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In this edition of EagleTech's Newsletter you will find a variety of helpful tips and services for improving your computing experience.


EagleTech Computer Service Newsletter

Computing Insights for February 2014

Greetings from EagleTech Computer Service!

Here are some topics we will be covering in this edition :


- The importance of backing up your data
- Windows Vista and Glary Utilities
- Windows XP ends soon
- Personal Security and the Internet
- The Plague of Adware



I hope the articles will be helpful to you.  Spring is just around the corner...let me know if your Computer is needing a Spring Cleaning.  Don't hesitate to request that I cover specific issues that you face in your computing.

Thanks for being the great clients each of you are...!!!
 

Tom Sparks

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Backing up your Data is soooo important:

Increasingly it is becoming important to backup the data on your computer that you'd be heartsick at losing. Fire, Theft, Hard drive crash, etc. can result in the complete loss of all of your valuable data. For this reason a good Data backup approach is essential.

There are a variety of ways you can do this:
1) An external hard drive that you can connect directly to your computer. Probably 500 gigabytes would be large enough, but for a little more money you can obtain a 1 terabyte drive.
2) Setup and use a free backup software like Fbackup:  
http://www.fbackup.com/
3) Additionally, because even backup hard drives can be lost, become defective, die, or are subject to fire damage, the value of an online cloud backup service, like iDrive backup, is a great and safe backup approach.
4) iDrive, online cloud backup service, has recently dropped their yearly fee for 150 gigabytes of backup space from $49.50/yr to $24.75/yr. Here is a link to their service:
http://www.idrive.com/?uid=D0F7A0W4D3 

I'm happy to come to your home or place of business and setup any of these approaches for you.  It only takes a few minutes, and if we incorporate it with a tune-up of your computer, I can accomplish all of it inside one quick hour.

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Windows Vista Info:
 
I have recently discovered that Glary Utilities, which I have routinely installed on my client's computers, has had some difficulty with Windows Vista lately.  If you have the Windows Vista operating system my recommendation is that you no longer use Glary Utilities to cleanup your computer. Instead I recommend you download and use CCleaner in its place.  You can obtain the free version from the following link:

http://www.piriform.com/ccleaner/download
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Windows XP Updates end April the 8th -  

Just a little reminder that the Windows XP operating system will no longer be supported by Microsoft after April the 8th.  This means your computer could become very vulnerable to serious viruses. If you have been considering an operating system upgrade to Windows 7 or a new computer I'm always here to help with suggestions and assistance. In addition to Windows XP having no more security updates Microsoft has also let it be known they will no longer be supporting Microsoft Office 2003 and Internet Explorer 8. As for their discontinuing support for Internet Explorer 8 this means that web developers all over the world are changing their websites to no longer support the Internet Explorer 8 platform and you can anticipate more and more errors on various websites due to this.

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Personal Security and the Internet...

As you have undoubtedly heard...hackers are going crazy hacking into email accounts, credit card accounts, and stealing personal information. What's a person to do?  Well, we can't hide our heads in the sand...technology has so changed our lives that retreating has become nearly impossible.  It is sooo important to be careful on every front. It might be a good idea to use cash for gas, restaurants, and other public stores. Don't give your email address to anyone you don't fully trust. Watch your credit report regularly. Consider a personal security approach like LifeLock or LegalShield.  Both are very effective at protecting your personal identity.  We live in a weird world for sure...

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The Plague of Adware -  

I have probably been spending somewhere around 1/3 of my computer repair time solving what I call "The Plague of Adware" that is corrupting everyone's Internet browsers. So, what is Adware and how is everyone getting so much of it on their computers?  

Adware programs are designed to offer you something free, as a trialware, in the hopes that you will like it and want to purchase it.  The problem is that it is so annoying that most people just want it off of their computers once it gets on.  Additionally, Adware tracks all of your web browsing and reports back to some agency the sites you visit, what links you click on, how often you click those links, etc. In some cases they add software that can steal your passwords and usernames from the sites you visit, including your banking sites, so in some cases Adware can be very dangerous. 

Here are some things to watch out for:
1. If someone is offering you a free program watch to see if they encourage you to also download extra programs while they load their software on to your computer.
2. Couponing programs are perhaps the biggest offenders. They offer cost saving coupons but they often deliver pop-ups, browser re-directings, noisy videos, change your home page, and replace your browser's search engine to some other search engine you won't want.
3. Free games seem like such a lot of fun until they cause the same effects as described above. Young children are especially vulnerable to Adware because free seems like such a great thing to them.
4. When it comes to downloading ANYTHING we all must learn to slow down, watch each box that pops up, evaluate it as to whether it is asking us if we would also like to have an additional program to the one we thought we were downloading.
5. In the end...if you get tricked by these Adware developers I am installing and running a great little program called "Adwcleaner."  It is also free but if you get it from the following site you should only get the Adwcleaner program.  
http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/download/adwcleaner/dl/125/ Install it, click on the "Scan" tab, let it scan and find Adware, then click on the "Clean" tab and let it remove the Adware from your computer.  When it finishes it will want to restart your computer. This won't completely remove the Adware programs from your computer or all of their affects on your browsers but it will likely resolve enough that you can function at a nearly normal level until you can have me come onboard remotely and do some quick final cleanup and restoration.  I'm available in the mornings and evenings for remote service.  Good luck!!

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Best of success to you in all your computing.
 
I’m here to assist you when you need it.  As just a reminder... my onsite residential fee is $35 per hour and for the commercial setting it is $45 per hour. Once again...for any clients you send my way, who use my services for an hour or more, I'd be happy to credit you with $9 of free computer service at your next call.  Do let me know if you send folks my way and I'll keep notes on that as a credit for my next visit to you, and don't feel embarrassed to remind me you would like that credit when I visit.
 
 
Thanks so much!
 
Your Computer Technician
Tom Sparks
503-577-4201

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