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perry hall computer repairAre you worried about the security of your Computer and your data? Want a worry free computing experience?

Perry Hall Computing offers a Total Care plan

 

With our Our Total Care Plan you will get

  • Managed Anti-Virus software
  • Unlimited free virus removals
  • Reports are run every hour to check for infections, Windows services stopped, Hard Drive space and health, and other critical components
  • Daily update checks for Windows and third party security updates (java, flash etc)
  • Daily automated mini-tune up to keep your customer’s computers running smooth
  • Sneaker ware Prevention – Automatically chooses “No” during software installation for additional software (toolbars, adware etc)
  • Website Filtering – Blocks known attack sites, and other categories the customer requests such as Adult sites etc..

Only $21.00 Per month be safe , secure and have your computer running at peak performance

BIZ CARD

The Never ..And I mean Never Do List – How To Keep Your Computer Safe

perry hall computer repairWhile it’s true that the internet is full of viral menace, it doesn’t have to feel like an overwhelming or unavoidable thing. There are things that you as a user should do to reduce your chances of contracting a virus on your home computer or laptop – or rather, things that you should not do. For Affordable, Flat Rate Computer Repair in Perry Hall, Maryland contact us Perry Hall Computer Repair

 

When it comes to viruses and malware, you probably already know the basic “Do’s”: do use a reliable anti-virus software, do update your computer and all its software regularly, do take it to a professional if you run into any viruses despite your best efforts. So today, we have a list of “Don’ts” that might help you sleep better at night, knowing that you’re not exposing your computer or devices to unnecessary internet plague.

The Never ..And I mean Never Do List:

  1.  Don’t ever give anyone who contacts you remote access to your computer. I don’t care if it’s a phone call, an email, or the pony express – you should never trust a company who wants remote access to your computer. Remote access allows someone to do just about anything they want on your computer from another location; it can be helpful for people who need to access their office computer from home occasionally, but for most people, it isn’t something they’ll ever need to do. A recent scam we’ve heard about: a person who claims to work at Microsoft calls to tell you that your computer is infected with a virus, and that they need access to save your computer and your files. You panic, give them the information and access they need, and suddenly a stranger has the ability to control your computer, download dangerous malware, and hijack your personal information. Luckily, this scary scenario is easy to avoid: don’t ever let anyone you don’t know access to your computer – remotely or in person!
  2. Don’t open email links your friends share with you until you double-check with them. We all get emails from our friends with funny photos, stories, news articles, or videos. Often you’ll need to click on a link to get to what your friend wants to share – but a little voice in the back of your head wonders, “How do I know this is safe to click on?”  Don’t ignore it! Even if the email is from your best, most trusted friend on the planet, that doesn’t mean it isn’t a trick. Hackers often gain access to an email account, and then email a dangerous link out to all those friends in the address book – disguised as a funny photo or video link. The only way to be sure your friend really sent it is to check with them before you click on it. And if you’re getting spam emails from a friend’s email account, let them know so they can change their password ASAP!
  3. Don’t click on links in emails. This might sound extremebut if you’re a better-safe-than-sorry kind of person, it’s a solid rule to live by in the email world. If you’you’ve kept on top of email scams and spams, then you already know never to click on a link from someone or some business you don’t know. But these days you need to take it a step further. Say you get an email from your bank or your cable provider, and it has a link in it that you want to check out. Better to type the company’s URL into your browser, and navigate to whatever offer or page you wanted to look at from their homepage. Trying to tell a scam email and a legit email apart can be very difficult – scammers have really stepped up their game and can construct an email scam that looks just like a legitimate message from a company you trust, right down to the logo.
  4.  Don’t download files that end in .exe, .vbs, or .lnk. These types of files can open programs or applications on your computer when you download them, and you might never even notice them running. They could be programs that capture your passwords, track your keystrokes to get private information, or even use your computer for their own purposes (most likely not benevolent, I think we can assume). Familiarize yourself with the extensions you are likely to see for common file types: .jpg or .png for images, .doc or .pages for documents, and so on. If you get an email from a friend that says “Look at this great photo I took,” but the attachment ends with .exe and not .jpg, you should steer clear of it.

These are just 4 of the many, many things you should not do on the internet or in your email – but they all boil down to, essentially, erring on the side of caution. We all want to be trusting, open-minded people, but you will be rewarded for being a skeptic on the internet.

