If you’ve ever played a video game, you know that no matter how realistic it is, there are always some limitations, especially having to do with real-time light movement. For example, mirror reflections that can’t see things not in camera view or a shadow cast from a light post that doesn’t quite keep up as the character walks by. [Read more…]
The great thing about a laptop is the portability. You can work from your backyard, a client’s waiting room, and even while lounging at the beach. But, when the battery goes dead, the convenience quickly turns to frustration. [Read more…]
You can always tell a popular Microsoft Windows version by the adoption rate. While some are praised for making computing easier and are quickly adopted by the masses, others are less popular and become “skipped” versions, without much use during their short lifespan. [Read more…]
One myth that has been around for a while is that Apple Macs just don’t get viruses or malware infections. Some people say it’s because there are so many more Windows PCs out there, making them bigger hacker targets, others tout excellent Mac operating system (OS) security as the reason. [Read more…]
Operating system (OS) updates come with a mix of emotions for many computer users. Excitement about the new cool features, fear of what bugs might be included, and annoyance at having to stop what you’re doing to install an update. [Read more…]
When people get a new computer or laptop, they’re not generally thinking about the hard drive that came with it right away. It’s later down the road when their computer is going slower and their storage space is nearly gone that upgrading the hard disk drive (HDD) becomes a consideration. [Read more…]
There’s no longer one type of computer virus that can wreak havoc on a system. Cybercrime and the use of malware has only become more prevalent since the very first computer virus was created back in 1986.
Those that design and release these threats on unsuspecting computer users and corporate networks have only gotten more sophisticated and now several forms have branched off from what we considered a “virus.”
Malware is now the broader term used for multiple computer threats which encompasses everything from ransomware to adware to spyware. Our Pro Tech Guy Defense Team has seen and eradicated them all.
If you’re thinking that an antivirus and malware program built in to a new computer is enough to protect you, you could be putting your computer, Wi-Fi network, and everything that connects to it at risk.
While programs like Microsoft’s Windows Defender may help as a baseline of protection, they’re not designed to be as robust as other anti-malware and antivirus programs.
We often get frantic calls for virus removal, after an infection has occurred, and we never want to leave a client after removing the malware without giving them a way to defend themselves against future threats.
That’s why Pro Tech Guy is always on the lookout for the best and most robust anti-malware software, and one program that is particularly tenacious and designed to provide a triple level of protection is Emsisoft.
We’ll get into why we like Emsisoft a bit more later in this article, but first, let’s talk about what threats are out there and why you need an antivirus now… more than ever!
Types of Malware that Threaten Your Computer Daily
It seems that malware creators never sleep! In 2017, there were 360,000 new malicious computer files detected every single day. And that’s a 14% increase over the prior year. (Info Security Magazine)
While some hackers just create troublesome viruses to prove they can do it to other hackers, the main reason for the rise in malware attacks is money. Hackers use methods like holding your data hostage and demanding a ransom to a spyware script meant to steal sensitive information (like online banking logins).
30% of internet users worldwide paid to recover data after a malware incident.
According to Statista, the financial costs of a malware attack were divided into these types of expenses:
- Cost of repairs (34%)
- Purchasing antivirus software (30%)
- Paying to recover data (30%)
- Buying a tool to clean computer (24%)
- Replacing damaged components (23%)
- Replacing damaged device (18%)
- Paid a ransom to decrypt files from ransomware (16%)
- Other (1%)
What’s the difference between the types of malware out there? Here’s an overview of 5 common types of malware.
The most well know is the typical computer virus. They are designed to modify a legitimate file on your system to allow the virus to be run along with it. They’re the only type that “infect” another file, which is why they’re difficult to eradicate.
This is one of the fastest growing types of malware because of the financial pay-off for cyber criminals. Ransomware has been used against hospitals, large companies, and municipalities. It is a script that encrypts the files on a system, or otherwise locks the users out, and the crook demands a ransom, usually in the thousands of dollars, to give access back to the files.
This one has less of a system damage or financial loss risk because it’s meant to drive malicious advertising. It’s incredibly annoying because it can take over your browser searches to drive you to look-alike pages with product promotions.
