Category Archive: Blog

  1. How Does Remote Tech Support work? And How Do I Spot a Reputable Remote Tech Support Company?

    How remote tech support works and how to spot a reputable remote tech support company

    How Does Remote Tech Support Work?

    We’ve all heard about remote tech support numerous times, either from telemarketers or online ads from companies providing those types of services but do we actually know what remote tech support is?

    Remote tech support is based on remote support tools, which are software and IT tools that allow an IT technician to remotely connect to a computer from wherever they may be located. In the simplest of terms, what remote tech support means is that a service provider assigns a certified technician to a customer located in a different place as the provider. Furthermore, this means is that the customer can be located anywhere in the world, and as long as they have an internet connection, a remote tech support agent will be able to help!

    Once the customer has contacted a provider of remote tech support services, like Geeks on Site, a technician will be assigned to them and the customer will pay fixed price for an unlimited time connection unless you already have a monthly subscription plan, such as the ones Geeks on site offers! You will be asked to download a safe and widely used software, which will ask for you permissions, and then will give complete access to the assigned technician. From this point, the certified technician will be able to visualize your computer through his screen as if it were his own, allowing him to control the computer remotely so that he may be able to identify the problem and find a solution for it right away. A customer service agent will be available to communicate any questions or additional projects you would like to share with the remote tech support technician. You will also have the ability to speak to the certified technician via a chat on your shared screen.

    With all that said, what can a remote tech support technician do for you? He can do anything an onsite technician can, unless it’s a hardware issue. Services a remote tech support technician can do are:

    • Adware/Spyware clean up
    • Updates
    • Virus protection verification
    • Temporary files cleanup
    • Hard drive defragmentation
    • Startup optimization
    • Virus scan

    All in real time.

    Reputable Remote Tech Support Companies

    There are reputable remote tech support companies that service customers nationwide. These companies have a reputable background as well as a well-established customer service teams that offer quality service that distinguishes them from the rest.

    So how do we spot a reputable remote tech support company?

    These are some things a reputable remote tech support company won’t do to get your attention:

    • Pop-up ads
    • Random phone calls to your house
    • Spam email
    • Websites indicating a virus

    So what should we look for in a remote tech support company?

    Flexibility – Your remote tech support contact should be at your own pace and consider your network and pay special attention to your data security and backup.

    Subscriptions – Ideally, the remote tech support company you select should help beyond your immediate needs. Look for a reputable company with a subscription plan that takes your budget into account. A monthly subscription is a great idea.

    User Friendly – A remote tech support service provider should translate geek language and into an average consumer friendly language that anyone can understand.

    Up-to-date Technicians – Savvy remote tech support technicians keep up with tech-industry news to know how and when products are updated and evolve. You should assess their knowledge by asking them questions that could help your overall understanding of the current technology scene.

    Credentials – Certifications that matter include Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) and Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP). For networking, look for CompTIA Network+ or A+ accreditation. An Apple Certified Support Professional (ACSP).

    Experience – Always look for a company that has a considerable amount of years of experience that can vouch for their services.

    Reviews – If you are still having doubts, a good choice for a 3rd opinion are reputable sites that showcase reviews, such as Angie’s list. You’ll be able to view their reputation and comments from previous customers knowing that the review is genuine.

    Reputable remote tech support companies do exist, and Geeks on Site is one of them!

    If you ever need to have a remote tech support technician look into your computer make sure to contact us or give us a call right now, 1-888-360-GEEK(4335), we’re here 24/7.

  2. The Petya Virus: What You Need to Know About It and How You Can Protect Yourself

    Computer virus protection for the Petya virus

    The Petya virus has been a trending topic for the past few weeks amongst cyber-crime agencies around the world. The Petya virus has been responsible for an extraordinary number of cyber-attacks spreading all over Europe, the Middle East and the U.S. at an alarming rate. The headcount of affected computers by June 28th was of approximately 230,000 in over 150 countries. In as little as 5 hours from its launch, it had already received almost $7,000.00 in digital currency. This virus has not only targeted ordinary PC users, it has also targeted large enterprises such as: Rosneft, Heritage Valley Health System, Merck, Mondelez, WPP, DLA Piper amongst many others.

    Are you safe from this computer virus?

