protect people from fraud. (Download Sage’s exclusive 2023 Payments Landscape Report for the full story.)

Business email compromise (BEC) scams are a rapidly growing source of online fraud. In one type of BEC scam, criminals conduct extensive research and create fake profiles of business owners. By mimicking a business owner’s style, criminals can deceive their targets into making payments to fraudulent accounts.

Know your weapons in the battle against fraud

These include:

This security tool checks the numerics in the billing address of the card against the address at which the card is registered.

CVV/CV2, or Card Verification Code:

This is the three/four digit authentication code on the back of credit or debit cards.

This tool is similar to an online version of chip and PIN, where instead of a PIN, a user-generated password is required. It reduces the possibility of fraudulent card use by authenticating the cardholder at the actual time of the transaction. Subsequently, this reduces the business’ exposure to disputed transactions and charge-backs of this type.

Practical tips for strengthening your defenses against online fraud

Despite the worrying numbers of businesses hit by fraud, the 2023 Sage Payment Solutions Payments Landscape Report found that 20% of businesses don’t spend anything on fraud prevention and instead rely on the free tools provided by their payment gateway. If you’re ready to strengthen your business’ defenses against fraudsters, Sage payments experts recommend you:

Your goal here is to be able to assess a customer’s profile, order, and delivery details before accepting a transaction. Similarly, orders placed early in the morning, of high quantity or high value are also red flags, particularly if the product can be easily resold.

Always check the delivery address is valid

You could use the banking industry’s Address Verification System, which compares the delivery address provided for the order with the billing address details for the payment card held by the card issuer.

Geo-location will help you find the shopper’s location and help identify if the order is coming from a high-risk country. Then, you can check the location of the order against the type of order and the customer’s profile.

Maintain a customer database

It is generally a good idea to identify the customer by name, email address, delivery and billing address, and telephone number. It is also helpful if your server records the IP address from which the customer is accessing your system.

Similarly, a fraud database will help you close loopholes, because criminals will continue to target a business until the window of opportunity is closed.

While these tips are sufficient for smaller businesses, larger businesses need to consult a third party and implement a custom fraud prevention solution.

Tokenized payments: the next step?

When using a provider like Sage Payment Solutions, our system captures all of the shopper’s card details in our secure system and provides the business with a “token” that the business stores on its system (in place of the card details). This way, the business avoids storing payment data that could be compromised by criminals.

Tokenized payments are the natural next step for merchants looking to restrict their exposure to card data. This technology facilitates a range of payment methods including:

Delayed or deferred payments: this allow a merchant to take payment on delivery, but to collect and store the card details securely when the initial ordered is processed.

No matter the size of your business, if you sell products or services online, fraud isn’t something worth sticking your head in the sand about. The good news is by taking the right steps today, you can protect your customers and concentrate on growing your business.

Visit Sage Payment Solutions’ site to learn more.

How To Protect Your Windows Fromsecurity Flaw

How to protect your Windows from chúng tôi security flaw

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To fix Windows PC system issues, you will need a dedicated tool

Fortect is a tool that does not simply cleans up your PC, but has a repository with several millions of Windows System files stored in their initial version. When your PC encounters a problem, Fortect will fix it for you, by replacing bad files with fresh versions. To fix your current PC issue, here are the steps you need to take:

Download Fortect and install it on your PC.

Start the tool’s scanning process to look for corrupt files that are the source of your problem

Fortect has been downloaded by

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readers this month.

As you probably know, Google revealed a vulnerability in the Windows kernel earlier this week. Just like it’s the case with most vulnerabilities, it allows attackers to bypass security measures, and potentially gain a full control of affected user’s system.

According to Google the vulnerability “can be triggered via the chúng tôi system call NtSetWindowLongPtr() for the index GWLP_ID on a window handle with GWL_STYLE set to WS_CHILD.” In other words, as we said, attackers can break into your system, by taking privileges for running their malicious software. This vulnerability is available in all versions of Windows.

Although Microsoft is aware of the problem, the company still hasn’t released a legitimate patch to address this vulnerability. As this moth’s Patch Tuesday is ahead of us, it is expected from Microsoft to release the patch during this occasion. But what until then?

How to protect your computer from chúng tôi security flaw

There are a couple of things you can do to keep yourself as secure as possible from this security flaw. Unlike Microsoft, Adobe recently updated Flash with the patch, so running the latest version of Flash will take the vulnerability away. As Adobe’s software is known for being a common target of security attacks, it’s not a surprise that the company acted quickly.

The same goes for the most popular browsers for Windows 10, Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge. These browsers already provide solutions to such threats, so just in case, make sure you’re using the latest versions.

