Computer Maintenance – Formerly Nerd4Rent https://www.nerd4rent.com Local, Trusted, Reliable Technology Support for Your Home, Small Business, Home Office. Computer Setup, Networking, Virus Removal, Backup, Windows and Macs. Wed, 03 Jan 2018 17:36:58 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://www.nerd4rent.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/cropped-Logo-Cropped-for-Website-32x32.jpg Computer Maintenance – Formerly Nerd4Rent https://www.nerd4rent.com 32 32 WannaCry Malware-What You Need To Know https://www.nerd4rent.com/wannacry-malware-need-know/ Wed, 17 May 2017 23:11:16 +0000 https://www.nerd4rent.com/?p=1348 There’s been a lot of talk about the newest malware called WannaCry that encrypts files on Windows computers. This malware does not affect Macs. It’s a nasty virus that eludes most security software and holds your files hostage unless you Continue reading WannaCry Malware-What You Need To Know

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There’s been a lot of talk about the newest malware called WannaCry that encrypts files on Windows computers. This malware does not affect Macs. It’s a nasty virus that eludes most security software and holds your files hostage unless you pay a ransom. Even if you pay the ransom, there’s no guarantee you’ll get your files back.

There’s good news and bad news.

The good news: None of our clients have reported being hit with this virus. Congratulations to all of you!!

The bad news: Hundreds of thousands of computers around the world have been infected. There will surely be more of these viruses coming.

Here are some quick tips to help you understand and avoid this and other malware:

  1. Malware doesn’t install itself! In virtually every case, YOU have to allow the installation of any software on your computer. So be super-careful about pop-ups, that request your permission to allow installations of software.
  2. Almost all malware is currently coming through email attachments or links When you click an attachment or link, you’re telling your computer to perform an action. In many cases, it just takes a click or two to install the virus. Be especially wary of ALL attachments and links in email.

Even if the email comes from someone you know or do business with, it could contain a virus. Why? because that person’s computer could have been compromised and their entire address book would be sent the virus. Secondly, it’s easy to put anyone’s name as the “From” in an email.

  1. Make sure you Backup your files. We still see a lot of computers that aren’t being backed up. We recommend that you have an online backup, plus a local hard drive backup.
  2. Make sure to keep your computer operating system updated. This virus cannot work on a computer with updated operating system software. We offer a service for only $8.99 per month per computer that keeps your computer and software updated, tuned-up, and monitored (no brainer folks).
  3. Install PAID anti-virus/security software. It’s better than the free stuff, and it may stop at least some viruses.
  4. If you’re a business, home-based business or have sensitive data to protect, consider a business-class firewall. A business-class firewall can scan for viruses, block malicious websites, etc. If this is something of interest to you, please give us a call to discuss.
  5. There’s no need to buy a second computer for Internet-only use, Turn off your Internet modem when not in use, etc., for most of you. Just follow the above steps, and you’ll likely never have a virus infection. We’re happy to discuss any special needs/circumstances with you.

As always, please give us a call if you have any questions or need our advice/services. 925-283-5666

Best Regards,

Edward

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How To Stop Windows 10 Upgrades https://www.nerd4rent.com/stop-windows-10-upgrades/ Tue, 14 Jun 2016 00:41:53 +0000 https://www.nerd4rent.com/?p=1285 Don’t want your computer to upgrade to Windows 10? We don’t recommend upgrading to Windows 10. If you buy a new computer with Windows 10, that’s fine, but upgrading from Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 can cause problems. Windows 10 Continue reading How To Stop Windows 10 Upgrades

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Don’t want your computer to upgrade to Windows 10?

We don’t recommend upgrading to Windows 10. If you buy a new computer with Windows 10, that’s fine, but upgrading from Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 can cause problems.

Windows 10 is now a recommended update, which means that it will automatically install itself on your computer in most cases (most of us have Windows Update set to automatically install recommitted updates).

There are several options you can use to block or uninstall Windows 10 if it installs automatically.
1. (recommended method) Block the update by installing a free blocking program. (we recommend having a professional install these programs, as incorrect configuration can cause problems).

2. If the update automatically installs, Decline the update. After the update a screen will come up asking you to Accept or Decline the update. If you decline, the update will be removed, and your computer will revert to it’s previous version of Windows. (see Fig. 1).

3. In some cases, you can revert to your old operating system within 30 days of your Windows 10 upgrade. This option is found under Settings |  Update & Security | Recovery.   Here’s a link with instructions & caveats from Microsoft: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-10/windows-10-recovery-options.

