9 Easy Tips to Keep Safe on the Internet

Here are some fast tips to keep you safe on the internet:

  1. Set up a throwaway email account. So many times I am asked for my email address and I’m not sure I want to provide it.  This makes it a little safer.  You can quickly get a free email from Google. Remember the password, and be sure you set up auto-forwarding to your main email address.
  2. When you’re away from home but have to use WiFi, try to go to a well-known company that will probably have safeguards built in.  Sorry independent coffee shops, but Starbucks is probably a safer choice than Caffeine-Arama.Internet Safety
  3. Whatever you do, don’t try to connect to WiFi with names like “TellMy WiFi LuvHer”, or “FBI Surveillance Van” or  “Hacker 547”.  (Yes, I’ve seen all of those.)  Remember the adage – “If it’s free, YOU are the product”.  To keep safe on the internet, think about what they might be getting out of the transaction to provide you with free WiFi.
  4. You can also go to your cellular carrier and ask them to make your cell phone a WiFi hot spot. (They generally charge a monthly fee for this.) Then you can connect your computer to WiFi wherever you are without worrying about someone hacking in who is also using the free WiFi.
  5. If you do need to use the free WiFi at a coffee shop, library, rest area,  etc., use a VPN so that your data is encrypted before it leaves your computer.
  6. Be wary about using computers at the library, especially if you need to enter sensitive or private infomation.  Most libraries are probably pretty proactive about scrubbing their machines regularly to keep malware and keystroke savers off, but not all libraries are aware that they need to do anything.
  7. Set up a separate debit card account with your bank from which to make online purchases. When you’re ready to make a purchase transfer the needed funds into the account.  Talk with your banker about the best way to do this without being subject to additional fees.
  8. Set up a Paypal account and use that for online purchases.
  9. You don’t need to provide your real name, address, or birthday just because someone asks for it.

Conclusion:

Be diligent about your Digital Privacy!  Follow these tips and stay safe on the Internet.

Please forward this to your friends who do a lot of traveling.

Information about Geek For Hire, Inc.

I’ve created a Free Report on what to look for to protect yourself from “phishing” scams. Click here to receive it!

Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has been providing computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PCs for the past eighteen years. Angie’s List and the BBB rate Geek For Hire very highly.  You can find more on our website, or give us a call 303-618-0154. Geek For Hire, Inc. provides onsite service (Tier 3 support) 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 online streaming. I haven’t tried the Kindle lending library yet.  I’ll try that next!  Prime is usually $119/year, but you can try it for 30 days 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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Digital Privacy and Alexa

If you know anything about me at all, you know that I am passionate about privacy: digital privacy to be specific. The fact that our smartphones, tablets, and other smart devices are always listening to us, storing that information, and even selling it makes me crazy.

I’ve recently learned that the Amazon Alexa device keeps everything until you delete it. Whoa! I can delete that data on Alexa? (By the way, Alexa is just like Apple’s Siri.  You can ask questions, set timers, and ask either of them to look up information on the web. Alexa is available with the Echo Dot and the Echo Show.)

Here’s how to maintain some level of digital privacy on your Alexa:Digital Privacy and Alexa

First, open your Amazon account on your computer using your favorite browser.  We like Firefox because it tends to be a little more respectful of our privacy than some of the other browsers.

  • Then, hover over the “Accounts and Lists” down arrow.
  • Next, click on “Your Content and Devices”  about 3/4 of the way down the list.
  • Then click on “Alexa Privacy” and then “Manage Voice Recordings.”  From there, you will see an option to delete everything.

According to Tom’s Guide, some of the newer devices allow you to delete your history on a day-by-day basis by merely saying: “Alexa, delete everything I said today.”

