Category Archives: Tips

Maximize Your Security When Gaming Online

Online games aren’t what they used to be. These days, you can not only play your favorite games online, but you can voice and video chat with other players, which can greatly enhance your gaming experience. But there is a caveat to having all that ability to interact, and that is that it opens your computer up to being compromised.

But you can stay safer when you play online games when you follow a few simple tips. Keeping your antivirus software current is always a good idea so that your computer can be monitored for the latest threats. If you’re not playing an authorized version of your game, then you may be subjecting yourself to security vulnerabilities, as well as fines if you are found out. Arguments with other players can lead to attacks on your computer. But notifying moderators can help you avoid a personal attack. Also, getting to know the blocking features of your game can come in handy. And keeping as much personal information as possible out of any conversation, video or otherwise will ensure that you can game online safely.

Using Social Media To Help Your Local Economy

Most of us have heard of the flash mob, where a group of people meet in a pre-determined location and then put on a surprise show for the public. But have you ever heard of a cash mob? This involves the same kind of organization, but with a different purpose: to help a local business owner generate cash.

This simple event only requires that an organized group of people meet online with internet service providers Chicago and make plans to shop at a particular store on a certain day. But although the premise is simple, the impacts of such an event can be long-lasting, as the business owner gets a quick injection of cash, while the shoppers get to take advantage of some retail therapy.

Should You Cancel Your Landline?

That’s just what many people are doing since the advent of the smart phone. After all, what good is a landline when you can use your mobile phone with Internet Service Providers St. Louis both at home and on the go? But, as cut and dried a decision as cutting your landline loose may be, there are still things to consider.

One consideration is your service. Your mobile phone may work very well for the few calls you may make in a day, but what’s the reception like the rest of the time? If you find that you suffer through multiple dropped calls, then keeping your landline may be the better option.

Most of those still hanging onto their landlines are doing so for accessibility to complete emergency services. What this means is, you may be able to dial 911 with your phone and reach on operator, but they won’t be able to trace your location.

How to Get Rid of Malware

Malware has been infecting computers pretty much ever since the internet became commonplace in the homes of people all over the world. The hackers that care creating these programs are certainly intelligent, to say the least, but fortunately the individuals who design software to protect against such programs are even smarter. This means there are multiple surefire ways to rid your computer of pesky, and possibly harmful, malware that your computer may be infected with.

Before you can remove malware from your computer it is important to know what it is and how to detect it. The truth is, not all malware is harmful, but all malware does have the potential to put your personal information stored on your computer at risk. Malware also has the potential to affect your computer’s performance, which is not something you want to deal with if you use your computer on a regular basis. This is often the first sign that there is something going on, a change in performance, so if you notice this it is important to take the next step to figuring out the problem. Once you are sure there is malware, most likely because you performed a scan on your system, then you can remove the malware. There are a few specific steps you should take to do this.

1st Step

Malware can be removed manually but it is generally advised that the average computer user utilizes a removal program rather than doing it manually. The first step for doing this, after running a scan to make sure you even have malware of course, is to choose a malware removal software program and download from the internet. Be sure that when you do this, though, that you are getting a legitimate malware removal program and not one that will infect you with even more malware.

2nd Step

Next you will want to determine whether you want the free version of a specific software, or whether you wish to use the paid for extended version of the software. Most malware removal software provides both options, and it is important to know that the free software generally will do the trick.

3rd Step

After downloading the malware removal software you will want to rescan your computer so that the specific program can find the malware. This allows the software to queue the malware for removal from your system.

4th Step

Finally, you will want to direct the software to remove the malware from your computer. Be sure when doing this that you pay close attention to any question the system has or to any options that you may have to choose from. This will ensure that the software performs at its best.

Last But Not Least

After removing the malware from your computer it is important that you protect yourself in the future. A simple free virus or spyware protection software program can help you avoid future infections, which means it protects against your personal security as well.

Oliver Taylor is website marketing specialist interested in web and malware

Prolonging Your Laptop’s Battery

We’ve all experienced the situation when we’re saving the last few KB of that all-important file, and the battery on your laptop finally runs out of juice and there’s no mains supply to bail you out. There’s nothing more frustrating, yet there are a few simple things that you can do in order to avoid these sticky situations. Particularly if you’re regularly out of the house and need to use your laptop on the move, the last thing you want to happen is run out of power. Take heed of these few top tips.


