Start your 2017 Tech Right

Start your 2017 Tech Right | Tech Tips Podcast by PcCG

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Over the course of the year handle a lot of different issues. Here are things we saw more frequently. Knowing about these issues should prevent you from facing them in the future!

Fake Tech Support Scams – You browse the web and suddenly get an error message that your computers information has been compromised and your system is going to explode if you don't call some provided number promptly. They warn not to turn off your computer or you will lose your data. Sometimes they have audio alerts, sometimes it's just text. They come in hundreds of variation, but the goal is the same; to trick you into giving them money. We did an extensive write-up and even demonstration of this scam in action where the fake support scammer curses at me to make you aware of this scam. If you get such a warning on your computer you can usually resolve it by rebooting your system. Make sure you are rebooting the system and not simply putting it to sleep. If the problem continues, give us a call.

Data Loss – As we store more and more information from pictures to movies and documents on our system we become more dependent on our computers. For this reason it is critical to backup your computer. If you don't – you are saying “I don't care if the hard drive crashes and I lose all my information”. It's not a question of “if” your hard drive will fail, but rather “when”. Just a few days ago we had a client who had months of work on a master’s degree on his laptop that suddenly shut down. He called in a panic with the project being due in days. Fortunately all worked out for him, but he could have very easily been burned, badly. We have had a couple business clients contact us as well who have been hit with ransom-ware also resulting in data loss. For as little as $4 per month you can backup all of the data in your computer, automatically. Unfortunately many wait until it's too late and are forced with data recovery costing hundreds or even thousands of dollars, or just losing their information. Computers can be replaced, your data cannot.

Ransom-ware – This very nasty malware once in your system encrypts most of your important files. Once encrypted, you lose access to these files. You are then prompted to pay a ransom ranging from a few hundred to thousands of dollars in order to obtain the decryption key. Without this key you can never again access your data. Once this happens you must choose to pay the ransom, lose your data or if you heed our warnings simply restore from a backup copy. See our Crypto Locker Random-ware alert for more details.

ABCD of Happy Computing – a couple years ago we published an article that is still just as good today as it was then. In short have a good (A)ntiVirus, (B)ackup, (C ) Use Chrome, (D) Don't do anything else.

Solid State Drives – Prices for these drives have come down a lot over the past couple of years making them a great option to speed up your computer. We have done more solid state hard drive upgrades over the past year than memory upgrades. The results for the price can't be beat. For example, if we double the memory in a system you may see a 15-20% increase in speed; whereas if we install a solid state drive you get a minimum of 200% increase and typically somewhere between 400-800% increase in speed. Solid state hard drives will make your 4-5 year old computer run FASTER than a brand new computer from the store. PC Computer Guy SSD Special

Schedule Yearly Checkup – we typically use our computers daily, store a lot of information on them, bank, shop and keep in touch with family or work with them. It's a good idea to have a yearly checkup, remove any junkware that has gotten into the system, clean the browsers, spot any issues that may be lurking, and clean out the dust that has built up inside the system. Give us a call if you are ready to schedule your yearly checkup.