One of the things we often see when we work on clients’ computers is a covered webcam – usually with a strip of tape, occasionally with a post-it note, band-aid, or, in some more extreme cases, with paint or nail polish. It’s understandable to see a camera lens pointed at you and wonder what it’s doing. After all, how do you know somebody’s not watching it right now? This made the national news last year when FBI director James Comey, following advice he’d seen online, admitted he taped over the camera on his computer. This might very well leave you wondering if this is something we need to worry about or do in our daily lives.
Does your computer feel slower than it used to be? Does it take longer to start up or for programs to load? If so, chances are your computer has accumulated some “digital dust” and needs a little spring cleaning.
on 11-04-201508:02 AM - last edited on 08-23-201604:28 PM by rstyle
The modern family home is more connected than ever to the Internet, and these days that includes everything from multiple computers, tablets, gaming systems, 4KTVs, even network-controlled lights and thermostats. Yet many households fail to realize their expanding collection of hardware – growing to an average of nearly eight connected devices each this year – strain home networks, producing sluggish connections and a real need to free their speed.
Email scammers are finding new opportunities with to trick unsuspecting victims into downloading malicious software with the recent release of Windows 10. Tech news sites are filled with stories about the new Microsoft operating system release, and many of our clients are excited to get it onto their computers. Some of our clients are reporting fake Microsoft emails from scammers that claim to have the entire Windows 10 upgrade attached.
on 04-23-201410:21 PM
In the United States, the vast majority of adults drive cars. But most of us don’t really know how they work. Sure, we know to fill it with gas occasionally and how to operate them, but when it comes down to how the engine engages the drivetrain, most of us are at a loss. (That’s why we all have mechanics, right?)
With the explosion of video content on the Web, many of us are using our computers, at least some of the time, to just watch TV.
Video sharing services like YouTube, Web broadcasting sites like Hulu and Netflix, and pay-for-play services like Amazon Prime and iTunes have made our computers a key source of video entertainment in the modern home.
A couple weeks ago, I wrote a post encouraging everyone to make backing up their data their New Years’ resolution. As I was reviewing the different ways to create data backups, it struck me how many devices we use on a daily basis now create and store digital files.
Our Agents are finding that clients we serve have become more savvy web users and have generally gotten better at avoiding malware like viruses and spyware in their travels down the Information Superhighway. But many clients still come to us asking why their system has slowed down without their antivirus program detecting any new malware infections.
It’s that time of the year again – time to take a good hard look at yourself and resolve to be better next year. And yes, time for magazines, TV news shows and blogs to suggest a New Year’s resolution for you. Yeah, irritating, we know. But this is one you should pay attention too. It’s not that hard and could save you a lot of grief when the inevitable happens.
Like people all over the world, we Agents often find ourselves travelling to get together with our friends and family over the holidays. And, being more tech-dependent than the average citizen, one of our main concerns is what combination of devices and accessories will we be able to take with us. Sure, Agents travelling over-land can error on the side of caution and fill up the backseat with extra batteries and cables. But those of us who need to grab our boarding passes and stand in the airport security line have decisions to make. Considering that we generally think tech belongs in carry on luggage, weight also becomes an issue.
on 10-23-201303:28 PM
If you own an Apple MacBook Air laptop sold between June 2012 and June 2013, you should know that flash storage drives in those particular models occasionally fail – and that Apple has issued a press release saying they will replace all affected drives free of charge.
OK, I know. You’re probably saying “not another post from some obsessive-compulsive techie on how a clean computer is a happy computer.” And yet here we are. Why? Because while it’s been said many times before, it’s still just as true. Well tended devices and accessories last longer.
Each time I return from getting my teeth cleaned, I swear it will be different this time: I’ll develop better dental health habits – brush after every meal, floss at least once a day – in order to avoid the uncomfortable gum scraping (and guilt-inducing “tsk-tsk”) from my hygienist.
At the most basic level, liquid and electricity don’t mix. Liquid spills on any electronic device are bad news — and if the liquid has sugar, flavoring, or anything else dissolved in it, you’ve got more problems that just avoiding a short circuit.