Windows 10 Decline Option

Fig. 1 Decline Windows 10 Update

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How To Protect Your Computer And Data From Viruses, Crashes And Other Problems https://www.nerd4rent.com/how-to-protect-your-computer-from-viruses-crashes-and-other-problems/ Fri, 06 Nov 2015 16:37:45 +0000 https://www.nerd4rent.com/?p=1207 Meet Anne. (not her real name). Anne runs a busy accounting office from her home.  She called in a sheer panic one April, because her hard drive died. Unfortunately for Anne, this happened just as tax filing season was near an Continue reading How To Protect Your Computer And Data From Viruses, Crashes And Other Problems

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Meet Anne. (not her real name). Anne runs a busy accounting office from her home.  She called in a sheer panic one April, because her hard drive died. Unfortunately for Anne, this happened just as tax filing season was near an end, and she was working literally around-the-clock to finish returns for her many clients. Luckily for Anne, she had taken our advice and had a USB hard drive with a recent image (clone), of her computer on it. We went to Anne’s home office with a replacement hard drive, and copied the image from her USB hard drive to the replacement hard drive. That took about 1.25 hours. When finished, Anne’s computer had all her files, all her applications, all settings, email, printers, wireless, bookmarks-everything just as before. She didn’t lose a thing!

Having that image saved Anne several hundred dollars in labor, along with many hours of downtime, and untold hours of re-work. To say Anne was happy and relieved would be a gross understatement. She was nearly in tears!

The Problem
Lots of things can happen to damage or break your computer. Whether it be a PC or a Mac, viruses, faulty updates, operating system upgrades (windows 10 upgrade issues anyone?…), electrical issues, even user error, to name just a few. When a serious issue occurs, the remedy is often a reinstallation of your Mac or PC operating system. This process requires several hours, on average, for a technical professional, and of course costs quite a bit of money. In the meantime, you don’t have access to your computer.

Another common issue is data corruption or loss. Your computer could be functional, but lose some or all of your files due to hard drive failure (even new hard drives fail sometimes!). If your computer was to die-right now-do you have a copy of all your important files, music, pictures? The vast majority of you would answer “no” to that question. While you can always replace or repair your computer, many files can’t be replaced-pictures, for example.

The Solution
There is an easy, inexpensive solution to this problem. Use imaging software to backup (clone) not only your files, but also your computer operating system, settings, and applications. Imaging software costs around $50, and a hard drive to backup your computer to costs anywhere from $99-$175 retail (often less).

So how does this solution work? Easy, just purchase Acronis True Image for PC or Mac, and a USB hard drive. Install Acronis and create a backup schedule, and Acronis boot disk. Acronis will copy your entire hard drive to the USB hard drive on schedule. If anything happens to your computer or data, you can simply restore the Acronis image in 30-90 minutes. The restored image will be an exact replica of your computer when you backed it up. You won’t need to setup or reinstall any software, or your files.

We use Acronis in our shop frequently. It has proven very valuable when a client has forgotten that they had some important file saved in an unusual location, and their hard drive had to be wiped clean.

Things to note
1. You can buy Acronis True Image from www.acronis.com, online retailers such as Amazon, or at your local electronics store. USB hard drives are available from online retailers and your local electronics store.
2. Buy a large USB hard drive. The more room you have on the drive, the more copies of your backup you can keep on it. This is helpful because you may not realize a problem has occurred for some time, and your recent backups might carry over the problem. Buy a 1-4 Terabyte hard drive for plenty of extra room.
3. Setting up Acronis is easy, but you must use care to select the correct backup options and schedule. You may want to hire an expert for this.
4. Your computer must be left on, or the backup will not work. Many computers are set to go to power-save (Sleep or Hibernate mode) after a period of inactivity. You may need to adjust or turn off the power-save settings during the backup schedule window.
5. I highly recommend that you create a bootable Acronis DVD. In the event that your computer won’t start, you can use this DVD to restore your computer to the last backup.
6. I always recommend that you have cloud backup in addition to a USB hard drive, to protect you from fire, water damage, theft, etc.

If you need help with your backup solution, please contact us at (925) 283-5666 or support@nerd4rent.com

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Does Your Phone/Tablet Need Anti-Virus? https://www.nerd4rent.com/does-your-phonetablet-need-anti-virus/ Fri, 23 Oct 2015 21:41:10 +0000 https://www.nerd4rent.com/?p=1199 Everyone knows that your computer needs anti-virus protection. What about your phone or tablet? Phones and tablets are computers, and there are bad guys out there writing viruses and password-stealing programs, with the intention of stealing your money, holding your Continue reading Does Your Phone/Tablet Need Anti-Virus?

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Everyone knows that your computer needs anti-virus protection. What about your phone or tablet?

