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...
The What, Who, Where and Why of Spam

The What, Who, Where and Why of Spam

Spam – Can You Avoid It? If you have been watching our Facebook page, you know that we have been trying to keep you posted on spam emails that are harmful to your computer. At one time, spam was nothing more than clutter in your inbox, however, now it is commonly used as a way to commit electronic crime and even corporate espionage.  We have develop the 4 Ws of spam to answer the questions we get asked most often. What is Spam? Often referred to as junk email, it is defined by internet fraud detectors as unsolicited commercial email.  This is email that is sent out in bulk to a vast number of people who never requested email from the sender.  These emails can range from simple advertisements to a program that is designed to hijack your system and to cause damage to your computer. Some of the most common spam commercial advertisers are for: Pyramid schemes Pornographic websites Mortgage loans Chain letters Credit repair Fraudulent pharmaceuticals Software that has been stolen or pirated The more dangerous forms of spam include viruses that will infect your computer, what is called a Trojan horse than will take over your email program and then proceed to send spam to your friends and phishing scams whose intent is to obtain financial and personal information. Who Spams? People responsible for spam are referred to as “Spammers.”  There are actually two types of spammers. Honest spammers – these are people who have complied with all anti-spam laws and actually have the consent of the recipient to receive the email. These are businesses who...
Is Your Computer Slowing You Down?

Is Your Computer Slowing You Down?

Whether you use a computer for pleasure or for work, you still need for it to perform as fast as it can. If your computer is not living up to its potential and you are struggling with a slow computer, then you are wasting time and you need to take a look at how you can up the speed. We need to ask a few questions before we can discuss the underlying cause of a computer running slow. Questions To Ask Before Making Changes To A Slow Computer Has it been a slow computer from the day you plugged it in? Did your computer slow down suddenly or over time? Is your computer less efficient when you are on the web? Does this apply when you are on a wireless connection? How about when you play games? Do you notice that you have a slow computer when you are multi-tasking? Does your computer gain some speed after you re-start you computer? Things To Check On A Slow Computer If you can answer these questions regarding your slow computer then you can narrow down the problem and it becomes easier to fix the issue.  If you computer has been slow from the beginning, then there is a good possibility that you did not purchase enough processing speed.  This is why it is a good idea to access your needs before you purchase a new or used computer. If you find that your system is slowing down when playing games, you probably are in need of an upgraded graphics card and/or more memory.  However, if you find that being on the...
Tips On Computer Maintenance

Tips On Computer Maintenance

Think of the maintenance on your computer the same way you think about maintenance on your home.  There are things you do daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly.   When you house is in order and everything is in order and the clutter is put away, you have a more pleasant place to live.  The same is true for your computer if you want to prevent computer repair. If you have a business with multiple computer stations, you may want to consider hiring a professional to manage your computer maintenance on an on-going basis.  In the Myrtle Beach area, you will want to contact PCRx computer for a computer maintenance contract. Tips For General Computer Maintenance Keep all of your work files in one area.  This is the primary concept behind the My Documents folder on a windows operating system.  You will want to create sub-folders based on specific topics.  You will be amazed at how much time is saved when you don’t have to go searching for a file. This will also make backing up your data easier. Do not store your personal files at the root or top level of your computer.  We suggest that you use the File/Save As command when saving the file even on the first save.  This will force you to pay attention to where the file is being stored.  Many times just clicking on the “Save” button will put the file at the root level.  One of the problems with a large number of files at the root level is that you could corrupt the disk and you will receive a “NTLDR is missing”...
Holding A Cyber Yard Sale

Holding A Cyber Yard Sale

You have a lot of items you want to get rid of or sell. The idea of a yard sale or moving sale does not appeal to you because you do not want to give up your weekend to sell your items. Auction sites on the web will not work for some of your items as you would like to sell larger things that are not easily shipped. They can also be expensive if the items do not sell. The ideal solution for you could be holding a cyber yard sale.  This can be done on a free website that has enough traffic to make it worth your while.  The best place for holding a cyber yard sale is Craigslist.org or NationalTrader.biz. Chances are you are close to one of the 450 areas that this website covers. Here are some ideas for making money with a cyber yard sale on craiglsist.org. Step 1 – Take great photographs of all of your items. A digital camera is the best way, but if you only have a 35mm or APS camera that is ok too. Just have the place where you get the film developed put the images on to a CD for you. Step 2 – Write your ads. Use a good title with a keyword that will get it noticed. If you are selling vintage dining room chairs, then in your title say “Vintage Dining Room Chairs”. This way, your ad will attract only the buyers that are looking for vintage chairs; not someone who is looking for a rocking chair. Next, write a really good descriptive ad for...
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