Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Essentials of Computer Security

We rely on our computers for just about everything these days, from paying bills to staying in communication with our friends and loved ones. But the worldwide web can be a dangerous place, filled with people who would like to hack your machine and gain access to your information, such as passwords, accounts, and security. The key to avoiding these online crimes is to know the essentials of computer security. If anything ever does happen, get it to your computer repair shop right away for help fixing it. Here are four computer essentials for everyone to stay safe online.


Firewalls are a small piece of hardware or software that blocks certain types of information from entering your system. The term “firewall” comes from the auto industry, where it is a literal term as a wall between the engine and the passengers to protect people in the event the engine catches fire. In the computer world, while it will likely not do much if your computer is on fire, it is a wall between you and the security threats. You can set it to protect against specific threats or file types, especially those you know that will be dangerous.

Virus Scanning Software

The next step is to have an up-to-date virus scanning software installed on your computer. There are several to choose from these days, but most have the same basic features: protection from spyware, malware, adware, and viruses that could harm your machine, or worse. Even with a firewall, some computer viruses will manage to get in, so an updated virus scanning software is essential to catching them early before they can do damage. If something does happen, take it in to Computerfix Salt Lake City for a thorough review.

Updated Security Software

Yes, software companies are always coming up with new, updated versions of their operating systems and software that require you to update those programs on your computer, which can be hard, but it’s critical that you do. Within every system there are “holes” that computer hackers can find and exploit to take advantage of the machine. Computer companies have teams working nonstop to identify these holes and fix them before a hacker finds them; however, sometimes it cannot be avoided and you will have to use your security software to scan and eliminate the threat.

Spyware and Malware Scanners

Your computer is a treasure trove of information for advertisers and companies alike. However most people believe that what they do on their computer, including online, should remain private. When spyware or malware is installed on your machine inadvertently, it silently collects data about what you do, your shopping habits, your internet browsing, and more. Often this information is sold in transactions to a third party, intended for nefarious uses. The most common way your system will become infected with adware, spyware, or malware is through “free” software downloads, which are often the packages for installing spyware on your computer. If you can avoid it, try not to download any free software to your computer, or if you must, be sure to run your virus scanner afterward to avoid any major spyware or malware problems. These programs can also cause you computer to slow down and run poorly, which can be an early sign of the problem.

In addition to all these important computer security essentials, it’s important to back up your machine at least once a month (so you don’t lose important files in the event something does go wrong), and set strong passwords for all your online and offline accounts so they are hard to hack.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Hack Proof Your PC

Most people live on their computers these days, storing tons of personal information and data that could be used to steal your identity, your credit cards, your bank information, or even just wreak havoc on your machine from a hacker somewhere who is just plain bored. When that happens, the short-term and long-term consequences can be devastating, mentally, and sometimes financially. Instead of waiting until the computer is hacked and you need computer repair, consider these steps to hack proof your PC.
Start With the Basics
Most people don’t really understand what’s happening inside a computer when you fire it up and go out to surf the internet, but hackers do. They know that the easiest way to compromise your PC is through vulnerabilities in your operating system (for example, Windows 8). Hackers spend a lot of time seeking out and learning how to exploit these weaknesses, then use programs, viruses, spyware, and other malicious programs to destroy your computer from within.
While hackers are working on finding the weaknesses, computer engineers from the operating system company (for example, Microsoft) are also diligently working to find the same weaknesses and create “fixes”, “patches”, or “updates” to the system. To ensure that you always have the latest fixes and patches, be sure to download regular security updates. You can even set the machine to automatically check for updates and install them automatically, so you won’t forget and miss something important.
Get an Antivirus Program
There are a variety of antivirus programs out there to choose from, and most will do an adequate job. If you can’t decide and want some help figuring out which are the best, talk to the experts at Computerfix in Salt Lake City and let them help you choose one that is affordable and will provide the right protection for your machine. Even a basic antivirus is better than none, so at least get something.
Use the Firewall
Windows has a built-in firewall in all its PCs, but you want to make sure it’s not disabled. You can check the firewall settings in the Control Panel, and turn them on to their highest blocking settings. If you don’t think that is enough you can supplement the Windows firewall with a personal firewall that will effectively block traffic through open ports and alert you in cases where something does manage to get by.
Make Your Passwords Hard to Guess
With all the different things you have a password for these days—email, bank accounts, credit cards, loan accounts, computers, phones, and more—it can be tempting to just find an easy password and use it for everything. The problem is that if a hacker does manage to crack your password, they will have free reign throughout your system. Instead, make your password difficult to guess, and vary it a little with every different account. Using symbols in place of certain letters, mixing numbers in, and changing the order of the words or letters can be effective for protecting your accounts.
Be Cautious on Clicking on Email Links
Email is one of the easiest ways for a hacker to enter your system, and often you are the one who lets them in. Hackers are good at disguising emails to look like legitimate messages from friends, family, and trusted institutions like your bank. These messages often include a link or attachment designed to install malicious viruses, spyware, malware, or other programs on your machine. To protect your machine, don’t automatically display images or download attachments, and be sure you never click on a link within an email message unless you are sure it’s from a trusted source. If you do get a legitimate message from someone or a company, and need to go to a website, open a browser window and type in the website address yourself.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

5 Most Common Computer Problems

The Top 5 Most Common Computer Problems

Is your computer having problems? There are several basic problems that all computers suffer from. Here are the top five problems that you should be aware of when it comes to your computer.

