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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in viruses and scams

Posted by on in Repairs

 

Why do computers slow down?

A question that we get asked all the time here at PC Pitstop is why computers get slower over time. This can start to happen within a year after you get a new PC, but usually it happens in just a few short months.

Since we all use our computers for a whole range of different tasks and activities, there isn’t one single reason that pinpoints why this happens.

The thing is, when you first get a new computer and boot it up it works lightning fast. That’s because it doesn’t have anything on it except the bare bones operating system. 

Regardless of whether you have a PC or Mac, over time as you download files, install software, add printers and surf the Internet etc, your computer gets bloated with files that hog system resources.

In addition, there are many other things that contribute to a slowdown. Here is the most common issues we find:

1. Hard Drive Corruption

The hard drive is the electronic equivalent of the old office filing cabinet. It's really is an amazing piece of technology that has helped propelled our world forward into the information age. A typical computer can hold anywhere from 150,000 - 300,000 high quality photographs or over a million documents or books.

All of this information is tightly packed ingeniously onto a disk and into a tiny enclosure, which looks suprisingly similar to that of the old record player. The information is stored in magnetic form on top of the disk and this is where the complexity starts to become its own undoing.

The problem is, corruption can occur from power surges (power spikes), brown outs (power dips), static electricity (from carpet, clothes and other fabrics), solar flares, cosmic radiation, vibration, bumps, knocks, computer viruses, software errors and even the layer on the magnetic disk changing over time.

 

2. RAM

Not having enough RAM is like not having a big enough table to work on. You can only have so many items on the table before it get clutted and full. The computer does its best to keep going without crashing - moving things around - but to do so - it slows down even further. Solution - the more RAM the better! RAM is cheap these days and the more you got - the more the computer will be able to use as a super fast temporary storage place.

 3. Spyware, Viruses and Unnecessary Software

These programs all need attention - they run in the background and all want to steal a little bit of time from the CPU/Processor (Think information pump).
This all stacks on top of each other and adds up very quickly. Typically we remove 500+ pieces of spyware and virus related programs on EVERY computer we service (our record is over 20,000!). PC Pitstop have an award winning and unique 5 stage process that removes all spyware, viruses and nasties that even the best AntiVirus protection leaves behind.

4. System and Software Updates

If you are updating your software regularly, this will take up space and more system resources - contributing to the slow down even further. Interestingly enough, if you were to wipe the computer in year 3 and put all the original software back on - it would be as fast as the day you brought it. However this is not exactly secure or feasible way to run your computer. Updates are mostly security and bug fixes that go a long way to protect your computer.

 

5. Mechanical Hard Drives Slow Down With Age

If you have a standard hard drive (not SSD) your hard drive will slow down and fail over time. Being mechanical - this is the nature of their design and cannot be avoided without upgrading to a Solid State Hard Drive (SSD). Solid state hard drives are reasonably new and more expensive than their mechanical counterparts but wow - they work really really fast. I MEAN REALLY REALLY REALLY FAST. For the single most impressive upgrade you can do for your computer - get a SSD Hard Drive. You will love the difference and never look back.

Now I have painted a picture of why computers slow down - how do you fix a slow computer?

Easy - just like your car goes in for a 10,000Km service - your computer also needs regular tuning up as well. For power users and businesses - minimum every 6 months and for the rest of us - every 12 months. This is what the big department stores will not and do not want to tell you. It is in their best interest for you to get annoyed with your computer to the point of frustration within 18 months - that you go out and buy another one.

 

A tuneup finds and fixes problems, spots bigger problems (before they occur and cost you more time and money), removes virus and spyware infections, scans and repairs your hard disk, installs necessary security updates and is also a perfect time for you to engage a PC Pitstop Trained Technician to ask any questions that have been niggeling at you or to fix other issues that you have been putting off.

