Archive for November 2015

You DON’T Have to Upgrade to Win 10 Right Now! is getting more aggressive about urging Windows 7 and 8 users to upgrade to Windows 10.  Now you’re seeing a big white box pop up.  The screen says the upgrade is free for a “limited time”, which is true but that limited time doesn’t end until late next July.  Unless you’re prepared to upgrade your operating system on your own, then DON’T click on “Upgrade Now”.  I’ve had three clients in the last few days click on it not really knowing what was going to happen, then when it’s all over, they were calling me trying to find things and navigate around.  Just close the box and ignore it.

Like I’ve said before, I do like Windows 10 and think it’s a worthwhile upgrade, but I DO recommend you hold off, give me a call first and let’s PLAN your upgrade.  I only charge $50 to perform the upgrade, and that includes showing you how to get around in Windows 10, which isn’t hard.

The upgrade is easy to do, but unless you are prepared to learn the new parts on your own, call me first.  Calling me AFTER will just probably end up costing you more, and we don’t want that to happen if we can help it.

Got a New Dell? You Need to FIX Your New Dell.

It was disclosed today that Dell computers sold since August had a security flaw in them.  It’s technical so I won’t bore you or make your eyes glaze over with a wordy description, but to be safe you should download and run the automated fix from Dell.  New systems won’t have this flaw and you don’t need to be worried, but if you’re worried that the new Dell you got (are going to get) at Christmas this year may have been manufactured in August – November, then you can run this tool anyway to be sure.

CLICK HERE to download the file from Dell.  You WILL see a security warning, that is normal so go ahead with it.

What’s Worse Than a Well Written Virus?

Answer?  A poorly written virus.  I’ve told you about CryptoWall and CryptoLocker, the viruses that encrypt your data and have you pay hundreds of dollars to get your data decrypted. 

Well, there’s a new variant of this type of virus out there, this one is called PowerWorm.  It also encrypts your data, and yes – the bad guys demand a ransom if you want your data back.  One problem, they did such a bad job writing their encryption code, that the decryption process doesn’t work, so you WON’T get your data back.  It’s not that they won’t get your files back, they can’t.  It’s lost – forever, whether you pay the ransom or not.

So obviously you shouldn’t pay in the first place.  What you need is a BACKUP of your data that’s not directly connected to your computer (like a USB external drive.)  That’s because most of these viruses also will look for and encrypt data on those backup drives.

Solutions?  If you use USB drives for backup, I recommend having a second backup drive that’s not connected and just swap them out on a weekly or monthly basis.  Another way is to have a cloud-based backup like Carbonite (truth in advertising, I’m a Carbonite reseller) or Mozy or iDrive.

I say it again and again and again, and I’ll continue to do so….   Backup, backup, backup.  It’s MUCH cheaper and less stressful than having a drive fail, getting a virus or having your computer stolen.

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