Memory Issues

One of the major problems that a computer can have is a lack of memory. If your computer is slowing down it just might be because it doesn`t have enough memory to operate with newer software. Sometimes a memory stick can just die and this will reduce the processing capacity of your computer. A company such as Computerfix SLC can help diagnose these memory problems and help get your computer operating smoothly again.

Hard Drive Problems

Other compute problems occur because you might have problems with your computer disk. This can be because your disk is too full or because there`s an error or other issue with your disk. The hard disk is also a part that will just fail after a certain period of time and will need to be replaced. You should have an external backup to ensure that your data is always secure because a disk can die without warning.

Virus Infection

Another major cause of computer problems are viruses, malware, and spyware that get into the computer form programs, the Internet or through downloads. A virus can be annoying or it can damage your system severely. Computerfix Salt Lake City is a company that can help to remove these viruses and restore damaged files for you. Always use up to date anti-virus software to minimize the impacts from viruses. Always scan new programs before you install them on your computer to check for viruses and be careful of download sites which can have virus problems.


Computer problems can be caused by dust that gets into the computer system. Dust can cause sensitive components to overheat or the dust can damage the parts and they will need to be replaced. Too much dust can slow the entire computer down and it needs to be removed on a periodic basis. You can do this at home or take your machine to a qualified computer repair technician such as Computerfix SLC.

Problem Software or Drivers

Problems with your computer can creep up if you have conflicts with drivers and software. Sometimes older software won’t work well with newer programs and this can cause errors on your computer or even cause it to crash and becоme unresponsive.   This can be avoided by always using up-to-date software programs and installing new drivers form computer peripherals such as printers or for your video card. Often major problems are due to one of these conflicts caused by software that’s not compatible with each other.

If You Need Computer Repair

If you need computer repair a company like Computerfix Salt Lake City can help solve your computer problems. While you can solve many problems yourself don`t attempt this if you don`t know what you`re doing. Leave it to the experts to get your computer operating smoothly again.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Speed up Your Computer

How to Speed up Your Computer

There are few things in life more frustrating than trying to work with a slow computer. Your PC can make your life easier in many ways, but when it starts running slow you may feel like you want to get rid of it entirely. It’s inevitable that your computer will eventually slow down, but instead of shelling out hundreds, or even thousands of dollars for a new computer, consider these tips to make your computer faster.

If you decide to take steps to fix your computer on your own, keep in mind that there is a risk you could do something that permanently damages or deletes folders and files on your computer. If you’re not comfortable doing it yourself, you can always take your computer to a place like Computerfix Salt Lake City, where experts can speed up your computer without harming the files and content you have on it.

Check Your Hardware

Your slow computer may be a matter of outdated hardware, including the process or,memory, and hard drive. You need to have enough memory and hard drive capacity to support all the programs and files that you keep on the machine, but older machines tend to have smaller hard drives, smaller memory capacities, and slower processors. You can upgrade these components on your own if you feel comfortable doing it, or bring it to a place like Computerfix Salt Lake City where they can upgrade it for you.

Keep Only Shortcuts on the Desktop

If you have several files on your desktop, they are utilizing a significant amount of operating memory every time you turn on your computer. If you like to have instant access to files from the desktop, consider creating shortcuts to the folders so they can be stored in the My Documents folder, instead of keeping the entire folder on the desktop.

Find and Remove Viruses, Malware, Spyware, and Adware

Every time you use your computer on the internet, it is at risk of picking up a virus, spyware, malware, or adware. Viruses and malware are programs designed to harm your computer, while adware and spyware are generally intended to gather information about you as a consumer, not as malicious downloads. In any case, the viruses and spyware that you get on your computer can interfere with how your PC operates, slowing it down and damaging files and programs on your machine. The best way to deal with these things is to get an antivirus program that includes spyware, adware, and malware removal tools.

Remove Unused Programs

If there are programs and software installed on your computer that you never use, they may be slowing down your computer, taking up space on the hard drive, and interfering with other programs. Since you’re not using the programs, the best thing to do is remove them from the system entirely by uninstalling them. If you plan to do this, be cautious that you do not remove programs that you think are not being used, but are actually an important part of the operating system—deleting those programs could be detrimental to the machine.

Before you do anything to try and make your computer faster, it’s best to backup your data and files in case anything happens to your PC. Or to save yourself the trouble of losing everything or damaging your computer, you could always bring it to the experts at Computerfix.