Archive for February 2015

Oh Sure, PC Matic Works Miracles! NOT!

UPDATE TO MY UPDATE:….

A client contacted me this evening to say that after they read my article they uninstalled PC Matic from their computer and guess what?  Now they can’t get their previous anti-virus to work.  I’ll get them fixed up this weekend (I’m not even going to charge them lest someone thinks this is just an attempt by me to make extra money.)

I just want all of you, my clients to be protected, and when something doesn’t smell right to me, I’m going to tell you.  You’re all big boys and girls and can make your own decisions – I’m just giving you my professional “geeky” opinion. 

UPDATE:

Within about 30 minutes of posting this I received a response from PC Matic urging me to read “their response” to the Virus Bulletin results, the same results they boast about.  I wasn’t interested in hearing their spin on the results, nor am I interested in how they try to make bad numbers look good. 

I have approx. 500 clients, and probably 10% of you read my blog.  Hey, if you want to give PC Matic a try, just go to PCMatic.com, but that is NOT my recommendation.  I’m not saying they are crooked, I’m not saying they are evil, I’m just saying that with a little knowledge (that I try to provide you here on my website) you have no reason to pay them.  AND… if you subscribe to my Preventive Monthly Service (PMS) I check things that no automated system can, because you have to THINK before keeping or deleting something, and that’s what you need a person for.

 

 

imagePC Matic spends lots of money advertising on TV telling you how great the product is, and how for around $100 you can protect multiple computers forever.  What really caught my eye in their commercial was when they claimed that the Virus Bulletin had shown them to record “the highest proactive virus detection rate.”

Let me explain what “the highest proactive virus detection rate” means.  First, it’s not a term used by the Virus Bulletin, that’s the term used by PC Matic.  The keyword here is “proactive.”  PC Matic makes it sound like a good thing.  Well in August 2014 on Windows 8, the Virus Bulletin checked 49 anti-virus programs, and didn’t even give PC Matic a result because of false positives (that’s when it tells you there is a virus found when there really is no virus at all.)  Of the 49 programs tested, only 5 had false positives.  Two products had ONE false positive.  One product had 4 and another product had 12.  How many did PC Matic have?  345!!!  That’s right, 345 false positives.  The problems that creates for you is 1) you wonder what did you do to get infected (when you’re really not), 2) it misleads you into thinking the program is really doing a great job and 3) if it removes those false positives from your system, it could break your computer since they are files a program uses.

Oh, and if you need support?  There is no phone number to call.  They recommend you go to their forums to seek the help of other users.  I think they probably have some sort of email support, but they really push the forums.  They also accept advertising, which since you’re already paying for the product I wouldn’t expect to see.

So save your money folks.  Everything you need to know to stay clean is right here in my web site, and it’s free.

10 Signs You’re an Old Geek

These aren’t original from my own little brain, Steve Tobak at FoxNews.com wrote the column, I just tweaked it a bit (the original column is here).  So here we go…

10: You remember using a slide rule (I do)

9:   You were sure by now we’d have a domed city on Mars (never did)

8:   You remember when computers used punch cards (I do)

7:   You knew that Betamax would rule the video world (I did)

6:   You owned a $5 digital watch (I did but it was more that $5)

5:   You remember when “brick” meant that big Motorola cell phone that weighed 3 pounds (my 1st)

4:   You remember when “state-of-the-art” meant DOZENS of transistors on a chip (today it’s billions)

3:   You think “Geek” is an insult (I wear that badge proudly!)

2:   You loved the Jobs-Gates interview from 2007 (even I don’t remember that)

1:   You still say that you need to “dial” the phone (if I do say it – it just slips out)

Backups Aren’t Expensive – Losing Your Data IS!!!

imageOh, you don’t think you need a backup do you?  Let me ask ONE question….

Is there a single file on your computer that can’t be replaced that you would absolutely pay anything to get back?

Think about it, do you keep your finances on it?  Do you have photos of trips or family that would really hurt to lose?

What about documents you’ve created?  Whatever it is, all it takes is one power surge or hard drive meltdown to make you desperate to get it back, and that’s when it gets expensive.

If your hard drive totally fails, in MOST cases it is possible to recover you data, but that will require a company that specializes in data recovery using “clean rooms” (much cleaner than hospital operating rooms) and that can build a temporary hard drive using your platters to recover the data.  When I say expensive, I mean $1,500 or more.

An external hard drive for your computer will run you between $50 and $80.  An online service like Carbonite is $59.99 a year and protects you from a fire in your home melting your computer AND the backup drive or a robbery that will again take everything, including your backup (full disclosure, I am a reseller for Carbonite, but they really are the best, and I was a customer before becoming a reseller.)

So let me say it again… Backup!  Backup!  Backup!  Contact me if you need help figuring out what’s best for you.

Do You Know What Today Is?

imageThat’s right boys and girls – it’s PATCH TUESDAY!  The second Tuesday of the month when Microsoft pushes out updates for Windows and other Microsoft programs.

If you’re new to my blog, you’ll notice the picture here to the right.

Anytime you see one of these images down in the lower right corner of your desktop in what’s called the “Task Tray”, you need to click on it and perform the update that it is asking for. 

These updates are NOT to make the program look prettier, these are SECURITY updates.  Within 72 hours of these updates being published, the bad guys will be taking advantage of computers that HAVEN’T patched their system.  They figure out what the patch fixes, and then they write software that lets them get in those unpatched computers.

Java (the orange icon) and Adobe Reader (the red icon) could show up anytime.  Microsoft will push out an update out of cycle only if its critical, so when you see that blue icon at the end of month – don’t waste time, plug that hole.

Your anti-virus won’t protect you from these exploits because they may not know about them yet, so they just walk into this exposed back-door on your computer.

I get paid several hundred dollars a month just because people haven’t kept their system secure.  I do everything I can (just like I’m doing now) to keep everyone educated.

I had a client tell me yesterday that they were AFRAID to click on it.  Well, I’m telling you now if you see the icon in the task tray, do it!  The bad guys can’t put an icon down there unless you’re already infected.  And at that point they wouldn’t need to.

So be good kids and make your friendly neighborhood Tek-Chic proud and DO THOSE UPDATES!

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