Tag: IT support

Computer Virus

by Wisideeple1939 on / IT

A computer virus is a computer program that creates copies of itself (self-replication) and spreads to other computers. Viruses can be transmitted via email, instant messaging, file sharing systems, or even by an infected CD or floppy disk. Often a virus will pick up all the addresses in your email address book and send a copy of the virus to your friends and family.

Webroot Antivirus: The best protection against viruses, spyware data theft, and hackers.

Sometimes the consequences of a virus are not serious – the time needed to scan all incoming email attachments, for example, or the increased traffic on a network. Sometimes the consequences of a virus are more sinister. Your could lose all the files on your computer. The virus could contain a Trojan Horse that opens a backdoor on your computer, leaving you vulnerable to a hacker ready to take control of your PC (as was the case with the W32/MYDOOM virus).

How can you tell if your computer has been infected by a virus? Here are a few signs and symptoms:

  • Your computer is running very slowly.
  • Strange or unexpected error messages appear on your screen.
  • Your computer shuts down without warning or crashes frequently.
  • Programs are not running properly.
  • Strange files or directories appear on your PC.
  • Your computer runs out of space or experiences problems with memory.

The good news is most anti-virus software companies provide fixes or instructions for removal of specific computer viruses. However, it’s a lot quicker and easier to prevent a computer virus infection than to try and fix a computer that’s been infected. Here are a few suggestions for protecting yourself from computer viruses:

  • Use a good anti-virus program. Make sure the virus definitions are current. The easiest way to do this is to follow the software company’s instructions for setting up automatic updates. Run a full system virus scan on a regular (weekly) basis.
  • Don’t open email attachments from people you don’t know, and be careful when opening attachments from people you do know. They might be infected with a virus and not know it, so always perform a virus scan on attached files before opening.
  • Keep your Microsoft Windows updates and security patches current. Once again you can follow Microsoft’s instructions for turning on automatic updates.
  • A personal firewall can give you additional protection from unwanted computer virus infections.
  • Use the most recent version of your instant messaging software. Don’t open files from people you don’t know, and exercise caution when opening files from people you do know.
  • Regularly back up the information on your computer so you won’t lose important files if your computer does become infected with a virus.

The best advice for protecting yourself and your computer from viruses is to exercise common sense. Most definitely in the case of computer viruses an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

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Should you build your own PC?

by Wisideeple1939 on / IT

Ah, the big debate when it comes to personal home computers: Should you build your own or just buy one?

When looking inside a computer one might immediately have the feeling of just quitting while you’re ahead. All those wires and circuit boards can scare some people as to even touching the computer for fear they might destroy it.

However, don’t get discouraged.

Assembling your own computer is like assembling a child’s toy. Here are some advantages and disadvantages of learning to build your own PC.

PROS: If you are more concerned about the budget of your computer and not so worried about the additional components of a PC, just buying a package may be the right answer for you. However, if you want to add some specs that are right for your demand, assembling your own PC may be the best option.

Building your own PC will allow you to pick and choose the components thus allowing you to match more exactly your needs and desires in a home computer.

Those cheap PC packages at many stores more than likely have the bare minimum components and will not have those extras you really want. If you really want the best and still be reasonably priced, upgrading your PC components piece by piece works a lot better.

Building your own computer is a great experience as well and a chance to learn what makes your computer tick thus making future repair and troubleshooting much easier. You will have a better understanding as to how each component works with each other. The knowledge you gain will be very useful when you’re computer breaks down. And we all know that is a “when” and not “if”, right?

Troubleshooting knowledge is very useful and can save you a ton of money in technician costs. You will be able to find the problem on your own PC and repair it by yourself. The cost of getting it repaired by someone else is expensive. Plus, with this new skill set, you have an added bonus to repair the computers of other people and you can possibly earn from that knowledge as well.

When you build your own system, you can guarantee that your computer is the best as you know exactly what is inside it. Retailers will often use cheap Original Equipment Manufacturer to cut down the cost of the computer. Cheaper cost equals bigger profits. The performance of your computer will be compromised when cheap parts are used. Brand name components may be costly but are worth the cost.

In the world of PCs it often is ‘you get what you pay for’!

CONS: A disadvantage in building your own PC is not getting a warranty for the whole system. You will only get warranty component by component as you buy them so if the motherboard fries the chips you will only have warranty for the board but and not the chips.

However, if you buy all your components from the same retailer, you may possibly get some compensation.

Bottom line building your own PC is really priceless. It may take a lot of your time but the time spent will be valuable for future endeavors. It’s not that intimidating to build your own PC, just consider it as a challenge.

