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These Tips Will Help You Keep Your Passwords Safe

Today is Safer Internet Day! One of the most dangerous things you can do on the internet is reuse passwords on multiple sites across the internet. Reusing a password makes you a target for hackers for two reasons:

1. First, let’s say a hacker guesses your password or a website you login to has a security hole and they are somehow able to obtain your username and password. That same hacker, if her or she is smart, will at least try that same username and password combo on other popular sites. Maybe they got your password through a flaw on a small time cooking recipe site, not big deal right? But if you used that same combo for your bank account, you could quickly be in financial trouble!

2. If you only had to worry about one hacker, that would be one thing. But today, hackers are just as well connected across the internet as any of us are. Your one stolen password will almost certainly end up complied into a massive, mindbogglingly large list of passwords stolen from millions of users across thousands of websites. Maybe the one person who figured out your one password will be a bit lazy. Maybe they’ll only try a few sites and give up. Once your password gets into one of these massive lists, you’ll have an entire army of hackers, and their special automated tools, trying your password on every site. Between new hackers coming along and new automatic tools that make use of these lists, you’ll never be safe using that same username and password combo again.

With all the scariness surrounding passwords and hackers, what can you do to protect yourself?

Well, one thing we highly recommend is that you stop reusing password across different sites. This sounds hard, right? It means you’ll need a different for every site you visit. The way to do this without it become a chore is to use a password manager like 1Password or Last Pass. These programs help you store your passwords securely on your computer and help suggest new passwords for every site you visit. Often times, these programs will pop up like magic and help you fill in your unique password for every site you visit. Not only are you more secure, logging in to site becomes easier as well.

Another thing we recommend you do is check to see if any of your previous passwords are in any of these giant list hacker compile. Previously, the easier way to do this was to go to haveibeenpwned.com. But now, Google has stepped in and has an even easier solution. Google’s new Password Checkup extension for their Chrome web browser makes it so you don’t even need to do the checking yourself. Just install the extension located here (https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/password-checkup/pncabnpcffmalkkjpajodfhijclecjno) and it will run in the corner of your window and do your checking for you. Whenever it sees you using a password that has been is part of one of those giant hacker password lists it will alert you to the danger and ask if you want to use a different password.

Staying safe on the internet isn’t always easy what with so many bad actors out there hoping to spot even the smallest slip up. But using tools like Password Managers and this new Password Checkup extension Google has released will help you keep your passwords out of hackers’ hands.

If you think you have been hacked, or you think your computer might have caught a virus, bring it over to Computer Repair in Tyler. We have the tools to give it a clean bill of health. Even better, all month long we are offering our virus removal service for free when you come in to have other computer work done. See our video below for more details:

Today is Safer Internet Day! One of the most dangerous things you can do on the internet is reuse passwords on multiple sites across the internet. Reusing a password makes you a target for hackers for two reasons:

1. First, let’s say a hacker guesses your password or a website you login to has a security hole and they are somehow able to obtain your username and password. That same hacker, if her or she is smart, will at least try that same username and password combo on other popular sites. Maybe they got your password through a flaw on a small time cooking recipe site, not big deal right? But if you used that same combo for your bank account, you could quickly be in financial trouble!

2. If you only had to worry about one hacker, that would be one thing. But today, hackers are just as well connected across the internet as any of us are. Your one stolen password will almost certainly end up complied into a massive, mindbogglingly large list of passwords stolen from millions of users across thousands of websites. Maybe the one person who figured out your one password will be a bit lazy. Maybe they’ll only try a few sites and give up. Once your password gets into one of these massive lists, you’ll have an entire army of hackers, and their special automated tools, trying your password on every site. Between new hackers coming along and new automatic tools that make use of these lists, you’ll never be safe using that same username and password combo again.

With all the scariness surrounding passwords and hackers, what can you do to protect yourself?

Well, one thing we highly recommend is that you stop reusing password across different sites. This sounds hard, right? It means you’ll need a different for every site you visit. The way to do this without it become a chore is to use a password manager like 1Password or Last Pass. These programs help you store your passwords securely on your computer and help suggest new passwords for every site you visit. Often times, these programs will pop up like magic and help you fill in your unique password for every site you visit. Not only are you more secure, logging in to site becomes easier as well.

