is your PC ready

Is Your PC Ready for Windows 11?

Microsoft has officially unveiled Windows 11, the latest in its line of PC operating systems, as well as detailed its system requirements. Will your business be upgrading to Windows 11 when the time comes? We think a lot of it will depend on its current IT infrastructure and whether or not you meet the minimum requirements right out the gate. Let’s dive into the details and what you need to know about Windows 11.

First, a short disclaimer–Windows 11 does not release until fall of this year, and even if you can’t get your hardware up to speed before then, Windows 10 will remain supported until 2025. As for the hardware requirements themselves, that seems like a good place to start.

Windows 11 Hardware Requirements

Before we dive into Windows 11’s requirements, let’s first provide a little bit of context. The current system minimum requirements for Windows 10 are a 1GHz processor, either 1 or 2 GB of RAM, depending on whether you are using a 32 or 64-bit OS, and a display with at least a 800 x 600 resolution. Of course, these are bare minimums. You won’t get much mileage out of a PC with these specs.

 

Windows 11, on the other hand, has more stringent requirements for its operating system. Windows 11 will require a 1GHz multicore processor, but it doesn’t have to be top-tier to run the operating system. In terms of memory, Windows 11 will also need more of that as well; at least 4 GB of RAM will be required to run Windows 11, as well as 64 GB of onboard storage. Furthermore, the display requirements are also a bit higher, needing a resolution of at least 720 pixels.

 

For more on the specific requirements of Windows 11, check out this document from Microsoft.

 

For the most part, modern PCs won’t have an issue running Windows 11, but for now, we don’t recommend installing it on a PC that you need to use everyday for work.

Get Ready for Windows 11 Today

While Windows 10 will still be around until 2025, we want you to start thinking about your update strategy now. The reason for this is simple; you don’t want 2025 sneaking up on you out of nowhere (and trust us, it can and will sneak up on you if you let it). The last thing you want is to wind up in a situation where you are using an unsupported operating system in much the same way that many Windows XP users did all those years ago.

For Help, Contact Us!

If you can’t tell the difference or don’t know the difference between your various components and hardware specifications, we would be happy to help you make a determination about your current system specs. If you want to make sure your business can seamlessly transition to Windows 11 upon its release, Point North Networks, Inc., can help with the acquisition of new hardware, installation, and monitoring/maintenance. To learn more, reach out to us at 651-234-0895.

 

two factor authentication

How to Set Up Two-Factor Authentication for Your Google, Apple, and Microsoft Accounts

Two-factor authentication is commonplace in the office environment, but it’s not commonplace enough, if you ask us. Too many organizations pass on it, placing their security at risk for no good reason. While the methods might vary, the benefits of two-factor authentication are too good to ignore. We’ll walk you through how to set up two-factor authentication for three of the most common accounts in the business environment: Microsoft, Google, and Apple.

But first, let’s discuss what two-factor authentication is and why it’s so beneficial to utilize.

What is Two-Factor Authentication?

It used to be the case that users would only utilize passwords to secure their accounts. However, passwords are easy for hackers to take advantage of on their own. Two-factor authentication uses at least two of the three methods below to secure an account rather than just the password alone, theoretically making it more difficult for a hacker to access an account. Basically, unless two of the three methods are fulfilled, the account will not be accessible. Here they are:

  • Something you know (a password)
  • Something you have (a secondary device you own)
  • Something you are (biometrics, facial recognition, fingerprinting, etc)

Why Is It Important?

Imagine that your online accounts are a house with two doors: one for the mudroom and one for the house proper. If both doors use the same key, a thief only needs to steal one key to gain access to both the mudroom and the house. Now imagine that the mudroom and the house have two different keys. That essentially doubles the effort needed to break into the home.

Simply put, in the same way as the above scenario, it’s much harder for a hacker to access an account that is protected by multiple measures. For example, even if a hacker has your password, if the account is set up to use an external device like a smartphone or biometrics, they still won’t have access to the account. Unless the hacker goes through the trouble of stealing the secondary device or stealing your fingerprints/facial structure (something that is remarkably difficult compared to swiping a password), the account will remain secure.

Setting Up Two-Factor Authentication

Right, let’s get to the bread and butter of this article: how to set up two-factor authentication for the big three accounts: Microsoft, Google, and Apple.

Microsoft

Microsoft recommends that you either have a backup email address, a phone number, or the Microsoft Authenticator application installed on a mobile device before you get started with two-factor authentication for this account. To get started, go to this page and sign in with your Microsoft account. Next, select More security options. Under the option for Two-step verification, select Set up two-step verification. After that, it’s just a matter of following the on-screen instructions.

Google

The first step here is to log into your Google account by going here. Next, in the navigation panel, select Security. Under Signing in to Google, select 2-Step Verification. Finally, click on Get started. You’ll see the directions for the next steps appear on the screen. You can set up your verification step in a variety of ways, including Google Prompts, security keys, Google Authenticator, verification code via text or call, or a backup code. You can also disable this second step on trusted devices, but doesn’t that defeat the purpose?

Apple

To set up two-factor authentication for your Apple ID, go to your account by clicking here. Sign in, answer your security questions, then click Continue. If you see a prompt to upgrade your account security, tap Continue. Click on Upgrade Account Security. You can then add a phone number for which you will receive verification codes via text message or phone call. Click on Continue, enter the verification code, and turn on two-factor authentication.

Want to get started with two-factor authentication for your business? The three accounts outlined above are just the tip of the iceberg. Point North Networks, Inc., can help you implement a multi-factor authentication system that secures your data and network. To learn more, reach out to us at 651-234-0895.