Your computer is an investment - and for most of us - a very important tool we use every day. It pays to be proactive with your investments - instead of waiting for the day when everything grinds to a halt and you have lost some or all of your important data. Unfortunately we still see this every day.

SO - drop in and book in for your routine computer tuneup at PC Pitstop - 10 Bellbowrie Street Port Macquarie - 02 65 841551.

PC Pitstop Port Macquarie Business Awards

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Every day we see customers who are shocked that their computer has a virus. They thought they had security software and they thought it was doing it's job.

But here's the thing....You get what you pay for...and YOU play a massive part in your computer's secuirty. You have to check before you click anything, you have to choose the right security, AND you have to know when it's time to renew your services. 

We recommend Norton Internet Security 2014 and it's avialable instore at PC Pitstop Port Macquarie for $85 installed.

If your computer is in for service and we notice your Norton is out of date we will update it at the same time for a reduced fee of $65.

Keep your PC and your Stuff safe with industry-leading protection.
Emailing, sharing files, visiting social networks, shopping online, or just browsing websites. Whatever you like to do on your PC, we help keep it—and the Stuff on it—safe from viruses, online threats, and problems that could slow down your computer.

Gets rid of viruses and spyware, so you can read emails and download and share files without getting or passing on threats, plus it helps prevent online identity theft and blocks websites that could steal your credit card numbers or other information. So you can surf, shop, and bank online worry-free.

BX NIS Y14 r r EN 342
Verdict

Norton's internet security suite offers excellent malware detection and consistently performs on pace with the best available security software.

Avoid the horror story happening to you. Don't get caught without. It could cost you more than you know.
 
 

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Why We Think Norton Internet Security is the Best Virus Protection for Everyday Users

We use and recommend the latest version of Norton Internet Security on a regular basis and it's the only virus protection software we sell instore.

Why?

If you're looking for a traditional security suite, with essential features like antivirus, firewall, antispam, parental control, and phishing protection, it's a great choice, and it's one of PC Mags Editors' Choice suites.

But wait, why should you pay for a security suite when modern Windows versions already include an antivirus and a firewall? Here's the deal. Yes, the built-in firewall does a good job hiding your computer from outside attack, but it doesn't exercise control over which programs can access your network the way third-party firewall components do.

If you're using internet banking on your computer...you need Norton Internet Security.

And, because this...

 

LOL.

Point made.

Get your Norton Internet Security software from PC Pitstop today and we'll even install it for you.

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PC Pitstop iphone and smartphone repairs

PC Pitstop iPhone Repairs    Smart Device Repairs

Dropped or damaged your

smart device - iPhone, iPad
or Samsung Device? 
Most repairs same day!

Get a quote >>   |   Learn More >>

 

PC Pitstop Computer Repairs

PC Pitstop Workshop Repairs   Workshop Repairs


We locate the issues & 

determine the best way
to fix them. Most repairs
completed within 24 hours

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PC Pitstop Computer Tune-ups 

PC Pitstop Computer Tune Ups   Computer Tuneups


Over time you will notice your 

computer slowing down. Time
to book your computer for its
yearly service and tuneup.

 Get a quote >>   |   Learn More >>

 

 PC Pitstop Business Support

PC Pitstop Business Support   Business Support


PC Pitstop provide reliable

small business solutions so
you can focus on delivering
exceptional customer service!

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 PC Pitstop Virus and Spyware Removal

PC Pitstop Virus & Spyware Removal  Virus & Spyware removal


Most computers are home
to hundreds of viruses and 
information stealing bugs.
Stay protected & up to date.

Get a quote >>   |   Learn More >>

 PC Pitstop Home and Business Onsite Support

PC Pitstop onsite Home and Business Support    Onsite Support


PC Pitstop can provide you
with onsite assistance in your
home or office at time that suits
you. Most areas only $99/hour

Get a quote >>   |   Learn More >>

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PC Pitstop Computer Manual & Service Planner :: Making IT Easy for YOU

manual-planner

We are so excited to finally have our PC Pitstop Computer Manual & Service Planner in store for everyone who receives any service from PC Pitstop! So many of you have been wanting something like this and it will definately make life easier for a lot of businesses and families! We've been working on this handy guide for 12mths and it's jammed packed with over 30years experience in computer repairs, computer builds and everything in between.

