Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Slow Computer

Slow Computer

When you first got your computer, it was probably really fast, especially if it’s equipped with the latest processors, RAM, and ample hard drive space. But over time even a high-end computer can start to run slowly, which is frustrating when you need to get things done. Fortunately, when your computer does break down, you can bring it to ComputerFix where we can help fix your slow computer and get you back to creating documents, surfing the internet, and being productive on your machine.

In cases where the PC might not require computer repair just yet, there are some steps you can take on your own to speed it up. Here are a few of the most common issues, and ways to resolve them without bringing it to Computerfix yet.

Start Simple

If you are using your machine to surf the internet, you should have some antivirus, antispyware, and antimalware software protection on it. These programs help protect you from some of the most dangerous viruses, spyware, and malware that can end up on your machine, but they do no filter out everything. As a result, problematic software or programs can sometimes sneak through the firewall and end up on your computer. Before you do any other computer repair, do a quick scan with your antivirus to identify, quarantine, and fix any issues identified.

No Cookies

We’re not talking about the cookies you eat, we’re talking about the little files on your computer that are stored as temporary internet files and help track your movements all over the web (think of cookie crumbs to help mark your path around the internet). They can be useful for helping with things like remembering passwords or usernames, but they can also be detrimental because they can clog up your machine and cause difficulty in accessing other files.

Avoid Excess Temporary Files

Under your Tools, you can change the settings that determine how many temporary internet files are stored on your machine at once. Usually the default on a PC is set very high (500 MB, 1 GB, or more), but you can reduce it down as low a 250 MB to help remove these unnecessary files more quickly. You can also set your PC to just eliminate all temporary internet files every time you close out of a website.

Clean Up Your Startup

When you add new software, it often includes a default setting that launches the program at startup. With programs that you rarely use, adjusting the settings so they the program doesn’t automatically open on startup can significantly speed up the machine. You might also consider deleting some of the folders from your desktop, since they all have to start and then refresh constantly.

Update Regularly

Finally, you want to stay on top of all the latest developments in the software that you have, which can include bug fixes, extra security, and more. You can set your computer to automatically check for updates, and be sure to install them when you discover they are out there, or you can try to remember to check your software often so you get proper updates in a timely manner.

After you try these simple fixes, if you still have a slow machine, bring it to Computerfix. We can help fix your slow computer and get it running like new again without the cost of buying a totally new machine.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Cyber Security Tips

Cyber Security Tips
Electronics are a ubiquitous part of our lives these days, and we use them on a regular basis—for most people, getting online is as much a daily habit as eating a meal or brushing your teeth. Unfortunately with all the time we spend online, we open ourselves up to potential risks from cyber security threats, such as identity theft and credit card fraud. From staying in touch with friends, colleagues and loved ones to paying bills, researching topics, and shopping, without proper computer security, information about your life is constantly exposed to criminals who would use it to commit crimes.

The Threats

Many people ask, “What are the most common threats, and how do I protect my computer and my data?” There are a wide variety of threats out there, but some of the most common ones you see include:

·         Malware, spyware, and bots

·         Spam

·         Hacked accounts, and “phishing”

·         Unsecured wireless data transmission

These threats can range from virtually harmless—for example, a hacker might just be messing around and accidentally stumble on your information—to life altering. In cases where the cyber criminal is looking for data to steal, the potential that s/he could use your identity to open new credit accounts, steal financial data, create false identification, and even commit crimes using your name is high. If these things happen, catching the criminal and rebuilding your credit and your life can take months, and even years. 

Tools for Protection

While the threat is very real and very serious, there are many ways that you can stay secure online. The key to avoid becoming a victim is to have adequate computer security and to stay alert while you are surfing the internet.

One of the first things you should do before going online is make sure you have up-to-date antivirus, antimalware, and antispyware programs installed on your machine. Spyware, malware, and “bots” are designed to record information about the websites you are visiting, and potentially even keystrokes that could record sensitive information such as passwords. Regularly update this software to stay on top of patches for new viruses. If you need recommendations on the best antivirus software, talk to ComputerFix in Salt Lake City.

Whenever you create an online account, be sure to use passwords that are strong and difficult to crack. It’s best if you can use a seemingly random string of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Try to avoid using common passwords that are easy to guess, such as birthdates, children’s or pet’s names, etc. Also, before you enter any personal information on a website, check to make sure the URL begins with “https” (instead of just “http”). The “s” is for “secure”.

Set a filter on your email to protect you from getting an endless string of spam messages—the electronic version of junk mail. Sometimes these messages can contain links or attachments that will install harmful software, spyware, or other programs. In addition, be careful of “phishing” emails that request sensitive personal information, such as a username or password, and may look like they come from a legitimate source, such as your bank. Never click a link or download an attachment from these messages. If you think it could be a legitimate message, call the company directly to provide the information, or open a new browser window and type in their website address instead of using the email link.

