Saturday, October 27, 2012

Computer Security Tips

Basic Computer Security Safety Essentials

When you think computer theft you typically think of it being done in the home physically right?  That couldn’t be further from the truth though!  It happens every day right from the Internet highway without so much as a glimpse of you being aware it’s even happening.  Computer Fix SLC would like to share with you 5 ‘security essentials’ safety tips that can help keep your computer as private as it should be.     

What Can You Do To Keep Computer Theft From Happening?

Let’s face it; your computer holds some pretty serious and very private information sometimes.  Sometimes even the most common step can be overlooked.  We’ve put together a few simple tips that can help keep your information safe as well as your computer.

Security Essential Tip #1:  Always Use Anti-Virus Software
Anti-virus software is no doubt the best way to protect against the worst kinds of computer viruses which are one of the most horrible ways to get a security breach on your computer.  Most viruses will spread through email, and downloads but some sneak in through the network and sometimes even through USB drives.

More important than installing good anti-virus software is remembering to keep it up to date, most will update themselves but you always want to make sure not do disable the updating configuration.  You also don’t want to go too long without internet connection because then your software will not have a chance to update like it should.  Your anti-virus software will only protect your computer from any ‘known’ viruses, hackers write new ones every day believe it or not, so it’s important to continue on with this article and follow the rest of the tips we’ve given you.

Security Essential Tip #2: Use Your Firewall!

There are differences between bad anti-virus software and good software, but as for your firewall, it is very different.  Your computer comes with a firewall and can fully protect it from an automatic network virus attack.  Always make sure it is turned on, you can check it through your control panel.  If your anti-virus software came with a firewall, we suggest using that one instead because it will more than likely be much easier for you to use.  It will also keep things much more simple.

Security Essential Tip #3: Always Backup Your Computer!

In the event of something horrible happening like a fire, flood, etc., you need to make sure that everything on your computer is properly stored somewhere, easy to recover.  Nothing will keep your data safer than backing it up.  There are many online backup programs available either free or at a very low cost, you can find them by doing a simple Google search.

Security Essential Tip #4:  Keep Admin Access Restricted

At home or even in an office, often times your computer is shared by many people, everyone seems to always be at the mercy of someone else’s computer.  No matter how many steps you take to keep your computer safe, if anyone else has admin access, they have free reign to install a virus-infected program, while unintentionally or intentionally. 

If you are in a multi-user type of environment, you absolutely need to restrict admin access to only those who you know and trust to keep your computer safe.  We advise to only create one admin account per computer and give everyone else their own non-admin account.

The only time you should even use your admin account is when you need to either install a program or change some settings, other than that, leave it alone.  This will help you avoid any accidental situations where you leave your admin account logged in and then someone else sits down and uses it and accidentally downloads a virus somehow.

Security Essential Tip #5:  Always Investigate If You Suspect Anything!

If you notice your internet being more slow than normal, or maybe you are seeing an odd error message over and over, it probably needs to be investigated.  Viruses have no shame in using your computer processing power for the worst intentions, which causes it to run slow.  They will hide among other programs, which cause the error messages.  They can even send a spam email, which will make your ISP raise a red flag.  If you see anything like this, begin an investigation and don’t settle for anything until you know what exactly the problem is.  What happens if you don’t is you risk letting the little viruses install the bigger ones, and the worse ones, which can ruin everything!

At The End Of The Day …

Absolutely no one is immune to computer theft, viruses, or becoming a victim of phishing scams, or a target for spyware.   It just isn’t an option to stay away from all of today’s technology, so to significantly lower your risk of being a victim, follow the tips that Computer Fix SLC has outlined for you in this article and you will be well on your way to a safer computer environment!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Intel VS. AMD

Brain vs. Brain

Can you imagine if you had to pick out a new brain to purchase? What would be the factors to influence your choice – thinking fast, seeing better, dependability, cost? If you had to limit yourself to just a few choices with one model of a brain and a different few choices with another, picking out your new brain would be a complex task. Thus, you can imagine the complexity in picking out your computer’s brain.

So, which brain is better, AMD or Intel? The brain with the racing stripes looks really cool, but what I really need is better graphics. I like the brain with the better graphics, but what I really want is racing stripes. The better processor is which processor suits your needs. That’s it!
But, let us go a bit deeper than that answer some questions like, “Which chip is the best value for common tasks, nothing high performance?” You want to purchase an AMD processor, and here’s why. They come in both single and duel-cores; they can pair with other hardware such as motherboards for improved performance, and most importantly to the value conscious, they are affordable.

That’s great, but you’re not an average user and you want a processor that can handle the hardcore gaming you plan to do. Then, we have to go with the Intel processor. You will generate less heat which means your computer won’t hover off of its base trying to cool itself. It will consume less electricity, which also factors into cooling. The higher-end Intel processors are faster than the AMD equivalents, but you will pay more. There are high end AMD processors, as well. But, they will cost more than Intel and offer nearly the same.
In plain, non tech speak, you have your answer. If you are a normal person that doesn’t plan on playing any graphics intensive games or plan on running any fancy design programs than the basic AMD processors are for you. If you plan on hardcore gaming or you design for a living and need a processor that can handle your workhorse programs, Intel is the more expensive but better option for you.

Keep in mind these simple rules when making your purchase. As you move up in price, Intel will generally outperform AMD processors for less money. As you move down in price, AMD will generally perform the same tasks as Intel for less money.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Prolong the Life of Your Computer

We have Dr.’s reminding us always that “prevention is the best medicine”.  The same is for our computers.  If we want to get a long life out of our computers, we need to prevent. There are three basic things Computer Fix SLC recommends you do to maintain your computer keeping it in its best condition:  First, we want to keep our software updated.  Second, keep our computer clean. Third, back up your data. These three things will prolong the life of our computer.

Keeping software updated is an important part of keeping our computer healthy.  It is no longer an optional part of computer ownership, it is mandatory.  There all kinds of elements out there that can harm our computers.  Junk mail, hardware incompatibilities, software conflicts, worms and of course we’ve all heard about computer viruses. Updating our computer with the latest patches, fixes, and device drivers can help these immunize our computer and keep these annoyances at bay.  Updates are freely available on the internet for just about every antivirus program, email client, operating system, and piece of hardware you could possibly own. 

Keeping our computers clean.  We all know that things run a little better when they are clean.  When removing the lint from our dryer, it runs more efficiently.  When we take care of our cars, changing the oil etc., it runs better.  And water runs easier when our plumbing is clean.  Our computers are not any different.  Keeping our files and folders tidy in our virtual worlds and clearing the dust and grime that builds up inside and outside our computers, all play a part in keeping it running smooth all the time.

Lastly, Backing up our data on our computers is the most important thing a computer owner can do.  Consistently and reliably backing up the data stored on the hard drive will really helps our computers.  Hardware used to be the most valuable part of a computer but those bits and bytes are now the real investment.  Most people spend a lot of money on software, digital music, videos, and countless hours authorizing documents and organizing digital files.  If we don’t regularly backup this information, a serious computer problem could leave us with nothing but a huge feeling of regret. 

We want to get the most out of our computers and all we invest in it.  Yes, “prevention is the best medicine”.  It will be well worth it if we pay a little more attention to our computers.  Keeping the software updated, keeping it clean, and backing up data are three things we need to be doing to prolong our lives of our computers.  Let us know if Computer Fix SLC can help you in maintaining your computer.