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Go green

There are more and more ‘green’ laptops cropping up in the big electrical stores, which use less energy and give you extended battery life. Not only is it great for the environment, it can help you avoid being caught out in those important situations. Green laptops aren’t to everyone’s taste, but they should certainly be considered.

Close down programs in the background

Without even knowing it, you’ll often have several programs running quietly in the background. Although they might not be in use, they are still in operation, adding to your CPU load and adding to the power consumption. Close down any programs that won’t be required and reduce the power consumption. It’s a simple thing to remember, and it can drastically increase your battery life.

Keep the battery clean

This is not such an obvious point, but keeping the connection points on your battery clean will actually make your laptop more efficient, than if the points are dirty. Use a moist cloth with rubbing alcohol to thoroughly clean the points, and the electricity will pass more efficiently, meaning that little power is wasted. This too can help prolong your battery.

Disable the wireless antenna

If you don’t require a wi-fi connection, it is advisable to disconnect your wireless antenna. If it constantly searches for a connection, this will naturally consume more power than if it’s turned off.

Dim the screen

Many laptops now give users the option to control the brightness of the screen. As you can imagine, the brighter the screen, the more power is consumed. If you’re still able to use your laptop with the screen dimmed, you should do this to save on power.

This post was written by Kate Fellows, who loves writing tech reviews and searching for the latest laptop deals online.

Are Refurbished Electronics Worth Buying?

The price tag on electronics may see high in today’s economy, which is why many consumers are turning to refurbished devices to alleviate some of their financial burden. While it may be cheaper to upgrade your technology by purchasing an item that has been previously used, do refurbished electronics really hold up against their in-the-box counterparts?


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Understanding Refurbishment

For many, the decision to buy refurbished electronics is a difficult one to make. First things first, you should know exactly what refurbished means. You have probably scrolled through the website of your wireless provider and seen several refurbished cell phones available to buy. These are generally offered at lower prices and occasionally even free depending on whether you sign a new two year contract.

Essentially, when a smartphone or any other electronics device is deemed as refurbished, it means that it was previously owned and returned to the manufacturer or company selling it, usually due to a defect. The device is then tested at the factory to ensure they are in top condition. The defect found in these items is usually minor, so much so that they are virtually undetectable. At the same time, there may be some sort of flaw found within them, whether it was due to the manufacturer or if it sustained damage when the person received it as a shipment in the mail. If there are any damages found during this testing stage, it will be repaired to the original standard and then repackaged. When they are re-sold, they hit the shelves with a new price tag, one that is much more affordable than when the device was brand new.

One Buyer’s Remorse is Another Buyer’s Bargain

In some instances, an electronics device that is referred to as “refurbished” may not actually be refurbished at all. A portion of items that are sold as such have never even been used or even removed from their original boxes. Sometimes, a consumer will make a purchase and then experience what is known as “buyer’s remorse” and return it. Of course, if you buy a refurbished device, you have no way of knowing its history prior to getting it in your hands.

The Deal

Most refurbished electronics are in as good condition as those that are purchased brand new. The chances that you will not notice any difference from an item that was new when you bought it is quite slim. At the same time, you should always remember that buying refurbished products means you are buy them “as is.”

All in all, it is worth buying refurbished electronics devices because you will save money. The odds that you will notice a manufacturing flaw or other defect are generally slim to none and you will have the satisfaction of enjoying your devices while knowing you got a bargain on them.

Peter Wendt is a writer and researcher working out of the great state of Texas. He has been writing about quality electronics refurbishment for several years.

Essential iPhone Apps for Summer

Summer is almost here! Are you ready? You’ve put away your winter clothes, shopped for a new bathing suit, and opened the pool. As the days get longer and the nights get warmer, you’ll enjoy every minute of it. If you want to truly get the most out of your summer this year, don’t forget to download these essential apps to your iPhone.

