What's Your Businesses Computer Crash Plan?

As a business owner in 2018, it's important to realize that computers are at the heart of keeping your company afloat.

It's very common to have your computer be lost or stolen, and business owners should keep this in mind when moving forward with their company. No matter how big your company is, you're in need of a crash plan in case thing don't go as planned, and they certainly will not, it's just a matter of how the problem is handled. We will provide you the list and leave it up to you to handle it yourself or call in a professional like ETV Software. Tip number one is to think about keeping your critical files on a cloud-based hard drive. Having an automatic offsite backup for your files is a smart solution for any business with important data. It's also vital to have a local computer backup solution. This step is easier on a Mac but there are also steps you can take to quickly do this process on a Windows. Another great tip for you crash plan is to have an offsite computer backup solution. This is so that if your external hard drives are stolen, burned or any other catastrophe happens you will not lose your data. If you only have an onsite backup solution all your data is still in one physical area and could possibly be destroyed if something were to happen. Backups are important, but it should also not be overlooked to ensure you have proper virus protection on both your Mac and PC. This is a fundamental step in any computer crash prevention plan. Is your current router up-to-date? How about your firmware? One of the most overlooked steps in a crash plan is making sure this software is kept up to date in these technologies. The updates will add needed security features and increase your overall performance. This step is quick and easy and will end up saving your company a lot of time in the future. Another factor for businesses to keep in mind is the number of computers in use for your company. It is recommended if you have 10 computers or more there should be a Network Attached Storage, NAS solution for local physical backups. However, this should not take the place of offsite backups, cloud storage or virus protection.

Unless you have your own department working on this daily, it can be hard to find the time to do all these steps alone. We want to remind you that at ETV Software, we can help you put the needed actions in place to make sure your companies data is kept safe and secure. Give us a call today! 903.858.4383


When Your Tech Devices Get The Sniffles

Computers require treatment for illnesses, just like humans!

It's the holiday season! And for some, that isn't a good thing. The flu and colds are spreading and so are computer viruses. According to Enigma Software Group, on the upwards of 99.2% of computers get infected with malware. Specifically, between Black Friday and Christmas.
 

This is not a coincidence. Online traffic between Black Friday and Christmas increases during this time each year. And so do viruses both in the real-world and on the internet. Scammers know that many people will fall for their fake advertisements. These scams can generate more complications than one unassuming online shopper may expect. From identity theft to crashing your personal computer, these viruses are serious business.

Luckily, there are preventative measures that can help reduce the likelihood of getting a virus.
 
  • Don't click on links within your emails.
  • Don't click on advertisements. (Outside of Facebook/Instagram)
  • Call your local computer repair company for more information if you are unsure.
And that includes us. We will be happy to assist you in guiding you to safer shores. Don't worry if your computer is infected. We can help you out.
 
If your computer is becoming clunkier by the minute, feel free to call us at (903) 531-0377. We're here to help. Hope you had a Happy Holiday and have a Happy New Year!

December Deal of the Month

Computer viruses are a hassle. Plain and simple. Seemingly harmless to some, they can pop-up at a moment's notice and wreak havoc on your computer and your computer's stored information. Oftentimes, these pesky viruses degrade the security of your computer's software performance and can even lock your computer from accessing certain files. Yesterday was National Computer Security Day. A day dedicated to spreading awareness of the up-to-date trickery scammers are using and how to prevent such a problem from happening in the first place.

For our December deal of the month and in light of National Computer Security Day, we’re offering a reduced cost of $89.99 security checkups for all desktop and laptop computers. We’ll give your computer a thorough scan and root out any adware, spyware, viruses, or ransomware that has found its way onto your system. We will also install AVG Malware Bytes (free version) to prevent any further issues with your computer's security.

Just because your computer seems to be acting fine doesn’t mean you are completely secure. Get your Mac or PC checked out today from Computer Repair In Tyler. For more information, call us at 903.858.4383 or email us at info@computerrepairintyler.com

Here is a video of owner Jacky Ouin with ETV Software on CBS 19 talking a little about how important it is to keep your computer secure and some tips and tricks to prevent such a disastrous situation from occurring:


June Deal of the Month: 10% Off Virus & Spyware Removal

Last month, the world saw the release and spread of a much higher than normal number of viruses and spyware programs. Most notably, the dangerous ransomware known as "WannaCry" infected and locked users out of hundreds of thousands of computers in only a few days thanks to targeting a Windows flaw originally discovered by the NSA. In the last few days, there have been rumors of similar hacking groups preparing to release new info on software vulnerabilities that could enable the quick spread of new viruses.

At Computer Repair in Tyler, one of the core services we offer is Virus and Spyware removal for Windows and Apple Macintosh computers, and to help combat this uptick in computer viruses, we're making our June Deal of the Month a discount on our Virus and Malware removal services. If your PC or Mac is acting funny or having weird issues, bring it to us and we can help you diagnosis and remove any viruses and spyware programs that filtered down from the Internet.

We can also help you if your computer has caught a piece of Ransomware that locks you out of your files and demands money to have them restored. In past cases, these ransomware programs have been poorly coded and have had flaws and workarounds that we have been able to research and use to help users get their files back without having to pay money to the hackers.

