5 Ways To Keep Your Data Safe From Ransomware

5 Ways To Keep Your Data Safe From Ransomware

Ransomware is ending up being significantly popular. The term refers to a type of virus which holds your data captive for cash. This is how it works: you will get a notice that your data is encrypted, and in order to get it back not encrypted, you have to pay a specific amount for a tool that will do the decryption. Ransomware wasn’t an issue until a couple of years back as cash paid as ransom would have been easily traceable and hence the offenders would have been caught. However, with the arrival of digital currency such as Bitcoin, the appeal of this type of highway robbery became popular. Bitcoins are untraceable, which makes them ideal for ransomware. The only other technique which is untraceable is money itself, and it is easy to see why that isn’t really practical. Ransomware initially appeared in 2013 and differs from other types of viruses. The first difference is that it asks you for money rather than just causing monetary damage. Another difference is that ransomware is generally run by computer hack experts. When you pay the ransom, you will get the decryption tool despite the fact that the hackers could have easily run away with your money. The file encryption used is typically 128-bit or higher, which means there’s practically no chance for people to get their data back unless they pay up. Ideally you will have a backup, in which case you can restore the backup. If you do not have a backup, or if the backup is itself encrypted, then your only available option is to pay the hackers or...
Hurricane Season – Importance Of Recovery Planning

Hurricane Season – Importance Of Recovery Planning

In the Myrtle Beach area it is officially hurricane season. Although we have been lucky the last few years, every business should have a plan to protect their data in the event of a hurricane. Even though disasters can occur at any time, recovery planning often doesn’t cross the mind of business owners or individuals. Most just carry out their normal day to day routines, never aware of what could result from a disaster. Then, when disaster does strike, most tend to freak out and wonder just what they can do to fix the situation at hand. If you are prepared for a disaster or hard drive failure, then your business will be able to deal with anything that happens. Here are some steps to take: Step one – is to analyze your business or operations. You should determine how often your systems go down, and how you can manage operations without the equipment. You should also find out how long it would take you to fix the equipment, and what your business can do to make ends meet when the equipment is unavailable. Step two – identify the risks of possible disaster. This can include computer failure, loss of power, hardware problems, etc. You should always include the causes as well as the solution in your plans. If your office suffers from disaster and cannot be used for a period of time, you should always have another location that you can go to continue your business. Step three – have a dedicated team that will work on fixing any problems should a disaster occur. This team should be responsible for your recovery plan...
The Right Prescription for Your Phone!

The Right Prescription for Your Phone!

Does your SmartPhone or iPhone suffer from: Water Damage? Broken Screen? Broken Flip? Broken Antenna? No Signal? Do you need your phone unlocked? We name it – we have a prescription for it! You can save money with our new cell phone service instead of spending money on a new phone or worse yet – waiting nearly a month for the manufacturer to fix it.  Wouldn’t it be better to spend an average of $50 and have your cell phone fixed?  We service all models through all carriers: Nokia, Motorola, Samsung, LG, Siemens, Sanyo, Blackberry, Treo, Nextel, Sprint, Cingular, T-Mobile, US Cellular and all others! Call 843-488-4100 or stop by PCRx today and you will be back in business in not time! PCRx Computers 408 Main Street Conway, SC 29526 (843) 488-4100...
Password Management Is Like Budgeting

Password Management Is Like Budgeting

Editor’s Note: From time to time we ask an expert/professional to write a guest article for VSN. Such is the case this week when we asked our friend Ken Klein of Healthy Passwords fame and author of a book with the same name to pen an article on the ins and outs of passwords. Ken has done a really nice job on the subject, exclusively for you our VSN reader. healthypasswords.com Everyone is talking about how to make strong passwords lately. A recent article told readers ” ‘x!, ZTuLV5m4]9|82cK’ is a pretty good password, whereas ‘my1cat2co3coa4’ is not “. The author was in favor of using password managers for all password needs. Calling two long scary passwords “pretty good” supported the author’s affinity for password managers. The truth is, not all passwords have to be strong. Good password management is like budgeting. Your budget will fail if you don’t determine your inflows and outflows. A good password strategy begins with taking inventory of your sites categorized by risk level. Financial, tax preparation, dating, and medical sites are the highest risk sites. Depending on your comfort level, credit cards may fall between high and moderate risk because personal liability is typically lower with a credit card. Low risk sites hold no more than an email and a few sites settings. Every other site is moderate. After taking inventory, a strategy may be determined. There is no perfect strategy for everyone. Some people track hundreds of passwords and others have dozens. There are four good password management tools: Your brain and a system (formula approach). Commercial password managers. Password Scramblers (hashers)....
Anti-Virus Software

