Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Most Common Computer Threats

Most Common Computer Threats

Computers are an amazing way to connect to the world around you, but they can also harbor several dangers. Many people may not even know how un-secure their computer is against things such as a hijacker, Trojans, spyware, and worms, but here is a list of the most common computer threats that you should be on the lookout for, and ways to protect your machine against these dangerous threats.

Computer Virus

One of the biggest threats to computer security that we see at Computer Fix SLC is the computer virus. It’s an insidious threat that, once inside your machine, can replicate itself and infect your PC, even before you might know it is in there. You may contract a virus from a hijacker, or just from a seemingly innocuous website or email that you receive. No matter what the source, it’s critical that you have an antivirus software installed on your machine in order to prevent the virus from taking over your machine, deleting or corrupting your files, and spreading through your networks.


Detecting spyware can be very difficult, since it is designed to be installed on a PC without the user knowing of its existence. If you do get spyware on your machine, it could be monitoring your movements, tracking your network activity, or even interfering with the control of your machine. It collects information, including the websites that you go to, passwords and usernames used to log in to sensitive sites, and even personal details such as social security number, bank accounts and credit cards. You can get spyware removal programs, which function much like antivirus software, to scan your activity and keep spyware out. You can also do monthly scans, or bring your machine to Computer Fix SLC for regular scans to detect and remove the harmful programs.


Nobody wants to get worms, and that is true for your computer as well. Computer worms are software programs that attach to a program within your PC, then replicate themselves once you interact with the program. One of the biggest drawbacks to having a worm is how it can affect your network. By replicating and spreading through the network, it can reduce your network performance, and take up bandwidth, affecting your connection speeds and quality. On the more serious side, it can poke holes in your firewall or other system security that allows hackers to get into your computer and control it remotely. Keeping your system current with the latest security patches, and running scans to detect worms can keep them from getting into your PC.


If you don’t remember history class, the Trojans were the ones who tricked their enemies into letting them into their city by hiding inside a large, hollow horse. Once inside the city, they could attack from within and defeat their powerful enemy. In your computer, a Trojan or Trojan horse is software that looks just like a legitimate program, but it harbors a malicious program that will be released once inside. If they allow hackers or other malicious programs in to your machine, Trojans can cause significant damage or steal troves of private information from your PC.

The best defense against malicious software on your machine is a good offense. Being proactive about keeping your system clean and free of bad programs can help you avoid the difficulty that comes with trying to get rid of them once they are inside. Bring your PC to Computer Fix SLC to learn more and get it scanned for problems.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

How do I Protect my Computer Against Viruses?

How do I Protect my Computer Against Viruses?

If you are like most people these days, your computer is a pretty important part of your life. Whether you’re using it to play computer games, stay in touch with friends and family, pay bills, or even work, you need a functioning machine. Unfortunately if you get computer viruses, it can put your machine at risk, and also put your personal information and files at risk. Here are the most important steps you can take to protect computer from viruses so you can avoid significant computer repair at Computer Fix Salt Lake City.

Use an Antivirus Program

If you use your computer on the internet at all, you need an antivirus program. There are dozens of different antivirus programs available out there with varying degrees of efficacy, but the most important thing is that you get a program on your computer. Some of the ones that protect computers best also include anti-malware and anti-spyware programs. Without this protection, your machine could be vulnerable to malicious viruses, spyware, and malware that you encounter online. Once installed, be sure to keep it updated to protect against new viruses.

Avoid Suspicious Sites

Anyone can post a website online, which means that even computer hackers and users trying to spread computer viruses can put up websites. Often these sites will be designed to draw you in and have you click on an executable file (one that ends in a .exe), which can install the harmful programs on your computer. Avoid sites that are not well known to you, or that seem suspicious, and especially avoid clicking any links on those sites if you do find yourself there.

Email Attachments

Email attachments are one of the most common ways antiviruses are downloaded. If you get an attachment, be sure it’s something you were expecting, and it’s from a trusted source before you open it. In some cases an email may come from someone you know, but the attachment could still contain a virus, so if it seems like a suspicious attachment, contact the person to be sure they sent it to you before opening it. Never open an email attachment from someone you don’t know.

Use the Firewall

Today most computers come with firewalls that can block potential viruses, worms, and hackers from accessing your machine. The firewall may not be turned on by default, so when you start using a new machine, be sure to go into the “settings” and turn on the firewall if it is not already on.

Keep Operating Systems Updated

Your operating system runs the entire machine, and can include important security updates, so if you want to protect a computer from viruses, it’s best to have the most current version of your OS.

Computer repair is never fun, and the best way to ensure that you won’t need it on your machine is to protect the computer with the right software and hardware, then practice safe internet behavior that can keep you from mistakenly getting computer viruses on your machine. If you need information on the latest antivirus software or other protection measures for your computer, come talk to the experts at Computer Fix Salt Lake City.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

What is Computer Firewall?

