2017 Equifax Hack

Equifax_CEOvideoAS OF YESTERDAY, September 7, 2017, there was national news that the credit reporting agency Equifax had been compromised and that hackers captured personal financial data on 143 million U.S. citizens.

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Resetting your internet connection

Shamrock System Solutions TECH TIPS  |  Week of May 5th, 2017

FREQUENTLY I GET CALLS from clients stating their computer is running slowly. I always ask what they’re doing at the time it runs slow. The answer 99% of the time, is that they’re on the internet and the pages are loading slowly. Typically, there is nothing wrong with the computer, but there are issues with the internet provider. Those calls to internet tech support almost always suggest you restart their modem. If you are connected to a router that doesn’t belong to them, they suggest you connect directly to their modem.

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Password Security on the Web

Shamrock System Solutions Tech Tips  |  Week of April 4, 2017

I’VE BEEN SENDING out informational articles over the last several months to educate my clients on (a) how to be safer on the web and (b) how to prevent getting hacked on your digital devices. The article below is excellent and is shared from the Windows Secrets Newsletter dated March 16, 2017. I personally use RoboForm exclusively to manage my passwords because it’s able to sync across devices including my computer, my smartphone, and my tablet. It’s very reasonable at $19.95 per year and covers the unlimited devices you may have. READ MORE >>>

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Windows 10 continues and so do the hackers!

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Shamrock System Solutions Tech Tips  |  Week of March 21, 2016

It’s been a while since I’ve sent out any updates on the Windows 10 upgrade. Since my last post, Microsoft has moved from the upgrade being optional to automatically installing it without the user’s permission. If they can reduce their support to one operating system by eliminating the need to support Windows 7 & 8, they will cut their costs dramatically! Of course this may not be in the best interests of the user community.

Although Windows 10 is a very secure operating system and a definite improvement over Windows 8, equipment that is more than a couple of years old may experience problems attempting the upgrade or if the upgrade succeeds, after the upgrade. Hardware changes as time goes by and there may not be drivers available to ensure compliance with the new operating system. If you’ve upgraded from Windows 7 and can’t find Windows 10 drivers, try to download and install Windows 8 drivers. Most of the time they’ll work fine.

Microsoft has been working and making changes in the new operating system and cumulative updates may occur which can take an hour or more. They often times reset your default programs from those that you had chosen requiring you to change them back to your preferences.

One nice thing I recently experienced was the ability to do an in place, non-destructive, upgrade of Windows 10. One of my computers wouldn’t update any longer. I performed and in place upgrade, even though it was already running Windows 10, and if fixed the issue while leaving all my files and applications alone. This could be done in Windows 7 but not in Windows 8. Very handy.

For those of you who don’t want the Windows 10 upgrade there is a handy utility available written by another techie that prevents the upgrade. It’s called GWX Control Panel (get windows 10 control panel). It’s reversible if you should later decide to do the upgrade but at this point, prevents the unwanted, unasked upgrade.

On another matter is the ongoing onslaught of ransomware. We suggest you not open Word documents contained in emails unless you definitely know who they’re from. Hackers are spoofing Fedex, UPS, USPS, Turbotax, and various retailers with supposed discounts, invoices, etc. Opening the attachments installs the ransomware encrypting all your data and asking you to pay to unlock the data. Just avoid opening attachments in emails unless you absolutely are expecting the document and know who it’s from.  Remember when a computer gets infected, they try to send the virus out to everyone in your contact list.

Tom FitzGerald
Shamrock System Solutions

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Tech Tips

Week of 12/11/15 — Windows 10 November Update includes a bunch of new features and changes that surely will improve the overall experience of the operating system. This update brings improvements to the “Start” menu to allow users to have a fourth column of tiles, updated context menus throughout the operating system, and Cortana gets smarter with handwriting recognition and missed call notifications. The Microsoft Edge browser also gets performance and security improvements and tab preview, and a lot more. Continue reading