Keep these pointers in mind when you browse or use email, and share them with others who might also be losing sleep over their computer’s safety and security.  Computer Repair in Baltimore, Maryland

www.PerryhallComputerrepair.com

 

Myth: Mac’s Can’t Get Viruses

www.baltimorepcfix.comMacs are known for their high tolerance and good security against viruses.  However, every once in a while some Mac computers may develop cookies, viruses, and Trojans. Don’t panic if you do have a virus on your mac, because virus removal on Macbook is possible!

The various types of dangers

The main three types of threats to your computer’s security through using the Internet are:

1)     Cookies

2)     Viruses

3)     Trojans

Deleting Trojans

Trojans are becoming more serious and common in infecting Mac computers. Trojans allow your computer’s DNS records to be modified, hijacked, infected and watched.  The most serious Trojan is called a flashback and infects your computer by downloading malicious components. Flashback tricked users by disguising the installer for Adobe Flash.

What to Avoid: 

– Only download Adobe Flash Player from the official site to avoid downloading a Trojan.

– Disable the “open safe files after downloading” option in preferences to avoid automatic installations of potentially dangerous programs.

Get Rid of Viruses

Getting rid of viruses is a little more complicated but still do-able. Download ClamXay for your specific Mac OS and install recent apple security updates.

With these two completely up to date, ClamXay will take you through the necessary steps if a virus is detected.

Additional Help

Virus removal on mac isn’t easy! If you cannot get rid of your virus or are in need of professional

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Your Worst Computer Nightmare – CryptoLocker

Baltimore PC RepairRansom ware is a variety of malware that, once it infects its host-machine, at least says it’s encrypted the data on or locked its victim’s machine in some other way. The malware then informs the infected user that he or she must pay a ransom in order to unlock their files. Of course, there is never any guarantee whatsoever that paying the ransom will unlock anything. In this case the Cryptolocker really carries out the threat, The virus encrypts files stored on local hard drives and mounted network drives using public-key cryptography, and then displays a message saying that the files will be decrypted by a 2048-bit RSA key pair if a fee is paid through an anonymous payment service by a specified deadline, beyond which decryption is no longer possible.  There is no way to decrypt the key.

US-CERT issued an advisory this week warning businesses and consumers of the risks presented by CryptoLocker, which has been on the radar of security experts since late October. US-CERT said infections are on the rise and urge victims not to pay the ransom, instead report it to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center.

How the virus works – What does it steal from you? Who does it Target?

CryptoLocker installs itself to the Documents and Settings folder on your system and then proceeds to search for specific file types like Microsoft Word Docs or Adobe PDFs. It applies an asymmetric encryption which requires both a public and private key to unlock. The public key is stored in the virus itself and is used to encrypt the files. The private key is hosted on the hacker’s server.

We have noticed a high infection rate here in Baltimore County as well as the surrounding metro Baltimore area.  This is serious business for these thugs and for the first time this type of attack is being considered organized crime.

How do I get it?

  • As an email sent to company addresses pretending to be from customer support from FedEx, UPS, DHL, etc. The virus is attached to the email, usually labeled as a tracking number.
  • In PDF documents that are attached to emails.
  • Via hacked websites that can exploit computer vulnerabilities to install the infection.
  • Through Trojans that pretend to be programs you need to download in order to watch videos online.

Some versions of CryptoLocker are reportedly capable of affecting not only local files but also files stored in Removable Media such as USB sticks, external hard drives, network file shares and some cloud storage services that are able to sync local folders with online storage. The US-CERT notification also warns that the malware can jump from machine to machine within a network and advises that infected users remove affected machines from their networks immediately.

Can Baltimore PC Repair remove the virus?

computer-maintenance-services-Baltimore-Perry-Hall-PC-RepairThe techs and engineers here at Perry Hall PC Repair have had success with removing the virus but at this point it is impossible to retrieve the encrypted files so honestly the best practice is to wipe the hard drive and start over.

 IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

  • Beware of attachments – Always look at your attachments. If you get an email with an attachment from any sender you don’t personally know don’t open it. If you get an attachment from people you do know, but it isn’t something they would normally send, don’t open it. For all other attachments, try confirming that the file attached is in fact legitimate by asking the sender.
  • Backup your data – Be sure to always backup your data on a regular basis. If you backup files on a daily or even weekly basis and are infected, you can easily wipe your hard drives and start again without losing much in the way of data.
  • Know what to do if infected – If you are infected the first thing you should do is disconnect from the network to limit the chance of the virus spreading to other systems. If you have backed up your system and data, you can probably revert your system. If not, your best plan of attack would be to contact us to see if we can help, as we may be able to get around the encryption or even delete it

Computer Repair in Baltimore Maryland

Viruses Attacks Increase as We Approach The Holiday Shopping Season

Perry Hall Computer RepairWell it is almost holiday shopping season. During this period; many people opt to online for doing a good majority of their Christmas shopping. Virus hijackers like to take advantage of the extra online traffic by writing new virus code and infecting thousands of sites in order to get their malware out into the wild. We see it happen year after year. One of the most aggressive of these infections is ransom ware called the FBI virus. This virus is brutal once it gets into your system. Depending on how long it stays in your system, your computer can be locked down sometimes even in safe mode with no easy way to get into your operating system. The fake screen that pops up looks very real and can be intimidating for many people. Essentially the virus lets you believe that you are committing a  violation and you need to pay $200.00. The money is usually requested to be made as a money pak from Walgreen’s or Wal Mart. As real as it may appear, it is a fake program. Do Not Pay the $200.00 as the screen will still remain on your computer and the virus will still be there.

One of the worst aspects of the FBI virus is that it is almost never stopped by anti-virus software. It appears to be most common with video sites and X rated websites.

In addition we have seen an increase in exe hijackers and the system restore virus that actually changes the configuration of your files so that you think they have been erased. These virus variants are a bit easier to remove but registry fixes often have to be implemented in order to get the machine back to a normal state. Most of these virus attacks will take several steps to completely remove. It can almost never be done just by a simple scan from your anti-virus program.

 

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Free VS Paid Anti Virus?

Perry Hall Computer RepairInternet security is always a hot topic for computer users. There are many companies out there that provide different levels of protection and the question I receive quite often is “what is a good free AV (antivirus) that I can use?” While there are good sides to getting your AV for free, paying brings many more benefits that users should know about.

Antivirus protection should never be taken lightly. I tell everyone of my customers that they should be using some sort of antivirus, no matter the user. You might be someone that has been on the internet for years and never gotten a virus (at least one that you don’t know about) but I would still strongly urge those who run nothing for protection. It’s the same as leaving your house unlocked when you leave; maybe you’ve never been robbed before, but it’s never a good thing to do.

Let’s say you are a computer user and you are needing antivirus. You have the option of either downloading a free program to use or finding an antivirus with a premium. Here are some options to keep in mind when determining which route you want to take.

1) Free programs lack good technical support.
I have to deal with technical support all the time, and the difference between good and bad technical support goes a long way. I would rather pay for good technical support than have to deal with someone who I can barely understand and doesn’t really care if my issues get resolved or not.

2) Lack of options
Most free versions offer run of the mill features that only offer a handful of protection. Free versions might protect you against some malware, spyware, and other infectious files that users run into often. Paid versions offer all this plus offer additional benefits such as an additional firewall, advanced identity protection, spam mail filtering, parental controls, and so much more depending on which options you buy.

3) Real time protection
Probably the biggest difference with free vs. paid antivirus is paid antivirus offers real time protection. This means that it will give you a warning when something goes wrong. Some free antivirus programs offer this but most all paid AV list this as a benefit. Let’s take a free AV for example. Say you are browsing the internet and click on a bad link. A good paid AV would stop you right there alerting you that it could potentially be hazardous to your computer but the free one will allow you to click it. Most, not all, free programs will only work when you actively run scans. Using free means you should set reminders for yourself to scan since it doesn’t actively watch over your computer like a paid program will.

4) Stability
Paid antivirus is often regarded as more stable since they have the budget to keep their program up to date and keep it upgraded.

When picking an antivirus it all comes down to two questions. One – do I have the budget to pay for antivirus? two – how important is the data on my computer? Like  stated above, I recommended everyone run some sort of protection, especially businesses. I’ve seen viruses render computers completely useless to the point the operating system has to be re installed. If you have any data at all on your computer, whether it be family pictures, important documents, bank information, or just anything else that is personal to you, then investing in a good antivirus should be a priority to you.

What do I recommend?  Vipre Anti Virus. It is powerful, effective and does not slow down your computer.  We don’t really have a favorite when it comes to free. AVG and Avast are both popular free options but I’ve removed several spyware and viruses off computers that had up-to-date versions of these programs on them. You can always reach out to me at Perry Hall PC Repair to discuss options when it comes to protection on your computer.

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