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:


Windows' Built-in Anti-virus Software Triggered Viruses Instead Of Blocking Them

Microsoft recently released word that its "Windows Defender" anti-virus software that has shipped with the last few versions of Windows had an unintended flaw that could, in some cases, provide hackers with a method to trigger the viruses. The problem was that Windows Defender would scan new downloads and emails for known viruses as well as some types of code that could be identified as new viruses. But, when some types of code were scanned to see what they did, those bits of code could themselves exploit a flaw in Windows Defender and gain unrestricted access to the host computer. This would let clever hackers use Windows Defender itself as a means to spread their viruses and malware.

This was a very serious issue that could have affected many millions of users. Microsoft learned of this problem last Friday, and to their credit, had a patch ready to go on Monday. Because Windows Defender updates itself every day or two, many systems will soon be receiving that patch making the problem vanish almost as quickly as it appeared. For anyone, like larger businesses who has automatic Windows Defender updates disabled, Microsoft recommends letting Windows Defender update itself again. Users can also trigger that update manually if they are concerned it will take the automatic update too long to kick in.

For more information on this issue, click here to see Microsoft's own Security Advisory.


Computer Tips: Dangers Anyone Can Avoid

Computer Tips for Novices

Being a tech novice in 2017 can be a dark and overwhelming place. There are so many threats out there. From actual viruses infecting your computer and compromising your personal information, to unsolicited phone calls claiming your computer is vulnerable to attack, there are any number of ways people with the worst intentions can maliciously gain access to things you wouldn't want an outsider to have. Here is a list of 6 very simple computer tips for novices that may help when you stumble upon a headscratcher. You should be able to avoid these pitfalls on your own by reading these 6 computer tips, and if not, Computer Repair in Tyler is always here to help you out.

Don't Fall For Remote Support Scams

Typically, someone will call you claiming they are from Microsoft or Windows support team and that you have some problem with your computer. Remote support scams can also begin with a pop up box prompting you to call a number or download an application. The scammers will normally list off issues that do not exist, but they sound good so often it will scare beginners into believing them. Once you are hooked, they offer you a long-term support plan. You should never trust these people. No legitimate Windows or Microsoft employee will ever contact you in this way.

Back Up Your Files

Backing up your computer is essential. Our recommendation is to grab a fairly large external hard drive and use Windows backup features. To protect your data even further you can consider an online or cloud backup service.

Get Malware Protection

In addition to your regular antivirus software, we recommend installing Malwarebytes. Your antivirus software likely won't be able to catch the enormous amount of viruses and variations out there, so it is smart to couple your antivirus software with extra malware protection.

Spend A Little More

We love good deals, but we also know you get what you pay for. Before making a tech purchase, you should do extensive research on the products you are looking at. The lowest end computers usually have very low-end processors too. In addition, you may not find all the features you will need over time in one of these models. Often times, the lowest end models skimp on USB ports, HDMI inputs, and other expansion slots.

Research Prices Online & In Store

You can't always find something cheaper online. Brick-and-mortar stores often have sales and clearance events where you can find the best deals - and they don't charge for shipping! If you find a great deal online, ask one of your local stores if they'll price match. Many times they will and you get to save money while getting the product sooner.

Reboot Before You Call A Tech

One of the first steps to troubleshooting your computer is to perform a reboot, and it's something everyone can do. Before you give Computer Repair in Tyler a call, simply reboot your system to see if that clears up your problems. Often times when there is an issue with certain programs running, printing, connecting other devices, or slow speeds, a simple reboot may fix your issue. You should also make a habit of regularly rebooting or shutting down your PC.  We recommend every few days at minimum.

Of Course, Computer Repair in Tyler Can Help When All Else Fails

Fill Out Our Convenient Online Contact Form to Get Your Computer Repair Started!

We respond to all online requests quickly and efficiently. Or, simply drop by our storefront location on South Beckham Avenue in midtown - right down the street from Trinity Mother Frances and ETMC. We have expert technicians on-site available to assist you in person. We can also come to you if that's what is needed, and we even have the ability to do remote support in certain instances!

Or Call Us - (903)858-4383


November Deal of the Month

TV & Home Theater Setup | Connected Home Services

We are aware that this time of year many of people will buy new electronics for their home because of good deals and holiday specials, and we are offering to take out the headaches and help you set them up! If you are in need of a professional TV or home theater setup his month, or any of our various connected home services, we are offering 10% off of hourly labor for any of those services including:

 


  • Setting up a secure Wi-Fi network
  • Cabling and networking solutions
  • Home office solutions
  • Setting up your routers to maximize performance and optimize security
  • Firewall setup
  • Connecting your various wireless devices
  • Recommend solutions for dead spots or slow speeds
  • Home entertainment solutions
  • Home theater setup
  • Set up your TV and connect it to your video components
  • Smart TV home network setup
  • TV mounting
  • TV calibration
  • Connect and position audio components for optimal sound
  • Remote control programming

Our experienced, reliable technicians will work with you to set up a day and time to come to your home and complete any projects you may have. Our technicians are polite, clean-cut and responsible and will treat your home as if it were there own.

