Sunday, March 31, 2013


And, as you can see by my photo (I'm the one with the hat) I backed up waaaaay to far and must correct the error before the younger me sees the older me and "Poof" we destroy the world!

I found where I made my, er... the backup assistants mistake in reading the date code stamped on the machine and have just replace the media with the correct one -

Okay then, I'm back to my usual self and if you haven't got the hint either from the headline of this Blog post or the photos, today IS really National Backup Day.

Yeah, I know there's a day for everything now but this one should be taken seriously if you love all of your digital photos, music, documents and more, because if you don't backup the data on your computer in the blink of a static burst or dead hard drive - it's all gone baby, gone.

Just telling someone to make sure that they backup their PC puts a heavy burden on the owner, who may only know how to turn the computer "ON", check email, and click on the shortcut links on the computer's desktop. Even the most experienced have had embarrassing moments where they lapsed in doing backups, leading to the loss of some data that can't be found anywhere else.

If you have a service call and the tech mentions you should be backing up your data, go ahead and ask them how to do it! If it's not mentioned, but on your to do list, then ask anyway. Most PC techs will be happy to tell you how and why you should be doing this.

Ways to backup:
  • Tape drive - not reliable
  • A 2nd hard drive in the computer
  • An external USB drive
  • Via the Internet to a Cloud service.
Discuss these with your PC Technician to determine what fits your needs and budget, but please - backup your PC

'Nuff Said,

Monday, March 25, 2013



In the last two weeks we've been hearing about Russia and China's ability to hack systems in the US with relative ease. In a recent article on PC WORLD  the fingers are pointing towards Iran and North Korea, warning us not to forget about them. With the words like "Cyberwars" [at one time only found in discount gaming bins], one has to wonder what code of conduct for captured bytes will be written into the Geneva Convention.

When a system is hacked and 1's and 0's are taken captive, what organization is out there to protect their rights? Or digging deeper, do these bits and bytes have any rights once the security walls that protected them have been breached? Things such as these will keep legislation tied up for years as they try to negotiate a world-wide agreement on topics like "What constitutes torture in the digital war?"

Will captors be allowed to hang a byte over a keyboard key while a bag of sand at the other end of a pole that the byte is attached to slowly lets the sand seep out, dropping the poor byte closer and closer to the key marked DELETE - unless it breaks and gives up new information to penetrate the enemies defenses deeper?


Back on a more serious thread [ed. - not that the first part wasn't serious], McAfee has issued an alert regarding some new Malware that is attacking POS (Point-of-sale) systems (although, it makes you wonder why they didn't post any alerts about the fellow whose name in on their box...)

"...Dubbed vSkimmer, the Trojan-like malware is designed to infect Windows-based computers that have payment card readers attached to them..."

If you have POS systems in your company perhaps you should read the article, found HERE, while I turn control of your brain back to you and the area in your brain that......"Worries".

'Nuff Said,

Friday, March 22, 2013


Yep, it's that time of the year again ('bout once a quarter) to remind you of your part in keeping your computer secure and un-infected! Much of this will sound like a broken record, but you would be surprised at the number of people I come across who have let things slip by, put off until a later time (which never comes), and become infected.

So let's run down a quick checklist!
  1. Keep your Anti-Virus up-to-date. If it's expired, better to pay and renew than risk losing your photos, documents, and music! If you have a local computer shop you deal will regularly and your A/V is expired or nearing expiration date, call them - when it comes to computer infections, what may have been the No.1 anti-virus software last year, could have dropped a few notches this year. It doesn't hurt to ask.
  2. Run Malwarebyte scans twice a month (quick scans). If your Malwarebyte icon is still Maroon and not blue you haven't done an update/scan in some time.
  3. Make sure your staple items are updated [Adobe Flash, Reader, and ORACLE'S JAVA].
  4. If you get a pop-up about an update what do you do? That's right! Close the box, then go directly to the website and run the update from there.
  5. If you get an email from yourself does it mean your email has been hacked? Possibly, but usually the answer is "NO". If you receive an email that appears to confirm a password change, check the email headers to see if this is a trick to get you to click on the link supplied.
  6. Don't react in panic - think it through first, and if you have doubts - call your local computer shop.
  7. BUY your A/V software - don't try to be clever (and cheap), buy a good anti-virus program. One that will not only protect you by checking your email, but also your google searches, letting you know which link is good, bad, or ugly.
  8. If you do get infected what should you do? ANSWER: Turn off your PC and call for help. Don't leave it "ON" for days until help arrives.
  9. Have two browsers installed on your PC. You may not be able to get to your usual website(s) due to a problem with your browser. Try the second one to verify the issue.
  10. Keep your PC backed up!! Especially in today's world of digital photos and music, keep them backed up, online, using a service like Carbonite.
Okay, take a breather and start going through the checklist as time allows -

'Nuff Said,

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


If you woke up this morning and (provided you leave your computer "ON" 24/7) then you may have found it had rebooted overnight. Microsoft is pushing out Windows 7 Service Pack 1 to all legitimate Windows 7 users this week.

Consumer reports writes that if you are currently happy with your Windows 7 PC - stay there, and if you want a new PC, buy one with Windows 7 on it - NOT Windows 8. They also said that finding a Windows 7 PC in a store would be very hard and that your best bet would be to try online or have your local PC store build one for you. [this news article came via - Thank You]

Rumors are popping up that Windows 9 will be released one year after this November.

MBAR, a new beta utility from Malwarebytes I wrote about last year is turning out to work very well in removing hard-to-remove malware.

A nasty type of Virus/Trojan is spreading around the internet. This one takes over your computer by spying on you through your web cam and recording what it sees [hint: if you're web cam light is ON or Blinking, this could indicate you've been hacked]. They can pop open your DVD drive, change your wallpaper to an evil looking Linda Blair, and even open notepad in combination with text-to-speech so the voice can read the repetitive lines over and over ("I have taken control of your computer and you can do nothing to stop me" type of stuff) just to creep you out.

More later...

'Nuff Said,