Mixologist Drink Recipes; $0.99

During the summer, you’ll have plenty of chances to relax and imbibe. Your friend’s backyard barbecue, lounging by the pool, eating dinner on the deck – all of these occasions and many more are always a lot more fun with a drink in your hand. The Mixologist Drink Recipes app will give you ideas for the most refreshing summer drinks. With almost 8,000 drink recipes, there’s something for everyone. And when you’re on vacation, use the bar and liquor locator to find the nearest hot spots.
Beach Finder; $0.99

Every beach bum knows that no two beaches are the same. Every beach has its own character and local flair, and different activities are common in different places. If you want to go surfing, you won’t go to the same beach as the sunbathers. When you want to find a new beach near you, whether you’re at home or on a vacation to the shore, Beach Finder will let you know the nearest options. You can read beachgoer comments, and more than 5,000 beaches are included in the database.
Coppertone MyUVAlert; Free

When the weather heats up and you’re spending a lot more time in the sun, you know how important it is protect yourself against the sun’s harmful rays. If you want to prevent skin cancer and wrinkles, you have to be smart about applying sunscreen. This app from Coppertone will let you know the weather and UV index for your current location or anywhere you want to know about, such as your vacation destination. You can set sunscreen application reminders so you’ll remember when it’s time to reapply, and you can get personalized sunscreen recommendations based on your skin type.
Grill-It!; $0.99

In the summer, you might attend or host a different barbecue every week. Barbecues are so popular because the food is so good, not to mention it’s a great time to socialize and enjoy the nice weather. For your next barbecue, download the Grill-It! app and you’ll have access to hundreds of really great-tasting recipes. You can access recipes for beef, poultry, vegetables, seafood, burgers and more, and each recipe comes with easy-to-follow instructions, notes, and photographs.
Nike Training Club; Free

If you don’t have your ideal beach body yet, it’s never too late to start. And if you’re already a fitness buff, you know there’s nothing like working out in the nice, warm weather. One awesome fitness app to download is Nike Training Club. You can customize a workout based on your goals and preferences, and there are more than 85 workouts and 130 drills. You can view videos that demonstrate techniques and drills, and keep track of your workout progress.

Vanessa Jones is a cell phone and technology enthusiast.  She is also an avid writer and enjoys giving advice to others on how to get the best technology and gadgets for the best prices.

Photo Credit: reticulating

Ensure The Safety Of Your Tablet With Insurance

It can’t be argued that tablet computers are conveniently sized for on-the-go access to all sorts of media. But losing one can mean the loss of a few hundred dollars. Insuring your tablet can mean that you are compensated for your losses and have some protection.

Gadget Firms

There are companies in existence today which offer dedicated gadget insurance policies. Because they offer policies for high tech devices only, their protection is very specific, covering all of the common threats to a device. There are even companies dedicated to iPad insurance only. Policy packages can start at a very low monthly cost, usually below $10. Protect Your Bubble is one of many sites offering gadget insurance

Getting Insurance From PYB

Once you get to the web site, simply choose your device from the list, and enter in the details such as estimated value and model to get a quote for the monthly cost of insurance. Then, choose the way in which you want to pay, fill in your contact details and you will receive a confirmation email from the web site.

Check For Other Coverage

Often, your mobile carrier will offer some kind of insurance for your smart phone, so checking the details with them can mean you don’t have to get insurance elsewhere. Some banks may also provide insurance benefits for loyal customers.

Cool Tools For Smart Phone Navigation

The GPS holds a place of prominence in many vehicles these days. But more and more, the smart phone is becoming a digital Swiss Army knife, thanks to the many apps that are available. Traveling can be made much easier with smart phone apps that offer the most accurate information, just when you need it.

Hopstop

Available for the iPhone, iPad, Android and Blackberry, Hopstop works best for anyone who opts to use public transportation, bike or walk their way around. This app provides comprehensive information on subway station schedules, taxi usage and points of interest that are near to your location. It also provides city guides, something that is uncommon for an app of this type.

Trapster

If you like to be on the lookout for speed traps, then Trapster may help make your trip more interesting. Available for the iPhone, Android and Blackberry, this app will alert you to upcoming speed traps, red light cameras and even road construction and traffic problems. This crowdsourcing app aggregates the uploaded data from almost fifteen million users and displays it in real time, and you will have to have your own account in order to be able to contribute your own discoveries.

How To Turn Your Smart Phone Into A Scanner

Are smart phones just for talking and texting? Heck, no! These devices can be used from everything from playing music to filming videos, and even to shopping. And if you have an iPhone or Android, there’s another use for your device: scanner. Some neat apps are on the market which allow you to scan anything you like with just your smart phone.

The iPhone Scanner

Turning your iPhone into a scanner involves a quick visit to the App Store, where there are many options. But app ratings matter, and one of the most highly-rated is the Genius Scan app. This particular app allows you to not only scan a document, but convert it into a PDF or JPEG from within the app, making it incredibly useful for digitizing all kinds of documents.

