Tips For Improving Your Computer Security

Tips For Improving Your Computer Security

Nowadays, increasing numbers of people are utilizing their computers for to do lots of things ranging from communication to internet banking as well as from trading to online shopping. While we carry out all these things more often, we open ourselves to probable online criminals like hackers and crackers. Even though a few might be wanting to phish your personal identity and pertinent details for selling, others would just like to use your computer as a channel where they can launch a cyber attack on their other targets. Provided here are some simple and affordable methods that you can use to secure your computer. 1. Always create backup copies of valuable information. You should also keep them in a secure place that is not on your computer. 2. Make sure that your operating system, software, and web browsers are updated. Upon startup, computer system must inform you in case updates are available. Because of this, it is highly recommended to regularly turn off your computer and reboot it. 3. Set up a firewall. Keep in mind that your computer will be more vulnerable to worms, viruses, malware, trojans, and adwares if it does not have a reliable firewall installed. You should take into account the advantages as well as the differences between software and hardware based firewall applications. 4. Make sure that your browser and email settings are secured. Why do you have to do this? JavaScript and Active-X are the favorite tool of hackers when placing noxious applications in your computers. Although relatively harmless, cookies still track your activities in the internet, which can aid in building your...
The Battle Against Spam

The Battle Against Spam

Let us take a quick look at the prevalence of spam as explained by Scott McAdams, OMA Public Affairs and Communications Department (www.oma.org): “Researches show unwanted or “junk” e-mail, called spam, represent approximately half of all e-mail messages received. Although it was previously perceived as nothing more than a nuisance, the prevalence of spam has reached a point where numerous users have started to express doubt about the efficiency of e-mail transmissions, and increased concerns regarding the circulation and spread of computer viruses through unwanted messages.” In 2003, President Bush authorized the bill known as “Can Spam,” in December of 2003, which is the very first nationwide standards that focus on bulk unsolicited business e-mail. The Senate, which voted 97 to 0, approved the bill that, bans senders of unsolicited commercial e-mail from making use of false return addresses to camouflage their identification (spoofing) and using dictionaries to produce such mailers. Additionally, it forbids the use of misguiding subject lines and mandates emails to have an opt-out option. The regulations likewise prohibit senders from harvesting addresses off websites. Those who violate these rules will be charged with misdemeanor and could be imprisoned for 1 year. One major factor that needs to be reviewed concerning this: spam is now originating from various other countries in ever-greater numbers. These e-mails are harder to combat, since they originate from outside our nation’s laws and policies. Due to the fact that the Internet opens boundaries and also thinks globally, these legislations are good but they fail to address the problem. So, what is your opinion? Here are the five key tips to protect...
Phishing For Your Identity

Phishing For Your Identity

We have all received those emails that look like they are coming from trusted websites. Emails that direct you to a website that looks familiar to update certain information, even personal data. Beware when these sites are asking you to update secure information such as social security numbers, passwords or even credit card numbers or bank information.   What makes these emails so trusted is that you know the business name as one where you have done business in the past. The logo, colors and look and feel of the site look so familiar. One of the most recent examples is your domain name registrar that says your domain is about to expire. Or your hosting company that says you have run out of hosting space and your website will be taken down if you don’t update your information.   There is a website called WhoIs.com that will give anyone who searches all the details about a domain – where it is registered, who owns it, the address, both email and physical, of the owner and where it is hosted. I was recently introduced to a “scraper” that will create a spreadsheet of all this information for as many websites as you put into the program. Right there at their fingertips is all the information a hacker needs. (More information later on how to protect this.)   You are tempted to click on the link provided because it is so convenient and then when you do it is natural to want to correct false information. Much to your regret you find out later this was a false website that...
What is Cloud Computing