    There are few known measures regarding the prevention of this computer virus, and one of them is the Avira antivirus. Avira has tested and proven effective as a last line of defense against the Petya virus.

    Aside from using award-winning security software, such as Avira, computer experts suggest keeping all applications and programs up-to-date.

    If you do not have anti-virus protection, don’t think twice about it, contact Geeks on Site.

    What type of computer virus is Petya?

    This malicious software is also known as a “Ransomware”. To those who are not familiar with this type of computer virus, a ransomware is malicious software that holds your computer for a ransom, blocks all access to it (or specifically to its data), and once that ransom has been paid the computer and all its files will be released.

    How does the Petya virus function?

    What the Petya virus does, is it encrypts the computer hard drive’s master file table; it also renders the master reboot record inoperable. This restricts any type of access to your system. It holds hostage computer information such as, file names, size and location on the physical disk. After the mentioned files are encrypted, the computer virus then proceeds to ask for a ransom in order to release files; in this case the most popular ransom is a type of crypto currency (Bitcoin) since it cannot be traced back to its owner or receiver. The victims of this virus are put in an extremely hard situation if they do not have a backup of their files. They either have to pay $300.00 or lose their files forever.

    Where did this computer virus come from?

    It is believed that it originated in Ukraine. The 1st known source was a tax accounting software firm called MeDoc. Microsoft and numerous security researchers mentioned that MeDocs security could have been breached and the virus spread via additional updates.

    How does it spread?

    The Petya virus is like a worm, or better explained, it can self-propagate. The way it spreads is by targeting lists of computers using 2 known methods:

    • IP address and credential gathering:

      Petya builds lists of available computers in network to infect through IP addresses. This usually includes addresses on the Local Area Network (LAN) with remote IPs that are not protected. LAN addresses are a preferred pathway, since they tend to be easier to infect.

      After the list has been built with the initial targeted addresses, what this computer virus does, is it builds a secondary list with usernames and passwords available to use while further infecting these PCs.

    • Lateral Movement:

      As for the 2nd method of spreading this virus, Petya uses something called lateral movement. Lateral movement has 2 variations:

      1. Execution across network shares: This tricky software attempts to spread by copying itself using the stolen credentials from a computer.

      2. SMB exploits: The malware attempts to spread using variations of the EternalBlue and EternalRomance exploits.

    Good news! Avira’s renowned testing laboratory has developed security strength that both detects and blocks these three variations of the Petya virus that are infecting computers both via LAN connections and the Internet.

    For optimal protection, Geeks on Site recommends the Avira & Hitman Pro Combo which not only protects against the Petya virus, but they also run behavioral scans, provides additional threat protection via scan cloud, removes malware, and protects against exploit/susceptible applications. This security package also prevents the high risk of software crashes, slow startup processes and unwanted system errors. Keep your PC protected from the Petya computer virus and future viruses a like with the help of Geeks on Site. Questions? Give us a call right now, 800-672-0685, we’re here 24/7.

  3. Gadgets for Dad: Geeks on Site Top Picks for Father’s Day 2017

    Gadgets for Dad - Top Picks for Father’s Day 2017

    Not sure what to get your dad for Father’s Day? We have lots of top picks for Dad this year – and prices that work for every budget.

    Our top gift ideas for Father’s Day include everything from computer hardware and software to technical support packages designed to make sure your Dad gets the most out of his new gadgets.


    Avira and Hitman Pro Combo Avira & Hitman Pro Combo
    Give dad the powerful combination of antivirus protection and PC performance booster. The Avira & Hitman Pro Combo runs behavioral scans, provides additional threat protection via scan cloud, removes malware, and protects exploit/susceptible applications. It also prevents the high risk of software crashes, slow startup process and unwanted system errors.


    HP Envy 4500 HP Envy 4500
    Dad will be the envy of the neighborhood if you get him the HP Envy 4500. It’s ISO speed goes up to 8.8 ppm for printing in black and up to 5.2 ppm when printing in color. The Envy’s standard connectivity is HI-Speed USB 2 and Wi-Fi 802.11n.
    Epson WorkForce WF 3620 Epson Workforce WF 3620
    The Epson is another excellent choice for any father. It has speeds of 19 ISO ppm for printing in black and 10 ISO ppm for printing in color. In addition, the Workforce can do automatic two-sided printing, copying, scanning and has fax capabilities.


    Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Samsung Galaxy Tab 4- Apple Tablet
    The latest in tablet technology is always an exciting gift. This Android tablet has a SnapDragon Quad Core processor, 1.5 GB RAM, and a 16GB flash drive. If you run out of memory, no worries, this tablet has expandable memory
    Apple iPad Air Apple iPad Air
    We are certain this iPad will make any father happy. This space grey beauty has an A7 Chip 64bit processor, 1 GB RAM, 16GB Flash Drive, and IOS 7.


    Toshiba Radius 2016 Newest Edition Toshiba Radius 2016 Newest Edition
    In terms of value, it’s hard to beat the Radius. It has an Intel Core i3 processor, 4GB RAM, and 500GB 5400 RPM. This Toshiba comes in Satin Gold and is equipped with Windows 10 and a 6 in 1 Media Card Reader
    Microsoft Surface 3 Tablet Microsoft Surface 3
    The Surface 3 laptop would also be a special gift for Dad. It has an Intel Atom Quad Core processor, 4GB RAM, and 128GB Flash Memory. It comes in black, has DVD+RW capability and is equipped with Windows 10.


    Acer Aspire AZ1 622 Acer Aspire AZ1-622
    The Acer Aspire AZ1-622 has an impressive Intel Celeron N3150 processor, 4GB RAM, and 500 GB 5400 RPM. It comes in black, has DVD+RW capability and is equipped with Windows 10.
    Dell Inspiron i3459-1525 Dell Inspiron i3459-1525
    Even the father who has everything will appreciate the Dell Inspiron i3459-1525. It comes in black, has an Intel Core i3 6th Gen processor, 8GB RAM, 500 GB 5400 RPM, DVD+RW capability and is equipped with Windows 10.


    Onsite Tech Service Onsite Tech Service
    The ultimate gift for Dad is Onsite Tech Service whenever he needs it for a value-added price. Geeks on Site will send a friendly certificated technician to his home or office to provide support for any computer problem.Geeks on Site is a team of highly skilled computer technician professionals who are able to provide him with IT services on his terms – whether it’s a one-time fix or on-going services. We’re here for him 24/7, and with one quick phone call, on site computer support will have someone dispatched to Dad within 24 hours.
    Standard – $99/hr
    4 Hour Block – $74/hr

    Should you need any help in making the best gift selection for dear ol’ Dad, feel free to give Geeks on Site a call at 888-360-4335. We’re here 24/7 to provide the best support possible and we’d love to wish all the dads a very Happy Father’s Day!

  4. This Mother’s Day, Geeks on Site Celebrates the Mother of All Computer Parts: The Motherboard


    There’s a very good reason that a computer’s central communications backbone connectivity point is called a motherboard: Mothers are considered the heart of every family, which is why we are celebrating them – and the heart of every computer – this month.

    The motherboard is the point through which all of a computer’s components and external peripherals connect so when something goes wrong, it’s essential that the problem is diagnosed and remedied quickly. The problem is that figuring out the reasons why a motherboard is failing can be difficult to diagnose because you have to rule out every piece of hardware connected to it as the cause of whatever problem you are experiencing.

    Symptoms of a failed motherboard include:

    • Motherboard doesn’t Power on Self-Test
    • Leaking or bulging capacitors
    • Your computer doesn’t recognize flash drives or your monitor shows unusual lines
    • Slow boot up
    • Burning smell or burn marks on the motherboard
    • Peripherals stop and start working – or motherboard doesn’t recognize plugged in peripherals

    If you are skilled in trouble shooting computer problems, here are a few areas to check out:

    • Be certain that your power supply isn’t failing by making sure its voltages are operating in line with their rated output.
    • Take a look at the hard drive operation if your files take a long time to transfer, if it takes a long time to boot and if hearing noises while booting, your problem/problems may be related to your hard drive.
    • Check that the video function is operating properly. If not, your video card might be the source of the issue.
    • Run a diagnostic tool, such as Memtest86 or Memtest86+ to check that memory is not failing.
    • Finally, it’s possible (although rare) that your processor (CPU) could be the source of your system’s issues. This can be checked by downloading and running the Intel Processor Diagnostic Tool (if you have an Intel Processor).

