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Cigarette Smoke and Computers

I always find this interesting… and gross.
Below are pictures showing the inside of 3 computers, all showing similar areas of the processor fan.

This is what the processor fan of a new computer looks like:
Fan-New

Here is what you can expect one to look like in a computer that is around 5 years old:
Fan-5yrs

This picture is a computer also around 5 years old from a home where cigarettes are smoked. The fluffy stuff around the inside of the fan is about a half inch thick! The same substance is equally caked on every other part in this computer. Breath deep my friends!
Fan-5yrs_Smoke

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Browser Hijack

Browser Hijack

Browser hijacking is a computer hack tactic where certain elements in a webpage seemingly take over your computer. Lately it has been very common to hear of someone who has a warning screen on their computer stating that they have a virus. The user will not usually be able to close this window, and the only way out is to call a 1-800 phone number given in the message.

If you call the phone number, the person at the other end will seem to have all of the answers and will be prompt to assist you with the problem. In all actuality, that person is going to lead you to having more trouble that you already have and will charge you money for doing so. If you follow his or her lead, they will request remote control over your computer. This should be your Red Flag!!!

If this happens to you, the first thing that you want to do is try and close your browser. But do not use the buttons provided on the screen. If this is not an option, the next step will be to hold your power button down until the computer shuts down. But I only recommend this as a last resort.

When you turn your computer back on, your web browser will think that your computer crashed and will offer to restore the previous session of websites. Do not allow this to happen or you will be back to square one!

Below are some examples of what to watch for:

virusfakebrowserblocked msefake

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Internet Service for the County

If you live in an area where AT&T DSL seems to be the only option, it may be to your advantage to check this out!

Connect GRADD powered by Q Wireless is a wireless internet service that is often a great option for those who live in an area where faster internet services (such as cable) cannot reach. Connect GRADD utilizes various water towers and other tall objects to mount their antennas. When you call to setup a service, they will first schedule a time to survey your residence to see if you can receive their signal and if so, how strong that signal is. Your options for internet speed are reliant on how strong their signal is.
Connect GRADD covers Daviess, Hancock, Henderson, McLean, Ohio, Union, and Webster counties.

Here is a link to the webpage that will provide a phone number and pricing options: http://my.connectgradd.net/.
This is a link to their coverage map: http://map.connectgradd.net/.

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RansomWare Threats

RansomWare Threats

With the threat of “Ransom Ware” ever so prevalent, I can’t stress enough on how careful one should be when clicking links blindly. An example of this is an email that may appear to come from Fed Ex or any shipping company. Often the email will alert you of a package being shipped, provide you with a so called tracking number, as well as places to click where you can check the status of your so called package.
This is a very common way for hackers to install the Ransom Ware viruses that we have been hearing about in the news. Your personal files (pictures, music, documents) can and will be lost if you are a victim of this infection.

The image below is a screenshot of a typical rigged email. Take a look at some of the numbered areas.

  1. This should have a Domain of “FedEx.com”. But you can see that the domain “lexington.us” has nothing to do with the company.
  2. This is pointing out a flaw in the logo, but that’s not something that most would notice.
  3. In this case, the tracking number would look strange if you do very much shipping.
  4. This is the #1 most important thing to remember. Looking at the white box next to #4, you can see the address where you will go if you do click on the Print Receipt button. This box appears if you hover your mouse above the button.

(image below can be enlarged by clicking)

FakeEmail

Safe browsing!

HPC

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Printer Purchasing

Printer Purchasing

 

A question that I often get is what printer to by. Knowing what features are needed is going to help drastically. But there are a few other factors that many people overlook.

Cartridge Cost: If you are looking to purchase an inkjet printer, the #1 suggestion that I can give is to compare ink cartridge costs. A cheap inkjet printer could cost as low as $30, but the ink could be double or more.

Brand: The most common brands that I see right now include HP, Canon, Brother, and Xerox. I have not found any single brand to be cheaper or more reliable. Unless you are partial to a particular brand, I would not let that be a deciding factor.

Features: What additional functions will you be performing? Scanning, copying, and fax are the most common.

Mobile Device Printing: Printing from mobile devices such as iPhones and iPads are becoming more and more popular. In the beginning, HP was about the only brand that supported this. Today most printers are capable of this function. Look on the packaging for this feature. It may be worded as “AirPrint” or “E-Print”.

Other Considerations: The two main types of printers include inkjet and laser. While inkjet printers will seem to cost less upfront, laser printers will be less expensive in the long run. Studies have shown that even though a cartridge may cost $50, one will spend less per page when using a laser printer. Laser printers can come with the same features as inkjet printers.

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Windows 10 Is Here

Windows 10 Is Here

Today a new version of Windows is launched.
Wondering if Windows 10 is for you? Here are my thoughts.
I can’t remember ever seeing Windows for free, so if nothing else, we should take advantage of the opportunity IF there is a benefit.
If you are running windows 7 and are happy with it, there is no reason to upgrade. Regardless of how savvy you are with a computer, there WILL be a learning curve.

For those of you who have Windows 8 or 8.1 and are less than pleased, this is your golden opportunity.

History has told us that when a new version of Windows is released, there will be glitches that are usually taken care of with normal updates. So if you are tempted to upgrade, hold off and let the cavalier be the guinea pigs.

If all goes well the upgrade process should be fairly straight forward. However if you need assistance with this installation, feel free to contact us to setup an appointment.

In conclusion, I have personally tested Windows 10 and I believe that it will be a great replacement for Windows 8. However, my advice is to wait it out for a while. We have 1 year to get this upgrade for free, so what’s the rush?

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