Sharing your living space with our four-legged friends can be tough on your tech. Maybe it’s their lack of opposable thumbs or limited understanding of the alphabet, but it seems to me that my cat just doesn’t understand why I spend so much time at my desk staring at screens. (I should be petting them, after all.) Flop around on my keyboard, chewing on the antennae of my wireless router, or attacking my printer every time I print something out.
Becoming technologically dependent is an almost unavoidable hazard of living in the modern world. The PC you are reading this post with is probably the most important (and least appreciated) piece of technology in your life. And, like other significant aspects of our lives (grandparents, dental health, houseplants), we often neglect the care and upkeep those things we will really miss when they’re gone.
Due to reports of batteries overheating while being recharged, Best Buy has issued a recall notice for approximately 5,100 replacement batteries installed in some MacBook Pro laptops at Geek Squad precincts between September 2008 and June 2013.
The makers of the Opera web browser announced recently that their internal network was “breached” earlier this month. The company says they have resolved the issue, and that it doesn’t appear that any user information was touched. However, the intruder was able to infect the browser update file, and some Windows users of Opera may have downloaded the infected update.
on 04-15-201304:24 PM - last edited on 04-20-201604:53 PM by Crystal-BBY
According to a recent study, more than 8,000 mobile devices were left behind at just seven of the country’s largest airports in the last year. The most common places mobile devices were left behind? Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoints and restrooms.
Security experts have issued several warnings about security holes in recent versions of the Java software from Oracle. Java is used in web browsers across operating systems like Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X, and is primarily used by websites to display dynamic content on your browser and some downloadable applications.
on 12-19-201205:57 PM
So you bought your Mom and Dad a laptop last year so they could video chat with their grandkids. Everyone agreed it would be nice to video chat and were excited to begin using it. Unfortunately, once the holidays were over, the video chat idea lost some of its momentum. Oh, they tried it a couple of times, but your Dad just couldn’t get the hang of the camera and software – any tech for that matter – have always challenged your Mom. “Oh, we’ll just call you,” is their standard response these days.
One of the cool things about Windows 8 is this: if you have the right hardware, you can kiss your mouse goodbye. The new Windows OS is specifically designed to take advantage of all the benefits of a Touch interface. While the OS still lets you use and keyboard and mouse if you wish, let’s take a look at how Windows 8 helps you use your Touch interface effectively.
Ah… portable electronics — the joy of modern technology. The most appealing thing about touchscreen phones, notebooks, netbooks and tablets is their portability. We take them just about everywhere we go. We toss them in our backpacks, our purses, and our pockets. And sometimes… they pay the price.
An important part of the life cycle of your electronic devices is ensuring that when the time comes, you dispose of them safely and properly. Modern electronics can have all kinds of dangerous and hazardous materials. Today, Agents Nicole and Ish give us tips and tricks to help you ensure you dispose of your devices safely.
2012 brings in a new year of resolutions for many of us. But those shouldn’t be limited to you. Don’t forget to consider your computer too! Today, Geek Squad has some New Year’s resolution tips for your computers. These maintenance tips will help you start off on the right foot, avoid problems, and help with your PCs performance!
One of the more popular complaints about the home computer that we run across is “My computer is running slow. Why?” Today we are going to go over the top ten reasons your computer may be running like molasses.
It has come to Geek Squad’s attention that a Microsoft Windows Update released on August 25, 2009 is inadvertently causing x64 processor based computers with Windows Vista x64 SP1 to crash with a blue screen (BSOD) and the error message “STOP: 0x0000007E”.
Back to school season means parents everywhere are looking for pencils, paper, backpacks and more to prepare their kids for the fall. It also means questions for the Geek Squad on what technology will best help their kids with their school work. Thanks to the explosion of cheap netbook computers, one of the more common questions we’re seeing is “Netbook or Laptop, which should I get?”
Often, our enthusiasm overwhelms us when purchasing a new laptop or TV. Maybe it’s the fresh smelling aroma of manufactured plastics that encase these glorious devices, or what wondrous things they can help us do. But, that also means you should never let your guard down, as there can be evil lurking around the corner, ready to enjoy your tech just as much as you do.