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Email Spam

by Wisideeple1939 on / IT

Anyone who uses email on a regular basis (whether for personal or business reasons) most likely has experienced the nuisance of email spam. You know the messages we mean – anything from herbal drugs, to low-interest mortgage loans, or even single people in your town looking for company. The people that send out these types of messages are called email spammers.

What is Email Spam?

Email spam is any unwanted, unsolicited email message, sent out in bulk. More often than not the messages are commercial in nature, but chain letters are also considered spam.

Email Spam is a Growing Problem

Things are getting worse rather than better in terms of the number of email spam messages sent out daily. One leading internet service provider reports that 30% of the 30 million email messages processed by them are considered spam. A report issued by the Radicati Group estimates that by 2007 70% of the email messages sent daily will be email spam.

Where do Email Spammers Get the Addresses?

Email addresses are collected (or “harvested”) from websites, Usenet postings, newsgroups, chat rooms, and the like. The email spammers either go out and get the addresses themselves to build their distribution lists or will purchase the addresses from a list broker that provides this service. Sometimes the spammers will use popular email extensions and guess at the names using familiar names and variations of them.

Is Email Spam Bad?

Yes. The major problem with email spam is that it consumes resources, both on the internet and your computer specifically. There’s the possibility of identity theft with Phishing messages (which are considered email spam). But most of all email spam is a nuisance. It gets very annoying and tiresome to deal with these messages every time you open your email program.

What Can You Do to Avoid Email Spam?

First, do not reply to an email spam message. If a product is advertised, don’t buy it via the email message. If the email spammers can’t make money from the messages they send out they’ll stop sending them. Also, don’t reply to the message to remove your email address. That specific advertiser will remove you from their list but will go ahead and sell your email address as a valid address to a list broker.

Second, consider using a “junk” email address to use when prompted on the internet to provide an email address. Create a second email address for personal use, using a variety of letters and numbers to make it difficult for email spammers to “guess” your email address.

Don’t provide your email address unless you know how it will be used. Reputable firms and websites will tell you in their privacy policy how they use your personal information and that includes your email address. On these reputable websites, you’ll be given the opportunity to “opt-in” or “opt-out” of receiving email messages.

Finally, use a good anti-spam program to get rid of email spam messages before they even arrive in your inbox.

Following these suggestions won’t rid the world of email spam. They will, however, help you avoid the nuisance of email spam in your personal and business email usage.

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Email Scams

by Wisideeple1939 on / IT

Every time you open your email program chances are you’ll find a message that contains an email scam. When you think of the word scam you might automatically think of a criminal trying to steal your money. Email scams, either directly or indirectly, are designed to cheat you out of your money one way or another.

Email scams can come in all shapes and sizes. This article will provide some examples of the types of email scams you might find on the internet today.

Employment Scams

One of the more popular types of email scam you might encounter is the employment scams, usually dealing with foreign or overseas employment. These scams are often targeted towards people in Asian and other countries with high unemployment rates. There are a few ways in which the unsuspecting recipient could be scammed:

  • An offer of guaranteed employment within a certain period of time, for a fee.
  • The criminal claims to be working on behalf of a real company overseas. After a telephone interview or a face to face interview, the victim is told they got the job but need to pay a certain amount of money to cover administrative fees, work permits, visas and so on.

Get Rich Quick Scams

These are emails that offer the recipient a chance to earn money effortlessly and quickly. An example of this type of scam would be the Advance Fee Fraud, also known as the “Nigerian 419” scam. In these scams, you get an email from a government “official” asking for your assistance in transferring money from a bank in their country to another one. The victim is asked to provide letterhead and other information from their current bank (including bank account numbers) to expedite the transaction. Of course, there is no money coming from that foreign government. The only money changing hands is the money the criminals take from your bank account.

Other examples of getting rich quick email scams include:

  • The Foreign Cashier’s Check Scam
  • Work at Home scams
  • Investment opportunity scams
  • Foreign lottery scams

Credit Card / Loan Scams

The victim receives an email stating they’ve been pre-approved for a credit card or a personal loan. The victim is asked to pay a fee to guarantee the loan or credit card. The criminal keeps the money, and the victim receives nothing.

Credit Repair Scams

An email is sent out that guarantees the recipient can “fix” their bad credit or bankruptcy for a fee. No company can fix someone’s credit – it’s just the con artists preying on the desperate yet again.

Product Scams

Whether it’s herbal male enhancement pills or weight loss drugs, the products sent out don’t live up to the claims made in the original email messages. The victims are just throwing away good money on products that don’t work.

Protect Yourself from Email Scams

Don’t respond to unsolicited emails you receive that promise you a windfall. Chances are they are a scam or a Phishing email. Be skeptical of any claims made in these emails you receive. You can always go to your favorite search engine to determine the legitimacy of the email.

