In this section we aim to cover some of the many different computer problems that our clients encounter.That includes software problems, viruses, internet browser issues, network support challenges, printer problems, blackberry and iphone questions, and much much more. We'll also give you some handy tips and tricks to make your day in front of the computer easier and show you how to keep your files safe and secure.
When it comes to browsing web pages on the Internet, there are a lot of options these days. The very first browser was called LYNX and was a text-only browser. That’s right, you could download images, but LYNX would not display them. Then, Netscape Mosaic was released and everything changed. Suddenly, you could see web pages as we see them today. Of course, at that time the web was SLOW (even for power users) so images were not used too much in the beginning. This was to change over the years, however.
When it comes to “free” software online you have to really be careful these days. While some free software is fine – and even useful – there is quite a bit out there that is not safe. In fact, some of the free software out there can really harm your computer. From free games like poker or solitaire to free desktops or toolbars, there are a lot of offers out there. Before downloading and blindly clicking the “I agree” or “okay” button it is important to really examine the situation to see whether or not it’s going to be safe to have it on your computer. To help, we have some tips and techniques that can help you determine whether software you get online for free is safe or not.
Tips for Downloading Free Software Online
Is it Needed? – The first question you should ask yourself is if you really need the free download. From screensavers to software, the decision is up to you. However, if you really do need something, isn’t it better to pay a little money and get quality without the hassles? When it comes to free screensavers and free software, it is usually better to pay for something.
Free is not Free – Sometimes, something is labeled as free – you do not have to spend money to get it – but there are other costs involved that you should consider. For some free downloads, the fine print of the agreement you agree to may give the company freedom to information you might not want them to have.
Good Free Software – Before you get the idea that all free software is bad or could be harmful to your computer, you should know that there are quite a few free programs out there that are useful. From the Firefox browser to OpenOffice.org, there are many great free programs out there that will not cost you in the short term or the long run.
The Future of Free
As you can see above, there are a lot of things you need to watch out for when it comes to free software online. Having said that, the future is looking bright for freebies online as more and more companies decide to give away their product and charge for service or support. This model of free software has the chance to really shake things up. There are even free operating systems out there – primarily Linux, a variation of Unix.
Once you start looking into free software more, you are going to realize that there is a whole sub-culture that exists. From people who use free downloads to market and make money to those who just believe in giving stuff away for free, there are a lot of opportunities on the Internet for getting something for nothing. The big thing is that you want to make sure you’re careful at all stages of the process.
If you keep up with the news at all, there is a good chance you have heard the phrase net neutrality. If you are not sure what it is all about – and whether it concerns you – we are here to help you better understand this complex Internet issue. The 21st century is like no other in that there are many social issues arising that weren’t a problem in past centuries.
Today, with the Internet continuing to grow all over the world, the idea of net neutrality has become a hot debate for those who are paying attention. Some may tell you that it is a complex issue, but it really is not. In fact, there are two basic views or standpoints – one that gives freedom to the people and one that gives more power to the corporations.
Net Neutrality Basics
Basically, Net Neutrality refers to Internet service providers not discriminating between different kinds of content and applications online over the network. Network Neutrality guarantees a level playing field for websites and is what the foundation of the Internet is based upon. In the early 21st century, large corporations began to try to lobby to get legislation passed that would allow them to more heavily control the Internet.
For example, corporate media sites might load fast and offer video and images while blogger websites would load slower and not be able to handle the bandwidth fees for large images and videos. Think this is far fetched? It’s really not. A debate has been brewing for years now, with both sides of the battle winning some and losing some. At the moment, the debate continues with corporations lobbying congress to change laws to allow for a stricter and more controlled Internet – open to the highest bidders.
Future of Net Neutrality
If the issue of net neutrality seems important to you, this is good news. The more people who become passionate about keeping the Internet free for everyone who plays by the rules the better chance we have of achieving something truly special with the Internet. From signing petitions to contacting politicians to informing everyone about network neutrality and why it’s an important issue, there is a lot that can be done to stop the large corporations from gaining too much control of the Internet.
Whichever side of the debate you fall on, net neutrality is truly one of the most important social issues in the 21st century so far. With effects that will reach around the world, will the Internet in the West become more like the Internet found in China and other countries around the world? If net neutrality is kept in the forefront by people on the Internet, there’s a good chance that freedom on the Internet will prevail. With companies ranging from Google to Microsoft to the government itself, there are a lot of groups who want more control over the Internet.
If you are looking for the top signs you have a virus or spyware related problem, you have come to the right place! We are going to go to the extreme to give you an idea of the top ways to know if you are infected by a virus or some type of spyware or other malware. (Stay tuned for future blog posts that explain the differences between spyware, trojans, rootkits, and more!) For now, if any of the below apply to you or your computer, you need to be careful!
● Strange Sounds – If your computer suddenly starts singing strange songs or telling you that you’re a winner – in English or another language – it is a good sign that something may be amiss on your computer.
● You MUST Act NOW! – While you shouldn’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today, if your computer suddenly insists that you must purchase this or that immediately, you may have what is called adware, a type of computer virus.
● Strange Searches – If you type in a search at Google or Yahoo and are always taken to search results for something else – or search results with a lot of hidden ads – you may have spyware on your computer.
● Popping Everywhere – If you have pop-unders, pop-overs, slide-overs, pop-unders and every other type of annoying ad coming up when you try to surf the Internet or check your mail, you may have a nasty spyware virus.
● Slow as a Sloth – If your computer takes more than a couple minutes to boot up, taking minutes or hours to load all the programs in the taskbar – you may have quite a few nasties slowing you down.
● Smoke Appears – Seriously, if smoke appears from your computer, something is seriously wrong. Unplug it immediately and seek help!
● Phone Bill Increase – If you notice strange charges on your mobile phone bill, you may have been hit by some type of virus that signs you up for a monthly membership program without you knowing about it.
● Calls from Russia – If your phone rings frequently and Boris keeps demanding that you upgrade your computer protection software, you may have been hit by a virus that stole your personal information.
● You’re a Winner – If your computer or laptop suddenly announces that you are a winner of a lottery, sweepstakes or some other type of contest – and you haven’t entered – you should be suspicious!
● MISSING – If you find files, folders or other data missing on your computer, you may be infected. Sometimes with a lot of files and so much storage available, it’s difficult to notice when things go missing.
In all seriousness, if your computer is running slow or you suddenly have a new homepage or worse, you may have a virus. The good news is that these days there are many great ways to stay safe online. Stay turned for further computer blog posts about staying safe online and dealing with a virus or spyware if you happen to get it. The process for removing a virus and keeping your computer safe becomes easier the more you deal with the problem. If you spend any amount of time online daily or even just weekly, you need to make sure you take the steps necessary to stay safe online.