One of the more insidious types of malware is spyware because it can sit on your system quietly for years and you don’t even know it’s there. It’s not designed to start making your computer act weird or redirect your browser, instead it silently records every keystroke you make, working to get passwords and logins to your personal data.
This type of malware is designed to trick you into downloading it onto your system by disguising itself as something else. You might visit a malicious site and see a pop-up that your computer is infected, and you need to download their cleaning software, but it’s really a trojan worm. Trojans are designed to get the user to purposely download and install them (kind of like inviting a Vampire into your home) so they can bypass other protections, like firewalls.
What Are the Most Popular Delivery Methods for Malware?
Most types of malware utilize similar delivery methods for getting into your computer.
The most popular is the phishing email, where you might receive an email from a seemingly legitimate source (like a shipping company or bank), and that even might use their logo on it. But it’s designed to trick you into downloading a malicious attachment or going to a dangerous website.
Here are the top delivery methods for viruses and malware:
- Phishing emails with bogus attachments or links
- Downloading “software” from dangerous sources
- Online ads that download malicious scripts when you click them
- Social media surveys or fake messages
- Vulnerabilities in unpatched software
How Can You Protect Yourself?
The best defense is a strong anti-malware program. As we mentioned earlier, Emsisoft is one that’s a favorite of ours because of its triple threat protection engineered to protect against multiple methods of intrusion.
• Surf Protection: Protecting you from scripts on malicious websites
• Behavior Blocker: Monitoring new threats by looking for strange system behaviors
• Real Time File Guard: If a dangerous file is downloaded, it identifies and quantines it through a dual-engine scan
Is Your Computer and Network Properly Protected?
In today’s connected world, every computer, tablet, and smartphone connected to your home Wi-Fi could be at risk if even one of them downloads a virus.
Don’t leave your security to chance, contact Pro Tech Guy today for a security check to make sure you’ve got the best defense.
A common data nightmare that’s experienced around the world is thinking all your files are backing up automatically. Then a computer crashes or a device is stolen, and you find out your backup has been stalled for months.
Data loss can result in digital family memories or sensitive personal or work files being gone forever. And these days, often there may not be a printed copy of those treasured files, only digital.
While many services like iCloud, OneDrive, and Google Drive offer a way to backup cherished images and other important files automatically, they’re often space limited. And if there’s a glitch after an operating system update, you might think everything’s being saved, then find out later it’s not.
Our Backup & Recovery Team at Pro Tech Guy is often called out to help find and restore documents that may have gone missing. We also help to ensure backups are done correctly before operating system updates or if a computer needs a full reset to factory restore condition.
Technology has made it easier for more people to either telecommute or freelance from home, so many times those home computer files are not just personal photos or other family files. Home computer files are often work related and backing them up properly is as important as it is for any business.
Are you positive your data is being backed up correctly in case of a computer disaster? Read on to learn about different types of backups and the 7 ways you can make sure you’re backing up the right way.
What Are the Main Ways to Back Up a Computer?
There are lots more options for backing up your data than there used to be just 10-15 years ago. You can choose a local backup or a cloud-based one, and then have multiple sub-options in each group.
But no matter which backup method you choose, it’s important to make sure you’re backing up your data regularly… or it could cost you.
The average cost of a lost data file is $148.
In a study by the Ponemon Institute, they estimated the cost of a lost or stolen file that contains sensitive and confidential information to be an average of $148.00 per record. But many files are priceless if they can’t be replaced.
Main Backup Options for Computers & Devices:
Local backup means the storage of your backup files is done in the same place your computer resides. Here are the different methods of a local backup.
- External Hard Drive
- Portable External Hard Drive
- Solid State Drive (SSD)
- Network Attached Storage (NAS)
- DVD or USB Drive
Pros include that you have direct access to your backup files when you need them.
Cons include that if there is a fire or natural disaster, your main computer and the backup might both be damaged.
Cloud backup means the storage of your backup files is on a server in another location owned by the cloud service. There are multiple different cloud storage services, here are a few of the most popular.
- Google Drive
- Just Cloud
Pros include that your files are safety offsite and can be accessed from any device when you need them.
Cons include that you need an internet connection for the backup to work and for access to your files.
Ensure You’re Backing Up Correctly with Our 7 tips
Once you’ve chosen the backup method of choice, you’ll want to make sure you’re following these 7 tips to ensure your backups are going smoothly at all times.
