One day you're browsing along and a tempting piece of click bait pops up! So you click and bingo, something nasty called WannaCry might get into your computer. This encryption virus scrambles and locks your data, making it totally unusable! Then you get a new pop-up promising "help" for getting your data back in return for a hefty "bitcoin" payment. This is blackmail! Don't pay, but get an expert clean-up. So what can you do to protect your personal and business data? Understand that every operating system has small errors that hackers can exploit. Updates correct known holes in the system. The WannaCry has since been stopped with updates that patch the hole. But if your unit wasn't updated, this virus or a copycat could still have infected your system. To protect your data, be very careful what you click. And back ups are essential! Your best data protection is to make multiple back-ups, allow regular Windows updates, and ensure that your Antivirus software is up-to-date. Suspect that your computer has a virus?Bring it in for Dok'sSecurity Checkup Special: Virus/Malware Scan, Antivirus Status, and installation of Windows Updates -only$60 and/or Dok's Data Deal: External Hard Drive with initial and future scheduled back ups, starting at $149.
Have you considered upgrading your internal hard drive to a solid state one (SSD)?
Dok Klaus offers the possibility of imaging your old, slower, and more fragile hard drive to a new solid state drive. The SSD does not have any moving parts; if you should drop the laptop, the drive is much more likely to survive the impact. If your data is essential, this is a key factor. The SDD consumes less energy, so the system runs cooler and can last longer on battery power. And with a solid state drive, your computer runs faster, too. They have become more affordable; some even come with an up to 10 year warranty. Starting at $150, Dok's current deal is a 120GB SSD with data transfer. If you give your favorite notebook the gift of a solid state hard drive, you’re sure to be impressed with the results!
If you have pets, did you know that your notebook fan could look like this? Yikes!
A fan in this shape can't work properly, which causes your computer to overheat and possibly more damage. Dok recommends a regular check-up and cleaning of notebooks used around pets that shed hair.
We just got another batched of frozen computers checked in, brought by upset clients who had googled for telephone computer support. Some had paid money for some kind of clean-up or security tool, and several were worried that crucial data had been stolen. They were all victims of phishing scams, in which the person on the line convinced them that he could help, and hooked them into giving him computer control, passwords, credit card numbers, and access to other personal data. Their common question was, “How could I have known this would happen?”
Here are a few basic tips:
Top hits on Google searches are often paid advertisements, and not necessarily legitimate.
If it’s a complicated flashy name such as microsoft-support.experthelpforyou247.com followed by a big phone number, it’s probably a phisher. The biggest companies have the shortest domain names, such as aol.com or microsoft.com. Phishers latch onto these names with all kinds of add-ons so they’ll come up on your search.
Big computer companies generally do NOT want to talk to you. They usually provide FAQ’s pages and perhaps chat support; if you look very hard you may find an 800 number that often just refers you to their webpage. On the other hand, your friendly phisher really wants to talk to you, 24/7!
If you call that support number, and the person on the other line talks away like from a script, has a suspicious accent, side steps your questions, pressures you about needing remote access to fix some scary (but really minor) issue, etc. stop! Would you let a stranger into your house? Your bedroom? That’s what you are doing when you give an unknown person access to your computer.
If you paid for support, always call the number on your original packaging.
If a computer support tech ever calls you out of the blue to tell you that your computer has been hacked, hang up!
So how can you escape a phisher's hook? Search carefully. Be suspicious. If it sounds too free or easy, there’s probably a hook. If they give you a long scary line about a “security error” and press for access to your computer or payment, hang up. However, if you gave them remote access first, your computer may be frozen, or worse. If they persuaded you into giving them credit card information to “fix” things or “buy” their product, stop, block your card and get a new one. If you gave them passwords, change them. In any case, if you gave them access to your computer, it’s going to need a professional check through and/or clean-up; call the Dok or bring it in right away!
I was recently asked if I had any advice for parents who would like their children to enjoy technology as well as use it in their education.
Today's children are internet natives who often run circles on their computers and smartphones around their grandparents, and sometimes their parents, too. It is definitely not easy for parents to encourage their kids to use but not abuse technology and its possibilities. Here are just a few of my tips. One idea is to subscribe to a technology magazine that parents and kids can read and discuss together. Another is to engage them in conversations about IT by taking them to technology fairs, exhibition, and shows. How about watching TV shows about science together? Make learning an adventure by asking challenging questions and letting them research answers on the web. Of course, there are many technology related after-school activities for kids. Recently, a group of high school students visited my store as part of a fundraiser for their “robotic science project.” There are many online programs for teaching the basics of programming to kids; one of the most widely used is Scratch. Games that promote logical thinking are helpful, too. Chess may be considered old fashioned by some, but is still one of the best intellectual training grounds for young and old alike. While engaging your children, don't forget to set reasonable limits, and teach responsible, safe use of smartphones, the internet, and social media. Many parents exercise parental controls, filters, and barriers on inappropriate or harmful content. Some use programs such as Net Nanny to monitor activity. But the key is doing things together! There are so many ways to enjoy and learn new programs, games, and tools together, and along the way, practice healthy computer use habits.
Dok Klaus Has Moved!
Published on Monday, 21 September 2015 22:04
Written by Michael Chappel
Dok Klaus Computer Care HAS MOVED!
You will find us in our new white building with spacious parking @ 335 Waterloo St. Warrenton VA, 20186.
It's the 2nd house up from Sullivan St., close to the intersection of Broadview Ave and Frost Ave (211).
Make sure you only have one Antivirus program running on your unit. If you have two, it’s like asking the local cops and the FBI to work together. They get in each other’s way, and the culprit slips through. The same applies when you have traces of your old antivirus software that haven't been removed properly. In any case, don’t forget to renew your anti-virus protection before it expires. If you need help with this, please call us!
Computer Care Center
Tip of the Week +
Shopping for a new computer? Dok and his team can help you choose the right system for your needs. They do custom set-ups, too!
Cloud 101 +
The Cloud is any service or application that is not stored on your computer or office server. This means that your data is stored off-site and is protected from physical dangers and the worst-case scenarios of most disaster-recovery plans. In addition, Google provides access to 20+ services (Gmail, YouTube, Google Hangouts, Google Drive, and more) that can be used on any device. Integrating your daily workflow with Google Cloud is an efficient way to get the most out of your technology!
Web 101 +
When cruising the internet, there are more factors that could slow your computer down than just connectivity! Opening up too many tabs in your internet browser could slow you down, or worse, make your browser crash!