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Avoiding "Hot" Keys

Is this one of your computer habits? The very worst place to work with your laptop is on your lap! Besides giving you "laptop thigh," this can cause serious overheating and shutdown issues,

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Dok's Top 10 Security Tips

1    Create a secure environment for your computer

There are multiple areas in a computer where you can set up, configure, and tighten the system security. In Windows, check the control center and make sure you have one (and only one) active, updated Antivirus program, a firewall, and Windows updates. In your browser, turn on pop-up blocking, remove your cookies and temporary internet files on a regular basis, and configure your junk mail and spam filter.

 

2)    Strong Passwords

It’s really easy to create a super secure password! Think of a short unique phrase that you can easily remember; add some punctuation, a capital letter and a number, and you’re all set! Keep your passwords safe and use different passwords for your accounts, especially bank passwords, shopping accounts, paypal, etc.

 

3)      There is No Such Thing as Too Many Back-ups

To minimize the possible loss of information due to infections or system crashes, you should make regular backups to an external hard drive or the Cloud. Some services, such as Google Drive, provide access to all previous versions of a text document. But be careful, if a new back-up simply overwrites the old one, or just syncs it into the Cloud, you may have a problem if data was deleted accidentally, encrypted, or blocked by a virus. If you can recover a previous version of this file, you might minimize the loss. I highly recommend using backup software that archives dated backups automatically without overwriting. There’s nothing sadder than to receive a “lightning fried” computer with irreplaceable photographs and documents that were never backed up.    

 

4)    Be Savvy with Social Media

    It’s convenient, fun, and business savvy to keep in touch and share content through Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Linkedin, Tumblr, Instagram, flickr and other networking sites. But make sure you set privacy settings carefully to tighten security. Update them from time to time. Use different passwords for your accounts. If everything is linked, and one account becomes compromised, it’s like dominos. Be wary of clicking on games, ads, etc. that lead you outside the social media platform. Also be aware of lottery scams and hijackers (posing as someone you know!) who try to get information out of you.

 

5)    E-mail Security and Phishing

    Phishers use the internet to steal your personal information. They often target you through e-mails. Speaking of e-mails, be wary of clicking on an e-mail, even from your best friend, with no subject or an unlikely subject and with an attachment. Their account may have been compromised by a virus and it has spread to you through their contact list. Then it can go from your email contact list to the next set of victims, and so on. You can “train” your spam filter by sending unwanted or suspicious email senders to the spam or junk folder. If you just delete tannoying posts, they’ll keep coming back to haunt your in-box.

 

6)    Be Wary of Scareware

    If you see a sudden pop-up telling you that your activity has been reported to the FBI, don’t panic, don’t click, and don’t even think of paying. Any action on your part may lock your computer. The hackers that create these types of infections are just trying to infect or hold your computer ransom, and then scare you into divulging personal and financial information, or even into paying them an untraceable fee via cashier’s check. The worst type even encrypts your file! If you see a scary pop-up, it’s best to shut down your computer immediately and bring it to the Dok for a deep cleaning.
 

7)    Employ Safe Browsers

    Some browsers are better than others. Internet Explorer 6.0 had lots of bugs and holes viruses can exploit. Internet Explorer 11 is much better than the earlier versions. Firefox, Opera, and Safari are very good. But I prefer Chrome. It is very fast, synced with Google, visually uncluttered, easy to use, and has many useful extensions. Tabs are separated, so an error in one doesn’t bring down the rest. By the way, when trying out new software, it’s best to use web browsers with sandboxing capabilities. A sandbox can contain malware and bad programs, which keeps them from entering your unit.

 

8)    Safer Shopping

It is always better to use https:// websites; the “s” means that it is a secure site. Check certificates for  trustworthy sites (your computer should warn you if a site is suspicious). Again, make sure you have strong, differentiated passwords! Paypal is safer, because you have more protection and you don’t have to give out your credit card numbers. And with paypal, it’s easier to get your get money back if you were taken in by a fraudulent seller. If they don’t accept paypal, pay with credit cards, not debit cards. They have more fraud protection.

