I’ve got a couple of bits and pieces to talk to you about this week. First…
End of support for Office 2010
If you use the 2010 versions of Microsoft’s Office programs – Word, Excel, Outlook, etc. – you’ll have been getting messages for the last few months warning you about the “End of Support”. Now, what that means is that at the end of this month, Microsoft will stop sending out security updates for those programs.
This will only affect you at all if you use those programs, though – all other Windows 10 updates will carry on as normal.
What it really means for you depends on which of the programs you use and what you use them for. If you’re using the Outlook email program, I strongly recommend that you find something else after the end of this month. You have various options:
- If you want to stick with Outlook, you can pay a yearly subscription to upgrade to Microsoft 365
- You can read your emails for free online using webmail – for example, if you have an Outlook, Hotmail or Live email address, you can go to www.outlook.com and sign in to your Microsoft account to read your emails.
- Or you could use a different email app on your PC – either the Mail app that comes free with Windows 10, or one of the other options like Thunderbird.
If you only use Office 2010 for things like typing up letters in Word or making simple spreadsheets, you don’t have to worry too much about the end of support – you’re unlikely to be doing anything risky anyway. But if you’d prefer to upgrade, LibreOffice is a good free alternative that you can download and install on your computer. Or why not try the free online versions of Microsoft’s Office apps at www.office.com.
Exposure notifications on your phone
Last week, I got my first “Possible Covid-19 exposure” notification on my phone. It just popped up in my notifications, but didn’t tell me any more details than that. My NHS Covid-19 app wasn’t telling me to self-isolate, so I had a good look online to find out what (if anything) I should be doing.
The answer is “just carry on as you were”.
The notification was from Google’s built-in exposure checker. It means that I came close enough to someone who’s since tested positive for it to register on my phone – hardly surprising when you need to travel through a busy town a couple of times a day.
But the official apps all have clever ways of figuring out the risk to you from each exposure. The fact that I didn’t get a message from the NHS app means that my “exposure” was reckoned to be a low-risk one.
The official advice is to ignore any automatic notifications from Apple or Google and only act on direct instructions from the app. I’m just going to be a bit more aware of potential symptoms over the next few days, though!
For next week’s email I’m going to pull together some ideas and suggestions for keeping yourself entertained and chipper as the nights start to draw in (and Covid restrictions start tightening again).
Until then, stay safe