It features an entire section dedicated to Customer Care Guides - 22 simple 'How-To' guides for navigating your computer, your devices and the internet. The Preventative Maintainence Schedule at the back of the booklet details exactly what service is recommended for your computer at various points in it's life and can even be stamp certified that you were looked after by a PC Pitstop Trained Technician.

We love providing extra value and this Manual is the perfect tech-education and tracking tool for all our customers!

Pick yours up after your next service today.

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scary-tech-concerns


Security Scares & What They Should Remind You to Do


The Apple iOS 7.0.6 Secuirty Flaw

>>> READ ALL ABOUT IT <<<

What You Need to Do Now: Update your iPhone right now. (Or after you back it up!) Then be diligent about backing it up and keeping it updated.

 

Ransomware Computer Virus

>>> READ ALL ABOUT IT <<<

What You Need to Do Now: Get yourself an up to date version of Norton Internet Security from PC Pitstop; scan often and avoid illegal downloads and suspiscious links. Then Backup! Regularly.

 

Every Single Social Media Scares

>>> READ ALL ABOUT THEM <<<

What You Need to Do Now: Go and set your facebook, twitter, etc privacy settings to Max; don't share your passwords nor connect with people you don't know; and avoid apps that have even a whiff of dodgy! (I'm looking at you facebook games!)


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So good I had to share :: 10 Ways to be Computer Literate


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So Justin James from TechRepublic says there are 10 Things you Have to Know to be Computer Literate. Of course there is so much to know and it depends on what your use of the computer is actually for that determines your capabilities, but this little list is pretty handy for general users.

 

1: Search engines

Using a search engine is more than typing in the address, putting a couple of keywords into the big text box, clicking Search, and choosing the first result. While that may work, it won't give you the best results much of the time. Learning the advanced search, Boolean operators, and how to discern good results from bad results goes a long way toward enabling you to use a computer as a powerful research tool.

HOW TO BEST USE GOOGLE: http://searchengineland.com/guide/how-to-use-google-to-search

 

2: Word processing

Word processing is one of the oldest uses for a computer. And it continues to be extremely important, even though in many ways its functions have been put into other applications. (For example, people may write more emails than documents, but the task is nearly identical.) It is tough to claim to be computer literate if the basic functions of word processing -- like spell check, table creation, and working with headers -- are outside your capabilities.

HOW BEST TO USE WORD: http://office.microsoft.com/en-au/word/

 

3: Spreadsheets

Spreadsheets were the killer application that got a lot of people willing to pony up big bucks for a PC in the early 1980s. Spreadsheets offer incredibly powerful analysis possibilities... if you know how to use them for more than storing the holiday card address list. (Okay, I use Excel for that too.) Being able to use formulas, references, and macros can turn a "grid of numbers" into actionable information in the hands of the right person.

HOW BEST TO USE EXCEL: http://spreadsheets.about.com/od/excel101/a/Excel_beg_guide.htm

 

4: Browser basics

It is almost painful to watch some "computer savvy" people operate a Web browser. The most obvious goof is going to a search engine to type in the address of the site they want to go to. But folks are unaware of a lot of other things they do that make the Internet more difficult than it needs to be. Mastering techniques like opening links in new windows, using bookmarks, editing URLs to perform navigation, clearing the browser cache, and understanding common error messages will give you access to a world of unlimited information instead of keeping you stuck with only what Web site designers make obvious.

