Viewing posts from: February 2012
Phony “Microsoft” Calls
Phone Call PhishingLeave a comment

No doubt you have already been made aware of, however, we continue to receive calls from clients and potential regarding this issue.  Please do what we suggest; DO NOT give them any information.  Microsoft WILL NOT call you unless you have an open ticket with them and YOU request a callback. Remember to refrain from giving sensitive contact information and avoid data connections to your PC over the internet unless you have initially made the call yourself and do not assume someone has contacted the person by phone on your behalf.

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Internet Usage
InternetLeave a comment

Managing your monthly internet usage

Excessive Internet usage has become the thorn in everyone’s side. You receive your monthly bill from your Internet provider and you find you have been billed extra usage. Misconception is this; both download and upload are considered as bandwidth usage. I have heard from many that they do not download on the internet. In fact, every time you visit a webpage, you are “downloading” the content to view it. There is no way to get out of that, so understanding that when you surf the internet, you are always downloading content.

  1. These are things you could look into before calling your provider.
  2. Go online to your provider’s website and view your online usage for the month.
  3. If you have a wireless modem and you are not using wireless to connect, turn off the modem broadcasting.
  4. Change your wireless password and security type. I suggest using WPA/PSK instead of the factory default of WEP (if unsure, call your provider for details)
  5. Verify your partner or children have not been downloading movies from torrent sites.
  6. Verify you are not classified as a “seed” when downloading from torrent sites.
  7. Scan your computer for Trojan viruses, Spyware and Malware

If you still cannot find the issue, call your Internet service provider and inquire. Maybe your package isn’t big enough for your usage or there is an error/problem they can fix for you. If unsure of what questions to ask them, contact a consultant to speak with you, then they can speak on your behalf.

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Virus InfoLeave a comment

Password Security and Your Home Computer

Keeping your computer secure on your is the top of everyone’s list. Passwords help us to feel “protected” and that our data is safe from intruders.  Changing your password is a cumbersome task with only one setback.  “What happens when you forget your password?”  I have a password book I keep all mine in.  It is handy but not easily accessible.  It requires me to go to another room to get it; but I know my computer is safe.

Keys for passwords:

  1. Do not use your birthdate or other significant date in your life.
  2. Do not use a name of your pet or family member
  3. Password length should be at least 8 characters long.
  4. Use symbols like $, !, #, & added or in place of letters.
  5. Use a mixture of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols
  6. Do not use the same number as banking passwords or PIN’s
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General Housekeeping
SoftwareLeave a comment

Monthly maintenance tips and general house cleaning rules

Housekeeping is something we all do. It should be the same for your computer. From deleting unnecessary programs to scanning for viruses, these 5 chores could be on your monthly “must do list”.

  1. Running a scandisk for hard disk errors. This will help with the stability of your data.
  2. Defrag your disk (every 3 months) No need for monthly.
  3. Go into the control panel, programs and features and verify all the programs (if unsure call your local technician) and uninstall the programs from here. Deleting the programs from the hard disk does NOT uninstall them.
  4. Verify your start up programs in MSCONFIG (if unsure call your local technician)
  5. Run a full computer virus scan monthly.
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RAM VS Disk Memory
HardwareLeave a comment

What is the difference between disk space and RAM (Random Access Memory)?

People from time to time get confused and refer to disk space and RAM as the same.  These are two very different things.  I will explain.  On a software package you could see the following:

System Requirements

  1. Recommended at least 2.4 GHz (GigaHertz) Pentium III CPU (or equivalent)
  2. 2 GB(Gigabyte) RAM
  3. Operating system requirements (the environment the software runs in)
  4. Hard Disk space 3GB


  1. This is the CPU(Central Processing Unit or “the brain”)  I always use the recommended requirements as the minimal requirements necessary.
  2. 2 GB RAM.  This is the amount of memory needed to run the program in memory(typically your computer comes with 1, 2, 4, and possibly 8 Gigabytes)
  3. Operating System is the Windows, MAC or Linux platform minimum requirements
  4. 3GB Disk space is the room needed to store the program on the computer.

So, RAM is the computers “climbing area” and the Hard disk space is “the park” (in layman’s terms)

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Backup files
SoftwareLeave a comment

Schedule regular backups of your data.

Your data is most valuable to you. Have you ever had that “sinking” feeling when you go to open your files and you get a “Your data is corrupt and unrecoverable” message, or your hard disk crashes. Now all your hard work on your files is gone and you are left with the daunting task of recreating these documents. Almost everyone has program disks to reinstall their software, but now you need to recreate your data. One way to protect your data is to invest in a USB stick for backup. Your choice, most USB sticks work well but you want a USB stick big enough for all your files (min 8GB)

Steps to set up your backup are as follows:

  1. Save your data in the My Documents directory in folders for easy access.
  2. Set a schedule for your backup; daily or weekly, it’s up to you.
  3. Before logging off your PC, click your start button and follow the 3 steps below:
  1. click the Documents option on the right,
  2. press the Ctrl+A keys together to select all files and folders,
  3. then right click your mouse button, in the menu left click the “Send To” option and choose your USB stick.

This will copy your latest files to your USB stick.

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Email Virii
Virus InfoLeave a comment

Email Virii (The plural of Virus) – how to minimize viral email links from sending to your contacts.

Lately there has been a surge of emails that get sent from your email from your contacts (friends) email that you did not send. The body of the email simply has a website link in it promoting a website. This is a good indication your Hotmail email address has been hacked.

To fix this issue, follow the 5 steps below:

  1. Before you do anything else, change your Hotmail email account password to something safe. Use symbols like &, #, ! and $ as part of your password, and make it long (at least 8 characters).  If you find it difficult to remember passwords, write it down in a SAFE place.  Strong passwords are key to email safety.
  2. Check to see that your auto-response and email signature in your email account do not have any additional text added to them, as this would go automatically every time you email a contact.
  3. Then run a virus scan for spyware/malware to be sure your computer is clean. (I user a web based email scanner.  Please visit our links page)
  4. Change your password periodically.  Hotmail has an option to automatically notify you to change your password every 72 days. (My suggestion for your email sanity)
  5. Advise Hotmail customer support of the issue. They can look into it further.
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