What is Computer Firewall?

Before the internet and networks, the term “firewall” actually referred to a wall made of fireproof or fire resistant material that was built to protect a building or area in case a fire erupted in another part of the same structure. These walls were designed to insulate parts of a building from threat of fire, for example, between separate apartment units or between the garage and the main part of a home.

In 1988, the NASA Ames Research Center reported the first known internet virus attack, and since then the online community has been building the best “firewall” software programs or hardware to protect a computer or network from external threats such as viruses, hackers, and worms that come through a network connection. With our increasingly connected world, a threat on one computer or machine can quickly threaten hundreds, even millions, of other connected devices. To prevent the need for excessive computer repair, it’s important to protect your machine with a good firewall.

Two Types of Firewalls

The two main types of firewalls are either software or hardware. The features and benefits of each are different, so it’s important to understand each so you know which one will be most beneficial for your situation. If you have questions about firewalls, talk to the experts at Computer Fix Salt Lake City to find out more.

Hardware Firewalls

These are often referred to as “network firewalls”, consisting of an external device between your computer and your internet connecting. If you’re using your computer at home, this type of protection is often built right into the broadband router so you can connect several machines or devices through one router and they will all be protected. Even if you only have one computer, a firewall can still be a valuable form of protection.

In larger network environments, such as a company, the same physical firewall may be used, but instead of being in a small router, it will likely be larger, and will be housed in the server or IT area of the company, protecting several dozen (or even several hundred) machines at once.   

Software firewall

While hardware firewalls are one form of protection, they are not the only recommended line of defense. In fact, most computers also run a software firewall that monitors all the incoming and outgoing traffic through the network and identifies potential threats.

Many of today’s operating systems, such as Windows or Mac, include a built-in firewall that users should take advantage of. In order to get the maximum protection from this available firewall, ensure that it is turned on in your general settings.

There are also several third-party vendors that offer programs called an “internet security suite” for virus protection, spyware, malware, and other common internet threats.

The right kind of firewall can not only provide great protection from the myriad of external threats designed to bring harm to your machine to avoid computer repair, it can also help improve your internet connection and the performance of your broadband service.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Improve Your Computers Performance

Improve Your Computers Performance

When you first come home with your shiny new PC, it can be hard to believe that the average lifespan of these computers is only about 3-4 years, according to survey data—over time, that fast machine will start to slow down. While it’s inevitable that your PC will not run like new for years and years to come, there are ways that you can help improve performance, stretching the PC lifecycle just a little bit longer without incurring a large support or service bill.

Before You Begin

Prior to doing any maintenance project on your PC, it’s important to backup your data. Once you start messing around with the inner components of the machine, there is always a chance you could mistakenly erase important files and documents. If you have little or no experience with PC repair, it may be best to take it to Computerfix Salt Lake City for computer repair.

In order to help with your computer, professionals always begin with the least invasive procedure, only moving to more complex processes if the PC doesn’t respond to the easier things. If you’re planning to do your own computer repair, you should follow a similar strategy. In the event you begin a process and are unsure whether it could do damage, it’s best to stop and take it to a place like Computerfix Salt Lake City to avoid extensive (and irreparable) damage.

Upgrade Your Hardware

Before you can do anything to enhance your machine’s performance, you must have sufficient hardware in place to support the software you intend to run, including your operating system. There are many hardware components you can upgrade (if you know how to do it correctly), including RAM, graphics card, hard drive, optical drive, and the processor. Some of these upgrades are easier than others, so if you have never done it or are not sure how to upgrade any particular item, it’s best to take it into a professional computer repair shop.

Check for Viruses & Spyware

The next thing you can do is check the machine for viruses, spyware, malware, and adware. All these types of files can be damaging to the machine, taking up space and slowing down the machine. While spyware and adware are often not intended to cause damage to your machine, they can cause the computer to slow down as it works to process these programs alongside your other programs. Viruses are often intended to cause harm, damaging files and destroying your computer. In both cases, having a good antivirus software can help you scan for and remove these files before they do damage that cannot be repaired.

Clean the Machine

Since your computer only has a limited amount of storage space and processing capacity, running dozens of unnecessary programs can cause the PC to slow down. If you’re not using a specific program, go into your system files and uninstall it (note: deleting the shortcut on the desktop is not the same as uninstalling a program). If you’re not sure how to do this, take it to the technicians at Computerfix Salt Lake City to have them help.

Reboot the Entire System

When nothing else works, you can also consider uninstalling and reinstalling the operating system and other programs, but this is a significant step and should only be done in extreme cases. If possible, it’s best to have a professional do this as it can cause irreparable damage to the machine when done incorrectly. Don’t forget to backup all your data before doing this, because it will all be gone as soon as you uninstall the OS.