Tag: Antivirus

Software
What does it mean when Microsoft discontinues a product?

As an I.T. administrator any time a product is announced to be discontinued a slew of emails come in asking me “what do we do!?” It may seem like you’re being bullied into upgrading but that’s not at all the case. Any company has to cycle out old products to focus on new products. That’s all they’re doing. They support products as long as possible but there comes a time when they must refocus their efforts on bigger and better things. On the other hand when they start popping up notices every time you turn on your computer, that’s a bit more invasive.

It was sad to see the once great Windows XP operating system lose support back on April 8th, 2014, but even 3 years later I still see it frequently in use. Is that a concern? Well, yes and no. It really depends on how it’s used. I wouldn’t suggest using your Windows XP system to surf the web any longer. Fewer browsers are supporting updates, anti-virus solutions are slowly moving away from supporting XP and as a result it’s slowly becoming obsolete and more of a security risk in business environments. However, some smaller companies that depend on software that’s tried and true on their XP systems sometimes experience large costs associated with being forced to upgrade. With proper precautions these systems can still be safely utilized. For starters up to date anti-virus is a must. Content filtering is also a good idea just to prevent idle hands from visiting dangerous places on the internet. Whether it’s an operating system or software, just because it’s being discontinued doesn’t mean you have to upgrade immediately. They’re not going to automatically uninstall it from your system, they’re just not going to offer any further updates nor offer answers to any questions you may have about that particular software. Take the upcoming End of Life for Microsoft Office 2007 on October 10th, 2017 for example, the last major update was back on October 25th, 2011. Likely every possible question you could have about Office 2007 is already answered somewhere online. So, although Microsoft is saying they’re discontinuing the product in a few months, it has not needed much support for several years now.

Once discontinued a product will eventually become obsolete. That’s the point at which upgrading does make sense. As I said earlier, XP’s browser options are diminishing which makes surfing the internet difficult. Forget about Internet Explorer 8, you’d have to use FireFox to view most websites these days on a Windows XP system. But, eventually no browsers will offer a good web experience on XP, making upgrading to a newer OS a necessary decision. To sum it all up, don’t concern yourself too much about End of Life notices. Don’t brush them off completely, but you have plenty of time to figure out an upgrade plan.

Uncategorized
Apple and Infections

 
If you own a Mac security should still be a concern for you. The amount of infections for Apple products have increased recently and it is very easy to keep yourself safe.

Larger Target

There is a common misconception that Apple products can’t get infections. The reality is that the people who design viruses and malware design it for Windows because it is the most common operating system. They can spread their program to more people if they use the operating system most people are using.

But Apple users are at almost 100 million users and growing. The creators of these infections are now finding worth in designing programs for Apple systems.

Lack of Protection

What makes Apple users so appealing is that most people do not protect themselves. They are easier to infect nowadays than Windows. It is very simple to protect yourself with programs like AVG and Malwarebytes that offer Mac versions.

 
If you want more information on how to keep yourself safe read our post on How To Avoid Infections.

Uncategorized
Cleaning Your Computer: Inside and Out

 
Ready for some spring cleaning? Cleaning your computer is a good way of making sure everything runs smoothly. You want to make sure you don’t damage your computer when you do this. Here are some tips to help you tidy up your system.

Outside

Canned Air

Dust, dirt, and crumbs are inevitable. All you need is a can of air (You can find this at your local office store).

You’ll want to spray the air on all fans and vents on your laptop or desktop to get rid of any dust that could be blocking the airways that are essential for cooling your system.

Your keyboard can also get crumbs and dirt stuck under the keys. Using canned air helps keep your keys safe from breaking.

Alcohol

Germs spread all over your computer. Using a little bit of rubbing alcohol on a cotton swab can help sanitize your system. Make sure the swab is not dripping wet and that you do not use it on any internal components because it can cause damage to your computer.

Use your damp cotton swab on your mouse, keyboard, and any other plastic part of your system to help keep it clean.

Screen Cleaner

Your screen or monitor may have some random spots on it. Screens can be very delicate and require certain solutions for cleaning them. If you use something else to clean it, you could get a streaky finish or worse permanently damage your screen.

LCD screen cleaners can be found at your local office store as well, and they usually come with a cloth that is safe for your screen and won’t scratch it.

Inside

Uninstall Programs

After a while programs that you don’t need or use anymore pile up. You may also have programs that you don’t remember installing. This can seriously slow down your system. Going to your list of programs and uninstalling the programs you don’t use anymore can really improve your system’s performance.

Run Scans

Scans get rid of all of the junk that keeps your computer slow. Doing regular scans can help keep your system fast AND safe.

We recommend using:

AVG Anti-Virus
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware
AdwCleaner Anti-Adware

Organize Files

You may feel overwhelmed by this step, but creating folders and organizing where your files should go can help you stay productive. Deleting files that you don’t need anymore can help your system run smoother. Make sure to only be moving, editing, and deleting files like documents, pictures, and music.

NEVER OPEN UP YOUR SYSTEM, OR CHANGE ANYTHING YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND!

Uncategorized
How to Avoid Infections

 
Do you keep getting infections on your computer and you are unsure why? Sticking to sites and emails that you trust is the best way to stay safe. It is best to go with your gut when coming across something you are unsure of.

Emails

If you receive an email from someone you don’t recognize, it is best to just delete it. If you are unsure, there is no harm in opening it to check. The main thing is to avoid following links and downloading attachments. Make sure you totally trust an email before clicking on anything. If you decide to download an attachment you can right click the file and have your antivirus scan it to double check.

URL’s and Links

When you type a URL into your browser or when you follow a link make sure it is spelled correctly. Viruses are often placed on these misspelled sites to spread them as fast as possible. Just make sure you double check spelling and that it is a website you know and trust.

Installs

Installing programs make it so viruses can quickly take over your system. You allowed it to be installed and gave it the rights necessary to infect whatever it can. Avoid programs from untrusted sites, also avoid free programs that seem too good to be true. The worst offenders are actually programs stating that they are an antivirus or clean up program.

Programs to Keep You Safe

We recommend using:

AVG Anti-Virus
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware
AdwCleaner Anti-Adware
 

Need Support?

This support system is available for our clients. Simply enter your company email address and issue, and we'll assist you as soon as possible.