The Android Scanner

For those who want to be able to scan their documents quickly, the CamScanner app could offer a solution. Another highly-rated app, CamScanner is free and available from Google Play. In addition to being able to share and upload what you’ve scanned, CamScanner allows you to upload directly to the cloud. Other features are strikingly similar to the traditional scanner, such as the ability to auto crop what you’ve scanned, set a password, batch scan and merge multiple scans.

Things to Look for in a Mobile Application

The mobile application development market is constantly growing and improving.  With every passing moment, another developer is building a mobile application to be used by millions on the current arsenal of smartphone platforms.  As more companies dip their feet into the water, many are discovering the benefits of today’s computer technologies.  Businesses from all sectors are thus left wondering what the next big technological advancement will bring to the mobile application development industry.

The number of smartphone users is increasing faster than the staggering number of apps that hit the mobile market.  Worldwide, that number is fast approaching one billion.  The average smartphone features 23 applications, with many users adding to that list on a daily basis.  The demand for custom mobile apps is greater than ever before, as is the demand for the mobile application development services that design and develop them.

Successful applications have one particular thing in common – they are unique.  Still, it’s easy to see how despite a massive mobile market that so many mobile apps are able to find and maintain a certain level of uniqueness.  Mostly, this is because the options to choose from in today’s mobile app development industry are just as great.  When it comes to mobile games and programs that use, manipulate, save and send data received by the peripherals built-in to a mobile device, the possibilities are literally endless.

With so much to consider, what should a person look for in a mobile app?

To start, the app should be smooth with an unnoticeable transition from one section to another.  Features are important, but mobile apps should still be as light as possible.  A fine line exists between powerful features and keeping the mobile app light.  A developer’s job is to tread carefully along that line. Bulky apps that boast too many features often take away from the overall user experience.

On the contrary, the mobile app should be straight-forward, easy to use and not cluttered by thousands of useless features or options.  Clutter tends to make mobile applications more difficult to use as many operate on a small touch screen.

Most people would agree that taking a full-blown version of Photoshop on the road through a mobile device would be something worth trying.  The problem with a scenario like this is that most users would not be able to work with such a feature-rich application on a smartphone.  An app that can do basic manipulating and conversions to prepare files for editing on a large computer would be a much better suited app for a device like a smartphone.

Mobile apps today mostly cater to audio, video, imaging, organizational and games.  Most mobile devices have excellent built-in media players that accommodate audio and video files, although simple apps can make these popular features even better.

The most important element to mobile applications is a useful and beneficial design.  We can’t put every single feature into a mobile application that we wish to include.  We can, however, design apps in a manner which allows us to manipulate files and later export them to a proper computer app for the complete job.

Mobile games are different than most other apps as we don’t use them to manipulate files.  Mostly, games serve the purpose of entertainment and wasting time.  For mobile games, a successful app is generally lightweight, addictive and fun but without skimping on graphics.

Akehs Gupta is President of Light Speed Solutions.  Light Speed Solutions is a custom software development company specializing in mobile application development services.

How To Get Rid Of Illogical 404 Errors

If you’ve ever tried to reach a site that you know is working, only to get repeated 404 errors, then you understand how frustrating it can be. If this happens to you a lot, then you may need to flush your computer’s DNS. Doing this will remove the faulty entry from your computer’s cache so that the new and correct one can be used.

Flushing DNS In Windows

After closing all of your web browser windows and other applications on your computer, open the command prompt by going to the Start menu and then choosing “Run”. When the dialog box pops up, type ‘cmd’ (without the apostrophes). Once you are at the command prompt, enter ‘ipconfig /flushdns’ (without the apostrophes), and then hit the enter key. You should receive a message saying that the DNS was flushed successfully.

Flushing DNS in Mac OS X Lion

Exit Mozilla Firefox if it’s open on your computer. After opening the terminal, enter this command: dscacheutil –flushcache Flushing DNS in Mac OS X Tiger Once you’ve exited any instances of Mozilla Firefox, open the terminal and enter the following command: lookupd –flushcache

Preventing Tech Travel Nightmares

When you’re traveling for business and bringing your technology with you, any number of things can happen that can derail your plans to make some progress during your trip. Let’s face it; having a smartphone or tablet is great, but if they aren’t functional due to forgotten chargers or issues with the device, then you will leave yourself high and dry.