Digital Privacy in the News:

There have been several articles that have caught my eye recently.  Here is just a sampling:

  • Amazon confirms it keeps Alexa recordings forever
    • “If you (like so many of us) hate listening to recordings of your own voice, you may be in for an unpleasant future, as Amazon has confirmed it hangs on to every conversation you’ve ever had with an Alexa-enabled device until or unless you specifically delete them.”
  • How to stop companies from selling your data
    • “The second you fill out an online survey, purchase a new home or subscribe to a magazine, your information may be scooped up by a data company and sold to a subterranean market for personal information on millions of people. These data brokers are building profiles about you, using thousands of pieces of information such as your age, income, race, ethnicity and interests and helping marketers use this data”
  • Simple steps to take to keep your data secure
    • “Social media services have become a significant part of our lives. However, despite these various benefits, some would still opt out of social media if it helped to restore their digital privacy forever.”
  • Tracking us with Digital “Fingerprints
    • “If there’s one lesson to learn about digital privacy, it’s that we can never grow complacent. Even if we secure our data so we are not tracked online, the ad tech industry will find ways to monitor our digital activities.”
  • Location Privacy and your Smartphone
    • “Most smartphone users don’t really lock down their security settings, sticking with the default settings that came with the phone. When they add a new app to their phone, they may not think to check what data they are sharing with the app developer.”

Conclusion:

Be diligent about your Digital Privacy!

Please forward this to your friends with an Alexa device.

Information about Geek For Hire, Inc.

I’ve created a Free Report on what to look for to protect yourself from “phishing” scams. Click here to receive it!

Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has been providing computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PCs for the past eighteen years. Angie’s List and the BBB rate Geek For Hire very highly.  You can find more on our website, or give us a call 303-618-0154. Geek For Hire, Inc. provides onsite service (Tier 3 support) 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 online streaming. I haven’t tried the Kindle lending library yet.  I’ll try that next!  Prime is usually $119/year, but you can try it for 30 days 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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Getting your Tech Ready for Fire Season

What a difference a year makes.  Last year, starting in April 2018, we had the hazy views from California, Arizona, and western Colorado forest fires which continued all summer and into the fall. We’ve had so much moisture this spring our fire ban hasn’t even started yet.  This may be the first time in a decade that there’s not a fire ban on Independence Day!  Regardless, you do need to have a plan to get your tech ready for Fire Season. When you live in the West, you need to be prepared to evacuate at a moments notice. It’s important to prepare ahead of time. You want to make sure you keep your data safe, and to make sure your technology continues to work at your friend’s house, the hotel, or shelter if you do need to evacuate.

Here are the 7 plus 3 steps that I take each year.

Recommendations to get your Tech ready for Fire Season:

  1. Use a laptop for your daily computer.  There is not a lot of difference between a laptop and a desktop anymore, so get the machine that will allow you to grab it fast.  You can still have a large monitor, mouse, and keyboard on your desk.  If you need to bug-out, just unplug everything.
  2. Get two charging cables for your laptop. (Chris calls them “charging bricks”!)  Keep one at your desk and the other in the laptop case.  This way, you won’t need to grab anything extra.
  3. Make sure you backup your data and have a reliable backup system. I can’t say this enough.  Make sure you frequently back up your data! We recommend backing up to the “Cloud.” (Check out this article about what the Cloud is and how to use it.)  Backing up to an external hard drive is good too, but it can accidentally get left behind.  Or worse, you may not even have time to grab your laptop.   I like Dropbox it automatically backs stuff up and because I can log onto the Internet from anywhere to quickly access my data.  And I can view my files on my tablet and phone too. (Dropbox even uploads my photos from my phone into the cloud!)  We also recommend that you backup your data to an external hard drive at least once a month and keep that drive in a location that is separate from your computer. (We believe in the law of three places!)
  4. Talk to your cell phone provider about turning your cell phone into a WiFi hot spot.  As long as your phone has access to a good cellular signal, you’ll be able to send a reliable WiFi signal to your laptop wherever you are.
  5. Make sure you have a bunch of fully charged battery packs.  I bought two portable battery chargers like this several months ago and am regularly using one or the other.  I carry one in my car, so if I run low on charge, I can easily get recharged again.
  6. Keep the Geek For Hire phone number handy. (You can reach us at 303-618-0154.) We can talk you through most issues you might be having.  Remember, if you just have a quick question, we don’t charge for phone calls under 15 minutes.
  7. Have a great, reliable backup system in place.