What is Cloud Computing

As a small business owner you need every advantage you can get.  Many business owners are turning to the cloud for this advantage.  Cloud computing can help small businesses grow at a faster pace while at the same time saving money. The concept is that you turn to other companies to store your data and to share software applications over the internet.  There are some risks involved, but it can make small companies grow bigger at a faster pace and save money. Uses of Cloud Computing Most companies use their own computers to store data.  If you have large amounts of data, for example a gaming company, your need for storage will outgrow your available space.  Many companies are opting for cloud computing rather than purchase additional on-site storage. Cloud computing allows companies to store data and only pay for the storage space they use. Think of this like your local storage facility.  You want a small storage area, you only pay for a small area, if you need more space, you upgrade to a larger storage container. Many hospitals are turning to cloud computing for software applications that streamline the admittance process. These programs can be accessed using a mobile device eliminating the need for tablets or laptops.  The staff has quick access to patient information right in their pocket. Revenue from cloud computing is expected to double by the year 2014. There are risks in using this new technology.  Amazon suffered a major shutdown due to cloud computing in April of 2011.  This raised questions on the reliability and security issues of using cloud computing.  You are...
4 Tips to Help Your Computer Survive a Storm

4 Tips to Help Your Computer Survive a Storm

Myrtle Beach Computer Repair experts at PcRx would like to give you some great advice for this time of year when we are experiencing a lot of thunderstorms. Tip #1 If it’s raining out, save often. This sounds so simple but how often do we forget.  If you are in a Microsoft Office program such as Word or Excel, you can use the short cut key <ctrl> + S.  It takes about 2 seconds to save a lot of hard work.  Note – this short cut works in a lot of programs so give it a try. Tip #2 If it’s storming out, turn off your computer.  I know – you have a lot of work to do and just can’t stop. Believe me you will be glad you did when you don’t blow up your computer. Tip #3  If it’s thundering out, turn off your computer and unplug it from the wall/electric source. Ok, if you are not going to take this advice, make sure you have a good backup program.  Give us a call and we can help you out with this. Tip #4 To avoid doing 1, 2 and 3, consider getting one of these devices. Not only do they save your computer from a meltdown, but keep your computer running during the storm. Plug your modem into it and you are still surfing away while lighting is going on. It’s pretty cool to see the first time you are running on a battery during a storm. It’s like a having your own Yankee candle – you can just keep on working. They run about $80,...
Summer Guide to Cyber Safety Part 2

Summer Guide to Cyber Safety Part 2

Today we will discuss if you really have to stay connected while on vacation. In our previous article we recommended you stay away from public computers such as those in hotels and Internet Cafés. But sometimes that is easier said than done so here is a short guide to Going Online in Public. First and foremost of all if you have the least amount of concern regarding the computer you are using DO NOT use it to access sensitive sites like banking, brokerage, etc. This is obviously a judgment call and you best use your good judgment here. You just don’t want to use a compromised computer. If you log onto an information sensitive web site, be sure to logout when you have completed your cycle. Do the following Log out delete the web history close the browser when you are done. This is important –  you don’t want any sensitive data stuck in the cache or in any way accessible. If you would like to increase your cyber browsing security you can install a portable version of Firefox on a USB drive and load the browser directly from it instead of the computer. This would increase your cyber security. Backup and Encrypt your data so even the snoopers cannot find their way. Use only the strongest of passcodes or phrases. Of course keep your Anti-Virus up to date. When you return from traveling, it is a good idea to stop by your local computer experts at PCRx and have them do a complete scan of your laptop.  This only takes a few minutes and can save you hours...
Summer Guide to Cyber Safety

Summer Guide to Cyber Safety

The summertime is here in full force – tourists, vacations, travel for fun and business. Most of us will hit the road sometime this summer.  With all the devices that travel with us to stay connected from laptops to iPads to SmartPhones, we are more than ever at risk to a security breach. Some of this risk is harmless and others will cause you to need serious computer repair. Hackers love to take advantage of unaware travelers and we need to stay sharp.  Keep in mind that hotels, airports and other WIFI networks are hostile territory and we need to have our defenses up for cyber safety. Here are a few tips from Myrtle Beach Computer Repair Common Sense Check – you have all heard the saying “If it looks to be good to be true, it probably isn’t true.”  This philosophy holds true in the cyber world as well as in the real world.  If your summer vacation to Washington DC offers a personal meeting with the president, chances are it won’t happen.  Do your homework on any offer and make sure that the company that stands behind the offer has a good reputation.  Look for any hidden charges or requests for information that is not necessary for the transaction.  Check with the International Air Transportation Association or the Better Business Bureau to ensure cyber safety. Unbelievable Coupon Deals – there are reputable social media sites such as Groupon or Living Social that offer great deals.  However, many sites have taken on the “look and feel” of a legitimate site and are there to simply scam you, install...
Myrtle Beach Computer Repair PCRx on Antivirus Protection