Are You Willing To Lose Your Tech?

If you just bought the new iPhone, or are taking your favorite tablet with you, you may wish to think again. Having older tech that you aren’t worried about losing or becoming damaged will hurt a lot less than losing something new. Customs and TSA officials have, and do confiscate personal technology on a random basis if they see something they don’t like. And before you leave for your trip, enlist the help of a cloud storage service so that you can reach all of your important documents in the event your tech is confiscated, lost or stolen.

Are You Willing To Pay Top Dollar For Necessities?

It’s a good thing that stores now exist in airports where you can pick up chargers or other vital cords in case you forget to pack them at home. But shopping for connections at these stores can mean that you pay way too much for them. Take a few minutes before you leave to ensure you have all of the connections and chargers you need, so that you don’t have to waste time looking for a store and then paying a lot of money at the airport.

BrandYourself Offers New Insight On Who’s Googled You

Find out who's Googled youHave you ever wondered who has searched for your name after a job interview or other meeting? BrandYourself may be able to tell you. The new online reputation management company assists people with the control of their names in Google results, and yesterday, they released a new feature of the service. The new feature reveals the workplaces and locations of those who have visited an individual’s BrandYourself profile. Unfortunately, if the visitor doesn’t work for a large company, it’s unlikely you will be able to find out where they work. But knowing who is looking for you can motivate you to keep your profile up to date with the latest good news about you. Although it only launched in March of this year, BrandYourself boasts over twenty thousand users. This may be because its identified a niche between popular sites like LinkedIn and Ziggs, each of whom track users, but don’t offer the same amount of information.

11 Ways Your Smartphone is Going to Replace All Your Stuff

It’s no secret that the modern smartphone is a remarkably versatile device. Prior to their widespread availability, we needed a plethora of gadgets and devices to take care of all our technological needs, such as email, internet access, and so on. The smartphone has changed all this forever, but it doesn’t stop there! Here’s a list of twelve everyday objects that you can now replace with your phone.

1. Remote Controls

As far as we’re concerned, this is one of the coolest reasons to own a smartphone. If you’re willing to get a bit technical and do some setting up, you can rig your phone as a remote control for just about anything. There are apps available that allow your phone to interface with a wide variety of media players on your computer, and you can even set up your phone’s touchscreen to function as a remote touchpad and keyboard for your computer. Plug your laptop into a big screen TV via HDMI then browse effortlessly from the comfort of your sofa!

2. Flashlight

Flashlights are big and bulky, far too much so to carry around with you at all times. However, they’re also incredibly useful. This is where your phone steps in! Since most phones today have a camera with a flash, all you need to do is turn on the light and you’ve got illumination for whatever you need. Trying to find your keys behind the sofa? Can’t see the fuse box to get the lights back on? Your phone to the rescue!

3. Mobile Storage

Most smartphones now come packed with at least 2 gig of memory. Remember when 2 GB of memory was impressive for desktop computers? On top of that, today you can buy replacement SD cards with huge amounts of space for tiny price tags, turning your phone into an indispensable storage device capable of holding music, films, important documents and whatever else you need.

4. Light Switches

Remote control light switches may not be new, but controlling them with your phone is a fairly recent invention. Setting this up will take a bit of time, and you’ll need some equipment to do it, but since you have your phone on you at all times, controlling your lights from anywhere in the house will become simpler than ever. Plus you get to feel like you live in the future!

5. Car Keys

Push to start is a convenient feature of modern cars, but now your phone is capable of displacing your key fob. With the right technology, you can connect your phone to your car’s management system and lock or unlock the doors, turn on the alarm, sound the horn and whatever else you might need. Perfect for those times when you just can’t remember whether or not you rolled up your window!

6. Wi-Fi Router

Want to get online with your laptop in the middle of nowhere? Just pull out your phone, connect an aerial and it’ll use its own 3G connection to project a wireless hotspot for you to use. It might not be the fastest or most reliable, but it’ll get you through some sticky situations when you absolutely need a net connection!

7. Projector

There are a few phones that come with a projector installed and accessories that will accomplish the same. With clear picture up to 55”, that is a pretty impressive mobile display.

8. Face-to-Face Encounters

Though it’s very much in its infancy at the moment, phone based video conferencing is on the rise. With the likes of Skype, Tango, iVisit and others available, you don’t even need to be in the same room as your friends and business associates any more!

