Helpful Tips - And other things

Avoid Scams

★ Be wary of everything and everyone online.

★ Be vague in profiles when signing up for online services or websites. People do not need to know your address, real name or where you're from.

★ When someone calls from Microsoft alerting you that you have viruses on your computer, just hang up. Never allow anyone remote access to your computer when you get that call. (Microsoft does not care about you or your viruses)

★ Never click links in emails. They can be spoofed or lead to malicious sites.

★ Do not respond to text messages or emails you know nothing about-even to unsubscribe.

★ Avoid using public computers or hotspots to access your email or banking institution.

★ Make sure your antivirus software is up to date. Scammers can install malware or unwanted browser toolbars on your computer if your security is lacking.

★ Create a dummy email account. Use it when signing up for one-time things online. You want to avoid subscribing to's email lists and later having that email address sold to someone else.

★ Setup Parental Controls For Kids. Controlling how and when your kids are online can protect your computers and network from hackers and scammers.

★ Don't Friend everyone. While Friending everyone makes you look more popular to others, granting everyone access to your social network gives scammers a foothold into your life.

✔The Best Computer Tip of All

Back up - Back up - Back up - Back Up!!!!!!

More times than I can count someone will come into our Service Center because their PC/Laptop won't come on. They, of course, are more worried about their information than the machinery. Every now and then we find out that their hard drive is toast and cannot be repaired nor accessed by normal inexpensive means. It's kind of a hard lesson to learn that way but it seems that it happens alot these days. We always think that it always happens to someone else until it happens to us.

Many different things can cause data loss from a simple power surge or hardware failure to an advanced virus infection like cryptowall which encrypts all your important files. You are then given instructions how to purchase a key to get your files unencrypted. This can cost hundreds of dollars.

Backing up your important files is as easy as getting an external hard drive or a flash drive. Flash drives come in sizes ranging up to 128 gigs and can be stored anywhere or just left in your computer. Just drag your pictures, documents, music or whatever on to it and they will be safe from system or hard drive failure. Don't just keep thinking about doing it - just do it and save yourself alot of heartburn and expense later on.

✔ Keyboard Shortcuts

1.Press the Windows key and D to bring up the desktop.
2.Press the Windows key and E to bring up the my computer.
3.Press CTRL key and C to copy something after you have selected it and made it blue.
4.Press CTRL key and V to paste it after you have clicked on the position where you want it to go.
5.Press CTRL ALT DEL to open the Windows Task Manager.
6.CTRL and A to select all text on the page. For example if you are on a Microsoft word page you can click on the page, and then press CTRL and the letter A on the keyboard to select all of the text and make it blue.
7.CTRL and Z to undo what you just did. You might have deleted something by accident and pressing this UNDO combo will save you.

Zoom in and out

Press the CTRL key and the + or - key to zoom in and out. You can do this almost everywhere on your computer. If you have a mouse you can press the CTRL key and also use the scroll wheel on top of the mouse the zoom. This feature is great for people who don't have touch screens and want to see something on their screen in a larger view.

✔ Trial programs are evil

When people buy a new computer, it is usually loaded with free trial software, making it sound like it is really valuable and essential for your computer use. At first it seems okay and the programs are usually pretty good, but then the trial runs out and they start to bug you.

You see pop-ups asking you to buy their software every time you turn on your computer. So our advice is to not allow trial software on your computer in the first place. It is nothing but crap and a sneaky way to sell you software.

Not everyone needs a Paid-For antivirus program

Many free anti virus programs will suit you just fine and not take over alot of your computer funtions. A free antivirus will work just fine if you follow these rules:

  • know not to open attachments and click on links in e-mails
  • do not visit unknown websites
  • never download illegal software and movies
  • never open or share files with anyone, even if you trust them
  • do not let other people use your computer
  • use your computer mostly for office work
  • only really visit a few well-known websites

✔ Free Advice

★ When you get an e-mail message from eBay or your bank, claiming that you have an account problem or a question from a buyer, it's probably a "phishing scam" intended to trick you into typing your password. Don't click the link in the message. If in doubt, go into your browser and type "" (or whatever) manually.

★ Nobody, but nobody, is going to give you half of $80 million to help them liberate the funds of a deceased millionaire - from Nigeria or anywhere else.

★ You can enlarge the text on any Web page. In Windows, press Ctrl and the plus or minus keys (for bigger or smaller fonts); on the Mac, it's the Command key and plus or minus.

★ You can also enlarge the entire Web page or document by pressing the Control key as you turn the wheel on top of your mouse. On the Mac, this enlarges the entire screen image.

★ When you're searching for something on the Web using, say, Google, put quotes around phrases that must be searched together. For example, if you put quotes around "electric curtains," Google won't waste your time finding one set of Web pages containing the word "electric" and another set containing the word "curtains."

★ You can open the Start menu by tapping the key with the Windows logo on it.

★ You generally can't send someone more than a couple of full-size digital photos as an e-mail attachment; those files are too big, and they'll bounce back to you. (Instead, use iPhoto or Picasa - photo-organizing programs that can automatically scale down photos in the process of e-mailing them.)

★ Just putting something into the Trash or the Recycle Bin doesn't actually delete it. You then have to *empty* the Trash or Recycle Bin. (Once a year, I hear about somebody whose hard drive is full, despite having practically no files. It's because over the years, they've put 79 gigabytes' worth of stuff in the Recycle Bin and never emptied it.)

★ You don't have to type "http://www" into your Web browser. Just type the remainder: "" or "," for example. (In the Safari browser, you can even leave off the ".com" part.)

★ You can use Google to do math for you. Just type the equation, like 23*7+15/3=, and hit Enter.