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Registry Cleaner

by Wisideeple1939 on / IT

If your computer starts to run less efficiently over time, one of the reasons could be Windows Registry errors. Some versions of Microsoft Windows, such as Windows 95, 98, 98 SE, ME, and NT/2000, use a database called the Windows Registry to store settings and options. The registry contains settings and information for all of the preferences, users, software, and hardware for your computer. All changes made to installed software, file associations and Control Panel settings are stored in the Windows Registry. For your computer to work at maximum efficiency, using a registry cleaner such as Registry Mechanic on a regular basis is essential. Registry Mechanic cleans your Windows Registry and helps return your PC to, and keep it at, the optimum performance it experienced when it was new.

Windows Registry errors occur when entries in the registry become corrupted, abandoned, or are simply no longer correct. People who use their PC often and for a variety of reasons are apt to be installing and uninstalling applications regularly, and keys can become invalidated. A registry key is used to store a setting for a specific application. As files are switched or moved around, new registry keys are stored in the Windows Registry – but the old or invalid keys are still there. Eventually the Windows Registry becomes bogged down with keys, and it takes your PC longer to sort through the invalid registry keys and find the valid ones – hence the slowing down of your entire system. This can be likened to you saving all of the old papers and memos that you use at work and keeping them in the same pile as the newer and more relevant paperwork. The bigger the pile gets, the more papers you have to search through to find the right ones, and the more time it takes to find them.

If Windows Registry errors are not addressed, it can affect more than just the speed at which your computer performs. Eventually your computer will suffer stalls and begin experiencing crashes on a regular basis. Important files can be lost or corrupted due to this, further compounding the problem. Jumping in and trying to fix your Windows Registry manually is not recommended, since it is a fragile system, and even one incorrect change made to the registry can result in your computer being rendered inoperable. At that point your only remaining option might be to have the operating system restored along with any other applications that you might have installed which can be extremely costly.

A good registry cleaner works by detecting the data in your Windows Registry that is obsolete or invalid. Although the registry cleaner will not automatically remove files, as this could be potentially damaging to your PC, it will remove invalid Windows Registry entries. A good registry cleaner will scan your computer, set possible invalid or corrupt keys into a separate file, and alert you of what it found. It can help you clean your Windows Registry of files and entries that are no longer needed and even help you decide which ones can safely be deleted.

Cleaning up your Windows Registry errors is a tricky issue, and an efficient Windows Registry cleaner can take you through it step by step so that no mistakes are made.Registry Mechanic is a trustworthy Windows Registry cleaner that can make the process of cleaning your registry worry-free, and help your computer return to a healthy and efficient state of operation. For many people, their computers are an important part of their work and/or their communication with friends and family, as well as an essential source of information and information storage. Having a computer that meets your needs in a timely and efficient manner is important, and Registry Mechanic can make sure that your computer is working properly whenever you use it.

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Webroot Window Washer

by Wisideeple1939 on / IT

Window Washer is a software program that protects your privacy by “washing away” traces of your online and offline activity on your computer. It also works as a system optimizer, improving your computer’s performance by removing unnecessary and/or unwanted information from your computer.

There are two reasons you need Window Washer:

  1. Window Washer improves the performance of your computer.
  2. Window Washer protects your privacy.

Click here to get Window Washer for your PC.

Improved System Performance
When you use Microsoft Windows, there are files stored on your computer that you don’t even know exist. While these files are not harmful, they do take up valuable space on your hard drive. Webroot Window Washer will delete any files that you don’t need. This in turn will make your PC run faster both on and off the internet.

Privacy Protection
When you surf the internet, information is left behind about where you’ve been. A list of recently viewed websites remains in your internet browser, and sometimes websites will leave cookies on your PC. Window Washer will clean away this information so no one can find out what you do or where you’ve been on the net.
When you work offline, a list of recently viewed or modified documents will appear in your start menu. Window Washer prevents a document from being stored in this menu.

Privacy protection becomes especially important when you share a computer with someone, or if other people have access to your computer. If someone gains access to your PC they will not be able to see where you’ve been on the internet, or what documents you’ve worked on recently.

Window Washer is Easy to Use
Window Washer is easy to use. You don’t need a lot of technical knowledge to install or configure the program. The interface is very user-friendly and simple. You can schedule an automatic wash session based on your individual needs. You can have Window Washer clean your PC every time you start Windows, every time you close your internet browser, or even at time intervals of every 15 minutes if you want.

There are several tools that every computer user needs to protect themselves and their privacy. You need a good anti-virus program, a good anti-spyware program, and a good internet privacy / system cleaner program like Webroot Window Washer. Click here to download it now.

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