Windows 10 to upgrade or not to upgrade

Wednesday, April 13th, 2016

Windows 10 to upgrade or not to upgrade that is the question.

With all the hype and subconscious push to upgrade
and lets face its free ! so its got to be good right? Not really and I’ll tell you why. Most people
already have an issue with their existing OS and computer and like all the upgrade propaganda, believe that upgrading will fix their problems and oh yea its free so what could go wrong? With most slow and bloated existing computers windows 10 just cannot handle the mess it was asked to on a lot of systems with existing software issues. I have to hand it to them this time they prepared for problems but that doesn’t instill confidence in their new product. I upgraded several computers after I had installed a fresh windows 7 . The upgrade worked very well with no issues. I myself am not impressed with a
new concept that relocates all the same controls and functions and features so you can’t find them it takes more time and is less productive to relearn where the same things that I used that are in a different location much less convenient. Does anybody at Microsoft know that most of the world just wants simple fast easy reliable
software that was written with the user in mind not the programming geeks to show off what they can do? After all no matter how you slice it all the OS is is a glorified Menu system for most users to run applications and that’s it. Why do you think android and Mac are so popular? Most of us just want to run the applications that we have as fast and easy as possible. If they would quite trying to reinvent the wheel and make the wheel they have win 7, which by the way I recommend staying with and not upgrading and later in this article will tell you more horror stories about actual upgrade issues. Windows 10 that comes with a new computer is as always better than the upgrade. So bottom line if you have seven and its working well keep it don’t upgrade.  If your machine is older and it has issues it may make sense to fix it and stay with seven or may be better to just buy a new machine with Windows 10 already on it. More to come as I get time .

Mike the Tech

 

Who’s Calling You About Your Computer?

Friday, May 30th, 2014

The answer is nobody.  We see many people who have received telephone calls from scammers posing as computer techs from  Microsoft or some other legitimate company.   Some of these scammers pose as a representative from so called antivirus software companies.

The scam usually goes like this.  You receive a telephone call from someone posing as a tech. Continue Reading »

Internet Explorer vulnerability

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

If the Heartbleed bug wasn’t enough, it has now been reported that Microsoft has found a major vulnerability in every version of Internet Explorer dating back to Internet Explorer 6.

The flaw is being called a serious “Zero Day” vulnerability by security company FireEye, which claims it affects more than 56 percent of the world’s web browsers currently in use.

It’s a remote code execution vulnerability.  This means a computer hacker can make a target computer run software after a successful attack. “The vulnerability may corrupt memory in a way that could allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code in the context of the current user within Internet Explorer,” Microsoft’s alert reads. The phrase “arbitrary code” means pretty much any software that the attacker chooses to run.

THIS IS SERIOUS.

The Department of Homeland Security has issued a warning to all computer users to STOP using Internet Explorer immediately.  This is especially important to anyone using the now unsupported Windows XP Operating System.  As far as we know there will be no security patch for Internet Explorer 8.

WHAT YOU NEED TO DO-

If we have worked on your computer we have already installed the Mozilla Firefox browser.  If you are not using it, you need to start using it now.  If you do not have Mozilla Firefox installed on your computer you may download it @  www.getfirefox.com.  Please install right away.  You may import your favorites from IE into Firefox.

Hope this was helpful for you to have a happy and safe computing experience.

Heartbleed

Monday, April 28th, 2014

What is Heartbleed?

First let me tell you what it is not.  It is not a virus that is going to infect YOUR computer.   But you do need to be concerned about your sensitive information if you do anything on the internet.

Heartbleed is a security bug or programming error in  OpenSSL.  OpenSSL is what is used on a secure website where you  enter your password  and sensitive information.  The software code encrypts and protects the privacy of your password, banking information and other sensitive data you type into a “secure” website such as Yahoo Mail. Such websites can be identified by the little “lock” icon on your browser or the “s” at the end of “https” before the web address.  When the bug is exploited the attacker can retrieve memory (up to 64kb) from the remote system. This memory may contain usernames, passwords, keys or other useful information that enables bigger attacks.

If you have entered your personal information into a website that has been exploited you are at risk of having your sensitive information randomly retrieved by an attacker.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

The first thing you should do is to change your passwords.  Change your e-mail password and the password of any online accounts you might have, especially banking websites or any websites where you have entered sensitive information. Use a combination of upper case letters, lower case letters, numbers and special characters.  This will ensure you have a strong password. The second thing you should do is monitor your credit card statements.  If you see any suspicious activity call your credit card company immediately to report it and request a new card.

 A patch for heartbleed has been released.  You can go to

http://www.cnet.com/how-to/which-sites-have-patched-the-heartbleed-bug/ to find out which sites have applied the patch.

