Ransomware

 

As you may have heard, a new and major ransomware attack was unleashed worldwide back in May of this year (2017), named WANNACRY. This one infected at least 75,000 computers in 99 countries in a very short amount of time. The ransomware locked computers and networks using file encryption software, and demanded payment by Bitcoin (a non-traceable crypto-currency) to release the data.

 

These types of attacks typically enter a computer through a “phishing email” and then spreads to other machines on the same network by exploiting vulnerabilities, including vulnerabilities in the computer’s operating system (although Microsoft did discover the vulnerability and released a patch, many computer users do not regularly update their operating systems and may have missed the critical repair).

 

What can you do to prevent ransomware on your own computer?

Here are a few tips:

  • Don’t click on links from unfamiliar sources. Even if you think you know the sender, be cautious about clicking on email links. When in doubt, DELETE IT! Be especially wary of messages requiring you to act quickly, asking for personal information, or threatening you in any way.
  • Keep clean machines: Prevent infections by updating critical software as soon as patches or new operating system versions are available. This includes mobile and other internet-connected devices.
  • Use strong authentication, requiring more than a username and password to access accounts, especially critical networks, to prevent access through stolen or hacked credentials.
  • Conduct regular backups of systems: Systems can be restored in cases of ransomware and having current backup of all data speeds the recovery process.
  • Make better passwords: In cases where passwords are still used, require long, strong and unique passwords to better harden accounts against intrusions.

 

For more information, or for a complete system checkup, contact TeCHS!

We are fast, affordable, and friendly. Serving all of Ventura County.

(800) 669-2022 | http://www.ezdigitallife.com

 

~Your TeCHS

~~**~~**~~

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2017 | Happy Father’s Day!

happyfathersday

My Handprints
My dirty little hand print
I’ve left on every wall
And on the drawers and table tops
I’ve really marked them all.
But here is one that won’t rub off,
I’m giving it to you…
Do you know why??
Well, I’m so thankful
to have a father like you.
– Anonymous

~Your TeCHS

~~**~~**~~

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Third-Party Chargers Are Not Worth The Price

Third-party chargers for your smartphones and tablets seem like a good idea… but the majority of them are simply not safe.

dont-buy-shady-cheap-chargers-unless-you-want-your-iphone-to-explode

The knock-off chargers are usually not insulated well enough to protect against electric shocks and most are not actually compliant with electrical safety standards. Using these cheap chargers can harm you (electric shock) and can start fires if they spark. Always be on the lookout for tell-tale signs of counterfeiting such as mistakes in brand names or logos, and check plugs for safety marks. Our suggestion = pay the larger price tag and make sure your chargers are originals from the manufacturer of your devices.

cell-phone-exploded2

~Your TeCHS

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3D Modeling from Microsoft

Microsoft is bringing 3D to the masses through a modernized version of its Paint application (Paint 3D) for Windows 10 that will be available in the Windows 10 Creators Update. Anyone who would like to start creating and sharing in Paint 3D can do so by joining the Windows Insider Program — available for PC and Phone — the company said. Of course, this is an entry-level product without all of the bells and whistles (or power) of the established 3D modeling software on the market… but small programs of this nature are a great way to learn the basics of 3D modeling.

I cant wait to see more and more programs like this as 3D printers become more and more affordable for every home.

What are your thoughts?

~Your TeCHS

~~**~~**~~

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SCE Scam Warning

Please be aware that utility imposter scams are on the rise here in Southern California. Imposters claiming to be with Southern California Edison (SCE) are calling people and demanding immediate payment to avoid electricity service being disconnected due to allegedly past due bills. The caller demands that the customer purchase a prepaid cash card, call the imposter back, and give the imposter the cash card number.

Customers suspecting any fraudulent activity of this nature should ask for the caller’s name, department, and business phone number. Customers should then immediately terminate the call and call the local police! and SCE at (800) 655-4555.

Always remember that a real SCE employee:

  • Will never call and demand immediate payment.
  • Will never threaten to cut off your service.

Also:

  • Never give out any of your own personal information (including your credit card number, ATM or other card number, PIN numbers, account number, etc).
  • If someone calls you and requests that you leave your home at a specific time for a utility-related cause, call the police. This could be a burglary attempt setup by the caller.
  • Always be suspicious of anyone who arrives at your home without an appointment asking to check an appliance, wiring, or suggesting that there may be some electrical problem inside your residence. SCE employees would have setup that appointment ahead of time and all SCE employees will be wearing an ID badge.

~Your TeCHS

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Save Thousands of Dollars By Cutting The Cable and Keep All of the TV Shows You Love

The average cable customer spends around $100.00 a month on cable TV! That’s $1,200.00 per year for the rest of your life, or about $60,000.00 in your lifetime. Why pay when you can watch many of the same shows for much less or free? People are dropping cable in record numbers (about a million people per year according to a recent estimate). Why not figure out how to watch Hi-Def TV without paying for cable starting right now?

The solution to the ridiculous cost of cable TV is to switch to FREE broadcast digital TV using an antenna for the network shows (ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, etc.). If you want to stream movies and TV shows from the Internet, you can connect your TV to a device like Google Chromecast, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, or Apple TV box.

Free Broadcast Digital TV

Did you know that people in or near big cities can receive the major network channels (ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, CW), plus PBS and local stations in Hi-Def for free? It’s called broadcast digital TV.