1. Backup the Right File Folders
We’ve worked with customers who never double checked the files being included in their backup, only to be devastated later when they realized they left out an important folder.
When you set your backup parameters, make sure you know which files are being included and which aren’t. It’s a good idea to just include everything if you can.
2. Automation is Your Friend
Life gets busy and it’s easy to forget to do a backup if you are doing it manually. Save yourself the hassle by choosing a backup method that backs up everything automatically. Cloud backups typically offer this option and you can also set it up with a hard drive or SSD using a tool similar to Apple’s Time Machine.
3. Organize Before You Backup
Do you tend to save your things everywhere on your computer and rely on “Recent Items” to find something you need? If so, it’s a good idea to organize your files into folders that make sense to you before you start your backup. This will help “future you” find files years later in case you need to recover your backup.
4. Use a Dual Method
One backup’s great, two are even better! If you like the convenience and safety of a cloud backup, but also like having your files where you can grab them at a moment’s notice, back up using both methods and double your security.
5. Check In Regularly
When is the last time you looked at your automated backup to see how it was going? Have you reopened a backed up file to make sure the files are copying correctly? It’s easy to think all systems are “go” once you click “backup”, but things can go awry. Your backup can get stuck or run out of space. Be sure to check in on it regularly to make sure there are no problems.
6. Set Regular Backup Intervals
You might think that backing up once a week is okay for your home computer. But what happens if you’ve been working on a client project from home for a few days and your computer crashes? That’s hours of work down the drain if you can’t recover what’s on your hard drive and don’t have a backup. Backing up daily or automatically whenever a file change occurs are the safest intervals.
7. Don’t Forget Your Tablet or Smartphone
We are all doing more on our mobile devices and that’s the first place we typically capture treasured memories or download eBooks. Make sure any backup plan includes your mobile devices as well, so all your bases are covered.
Need Some Help with a Good Backup Plan? Call Pro Tech Guy!
We’ve worked with every type of backup method out there and if you need some advice on your perfect backup tool, we’re here for you!
Give us a call anytime at 508-364-8189 or <a href="https://protechguy.syncromsp.com/wf/new-check-
Have you been struggling with an increasingly slow computer? Getting near your storage limit and not sure which files to delete to free up more space? These are both common problems that a simple upgrade can help solve.
Before you give up on a computer or laptop that can’t seem to keep up with you anymore, consider upgrading to a Solid-state drive (SSD). It’s an easy upgrade that can make a huge difference in your device performance and extend the life of your system.
At Pro Tech Guy we pride ourselves on helping people solve any and all IT issues, from cracked screens to virus infiltrations. We also like to ensure people get the most out of their computer investment, which is why we often recommend an upgrade to SSD when a computer needs more speed or storage space.
A hard drive can have more impact on your processing speed than you think. While it can’t make a processor go faster or slower, an inefficient drive can leave your processor “waiting on hold” while it’s accessing information. This type of data bottleneck can slow your whole system down.
SSDs are one of the best and most affordable upgrades that offer a big step up from older hard drives. If you’re not sure what one is or if it’s right for you, just read on! We’ll tell you all about them and what they can do for you.
What is a Solid-State Drive (SSD)?
Instead of physically writing information to a disk, the SSD uses flash memory with memory chips to record the data. It has no moving parts, so you won’t hear that “whirr” of the hard drive “thinking”, the SSD does its work quietly.
Two of the speed advantages of an SSD over an older hard disk drive (HDD) include:
- Drives that can boot up to 5 times faster
- Ability to copy files 3 to 4 times faster
While SSDs used to be priced at a premium, the cost has come down considerably in the last several years. They’re now much closer in price to HDD’s while often having considerably more storage as well as the speed advantage.
The Benefits of Upgrading to an SSD
A whole day every month can be wasted due to a slow computer.
According to the MarketsInsider, a survey of employees in the private sector found that an average of 5.59% of an employee’s time was wasted on IT issues. That’s about 27 minutes per day, or a full day each month.
Whether you use your computer for work, personal, or both (like most of us do) that’s a lot of time you could get back with a faster system.
Speed of course is the biggest reason that computer users upgrade from HDD to SSD. But that’s not the only advantage that it has.
