7 Things to keep the computer guy away…

Nothing is more irritating than to have something quit working when you need it most. Trust us, a computer never fails when it’s convenient, it always seems to fail right when you need it most.

7 things you can do to save you money with your computer:

  • Use Google Chrome. Seriously, you’re still using Internet Explorer? Even Microsoft is finally ditching Internet Explorer for Windows 10, by calling it Spartan http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spartan_(browser). I know, some outdated web applications still use ActiveX with Internet Explorer, but please, for your security and our sanity use Google Chrome, FireFox, or Opera.
  • Run CCleaner regularly. If you don’t know what CCleaner is, it’s time to get it! It literally means “Crap Cleaner” It removes temporary files, including internet cache, system temp files, and etc. Best of all it’s free! You can get it for free from www.ccleaner.com
  • Keep Windows up to date. Honestly, this is something that is easily overlooked and is critical. Updates will help ensure your computer is protected from the latest bugs, and glitches, not to mention security updates help protect your precious Justin Bieber photo collection.
  • Have anti-virus and keep it up to date, also have it scan your system often. You’re online right now, so you’re already at risk, reduce it by having the proper protection!
  • Have Disk Defragmenter run at least once a week automatically. You know there’s no substitute for that feeling of having a clean house? The same goes with your hard drive. You do not need to defragment solid-state drives, as this is done automatically without you doing anything.
  • Back up! Even if it’s to an external hard drive that runs automatically, any kind of backup is better than no backup. All hard drives will fail at some point or another; it’s just simply a matter of when. Don’t wait until you lose all of your Britney Spears music, or your Bieber fever photos!
  • Get a battery backup. Even if it’s a cheap battery backup, a battery backup that properly shuts down your computer is better than it being suddenly powered off. The other reason, it actually increases the life of the components in your computer. Feed it clean electricity, just like you’d feed your car clean gasoline or diesel.

We know that you may not know how to do all of these things, but that’s what we’re here for, Digital Crisis is the leading computer repair company in Houston. Give us a call today so we can get your machine the love it deserves.

Find a trustworthy Computer Tech

How much data do you have on your computer that you wouldn’t want anyone else taking a peek at?
This is regardless of what kind of data it may be; some of us have sensitive business-centric information and some of us simply have a list of those, you know…websites, we wouldn’t want anyone associating us with. Now, imagine calling up a computer repair guy who can rummage through all this personal information while they work on your computer! The best case scenario is that they will grin and look at you funny when you come to pick up your machine. The worst case scenario is that they will take advantage of this knowledge! Remember, they have your billing details; which mean your full name, address and even possibly your credit card.

Absolutely horrific, right?
That scenario is the best example as to why you simply cannot wake up one day, find your computer on the fritz and call up the first contact labeled ‘Houston Computer Repair Guy’ in the Yellow Pages. It is clear that, as simple as this task may seem, it does require some thought put into it. That is, unless you want an untrustworthy IT guy going through your private digital life or intellectual property. Today, about 84% of U.S households own a computer or two. That is almost everyone. Out of all these people, a very small percentage of them can actually repair a computer. This is not taking into account those terrifyingly computer savvy kids of today. What this means is that most of America will at some point, need one form of computer help or another from a tech of their choice. How do you find the right, trustworthy computer tech?

Find One From A Trusted Houston Computer Repair Company
Individual repair guys are a dime a dozen, and quite frankly, so are computer repair companies. When it comes to pricing, individual repair guys generally tend to be a little cheaper than guys affiliated to a company. But do not let this price difference fool you. You are much better off hiring a computer tech from a reputable company than you are hiring one off the streets.

Here’s why:
– Companies take their reputations very seriously. To that effect, they will only hire the best of the best. This means that your computer guy will have some sort of qualifcation in his field. With this in their back pocket, you know for a fact that they actually know what they are doing. And if they don’t, they have a whole team by their side to assist them. This is opposed to finding a random repair guy who will rummage through your computer and quite possibly make it worse than it was before.