Microsoft’s Terry Myerson also said that users with Windows Defender activated will also be safe from attacks:

“Customers who have enabled Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) will detect STRONTIUM’s [that’s how Microsoft internally calls a hacker group who performs the attack] attempted attacks thanks to ATP’s generic behavior detection analytics and up-to-date threat intelligence”.

However, all these ‘solutions’ apply to Windows 10 only. If you’re running an older version of Windows, you’re pretty much exposed. The only thing you can do is to browse the internet with some of the security-oriented browsers, like Comodo IceDragon, or completely disable networking until Microsoft provides a patch.

Another solution that Microsoft suggests is upgrading to Windows 10. Nice try, but we don’t think it will be a clincher for core Windows 7 fans. However, they’ll eventually have to upgrade anyway, but that’s a story for another day.

RELATED STORIES YOU NEED TO CHECK OUT:

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How To Lock Cells In Microsoft Excel

Do you want to lock cells in Excel to prevent unwanted changes in an Excel sheet? Here’s how to lock cells and protect sheets in Microsoft Excel.

Tip: also learn how to use Power Query and Power Pivot in Microsoft Excel.

How to Lock All Cells in a Sheet

When creating a new sheet, all cells are automatically locked. However, there are cases when the last user keeps the cells unlocked manually. Here’s how to lock all cells in a sheet:

Open the Excel workbook containing the cells you want to lock.

Reenter the unprotect password.

How to Unlock All Cells in Excel

Follow these steps to unlock all locked cells in a sheet:

Enter the unprotect sheet password when prompted.

Extra: Master VLOOKUP guide for Microsoft Excel here.

How to Lock Specific Cells in Excel

You can lock specific cells in Excel and keep other cells unlocked in the same sheet by following these steps:

Highlight the cells you want to lock.

Reenter the unprotect password.

How to Unlock Specific Cells in Excel

If you need to change specific cells that are locked, follow the instructions below to unlock them:

Enter the unprotect sheet password.

Highlight the specific cells you want to unlock.

What You Can and Can’t Do when Locking Cells in Excel

What you can do:

Lock formulas in cells

Choose specific cells to lock and leave unselected cells unlocked

Protect your sheet and workbook with a password

Lock symbols in cells

What you can’t do:

Lock cells in the Web version of Microsoft Excel

Edit locked cells in a protected sheet

How to Protect a Workbook in Excel

You can lock an Excel workbook to protect it from the Insert, Delete, Rename, Move, Copy, Hide, and Unhide commands. Here’s how to protect a workbook:

Reenter the password.

Frequently Asked Questions What will happen when I unprotect a protected sheet?

Once you enter the password for a protected sheet, you will need to create a new password or use the same password as before to protect it again with a password.

Is it necessary to enable Protect Sheet after locking cells?

Yes, as locked cells can still be edited when unprotected. Therefore, locking cells with unprotected sheet is useless.

All screenshots by Natalie dela Vega

Natalie dela Vega

Natalie is a writer specializing in tech how-tos and gaming. When she’s not writing, she plays PC games and travels. Here at MakeTechEasier, you will see her write about guides, tips, and solutions for Windows and iOS.

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How To Disable Lock Screen In Windows 11

The Lock Screen in Windows 11 not only greets you with lovely wallpaper but also serves as a security mechanism to keep unauthorized users from accessing your computer. By default, you must go through the lock screen every time you boot up or sign in to your desktop. Some people appreciate the idea of a lock screen so much that they customize it.

However, other users simply want to get to their desktop faster and prefer the lock screen to be deleted. Windows 11 lacks direct access to disable the lock screen. You can’t disable the lock screen with a toggle or anything similar because it’s part of the Windows operating system. But don’t worry; this post will show you three ways to disable the lock screen on your Windows 11 PC.

Disable Lock Screen in Windows 11

The lock screen on Windows 11 is lovely, but is it possible to turn off the lock screen when you don’t need it? Here’s exactly how you can disable the lock screen on Windows 11.

1. Using Group Policy

The Group Policy Editor is a crucial tool for Windows administrators. You can change the requirements for passwords, startup programs, and other features. GPE is only available for Windows Professional, Ultimate, and Enterprise. Here’s how to use Group Policy to disable the lock screen on Windows 11:

Step 1: To open the Run command box on your computer, press Win + R.

Step 2: To open the Group Policy Editor, type gpedit.msc and press Enter.

Step 5: A new window will pop up with the option’s detailed details. By default, the enabled option is selected, indicating that the lock screen is activated.

Step 6: To turn off your system’s lock screen, select the Disabled button.

Step 8: Then, restart your computer. You will note that there is no lock screen and that you are immediately taken to the login screen.