Phones and tablets are computers, and there are bad guys out there writing viruses and password-stealing programs, with the intention of stealing your money, holding your phone hostage for ransom, or stealing your list of contacts, pictures, etc. We have heard of viruses being installed that make your phone unusable unless you pay the criminals to have it unlocked.

Think of all the things we do with our phones: Log into our bank to pay bills, check balances, transfer money; purchase things from merchants; buy airline tickets; and much more. Our phones and tablets can be an easy target for the criminals, as most of us don’t protect them.

Here are a few popular apps that will help protect your phone or tablet. Most of them are free. Some vendors offer premium paid versions.

Android phones/tablets. Please remember to only download apps from the Google Play Store
Avira
Norton
Avast
Lookout Mobile Security

iPhones and iPads Please remember to only download apps from the Apple App Store
Avira Mobile Security
F-Secure SAFE

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Microsoft Fixes Internet Explorer Security Flaw https://www.nerd4rent.com/microsoft-fixes-internet-explorer-security-flaw/ Mon, 05 May 2014 18:36:54 +0000 https://www.nerd4rent.com/?p=1071 Internet Explorer OK To Use Again Just 5 days after news of the major security flaw in Internet Explorer, Microsoft released a fix last Friday.  The fix has already been applied to most computers via Microsoft Update or Windows Update, Continue reading Microsoft Fixes Internet Explorer Security Flaw

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Internet Explorer OK To Use Again

Just 5 days after news of the major security flaw in Internet Explorer, Microsoft released a fix last Friday.  The fix has already been applied to most computers via Microsoft Update or Windows Update, so there’s no action required for most of you. The fix requires a restart of your computer, so please restart your computer just to be sure the fix has been applied.

If you have switched your browser to Firefox or Google Chrome, you are welcome to continue using those browsers, or go back to using Internet Explorer. In fact, you can use more than one browser at the same time. I use Internet Explorer for most things, but a couple of websites display better in Firefox, so I use Firefox when going to those websites.

In an interesting and unexpected twist, Microsoft has fixed the security flaw for Internet Explorer 6-8, which most Windows XP users have.  If you are using Windows XP, your Internet Explorer is probably updated and protected from this particular issue (but not against other issues which may be active, or arrive in the future). This does not mean that Windows XP users should expect more updates from Microsoft. We still strongly recommend all Windows XP users replace their computers.

IE-security-updates-GRAPHIC

If your Updates version number is EITHER 2964358 or 2964444 your copy of Internet Explorer has been updated.

If you do not see either of the above numbers
1. Go to the Start menu

2. Select All Programs

3. Select Microsoft Update or Windows Update

4. Install updates

5. Restart your computer and check again

For more information, check out Microsoft’s Security Bulletin
https://technet.microsoft.com/library/security/ms14-021

If you need assistance, please give us a call 925-283-5666.

Edward Zeidan
Nerd4Rent, Inc.
www.nerd4rent.com
925-283-5666

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End of Support for Windows XP and Office 2003 April 8th https://www.nerd4rent.com/end-support-windows-xp-office-2003-april-8th/ Wed, 12 Mar 2014 23:24:29 +0000 https://www.nerd4rent.com/?p=1000 What will you do when Support ends for Windows XP and Office 2003 on April 8th? And why you shouldn’t leave your computer exposed…. If you’re using a computer with Windows XP, we strongly suggest that you replace it by Continue reading End of Support for Windows XP and Office 2003 April 8th

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What will you do when Support ends for Windows XP and Office 2003 on April 8th?

And why you shouldn’t leave your computer exposed….

If you’re using a computer with Windows XP, we strongly suggest that you replace it by April 8th, 2014. Why? Because Microsoft will cease to support Windows XP starting April 9th. What does this mean? There will be no security updates for Windows XP.  There will be no bug fixes or enhancements. Most vendors have, or soon will stop providing support for XP.

Can I still use my Windows XP computer after April 8th? Yes, it will still work, but you are at a much greater risk of viruses and hackers. The biggest vulnerability is going to come from zero-day attacks. Those attacks are vulnerabilities exploited by hackers before your anti-virus software vendor has time to create protection for that attack. Other vulnerabilities that anti-virus software can’t protect against may be exploited and there won’t be any Microsoft updates created to block them.