9. Television

More and more video content providers are turning up with their own mobile apps. Sky, BBC, and Netflix, amongst others, make content available for streaming straight to your phone. Why bother with a TV any more?

10. Camera

We know this is an obvious one, but it’s true! A few years ago, every phone had a camera, but few were up to much. Today’s cutting edge models come with some impressive camera technology. Unless you’re something of a photography enthusiast who demands the highest possible quality, phone cameras today are capable of taking some pretty great photos.

11. Your Wallet

So many small businesses only accept cash and lose out on valuable business. With the square and PayPal’s phone accessory, you can accept debit cards anywhere you have access to the internet on your smart-phone. On top of that, Google is now pushing its own ‘Google Wallet’ feature, which allows you to pay for goods at participating vendors with just the touch of a button.

If you want to get the most out of your phone, find the best data plan with a comparison from BroadbandChoices.co.uk.

Common Computer Issues, And How To Fix Them

Contrary to what many believe, it isn’t necessary to bring your computer to a technician every time something goes wrong. There are many computer issues that you can troubleshoot and fix at home.

Your Computer Is Slow

If you find that your system has become slower of late, a cleaning of your hard drive may do the trick. Unused files and leftovers from programs long since deleted can cause a lot of unnecessary space to be taken up. You can either download a program that will clean unwanted files for you, or go through and delete them manually. But caution if you’re going it alone is best, as deleting some files may cause some programs to behave erratically or not at all.

Your Computer Is Not Responding When On

If you find your computer isn’t responding to commands sent from your keyboard or software you are using, it may have become ‘frozen’. Try hitting CTRL+ALT+Delete simultaneously. This will bring up the Task Manager, and clicking on the ‘Processes’ tab will show you which programs are currently running on your computer. Try highlighting the ones using the most memory, and then clicking “End Process” at the bottom of the window. If this doesn’t help, hold down your computer’s power button until your computer shuts down, and then start it as usual.

Protect Your Personal Data on Your PC

We are constantly worried about the kind of safety and security of our lives. We change our home alarm systems, install some of the latest motion sensing lights and cameras to prevent unnecessary action, and buy the kind of cars that could withstand a hail of bullets. However, we tend to be a lot more careless when it comes to picking the security features that we want for our computers.

We use our computers for two main reasons – the first is to access the Internet, do our work, play games, watch videos, download movies and so on. The other, is for storing away our personal information safely. It is a natural tendency to believe that because something is not physically outside or kept out in the open, it is safer than something that is. However, with the kind of credit card, social security, passport, bank and personal information that we keep on our computers, we stand to lose quite a bit when it comes to data theft.

Put Things Away

One of the most important ways of keeping your possessions safe is to hide them. In your home, you don’t have money lying around all over the place, and jewelry isn’t just strewn about either. So why would you put your electronic treasures into a disorganized pile and leave it lying around your computer? Despite owning the best security system on the planet, you would still put your valuables inside and that is the same kind of thinking that you need to use on your computer.

Lock up your data with the assumption that anyone, at some point of time, can come in to take a peek into your terminal, steal something that belongs to you and leaves you footing a bill for a little boat that’s taking him out to the beautiful Greek Isles. Financial documents, on Excel sheets, can be saved with a password to protect them, as is the case with Word, PDF files and even PowerPoint presentations. Basically, any kind of software that gives you the ability to encrypt your document, must be put to complete use. Use something like the identity finder to locate any user-specific, or personal, data that you might have on your computer. It will help you track it down and put them under lock and key – the only way to add more security levels on your computer.

Don’t Recycle

If you are looking to delete items from your computer, which basically means that you have no use for them, then why use the recycle bin? Think about it – do you throw cheques, with mistakes, into the trash can like they are? No, you tear them up so that no one can use them. At work, do you dispose official documents off by throwing them into a bin? No, you pass them through a shredder that eats them up. Then why should your computer be any different?

When you delete a file on any operating system, it takes the file to the recycle bin (in Windows) or any other similar software that works as a trash bin. The concept they are using is that when you use the trash bin at your home, you empty it out later. However, we don’t always remember to do that, on the computer, because there are a lot more distractions and unlike physical trash, this kind doesn’t smell. Data that, otherwise, would be thrown away, lingers on in our computers and gives others an opportunity to take it away.