2. Using Registry Editor

You can also disable Windows’ lock screen by modifying registry settings. However, for backup purposes, export a copy of your registry. In the event that the registry becomes corrupted, it will allow you to restore the prior settings. Here’s how you can get rid of the lock screen using the registry:

Step 1: To open the Run command box, use the Win key + R. To open the Registry Editor, type regedit in the text input box and press the enter key.

Step 2: Then, in the text input area, paste the following path and press the enter key: ComputerHKEY LOCAL MACHINESOFTWAREPoliciesMicrosoftWindows

3. Using a Third-party Application.

Step 1: Run the setup for WinAeroTweaker.

Step 2: Then, follow the on-screen steps to customise the app to your settings.

Step 3: Then activate it.

Step 4: Under Boot and Logon, select Disable Lock Screen.

Step 5: On your right, there’s an option as Disable Lock Screen. Check to enable it.

Step 6: When prompted, restart your computer.

Even if you aren’t prompted, we recommend restarting your computer. The lock screen on your Windows 11 system should be disabled after your PC restarts.

Additional Points

If you’re hoping for a more seamless experience while entering Windows and attempting to disable the lock screen, there are a few more steps you may take.

Disable Sign-in Password Requirement

When your PC wakes up from sleep, this option disables the sign-in requirement. To make the process easier, follow the instructions below.

Step 1: First press Windows + I or launch Settings

Step 2: Then, select Sign-in options from the menu.

Step 3: Toggle the drop-down menu next to When should Windows prompt you to sign in again if you’ve been away? and then choose Never.

Step 4: Your system’s sign-in requirements will now be disabled.

Disable Sign-in Requirement

All users on the existing system will no longer be required to use a password. This will make it much easier for you to get past the log-on page. To make the process easier, follow the instructions below:

Step 1: To open the Run dialogue box, press Windows + R on your keyboard.

Step 3: Remove the check mark from the box for Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer.

If your Windows 11 is waking up from sleep or waking up after a power cycle, restart it for good measure. You should no longer be required to sign in.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Disable Lock Screen in Windows 11?

The first obstacle to going to the desktop is the Windows lock screen. It has a background image, the current date and time, and app notifications on it. However, if you don’t want to see any of those things, turning them off is a good idea. You can go straight to the desktop after removing the lock screen and entering your PIN or password. For a public computer, you can also set up a lock screen-free PC.

Note that turning off the lock screen does not turn off the login screen. To access the system, you must still enter your PIN/password. To get to the desktop faster (and if privacy isn’t an issue), you can also remove the PIN/password required on the login screen. You now know the benefits and drawbacks of turning off the lock screen. Here are three simple ways to turn off the lock screen in Windows 11.

Is it a good idea to disable the lock screen on Windows 11?

Regardless of your needs, it is not suggested that you disable your lock screen. Since their introduction, modern computer gadgets have come a long way and are now an integral part of our daily lives. You may or may not be aware of the sensitive data saved on your device, but deactivating the lock screen puts that data in danger.

By turning off the lock screen, unauthorised users will be able to gain access to your computer and install dangerous software, jeopardising your privacy and security. As a result, if you don’t have a pressing need to disable the lock screen, you shouldn’t do so for the sake of your device’s security and privacy.

Final Words

It takes some time to become used to the Group Policy Editor. Furthermore, it is not available to Windows Home customers. So, if you want to disable the lock screen on Windows 11, you can use the registry modification. However, Winaero Tweaker is a free utility that allows you to adjust Windows through a graphical user interface.

How To Disable Caps Lock On Your Mac

Unless your work requires typing headlines for banners or things like that require capitalized characters, you most likely are not using the Caps lock key on your keyboard. In my case it is the least used key; I rarely need to use it.

If you happen to be someone who does not use the Caps lock key too often, you might want to disable it completely on your Mac. That way you will also not accidentally hit it when you are typing a password on a website which is case sensitive in most cases.

Here’s how to do that.

Disable Caps Lock on Your Mac

4. On the screen that appears select “No Action” from the “Caps Lock Key” drop-down menu. What it does is tell your machine not to perform any action when the Caps lock key is pressed. It makes the key inactive on your machine.

You can now press the Caps lock key on your keyboard and should notice that it does not work anymore. It just does not perform any action at all.

Conclusion

If you do not use the Caps lock key frequently on your keyboard, you can have it disabled using the above method.

Image Credit: Caps lock

Mahesh Makvana

Mahesh Makvana is a freelance tech writer who’s written thousands of posts about various tech topics on various sites. He specializes in writing about Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android tech posts. He’s been into the field for last eight years and hasn’t spent a single day without tinkering around his devices.

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