6 easy steps to keeping your computer safe from malware

Geek For Hire gets  calls just about every day from someone who is concerned about an email they’ve received, or a phone call, or a popup warning.  Usually I’m able to tell them that all is well.  How do I know that?  There are a few key things to make sure your machine stays safe from malware.

  1. Have you received a phone call from someone claiming to be Dell Technical Support – or HP, or any of the other manufacturers?  If you have not initiated that call, it is most likely a scam.  They will be very convincing, telling you that you need to install  updates, or that you have a virus.  Hang up!  As long as you don’t give them access to your machine, you should be fine.
  2. Have you received a phone call from someone claiming to be Microsoft?  They generally tell you that your Operating System is not up to date and they need to get access to your computer to download the appropriate files.  Again, these folks are very convincing, but you should hang up.
  3. Have you received an email from a technical company offering to review your machine for viruses and other problems? Send that email to your spam folder and ignore it!  Make sure you don’t click on any of the links in the email.Keeping your machine safe from malware
  4. Have you received an email from “Amazon” claiming that you have just purchased an item for $457?  They just need you to click on this one link to confirm your purchase.  Don’t click on it!  Delete the email!  It is a scam!
  5. Have you seen a pop-up on your machine saying that your machine is badly infected and you need to click on a link to get it resolved? In many cases you may already have some kind of malware installed on your computer.  Once you click on the link, you’ve “given permission” for additional malware to be downloaded and installed on your machine.  In this case you should run your virus scanner to see if it can remove the malware.  If it can’t remove it, or if it says it’s not finding any, you should call for professional help.
  6. Whenever you suspect an issue with your machine, run your virus scanner to make sure your machine is safe from malware.

If you found these tips helpful, please forward it to your friends!

Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has been providing computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PC’s for the past fifteen years. His company is highly rated by both the BBB (Better Business Bureau) and by Angie’s List. You can find more on our website, or give us a call 303-618-0154. Geek For Hire, Inc. provides onsite service (Tier 3) to the Denver / Boulder / Front Range area as well as remote service throughout North America.

We’ve been using Amazon Prime for the past few years.  We like the free 2-3 day shipping and the online streaming. I haven’t tried the Kindle lending library yet.  I’ll try that next!   Prime is normally $99/year, but you can try it for 30 day for free by clicking on this link: Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial (Yes, we’ll get a small commission if you sign up.)

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Staying Safe on Social Media

Social Media, whether you’re using Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or any of the other sites, allows you to easily connect with friends and keep up-to-date on what is going on in your life. It sometimes seems very intimate and you feel safe sharing the details of your life with all 473 of your closest friends. DON’T! Social Media is a very public way of communicating. There’s nothing intimate about it!

  • Remember to set your privacy settings to an appropriate level for each post. If there’s no personal information, set it to “Public”. Otherwise, set it to “Friends Only”, or “Family only”. Remember to use the “Acquaintance” setting for people that are not close friends. Spend some time to set up groups of people so that you can target your posts to specific people only.
  • If you’re leaving home on vacation or only for a weekend, make sure you have someone checking on your home. If you don’t have someone monitoring your home, then don’t post anything on social media which could indicate that you are away from home for an extended period of time. (You can post all of your photos when you get back!)
  • Never respond to anonymous requests via social media. I have a friend who asked me how to respond to a private message she received on Facebook. The message was from a young man who thought her profile picture was beautiful and he wanted to get to know her better. I get messages like that on Twitter and Pinterest too. Here are examples of some messages I’ve received – If you ever get messages like this, click the spam button or report the sender:
    • “Hello,I am Abyan,I like you to contact me in my Email”
    • “Hi pretty, it’s good to come across a beautiful woman like you here, you are beautiful and elegant , I like you and I would like to get acquainted with you .Get in touch so that we can commence communication”
    • “OMG your in this http://facebook.com/2742803?EpicFailVideox … LMFAO”

Have you encountered any scams with Social Media?  Please share them in the comments below and let others know what to watch out for!

Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has been providing computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PC’s for the past fourteen years. His company is highly rated by both the BBB (Better Business Bureau) and by Angie’s List. You can find more on our website.  Geek For Hire, Inc. provides onsite service (Tier 3) to the Denver / Boulder / Front Range area and remote service throughout North America.

We’ve been using Amazon Prime for the past few years.  We like the free 2-3 day shipping and the online streaming. I haven’t tried the Kindle lending library yet, but I’m tempted!   Prime is normally $99/year, but you can try it for 30 day for free by clicking on this link: Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial (Yes, we’ll get a small commission when you sign up.)

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