Archive

Archive for May, 2012

Don’t get scammed

 

At Easy PC Advice we get a lot of different issues sent for us to resolve but an increasing amount of calls are coming in from customers who are worried that their PC has been hijacked.  What do you mean by “hijacked” you say!

Hijacked is a term used when someone has taken over your PC without your consent.  A lot of the time this is done by accidentally clicking on the wrong link on a website and a pop-up appears that looks convincing and inadvertently you have added a new Toolbar or downloaded a piece of software that you didn’t want.  Sometimes these toolbars and pieces of software are nothing more than just annoying, but other times these pieces of software have one purpose in mind and that is to send data from your computer to an unknown server where the data is gathered and a profile is created on you.  This is called Spyware.

Another more worrying side to this is that I have heard from customers who have actually received a call from who they were told is Microsoft, informing them that their Windows licence has expired and that they need to pay £70.00 for one year or £300.00 for five years subscription.  STOP!!

First of all, Microsoft doesn’t make calls to people who have purchased a copy of Windows and I may be right in saying that Microsoft doesn’t make calls at all… and why should they, you’ve purchased your copy of Windows with your computer.  There is no annual subscription due at all.

These people are trying to con you into paying for a subscription that doesn’t exist.  Unfortunately one of my customers did go along with this and to be honest they did ask questions like “How do I know you are from Microsoft?” and the scammers sent them an email with the Microsoft logo in it making it look very official.  Getting a logo from another companies website can be done in 2 clicks so this means nothing.

The scammers did gain access to the computer and the customer informed me they did install something but he wasn’t sure what it was.  The customer also paid the £70.00 but as soon as they put the phone down they felt that something wasn’t right and immediately contacted the Bank to stop all transactions.  They also set the computer to return to a previous setting which probably saved their accounts as this removed the software that had been installed.

Easy PC Advice ran our Spyware Tool and found a few Tracking files that are not normally found on a standard pc and these were removed.  The customer now has peace of mind that their computer is safe again but this has obviously cost them money.

Things you can do:

  1. Ask the company for a telephone number you can call them back on as you are busy. If they don’t provide a number or get pushy, put the phone down.  If they provide a number type this into Google as this will normally show up any sales numbers which you can look at before thinking about calling back.
  2. Never give out your password for your computer to anyone.  There is no reason why anyone should want this – Protect it.
  3. Remember that Microsoft will not call you as you have already paid for your computer with Windows on it or you have bought your CD from a store (which means you have already paid for the licence).
  4. Don’t let people who are calling you access your PC.  The only time access may be needed is if you have a problem and you have called a reputable company to sort the issue out.

Above all

  • If you are not sure, put the phone down.  
  • Be careful of what you click on when on the Internet
  • Don’t give your password to anyone

Any questions then give us a call and we are happy to advise for FREE. 

Be safe.

24/07/2012

Adding an extra section on this post about the Metropolitan Police Scam that may affect your PC.

There is a scam where you click on an unsuspecting link and this downloads a file to your PC (without you knowing) that when finished, runs and locks your PC with only one screen viewable.  It is a screen that says your PC has been carrying out unauthorized actions and has been locked by the Met Police.  To unlock it you must put in your bank details and pay £100.00 to unlock it.

SCAM, SCAM, SCAM.

Don’t pay it, just call your local IT person who will be able to get the file removed.  If you pay the money the scammers won’t necessarily unlock your PC, they will just ask for more money until they have cleared you out (as most people rely on their PC a lot).

Please be warned as I am seeing people who have paid the Scammers and then only after this do they contact their local IT person.

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Get Connected – Home Networking Options

Networking Options

Ahh yes, lots of you have been there when your children are growing up and you get “Mum, Dad, I need a computer!”.  The brain starts processing this request by firstly saying “How much is that going to cost?” and then secondly “Where are we going to put it?”.

Missing out the cost part, the location of where you put your childs computer is very important.

Many parents these days are getting a lot wiser to computers and in particular the way their children interact with them and other people online.  We obviously want to make sure our children are safe in what they are doing so…

…Our advice is to firstly always put your childs computer in a family room i.e. the lounge or dining area.  Basically, somewhere where you can keep an eye on what’s going on.  This is not a sign of distrust against your child, this is like an invisible Firewall that your child needs to get through to help protect them and their details. 

So, you’ve decided to put the computer let’s say in the lounge – great!  How do I get connection from the broadband router which has been placed in another room to here so that your child can get online? 

A few of the most common options spring to mind that you probably have heard of before:- 

1) Cables running from the broadband router to the lounge.