Unfortunately we live in a world where the internet is a dangerous place, but diligence equals safety.

The Best Tools to Use

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

There are tons of “fix it ” programs out there “FREE” oh be careful to avoid these as most of them are spyware or scare ware designed to disrupt your normal computer operations with pop ups and tactics designed to intimidate, scare and or buy or else.  The programs listed below are very GOOD and we use them consistently to maintain our own systems and install them on our customers systems. After considering all things that need to be considered when running a computer system and testing all programs out there these provide the best performance,  protection, effectiveness and reliability. Next tech tip will be where and how  to download these safely. Most users have no idea of “where did this come from” I get that a lot and or we did not load this stuff and in reality yes you did. Most users really don’t pay attention until oh a pop up or my browser is slow. Free game sites, down loading music video, utube, opening email attachments are all possible threats to your computer. Learning how to prevent these and maitain your browser will keep your computer out of the shop and you will hopefully be more aware as prevention is better that cure as the saying goes. If you can go a year without bringing your computer into the shop you are doing well but its just a matter of time before a trip to the shop for a professional fix is necessary.

MALWAREBYTES  We have installed the free version of Malwarebytes on your computer.  To use it you must first locate the icon on your desktop.  To the right is a picture of the icon     

1.   Once you have found the icon double click with your left mouse button.

2.  When the new window opens select what type of scan you would like to run.  We suggest running a full scan once a week if you are a moderate internet user.  If you are a heavy internet user or have multiple users (especially if you or other users are downloading music or videos using a torrent program) we recommend a full scan after your internet session is over.

3.  When the scan has finished it will inform you if it has found any spyware or malware.

Occasionally Malwarebytes needs to be updated.  You should check for updates when you first open Malwarebytes.

CCLEANER– We may have installed CCleaner on your computer.  This is an excellent free program that will help keep your computer running smoothly.

To use it you must first locate the icon on your desktop.  To the right is a picture of the icon    

1.   Once you have found the icon double click with your left mouse button.

2.  When the new window opens make sure cleaner is highlighted on the left hand side of the window.

3.  Select Analyze

4.  When the analysis is finished select run cleaner

5.  A box will pop up that says “this process will permanently delete files from you system.  Are you sure you wish to proceed?”  Click OK. 

6.  When the cleaner is finished x out of the window. 

MICROSOFT SECURITY ESSENTIALS- We may have installed Microsoft Security Essentials on your computer.  This is a good antivirus that will help keep your computer free from viruses. The Microsoft Security Essentials icon is located at the bottom right hand side of your screen on the task bar.

If all is well the icon will be green

If it has been a while since you have run a full system scan the icon will be orange with an exclamation point .

If the icon is red with an x this indicates a problem

1.  to run Microsoft Security Essentials double click the icon with the left mouse button and select the scan type you want to run and then click scan now.  When the scan is finished it will either have a green icon with a check indicating no viruses were found or an orange icon with an exclamation point,  indicating a problem.  Select clean your computer so the viruses can be removed.

WINDOWS 9 RUMORS

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

For 2 1/2 years the public and Microsoft has been dealing with Windows 8.  The new Metro interface is so foreign to the average user Microsoft eventually released Windows 8.1 to fix some of the most upsetting features.  Windows 8.1 now as a pseudo start button and a few other changes.  Even with the improvements users still have not really warmed up to Windows 8.1.   Microsoft now has a new operating system in the works, most likely to be named Windows 9. So what will Windows 9 be like?  Most likely it will will similar to Windows 8.1 with some added features.  There are rumors that Windows 9 may include a more traditional start menu.  Microsoft may introduce gesture recognition, but the ultimate goal is cross platform compatibility.   Mobile phones and tablets are everywhere, so to keep up with the industry and get in the mobile phone game Microsoft had to do something drastic.  What they did was release Windows 8 with a totally new type of  interface known as  Metro. Then they acquired Nokia and released a cell phone with a platform that is compatible with other Windows devices.  Hopefully the new windows operating system will fix a lot of  the bugs windows 8 had.  But get used to the metro interface because it is most likely here to stay. When will the new operating system be released?  Rumor has it that the new windows operating system has a tentative release date of April 2015.  I hope you found this helpful.

What to buy and why….

Sunday, March 30th, 2014

Tablet Desktop Laptop,

Which is best for you. This all depends on how you are going to use the unit. If you do a lot of typing and are on the go then a laptop is best for you. If you are a internet only kind of person and just use face book, online banking, small online gaming and you are also on the go then a tablet is for you. If you are a hard core gamer or solid business or a family with home schooling on your mind then a desktop is the way to go. I will be adding more technical insight to tech talk as time permits and needs arise. Take care and God Bless. Mike the Tech.