There are many software out there that can do this part for you, shredding away your files safely and not leaving behind any traces for those forensic data-thieves to steal. Some of these software overwrite data before sending it for deletion, and that overwrite-count can go up to 30 even. Once is enough to make them irrecoverable forever!

Encryption

Think of it like a car alarm! If your car has an alarm, then the thief will take longer to break-in than in a car without the alarm. Similarly, a car with an alarm and a steering lock would take even longer to break into while something that has a gear lock as well, would take further still. Basically, the more protection you have in place, the harder it gets for your car to get stolen. Trojans, that grab data on your computer, are quite similar in nature.

They will grab what’s available freely and if you aren’t being targeted directly, then even the most basic encryption will cause a lot of heartache for the helpless Trojan. Encrypt the file into a zipped format and remove the original from your computer, if you really need to keep the information i.e.

Whether you are running a business or simply using your computer for personal reasons, there are lots of things on it, at any given point of time, that are precious for your daily life. You need to safeguard these things to ensure that you aren’t the victim of the next massive online credit card fraud.

Trevor Patrick – author

When you think of computers and the computer support services’ industry, the name of Trevor Patrick is almost unavoidable. Having started a small firm with a small service, of ensuring your computer’s security, Trevor eventually created a monster that became the life and blood of computer users all over Australia and New Zealand. His word became gold and his services were beyond par! That until he decided to sell off his company and take to farming and an early retirement in the countryside. Trevor still writes on computer-related subjects today, although more for the love of the game, than for the money.

A Qualified Computer Repair Technician Can Save You Time and Money


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Almost everybody today depends on their computer for most aspects of their lives. From contacts, to communication to important documents and even multimedia files and photos; almost everybody needs their computer and they need it to be running in tip top shape. So what should people do if their computer crashes or they download malicious programs onto their computer? Should they simply perform a cleaning task on the computer or run an antivirus application? They can, but the remnants of the virus will linger in the system until it is professionally cleaned. When dealing with an issue such as this, consumers need to be well aware of how much money and data can be saved from just going through a qualified computer technician fix all of the repairs on the computer. This way, it is fixed the first time without any more disruption to your computer system.

Save Money in More Than One Way

There is more than one way to save your hard earned money when you use the services of a qualified computer technician when your computer crashes. The most obvious way is simply to save your computer. The qualified technician will save your computer as a whole, preventing you from purchasing a whole new computer. When a computer downloads any type of malware program, spyware or any other harmful program, it will slow the entire system down, giving the user the false assumption that the computer is simply worn out and needs to be replaced. When you utilize the services of a qualified computer technician, you will be able to save your computer. They know how to make your computer like new again, they can take off the damaging programs and they can also increase the speed of the computer, making it run like it did when it first came out of the box.

Keep Your Personal Information Personal

One of the biggest fears of consumers today is identity theft. Identity theft can occur when hackers gain access to your personal information and use it to obtain loans, credit and rack up bills. One way that these hackers gain this information is to install malware programs on your computer that will give them the information about you that they want. With this type of program on your computer, they can get your passwords, your name, social security number and even your credit card and bank account numbers. With this information, the hackers can use it to gain access to your credit and your money. When you go through a qualified computer technician, you can rest assured that they are fully aware and trained on all of the latest advances in malware and how to eliminate the risk of identity theft.

Brian Lawson is a computer and IT security expert.  His company, Datadrive has been providing PC repair Tucson based service for more than 20 years.  He and his team of expert technicians can help with any Tucson PC repair challenge.

Benefits of a Wired Home

By creating a wired home for yourself, you will essentially be implementing some new technology such as routers, switches, and hubs. Don’t know what any of these mean or how they work? Let’s take a look at these and other pieces of wired equipment.

Hubs

A hub is specifically designed to join multiple computers or devices together, but can only allow a single device on its network to communicate at a time. Hubs can be utilized for file sharing and connecting to other devices, whether you are equipped with internet capabilities or not. When you are running Windows, Mac, or Linux, a hub supports any computer running any operating system. The speed of these hubs depends entirely on the network they support.

Typical hubs today commonly support 100 Mbps. These hubs are equipped with what are known as Ethernet ports, for use with connecting other devices to the hub. Most hubs contain between 4 and 5 ports.

To install a hub to a group of networked computers, you must connect one end of an Ethernet cable to the hub and the other end to the device. It’s an extremely simple process. However, because of advanced performance benefits, most home networks today utilize network switches instead of hubs, which we will look at next.