And more recommendations:

  1. Remember to keep your precious photos and other valuables in a bin by the door ready to go in case you do get evacuated.
  2. Keep your fuel tanks at least half full throughout the fire season.
  3. Grab your laundry basket.  All of your favorite clothes are already in there!

 

Fire Season
James Peak on 30 April 2018 – Haze is from the Tinder Fire in AZ
James Peak - get your tech ready for fire season
James Peak on 30 June 2019

 

 

 

Conclusion:

To keep your tech ready for fire season, it’s crucial to have a plan.  Talk with your family and make sure each person in your household is prepared.

Please forward this to your friends and neighbors, so we’re all ready for Fire Season this year.

Information about Geek For Hire, Inc.

I’ve created a Free Report on what to look for to protect yourself from “phishing” scams. Click here to receive it!

Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has been providing computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PCs for the past eighteen years. Angie’s List and the BBB rate Geek For Hire very highly.  You can find more on our website, or give us a call 303-618-0154. Geek For Hire, Inc. provides onsite service (Tier 3 support) 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 online streaming. I haven’t tried the Kindle lending library yet.  I’ll try that next!  Prime is usually $119/year, but you can try it for 30 days 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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Phone Scams and how to protect yourself

Privacy and Security

I’ve been reading some concerning news recently about the volume of phone scams going around. There are more and more each month.  You might wonder why there are so many of them and why the authorities can’t put an end to all of them.  There are good answers to both of those questions:

Why are there so many phone scams going around?Phone Scams

The reason is simple.  People fall for phone scams.  They voluntarily provide their user ID and password, or their name and birthday.  Worse, they’ll hand over their credit card number to a random person calling on the phone.  There are so many scams because they are profitable.  Before you say “Well, I would never do that!”, you should know that the scams have gotten much more sophisticated over the past few years. It’s only after you’ve given out your information and hung up the phone, that you realize that maybe all is not as it seemed.

Why can’t the authorities put an end to these scams?

Are you familiar with the term “Fly-by-night”? It is used to describe a person that sets itself up as a respectable business person, accepting payment in exchange for a promised good or service. Then, all of a sudden, they’ve closed up shop and moved.  Well, that’s what these bad operators are, with the added benefit of the internet.

Back “then,” you’d call the Police Department, and they would work with other Officers in the next county or state to catch them.  Today, the scammers will collect your money, and almost before your call is over, they will have changed their IP address so that it looks like they’re in a different country.

The authorities can’t put an end to the scams, because they have a challenging time catching the perpetrators.

What should you do if you fall for one of these phone scams?

First, don’t beat yourself up about it.  The people who call are very sophisticated and convincing.  They know all the right words to say to get you to give them what they want.

If you provide credit card information:

  • First, call your banker to let them know.  Ask them to deny the charge.
  • If you have online access to your bank account, log on at least once a day for the next few weeks to see if there is any suspicious activity.
  • You should also ask them for a new credit card with a new number.

If you allow remote access to your computer:

  • The first thing to do is to disconnect the computer from the internet. Unplug the ethernet cable or turn off the WiFi.
  • Next, run your virus scanner and delete any viruses or other malware that may be installed on your machine.
  • If you feel like they’ve installed something that you can’t get rid of, give us a call, and we’ll give your machine a good scrub.

How can you protect yourself from email scams?

I’ve created a Free Report of what to look for to protect yourself from “phishing” scams. Click here to receive it!

Conclusion:

Remember that Microsoft or Google will not call you if you have a virus on your machine.  Run your virus scanner regularly, and just say no to people who call and want to access your computer, or want you to sign up for online computer support.

Please forward this to your friends who may be susceptible to phone scams.

Information about Geek For Hire, Inc.

Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has been providing computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PCs for the past eighteen years. Angie’s List and the BBB rate Geek For Hire very highly.  You can find more on our website, or give us a call 303-618-0154. Geek For Hire, Inc. provides onsite service (Tier 3 support) 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 online streaming. I haven’t tried the Kindle lending library yet.  I’ll try that next!  Prime is usually $119/year, but you can try it for 30 days 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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WordPress Security Tips

Do you have a blog or a static website?  Are you as concerned about WordPress security as I am?  I remember a day about two years ago when I received an email. WordPress locked the Geek For Hire website. When I frantically tried to log back in, I wasn’t able to.  I ended up by successfully logging in using Chris’ credentials.  Thank goodness I had set up two admin accounts! After I logged in, I deleted all of the other admin accounts.