    If you have tried these steps, or are unsure about how to go about them to diagnose any potential motherboard issues, it’s likely time to call a professional.

    motherboard infographic

    Geeks on Site Can Help

    Geeks on Site is ready to diagnose any motherboard issues 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We’re a team of computer technician professionals who are able to connect to your computer, find the issue and fix it for you.

    All you need to do is call us at 1-866-865-6077 and tell us your computer problem. Our technicians will guide you through a series of steps that will allow our technician to access your desktop with our mouse and keyboard. This Internet technology allows interacting with your computer as if we were sitting right in front of it! You don’t need to be present while we work. Once we’re connected, you’re free to go about your day or you can watch the technician work on your system and ask him questions via chat.

    FFTU (flat fee tune up)

    A FFTU costs $149 and allows us to work on your computer remotely, via the Internet, for as long as we need to, to fix your computer problem. A FFTU includes:

    • Adware/Spyware clean up
    • Software updates
    • Virus protection verification
    • Temporary files cleanup
    • Hard drive defragmentation
    • Startup optimization
    • Virus scan and removal

    Geeks for Life Subscription

    If you liked our FFTU service and would like to have us service your computer at any time in the future, you can enroll in our Geeks for Life subscription service. For only $24.95 a month, you can request a FFTU for your enrolled computer at any time during a 30-day period; you can cancel at any time. Our subscription service includes, but is not limited to:

    • Unlimited tune ups
    • Virus protection
    • Virus removal
    • Spam protection
    • Startup problems
    • Blue screens
    • Hackers
    • Software issues

    On site Visits

    We also dispatch our experienced crews to various parts of the country. With one quick phone call, on site computer support will have someone at your home or place of business within 24 hours and provide numerous resources to keep your system safe. Call us to see if your site is within the radius of one of our technician’s service areas. By inputting your zip code into our system, we are able to locate our technicians nearest to you.

    For an onsite visit, you have two options for payment. Our Standard Hourly Rate of $99/hour or our discounted hourly rate of $74/hour if you purchase a 4 Hour Block.

    Give us a call right now, we’re here 24/7.

  5. What Does a Virus Scan Actually Do? We Break Down How Virus Scans Work

    What Does a Virus Scan Actually Do
    It seems like we’re always hearing about some new sort of computer virus, worm or malware designed to obtain or destroy information on our devices. Sadly, some of us have been their unfortunate victims. In fact, according to an FBI survey, major businesses lose $12 million each year dealing with virus incidents. But with the right type of antivirus software, you can protect your device and the information stored in it.

    Virus, Worm, Malware: What’s the Difference?

    Because these terms are often used interchangeably, you may wonder what the difference is between a virus, worm and malware if your computer is having issues. Let’s begin with basics:

    • Virus – a piece of code that is capable of copying itself and typically has a detrimental effect, such as corrupting a system or destroying data on an individual computer. A computer virus operates by inserting or attaching itself to a legitimate program or document that supports macros in order to execute its code.
    • Worm – a malware computer program that replicates itself so it can spread to other computers, often, via a network. Almost always causing harm to the network, worms rely on security failures on the target computer in order to initially gain access.
    • Malware – also known as malicious software, is a broad term used to refer to viruses, worms, ransomware, Trojan horses, keyloggers, rootkits, spyware, adware and other malicious software. Malware is designed to disrupt normal computer or mobile operations, gather sensitive information, get access to private computer systems and even to show unwanted advertising.

    Symptoms of an Infected Computer

    When unprotected devices are infected, they:

    • Run slower than normal.
    • Show popups both online and/or offline.
    • Have programs that do not open, run slow or close unexpectedly.
    • Have browser(s) that do not display some or any website at all.
    • Show the ‘FBI’ or ‘Department of Justice’ screen, it comes up shortly after loading the computer’s operating system.
    • Present problems when trying to recognize external hardware.
    • Show a blue screen with the error code.

    Once your device exhibits the above symptoms, chances are good that it has been affected by a virus, worm or other type of malware and likely needs immediate attention from someone trained in the identification and removal of such.

    What is Antivirus Software? How does Antivirus Software Work?

