A Plus Computers Brief
Repairing Your Computer Quicker for Less
Have you started to notice your computer's niggles, flaws, and problems growing more severe and more frequent over recent months? These issues can irritate you daily, stop you from doing critical tasks, and even put your data in danger. It may be time to book in your computer for a brief service check or repair to get back on track.
When booking your PC in for a service, you can help your technician get straight to the root of the problem. A few simple notes is all it takes. Many people drop off their computers with, at best, a brief and vague description of the problem they experience.
Technicians have a wide range of tools and years of experience to bring an ageing machine back to health. Even with tools and help, without a clear description of the problem, troubleshooting is far more time consuming and expensive. The best doctors in the world couldn't diagnose a medical condition without a clear explanation of the symptoms.
With just a few simple steps, you can save time and money while ensuring you get your computer back with every problem fixed.
Take Note of the Problem Every Time It Happens
Some computer problems only crop up every now and again. A machine might freeze suddenly, or shut down unexpectedly. Intermittent issues can be frustrating and seemingly impossible to solve, but these occurrences may not be entirely random.
When these events happen, you can help to resolve your issues by jotting down what you were doing and the programs running at the time they happen. Information about what you clicked on last, or settings you recently changed can reveal unexpected links to the computer's behavior.
Detailed notes help technicians to reproduce the problem and see the crash or error for themselves. This can lead to faster fixes, more lasting solutions, and less time spend diagnosing problems in the dark. Simple notes scribbled down on a piece of paper or smartphone app can save you a surprising amount of money.
Keep an Eye on the Environment as Well as the Computer
It's not just things within the computer we need to note down. External factors can play a significant role in how machines operate. Hot and humid days have been known to limit cooling on devices already suffering from heat issues.
Even changing the time of day can raise different computer related issues. There have been occasions where users have reported problems connecting to the internet around lunchtime every day. A seemingly strange coincidence with no apparent cause, until technicians dig a little deeper.
Wi-Fi, which relies on radio waves to send and receive data, uses a frequency of 2.4ghz to communicate with devices. By coincidence, the same frequency is used in concentrated form inside of a microwave to heat food and beverages.
Microwaves, particularly when poorly positioned, or faulty, can cause Wi-Fi issues that disrupt communications every time they are used. Problems that come and go, seemingly randomly, have such a strange link to the computer's environment that they can be very difficult to diagnose.
Take the Right Hardware at the Right Time
Bringing your computer in for repair, whatever the issue, is as simple as picking up the box itself. We don't need the peripherals such as the mouse, screen, or keyboard unless those are the things causing the issue. Bringing in a laptop is as simple as carrying it to us, along with the charger.
If you have concerns about how to safely transport your computer, give us a call first and we can advise you what to bring and how best to pack it.
When deciding when to come in, sooner is always better than later. Computer issues often get worse over time. Vents gather more and more dust, fans run slower and slower. Heat issues in particular drastically lower the lifespan of a machine as time goes on.
A machine that gets less and less stable over time puts your programs and your critical data at risk. Updates applied over a shaky foundation can cause any number of software issues. With data, there's often zero warning before it's gone.
Can you afford to delay?
Give is a call at 715-395-8333 to book an appointment and give your computer a clean bill of health.
Don't Fall Victim to Blackmail or Pop-up Scams
Many users have reported recent scam messages from individuals claiming to have intercepted their username and password. These messages often state they have been watching your screen activity and webcam while you have been unaware.
Typically, attackers threaten to broadcast footage to your contacts, colleagues, or social media channels. Demanding payment in Bitcoin, malicious hackers blackmail their victims to keep confidential information private.
Where Have the Attacks Come From?
In many cases where hackers have claimed to have a victims' password, this has turned out to be true.
In the last few years alone, many large websites have suffered enormous hacks which have released confidential details on many of their users. LinkedIn, Yahoo, and Myspace all suffered massive and devastating hacks. Some users of these services are still feeling the consequences today.
The details leaked from these sites, and others facing the same issues, are sold online for years after the initial breach. Hackers buy username and password combinations in the hopes of reusing them to access services, steal money, or blackmail their owners.
How to Respond
If you have been contacted by one of these hackers, it is a scary reality that they could have access to your credentials, data, and online services.
The only thing you can do in response to this type of email is to ignore it. This email scam made much more believable because they probably do have one of your real passwords gained from a site hack.
That said, accounts that share the same password should be changed immediately. Security on additional services you use should be updated too.
Pop up Phone Scams
Another popular scam going around is a pop-up window telling you there is an infection or problem with your computer and to call a 800 number immediately. This is a scam and you should never call any number that a pop-up window is telling you to call. If you see a window like this come up and are not able to close it using the X in the upper right hand corner immediately turn off your computer. Even if that means holding the power button down until the system is off.
If you do call the number and let someone remote into your computer they now have control of it and can copy any data you have on your computer. They will also hold your computer hostage with Passwords locking out your system until you pay them a large sum of monies. If you have allowed anyone into your computer we would recommend bringing your system in for a cleaning and removal of their remote in software as they will still have access to your computer. We also recommend talking with your credit card company if you have paid any of these fake services to contest the charges.
If you feel you have been a victim of these scam please give us a call at 715-395-8333 or stop in and we can help make sure your system is secure.
Check out our website at www.apluscomputerservices.com
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