(We sometimes provide links to products or services that we think will be beneficial to our readers.  Some of those links provide a small commission to Geek For Hire.)

How to ramp up your WordPress security:

There are several things you can do to make sure your WordPress site is secure.Wordpress Security Tips

  • First of all, don’t use “admin” as your login name.  If someone wants to hack your website, they will need two things.  One is your user id or your email.  The other is your password.  Admin is the most common user id for WordPress sites.  It’s kind of like using “password” as your password.  Don’t do it!
  • Your next step will be to play with your user id. Because “admin” or your name are standard user id’s, you want to use something unexpected. Make your user id something non-sensical.  A string of letters, numbers, and special characters will work.  Think of it as another level to your password.
  • Third, make sure your password is ultra secure.  WordPress has an option where they can generate a password for you.  I think it’s about 20 characters long with a healthy mixture of small and capital letters, numbers, and special characters.  Please use this option.
  • Fourth, check your list of users every few weeks.  There should only be you and whoever else you have authorized to have access to the account. If there are any other users, delete them.
  • Finally, use one of the WordPress plugins to ensure extra security. I use iThemes Security Pro. It has saved our website many times.  Because we have a name that is attractive to hackers, they constantly bombard us with break-in attempts; anywhere from 100-500 every day. If someone tries, unsuccessfully, to log into our account too many times, iThemes will lock them out.  We’re pleased with the level of protection they offer.

What we’re dealing with:

Here’s an example from one day last week.Wordpress SecurityYou can see that there were 243 separate login attempts, and one IP address has been locked out from trying to log in again.

Conclusion:

If you are concerned about WordPress Security, remember to use a secure password, do use an odd user id, check your users, and sign up for one of the WordPress plugins.

Please forward this to your colleagues who manage a static website or blog.

Information about Geek For Hire, Inc.

I’ve created a Free Report to protect you from “phishing” scams. Click here to receive it!

Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has been providing computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PCs for the past eighteen years. Angie’s List and the BBB rate Geek For Hire very highly.  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 online streaming. I haven’t tried the Kindle lending library yet.  I’ll try that next!  Prime is usually $119/year, but you can try it for 30 days 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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Solid State Drive – What is it and Why Do I Need One?

For the past several years, whenever Chris had to replace a hard drive in a Mac or PC or is designing a new computer for a customer, he always recommends that they get a Solid State Drive (SSD), rather than the traditional Hard Disk Drive (HDD). Why?Solid State Drive - Why do I need one?

For a long time, I just didn’t get it. Why is “newer” always “better” for these geeks?!  Chris patiently explained to me some of the benefits.

More Robust:

Because a Solid State Drive has no moving parts, there aren’t any parts to break. This makes the SSD perfect for those who don’t count “grace” as one of their better qualities. It’s also a better choice for frequent travelers.

Speed:

SSD’s are faster. Machines with an SSD will boot faster, open programs faster, transfer files faster. Games process more quickly too. When seconds count, choose an SSD.

Lighter:

When you’re lugging a laptop through an airport, you want to shed every excess ounce that you can.  SSD’s weigh less than the HDD’s.

Downside:

SSD’s are more expensive to purchase than HDD’s. But, considering that the SSD will last longer, that’s only a short term problem.  If you’re looking to get a new machine under $500, you will be getting a standard hard drive.

Here’s a great explanation from PC Magazine of how an HDD saves your data:

“The traditional spinning hard drive (HDD) is the basic nonvolatile storage on a computer. That is, it doesn’t “go away” like the data on the system memory when you turn the system off. Hard drives are essentially metal platters with a magnetic coating. That coating stores your data, whether that data consists of weather reports from the last century, a high-definition copy of the Star Wars trilogy, or your digital music collection. A read/write head on an arm accesses the data while the platters are spinning in a hard drive enclosure.”