    Antivirus software, sometimes known as anti-malware software, is designed to detect, prevent and take action to disarm or remove malicious software from your computer such as viruses, worms and Trojan horses. It may also prevent or remove unwanted spyware and adware in addition to other types of malicious programs. The first versions of antivirus software can be traced as far back as the 1980s.

    Antivirus software will begin by checking your computer programs and comparing them to known types of malware. It will also scan your computer for behaviors that may signal the presence of a new, unknown malware. Typically, antivirus software uses all three scanning detection processes:

    • Specific Detection – This works by looking for known malware by a specific set of characteristics.
    • Generic Detection – This process looks for malware that are variants of known “families,” or malware related by a common codebase.
    • Heuristic Detection – This process scans for previously unknown viruses by looking for known suspicious behavior or file structures.

    Although the detection tools are highly effective, no antivirus software is failsafe. If you suspect your device has been infected, you should take action to remedy the problem quickly.

    Geeks on Site Can Help

    Geeks on Site is ready to assist you with detecting, preventing, removing any type of malware 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Although there are many software options available on the market, Geeks on Site relies on the expertise of the following antivirus software:

    • Avira Antivirus Pro® – available for both Windows® and Mac® OS, has excellent lab test results for accuracy
    • Hitman Pro® – designed to run alongside your computer’s antivirus software to detect and remove next-generation malware that went undetected by traditional antivirus software

    Although we feel it’s best to prevent the problem from happening by installing antivirus software before a crisis, we can help after the fact as well. As a team of computer technician professionals, Geeks on Site, is able to connect to your computer remotely to detect and remove a virus for you. All you need to do is call us at 1-888-360-4335 and tell us about your computer problem.

  6. Computer Cleanup: Why Your Computer is Running Slow and What You Can Do to Help Prevent It

    Computer Cleanup tips
    One of the most common problems that people call us at Geeks on Site to solve is a slow-running computer. When your computer is not running at optimal speed, it’s easy to get frustrated. Often, the cause is programs running in the background, but bad computer habits can also contribute to slowing your computer down.

    Here are some steps you can take to keep your computer running at peak performance:

    1. Restart your computer at least once per day.
      Rebooting your computer ensures the latest software and OS updates have been applied and gives your computer a “fresh start,” per say.
    2. Make sure you have minimal programs load at startup.
      Open the Task Manager to see what programs are running in the background and how much memory and CPU is currently being used by each program. You may see your antivirus; spyware protection program or other security program is running in the background. While a scan is running, it is common to notice a decrease in the overall performance of your computer but it’s important to allow the scan fully.
    3. Don’t run multiple security programs on your computer at the same time.
      Running multiple security programs on your computer at the same time can cause these programs to conflict with one another so it’s best to use one comprehensive program.
    4. Remove browser plugins and extensions, especially those you don’t use.
      In your browser, click the menu icon “≡” at the top right of the browser window, select “Tools” or “Settings” and then select “Extensions” to open a new “Options” tab. Uncheck “Enabled” to disable an extension/plugin or click “Remove” to delete it completely. These can often be helpful but they can also slow down your browser quite a bit.
    5. Delete temporary and unwanted files.
      Freeing up space on your hard drive is easy and very important. Ideally, you should have at least 200-500MB of free space in your hard drive to give your computer the space it needs to run properly. Click on the Start button, select the “Find” option and then click on “Find Files for folders”. In the named box, type “*.tmp” to search for any files with a “tmp” file extension. Make sure the “Look in” section of the search box is pointing to the C: drive and not your document folders. Click “Find Now” to start the search and delete all files found.
    6. Run Windows® updates at regular intervals.
      Windows updates keep your computer performing at optimal levels so you may need to take a few moments to ensure all of the latest updates have been installed. Depending on the version of Windows you are running, you should be able to easily find the necessary updates online or click on the Start menu, select “All Programs” and “Windows Update”. Then, select “Check for Updates” and click “Install”.Keep in mind that if you are on a corporate network, you may need to contact your administrator, you may be unable to perform Microsoft updates.
    7. Update all your programs regularly.
      Typically, software programs will prompt you to allow them to run updates. Allowing these updates ensures you are running the latest version of the software that has had all issues resolved.
    8. Defragment your hard drive regularly.
      Fragmentation makes a hard drive do extra work that can slow down your computer. Removable storage devices, USB drives, for example, can also become fragmented. Disk Defragmenter in Windows rearranges fragmented data so your disks and drives can work more efficiently. Click on the Start button, type “Disk Defragmenter” in the search box and then select the disk you want to defragment.