HOW BEST TO USE YOUR BROWSER: http://www.getconnectedtoday.com/getconnected/browser

TIP: PC Pitstop recommends the use of Google Chrome

 

5: Virus/malware scanning

Much of typical computer maintenance is automated or unneeded at this point, but it is still essential to understand how to check a system for nasty bugs, spyware, and other malicious applications. While the scanning tools come with real-time monitors, something can still slip onto the system before the scanner has the right filter for it. So it's critical to know how to trigger a manual virus/malware scan, as well as how to use alternative systems, spot signs of an infection, and other similar tasks.

>>> PC PITSTOP’S GUIDE TO AVOIDING VIRUSES & SCAMS <<<

 

6: Common keyboard commands

If you do not know how to copy/paste without a mouse, you are not computer literate. Sorry! Every operating system has some universal keyboard commands, and while knowing them won't add 30 minutes back into your day, it will take a lot of the "friction" out of using a computer. Learning these commands is more a matter of routine than anything else; a short tutorial done once a day for a week will probably be enough to put you in the habit, and it will make you a happier user.

HOW BEST TO USE YOUR KEYBOARD SHORTCUTS: http://lifehacker.com/5836288/six-keyboard-shortcuts-every-computer-user-should-know

 

7: Basic hardware terminology

It is tough to have someone help you with a problem when you tell them that your "hard drive" is unplugged, when you really mean "the computer." There are a number of common hardware misunderstandings out there, and while some are understandable (for instance, confusing a NIC with a modem -- the cables look similar and they serve the same purpose, networking), knowing basic hardware terminology is a must-have skill to be a savvy user.

>>> PC PITSTOP’S COMPUTING ACROYNMS <<<

 

8: Simple networking diagnosis

Networking problems create the most common trouble with most computers. While you don't need to be able to program a Cisco router, you should know how to:

   - Determine your IP address
   - Verify physical connectivity to the network
   - Check that you have a logical connection to the network
   - Find out what path network traffic takes to get to its destination
   - Translate from DNS names to IP addresses

HOW BEST TO DIAGNOSE YOUR NETWORK: http://www.wikihow.com/Find-the-IP-Address-of-Your-PC

TIP: PC Pitstop is here to help with all yur networking issues. Call to book an onsite today: 65841551.

9: How to hook it up

Despite the color coding of connections and the fact that most cords can be plugged into only one hole, tons of people still can't hook up a computer. It is tough to claim to be computer literate if you can't even get it hooked up and turned on without some help.

>>> PC PITSTOP’S DEKSTOP CONNECTION GUIDE <<<

 

10: Security/privacy 101

It is a dangerous world out there! You absolutely must know how to protect yourself from attackers on the Internet and keep your personal data private. Everything from knowing to check a link before you click it to verifying that encryption is being used to transmit sensitive data to researching sites before giving them your personal data are all critical skills for the modern computer user. If you do not know how to keep yourself safe, you need to learn how.

HOW BEST TO SECURE YOUR PRIVACY ONLINE: http://www.staysmartonline.gov.au/home_users/protect_yourself2/protect_your_identity

 

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PC Pitstop are simply the best in the business.  We stand behind our customers and our name...
...and this is YOUR PC Pitstop 5½ Point Guarantee to prove it....

 

1.    Unbelievable Service – You will be informed about your computer the same business day.  If you don’t hear from us on the same day, your service or repair is FREE and you will receive quarterly Tune-up services for FREE for the next 12 months.
2.    Virus Protection – If we cannot successfully remove a virus on your computer the first time, you will receive FREE Norton Internet Security software for a further 12 months AND you will receive quarterly Tune-up services for FREE for the next 12 months.
3.    Fix it or Double it – If you are informed that PC Pitstop can fix your computer and we can’t, you will receive a credit for DOUBLE the price we quoted, PLUS we will pay for a competitor of your choice to fix it.
4.    Risk Free Recovery – If you are informed your data can be recovered, and it isn’t, you will receive a credit for DOUBLE the price we quoted, PLUS a FREE 500GB External Hard Drive for your backup.
5.    Time is Your Biggest Asset – If PC Pitstop does not have your computer ready for you by the time we agreed, your service charge will be waived, your computer will be delivered to your home or office at no charge, AND you will receive quarterly tune ups for FREE for the next 12 months.
5 ½  Raving Referral – If PC Pitstop receives a referral from you and we don’t follow it up by the next business day, you will receive FREE quarterly Tune-up services for the next 12 months!

