Why Do People Create Viruses?

You’d be right in thinking it’s hard to program a computer virus that can spread across the world in a flash - we’re talking days of constant desk-jockey nerd-work. So why do they bother? Well, it generally comes down to 3 reasons: Money, showing off their skill, or simply being a jerk. While showing off or being a jerk is pretty self-explanatory, the money side is fascinating. Here’s how people are making money with computer viruses: Bank account theft: Virus creators are more than happy to help themselves to your bank details, sneaking in to grab your login details or credit card info. They can either transfer your funds away or use your credit card details to go on a shopping spree. Some

What to Do if Your Hard Drive Fails

If your hard drive is going bad, chances are strange things are happening and you’re a little panicked. It’s where you put your digital memories, your household files and maybe that thesis you’ve been working on for months. As far as you’re concerned, that hard drive IS the computer and failure is not an option. Perhaps it was overheated, knocked around or came from the factory with a flaw. Sorry to say, but eventually all hard drives will fail. So how do you know if it’s definitely the drive and what should you do? Start by watching for these signs: Computer slowing down: Because most hard drives contain moving parts, the slower it gets, the slower your computer gets. It’s a bit like a reco

6 Simple Tips to Protect Your Customer Data

As cyber-attacks continue to make headlines, hackers are exposing or selling customer data files in record numbers. But just like with any threat, there are actions you can take to minimize risk and ensure your business retains a positive reputation among customers. 1. Stop using the same password on repeat. Set a mandate for all staff that passwords must be unique for each user and for your workplace. That means it can’t be remotely like the one on their home PC, tablet or online banking. Passwords are hacked more than ever, so when you’re prompted for a password change, dig deep and really think about what goes into a hacker-proof password. If remembering them is a problem, consider one of

Why is my Computer Running so SLOW?

Whoa, who slammed on the brakes? Your computer used to speed through startup and let you open almost everything at once, but now it’s struggling to crawl along! Everything takes so much longer or crashes without warning. Something isn’t right. If it’s gotten so bad that you’ve found yourself drooling over the idea of a new computer, even though your system isn’t that old, we’ve got some good news: you can get your whizzy speeds back with a little TLC. Computers generally start slowing down within 12 months, but it’s not because their parts are broken. And it’s not because they’re faulty. It’s not even because you have so many browser tabs open that you lose count. Slow computers have a numb

Should I Upgrade or Buy a New Computer?

Well, it depends – mostly on who you’re asking! A department store salesman will always recommend a new one, but when you get down to the nitty gritty with a trained technician, you’ll often discover you have more (and cheaper) options than you thought. Start by taking stock of what you’ve got. Sometimes an upgrade simply isn’t worth the trouble and it’s painfully obvious. For example, if your car is 30 years old, demands a constant supply of special fuel and you can see the road whizzing by thanks to the ‘custom’ holes in the floor…it’s time to replace the rust-bucket! However, if your car is decently modern and in reasonably good condition but happens to stall at stop signs, a few quick fi

Why Do People Create Viruses?

You’d be right in thinking it’s hard to program a computer virus that can spread across the world in a flash - we’re talking days of constant desk-jockey nerd-work. So why do they bother? Well, it generally comes down to 3 reasons: Money, showing off their skill, or simply being a jerk. While showing off or being a jerk is pretty self-explanatory, the money side is fascinating. Here’s how people are making money with computer viruses: Bank account theft: Virus creators are more than happy to help themselves to your bank details, sneaking in to grab your login details or credit card info. They can either transfer your funds away or use your credit card details to go on a shopping spree. Some

4 Simple Tips to Keep Your Internet Banking Safe

Online banking has boomed in the past few years to become the new norm. Branches are out and apps are in. Half the time when you visit a branch, you’re steered towards a computer for a DIY transaction – with optional assistance. But is internet banking really safe? You’re always told to keep your financial details private, but now also to jump on board the online banking train – talk about a push/pull scenario! The good news is you CAN bank safely online with a few simple precautions. Always type in the website address Many attackers will attempt to trick you into clicking a fake link to your bank website. Usually sent as a ‘phishing email’, they’ll claim there’s a problem and ask you to cl