    While all of these tips are helpful, they may not solve the problem. If that’s the case, you may want to have your device evaluated by a professional.

    Geeks on Site Can Help

    Geeks on Site is ready to diagnose why your computer is running slow and take the steps necessary to fix it 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We’re a team of computer technician professionals who are able to connect to your computer remotely to evaluate the problem.

    Give Geeks on Site a call right now at 1-888-360-4335, we’re here 24/7.

  7. Hasta la Vista, Windows Vista: End of Lifecycle Support!

    Every journey must come to an end, and the one we had with Windows Vista is not the exception. Microsoft will discontinue Windows Vista on April 11th and all of the systems or programs that are currently running the operating system will no longer receive technical support or security patches.

    If you are a Windows Vista user, this means your computer can be exposed to cyber-attacks in the future, due to security vulnerabilities. Fortunately, Geeks on Site has some recommendations to avoid this.

    Windows Vista Users, it’s time to upgrade!

    It’s true that when a piece of software reaches the end of its lifecycle, it can continue to operate just fine for approximately 5 years or until the computer breaks down. Although, this isn’t a desirable option. Without a supported operating system, you become the most vulnerable target for hackers and you can lose all of your data.

    Windows Vista

    Browsers like Google Chrome and Internet Explorer have dropped support for this operating system. Mozilla will do the same and Firefox plans to end it this coming September. Windows Vista will be an obsolete operating system and you have two options to avoid this eventually from affecting your computer:

    Option 1. Upgrade your operating system.

    If you’re thinking about upgrading your OS, you can definitely do it only if your PC meets the system requirements for the latest Windows versions. Since Microsoft is now investing resources towards more recent technologies, the best operating system you could choose is Windows 10. You can buy an upgrade to Windows 10 and do a clean installation. Remember, if you need help with the installation or need to double check if your computer is adequate for Windows 10, give us a call and we will be happy to assist you.

    Option 2. Contemplate buying a new PC.

    When installing a new operating system, you have to consider your hardware. PC manufacturers installed Windows Vista from 2006 to 2009, which means most of these machines are now 8 to 10 years old. If your PC doesn’t meet the requirements for Windows 10, you should consider buying a new one that does. Here at Geeks on Site, we also have quality equipment so you can upgrade to Windows 10 without stress. Also, Geeks on site includes free set-up of your new computer by a certified technician.

    Don’t be an easy target for cyber-thieves and keep all of your files protected. Giving up to Windows Vista and switching to Windows 10 is the right long-term investment for any PC user.

  8. Avoid Data Theft: Encrypt Sensitive Data Today!

    Are you the one that stores sensitive data in your PC? We all do it or have done it before, especially with information such as passwords for bank accounts, credit card numbers and even tax information. Getting to know how to encrypt sensitive data is a must if you have this type of information in your computer.

    Have you ever heard about encryption and why is it important to safeguard your information? Briefly, encryption is known as the translation of data into a secret code or algorithm, which makes very difficult for hackers to have access to your data. Trying to break encryption codes is a mathematically daunting task and it can take months or even years. This is why hackers give up when trying to decrypt files.

    Details: Encrypt Sensitive Data

    What’s the Best Way to Encrypt Sensitive Data?

    Encryption is a critical component of security that protects your files even if your PC gets stolen, and it makes you less vulnerable to cyber-theft. According to how valuable the information you have on your PC is, there are two different ways to encrypt it:

    Onsite Encryption

    The most traditional way to encrypt sensitive data is by using a free file encryption software such as VeraCrypt or FileVault. But, if you own a Windows 10 PC, we have great news! Windows 10 has its own encryption software called BitLocker. You might be wondering: “how do I get started?” To encrypt your data using BitLocker follow these simple steps and protect your files from cyber-thieves today:

    1. Go to Control Panel > System and Security > BitLocker Drive Encryption.

    2. Click on the “Turn on BitLocker” button and choose how you want to unlock your drive during startup: Insert a USB flash drive or Enter a password. If you select to choose a password, make sure to create a strong password mixing uppercase, lowercase, numbers, and symbols. Once you have typed it in, hit “Next”.