Myrtle Beach Computer Repair PCRx on Antivirus Protection

Why is it important in today’s business world to invest in anti-virus protection?  With the rapid changes in technology, it is imperative now more than ever that you protect your computer.  Less than honest individuals are using some very clever techniques to steal your information. Just this morning one of our customers reported receiving an email from the Electronic Payment Association with an attachment.  If you did a search on this organization, you will see that it does exist, however, there is a place on its website that explains that fraudulent are being sent and they would NEVER send an attachment. Myrtle Beach Computer Repair PCRx recommends that you install software that searches for the threats to your computer and then eliminates them from being a problem.  With so many antivirus programs available, how do you know which one to install? Unfortunately, there is no definitive right or wrong answer.  Many people have asked us about the free programs that are offered and programs for which you pay an annual subscription. Before we answer that question, let’s take a look at viruses in general.  Unlike a human virus, a computer virus can be detected and eliminated prior to actually causing problems. A computer virus seeks to enter your hard drive and wreak havoc on your files.  They slow down your computer by using up your hard drive space not leaving space for online programs, such as your browser, to work.  They are looking to steal personal information such as financial data.  What you are left with is a big mess that is a real problem to unravel. In many...
A Few Common Computer Errors

A Few Common Computer Errors

If you have worked on a computer for any length of time, you know that computer errors can crop up just when you are on a deadline and can shut down your entire system.  Computer errors can even corrupt your data to the point where it can’t be recovered.  Unfortunately, computer errors cannot be avoided 100% of the time, but they can be prevented to a certain extent. Knowledge is power and knowing what causes a computer error can go a long way toward preventing a computer crash. The Cause Of Computer Errors How you use your computer has very little to do with the cause of a computer error.  Often there is a conflict between the commands that are running at any given time.  A computer operates from a series of commands being performed in a specific way.  Most of the time things run smoothly.  But there are times when a command from one program will conflict with a command from another program. We all like to multi-task and there are some programs that will conflict with other programs reaching for the same resources – then a collision occurs. Let’s take a look at an example.  All software comes with a specific list of requirements that must be met in order to run within a specific operating system.  Always verify that you meet the minimum requirements before you load the software on your computer.  (Sort of like reading the directions first, which some of us don’t like to do.)  Many programs will not run on older operating systems such as Windows XP or Vista.  The program may appear...
Computer Maintenance Tips

Computer Maintenance Tips

If your PC is slow, you should do something about it. Your computer is an important part of your life, and you should keep the machine in a good condition to avoid unnecessary computer repair. This will allow you to get the most out of your machine. We will let you know more about what you can do for your computer maintenance. Cleaning up the Dust Your PC will become very easy to overheat if you let dust build up inside your machine. This will be dangerous for the health of your computer, and you should avoid this at all cost. Making sure that your PC is free from dust is always a good idea. A hair dryer and a brush can do the trick when it comes to cleaning your PC effectively. Deleting junk files is also a good idea. You can use either Ccleaner or Disk Cleanup so you can achieve this goal in no time. This will give you tons of space on your hard drive, which will make your computer even more powerful over time. Windows Registry You should also cleanup any file that you find in the Windows registry. Deleting malware and virus will be a great idea too. A full scanning of your computer is important, and you should do this on a regular basis. You should do this to keep your important data protected and your PC running smoothly. An anti-malware software will allow you to do this right away. Call PcRx Computers today for their recommendation on the best virus protection program for your situation. You should also delete any unused...
Be Sociable, Share!