Why Your Windows Updates Are More Important Than Ever

Stories about hackers and virus attacks seem to be making the news almost every day, and many of these news stories include tips on how you can avoid becoming a victim. One common theme among these tips is making sure your Windows operating system up to date. Every day hackers are trying to figure out new ways to break into Microsoft Windows and once they do find a weakness, they try and find a way to spread it. This could be through a malicious email attachment or even something that spreads without your involvement. Updates Explained Whenever Microsoft discovers a potential flaw, they push out a small piece of software to all Windows computers running a supported version. If set correctly,

How To Keep Your Devices Squeaky Clean

Our devices are something we use every day, but did you know it’s also the most disgusting? Your screen may look clean, but studies show that a mobile phone can be 18x dirtier than a public restroom – ew! It gets worse (sorry)…that keyboard you tap at while eating your morning toast? It’s probably the biggest bacterial threat in your house, with about 20,000 times more germs than a toilet seat, more if you share it with children. It’s not just sickness we’re up against, because as dust builds up inside gadgets, they also slow down, malfunction or overheat. Your device essentially chokes on ick, as vents and filters are clogged by sucking in pet hair and floating debris. Here’s how to clean y

How to Search Google Safely

We all love Google, quickly finding everything we need on the Internet. It’s replaced dictionaries, encyclopedias, instruction manuals, newspapers and in many cases, even doctors. However, sometimes your search results aren’t the real thing and can be downright malicious. Here’s how to search safely: Pay attention to the URL in Google Below every result title there’s a URL in green. No matter what the title says, this URL is where your click will take you. Unfortunately, cyber-criminals will often list their site with a familiar and trusted title but link you to their scam/malware pages. For example, the title could be your bank name (eg, Example Bank), which seems legitimate, but the URL c

What You Need to Know About Facebook Privacy

In this issue, we talk about how to lock down your privacy settings on Facebook. And also find out how to securely store your precious digital photos. Your birthday is the first piece of info collected when you sign up, and it’s great getting birthday wishes from friends and family when it appears in their newsfeed. But while Facebook is sending you balloons and funny memes, your birthday is now public knowledge. It seems harmless, but when you call your bank or other institution, what’s the first question they ask to verify your identity? Your birthday! Some password recovery systems even ask questions like ‘which high school did you go to?’ assuming this is knowledge that only you would kn

How to Make Your Photos Last A Lifetime (and Beyond)

Digital cameras are great, and thanks to smartphones, we have one with us almost all the time. We’re taking more photos than ever before, and building a lifetime of digital data. But despite the enormous value of these photos and videos, most people don’t have a backup. It’s time to shine a light on this essential task and make it a regular habit before those precious memories are gone forever. If you asked someone what possession they’d save from a house fire, most would say photos, and they’d make a point of grabbing a frame or album on the way out. But with digital photos, you don’t need a fire to lose everything, they could simply disappear in the blink of an eye with hardware failure or

New ‘KRACK’ Wi-Fi Security Issue: This Affects All of Us

A recently discovered Wi-Fi security flaw can put your sensitive information at risk. Here are three ways to protect yourself in today's newsletter. The invention of Wi-Fi has been a science fiction dream come true. We can use our laptops anywhere in the house, our phones are using home internet instead of sucking down our cellular data, and our gadgets are all communicating. It’s essentially the backbone of the smart tech boom for home and business alike. Most networks are password-protected with an encryption called “WPA2” and this has been safe and secure, until now. Recently, a security flaw called KRACK was discovered that allows hackers to break into Wi-Fi networks – even the secured o

How to Make Your Black Friday Bargain Even Better

Look at all those price drops! You’ve been watching and waiting for so long, eyeing off that new tech and having big plans for the day you get to bring it home. Each time a sale popped up, you’ve been so tempted to go for it, but the price wasn’t quite right…until now. Hello Black Friday! It’s better than Christmas, better than your birthday, because now you can finally get the exact gadget you’ve been lusting after. With prices so low, you might even be able to swing the next model up and still save a bundle on tech like: The latest laptop that doubles as a tablet – and weighs in from a featherlight 1.76lbs (766g) … A new wireless printer or 3D printer to really blow your mind… Or even a po