 

*Click HERE for full Terms and Conditions

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Today I thought I'd share an entire newsletter that arrived in my inbox.

Why?

Cause it's damn important.

CRYPTOLOCKER.

Remember the name.

Cryptolocker is new malware coming to a computer near you.

Malware is short for malicious software and generally refers to a variety of forms of intrusive and hostile programs.

Besides been informed, been super careful of what and where you're clicking, and sticking to 'safe' browsing habits, the best chance you've got of surviving Cryptolocker is to make TRIPLY sure you've got UP TO DATE BACKUPS.

Ben tells us all the time that you're not truly backed up unless you've backed up 3 times.

So just do it. No if's or buts after you read this article. BACKUP.

And if you don't know how to backup or if your backup solution is working, come and see us, and we'll get your sorted - ARMED - against the virus of all viruses!

PS. I included the whole newsletter from these guys coz they actually have included some other great info. Take a read....

Tip of the Day: Windows 8.1 integrates Bing into the standard, system-wide search experience. If you don't like this, you can disable it. To do so, open the Change PC Settings screen, select Search and apps, and disable the option under Use Bing to search online.

 

CryptoLocker Is The Nastiest Malware Ever & Here's What You Can Do

by Matthew Hughes

Ransomware is an especially odious type of malware. The way it works is simple. Your computer will be infected with some malicious software. That software then renders your computer entirely unusable, sometimes purporting to be from local law enforcement and accusing you of committing a computer crime or viewing explicit pictures of children. It then demands monetary payment, either in the form of a ransom or a "fine" before access to your computer is returned.

Horrible, isn't it? Well, get ready to meet CryptoLocker; the evil patriarch of the Ransomware family.

What Is CryptoLocker

CryptoLocker is a piece of malware targeting computers running the Microsoft Windows operating system. It is typically spread as an email attachment, often purporting to be from a legitimate source (including Intuit and Companies House). Some say it is also being spread through the ZeuS botnet.

Once installed on your computer, it systematically encrypts all documents that are stored on your local computer, as well as ones that are stored on mapped network drives and mounted removable storage.

cryptolocker-example

The encryption used is strong, 2048 bit RSA, with the decryption key for your files being stored on a remote server. The odds of you being able to break this encryption is almost nonexistent. If you want to get your files back, CryptoLocker asks for you to fork over some cash; either two bitcoins (At the time of writing, worth almost USD $380) or $300 in either MonkeyPak or Ukash prepaid cards. If you don't pay within three days, the decryption key is deleted and you lose access to your files forever.

I spoke to popular security expert and blogger Javvad Malik; this is what he had to say about CryptoLocker.

Ransomware such as CryptoLocker is not something very new - variations of Ransomware have been around for years. When you look at CryptoLocker, it predominantly comes in via phishing emails (from what I’ve seen). The best way to protect against it is for users to be vigilant against clicking on links within emails. Currently, it looks like there’s not much that can be done once infected and I wouldn’t advice anyone to pay the ransom. It goes back to having backups and data management in place.

Mitigating Against It

Reports suggest that some security programs have had a hard time of preventing CryptoLocker from getting its claws onto your system before it's too late. Fortunately, American security expert Nick Shaw has created a handy piece of software called CryptoPrevent (free) . This applies a number of settings to your installation of Windows that prevents CryptoLocker from ever executing and has been proven to work in Windows XP and Windows 7 environments.