 

9)    Caution When Using Public-WIFI

The NSA advises you to “Exercise Caution when Accessing Public Hotspots.”  When using public internet access, avoid any shopping, banking, etc. that requires personal, credit, or bank information. You never know who is spying on you.

 

10)    Don’t Mix Business and Pleasure!

If users go to lots of social, gaming, “free” streaming portals, inappropriate, or questionable sites on your office computer, your unit is more likely to pick up damaging viruses and spyware. Wise users restrict personal use of their business units.

E-mails and Computer Safety

Just got an E-mail with attachment, but don’t know the sender? Or it’s from someone you know, but with no subject? Delete it without opening it! Whatever you do, DON'T CLICK on that attachment. You don’t want to know what kind of virus may be riding along with this E-mail, ready to attack your computer. Some can go into sleep mode for awhile before infecting your computer or sending the same kind of E-mail to all of your contacts. If this E-mail came from someone you know, you might want to send them a note asking if they really sent this. They might not know that their account was hacked.

Hot Stuff!

“Temperature ! Iphone has to cool down before you can use it.” Ever get this alert? I did once, just after leaving the phone for five minutes while shopping. Good thing, because I hadn’t thought of this. Notebooks lying in the front passenger seat will get overheated too, but you might not notice it. Heat melts plastic, but can also fry your hard drive and other electronic parts. And it’s especially bad to turn on or use an overheated device. So, please keep electronic electronic devices out of the direct sunlight. If you have to leave one in a car for a little while, at least wrap it in a towel and put it under a seat or in the trunk.

Antivirus Protection?

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!

Power Jacks

Broken power input jacks are a super common repair problem. I can not tell you how many times I see a laptop being taken out of the carrying case with the AC adapter still plugged into the unit. Most of the time, if the client did not have a problem with either the AC adapter or the input jack, he does now. Leaving it in like this puts way too much stress on these parts and they will break. Always disconnect the adaptor and wrap the cords neatly when traveling. Tripping over the AC adapter cord is probably the next biggest reason for failure. We know better than to stretch the cord across a walking path, but we do it anyway, then suffer the consequences when someone trips over it and the laptop gets pulled to the floor, or the power connector gets ripped out. Ouch. Definitely no winners here. Just expenses.

Business and Pleasure

Business and pleasure shouldn't mix on your computer. If you go to personal or questionable sites on your business computer, your unit is more likely to pick up nasty viruses and spyware. Same goes for allowing kids to play on it. You don’t want them messing up your computer either. The mistake could be costly.

Keyboards and Food

Keyboards get hammered on all the time. But one of the most common reasons they are brought in for repair is spilled drinks. Accidents do happen. But it is surprising how even a little amount of liquid can spell death to not just the keyboard, but the notebook itself. I’m also amazed at the amount of food particles spread across many keyboards I repair. Notebooks are used at restaurants, coffee shops, living room couches, and anywhere else you can think of. But they are not coasters or plates. Keeping a keyboard clean is very important, but the most overlooked. Where have those hands and fingers been anyway? I would recommend that you not eat while working at your computer, and that any containers with liquids be placed far away.

Summer Storm Protection

Is it worth it to get an uninterruptable power supply (UPS) battery backup for your computer system? Yes! Power surges can happen at any time, and can cause damage to electronic units. If your computer quits while you’re working, you lose recent data. Dok can tell you many sad stories about consequences from power surges and sudden outages. What works best? If you know a storm is coming, unplug electronic devices. Some devices have built in surge protectors; most do not. A simple power strip can only protect units once. Then it’s fried.

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Saving Data

Always back up your data! There's nothing sadder than receiving a damaged or highly infected computer, only to find that none of the client’s essential data (photos, documents, etc.) has been backed up at all.

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(540)428-2376
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Sat 9am - 2pm

335 Waterloo St.
Warrenton, VA 20186
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Dok Klaus Computer Care - Warrenton, VA
 10% off the setup of a new computer when purchased from Dok Klaus Computer Care