Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Ransomware is costing over a million dollars a month in damages, and that's just from businesses that reported incidents to the Internet Crime Complaint Center. Most don't. Worried about the security of your computers and network? IT Xpress can help! Call (336-525-5005) or email ([email protected]) today for your free infrastructure evaluation!
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  • If you use GMail, consider giving their Inbox client a try. If you find you use your email Inbox like a To-do list (leave it in Inbox till it's handled), Inbox is perfect for you. It DOES take some getting used to, but having used it for personal and business accounts for many months now – I can't imagine switching back. The best part though? You always CAN switch back to the normal GMail interface (GMail is http://mail.google.com and Inbox is http://inbox.google.com). In fact, you can switch between them as often as  you like. Inbox is definitely worth a try, especially on mobile. Be sure to read the tutorials and hints to get started!
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  • The Microsoft Support scammers are changing tactics, and one tactic is bad… First – Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, etc will NOT call you about a virus on your computer. They also will not popup a message like this for you to call them. The goal of this scam is to get you to click on a program that lets them login to your computer, run a 'scanner' and show you 'all the viruses' (it's fake). Then they try to sell you a $500 support plan or license 'renewal' (Windows is expired – you need to pay to renew it – again fake). Even worse is what a client shared with us recently: After she'd followed the scammers directions to run their remote access software – the scammer knew she wasn't biting, so he launched a segment of their malware that brought up the webcam, obviously showing the user on the screen and said "This is what the hackers can see right now. You need to let us fix this.". Thankfully the user shut the laptop and brought it to us.

    Don't be lured in by these scams and please share among your family and friends so they don't fall for this VERY successful scam. Plus a little black electrical tape over a webcam works wonders if you don't use it!

    Worried you may have been a victim of this scam or that you have real malware on your computer? IT Xpress can help! Call 336-525-5005 or email [email protected] today!

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  • Microsoft just released an emergency security patch 'out of band' meaning outside it's normal monthly patch cycle. So if you see the small "Windows Update' icon near the clock (looks like a card with an orange ring around it) or get prompted to restart to install a patch – do it!
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  • Ransomware – a virus that encrypts all your data on your PC and any shared folders (think servers) it can find – is becoming more common and more dangerous. What would happen to your business if all your files were suddenly encrypted and held for ransom? Would you pay it? Are there backups? Could you continue business with another system and restored data? Are you depending only on PC based anti-virus to protect your business? IT Xpress can help you with all this and more! Call (336-525-5005) or email ([email protected]) today for your free infrastructure evaluation! We'll propose solutions to keep your business safe and secure!
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  • Another reason to use Google Chrome – and if you have a 64-bit operating system – the 64-bit version of Chrome. The new flash (built into Chrome) is much tougher against hacker attacks…
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  • Still running Windows XP and Microsoft Security Essentials? As of July 15th, MSE will not get any further updates. While we encourage everyone to consider upgrading to Win 7 or better, if you're stuck with WinXP – you can still take steps to stay secure:

    * Apply the Windows XP POS Registry Hack to get Windows Updates until 2019
    * Stop using Internet Explorer – Use Chrome or Firefox instead.
    * Remove Java unless it's absolutely needed
    * Install Bitdefender Free Antivirus – it's still supported.

  • Comments Off on Still running Windows XP and Microsoft Security Essentials? As of July 15th, MSE will not get any further…
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  • Still running Windows XP and Microsoft Security Essentials? As of July 15th, MSE will not get any further updates. While we encourage everyone to consider upgrading to Win 7 or better, if you're stuck with WinXP – you can still take steps to stay secure:

    * Apply the Windows XP POS Registry Hack to get Windows Updates until 2019
    * Stop using Internet Explorer – Use Chrome or Firefox instead.
    * Remove Java unless it's absolutely needed
    * Install Bitdefender Free Antivirus – it's still supported.