If you think your computer has caught a virus, bring it to us as soon as you can and mention our Deal of the Month to get a 10% discount. And remember, we can handle all your other computer repair needs, such as laptop screen replacements, operating system reinstalls, and hard drive data recovery, as well.

We are located at:
1331 South Beckham in Tyler, Texas, 75701. Look for us between the Big Lots and the gas station just south of the hospitals.
If you have any questions, you can reach us at 903.858.4383 or by emailing us at info@computerrepairintyler.com


Petya Ransomware

The Petya ransomware just became a whole lot worse.  The unusual ransomware that first popped up on security researchers' radar in March now bundles a second file-encrypting program for instances in which it cannot replace a computer's master boot record to encrypt its file table.  Instead of encrypting files directly, it encrypts the master file table and replaces the computer's master boot record code with its own malicious code that displays the ransom note and leaves the computer unable to boot.  Typically, in order to rewrite the master boot record the malware needs to gain administrator privileges by asking users for access via the User Account Control application in Windows.  Previously, if Petya failed to gain admin privileges, the infection routine would stop.  However, the latest variant installs another ransomware program called Mischa that begins to encrypt files directly - an operation which does not require admin privileges.  The ransom that Mischa currently demands is about $875 to get access back to your files.  The installer for Petya and Mischa is distributed via emails that pose as job applications.  These emails contain a link to an online file storage service that hosts a  picture of the alleged applicant and a malicious executable file that masquerades as a PDF document.  If downloaded and executed, the fake PDF file tries to install Petya ransomware and if that fails, installs Mischa.

If you think your computer has already been infected, bring it to our South Beckham location and we can diagnose it for free.  Computer Repair in Tyler offers removal of spyware, malware and ransomware.  However, we strongly recommend that you routinely back up your important files and data because with ransomware there is currently no way around the ransom payment.  Even when you pay the ransoms, which are usually hundreds of dollars, there is no guarantee your files will be restored.  When you routinely backup your data, we are able to restore from your backups and get rid of the ransomware.  Read more about Computer Repair in Tyler's virus removal here.


Running Old Versions of Windows?

Do you have a PC that needs updating?  Is your company or office still running old versions of Windows?  If so, you are unnecessarily putting yourself at risk.  Microsoft has killed support for ALL versions of Windows beneath Windows 10.  That means hackers and internet scammers will specifically target and exploit Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1.  With no more support from Microsoft, these versions have security vulnerabilities including viruses and the up and coming ransomware, which has been crippling computers left and right. These vulnerabilities on the old operating systems will never be patched by Microsoft again.  This article from Computer World highlights the dangers of remaining on an old version of Windows.  It's time to upgrade.

Computer Repair in Tyler is here to help if you are unsure about performing these upgrades on your own.  Sometimes when performing a system upgrade, things go wrong.  Data is lost, files are missing, pictures are nowhere to be found.  Luckily, we fully backup your files before the upgrade, ensuring that your important data remains in tact.  Protect yourself from the dangers of the web - bring your computer to Computer Repair in Tyler!


The Growing Threat of Ransomware

A relatively new string of viruses called "Ransomware" have been sweeping the internet in the last few years infecting everything from individual smartphones to entire computer networks. Instead of trying to delete data or install other malware like password loggers, a Ransomware virus instead searches your computer for important files, like business documents or save game files, then encrypts them with a very complex password that only the hackers know. The only way for a user to get their files back is to send a large sum of money, usually in the form of Bitcoin computer currency, to a specified address in return for that password.

In some ways, these newer Ransomware viruses are much more dangerous than viruses that just delete files. If all your files are deleted, a data recovery company can still usually use advanced software to restore them. But, when files are encrypted, there is simply no way to restore them short of paying the ransom and hoping that the hackers stay true to their word. The threat of Ransomware is, unfortunately, one that cannot be ignored. Already, there have been some high profile cases of major businesses losing access to all their important files.

The worst case we've heard of so far is of Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital which had its entire computer network brought down for more than a week by Ransomware. Everything from their emergency rooms, to their CAT Scanners, to their doctors offices were affected. Ultimately, they had to pay some $17,000 to the hackers to get their essential files back. On a local level, we've seen some sporadic cases of Ransomware here in the Tyler Texas area. Nothing as catastrophic as losing an entire network yet, thankfully, but we have seen businesses lose access to important files on individual computers.

There are some things you can do to protect yourself from Ransomware:

  1. Use backup software to create multiple backups of your important data and then keep at least one of those backups completely disconnected from your computers. This second part is important since the more advanced forms of Ransomware search for sensitive files beyond just those on the host computer.
  2. Be extra cautious about opening Microsoft Word or Excel documents from unknown sources. One recent virus called Locky spreads by email messages claiming to have an important invoice that a company needs to open.
  3. If you do open a Word or Excel document and it asks you to enable Macros do not do so. Macros are little programs embedded in Microsoft Office files. They can be used to do helpful things, but more often than not they are used by virus writers to provide their damaging programs a way into your computer.
  4. Partner with a technology company like ETV Software to help you set up and maintain antivirus and backup solutions. Recovering files after a Ransomware attack can be difficult, if not impossible, but with proper defenses and backups, you can minimize the downtime and damage an attack can cause you or your business.

Ransomware is just the latest form of viruses shifting from causing news to making money. It's a worrying trend that is only going to get worse over time.