    3. In the following screen, you will be given options to back up your recovery key in case you forget your password: Save to your Microsoft account, Save to a USB flash drive, Save to a file, Print the recovery key. Choose the one that is most convenient for you and keep the recovery key in a safe place. Afterwards, click “Next”.

    4. According to your current scenario, select an encryption option: Encrypt used disk space only (faster and best for new PCs and drives), Encrypt entire drive (slower but best for PCs and drives already in use). Click “Next” and you will see a new screen with two encryption options: New encryption mode, Compatible mode. Tip: New encryption mode method provides additional integrity support against cyber-attacks.

    5. In the next screen, make sure to check the “Run BitLocker system check” option and click “Continue”.

    6. After completing all of these steps, restart your computer to begin the encryption process. BitLocker will ask you to enter your password to unlock the drive, once you do that, you’ll see the status of the encryption process. In some cases, the status can be “encrypting” depending on the size of the drive. But you can still work on your PC while the process continues. Once it’s ready, the drive level should read “BitLocker on”.

    Cloud Encryption

    According to a recent study about cloud security, on premise environment or public cloud users experience an average of 61.4 attacks, while service provider environment averaged only 27.8 attacks.

    If your data is too valuable for you, consider to use cloud encryption services from a trustworthy provider such as Carbonite. This specific provider makes sure to encrypt sensitive data before moving it to the cloud. Carbonite uses a 128-bit Blowfish encryption and later on send the information using a Transport Layer Security (TSL) to one of their professionally managed data centers.

    Keep in mind that encryption is another layer of protection that’s highly recommended but it’s not the only one. To safeguard your personal information you also have to take into consideration securing your Wi-Fi network and having computer backup solutions.

  9. How to Protect Personal and Financial Data

    Saving usernames, passwords, financial and other personal information online is a very common practice for many users. Learning how to protect personal and financial data from cyber-thieves should be a PC priority.  Having your information safe will not only prevent you from cyber-theft, but also from personal identity theft, financial scams, medical benefit fraud and much more.

    6 Tips to Protect Personal and Financial Data

    From time to time, when we need to purchase an item online or when we need to access a specific bank account from our PC we are required to provide personal information. Unfortunately, by doing this, we are often exposed and vulnerable to cyber-theft. Therefore, sensitive information should be safeguarded and you can accomplish that by following these tips and best practices to protect personal and financial data:

    1. Encrypt your data. Encryption helps you to protect data from people that you don’t want to see it. You can encrypt files on your PC so that no one can open them without a password, whether a malicious hacker hacks your computer, intercepts an important email, or someone breaks into your home and finds your computer. When browsing the web, and you want to purchase something online, many reputable companies, like iTunes, use encryption within their websites to prevent cyber-thieves from stealing one’s credit card and personal information while they are using the site to checkout.

    2. Secure your network. Wi-Fi hacking protection is an important step to follow when protecting personal information. Using a secure w
    ireless network prevents hackers from gaining access to your network, as well as the computers and other devices connected to the network, so they can’t look into your personal information.

    3. Don’t reuse passwords. It is tempting to reuse passwords; however it’s not recommended. Having a repeated password for different accounts can allow hackers to access different sensitive information on different platforms, or websites, since they were able to figure out one of your passwords once before. Hackers can use that password to try and use it in each of your other accounts and if you have the same password, it can be dangerous as they have gained access to a whole new list of information.

    4. Avoid storing private information in public computers. If you need to use a public computer, like the ones at the library, a cyber café or even a friend’s computer, always remember to log out of the accounts you accessed and never choose to save login information if prompt.

    5. Identify phishing. Phishing is known as the malicious attempt to obtain sensitive data. You can identify phishing if you receive an email with instructions to visit a website and update personal information, such as passwords, credit card, bank account numbers or social security number. To prevent this type of malicious activity, refrain from opening emails from unknown senders.

    6. Back up your data. A recommended method to protect personal and financial data is to back up all your data. You can either choose an onsite backup like an external hard drive or an online backup like cloud services. It’s always good to have both.