Switches

A local switch is similar to a hub in that it can join multiple computers or devices together, but with a switch, all devices are joined on a local-area-network (LAN) and switches have many more capabilities than a typical hub.

For instance, local switches can receive and look at data packets to determine where the packet is coming from and where it is going. By sending these packets to the connected device only, network bandwidth is conserved, which is a huge advantage over a hub. Most network switches can typically support either 10/100 Mbps Ethernet or the much faster 1 Gbps Ethernet.

Similar to hubs, network switches vary in terms of how many devices that they can connect, but the standard is normally between four and eight.

Routers

A router is the most efficient and widely-used piece of equipment used in homes today. A router is used to join two computer networks together with variations including broadband, DSL, and cable modem routers.

Most homes normally use an IP (Internet Protocol) wired router. This type of router connects the home’s LAN to the wide-area network (WAN) of the internet. Certain routers can also monitor and filter the traffic received, based on the IP address being used, meaning that you can throttle the speed of certain websites. A broadband router, one of the types described above, is widely used in homes because of its features and functionality.

A broadband router combines a DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) server with a firewall and a network switch and is typically used with DSL internet or a high-speed cable modem. To use a broadband router, Ethernet cables must be run from the router to the modem and from the modem to the computer. Broadband routers are a great option for LAN gaming, a home office, file sharing, and surfing the web.

Benefits

There are plenty of benefits to installed wired networking in your home. For one thing, it is very cheap to setup and maintain, as routers, switches, and hubs are inexpensive. Wired networks are also extremely reliable because unlike wireless, you hardly have to worry about a loss of connection, unless something happens with your ISP’s (Internet Service Provider’s) network. Wired networks also offer significant performance, ranging from 10 Mbps to 100 Mbps and the only major difference is the cost you will pay for the speed.

Regardless of which type of technology you decide to utilize to create a wired home for yourself, they are extremely easy, inexpensive to set up, and provide significant benefits. Routers, although the most expensive out of the three, aren’t very pricey at all and offer a fast connection and security precautions to ensure that you are always safe when using the network. Wired networks are a great route to go!

Phillip Reese has worked in information technology for over a decade. His home office, where he markets products ranging from cisco memory to microwave radios, utilizes switches, routers and CAT6 cables to keep the data flowing.

Tips for Storing Computer and Electronic Equipment

At some point, many people need to store their computer or electronic equipment for an extended period of time. Although it takes a bit more care than simply shoving the equipment into a box and sticking it on a shelf somewhere, all it takes is a little time and effort to ensure maximum protection with a minimum of preparation.


Cleaning

Prior to storing the equipment, it needs a thorough cleaning. This includes a dusting of the outer casing, as well as using compressed air to blow out any dirt or particle buildup within the equipment. Special care should be taken to ensure that any air vents are free of as much debris as possible.

Batteries

If there are any batteries in the equipment, they need to be removed. Batteries can often corrode and leak chemicals onto electrical connections.

Cables

Remove any and all cables. This helps to make sure they aren’t accidentally jerked out of their connections at any point. The cables should be neatly rolled up and taped together. It is usually a good idea to note which connections the cables came from. It makes it easier to set things up again, should the equipment be taken out of storage and set up once again.

Wrapping

Before putting the equipment into the box, it should be wrapped up in a cotton sheet. This prevents any dirt or dust from getting into the equipment. Ideally, the equipment should be packed up in the original box, but if that is not available, it is best to have a box that keeps the equipment snug without providing too much excess room.

Labeling

Each box should be labeled clearly. Since some individuals do not want third parties to know what is in each box, a code can be created. For example, a computer monitor in a box might be listed as “CM,” with the key to the code being kept in a separate location.

Storage Units

In many cases, the best way to store computer or electronic equipment is in a business storage unit. Most business storage facilities offer 24-hour surveillance security, as well as climate-controlled units. This is extremely important in areas where the temperatures can either get too hot or too cold.

In the end, most people find that taking a little bit of time and extra care will ensure that the equipment remains in the best possible condition. A little time at the outset of the storage process can save both time and money down the line.

Image by Seth Tissue and licensed through Creative Commons.

Paul Benjamin is a District Manager at EZ Storage, a storage company providing clean and secure self storage in Elkins Park, MI. Learn More about amenities, leasing options and current promotions at the Elkins Park Storage Units at EZMini.com today.