  • Comments Off on Still running Windows XP and Microsoft Security Essentials? As of July 15th, MSE will not get any further…
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  • One of the best steps you can take to avoid malware is to run an ad block extension in your browser like uBlock Origin (excellent!) or Ad Blocker (has slowed down recently). Occasionally they can cause a site to malfunction, but all usually have an easy to toggle 'switch' for each site allowing you to disable them if need be. Our recommendation is to use Google Chrome and uBlock Origin.
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  • It IS a hassle – but the security benefits are huge. Don't use the same password for sites that matter (banks, credit cards, health accts, e-commerce). Make sure your passwords are reasonably secure (mix of upper/lower case a numbers with no dictionary words/names). Don't access sensitive accounts on Public WiFi… Enable Two Factor Authentication on sites that support it. All it takes is a hacker getting access to your primary email account or bank account and you'll spend weeks or months trying to recover… Need help staying secure online? IT Xpress can help!
  • Comments Off on It IS a hassle – but the security benefits are huge. Don’t use the same password for sites that matter…
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  • Firefox is now blocking Flash due to the number of security vulnerabilities it has (and has had). Many sites like YouTube have migrated away to the more secure HTML5, but a number of sites (namely online games) still require Flash. Find yourself locked out of your favorite Flash based game/site? We suggest using Chrome (which updates Flash quickly and automatically), or in Firefox, click when prompted to run Adobe Flash after acknowledging the displayed warning. Only do this if you know you have the latest version of Flash installed. Not sure if your Flash install is up to date? Our My ITXpert clients receive regular updates to common applications automatically! See http://myitxpert.biz for more information!
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  • A particularly nasty Flash vulnerability that was discovered when a hacking firm got hacked itself, is already being exploited on the Internet. All users should make sure they are running the latest version of Flash by going here: https://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/  Just be sure to UNCHECK the junkware addon like McAfee Scanner, etc. If you use Google Chrome, click the three bar menu button and select 'About Google Chrome' It will check for updates and prompt you to 'Relaunch' once it's done updating (Google Chrome has Flash built in) 
  • Comments Off on A particularly nasty Flash vulnerability that was discovered when a hacking firm got hacked itself, …
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  • Windows 8 began a shift to PCs reporting a LOT more information to Microsoft. Windows 10 takes that even further – so if you're worried about privacy and keeping your PC from sharing too much with Microsoft and their partners, here is a guide to protect your privacy when using a Windows 8 or 10 PC. Note there are tradeoffs to some of these steps like syncing of account settings between computers, etc.
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  • IT Xpress is a certified Bitdefender technical specialist and we recommend Bitdefender to all of our clients. Our My ITXpert Pro and Premier clients get Bitdefender Endpoint Security that is centrally managed and monitored 24×7 by our technicians. This allows us to respond to initial virus infections/attempts before they grow into a true security event. Call or email today to get your home/business protected! 336-525-5005/[email protected]
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  • We're getting asked by many clients if they should upgrade to Windows 10 now that Microsoft has pushed 'alert' icons to every Windows 7/8 user. Our recommendation is yes, but not right now…

    Windows 7 and 8 are solid operating systems that work well. The biggest complaint about Windows 8 is no Start Menu and default desktop. But you can get that back by installing ClassicShell (http://classicshell.net). Just uncheck the Classic IE and Explorer options during installation and Windows 8 will feel just like Windows 7. Upgraded to any operating system right when it comes out can be problamatic. Better to let it be installed by early adopters for a few months. If you own a business and Windows 7 or 8 are working for you? Stick with them as they're fully supported. 

    Eventually you SHOULD upgrade to Windows 10, but for most people – you can probably wait until the end of the year or sometime next year. Windows 10 does not offer any 'must have' features that Windows 7 or 8 lack (besides bringing a Start Menu back that's not very easy to use).

    Still want Windows 10 but are worried you might have issues? We can do the upgrade for you (after the WIn 10 July 29th release) AND tuneup your system. All for $99. Call (336-525-5005) or email ([email protected])!

  • Comments Off on We’re getting asked by many clients if they should upgrade to Windows 10 now that Microsoft has pushed…
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