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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

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5 Quick Windows 8.1 Tips

Computer Repair Perry Hall MarylandWhen it was released Windows 8 felt like a huge leap backwards.  Microsoft axed the beloved Start Button and it alienated non-touch screen users. The recent release of version 8.1 has really flattened out the learning curve. Here are five quick tips to help you get the most out of Windows 8.0

  1. Boot to Desktop – If you are not a fan of the “Metro User Interface”, you can bypass the start screen by clicking directly on the Desktop icon then right click on the Taskbar, select Properties and switch to Navigation tab. Check the “Show my desktop background on Start“.
  2. Each of your Start screen app tile groups can have its own heading now, if required. You could name one group ‘Work’ and one ‘Personal’ as an example. Right-click on the Start screen and choose Customize to bring up the labels.
  3. Windows 8.1 goes even further with SkyDrive integration than Windows 8 did – you can have all of your applications save to your SkyDrive folder by default. Open up the Change PC Settings screen, choose SkyDrive and the relevant setting is on the Files tab.
  4. Start screen apps now update automatically, which will come as a relief to Windows 8 users who are used to having to apply the latest upgrades manually. If you want you can turn off this feature — select Settings and then App updates from inside the Store app.
  5. The system image backup tool first seen in Windows 7 looks like it has vanished from the 8.1 release, but this isn’t the case – it’s just very well hidden. Launch the desktop Control Panel, head to the File History pane, and a System Image Backup link appears in the lower left-hand corner.

 

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