There are so many criminals out there using computer scams . . .too many to count . . But I’ve seen or heard of 11 attempts to scam folks this week alone.
We’ve all gotten the email from the King of Nigeria wanting to borrow our bank account for a few days and offering a king’s ransom to do it. Lately though there are far more sinister schemes out there ripping off thousands of folks and little is being done to stop them. It’s up to you to stay safe. No amount of antivirus protection or hard to guess passwords will protect you.
The first clue that an attempt to scam you is contact by someone you don’t know. It might be a phone call, it might be an email, or it might a pop-up taking control of your computer while you’re shopping online. It might say Microsoft (it isn’t.) They might say they’re from Windows (they’re not). It might be scary. It might be telling you that your computer is about to crash. (it might.) . . . but don’t . . don’t . . . positively DON’T CALL, DON’T REPLY, DON’T RESPOND. Don’t even try to waste their time. They are evil and they are out to damage you.
If you’re not sure call me. Anytime. I’ll probably tell you to turn off your computer or hang up the phone. Turn off your Internet modem, and run a virus scan. BUT DON’T CALL THE 800 NUMBER IN THE AD. Don’t engage them. They are EVIL DOERS.
Are you scared yet?
A very good customer of mine recently gave away information about his bank account to one of these scammers. You’re first thought is he’s probably not too sharp. . he is. Most of his career was as a CEO of a medium sized corporation. Yes he’s college educated. Yes he’s well informed. Yes He fell hook line and sinker for the talented banter of the scammer.
The EVIL DOERS are good at what they do. If you let them into your computer they’ll walk you through unfamiliar screens claiming they show your computer is making thousands of errors. They’ll tell you your antivirus is an obsolete version, they’ll tell you your computer will fail and they may even plant viruses on your computer. DON’T LET THEM IN.
If they call, if they write, if they . . . never mind. They’re already planning some new way to scam you.
Just say NO.
Still uncertain . . give me a call
Want to see how they work – search youtube.com for Computer Scams. There are some very good videos on the subject.
Not every upgrade will go smoothly. It’s been out long enough for us to get a good handle on what’s needed to upgrade. Before you do anything else, click on the Windows Upgrade Icon at appeared a couple of months ago. Look to see if the upgrade is available for you computer. (I’ve run into a few Dell laptops that get the warning that the BIOS isn’t available.) If you have Windows 7 Service Pack 1 or Windows 8.1 you should be able to get the upgrade. If your computer is running Vista, XP or something earlier . . get a new computer, it’s time.
Before you begin, check your antivirus – is it active and updated. Run a scan. Check with your antivirus company’s website to make sure your product is compatible with Windows 10. You may have to download and install a new version. (Free where I’ve checked)
Antivirus up to date? Next step, shut it down. You don’t want it interfering with the update. They all shut down differently, if your unsure, google:”Shut down Kaspersky” or Norton or AVG, etc)
Open Internet explorer and go to this website:
Click on the purple download button appropriate to your machine (32 or 64 bit, almost everything made in the last 5 years is 64 bit)
Follow the prompts. If your not successful, give us call, we’ll be glad to help.
Google Earth Pro is the version your TV station probably uses during newscasts. It’s quite a bit better than the version Google made available to everyone. The Pro version sold for $400. Now, it’s free.
Get the details here:
Be sure to read the page and get the details you’ll need to insert the license key and give us a call if you stuck.
Now is the time to update your iPhone and your iPad to the latest software.
I’ve just updated my iPhone 4S to the latest software from Apple (IOS 8) and my phone now has many of the features available in the new iPhone 6, not everything, but lots of new features.To update, you’ll need a computer, iTunes, and the USB connector cable (from the charger). iTunes handles all the details, downloading the new software, backing up your phone, and installing the new IOS 8. The process, if you have a good Internet connection takes 20 to 30 minutes.
For more information, check the Apple website at:
Passwords, there are just too many of them . . . and so few people remember them.
There are times when you will need to change all your critical passwords and when you do, here are some tips for creating passwords you can remember.
Your address: It has numbers, capital letters and usually more than 8 letters. Mix it up a bit. Instead of 27MainSt (not bad like this) but MainSt27 is probably harder for someone to guess.
I also like telephone numbers. If you’re old enough to remember phone numbers from the 1950’s, MU 5-2000 or MurryHill52000 make great passwords. Your spouse’s cell phone number, and the number you had as a kid, all make good passwords. It’s very unlikely that anyone would guess you would use your employers phone number.
Instead of pet names, sports team names, and ‘password’ . . . make up new words. Instead of 68redsox, redbase68. instead of 2004champs, ws2004W.
I never forget one of my customers passwords. Its and acronym for “I would like to golf 7 days a week” or IWL2G7DAW.
Don’t forget your email has a password, even if your computer never asks for it. When you need it, it’s a lot easier to remember if you keep a record of all your passwords. On my computer there is a document called, “ForgetMeNot.doc.” It contains all my passwords – calling it passwords.doc is probably OK to. If someone gets into your documents folder, they already have access to all your stuff anyway.
Make sure you spouse has access to your computer and passwords. Some of my most difficult service calls have been to help a recent widow or widower gain access to their late spouse’s computer.
A couple of months ago I thought it would be possible to keep using Windows XP if you wanted to avoid buying a new computer. Not so anymore. Microsoft not only stopped supporting changes, they’ve blocked the ability to download updates that you will need if you weren’t up to day on April 8, 2014. Every machine I’ve seen in the last month has been infected with viruses and Internet Explorer 8 is full of holes and easily corrupted with evil doers. Set some money aside, and retire that old machine or come back in a few days for an update about Linux. It’s one way to revive that old computer.
I find that many of my customers have problems when Windows updates fail to install. If this happens to you, the first thing to try is to disable real time protection on your antivirus software and try the update again. Windows update is on the Control panel. Disable realtime protection on Security Essentials, Windows Defender, or Norton products on the settings tab.