– Companies have regulations to adhere to. This makes them responsible and very careful with private information. It is said that we are an overly litigious society. In this case, that is a good thing. Companies know that they are exposed when it comes to legal liability. They do not know who will sue them when and for what. So they tend to keep everything on the straight and narrow to minimize that risk.
– You can trust a company with your hardware because they have a known physical address and contact information. Choosing someone from Craigslist is a risky affair for two main reasons. For starters, there are a lot of wayward individuals on there, and secondly, you have to take their word for whatever they tell you. You do not know who you are dealing with. When dealing with a company on the other hand, you know for a fact that they are registered and licensed; meaning you can always track them down. And additionally, they have contact information and a physical address that you can walk into. This is not the kind of person to up and leave in the middle of the night taking your precious gaming laptop with them.

-Do some research, find out about their warranty, ask for references, or ask around from your friends, for suggestions of where they get their computer fixed.

Getting a good computer repair company or computer tech shouldn’t be hard, however just like you have auto mechanics that are known to try to sell you a unicorn because your leprechaun was loose, you should always err on the side of caution when selecting a computer repair company.

Digital Crisis is a computer repair company in Houston providing thousands of computer users like you with the best computer repair in town. If you would like to see what our clients have to say, ask for a reference sheet! We believe in providing the best customer and making owning a computer easier. We not only service our residential clients but we provide services to small and medium sized businesses.

10 things you may not know about your computer

  • Leave your computer on or turn it off? – Honestly it’s up to you, I personally leave my computer on, I have my programs that scan for viruses, defrag my hard drive, not to mention, sometime I jet-set around the world, and I need to remote into my computer to get that important file I forgot.
  • Norton/McAfee/Brand X will protect me. – Ha! If only that were true, otherwise we’d have only one anti-virus program out there and the computer guys like us would be out of business! Honestly, we review our protection software annually, and we have changed our anti-virus programs a couple of times already. You can see some of the reviews of different anti-virus programs from a non-biased perspective at http://www.av-comparatives.org/dynamic-tests/
  • My files are backed up with DropBox! ­– Yeah right! You haven’t heard of CryptoLocker. CryptoLocker is a nasty malware that encrypts your data, rendering it useless. Since it the files aren’t actually deleted, they are stored encrypted, or in our words destroyed, and all of your files are rendered useless and then synced with DropBox. So, in a way, DropBox then destroyed the files on all of your devices, since it doesn’t know the difference of whether a file was maliciously encrypted, or intentionally.
  • Hacker’s aren’t interested in my stuff. – Well, that’s not exactly true; most hackers are usually scanning the web for information to sell in the black market, such as your social security number, credit card numbers, or other financial information. In the end, hackers aren’t interested in destroying your computer as much as they are interest in stealing, or their words “earning” money. That’s why it’s important to ensure you have the latest virus protection and security updates.
  • It’s important to let your laptop battery drain all the way regularly, so it doesn’t develop “battery memory” ­- I know, I know, we all remember those days that we were told to let the cordless phones (before cell phones) drain completely, and then fully charging it, however with lithium ion batteries (unlike the nickel cadmium), it’s actually much more complicated on maintaining your battery. It’s not good for the battery to be drained complete, and nor is it good to charge it fully to 100%, however you don’t have to worry about over-charging your laptop, as it will automatically stop charging once it reaches optimal charge. Your laptop will shut off and not power on after it reaches below a certain level of charge. Generally a normal laptop battery will last 3-5 years before needing to be replaced. Today’s smart phones use the same batteries and the phones work the exact same way as a laptop!
  • If I have a Mac, only an Apple store can fix it if something happens to it. – Actually this couldn’t be further from the truth. From our own experience, we have found that our computer repair store in Houston, at Digital Crisis, that we can generally repair an Apple computer at a similar or lower price, while providing a faster turnaround time, and a one year warranty vs. the standard 30 day warranty that Apple provides on their repairs.
  • My Computer runs fine, there’s nothing on it! – We’re willing to bet that no matter how careful or cautious you are, your computer has some form of infection, whether it is a malware, or an adware that’s hidden in Internet Explorer, or even Google Chrome. The most frequent way users get adware on their computer is by installing “free” software on their computer, you know the saying, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch,” well, this where it plays out. You get this cool game or PDF converter program, and you clicked that “I Accept” radio button without even reading the actual text, and you installed the application, which also came with Adware or Spyware. Then of course we hear, “But I didn’t download anything!”
  • I have a lot of files/music/videos/documents on my computer, that’s why it’s running so slow.-You’d think with all of that music and album covers you have from Back Street Boys, and all of your photos, videos, and even the games you have on your computer it would bring it down to a crawl. The fact is, no matter how much data you have on your computer, stored on the hard drive, it’s not generally going to slow down your computer, unless you’re approaching 85% capacity. We do recommend that when you do have more content on your hard drive, that you do perform hard drive optimization at least once a week, such as defragmenting, cleaning out temporary files, and other junk. Otherwise, your machine should be just as fast, and slick, generally it’s the amount of programs running at start-up that slow down most people’s computers.
  • Apple computers don’t get viruses. – We hear this all the time; we probably get asked this once or twice a week easily. Unfortunately, there can be worms in the Apple. There was a time that an Apple computer was less prone to getting an infection, but it was simply supply and demand. Mac computers are rapidly growing in the market for home computers, creating a demand to not only have viruses for the PC world, but also in the Apple world.
  • I don’t need a computer guy; my friend/neighbor can do it. – Well unless they’re a cool computer tech like us, chances are he or she probably know just enough to be dangerous, and maybe fix just the immediate problem, but not to identify potential future issues down the road. We have this happen all the time, “Well, I had this family friend work on my computer….” We had a company use a friend of the owner’s, and not only was he not qualified to do the job, but he lost that company’s entire hard drive full of their financial information. The company owner honestly wouldn’t have known better, since he himself wasn’t a tech himself, nor did he understand the risks involved with having an underqualified technician. It’s one thing to have your friend fix an electronic toy, such as your gaming computer, but when it comes to something more serious, such as your business, you had better think twice.