URGENT ALERT: 143 million Customers Exposed in Financial Data Breach

Credit reporting company Equifax revealed that it's databases were hacked in a large-scale breach affecting millions across the US, UK & Canada. While no hacking event is ever good news, some are easier to ignore than others – this isn’t one of them. The sensitive nature of the exposed data now requires immediate action for all those even possibly affected. The short version: Equifax is one of the three main organizations in the US that manages & calculates credit scores. To do that effectively, they have access to almost every piece of financial data for adults in the country, plus pretty much anyone who’s lived/worked in the US. We’re talking social security, tax file numbers, driver's li

Get Back to Brand New with a Refreshed Computer

Remember how well your computer ran when you first brought it home? It was booting so fast, files were whizzing around at light speed, and no matter how many tabs you had open, nothing was slowing that baby down. It was spotless, inside and out. Then one day you turned it on and everything was so slooooow, taking forever to do anything – and that was only if you could even find your files in all the clutter. All that zip and speed you loved so much was gone. The good news is you probably DON’T need a new computer, you simply need what we call a "format and reload" to: Clear the clutter: Over time as you install applications you collect icons, files and options everywhere. They’re not necessa

With Microsoft Office You Can...

1. Edit PDFs Your PDF files open by default in Adobe. But, what if you want to edit them? You cannot do that within Adobe Reader, and the Adobe software that does let you make changes to PDFs is not cheap. Microsoft Word to the rescue! Launch Microsoft Word. Attempt to open a document like you normally would by selecting "File" and then "Open." On the bottom right of the window that pops up, click the drop-down menu. Choose “PDF,” and then browse to the file that you wish to edit. Once you open it, you can make your edits. You may lose some of the formatting in the process, but it's nothing that you cannot overcome. 2. Collaborate in Real Time With Microsoft Office, you and a colleague can e

3 New Windows 10 Features

1. The Start Menu For you Windows 7 users, rest easy, because this is here to stay. For the Windows 8 users, the start menu is back with its full functionality – and then some. The aesthetics of the new start menu combine the basics of the start menu from Windows 7 with the sleek tiles that were a part of Windows 8. The customization of this helps you to access what you need much faster and boosts productivity. Open the Start Menu, click on Settings, Personalization, and then Start. Make the Start Menu work for you. Microsoft created a helpful onboarding resource for this feature as well. 2. Microsoft Edge Although this is the new web browser, do not worry - Internet Explorer 11 will be avai

Tech Quick Tips to Understanding Cloud Technology

1. What is the Cloud? The cloud is virtual and therefore does not require any hardware of your own to deliver a service. Cloud technology can deliver that service to you, without having to install anything or have it on a server at your business. This is something that you can access remotely, or via the Internet through your web browser. Offsite, secure third-party data centers manage all of your cloud data so that you can access it at your convenience. 2. You May Already be Using the Cloud Are you using Gmail? Amazon Music? A Kindle? Dropbox? These are all cloud services that store the data you access. All you have to do is log in to their servers to get what you need. If you use an Apple

4 Ways to Increase Your Laptop Battery Life and Charge

1. Keep the Vents Clear Never ever sit your laptop on a couch cushion, or on a mattress, or anything soft that hinders airflow through the little slot on the bottom and sides of your machine. Those vents can suck up dust and debris, clogging up the fans and causing your laptop to work harder. The harder the machine works, the more battery power it is going to require. If you hear a loud buzzing (like a fan spinning really fast), or your laptop base is so hot you could cook an egg on it, chances are you should consider moving to a tabletop or hard surface to work on. If this buzzing is consistent, the laptop doesn’t cool down or you need assistance cleaning the dust out of the vents, contact

 

BLUE LIGHTNING IT SERVICES, LLC

P.O. Box 3532 Logan Drive Loganville, GA 30052

(470) 236-2584

  • Facebook
  • Twitter

©2020 by Blue Lightning IT Services, LLC