Finally, if you are surfing the web on a wireless network, make sure it is secured with a password. Leaving a network open can invite cyber criminals to hack into the wireless signal and see information that is transferred over the network.

For more tips on computer security online, and an answer to the question “how do I protect my computer?” talk to the experts at ComputerFix in Salt Lake City.



Thursday, June 13, 2013

Simple Solutions to Common Computer Problems

Simple Solutions to Common Computer Problems

When your computer isn’t working, it can cause all kinds of headaches, whether you use it for day-to-day activities, work, or just for gaming and entertainment. The good news is that there are several smaller computer problems that can be quickly and easily fixed with some do-it-yourself computer repairs that even a computer novice can handle. Here are a few of the most common things you might see, and instructions to get you through the repairs.

1: You turn it on, but nothing happens

Many computer repair experts, like those at Computer Fix Salt Lake City, will tell you that the first thing you should always check is to make sure the computer is plugged in and getting power. If you’ve checked the cords and still nothing is happening, you may want to check to find out whether your power supply is working properly. You may need to purchase a new one if your current one is gone, and if you’ve never replaced a power supply before, take it to the experts.

2: It’s very slow to start up

When you first get your computer, it only has a few factory-installed programs. Over time, you probably added more programs, and often they have a default to open at startup, which hogs all the computer’s memory as it’s starting up. In cases where you don’t use the programs very often, you can disable this automatic startup feature on individual programs and your computer will open much more quickly. If you’re not sure which ones you should and should not disable, talk to the experts at Computer Fix Salt Lake City for some guidance.

3: The screen looks distorted

Most screens today are viewed at a resolution of 1024x768 or the increasingly popular 1366x768. If you have it configured to different settings, it may be distorting the view of all your desktop items. If they look stretched, some are not visible on the screen, or you just don’t like the view, you can change it. Alternately, if the more traditional resolutions are too small for you, making adjustments can help you see the icons better. Simply go to the Properties window, find the screen resolution settings, and view all the options available. You can also preview each to make sure you like it.

4: You’re seeing the “blue screen of death”

When the computer crashes, it displays a blue screen and an error message, which often means computer problems. Fortunately the fix can be fairly simply, especially if you can figure out what you were doing immediately before it crashed. For example, if you were in the middle of installing a new program, it could be a problem with the new software. If you haven’t run a virus check in a while, it could be triggered by malware or spyware, and running the virus removal software to fix these issues will clear up the problem. When this problem persists, though, it’s best to get it in for more advanced computer repairs. 

Your computer is likely a very important part of your life, which means that dealing with small annoyances like these issues can get in the way of your productivity and your fun. If you have tried to do some basic troubleshooting and you’re still not getting the machine to work for you, bring it to Computer Fix Salt Lake City today.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Computer Problems?

The most common computer problems are often the ones that will be the most annoying, but fortunately since they are fairly common, you can often do a little computer repair on your own, or take it into a place like Computer Fix SLC and get the machine back up and running quickly and easily. Here are some of the things you’re most likely to see on your PC.

Malware and Spyware

Whether you have a virus, Trojan horse, worm, adware, or spyware, it can all harm the computer and do significant damage. The type of malware you have will determine what steps you should take to fix it. For run-of-the-mill malware, you may be able to fix it with a simple antivirus program that you can install and run on your machine. For more complex issues, it may require the computer repair expertise of someone like Computer Fix SLC.

Encumbered Machine

When your machine starts to get cluttered with files, folders, software, and other applications, it will run more slowly. Just like your home or your office, you have to ensure that you are storing things efficiently and not keeping too much clutter around that can make it difficult to navigate your system.

Power Failure

The last time you tried to turn on the computer and got nothing—no signs of life, no lights, and no sounds inside, most likely the problem was with your power supply. You could try to get a new power supply, but you may also want to take it to Computer Fix SLC to have them run tests and diagnose the problem before spending a lot of time and effort fixing something that is not broken. You can also try other devices in the same plug to find out if it’s an issue with your home’s electricity.

Blank Screens

A blank (black) screen is different from the “blue screen of death”, and in most cases it’s not because of a major system failure, it’s just a problem with the connection between the computer and the monitor. Check all the cables for connectivity, and test them on other devices to ensure they work properly.

Frozen Device

There are few things more frustrating than a freezing computer, and the problem could range from insufficient RAM, registry conflicts, missing/corrupt files, or spyware, to more. Rather than trying to fix all these computer problems, take it to Computer Fix SLC so they can test and diagnose.