By PC Geeks / Recovering Data / / 0 Comments

Nearly every day in the computer repair industry, technicians see very unfortunate people lose important data due to failed hard drives, malicious programs, and sometimes, avoidable but honest mistakes. It can happen to anyone and likely has happened to nearly everyone at some point in their past. Recovering your data can be a nightmare, especially when it is a file that you use infrequently that you may not discover missing until it is finally needed!

Fortunately, with the cost of external hard drives cost is not really an issue anymore when it comes to making sure that your data is secure and backed up. These days, you can purchase a simple external drive from just about any box store, and even the Walmart’s of the world. External hard drives are not only great for keeping your data copied and safe but there are additional benefits to using them. Just think, by keeping a copy of your personal data on an external drive, it means you can take that drive anywhere you go and by plugging it into any computer you choose to, still have access to all your personal files, just like it was your own computer!

You might ask, what happens if my house burns down and both my computer and my external hard drive are lost? While this would be a terrible thing you can also prepare for this by using an offsite or cloud storage alternative to data backup. A great, and well known example of this is Carbonite. You simple pay their small fee and you can back up all your personal data to their secure servers, and in the case that you lose everything; simply get your hands on a new computer. You can simply download all your data back to the new machine.

For the average user I cannot stress enough how important it is for you to back up your personal data to protect from its loss. Pictures are hard to replace especially. If you are a small business owner I urge you to do both an external hard drive backup and make sure to have an offsite back up like Carbonite to protect yourself from serious downtime. In this day and age, having a backup is no longer an luxury, it is worth a few dollars to make sure that your data is safe.

Beware of Holiday Shopping Scams!

Beware of Holiday Shopping Scams!That time of year is fast approaching, and once again the internet hordes will be returning to their favorite websites to look for their best possible bargains as Christmas gets closer. Not only are the shoppers preparing, but also, the hackers and scammers will once again be opening their sneaky and oftentimes, phony websites to try and capture your credit card information using holiday shopping scams.

Always remember, if a price is so low that you have never seen such a great deal, you may want to consider if it is too good to be true. If you are unsure of a website is legitimate, take a moment, open a second browser windows, pull up your trusty Google page and type the name of the site into it, see if other people have experienced any problems using the questionable sites. If a lot of people are claiming to have been ripped off, you can save yourself a lot of headaches simply by not using that questionable site.

There are a few other helpful ways to avoid being trapped by phony online scams. Make sure that the spelling is correct. You should be shopping at Sears… not… Searz. Little tricks like that have made fortunes in stolen credit card info over the years. If you are unsure, you can always contact one of the professionals at PC Geeks at any of their four locations in McKinney, Frisco, Allen and Plano. They can give you their best advice in avoiding the bad guys that are lurking on the net.

If you feel you may have fallen prey to such a thing or contracted a virus or malware from one of those sites we can get you back on track and secure once more.

By PC Geeks / PC / Mac Repair / 0 Comments

PC Geeks – Computer Repair

PC Geeks is the premier computer repair company throughout Collin County and beyond. There is no one else offering what we can offer, and no one else standing behind their repairs the way we do.

You don’t have to leave your computer with a big box store anymore, settling for a brief glimpse of your problem while they try to sell you a replacement. You don’t have to wonder if your personal information is safe, and if your computer was accurately diagnosed. Why pay for a new computer when it can be repaired?

Our technicians in the Allen, Frisco, and McKinney stores are dependable, knowledgeable, and capable of every level of computer repair – even down to the component level

Windows is reportedly considering offering some sort of Windows 9 upgrade deal to XP, Vista and Windows 7 users, with a completely free upgrade option also on the table. Nothing has been confirmed about Windows 9 yet, but ZDNet says that all the major features Microsoft is working on will be packed in Threshold rather than a following Windows 8.1 Update.

Windows 8.1 Update 2 is still due on August 12th, this month’s Patch Tuesday, although the update is not mandatory, and it’s not expected to bring any major changes. The Start menu button, which was supposed to arrive with Update 2, will be included in Windows 9 alongside any other major features Microsoft may have readied for a Windows 8.1 update.

Read the full article here.

Ransomware: A Serious Threat

Ransomware viruses can lock you out of your computer, rendering it
unusable without removing the offending malware .These types of infections
attempt to use a ‘social engineering’ approach, which is to say they count
on the user being misled by a fake message, and in turn paying money to
the bad guys to remove the virus (generally the virus will NOT be removed
in these cases).

Up until recently, these infections have been somewhat manageable in the
sense that the user’s personal data files are not affected or damaged.
A PC Geeks technician can remove the infection, preserve the
user’s personal files, and fix any damage that was made to Windows.

Cryptolocker is one of the latest variants of these so called Ransomware Viruses.
This virus takes the damage to another level by damaging, or more specifically,
encrypting files on the machine including personal files like pictures,
documents, music, and video files. In fact, Cryptolocker will infect any
external storage and networked drives as well. This means that any kind of
backup on an external hard disk or flash drive is vulnerable unless unplugged
completely from the infected computer.

The Cryptolocker virus is known to travel via fake email attachments. Some of the attachments may be labeled as USPS or FEDEX tracking attachments. The Windows operating system may be set to hide file extensions, so if a filename is given an extra ‘extension’, the user may be misled into thinking the item is a safe .pdf file instead of an .malicious exe file.

Be careful when performing Google searches. If you Google “QuickBooks Support” for example, you will see a few different sites advertising as QuickBooks. A quick glance will show various options for QuickBooks support, however the fine print, the actual “www.” addresses below the bold headlines, tells the real story. Most of these ‘imposter’ sites have full fledged phone support operations as well, often located overseas. Downloading software from these sites can result in one of the malware infections mentioned above.

We often see fake Java and Flash updates; these too can be avoided if the user is
aware that generally any kind of update prompts presenting from within the browser
has the possibility of being faked. Flash, Java, and Windows updates are important and must be maintained/installed regularly. This can be challenging for some users trying to decipher what prompts are actually legitimate. If in doubt, go to the website for the software vendor and do the update there. You may be surprised that you did not need to update anything at all! Be very careful what you click on. Your anti virus software may not protect you and the result can be catastrophic.

If you get these or any of the numerous other viruses infections that are out there, contact you local PC Geeks Technician where we can remove the infection fast so that you can safely surf the Internet once again!