PC vs MAC? Which is safer from hackers?

PC vs MAC?
Which is safer from hackers?

Apple has been claiming for years to be a safer, more secure platform than Windows… but is that claim actually true? Bugs have been found in Apple’s OS X operating system that allows malicious programs to take complete control of anyone’s MAC computer. There have also been reports of a vulnerability in MAC firmware that allows infections to pass to the computer through various accessories.

Keep in mind that computer security is about more than just the operating system and the biggest threats to your computer run on both platforms. Most hackers aren’t targeting the operating system anymore, they are going after software – plugins like Flash and JAVA and web browsers. Other third-party programs are less likely targets for hackers, but they still may have security flaws. For example, a big bug with Adobe Flash allows an infection from a website to take complete control of any computer, Windows or MAC. The issue with Flash is so severe that most security experts are suggesting to uninstall Flash and never use it again.

Web Browsers: One of the nastier attack methods is called “drive-by download.” The drive-by-download infects your computer simply by getting you to visit the site. The website itself is running malicious code in the background and simply going there can infect your computer. Unfortunately, it gets worse from there. You can also get infected by visiting a perfectly legitimate website that is unknowingly running booby-trapped animated ads that sometimes slip into the automated networks that place ads on various web pages.

Plugins: Most plugin related attacks are on older versions of the plugins. These plugins are vulnerable because they don’t update automatically and they do not prompt users to install new versions.

Who is more vulnerable?
Since MAC computers only make up about 10% of the total computer market today the focus has been (and continues to be) on Windows by the plain and simple fact that there are more to hack and infect. With the rising popularity of MACs hackers are starting to focus more on them… so current (and future) MAC users should start to be a lot more diligent with their security.

When it comes to security flaws in the operating system, Windows and MACs are now about tied… they both have a ton of major security bugs. All computers can be hacked. Most attacks now work equally well on both operating systems. So staying safe isn’t so much a matter of what computer you use, but rather how well you understand and avoid the security pitfalls on it. Ultimately, the safest operating system is the one run by an informed user who knows how to keep it up to date, knows what to install, and knows what to remove.

So… How Do You Make Your Computer Safer?
You can do a lot to make your system much safer, but unfortunately nothing is 100%. These tips below are for both MAC and PC users.

1.) Update! Update! Update! Is your computer nagging you to update something? DO IT! Also, enable auto-updates for the software that offers that feature. Keeping your system and software up to date is one of the best ways to protect yourself.

2.) Remove third-party plugins.

3.) Make sure all APPS you use or download from the APP Store are genuine. Don’t download APPS from a generic download site.

4.) Use security software (and keep it up to date).

~Your TeCHS

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June marks our 4-year anniversary doing business as TeCHS in Ventura County!

June marks our 4-year anniversary doing business as TeCHS in Ventura County!

THANK YOU

Thank you all so very much for continuing to choose TeCHS to take care of your digital life and for sharing our services with your friends and family. We truly appreciate you.

GET TO KNOW YOUR TeCHS

Your TeCHS are Ventura, California natives with over 30 years of combined tech-y and artsy knowledge and know-how. We are fanatical about technology and about helping the 50 and better crowd use it in their everyday lives for their benefit and enjoyment. TeCHS is a small, family-owned, local Ventura County business dedicated to providing the most knowledgeable tech gurus, the best customer service and the most affordable prices in the county. We strive to be your “one-stop-shop” for computers, networks, tutoring, graphics, photography, printing and more!

EDUCATION

  • Bachelor of Science from the University of Laverne in Organizational Management
  • Multiple certifications in computer repair, graphic design, studio production & web design

WHY SHOULD YOU CHOOSE US?

  • We are in your neighborhood and are there when you need us
  • We share common goals and interests
  • We are a small, local company that supports other local businesses
  • We give sound advice tailored specifically for your individual needs
  • We offer support and provide appropriate solutions for what you need
  • We make sure you know exactly what is going on at all times
A QUICK LIST OF SERVICES
  • Hardware & software tutoring
  • Computer & laptop repair
  • Cell phone setup & tutoring
  • Virus/spyware/malware removal
  • Networks & WiFi setup & repair
  • TV & TV peripheral installation & setup
  • TV wall mounting
  • Universal remote control programming
  • Email assistance & setup
  • Photography
  • Social media setup & tutoring
  • Graphic design & printing
  • and so much more! Check out our website for more services or contact us. If there is any service we are missing, and you need, let us know! We will do our best to find a solution to any technical issue you may be having.
We Specialize In Assisting The 50 And Better Crowd
No one should ever feel discouraged or afraid to use their technology. We specialize in patient, kind and at-your-pace tutoring. Let us help you learn to use your everyday life technology to its fullest! Not over the age of 50? That’s ok! We love to assist anyone of any age.