Anti-Virus Software

Anti-Virus software consists of programs on your computer that make an attempt to identify and keep computer viruses off your computer. The anti-virus software will most likely use a couple of different techniques to make sure the viruses stay off your computer. The software will start to scan all your files you have saved so that it can search for known viruses that will match definitions in a dictionary made only to detect a virus. Having anti-virus software will protect your computer from any virus an unknown person could give you. The software will identify suspicious behavior from any computer program that might show signs of infection. These analysis may also include data captures, port monitoring and other methods that you may or may not be familiar with. Almost all commercial anti-virus software use both of the following approaches, with an emphasis on the virus dictionary approach. The approaches are: The dictionary approach suspicious behavior third other approaches In case you’re wondering if we are talking about your computer or your children, we are definitely describing your computer although you may get a little laugh while reading this and thinking this computer is as bad as my children can be sometimes. At least for our computer we can get an anti-virus which will help solve a lot of the problems that can occur when you have a computer. Myrtle Beach Computers has talked about the dictionary approach; now let me explain what this is. If there is a piece of code in your file that matches any virus identified in the dictionary, then the anti-virus software can use one...
Keeping Your PC, Mobile phone or Tablet Clean

Keeping Your PC, Mobile phone or Tablet Clean

Computers, Mobile phones, as well as handheld tablet computers are basics of life. Nevertheless, these modern conveniences require some standard maintenance to stay in functioning order. Clearly you can’t just scrub them with old soap and water. So exactly what do you do? Learn ways to clean your digital devices using easy organic methods. An Ounce of Prevention Ideally you are reading this because you just purchased a brand-new digital device and desire cleaning information available for future reference. If so, there are plenty of preventive tasks you can do to safeguard your device from culprits such as streaks, dust, and even scratches. Seal your display screen– this does not interfere with usability. A Mobile phone or tablet can be carried in a case that protects it from harm. If possible, avoid eating near electronics; nevertheless, if by accident food does spill, clean if promptly. Lastly, read the instruction manual that came with your device – it was written for a reason – to figure out the manufacturer’s expectations for treatment. Periodically Dust Your Equipment Dust is the largest bugaboo for fragile digital systems. Clean dust off your phone, computer, or tablet computer consistently to avoid accumulation. The good news is that you do not need a bunch of difficult, pricey, or ecologically damaging equipment for this maintenance job. Cleanable, recyclable microfiber towels or gloves are suitable for cleaning electronic devices. Furthermore, you may want to make use of a non-shed, soft, long-handled brush to get into tiny spaces. Tweezers could be used to meticulously grab small globs of dust or various other particles. Compressed air spray is occasionally...
Tips on Document Sharing

Tips on Document Sharing

If you have a need of document sharing with your associates or would prefer not to send files over emails, using the “Cloud” is the way to go. With so many threats with file attachments, this is one way to avoid being attacked by a nasty virus. I am sure that you have heard a lot about the cloud lately and we are not referring to the great summer days we are experiencing in Myrtle Beach these days. We are referring to the cloud that enables you to deliver computer services over the internet in real-time. This allows you the end user instant access to data, document sharing and applications from any device that has internet access including your smart phone. There are several online Cloud storage solutions and many of them are FREE – I vote for that! However, if you have lots of stuff to share – you will pay a small price for that extra storage. Dropbox is one of the most popular cloud storage services, it is simple to use and the free account gives you 2GB of storage. It will sync across multiple platforms (Windows, Mac, Linux) after you upload. Apps are available for iPhone/iPad, Android and Blackberry as well. Dropbox claims that your files are safe and encrypted but a recent lawsuit (see below in Dirty Tricks). Should you require more storage, you can pay $10/month for 50 GB or $20/month for 100 GB. Box.net provides 5 GB of free storage, with a file size limit of up to 25 MB. 25 GB will cost you $10/month and 50 GB costs $20/month. It...
How To Keep Your Mobile Phone, Tablet or Personal Computer Clean