And here’s a description from TechTerms on how the Solid State Drive works:

“While SSDs serve the same function as hard drives, their internal components are much different. Unlike hard drives, SSDs do not have any moving parts (which is why they are called solid state drives). Instead of storing data on magnetic platters, SSDs store data using flash memory. Since SSDs have no moving parts, they don’t have to “spin up” while in a sleep state and they don’t need to move a drive head to different parts of the drive to access data. Therefore, SSDs can access data faster than HDDs.”

Here are some additional articles that compare SSDs and HDDs:Solid State Drive

Purchasing Recommendations:

When a customer needs to have their machine rebuilt, Chris recommends this internal SSD from Samsung.

Remember that upgrading the standard hard drive in your Mac or PC to a Solid State Drive will make your machine run much faster.  It’s a very affordable upgrade and may make more sense than buying a new computer.  Contact us if you’re thinking of an upgrade. Remember that we can install your new SSD once it arrives as well.

And if you ever need help partitioning your HDD or SSD, give us a call.

Please forward this to your friends who may need a new hard drive in their Mac or PC.

Information about Geek For Hire, Inc.

I’ve created a Free Report to protect you from “phishing” scams. Click here to receive it!

Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has been providing computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PCs for the past eighteen years. Angie’s List and the BBB rate Geek For Hire very highly.  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 online streaming.  And I love the Prime Kindle features!  Prime is normally $119/year, but you can try it for 30 days 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.)

Original post: 28 April 2015

Updated: 11 June 2019

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MultiFunction Printer – What To Look For When Purchasing A New One

We get a lot of questions about what to look for when purchasing new equipment.  If you’re looking at buying a new multifunction printer, here are some things to consider:

Price:

The first thing many people consider is the price range.  There are a few good printers in the under $125 price range, more in the under $300 range, and even more in the under $500 range.

Ink Jet vs. Laser

I certainly prefer laser printers. Yes, they are a little more expensive to purchase, but they cost less to operate in the long run, and your printed pages look better.  The ink cartridges also cost more than the inkjet cartridges, but they last much longer. If you are someone who only uses your printer occasionally, a laser printer is probably your best choice.  The ink can dry in the ink jet nozzles making the printer inoperable so that you would have to buy a new one.

Wired or WiFi?multifunction printer

It used to be that printers would only work when they were connected by a cable to the computer.  If you’re in a location with a marginal WiFi signal, that might be the way to go.  For everyone else, a wireless printer is a great option.  What I love about my WiFi printer is that I am able to print from my computer, my tablet, and my phone.

Black vs. 4-color:

These days, most of the multi-function printers are color.  If you mostly print in black but need a multi-function printer for other reasons, you can adjust your printer options on your computer to primarily print in black, but change it to full color if needed.

Printer only vs. MultiFunction Printer (Copy, Print, Scan, Fax)

I can’t remember the last time I sent a fax, but occasionally I do need to scan documents, and I have to copy something at least once a week.  So, I’m glad to have a multi-function printer at the ready. If you never need to copy anything, that a printer might be the best option for you.  If you ever have to take a trip to Staples to get something copied, you might consider getting a multi-function printer.

I have the previous version of this printer and really love it.  I’ve had three HP printers since my first one in 1995.  I love their reliability and durability.

Duplex?

Many of the newer printers are duplex.  This means that they print front and back. I like this option because it saves on paper!

Is Your MultiFunction Printer not working?

Of course, we can help you with your printer issues.  Give us a call and give me a run-down of the symptoms.  Do I think we can fix it in a reasonable amount of time?  I’ll let you know before we schedule an appointment.  If not, I’ll let you know that it’s probably time for a new one.

Geek For Hire Recommends These Printers:

We like Hewlett Packard printers.  We’ve been using them since 1990ish when we got our very first HP LaserJet 4.  It was a workhorse, and we loved it!

Here are several inkjet multi-function printers:

  • The HP OfficeJet Pro 8025 is a good inexpensive multi-function printer with wireless functionality.
  • The HP OfficeJet Pro 8035 is a little faster and a little smaller.  It’s also a good choice for a multi-function WiFi printer.
  • The HP OfficeJet 8702 is a faster multi-function color WiFi printer.