It's also worth making sure that you check emails to see if they're suspect before you open up any email attachments. Do they have an email address that matches up with the purported sender? Were you expecting any correspondence from them? Is the spelling and grammar consistent with what you'd expect from the genuine sender? These are all reasons to be suspicious of an email and to think twice about poking in any attachments.

Having Proper Backup

In these circumstances, I'd encourage everyone to make regular backups that are isolated from your computer. Using a networked backup solution will be utterly ineffective, as CryptoLocker has been known to encrypt data stored on these volumes.

cryptolocker-backup

If you use a cloud backup service like Carbonite, you can take comfort in knowing the odds are good that your files are versioned. That means if you back up an encrypted copy of a file you care about, you can revert to an earlier version. An employee of Carbonite posted this advice on Reddit.

I work for Carbonite on the operations team, and I can confirm this for most cases – I will also offer these two pieces of advice:

1) If you are affected by the virus, you should disable or uninstall Carbonite as soon as possible. If you stop backing up the files, it’s more likely that Carbonite will not have overwritten a “last known good” backup set. There is a high risk of some recent data loss (you’re effectively going back in time, so if we have no record of the file existing at a previous time, you won’t get it back) with this method, but it’s far, far better than losing all of your files.

2) When you call customer support, which you should do as soon as possible, specifically mention that you are infected with cryptolocker. It was mentioned in the post above, but I just wanted to put emphasis on it because it’ll get you through the queue faster.

Edit: also, just to state the obvious, make doubly sure the infection is off your machine before you call support, please.

Should You Pay The Ransom?

What if your computer gets compromised? It goes without saying that brute forcing a file encrypted with 2048 bit encryption is almost impossible. Noted computer security firm Sophos has looked at a number of files that have been encrypted by this particular malware and has failed to notice any obvious means in which they can be decrypted without forking over a ransom.

With that in mind, the only way to get your data back is by paying the ransom. However, this poses a major ethical dilemma. By paying the ransom, you make this type of chicanery profitable and therefore perpetuate it. However, if you don't pay the ransom, you forever lose access to everything you've been working on which is stored on your computer.

What further complicates things is that it is impossible to ascertain who would be the recipient of any money paid. It may something so simple as a single person working from his bedroom looking to get rich at the expense at others, or it might be something much more sinister.

Conclusion

I'll leave the floor to you, the reader. Would you pay the ransom? Have you been infected with CryptoLocker? Leave your thoughts in the comments box below.

   

 

 

 

 

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Posted by on in Helpful Hints

If it's been a while since you've visited our YouTube Channel HERE'S AN UPDATE:

 

BELIEVE IN BETTER COMPUTER REPAIRS

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>>> WATCH IT NOW <<<

 

QUICK GLANCE AT PC PITSOP PORT MACQAURE SERVICES

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THE IMPORTANCE OF KEEPING SAFE PASSWORDS

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KERRIE EGGINS - 3 WAYS PC PITSTOP SUPPORTS HER BUSINESS

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3 REASONS TO CHOOSE PC PITSTOP FOR YOUR BETTER BUSINESS SUPPORT

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Hate computer cowboys? Us too.

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Geeks that insult your intelligence as they 'help you' [read: do it for you...so fast that you have no idea what they did]?

How about 'reputable' internet sites or news sites reporting on THE SCREEN THAT WILL NEVER BREAK?

How about that 'friend of a friend' at the dinner party or BBQ who talks a whole lotta 'I know this' and 'You need to do that' bullocks at the top of his voice so everyone in attendance knows just how smart he is? Err, I hate that guy!

 

Yep, we hear you and we hate it too. Not only does it put an cloud of dishonesty over the whole industry and paint everyone with the same brush but most importantly, it confuses you guys - the consumers. And confusion costs money, time and a whole tonne of heartache whether you're in business or the business of getting good at Mahjong!

