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01.28.2011
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Fake Antivirus Programs – Can It Get Any Worse?

Fake Antivirus Programs

During the last few months, the bad guys on the internet have stepped-up their efforts to cash-in on the increased number of unwary internet surfers looking for holiday deals. I remember when it was mostly the “high-risk”  internet surfer who had to worry, but these days, you can also add “the naive” to the list. It was pretty normal to expect an infected computer from teenagers who click on anything, but even careful internet surfers are getting infected more than ever before. Aside from the increased the number of infected computers we check-in for repair, they have also gotten more difficult to repair. The bad guys are getting smarter, but we still manage to get the job done. Read More Here…

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12.02.2010
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Should This Be My Last Post???

Tech RantThose who know me know that I repair computers for a living full-time. I am up to my neck with spyware infected computers on a daily basis. So what’s my point? My point is that I have first-hand insight into the problem PC user’s face everyday on the internet, and I am quickly losing faith in their chances to stay spyware free. It has gotten to the point that I don’t know if I want to waste my time anymore spinning my wheels about spyware prevention.

As for me, I am able to keep my computers clean with very little effort, so I know there is “some” hope, but as for my customers, 999 out of 1000 are NOT willing to change their bad internet habits, learn a few skills and do the work required to keep their computers clean. I’ll be candid with you about my fact-based opinions, but please don’t take offense, just view it as a wake-up call. Read More Here…

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09.15.2010
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What Programs Remove Spyware, Malware, Trojans, and Viruses?

A newsworthy virus just made its debut recently, and coincidentally or not, we saw a surge in malware infections. As usual, I got asked the same questions about how their computer got infected when they said they have an antivirus program, and why didn’t it work? Read More Here…

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08.12.2010
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Dropbox Review

DropboxDropbox allows you to sync your files online and across your computers automatically.You can get 2GB of online storage for free, with up to 100GB available to paying customers. With Dropbox, you can Sync files of any size or type with Windows, Mac and Linux computers. Dropbox automatically syncs when new files or changes are detected. Read More Here…

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07.30.2010
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How to Make Quality Video Calls without a Computer



Most people have heard of Skype and other Instant Messaging programs that can share video in real time. They are so easy to use that my 10 yr old daughter just skyped me yesterday. Only these programs have one very weak link in common, they all rely on a healthy computer.

I have many military family customers that depend on services such as Skype to stay in touch with Mom or Dad in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other places around the world. They come to us to repair their computers, mostly from infections, and have to miss a few calls to their loved ones. Sadly, internet connected PC computers are extremely vulnerable to viruses and malware. Most average  PC users have had a brush with malware by now, and know it can negatively affect your internet experience, not to mention, completely break your computer.

So what can you do? Well, I am going to tell you about another option to use your internet connection to make quality video phone calls without using your computer, so you don’t have to worry about viruses. You probably heard of digital phone service from your DSL or Cable Company, or Vonage. Well, they are not the only companies out there.

For more information, visit http://www.hawaiivideophones.com

There is one company that was founded in 1993, who is now the largest direct seller of telecommunications and home services in the the world. For several years now, they have been selling an affordable solution for making video calls with a “real” phone, not a computer. You get a real phone number (you can even port in your existing phone number) which you can use to send and receive unlimited voice and video calls (both ends must have compatible video phones for video calls). You can use it to replace your existing phone service as you can use it 24/7. This is no MagicJack that plugs into your computer.

IRIS 5000 Video Phone

The future of video phones is now! It is a gadget that will eventually find its way into every household much like regular telephones, TVs and microwaves. Until recently, our high-speed internet infrastructure was not up to par to handle the bandwidth required for the worldwide migration to video phones. While video phones have been around for several years now, today has never been better to get one in your household, because one company has just launched their newest model today (29Jul2010).

It got me excited because we are going to get an extra one to send overseas so we can make free unlimited international calls. They will actually have a phone with the same area code as ours. Imagine that! And they can call anyone else in the US, Canada, Puerto Rico and Guam with the North America plan, and there are other country plans you can do this with also.

For more information, visit http://www.hawaiivideophones.com

Don’t let the Hawaii name fool you, these phones are officially being used in 21 countries already, but the headquarters is based in the Unites States.

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07.26.2010
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Ascentive PC Speedscan Pro Review – aka FastAtLast.com and FinallyFast.com



Ascentive is at again, they keep moving around from town to town like snake-oil salesmen selling their PC Speedscan Pro software. They actually have a whole portfolio of products, and while I haven’t reviewed each one individually, I have seen enough to know that this company is walking a thin-line between being a scam or not.

 

After running the FREE PC Speedscan Pro software, it will need to download additional Ascentive software to attempt to repair the issues it detected. It makes me wonder if placebos work with computers.

Their software is not completely fraudulent, as it has some level of effectiveness, but I’m sure you heard of the broken clock that was right twice a day. Anyway, it does get picked-up as a rogue infection by a very reputable anti-malware product I use everyday called Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, among others. See the screenshot below:

 

ascentive

(click for larger image)

I mentioned before that these guys move around like snake-oil salesmen. They also promote their products with different website names such as www.FinallyFast.com and www.FastAtLast.com.

A Few Free Alternatives to Ascentive

So if you are looking to diagnose your computer for problems, and you were looking for the free option, I would recommend the products below. Each link will take you to another page on our website with video tutorials on how to download, install and run these programs. The speeding up videos us built-in Windows tools.

ESET Nod32 Free 30 Day Trial

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware

CCleaner

Speeding Up Vista

Speeding Up XP

I have to say though that when it comes to diagnosing and repairing computer problems, that I never blindly start installing any program without first checking Windows Event Viewer logs, Antivirus history, Msconfig, Services, Minidumps, and manually browsing through the Registry and a variety of files and folders. Then I will choose what medicine to administer.

Sorry, but I can’t help you much with the technical approach unless you want to come to Hawaii and be my intern for a year or so. There are just too many basics to learn first and then the advanced stuff.

Warning When Installing Security Software

I will leave you with this tidbit, DO NOT install another Antivirus program without FIRST removing the old one. Doing so could cause you to have a new problem that could be just as bad as actually being infected, and if you are already infected, you will have a double whammy! The same goes for Firewalls and “Active” Antispyware programs, although the negative results are usually not as severe. “Active” means it is running all the time, not just when you choose to open it, and they are usually “paid” products, unless you are running a trial of a paid product.

If you feel this information has helped you, please consider making a modest donation to help keep this website going.


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