If you’re looking for a laser printer:

  • The HP LaserJet Pro M118dw is a great laser printer for someone that doesn’t need color or all-in-one functionality.  It prints in black only and prints double-sided.
  • I have the previous version of the HP LaserJet Pro M426fdw.  It has served me well for the past few years, and I love it.  It’s a multi-function/all-in-one color LaserJet printer with WiFi and double-sided/duplex printing.

Please forward this to your friends who need a checklist for buying a multifunction printer.

Information about Geek For Hire, Inc.

I’ve created a Free Report to protect you from “phishing” scams. Click here to receive it!

Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has been providing computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PCs for the past eighteen years. Angie’s List and the BBB rate Geek For Hire very highly.  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 online streaming. I haven’t tried the Kindle lending library yet.  I’ll try that next!  Prime is normally $119/year, but you can try it for 30 days 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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Poor Cell Phone Service – Some Tips to Remedy

Even with all the improvements in cellular technology I still run into areas which have very poor cell phone service. There are the times when I’m the passenger in a car and the cell phone quality just gets worse and worse.

Does this ever happen to you?  You’re talking on the phone and the quality of the call keeps decreasing.  You keep waiting for your call to switch to the next cell tower but that never seems to happen.  What should you do?

We used to drive up and over a section of the highway that we dubbed “The Hill of Cellular Death”.  It was pretty much guaranteed that when you got about two-thirds of the way up the hill on either side, your cell call would drop.  It got to be that I wouldn’t even answer my cell phone when the vehicle I was traveling in was within a half mile of that hill.  Thankfully they now have a low profile tower on that hill and my calls don’t get dropped anymore.

What should you do when your smartphone gets really poor cell phone service?

This is what that pesky “Airplane Mode” button is for!  Put your phone into “Airplane Mode” so that it turns off your cell service, your WiFi, and your Bluetooth. Leave it off for about five to ten seconds and then turn it back on.  This will force the phone to search for the strongest cell tower in the area.

bad cell service

More Info:

Please forward this to your friends who complain about their poor cell phone service.

Information about Geek For Hire, Inc.

I’ve created a Free Report to protect you from “phishing” scams. Click here to receive it!

Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has been providing computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PCs for the past eighteen years. Angie’s List and the BBB rate Geek For Hire very highly.  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 online streaming. I haven’t tried the Kindle lending library yet.  I’ll try that next!  Prime is normally $119/year, but you can try it for 30 days 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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What Is Wrong With My MF (Multi-Function) PRINTER?!

When I mention what I do to new acquaintances, I get this question a lot: What Is Wrong With My MF (Multi-Function) PRINTER?!  A major problem with printers these days is that they are designed to be disposable, a throw-away appliance.  The cheaper ones might only last for a year. Even the more expensive ones break down.  Then it could be more cost effective to get a new one rather than trying to get it fixed.

What Is Wrong With My MF (Multi-Function) PRINTER?!

Here are some of the common printer problems:

Paper Jam

If you have a paper jam, the first thing to do is to pull out the paper tray. Sometimes the paper is stuck just as it comes out of the tray. You can also try this: carefully open up your machine and turn all the knobs and wheels that move the paper forward. If you can see where the paper is stuck, carefully give the paper a little tug to see if you can pull it out. If it feels like it might start to tear, stop pulling. Continue moving the knobs and wheels until the entire piece of paper has been removed. In rare cases, the jam is so severe that you cannot remove the paper.  Sometimes trying to remove the paper can bend some of the metal wires.   In that case, it’s probably time to look for a new printer.

 

Driver upgrade

Sometimes, with both Mac and Windows machines, your computer will take an upgrade overnight which then requires a new software printer driver for your printer.   Go to your printer’s website – Hewlett Packard, Dell, Brother, etc. – and download the new software. Once you have downloaded and installed the software, your printer should work again.  Call us if you need help.

What Is Wrong With My MF (Multi-Function) PRINTER?!

Wireless printer won’t connect to the wifi

If your computer suddenly can’t find your wireless printer, somehow the printer lost its connection to the Wi-Fi router.  Turn both your computer and printer off and on again.  If that doesn’t work, input your Wi-Fi code into the printer control panel and you should be good to go.

