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mac malware

Apple devices and Macs get malware!!

I don’t like picking on Macs… Oh, wait. That is a lie. I do like picking on Macs because I am tired of hearing “Apple’s don’t get viruses or malware.” This absolutely not true!

There hasn’t been a serious ransomware outbreak on Mac but that doesn’t mean isn’t coming. There are a few ransomware programs in the wild and there has been increased activity in the mac security sector just like there has been in the PC world. Other malware and scam software are out there and on the rise.  “Our tracking of Mac malware has seen a more than 220 percent increase in malware so far in 2017 over 2016,” said Malwarebytes. The main reason that Mac desktops and laptops seem to not be affected is that they only are about 7% of computer users. They are a much small target so there are less malicious programs out there. That doesn’t mean they don’t exist. They will still steal your data if they can. WIth RaaS (Ransomware as a Service) and cross-platform malware, it is becoming easier for the bad guys to target whatever they want. They don’t even have to be proficient at programming anymore. And with an attitude like “we don’t get malware,” you might be easy pickings.

Beyond that, you are also just as likely to lose your online data as a PC user! Just because you are browsing the internet from your Mac doesn’t mean things like the Yahoo and Equifax data breaches will not affect you. You still need to be vigilant in the cloud and protect your personal information.

Protect you and your Mac

  • Backup your data – Onsite, Offsite and Cloud
  • Keep your software and OS up to date
  • Don’t use unapproved software
  • Use an extra anti-malware solution
  • Be wary of unknown websites and unsolicited email
  • Use strong password and 2fa (Two-factor authentication) wherever you can
  • Use a standard account over an admin account for everyday use
  • If you have a laptop, consider full disk encryption

We offer backup, monitoring, and antimalware solutions if you use Apple products in your business. Let us know how we can help!

Remote Support

When and Why You Should Use Remote Support

If you’ve ever had a sudden computer problem, you know it can be very stressful. So much of our day-to-day life requires having access to a working computer.

Homework, budgeting, bills, even browsing dinner recipes all have a degree of urgency that mean dealing with a broken computer isn’t comfortable for long. Your computer technician offers two options: remote repair or bring it in. Which is the best choice for you?

Benefits of Remote Support

Speed: If remote repair is a possibility, your technician can connect via the Internet and have you operational in no time. You might also choose to just leave it turned on in the morning and go to work as normal, while the tech logs in to conduct the repair, ready for your return. Without this option, you’d need to juggle time in your diary to drop the system off as most in-store techs only work 9-5.

Convenience: You get to skip the unpleasant tasks of unplugging the PC, untangling the cables and carting it into the repair store. Even then, once repaired, you’d still be privileged with carrying it back home and playing a game of which-plug-goes-where.

Computers may be getting smaller, but they’re still heavy and fiddly! Laptops are designed to be moved around often and it may not be a problem to stop at the repair store, but traveling with a desktop PC requires a little more effort and a lot more inconvenience.

Negatives of Remote Support

Limited repair options: A remote connection can only repair certain software problems, not hardware problems. It’s impossible for the technician to swap out a failed part remotely, and unless you’re confident in your own repair skills, guided physical repair isn’t viable either.

Occasionally the problem will also be outside the computer, perhaps a troublesome peripheral or connection. Your technician may be able to walk you through correcting some of these minor problems yourself, but most invariably require a physical call-out.

Connection speed: A slow or unstable connection will make a remote repair take longer and increase the difficulty of the task. The extended time impacts the cost for the call, and in extreme cases, can negate any benefits of skipping the physical inspection. Your connection needs to allow the technician to see real-time responses as if they were sitting there in person.

Accessibility: If your computer won’t start or can’t connect to the Internet at all, your technician can’t log in. This includes seeing a ‘blue screen of death’, boot failure and Windows load failure. As much as they’d like to help you, being able to log in to your system is a vital step in the remote repair process.

Remote support and repair is the ideal situation, purely for speed and convenience. As a bonus, in the event the remote repair is unsuccessful, it also means your tech now has a better idea of the problem and can speed up any on-site repairs. Remote support is the best option for many repairs and gets your computer working again with minimal disruption and lowest cost.

Need a repair? Call us at 570-779-4018 for rapid remote support.

Looking to get into PC gaming?

Have you been thinking about getting into PC gaming? Not sure where to start? Most half decent desktop PCs purchased in the last 5 years are capable of running PC games. They are just missing one major component. The proper video card (GPU).

But which one is good? And how much should you spend? Since you probably are not a serious gamer (yet), between $100 and $150 is a good figure to work with. Video cards in this price range are usually for the entry level and they offer good overall performance. The Geforce GTX 1050 Ti is a great example of one of these cards. You can find one here: http://amzn.to/2lbk4m6

Be careful using that price range at a department store. Sometimes they have older cards and markup bargain cards so that they are in that $100-$150 price range. 

Another thing to be aware of is that sometimes video cards (GPUs) have extra power requirements. This means that you could be purchasing a power supply as well. The card will list the requirements on the box.

One more thing to watch out for is the size of the card. You will have issues with a slim case. Mirco cases may be a tight fit as well. Usually, the budget-minded cards are smaller but it is something to be aware of.

 

Is it a time for a new PC?

How old is your PC? Is it time to upgrade? Microsoft, Intel, Dell, Lenovo and HP think so. They will be releasing a joint ad campaign October 19th to try and convince you it is time to upgrade if your PC is older than four years.

I think they are right. People seem to think that their phones and tablets are somehow faster than their desktop or laptop PC. This simply is not true. Even the new iPad Pro doesn’t match up to a mobile core laptop PC let alone a full-fledged desktop PC. Part of the problem is people are comparing their ancient PC to the phone they just purchased yesterday.

Do you need a new PC?Obviously some people do not need a PC. They are also hard to carry around in your pocket. However, if you use your PC for business or play and it is older than four years, you are missing out. A new Intel 6th generation chip, an SSD, a modern graphics card, and good monitor will blow your socks off. You will wonder why you held on to that old PC for so long.

And this doesn’t come up in the articles that I read but doesn’t anyone care about typing? I mean I can hit 50 words a minute without even trying. Sure you can get a Bluetooth keyboard for your tablet or phone but it just isn’t the same, and then you have a less portable slow device.

But do you need to upgrade? Yes! Well, maybe “need” is stretching it. After all, your computer still works. It could work better, though. Better than your phone or your tablet.

The question is, will the advertising push work? Obviously I am a little biased. Do people really need a computer on their desk? What do you think?