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...
Choosing the Best Computer

Choosing the Best Computer

Your computer just quit – now what do you do?  Do you buy a new computer or fix the old one?  One rule of thumb is that if your old computer is more than five years old, you are probably better off buying a new one.  Many computers that are five to nine years old have components that are failing (called planned obsolescence.)  You need to do your homework before purchasing a new computer. Questions to ask before purchasing a new computer What is your budget for a new system? Computers prices have come down in recent years and you can purchase a computer between $200 and $2,000 depending on what you need. Take a look at what type of computer will best suit your needs.  Do you need a laptop, desktop or tablet?  Each type of computer will be different in their portability, size and functionality.  Here is a brief recap of the different types of computers: A desktop will be the least portable of the three, however, it can handle heavier workloads.  You can add multiply displays for multitasking and even use a desktop computer for your entertainment center for movies and games. Laptops will come in various sizes depending on your needs. The larger laptops come with a 17 inch display making them easy to read and use but harder to transport. In order to conserve the batter life, a laptop typically does not have the capabilities of a desktop system. Of the three types, a tablet is the most portable.  You can do a lot of computing on a tablet but the screen is smaller...
5 Tips to Protect Yourself From the Spam in Your Inbox

5 Tips to Protect Yourself From the Spam in Your Inbox

In the past week we have had several computers come in for cleanup from a very bad computer virus from opening an email attachment from Federal Express.  Because of this attack, we thought it would be a good idea to review some tips for avoiding spam that will in turn avoid a computer virus. Spam in your mailbox is a fact of life – there is no getting around it.  How you handle this potential computer virus threat will go a long way to eliminating the possibility that your computer will end up in our shop from a computer virus.  Proper handling of spam will also help to eliminate cyber-crime like credit card fraud and identity theft. Tips To Stop Spammers in Their Tracks and Avoid a Computer Virus Do not Preview Your Emails Some email programs, like Outlook, allow you to preview your email in a pane to the side or bottom of your screen.  In some instances, spam email will contain special code that is designed to work within this pane which makes your susceptible to a computer virus referred to as a Trojan horse. Take a look at the options your email program offers and turn off your preview pane.  If the send or the subject line of the email is not familiar, either delete it or send it to the junk folder. Do not Fall for the Phisher’s Hook The email we referred to from Federal Express is a perfect example of an email cleverly designed as a hoax.  In many instances these emails are designed to get you to give them private information.  In...
What Is Phishing And How To Protect Your Computer

What Is Phishing And How To Protect Your Computer

The best holiday gift we can give is to always make sure that your computer is fully backed up.  No matter how cautious you are online, you are still open to a cyber security threat.  Call us today and ask about our backup plans. Phishing attacks are also rampant and one of the major cyber threats to any company today. So, you need to be highly aware and vigilant of these as well. Phishing usually involves hackers making use of fake emails to trick you into sharing important personal data such as your social security number or perhaps your credit card number and online accounts and passwords. What are the ways that these Phishers can attack you in the cyber space? Through the use of fake emails. Phishers can make use of the identity of established and reputable companies such as online banks, retailers or credit card companies to send out fake emails to individuals and organizations. Emails of this nature usually contain links that are fake but highly similar to the actual online website of that company they are representing. The moment you put in your account information and log ins to those websites, the information can already become available to the phishers who tricked you into sharing your important data. Through the so-called keystroke programs. Phishers will still employ fake emails that contain links that will then install programs on your computer without your knowledge and permission. These programs have the ability to record every keystroke typed by the computer owner. Information like usernames, passwords, account numbers, credit card numbers could then become available to phishers. Hijacking...
Buying A Laptop On A Budget – Five Important Things That You Must Consider First

Buying A Laptop On A Budget – Five Important Things That You Must Consider First

With the introduction of iPads and notebooks, laptop computers are getting more advanced and thinner.  These innovations have also driven the price of a laptop down. Even with a reduced price, a new laptop can be a major expenditure for the average consumer on a budget.  You want to get the most for your dollar while at the same time getting the features that you need.  Add to that getting a computer that is not outdated the minute you walk out the door of the reseller. Five Main Areas to Consider When Purchasing a Laptop The Size of the Laptop In most instances, the size of the laptop is a personal preference.  If you have a specific size in mind, you may have to pay more than if the size doesn’t matter to you.  The most economical laptops in today’s market weight around 8 pounds.  There are laptops that are ultra portable weighing in at 3 pounds, however, you will pay a higher price for these sleek new systems. Your budget will go much further if you stick to a mid-size laptop. The Screen of the Laptop The size of the laptop and the screen size tend to go hand-in-hand.  In most instances, a 15 inch screen that comes with a standard laptop is more than adequate for most users.  Be cautious with purchasing a laptop with a larger screen such as a 17 inch screen.  One of our customers came in looking for a case to carry their computer and we had to special order a case due to the size.  The savings they received from purchasing a...
Computer Related Christmas Gifts

Computer Related Christmas Gifts

Everyone has people on their holiday list that are hard to buy for.  I know for me it is my dad.  He has lived a long life and has everything he has ever wanted – at least everything that I could afford.  Then it dawned on me – his greatest treasures are photos and many of these are stored on his computer.  I casually asked him if his computer was backed up and he look at me like “Why would I need that?”  He said that most of the information that is on his computer was in hard copy form somewhere in the house.  I thought of all of our unfortunate neighbors in the north that recently experienced tropical storm Sandy and lost everything.  How would he feel if this happened to him? So what am I getting my dad for Christmas? Computer backup from PcRx.  It will give him (and me) the peace of mind knowing that he won’t lose precious memories in the event of fire, storm or a computer crash. You may not think this is the most personal thing in the world, but I am sure it will mean a lot to my dad. Other Computer Related Gifts That You May Not Have Thought of: Do you have a business owner in your family?  If so, they are often so busy running their business they don’t think about what will happen if their computer goes down and they need help.  PcRx can customize a maintenance plan to fit their specific requirements.  This could not only include their computer but also their cell phone, printers and...
Security and Your Computer

Security and Your Computer

Whether you are a business owner or a home user, computers have found their way into every aspect of our daily lives. We use them to store data, do homework, for online shopping and sometimes tools for our jobs.  The amount of data, photos and videos that are stored on our computers grows daily.  Many of these items are one of a kind and can never be replaced.  We need to protect ourselves from loss of the valuable information. Most businesses have systems to secure their data from hackers.  Home computer users need to do the same.  Think of the information that may be on your computer – credit card numbers, social security numbers and other personal data is stored on your computer.  Everyone is a computer security risk. When a computer is intentionally “broken into”, this is called cybercrime.  Agencies such as the FBI watch for this type of crime and unethical computer activity such as cracking, hacking and cyber extortion. Types of Computer Villains There was a period in time when hacking had a positive connotation.  However, since the onset of computer crimes, hacking has become a crime that is closely watched.  A hacker is an individual whose goal is to gain access to your computer or computer network illegally.  Their primary purpose is to obtain personal information which they can use or sell on the internet.  Many hackers use the excuse they are doing the system administrator a favor by showing them where there are deficiencies in their computer security. Give PcRx a call if you suspect your computer has been hacked. We can help you...
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