We are a Houston computer repair company that offers IT services not only to residential consumers, but also to small/medium business (SMB), from workstations to server support. We can provide your business the quality helpdesk it needs to keep you up and running. For a free consultation, speak with one of our team members at 281-500-1213.

Don’t lose your data!

I highly doubt you’ve never heard the words, “It’s important to back up your data.” You may have even learned from a first hand experience, or a friend, who was working on that college paper until 2 in the morning and then right when he or she was done, they were about to print it out, the computer froze, and had to reboot the computer, and when it came back up, to come find out, they lost all of her work that they had been working on for the past 2 weeks.

I’m willing to bet that most of you don’t even back up, not because you didn’t know that you should or didn’t know how, but probably because there’s nothing important on there, or maybe it’s a hassle, to get a USB flash drive, or external hard drive and copy the data over to your hard drive or USB key every so often.

Truth is, you probably have  a lot more stored on your computer than you give credit for, such as when you got the new iPhone 6 and wanted to migrate your data from your old iPhone to your new iPhone, or when you  ran out of room on that iPhone, you decided to offload some of those selfies to your computer, or when you did that essay for college, or that GoPro video of you scuba diving in the Caribbean.

cloud

What if I keep all of my stuff in DropBox or Google Sync?
Good question. The problem is, this has happened in the past before,  some users were using a cloud synchronization service, like DropBox, and their computer got infected with a nasty virus called CryptoLocker, their files had been destroyed due to the encryption on their files, and since DropBox is designed to synchronize the data, the damaged files were synchronized to all of the devices, rendering all the files useless.

What about virus protection? Shouldn’t that protect me from something like CryptoLocker?
For starters, no matter what anti-virus program you buy or use, there is no absolute guarantee that you won’t get an virus. Plus, it’s not a matter of if a hard drive fails, it’s a matter of when. Solid state drives fail too! They’re actually more difficult to get data back from, than your traditional mechanical hard drive, when it comes to a hardware failure.

What do you guys do? Is there an easy way to back up my data?
While we still use the cloud to back up your data just like Google and DropBox, we actually encrypt your data before it even leaves your computer, and we store every revision of your files forever (as long as you keep your account,) and the storage size is UNLIMITED! Our software automatically backs up your data as often as every 15 minutes, you don’t have to remember USB sticks, Hard drives, and you don’t have to have to do anything, literally. It’s a “Set it, and forget it” system. That’s the way backups should be, something that is done without you even having to worry about it.

What are you waiting for? Get protected now, in our next post we’ll be talking about Data recovery and how it works.