COMPUTER REPAIR AND TIPS BLOG

  • Nerd Chick Adventures: Bogus Tech Support Companies Targeted by FTC
    Nerd Chick Adventures: Bogus Tech Support Companies Targeted by FTC
    On November 12, 2014, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida signed temporary restraining orders filed by the Federal Trade Commission and the State of Florida to temporarily shut down two “massive telemarketing operations” that allegedly “conned tens of thousands of consumers out of more than $120 million by deceptively marketing computer software and tech support services.” These cases mark the third such action that the FTC has taken in recent years to crack down on computer repair scams. Unfortunately, even as some of the companies are shut down, many others are popping up to take advantage of consumers. Here’s how to spot some common tech support scams. The companies named in the cases filed in Florida operate under many names. They most commonly operated as OMG Tech Help (as well as OMG Total Protection, OMG Back Up, downloadsoftware.com and softwaresupport.com), selling “Boost Software” and Netcom3, selling “PC Cleaner Inc.” The FTC’s press release can be read here: www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2014/11/ftc-obtains-court-orders-temporarily-shutting-down-massive-tech. Typically, victims of the scam downloaded free software that claimed to enhance the security or performance of their PC. That software would run a scan that would always result in errors and alerts, regardless of ... Read More
  • Nerd Chick Adventures: Decoding Router Specifications
    Nerd Chick Adventures: Decoding Router Specifications

    If you’re in the market for a new router, you probably already realize it’s one of the most important hardware components of your wireless connection to the Internet. Love streaming Netflix to your Roku, or playing online video games? You need to find a device that is robust enough to handle all your needs. With so many products out there to choose from, I’ll break down what to look for and what you can ignore when making your decision. First, the goods: Wi-Fi Protcol. This is represented by a number – 802.11 – followed by a letter(s): b/g/n/ac. If you’ve […]

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  • Nerd Chick Adventures: Best Apps For Parents
    Nerd Chick Adventures: Best Apps For Parents

    We all remember the days-long-past when calling home to Mom or Dad meant you had to find the nearest payphone, and hope that you had a quarter available. Cell phones do offer convenience for parents and kids alike to more easily stay in contact. But your child having a cell phone with them at all times can have its drawbacks, particularly when parents feel that their kids’ use of said phone is out of their control. There are ways to turn your child’s phone back to your advantage. Here are some applications that can help. Qustodio (http://qustodio.com/, Android and iOS) […]

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  • Nerd Chick Adventures: Can Online Reviews be Trusted?
    Nerd Chick Adventures: Can Online Reviews be Trusted?

    Online reviews can be a lifesaver. When I recently needed to get my car fixed while out of town, I didn’t need to stop strangers on the street to ask them for a personal referral. I just pulled out my smartphone and Yelp.com (an online database of restaurants, service providers and attractions where users rate and review their experiences) told me which of the mechanics within a 10 mile radius had the most happy customers, and I could read detailed reviews to determine which was likely to be best qualified to resolve my specific issue. As more and more consumers […]

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  • Nerd Chick Adventures: IRS “Dirty Dozen” Tax Scams for 2015
    Nerd Chick Adventures: IRS “Dirty Dozen” Tax Scams for 2015

    Every year the IRS releases its “Dirty Dozen” list of the most prevalent tax scams, many of which use technology to take advantage of victims. While tax scams happen year round, the IRS warns taxpayers to be particularly cautious during tax season when incident rates increase dramatically. Identity theft, pervasive telephone scams, and phishing top this year’s list. According to the IRS report issued on January 27, 2015 (www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/Identity-Theft-a-Major-Concern-on-the-IRS-Annual-Dirty-Dozen-List-of-Tax-Scams-to-Avoid), “tax-related identity theft occurs when someone uses your stolen Social Security number to file a tax return claiming a fraudulent refund.” The problem has become so prevalent that the IRS has […]

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  • Nerd Chick Adventures: Why In-App Purchases will Bankrupt You
    Nerd Chick Adventures: Why In-App Purchases will Bankrupt You

    Would it surprise you to learn that the top-grossing mobile apps are “free” games? While games like Clash of Clans, Candy Crush and Kim Kardashian: Hollywood are free to download, the in-app purchases that users are prompted to make throughout game play have made “freemium” games the kingpins of mobile device entertainment apps. Before you click to purchase another life, put down the phone. Here’s why in-app purchases could bankrupt you. Americans are spending more time interacting with apps than ever before. Nielsen data released in July, 2014 shows that “U.S. Android and iPhone users age 18 and over spend […]

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  • Celebrate “Cyber Security Month” with a New Password!
    Celebrate “Cyber Security Month” with a New Password!

    One of my credit cards sends me an “Oops, looks like your account was compromised” letter and a new card about every six to eight weeks. I know that I’m not alone. From Target and Home Depot, to Apple’s iCloud, Google and DropBox, it seems there’s a new security breach announced every month. Just in time, October is “Cyber Security Month.” Celebrate by taking a few precautions to protect yourself from cybercrime. Cyber security is a growing concern. The number of security breaches that take place every year is staggering: 90 have been reported so far this year alone, and […]

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  • Will Windows 10 Rectify the Ailments of Windows 8?
    Will Windows 10 Rectify the Ailments of Windows 8?

      I recently bought a laptop with Windows 8 pre-installed and I cried a little. I loved Windows 7, and suddenly I was stuck with an interface that was completely different from what I was used to. It was obvious to me, and everyone else who was frustrated with the OS, that Microsoft had attempted to smush a touch screen interface into a non-touch screen environment, and had failed miserably. Critics observed that they should’ve just split the worlds so there was one interface for a tablet and one interface for a PC. Well, as most of us who have […]

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  • What Your Gadgets Know About You
    What Your Gadgets Know About You

    If you’re like most Smartphone owners, you’ve probably grown to depend on your phone’s GPS to get you where you need to go, find you restaurants and movies in your area, even tell you when your loved ones are nearby. But how much of that information is being stored or shared with your cell phone manufacturer, service provider or the makers of all those apps? Here are some of the surprising things that our gadgets know about us. I know what you’re probably thinking: “What’s the harm in having my phone or service provider track my whereabouts? I’m not doing […]

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  • Understanding SnapChat
    Understanding SnapChat

      You may have never heard of SnapChat, but if you have teenagers in your household, then you can bet they have.You may have already spotted the app on their phone.Why is it appealing?It allows you to send photos and videos with an “expiration date.”The content doesn’t linger on your phone or your recipient’s phone indefinitely as with most social media, and it’s a fun way to share what’s going on in your life at this exact moment.Yet the nature of the application can create a false sense of security, and users need to be aware that there are ways […]

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