Another virus (Cryptorbit) is making the rounds that encrypts all of your files (Office files, Pictures, PDFs, Videos, etc) and holds them ransom for $600-$1000. Once encrypted it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to recover the files unless you have a backup. Are you backing up your important data? IT Xpress can help with services that keep your computer updated and secure as well as secure offsite backup solutions for $10-$25 a month!
Router attacks continue – is your home router safe? IT Xpress can upgrade your router's software, ensure it is properly configured, and check to see if hackers have already made any changes. $45 if your bring your router to the shop. $59 if we do it remotely.
Hackers hijack 300,000-plus wireless routers, make malicious changes
Devices made by D-Link, Micronet, Tenda, and TP-Link hijacked in ongoing attack.
We're working on an exciting new service for our My ITXpert clients! More info soon! Sign up at http://myitxpert.biz/
If you get prompted to update Flash, do it quickly, especially if you are on Windows XP. Chrome includes Flash, but updates automatically (if your Chrome menu turns green – it needs you to restart to apply the new version). Keeping your PC updated is the #1 way to avoid virus and malware infections.
Adobe pushes out critical Flash update – the second zero-day hole of the month
Adobe has just updated its Flash product for the second time this month, pushing out an emergency patch for an attack that has been seen in the wild.
A number of our clients still use Windows XP and worry what will happen in April 2014 when Microsoft stops 'supporting' it with security updates. This article gives a good overview of what to expect. In short, unless hackers find a MASSIVE security hole in Windows XP, it can be securely used for some time. Some tips that can help keep you safe:
1) Stop using IE (since it too won't be updated) – switch to Chrome or Firefox.
2) Stop using MS Security Essentials antivirus – which also will not be updated after July 2015. Try avast for free protection or get a paid Anti-Virus (we recommend and sell BitDefender).
3) Switch to a 'Limited' account, which can limit the impact of any virus infection. But some software does not work well in limited mode. So experiment.
4) Keep your software updated – this is where most hackers gain access. Bugs in software, not Windows. (Our My ITXpert service is ideal for this http://myitxpert.biz/)
Hackers are shifting their focus to home routers. Always make sure 'Remote Management' is DISABLED. Few people need to be able to login to their routers to make changes from outside their home. Unsure if your router is secure? IT Xpress can help – bring your router by and we'll upgrade it and ensure it's configured securely!
Time to Harden Your Hardware? — Krebs on Security
Most Internet users are familiar with the concept of updating software that resides on their computers. But this past week has seen alerts about an unusual number of vulnerabilities and attacks against some important and ubiquitous hardware devices, from consumer-grade Internet routers, …
See what these hackers did to unsuspecting users… At least they tried to be helpful. Is your router secure? Not sure? We can help! IT Xpress can update and securely configure your router for you, often while you wait!
Dear Asus router user: You’ve been pwned, thanks to easily exploited flaw
Hackers expose eight-month-old Asus weakness by leaving note on victims' drives.
Due to the winter weather, IT Xpress will be closed today. However, we will still be checking email and voicemail if you need urgent assistance or remote support
You may have heard of 'Solid State Drives'. They are basically hard drives that use electronic chips for storage instead of spinning disks. They are robust (no more crashed drives from bumping into your computer) and VERY fast. They can drastically reduce boot times and allow programs to start with blazing speed, even on slower computers. This is a laptop that had a new SSD installed. It's NOT a super fast computer – it's actually an entry level/value model (Athlon II Dual Core 2.1 GHz). Just watch how fast it boots and is completely ready for use in less than 30 seconds. If the smaller size of SSDs is a problem because you have lots of music and/or photos, a hybrid drive is the answer. Almost all the SSD performance with tons of storage capacity.
IT Xpress can do these upgrades same day and for approximately $200-$250 including parts depending on the hard drive chosen. You won't believe how fast programs start and windows switch! Turbo boost your computer today!
Using Firefox? Time to update!
Firefox 27 is out – Tuesday's second non-Patch-Tuesday update
Also Extended Support Release 24.3.0 (security fixes only, no feature updates)…
Does your laptop get REALLY hot? Does the fan seem to stay on all the time? (and it seems to have gotten louder?). Something like this part is all that keeps your laptop from melting. The copper plate sits on 1 or 2 chips inside and transmits the heat to that tiny little heatsink. With such narrow fins, that heatsink will trap dust, dirt, hair, pet dander, and more in no time. As it does, airflow is drastically reduced and the laptop cannot cool itself properly. So after it maxes out the fan speed, if it still can't cool properly, it slows itself down to prevent damage – which means it'll run slower. So it's important to have your laptop serviced annually and make sure heatsink cleaning is part of that service.
All laptops tuned up at IT Xpress have their cooling systems thoroughly cleaned as part of the service. Just $99 for a complete tuneup!
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