Can I upgrade my Windows XP computer to Windows 7 or Windows 8? We do not recommend that you upgrade your computer. We suggest purchasing a new computer. Why? There is no direct upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 7 or Windows 8. If you decide to upgrade, you have to upgrade to Windows Vista and then upgrade to Windows 7. Alternatively, you could clear all data and programs off your computer (wipe the hard drive) and install windows 7 or Windows 8—if your computer can support those operating systems. Upgrading is a bad idea because you’ll still end up with an older computer that will be more likely to suffer hardware failure as it ages. Most older computers don’t have the resources necessary to run Windows 7 and Windows 8 efficiently. Additionally, the cost to upgrade can cost as much or more than the cost of a new computer.

Support for Office 2003 is also ending on April 8th.  Office 2003 includes programs like Word 2003, Excel 2003, PowerPoint 2003, and Outlook 2003. If you are using Office 2003, we recommend that you upgrade to Office 2013, for the same reasons as above. Be aware that starting with Office 2007, the menus and icons are radically different and will require some time to learn.

We are offering some Windows XP migration specials to help you make the transition to a new computer. Please give us a call to discuss 925-283-5666.

CLICK TO CONTACT US NOW

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EXTREMELY URGENT WARNING! Cryptolocker Ransomware Computer Virus: What You Need To Know https://www.nerd4rent.com/extremely-urgent-warning-cryptolocker-ransomware-need-know/ Fri, 11 Oct 2013 18:00:02 +0000 https://www.nerd4rent.com/?p=838 Cryptolocker Ransomeware Computer Virus makes most files unusable! This is what the virus looks like: Crypto Locker ‘Ransomware’ is infecting computers and encrypting files so that you cannot access them.  Files cannot be recovered if you are infected. “Ransomware” is Continue reading EXTREMELY URGENT WARNING! Cryptolocker Ransomware Computer Virus: What You Need To Know

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Cryptolocker Ransomeware Computer Virus makes most files unusable!

This is what the virus looks like:

Crypto Locker ‘Ransomware’ is infecting computers and encrypting files so that you cannot access them.  Files cannot be recovered if you are infected.

“Ransomware” is designed to extort money from computer users by holding their computer files hostage until they pay  a ransom fee to get them back.  In this case they are demanding $300.

In the past, this virus has been an effective ruse, but ineffective in actually locking computer files.  It has not caused any long-term damage when promptly removed by a professional.  However, this new virus has changed everything…it is so severe that it is being described as “game changing” by the IT industry.

A message comes up as shown in the above picture demanding $300 to be paid in order to get the files back.

If you encounter this virus on a work or home machine, turn it off immediately. Do not click on anything to close it. These criminals attempt to panic you into clicking on the “Close” buttons which are really an “Ok, Infect My Computer” button. Simply turn off the power immediately and contact an IT support person.

The infection is also “network aware” which means that if an infected user has access to a shared folder on a server or another workstation, that user will cause all shared files to become encrypted and unrecoverable as well.

The trojan infection is coming from infected web sites. The links may come in via email or on social media sites. So be very cautious about ANY web links. As we always recommend the sender should clearly identify themselves, you should know the sender and the purpose of the link(s) sent. In any case – it’s still best to ignore them and DO NOT click on any links you receive without first calling and verifying that the sender and the link is legitimate.

Please be safe in your email and internet browsing. If you need assistance securing your computers feel free to contact us.

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Summer is a Good Time to Tune-up your Computer https://www.nerd4rent.com/summer-is-a-good-time-to-tune-up-your-computer/ Tue, 06 Aug 2013 23:01:40 +0000 https://www.nerd4rent.com/?p=797 Computer Tune-Up It’s a good idea to tune-up your computer at least twice per year, in order to keep it running at its best, and to keep the bugs out. Here’s a computer tune-up checklist. Defragment your hard drive Disable Continue reading Summer is a Good Time to Tune-up your Computer

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Computer Tune-Up

It’s a good idea to tune-up your computer at least twice per year, in order to keep it running at its best, and to keep the bugs out. Here’s a computer tune-up checklist.

  • Defragment your hard drive
  • Disable unwanted startup programs
  • Run Disk Cleanup
  • Remove temporary files
  • Check backup logs (you ARE backing up aren’t you)
  • Perform a test restore of backed up files
  • Check hard drive health
  • Check event logs and correct any issues found
  • Update your operating system
  • Apply software program updates
  • Check computer performance settings
  • Check anti-virus status and logs
  • Check firewall status and logs
  • Change all your passwords. Passwords should be at least 8 characters long.
  • Write down all your usernames and passwords. Do this before you need them, and you’ll be very thankful later. One of the most important passwords people often do not recall is their e-mail password. (everyone has one, and it’s needed every time we work on your email, setup a new computer, phone or tablet, or should your email account be compromised).

Nerd4Rent would be happy to perform a computer tune-up for you! Please contact us to make an appointment.

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