1ComputerCare

June 2012 Newsletter

As another 6 months ticks away please enjoy reading the following thoughts.

Contents

Skype scam

Blog posts

Virus reminder

Malicious links

OpenDNS

ISPs

Superfluous programs

Online backup

Printer cartridges


Referrals

Please remember that I offer 20% off your next labour charge as a thank you for your comments on review sites such as Google and Yahoo.

And an additional 20% for each recommendation that results in a new client.


Distribution

If you would like an email address added or removed from the distribution list used to send this newsletter out twice a year, please email Editor@1ComputerCare.co.uk

 


Free Support

Don’t forget that there is no charge for the first 15 minutes remote support each month – ideal for quick questions.


Need a trade ?

Personal recommendation is usually the best advert and my clients include the following trades:

Accountant

Architect

Builder

Dance Coach

Dentist

Electrician

Financial Advisor

Ground Worker

Interior Designer

Jeweller

Masseuse

Midwife

Nurseryman

Painter & Decorator

Personal Trainer

Piano Tuner

Planning Consultant

Plumber

Surveyor

Telecoms Engineer

Tiller

Translator

Travel Agent

Web Designer

Please let me know if I missed yours.


 

Top

 

It seems too corny to say that I’m excited by something but it would be truthful in relation to the formation of my Folding@home team.  In a nutshell this is a collaboration of many home computers which, when their processing power is combined, deliver more computational resource than the world’s top 8 super computers combined.  This otherwise unused resource is donated to medical research into some rather unpleasant diseases; I’m thinking Alzheimer's, Huntington's, cancer, Parkinson's and others.   

Please install, or allow me to, a small program on your computer that can help in this worthy effort.  As long as your computer is on for more than about four hours a week it can assist with no cost to you in cash or performance degradation.  Please read and view a short video presentation about it on my web page at
http://www.1computercare.co.uk/foldingathome.html
If I have your computer in for repair, please let me know if you do not want this installed by default.

In my last newsletter I reported two common scams that were irritating many readers.  I’m pleased to say that as far as I know none of my clients have lost money since the crooks were exposed in this publication.  But beware of a new hoax that has similar aims – this is targeted at Skype and other IP phone users.   Automated and unsolicited calls from “online help” or “urgent notification” invite unsuspecting good people to collect a virus infection with the following message:

"Attention: this is an automated computer system alert. Your computer protection service is not active. To activate computer protection, and repair your computer, go to <LINK>"

The recommended action is to hang up and follow the advice about malicious calls at Skype.

Please don't miss my blog posts, most recently:

  Uninstalling files by simply deleting bits

  How to stay safe

  Modem/Routers and broadband speed

  Hybrid disk drives

  Windows 8 preview

  QR Codes

  Secure erasing of hard disk drives

  Minimum hardware specifications

  Anti-virus protection - free or paid ?     Please heed this especially.

  Problem steps recorder

  Online backup

  Microsoft Office academic offer ending

  Security - Android & Phishing

  Tech to watch for in the coming year

Each year just after the annual release of new versions of anti-virus products I read as many reviews and group tests as I can and publish the consensus on my blog.  A couple of clients have asked whether I would record when their anti-virus protection is about to expire and a week or two before that, send them a reminder containing the current year’s recommendation.  If you would like me to alert you in this way, please let me know.

Be aware that e-mail purporting to come from your friends could be from bad people who have hijacked a trustable e-mail address.  So treat any links in mail messages with caution as they could be directing you to a place you don’t want to be.  

If you find out that your own address has been hijacked like this you may wonder how your address became known to said bad people.  Although it is possible that your PC has been compromised it is not common in such cases, more usually your address was in the address book of someone who became infected with a computer virus.  Or perhaps your address was in a long list of people in the TO: or CC: fields (as opposed to the BCC: field) and any one of those other recipients picked up something nasty.  That list of valid addresses would have been picked up and sold or leased to a spammer.

In short, there’s little you can do about it after the event but after a week or two currency will be lost and all will be back to normal.  Maintaining normal good security practices is the best defence.

Most people use their Internet service provider to translate web addresses – known as DNS lookup.  This is fine but better may be freely available.  OpenDNS.com offers a free account that advertises faster name translation, some protection from phishing and optional reporting.  Parental control is another optional extra.  There is no download and just a two minute configuration change on your router.  Let me know if I may help with this.

If you are paying more than 6.49 a month for your broadband service please let me help you move to a UK based Internet service provider that may be a big improvement.

In theory you should be able to install almost unlimited programs on your computer without their messing with one another.  In practice there are often interactions that just don’t get tested before release and I surely see many more problems caused by software conflicts on PCs where the owner has installed numerous (usually free) programs.  Now may be a good time to see if there are any unused programs on your PC and uninstall them.  Please start with anything containing the word ‘Registry’ in its title.

Online backup is getting feasible for the masses as prices drop (to zero) and upload bandwidth is improved.  Even if you take no other backup copy of your precious photos, address book or documents I recommend creating an account with DropBox.  The free version allows over 2GB which is plenty for the really important stuff.  It will automatically and securely synchronize between your computer and the online space and allow web access for when you are away from home.  As always, let me know if I may help with this or anything else technology related.

Recycling used printer cartridges to benefit a charity is a ‘no brainer’.  I have freepost bags to send these off so let me know if you would like some, or I can collect your old cartridges next time I am passing.  Also available from
http://www.eachonecounts.co.uk/

 

Best wishes

Eugene.

 

If you find my assistance helpful and would like to make positive comments on any of the review websites such as Google, LinkedIn, TunbridgeWellsPeople and/or Yahoo that would be appreciated with a 20% discount off your next invoiced labour charge.

 


Web:         http://www.1ComputerCare.co.uk/
E-mail:      Eugene@1ComputerCare.co.uk (preferred)
Phone:      0845 108 0254  (9am - 6pm,  Monday - Friday)

Offers of appointment times will be held for 24 hours.  Late morning = planned arrival 11:30am  – 1:30pm
Early afternoon = planned arrival 1:30 - 3:30; late afternoon = planned arrival 3:30 - 5:30.
Any prices included are estimates and all work is subject to acceptance of the Terms of Business. 
I recommend you take full verified backup copies of files frequently, and of anything about to be changed.

 

Please let me know how this page could be improved.