So here's some cold hard truths. Some straight down the line honest technology truths you need to know. For your benefit...and your wallets...and your friends at your next dinner party!

  1. Your hard drive will die at some point in the next 5 years.
  2. No anti-virus protection is 100% safe - YOU are the weakest link.
  3. Everyone has a different opinion about brands but only a technician who has experience with various brands and with your best interests at heart can tell you what's RIGHT FOR YOU...but there are always lemons, even with the better brands!
  4. Moore's law is real. He states that technology's power doubles every 18mths. Staying as up to date as you can doesn't meaning having the latest of everything, but sifting through the latest and finding something that benefits your productivity the most!
  5. Extended warranties offered by most major retailers are risky business because they are not usually manufacturers warranties but instead underwritten by an insurance company who are gambling on you not requiring the service and if you do, the repairs are performed by a third party provider to whom you are often just a number. Basically, if you can get an extended manufacturers warranty it's an option, otherwise don't bother. By the time you would use an extended warranty with technology the parts may not even be available anymore!

 *****

 Are you nodding your head in agreement or do you feel like you've been reality-slapped in the face? I'll tell you, it took me awhile to get my head around 'the truth about technology' too when I first started in the industry. And I was an IT student at school. And thought I was 'up with it.' True. You can be all those things but until you see a new problem, a new discovery, a new solution every half hour in a real IT repair workshop then it's just not something you really fathom.

I'm not saying technology is a horrible waste of money and completely controlled by corporate greed. It's not. In comparision to other things especially. But luck does factor into it a little bit. And a whole lot of TLC and correct knowledge. TLC for your devices should be top of your list. Know how to use your device properly...because that's different for every brand too. And leave the in depth troubleshooting and repairs knowledge up to the experts. A doctor with a little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing - that's why they have specialists!

Everyone has a tech story. Usually a bad one. Test your gratitude for your tech and tell us your success story! Share in the comment section below :)

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Posted by on in Repairs

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Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Danson
    Danson says #
    Congratulation Ben, Your qualities speak for themselves being a compassionate businessman is not easy. I have a business similar t

[FOLLOWING SOME COMPANIES ON SOCIAL MEDIA CAN BE A REAL BORE]

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DON'T LIE TO ME - No-one wants to get blasted with 'latest-special-once-in-a-lifetime-deals' that was also plastered all over that companies facebook page the week before.

X DON'T SPAM ME - An inbox full of requests to join this, add that, buy this and other butt-kissing concepts is so 2012. And annoying. Stop it.

pcpitstop-australia-tick-of-approvalENTERTAIN ME - Remember when social media was interesting? Make me laugh on a Monday, relate on a Wednesday and celebrate on a Friday. Heck, why not throw in a few surprises on a Sunday afternoon!

pcpitstop-australia-tick-of-approvalINFORM ME - We follow companies for the FREE VALUABLE INFORMATION they can supply us. Key word being CAN. If they don't and do the first two points instead...unfollow.

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SO WHY SHOULD YOU FOLLOW US?

1. We SHARE any warnings, scams and viruses we hear about that could affect you - even the crazy ones! pcpitstop-happy-man I NEED THAT!

2. Our videos are of REAL people with real problems that have received real solutions from PC Pitstop. pcpitstop-happy-chick I TRUST THAT!

3. We post easy to follow 'How To' instruction sheets and videos because some things CAN be DIY! pcpitstop-happy-kid I VALUE THAT!

4. Our thinking is global but we act local so you and your COMMUNITY get the benefits! pcpitstop-happy-mum I LOVE THAT!

5. We can LAUGH at ourselves and admit our mistakes. And then fix them! pcpitstop-happy-girlI APPRECIATE THAT!

 

 

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How do you keep spyware from tracking your habits or hijacking your computer?

One-third of Internet users have been spyware afflicted and this figure is on the rise.