If you have a modern flat-panel TV (the kind that you can hang on a wall), all you need is an antenna to get these channels, and you’ll be getting most of them in high-definition, mostly in better picture quality than you got with cable!

If you have an old analog tube TV, you’ll need to get a converter box in order to use an antenna.

Other Alternatives to Cable and Satellite TV

A great source of free TV programming comes from the Internet. Most of the major TV networks have websites with FREE full recent episodes you can watch. The main catch is that you can only watch them on a desktop or laptop computer. Most of these sites don’t work on a tablet or on any set-top boxes.

If you are willing to pay a little, there are a plethora of set-top boxes and services that offer on-demand programming from the Internet. Examples include the Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Apple TV, and Google Chromecast. These devices connect to the Internet through your WiFi or Ethernet cable and stream movies and shows to your TV. It’s like having a movie rental store in your home. If you have a gaming console (Wii, XBOX, Playstation), you already have what you need.

Once you have one of these boxes, you can also stream programs from pay-per-show sites like Amazon, iTunes, and others. Or, you can subscribe to a service like Netflix or Hulu Plus and stream unlimited shows for a fixed monthly fee.

If you want to watch all of the free video from the Internet on your TV, you can connect your computer directly to your TV, bypassing the need for a set-top box. Most modern flat-screen TV’s have a computer input. If you have an old computer lying around, why not try it? If your TV doesn’t have a computer input, you can still do this if you get a video output card or USB interface for your computer.

Don’t forget about borrowing DVDs from friends and family, and from your local library!

How to Save Money If You Want to Keep Cable

If you love to watch sports in real time, played by teams that are not in your local area, cable/satellite might be the only viable options for you (although this is slowly changing). If you live in a remote area, far from digital TV transmitters, you might not be able to get good broadcast reception. If you don’t want to deal with antennas, websites, set-top boxes, and the like, or if you simply enjoy surfing through lots of channels without putting much thought into what you want to watch, cable is for you.

Here are three ways to save a little money if you want to keep cable

Negotiate with your cable company. Call them up and tell them you want to cancel cable because it’s too expensive. When I did this, they immediately offered me a $15 discount off of my $57.00 / month cable bill if I agreed to a one year contract. This is an unpublished rate. That still wasn’t worth it for me, so I passed on it, but it’s there if you ask for it.

Cut the extras. Take a look at your bill and see if you’re really using all of the services you’re paying for. If you cut a movie channel package, for example, would the money saved by cancelling it pay for a Netflix account that would give you greater satisfaction? Cutting down to basic cable has another nice advantage outlined next.

Ditch the cable TV box and remote. If you just want basic cable, you might not need to use the cable TV box – you can try hooking the cable right into your TV (if it is a modern flat-screen LCD/Plasma/LED). The cable TV companies let you believe that you need a cable box to get high-definition. You often don’t. In fact, you’ll probably get better picture quality by hooking your cable directly to your TV instead of going through the cable box. The difference can be tremendous. Ditch the cable box and remote control “rental fees” (plus, you’ll save $10 to $30 per year in electricity costs – those set-top boxes really use a lot of power!).

Need assistance?
Contact TeCHS today!
(800) 669-2022

~Your TeCHS

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Misplaced Your Phone On Silent?

SilentPhoneFind

~Your TeCHS

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Your Digital Life Simplified!

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A Few Reasons You Should Consider Switching From Apple iOS to an Android Smartphone

A Few Reasons You Should Consider Switching From Apple iOS to an Android Smartphone

The differences between Android and Apple iOS have been getting harder to detect now-a-days. With each new software release, the two mobile operating systems look more and more alike… which isn’t all that surprising since they both seem to be “borrowing” the best features from each other. Android, however, is pulling ahead of Apple in a lot of key ways.

1.) Choice of phones

Apple really only gives you two choices: the 4.7-inch iPhone 6/6s or the 5.5-inch iPhone 6s Plus. With Android smartphones, you have a huge variety of phones from a wide variety of manufacturers to choose from. Like Samsung? Grab one of theirs. Like Motorola? Grab one of theirs. LG? Nokia? I can go on and on.

2.) Google Now on Tap

One of Android’s newest and best features is called Google Now. It is Google’s virtual personal assistant, the equivalent of Apple’s Siri , and it aims to delivers all sorts of contextual information without having to leave the app you’re in. For example, you and a friend are chatting in Google Hangouts about going to dinner. If you hold down the home button the phone will give you a quick look at the restaurant’s rating, an option to call the restaurant or even book a table, in addition to creating a calendar event and getting directions to the venue — all without leaving Hangouts. Google Now on Tap is an awesome feature, and one that the current iPhones cannot match.

3.) Standard connectors

Apple uses its own proprietary Lightning cables to power its iOS devices but Android phones are embracing standardized cables like the UBS type-C.

4.) Better battery life thanks to Doze

In order to battle battery drains while the phone is not in use, Android devices now have a feature called “Doze.” Doze detects when you’ve left your phone alone for a long period of time and once your phone is inactive and not moving for a while, the device enters Doze mode, which disables your data network, ignores wake locks, and shuts down all background processing.

Android phones also have better cameras and better screen resolution.

Basically, even die-hard Apple fans… it never can hurt to give the other side a second look next time you are shopping for a new smartphone.

~Your TeCHS

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Happy 4th of July!

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~Your TeCHS

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