How To Keep Your Mobile Phone, Tablet or Personal Computer Clean

Personal Computers, Mobile phones, and portable tablets are essentials of life today. However, these beneficial devices require some basic upkeep to stay in top working order. Obviously you can’t just scrub them with good old soap and water. So what do you do? Find out how to clean your electronic devices in the following easy, natural ways. PREVENTION Ideally you are reading this because you recently purchased a new electronic device and want cleaning details on hand for future reference. If so, there are a lot of preventive actions you can utilize to safeguard your gadget versus dust, streaks, dirt, and even scratches. Seal your display screen– this does not interfere with visibility. A Smartphone or tablet can be carried in a protective case. Avoid eating near electronic devices; however, if by accident food does spill, clean it up immediately. Lastly, check out the direction brochure that came with your device (download it if required) to learn the manufacturer’s suggestions for care. DUST YOUR DEVICE Dust is the greatest bugaboo for fragile electronic systems. Clean dust off your phone, personal computer, or tablet frequently to avoid accumulation. The good news is that you don’t require a great deal of complex, expensive, or environmentally hazardous devices for this maintenance job. Washable, reusable microfiber fabrics or gloves are perfect for cleaning electronics. In addition, you may want to use a soft, long-handled brush that doesn’t shed to get into little spaces. Tweezers can be utilized to carefully pick up little clumps of dust or other particles. Compressed air spray is often suggested to blow particles out of keyboards or other gaps,...
Data Recovery Procedures

Data Recovery Procedures

Myrtle Beach Computers on Data Recovery Procedures No matter who you are, where you work, or what type of computer you use – your computer data is always as risk. With viruses, power surges, thunderstorms, natural disasters, human mistakes, and hackers around, the threats are always real. To be on the safe side, you’ll need to back up your files and keep doing it on a regular basis. In the event of your hard drive failing, you’ll need data recovery – which is the only option available. Before you travel down that long road of data recovery, there are some things to keep in mind. If you are using your computer and a program starts to act funny, you should shut things down immediately. You may also hear some very odd sounds as well, which is the first sign that your hard driving is working overtime. If you shut your computer down immediately at this point, you may prevent data loss from happening. If you don’t shut your computer down and allow the failing hard drive to continue running, it is only a matter of time before it destroys itself – which will ultimately result in the loss of data. If this happens, and you lose all of your data, you should never try to fix the hard drive yourself unless you know exactly what to do. At this stage, professional data recovery services aren’t just a luxury – they are something you must have. The process for data recovery is time consuming, and requires both tools and a clean work environment. Trying to repair a hard drive on...
Top Reasons Why Rebuilt Computers Are Right For You

Top Reasons Why Rebuilt Computers Are Right For You

If you are considering buying a new computer, you should take a look at rebuilt computers first as they might be just what you are looking for. Many industry experts believe refurbished computers are great alternatives to brand new computers. And sometimes, they even perform better and are made to be resistant from common problems. Thus, refurbished computers often last longer than brand new computers. Refurbished computers are not only perfect for business owners and entrepreneurs. They are also the best choice for students who do not really need state of the art machines to be able to do their homework and school projects. Nonprofit organizations can also benefit from using refurbished computers since they do not cost a lot to purchase, use and maintain; unlike brand new computers. Therefore, they get the efficiency and performance of brand new computers with less than the costs. If you are still thinking twice about investing in rebuilt computers, here are some top reasons to help you decide. Refurbished computers give you the best value Many industry experts will agree that consumers who are looking to get the best value for their money should definitely look into buying computers that have been rebuilt. This is best applicable for schools and nonprofit organizations as well as individuals who find their selves often in a tight budget. Indeed, refurbished computers are cost-efficient and perfect for who are looking to have the best pc experience but do not have the money. Refurbished computers are already preloaded with necessary programs and software If your reason for buying a new computer is to upgrade, you would surely...
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