    Lately, learning to protect personal and financial data is a growing concern, as well as challenge. By following these tips one can be even more secure than you think. It is always important to remember that if you don’t want to encrypt and back up your data, or secure your network on your own we are here to assist you at any time.

  10. Computer Backup Solutions: Preventing PC Data Loss

    Computer backup solutions are one of the most important security and prevention tools any computer user can rely on. With a backup solution you minimize the chances of losing data from human and computer error.  Many of us have experienced a computer that locked up and provoked data loss; which is definitely not gratifying. But, the truth is, we can lose data because we did not take the appropriate backup measures.

    Fortunately, in today’s world there are several ways one can prevent data loss. Among the many computer backup solutions there is backup software, databases and sometimes entire computers dedicated to migrating copies of files and information onto the internet or external devices. Of these solutions, Cloud backup, as well known as online backup, is generally preferred as it gives you the opportunity of accessing your files from any internet-connected device.

    How to Use Computer Backup Solutions in Your Favor

    There’s always a possibility of data loss, and having a backup plan for your data and files is a smart move; it prepares you for any unexpected, unfortunate event. Here are a few tips to effectively use computer backup solutions:

    1. Consider: What should you backup?

    Forget about the actual computer programs that you have installed on your computer (for example, Adobe Photoshop or iTunes). You can easily download and install all of the computer programs you once had, again. The most important thing to back up is: your personal information, documents, musiDetails about computer backup solutionsc, images, videos and any other personal data you may have in your PC (Remember this data should be backed up regularly).

    2. Take Action: How to back up your data?

    You can back up your data using the following computer backup solutions: an external hard drive or the cloud. Both are beneficial and it is actually recommended to have an onsite backup, which can be an external device, like an USB external hard drive that you can purchase in any electronic store, as well as an additional online backup solution, such as “the cloud”.

    Backing up on an USB external drive is easy. If you have a Windows PC or Mac, follow these simple steps to back up your personal data on an external drive:

    External Drive Backup for Windows

    1. Plug the USB external hard drive in; go to the Start Menu, type “backup” in the search box, and press Backup and Restore.

    2. After, click the “Set Up Backup” button. Choose the external drive you plugged in, hit “Next”, choose the option “Let me choose” and click on the data you want to back up (remember, personal data), and hit “Next”.

    3. On the last screen, hit “Save Settings and Run Backup”. Keep your PC on while Windows is backing up your files. If you want to back up your data regularly, you could either repeat this exercise whenever you need to back up new files or use Windows Task Scheduler to schedule daily backups.

    External Drive Backup for Mac

    1. Plug the USB external hard drive in; go to the Start Menu, type “backup” in the search box, and press Backup and Restore.

    2. After, click the “Set Up Backup” button. Choose the external drive you plugged in, hit “Next”, choose the option “Let me choose” and click on the data you want to back up (remember, personal data), and hit “Next”.

    3. On the last screen, hit “Save Settings and Run Backup”. Keep your PC on while Windows is backing up your files. If you want to back up your data regularly, you could either repeat this exercise whenever you need to back up new files or use Windows Task Scheduler to schedule daily backups.

    Cloud Solutions

    Once you have your first backup, this is a good time to set-up a cloud or online-based backup system as well. You can use cloud storage services like Dropbox, Google Drive, or other similar cloud storage services. These services work well for a small amount of files, since they offer a few gigabytes of space for free.

    Another way to back up data on the cloud is by using commercial solutions, like Carbonite, that automatically and continuously backs up all of your files and stores an encrypted version on the cloud for you. This keeps data and files safe from accidental deletions, hardware failures and malicious attacks. In addition, these types of paid-cloud solutions offer more benefits, including unlimited cloud storage and sometimes external hard drive backup as well.

    Depending on the Cloud solution of your choice, there are different ways of uploading your computer data up onto the system. Typically, when you create your account there is an introduction that teaches you how to use the program, but if you want a little extra help, give a local tech a call to help you get started.

    Computer backup solutions are necessary; you don’t know when, or how, your files could get lost, deleted or infected by a virus. These solutions protect your computer from data loss and make data recovery quick, as well as stress free.