We service anywhere in Tyler and are able to come to surrounding East Texas towns upon request. Our technicians routinely make house calls in Henderson, Lindale, Bullard, Flint, Longview, Kilgore, Palestine, Gresham, Noonday, Ben Wheeler, Van, Chapel Hill, Whitehouse and Gladewater, just to name a few. If you don't see your particular need listed above, just give us a call at (903)858-4383 to discuss the details of your situation with an expert - we are flexible and able to take on a wide range of home installation projects. You can also fill out our contact form to get your request for information started. We answer all requests quickly to get you the information you need. Thank you for considering Computer Repair in Tyler for all of your home networking and home theater setup needs!

 


Prepare Your Mac for MacOS Sierra

On September 20th, 2016 Apple will release it's new operating system, MacOS Sierra. There will be several new features included in the upgrade including Siri integration, optimized storage via iCloud Drive, a universal clipboard, and auto unlock via Apple Watch and Apple Pay. MacOS Sierra will be a free upgrade to current Mac users and will be available in the Mac App Store.

Not all machines will be able to install the new operating system. According to Apple, the cutoff sits at models that were released in late 2009 and later. With the release of MacOS Sierra nearing, here are some things you can do to make sure your Mac is ready to take the leap:

  1. Check to see if your Mac makes the cut
    • The very first thing to do is to see if your system is compatible with the MacOS Sierra upgrade. If your Mac is from early 2009 or earlier, you will not be able to enjoy the new upgrade. According to Apple, "All Macs introduced in 2010 or later are compatible. MacBook and iMac computers introduced in late 2009 are alsocompatible."

      aboutthismac
      About this Mac
    • The models that will be compatible are:
      • MacBook: late 2009 and later
      • MacBook Air: 2010 and later
      • MacBook Pro: 2010 and later
      • iMac: late 2009 and later
      • Mac Mini: 2010 and later
      • Mac Pro: 2010 and later
    • To find what year your computer was introduced, click the Apple in the upper-left corner and click About This Mac. Under your current OS, which will be displayed at the top of the window, you will see the year of your model next to the model name.
  2. Make sure you have room
    • There have been no official releases regarding the size of MacOS Sierra download, but Apple has been successful in continuing to shrink the size of the installer packages in recent years. OS X Yosemite was about 8GB, El Capitan was just over 6GB, and the public beta for Sierra sits just under 5GB.
    • Delete old apps or files you don't need or use, or move some files and folders to the cloud via iCloud Drive or any other preferred cloud storage service you may use.
  3. Back up your Mac
    • Before performing major upgrades like installing a new OS, backing up your system to protect your data is always a safe practice. In the event that something goes wrong during the installation process, you won't lose important files, photos and music if you have successfully backed up your machine. Macs include a tool called Time Machine, which makes backing up simple and easy.

Of course, Computer Repair in Tyler is always here to help you with installing MacOS Sierra, or any other software and system upgrades you are unsure about. Click here to see current upgrade alerts and a comprehensive list of software we can help you safely install. Call us at (903)858-4383 if you would like to schedule a time to bring your machine in to one of our expert technicians. We also offer on-site work if you are unable to make it to our storefront location on 1331 South Beckham Avenue, Tyler, TX.


LinkedIn Password Leak

The LinkedIn password leak is rearing it's ugly head again - that's right, again.  LinkedIn was hacked back in 2012, where hackers released 6.4 million cracked passwords to the internet.  In the past couple of days, the second wave of cracked passwords has hit and the number has grown astronomically to 164.6 million vulnerable, unique passwords.  This LinkedIn breach is the largest and most relevant publicly acknowledged password breach in the history of the internet.  If you have not changed your LinkedIn password already, it would be a good idea to do so now.  Typically, leaked passwords from online accounts are sold on the dark web.  You might not care about your LinkedIn password being stolen, but if you are someone who uses similar variations of the same password, or the same password for everything (you shouldn't do this), hackers have developed complex algorithms that figure out other passwords you may have - this includes bank accounts, which is certainly something that would be concerning to almost anyone.  Click here if you'd like to read more about the latest LinkedIn password leak.