What is spyware?
It's a broad term for deceptive software that installs itself on a computer via the internet. Once it lurks, it allows an outsider to harvest your personal information, which can be used for many purposes. Unsolicited ads or adware is spyware in its most benign form. Others are more malicious, such as stealing passwords or credit-card information. Having a number of unauthorised programs running on your PC at once makes it sluggish, unstable, and, ultimately, more likely to crash.

How do you know if your computer has been infiltrated with spyware?
Unlike viruses, which are often invisible, spyware exhibits a host of signs that take away your ability to control the computer. Hijacked home pages, redirected Web searches, and a flood of pop-up ads are common complaints.

How does spyware creep on board?
Simply clicking on a banner ad can install spyware. Worms, which are self-propagating viruses, can also carry spyware. They search for machines that don't have up-to-date security patches and install the nasty software. Spyware is also spread by e-mail.
Sometimes spyware is secretly bundled with free software you download from the Internet. Sites that offer music-sharing, videos, weather data, games, and screen savers often are paid to distribute adware. When you install the software, you might see a pop-up window asking you to agree to certain conditions. Avoid clicking ‘I agree’ without reading the fine print. You could be authorising the installation of data-collection and ad-serving software that can muck up your PC.

How do you get rid of spyware?
To eliminate it, you must track down every file and completely erase it. That can be tough since spyware hides inside your computer's operating system, making it difficult to find. PC Pitstop provides a scan-and-removal service. For extra protection, employ specialty anti-spyware software. Use a well-known program that scans for a regularly updated list of privacy threats.

How do you protect your computer in the future?
Protection is an ongoing process since spyware makers are constantly creating new threats. First, install a personal firewall and an anti-virus program. Next, set the computer's operating system for daily security updates and your browser to a medium or high-security level. Windows users should also ensure that the latest Service Pack from Microsoft is installed. And finally, practice safe surfing - download only trustworthy software, read licensing agreements, avoid banner ads, and delete spam. In other words, just say no!

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Posted by on in Helpful Hints

PC Pitstop sees all manner of viruses and software ‘bugs’ every day from a huge range of different sources. It is near impossible to keep up with the speed at which new viruses or scams spread, but common sense tells us where to look. It is with this knowledge that we have compiled some basic tips to avoid costly damage from viruses occurring on your machine.

  • Be sure to keep your machine up to date - With the latest patches from Windows Update. These software patches fix bugs and exploits and help to keep your machine secure from the newest viruses.
  • Watch your web browsing habits - There are billions of sites on the internet and not all of them are nice. Most of these sites are related to adult content, ‘free’ downloads such as music; software and movies; online flash game websites; and gambling websites such as online poker. If you are going to download or sign-up for something on a website make sure it is a verified safe site beforehand possibly by searching for the name of the site/service on Google.
  • Do not open email attachments from people you do not know!This is the leading cause of virus infection and also the way most viruses spread, even if it is not an application in the attachment the file can still be infected or trigger an exploit on your system leading to your system being infected. Only open attachments from known people, and even then use caution.
  • Keep your identity safe online - do not give information out to strangers or to random web sites. This includes your name, address, phone number etc... as this information can be used for nefarious purposes such as bank scams or identity theft.
  • Avoid pop-ups or banners offering FREE product - most of these lead to malicious web sites or scams. These will usually present you with a window that reads something along the lines of "Your system is infected - Click here to run a FREE virus scan!” Do not click on these, just close the window and ignore them. If you are genuinely concerned about viruses, pop into PC Pitstop for a true virus health check.
  • Finally, avoid taking calls from ‘technicians’ claiming that your computer is infected – A call out of the blue from a person claiming that there is something wrong with your computer sounds odd, but it does happen. These tricky scammers will usually ask you to type something into your machine, providing them with remote access, where they can then cause a lot of damage. Hang up on them and never hand over credit card details to someone you don’t trust.

Keep these points in mind for HAPPY HEALTHY COMPUTING!

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