What Is Wrong With My MF (Multi-Function) PRINTER?!

New Ink Jet Cartridge doesn’t work:

Your printer tells you it is time to replace the cartridge.  You install the new one and still get the same error message!  This is most likely because the ink dried inside the printer nozzles.  This happens when you haven’t used your printer in a while.  If you still have a warranty on the printer, take it in to see if they can repair it.  They may decide to replace it.  If you routinely go a week or more without using your printer,  consider replacing it with a laser printer.

Printer won’t turn on

Sometimes a printer just won’t turn on. Check all of the connections. Is the cord firmly plugged into the wall outlet?  Is the cord firmly pushed into the back of the printer?  You might need to try a hardware reset of the printer back to its default settings.  If it still won’t turn on, remove the power cord and let it rest for a little while or overnight. If it still won’t turn on, it’s probably time to get a new printer.

New Printer?

What do you look for in a new printer? There are several options, which depend on your preferences and requirements:

  • Ink Jet vs. Laser – I certainly prefer laser printers. Yes, they are a little more expensive to purchase, but they cost less to operate in the long run, and your printed pages look better
  • Black vs. 4-color
  • Printer only vs. Multi-Function (Copy, Print, Scan, Fax)
  • Print one side only vs. print front and back – Many of the newer MF Printers have duplex printers.  I like this option because it saves on paper!

Of course, we can help you with your printer issues.  Give us a call and give me a run-down of the symptoms.  Do I think we can fix it in a reasonable amount of time?  I’ll let you know before we schedule an appointment.  If not, I’ll let you know that it’s probably time for a new one.

Please forward this to your colleagues who ask you: What is Wrong with my Multi-Function Printer?

Information about Geek For Hire, Inc.

I’ve created a Free Report to protect you from “phishing” scams. Click here to receive it!

Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has been providing computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PCs for the past eighteen years. Angie’s List and the BBB rate Geek For Hire very highly.  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 online streaming. I haven’t tried the Kindle lending library yet.  I’ll try that next!  Prime is normally $119/year, but you can try it for 30 days 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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Wondering How To Rent And Stream “A Star Is Born” And Other Oscar Nominated Movies In 2019?

Have you been wondering how to rent and stream “A Star Is Born” and other Oscar Nominated movies in 2019?  Technology seems to change so quickly and it’s hard to know how to do stuff that was easy just a few years ago.  (A few years ago we would run down to the local video store, then pick out what we wanted, and finally get ready to pay the late fee when it wasn’t returned in two days!)

I don’t know about you, but ever since this version of “A Star Is Born” came out, I’ve been thinking about the one with Kris Kristofferson from decades ago. Maybe not the best actor, but I loved his music!

Here’s a list of all the nominees for Best Picture:

Available to stream on Netflix:

  • Black Panther
  • Roma

Available to Buy or Rent on Amazon Prime, iTunes, and YouTube:wondering how to rent and stream "A Star Is Born"?

  • Black Panther
  • BlacKkKlansman
  • Bohemian Rhapsody
  • There’s a link to a free Amazon Prime trial below.

Available for pre-order:

  • The Favourite
  • Green Book
  • Vice

Are you still wondering how to rent and stream “A Star Is Born”?

Head over to their webpage.  You’ll see all of the options there to stream online, or to go to a physical store to purchase it.  Then pop up a big batch of popcorn and enjoy!

Free Movie Streaming

There aren’t a lot of places to watch movies for free online.  Doing my research today, I did find a website that has (older) movies, documentaries, educational, and training films.  It’s called Kanopy.   The only catch is that your library needs to be registered with them.  Check them out!

Please forward this to your movie loving colleagues.

Information about Geek For Hire, Inc.

I’ve created a Free Report to protect you from “phishing” scams. Click here to receive it!

Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has been providing computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PCs for the past eighteen 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 online streaming. I haven’t tried the Kindle lending library yet.  I’ll try that next!  Prime is normally $119/year, but you can try it for 30 days 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.)

Please follow and like us:
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