Another thing we recommend you do is check to see if any of your previous passwords are in any of these giant list hacker compile. Previously, the easier way to do this was to go to haveibeenpwned.com. But now, Google has stepped in and has an even easier solution. Google’s new Password Checkup extension for their Chrome web browser makes it so you don’t even need to do the checking yourself. Just install the extension located here (https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/password-checkup/pncabnpcffmalkkjpajodfhijclecjno) and it will run in the corner of your window and do your checking for you. Whenever it sees you using a password that has been is part of one of those giant hacker password lists it will alert you to the danger and ask if you want to use a different password.

Staying safe on the internet isn’t always easy what with so many bad actors out there hoping to spot even the smallest slip up. But using tools like Password Managers and this new Password Checkup extension Google has released will help you keep your passwords out of hackers’ hands.

If you think you have been hacked, or you think your computer might have caught a virus, bring it over to Computer Repair in Tyler. We have the tools to give it a clean bill of health. Even better, all month long we are offering our virus removal service for free when you come in to have other computer work done. See our video below for more details:


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

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


A Computer Virus Could Cost You $20,000

In Ontario, a computer virus scammer called the phone of a homeowner in Norfolk County stating that his computer had a virus. The victim, in a flurry of anxiety, gave the scammer access to his computer including all personal files and bank account information. The next day, approximately $20,000 was missing from the victim’s account.
Though the story happens to take place in Ontario, scammers are prevalent throughout North America and, with a recent increase in robocalls, it doesn’t seem like it’s going to stop any time soon. This is why you need professionals who you can trust that have experience in virus removal.
We advise that you:
– Do not click pop-ups. At all. Ever.
– Do not accept unsolicited calls.
– Only open emails from places or people you trust.
– Enable the pop-up blocker feature on your web browser.
– Update all anti-virus software before doing anything on your computer.
Viruses aren’t the end of the world with proper care. With professionals like us at Computer Repair In Tyler, we can scan and erase nearly *any* virus. Call us today at 903-858-4383
View our video!


FBI's Urgent Warning: Reset Your Routers Now

The Federal Bureau of Investigation had an urgent warning to Americans on May 25, 2018 – reset your routers. The FBI officially stated that, “Foreign cyber actors have compromised hundreds of thousands of home and office routers and other networked devices worldwide.”

VPNFilter malware is apparently being used by these hackers which spot the holes within certain routers. VPNFilter is used to collect information on civilians and businesses alike, and have the power to shut down routers at a moment’s notice.

What does all of this mean to you?

You need to unplug your router for at least 30 seconds. It’s important to unplug the router from the wall outlet with a surge protector, not from the device itself, or you could risk a surge causing your device to be destroyed.

As always, if you need help with this, or if you think your computer may be infected with malware – call us at 903.858.4383, or send us a Facebook message, and we can help you out.

Though it’s recommended for everyone to reboot your routers, these are the devices that are documented to be officially compromised:

LINKSYS DEVICES:
• E1200
• E2500
• WRVS4400N

MIKROTIK ROUTEROS VERSIONS FOR CLOUD CORE ROUTERS:
• 1016
• 1036
• 1072

NETGEAR DEVICES:
• DGN2200
• R6400
• R7000
• R8000
• WNR1000
• WNR2000

QNAP DEVICES:
• TS251
• TS439 Pro
Other QNAP NAS devices running QTS software

TP-LINK DEVICES:
• R600VPN


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:


Tricky Hackers Use Unicode To Fake Website Addresses

There was a recent story posted on one of our favorite tech sites about how some clever hackers have managed to trick people by going to what they think are legitimate websites by taking advantage of the Unicode text system.

The Unicode system, which has been improving over the last two decades or more, has played a key role in letting our computers and mobile devices be able to easily display languages that don’t use the standard letters and symbols we are familiar with in the English alphabet. It is also responsible for letting us sent emoji pictures to each other. But some symbols in other languages tend to look a lot like what we think of as normal letters. By carefully buying up odd website addresses and using special strings of code in website urls, the hackers have been able to exploit these similar looking letters by making an address that looks like it goes to a familiar site when it in fact goes to a fake page designed to steal login information or install a virus or spyware.

Some web browsers, like Google’s Chrome, have wised up to this trickery and make sure the user can tell the difference between the address used by a real site and the lookalike address, but others, like Firefox and Opera, have not. Until all the major web browsers get on board, you might want to consider tying in a website address yourself instead of relying on a link sent to you in a text or email.

If you think you may have gone to an illegitimate site or were tricked into installing a virus on your computer, you can bring it by our location at:

1331 South Beckham in Tyler, just south of the hospitals and we can help you diagnosis any issues you are having.

You can also reach us at (903) 858-4383 or at info@computerrepairintyler.com.


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


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!


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.