2) Wireless – a card fitted to your Desktop or Laptop (normally included in Laptops these days) so no wires are needed. 

Let’s look on the practical side then.  You’re not going to be running cables down the stairs or round door pillars on a permanent basis and unless you want to start drilling holes through walls or are in the middle of an extension being built where you can tell your builder to add this when building it, wireless seems to be the answer.  But is it?

Laptop

Wireless technology today is massive.  As I said above, almost all laptops come with a wireless card in them these days and you can get Wireless (Wifi) in hotels, coffee shops and restaurants etc.  But the idea in these places is that someone can connect and pick up their emails or write a well written Blog let’s say…!! 

But what about if you need more Bandwidth Intensive Applications running or need to download large files where the standard 54Mbps just isn’t cutting the mustard?  Where do you turn?  Cables running down the stairs or excavating your walls starts to make you feel rather uncomfortable to get the speeds your Broadband Supplier promised you when you signed up to their unbelievably long contract.

At Easy PC Advice we have an alternative Networking Option that you may be interested in…

You could say it’s a bit of both wired and wireless but without all the drilling and mess, plus from the cable side of things there would only be a very short cable to your PC that doesn’t spread all over the floor.  Another plus is that instead of the standard Wifi Speeds of 54Mbps, you could now get 200Mbps which is HD quality streaming speeds.

So not only is this option great for your childs needs but also great for your needs in case you want to stream videos or watch TV programmes online.  For the more techy people, if you have an Internet Ready TV, this option is perfect.

Best of all… your home is already setup to use it straight away as it uses your current electricity circuits to carry data and it’s not that expensive as we are currently offering the adaptors with a discount so it is only £49.99 to get you connected.

If you are interested in finding more out about this alternative for the home then we look forward to hearing from you and you can see the rest of our services at our website. www.easypcadvice.com

Who really needs I.T. Support?

Who really needs I.T. Support?

So here is the question, who really needs I.T. Support?

Well, to state the obvious, everybody who owns a computer.  We take our computers for granted these days and day in, day out they get abused with all the downloading and new files that get created and all the time your poor Hard Drive is sucking it all in to keep you happy. BUT!

Like any other machine, your Hard Drive is as vunerable to failure as any machine you have ever owned whether that is a Car, a Washing Machine or the power button on your TV remote control.  The funny thing is that in most cases your computer is showing you signs of distress before any failue even happens, but do people take any notice? 60% of people don’t.

People complain that their PC’s are getting slower or that they have a warning come up on their screens daily and how annoying it is to have to keep clicking OK to make it go away…

PEOPLE…This is your warning sign!!

So what do you do about all this as it surely can only be expensive to get anything fixed…Right?? Nope, not if you contact the right people first time.

Easy PC Advice caters for exactly these problems and we can fix your computer issues up until 9pm on weekdays and 5pm weekends.

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We currently have an offer for an annual service and one call-out for your PC for just £59.99.  What do I get for that you ask?

Rather a lot actually…
* We check the Registry for broken or unused links and repair it.
* We defragment the Hard Drive which will speed up your PC.
* We check for Spyware and remove as needed.
* We provide more space on your Hard Drive.
* We carry out a File System Clean-Up and remove all unused Temp files.
* We remove Adware.
* We give advice on Backup Solutions and Best Practices.
* We give you 1 call-out for one PC per year FREE.

All that for just £59.99 which is worth £89.99 (some companies charge this per hour) so you are saving £30 and getting peace of mind that your PC has been checked over by a local trusted company.

Now, to really appreciate the delicacy and finess of a Hard Drive you really need to open one up one day.  The next time you have an old computer that you are going to throw out, remove the Hard Drive and open it up.  You’re an IT Geek I hear you say so why should we start tearing out computers open?

Never throw out an old computer without destroying the Hard Drive first.  One-in-10 second-hand hard drives still contain the original user’s personal information, suggests an investigation by the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).  It is important that people do everything they can to stop their details from falling into the wrong hands.

Think of all the things you’ve downloaded or password details that you’ve saved on your pc at some point, or worse, your downloaded bank statements.  Perfect information for someone else to use, so a great opportunity for you to have a look at your own Hard Drive… and then smash it up before dropping it in the bin!!

In summary, don’t take your Hard drive for granted as you need to look after the one thing that is keeping all your personal information safe for you.  Get some I.T. Support at the right price.  If you are unsure still, see our testimonials page and see how happy our customers are.

www.easypcadvice.com