We Are Your Personal IT Department
We take care of you and your equipment! Don’t wait until there is a problem… regular maintenance prevents major problems and saves you time, money and frustration. We offer yearly service contracts to keep your equipment running at its best. Ask us about setting up a contract for your home or office today.

~Your TeCHS

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When to upgrade your PC’s hardware

All computer parts age and slow down over time. Heat, dirt, hair, dust and especially the heat… did I mention the heat? …will speed up the aging process and cause parts to fail or noticeably slow down. It is a good idea to keep your computer clean and the area around the computer free of clutter. Never store your computer on the floor! If you cannot help having it on the floor, make sure to open the case and clean it out weekly.

 

So, you keep your computer clean and happy but it still seems to be slowing down? Not handling tasks the way it used to? It may be time to upgrade a few things. Upgrading a few key pieces of hardware can turn a sluggish older machine into a speed racer again!

 

1.) Memory

Memory upgrades are the easiest and cheapest way to make your computer work better. The one question we get a lot is how much RAM do you really need? We tell everyone that 4GB would be the bare minimum… but we suggest nothing lower than 8GB. If you have 8GB and things are still slow – bump it up! You really cannot have too much memory.

 

2.) Storage

If you fill your hard drive, things will dramatically slow down. The easiest way to keep all of those important documents, photos, music and what-have-you is to buy a large external hard drive and store everything there. Keeping your main, internal hard drive free of clutter to allow it to run your OS and programs will really speed things up.

 

3.) CPU and Motherboard

These are the two most vital parts of our computer. They provide the machine’s brain and interconnects everything else the computer uses.

 

When to upgrade? With something heavy duty running (like streaming Netflix) give your CPU a quick check. Bring up the Task Manager (right-click on the Taskbar and select it) you can navigate to the ‘Performance’ tab and right-click on the CPU graph to ‘Display logical processors.’ This will show the load levels across your processor’s multiple cores and threads. If things are being pushed to the max, it is time to upgrade.

 

A big note on upgrading your CPU and Motherboard… sometimes these components cannot be upgraded alone. If your computer is really old or if it is an integrated system – you will need to simply get a new computer.

 

Questions? Need assistance? Contact TeCHS!

~Your TeCHS

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Laptops, Tablets and eReaders… which should you choose?

Laptops, Tablets and eReaders… which should you choose?

We get this question a lot. Someone is looking for a new portable device but isn’t sure which route to go.

Laptop?
Kindle?
Nook?
Tablet?
Android?
Apple?

There are so many portable choices now and most have almost the same features.

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Do you want to have a full computer with you at all times?
Do you like working on a tablet?
Do you want to play games?
Do you simply want to have an electronic book with you?

What you plan to use the device for makes a huge difference in what you will need to purchase.

For those who want full access to every single thing on the go and need a full keyboard we suggest a laptop computer. For those who want to read books and nothing more – grab an eReader. Want to read, surf the web and play games? You need a tablet.

As far as the Android / Apple question is concerned – this debate is as old as the PC/APPLE companies… it is all personal preference. Do you like PC more than MAC? get an Android. You like MAC more than PC – go with a nice new iPad.

In my honest opinion as someone who works on and uses both on a regular basis… there really isn’t much difference between the two. I can hear people disagreeing with me on this as I type but there really truly isn’t. It is all a matter of what you prefer, what you like more and what you are used to using.

Questions / comments? Please contact us!

~Seth & Kim Ralph, TeCHS

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Console Wars : XBox vs PlayStation 2013

So… the XBOX ONE has finally been announced and the reception has been strained to say the least.

Always on?
Must have internet?
Facial recognition?
Possibly no used games?

Now, I don’t mind NOT buying game discs and NOT having the ability to share games… both Seth and I are avid PC gamers and that has been the norm there for some time now… but the “always on” and “must check internet connection once every 24 hours” bothers me quite a bit.

For those gamer readers – will you buy the XBOX ONE? Will the new “features” make you switch to PlayStation? Will you even bother with console gaming and go with PC gaming?

Here’s the unveiling video (for those that missed it):

What are your thoughts?

Also, what do you think of PlayStation’s reaction?

~Seth & Kim Ralph, TeCHS

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