When our Pro Tech Guy Team is on one of our monthly maintenance visits, we often have clients ask us what other benefits they’ll get from an SSD upgrade. Here are the benefits of a Solid-state drive.
SSDs are easier to fit into small spaces like thin laptops, tablets and similar devices. They are smaller and lighter than traditional hard drives, making them much more portable.
No Moving Parts
Because SSDs have no moving parts to wear out, they’re generally more durable than HDDs and have a longer lifespan.
If you’ve ever had a hard drive crash, then you know the importance of a reliable drive, especially since it holds all your files. SSDs malfunction less than HDDs and have reliability features like error-correcting code (ECC).
If you treasure peace and quiet while on your computer or laptop, you’ll love an SSD. No moving parts mean no sounds being made. This is a drive that goes about its business silently.
Who doesn’t love longer battery life on a laptop or tablet? SSDs require less power than HDDs, which means less drag on your battery life.
Great for Steaming Video
Whether you like to watch Netflix on your computer or like to stream your local news on a mobile device, an SSD can make the experience go smoothly. Their high performance is able to handle video streaming without crashes or lags.
Speed of course is the main SSD benefit for most people. It has an access speed of 35 to 100 microseconds and is about 100 times better than the performance of HHD. You’ll notice the difference in boot time and how fast your programs run, especially those that need to access a lot of data.
Are You Looking to Upgrade to an SSD?
Are you thinking about upgrading to an SSD for more speed and performance? Don’t pick one out without asking a professional, like us! Pro Tech Guy can help you choose the best Solid-state drive for your device and we can even install it for you too!
Contact us today to learn more about an SSD upgrade. You’ll be so glad you did!
Here at www.protechguy.com we know that computers can be complicated. We also know that pushing one wrong button may mess up a system or lose an important file. Whether your computer is a home computer or one for a small business, those kinds of things can ruin your day. At the same time, computers are standard tools in today’s world. They need upgrades from time to time. Right now the Windows operating system is still offering a free upgrade for Windows 10 from Windows 7 or 8. The deadline for this offer is fast approaching. People who have not upgraded should seriously consider doing it soon. Why? For these reasons:
- It’s free! Until the end of July 2016, the Windows 10 license upgrade will be free.* After that, it will cost $119 for the Windows operating system.
- Many people have already upgraded and they’re generally reporting satisfaction. This isn’t like Windows 8, which many people disliked. In fact, it fixes several issues that Windows 8 brought into our lives.
- Windows 10 could be described as a better version of the old Windows 7. Windows 10 eliminates the full screen start menu and the clutter of 8.
- You want compatibility when downloading new apps, games, and so on. Windows 10 will eventually be an across the board change for everyone who uses PCs.
- Windows 10 looks as if it is here to stay. New computers will have it. Might as well get it now and get used to it.
- Every upgrade has changes that take time to get used to. Once you become accustomed to those, that sense of discomfort fades away. While that wasn’t the case with Windows 8 so much, Windows 10 is a better working system.
- Windows 10 will provide improved security against malware.
How do I do the upgrade?
Here’s the beautiful part: you don’t have to do this alone! We can manage this for you. Just contact us at www.protechguy.com in one of these ways:
- Email us at [email protected]
- Call us at (508) 364-8189 to schedule a free computer pick up or drop off
What will happen to my computer?
The Windows system will undergo an upgrade, kind of a larger version of an update. Your files, pictures, etc., will be right where you left them.
How will my computer be different after I upgrade to Windows 10?
Windows 10 returns to some of the system details that Win 7 had. So while it will be the newest upgrade, it may also feel familiar to you, as well.
Whenever Windows upgrades, there probably will be some people who really dislike it. For most of us, however, it’s more a matter of adjusting to the new layout. Give yourself some time. Windows 10 is a good thing to get used to, and it will be commonplace soon.
Windows 10 is being offered for free upgrade for a few months more. After July 29, 2016, it will be available for full price which will be $119 for the home edition and more for professional editions. The time to decide whether or not you want to upgrade to Windows 10 is now. Remember, Pro Tech Guy can help. We can assure the upgrade goes smoothly and that your computer gets properly updated without any data loss.
*The Windows 10 license is free until July 29, 2016; however, this does not cover labor and back ups.