The average person typically has around 26 online accounts, and companies such as ourselves usually manage hundreds of online accounts.  The best method of security is to find a good password management service or application that you like - let your password manager generate new, random passwords for each of your accounts.  If you do notice suspicious activity, change your password immediately, even if you haven't received a notification or email from that particular service - it's better to be safe than sorry.  Additionally, you can set multi-factor authentication or a two-step verification process to create an extra hurdle for hackers to get through on your most critical online accounts.  If you do not want a password management application, or don't think you need one, our advice is to routinely change passwords to your sensitive social media, email, bank accounts or other online accounts that you may have sensitive, personal information on.  This should be done about every 2-3 months to ensure maximum security of your information on the web.

The LinkedIn password leak is just the latest issue in what has seemingly become an industry - the selling and trading of your personal information.  Of course, the most powerful, profitable corporations and businesses employ sharing and trading tactics of some personal information to maximize the effectiveness of their reach when spending their advertising dollars - they simply want to know where and who to market to.  Password sharing is completely different because it is malicious, and typically these hackers operate overseas so there is little to no oversight done by our own governmental agencies.

Computer Repair in Tyler can help you secure your most sensitive data and give you ideas on how to combat this growing problem.  If you think you'd like multi-factor authentication or two-step verification processes set up on your sensitive accounts, we can help you depending on the service - some services allow this and some do not.  We can also set up a password management system for you and show you how to use it.  If this information is alarming to you and you'd like to take preventative steps, don't hesitate to call us or stop by today!


Samsung: Do Not Install Windows 10

Samsung has a simple message for its users; do not install Windows 10. Yes, you read that correctly - Samsung is advising owners of their PCs not to proceed with the installation of Windows 10. After nearly a year since the release of Windows 10, Samsung admits that the drivers for its PCs still do not work with Microsoft's newest operating system. Samsung customers have complained repeatedly that their machines either have not been able to update to Windows 10 or that if the update actually took, that the operating system was not working correctly with their components. Samsung is publicly saying that they do not recommend the installation of Windows 10 to any Samsung laptop or PC, but that they are coordinating with Microsoft regarding this matter. Samsung has released the following statement: "The drivers that we have on our website are not yet compatible to the latest version of Windows. What we usually recommend is to keep the current Windows version and we'll update you once Windows 10 has no more issues on any Samsung laptops and computers or even monitors." Microsoft released their own statement saying that, "Microsoft and Samsung are committed to Windows 10, and are working closely together to provide the best possible Windows 10 upgrade experience." Microsoft is also encouraging Samsung users to visit the company's website to "ensure upgrade is supported by their PC".

So, until further information becomes available, do not install Windows 10 on your Samsung devices. If you own a Samsung PC or laptop that has already been upgraded to Windows 10 and is experiencing issues, we can help you. Due to the recent influx in Windows 10 complaints from many of our customers, Computer Repair in Tyler is currently offering a $39.95 remote downgrade special - that's right, we can remotely log in to your computer at your home or office and safely perform a downgrade back to Windows 7 or Windows 8 for you.


Being Mobile Friendly Now Even More Important

Twenty years ago, computers were just beginning to find their way into our homes. Ten years ago, laptops were becoming the big battleground for the latest and greatest technology. Today, the smartphone is the hotbed of technology innovation. And everyone is noticing. Last year, Google officially announced that having a mobile friendly website would help boost your mobile search rankings. If people searched for your type of business on their phone you would rank higher if your site was mobile friendly than if it wasn’t.

Starting this month, Google has taken another step toward mobile by telling us that it is increasing the effect of its mobile friendly boost. What this means, if you’re looking to rank on the first page of Google’s search results, you’re going to want a page that rates as Mobile Friendly on Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test.

At ETV Software, we specialize in designing and redesigning websites for companies looking for a beautiful, state of the art presence on the web. Our sites are Responsive, meaning that they will reflow to perfectly fit the largest computer screen as well as the handheld screen on your smartphone. If you’re looking for a new website, online or print graphic design, or internet marketing support, give us a call today!


Special Offer Windows 10 Downgrade

We have a great offer this week for businesses and home users alike. Microsoft is getting extra pushy when it comes to Windows 10, even to the point that clicking the red close button actually starts the automatic upgrade! Windows 10 does bring some new features, but it can also be confusing when you wake up the next morning and find your computer screen looks completely different. It can also, in some cases, interfere with some software programs you may already have installed.

Fortunately, it is possible to perform a Windows 10 downgrade and roll back to Windows 7 or Windows 8. Right now, Computer Repair in Tyler is offering a special rollback price of just $39.95 to remotely downgrade computers from Windows 10. This means, you can call us from your home or business and we can remotely log in to your computer and help you start the downgrade process.

You don’t have to struggle to use or support a computer that was automatically upgraded to Windows 10 without your permission. Call Computer Repair in Tyler instead.


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.