Tech Support Scams

Hello, we are calling from Windows and your computer looks like it is infected. Our Microsoft Certified Technician can fix it for you.”

Sound familiar? Do not fall for this scam.

How tech support scams work

Cold calls from fake Microsoft (etc) agents

phoneUsually from India and operating out of boiler rooms, these scammers call people in the U.S, Canada, the UK, and Australia whom they find in the phone directory.

The scam is straightforward: pretend to be calling from Microsoft, gain remote control of the machine, trick the victim with fake error reports and collect the money.

If you ever get a call from a Microsoft or Windows tech support agent out of the blue, the best thing to do is simply hang up. Scammers like to use VoIP technology so their actual number and location are hidden. Their calls are almost free which is why they can do this 24/7.

As per Microsoft:

You will never receive a legitimate call from Microsoft or our partners to charge you for computer fixes.

How fast does my computer need to be for college courses?

Your computer should be able to run at normal speed while having multiple windows open. Some may be playing videos, downloading music or programs, or viewing documents. Most laptops being sold to students today have more than 2GHz of processing power. This is a pretty good baseline to draw when shopping for a laptop.

Simply put, a student’s laptop is his or her lifeline. You’ll be on your laptop several hours per day, whether you’re writing computer code, typing an essay, researching a topic, or just checking Facebook. A laptop needs to be able to handle all of these tasks-sometimes simultaneously-and still operate with reasonable speed.

That being said, an English or Philosophy major who uses Microsoft Word and Adobe Reader is going to put less stress on their computer than an engineer who uses MATLAB or a computer programmer who uses Java. If all you need out of a computer are relatively basic functions, processing power is of less concern to you. Based on your interests, try to figure out what the specific uses of your computer may be.

Google is helping people

Google for its large corporate size is surprisingly helping the very poor of our planet. I admire how they are designing inexpensive devices and ways to get connected to the internet and providing these to the forgotten and poverty stricken. The rest of the story is HERE.

Google self driving cars are coming along great

The way of the future is here with computers driving the cars instead of humans. There is no doubt about the usefulness of the new technology. I’m looking forward to getting behind the wheel of one as soon as possible. In the news is the worst accident to date with a google self driving vehicle. It did not look that bad to me. We have all seen much worst damage, with a human driving. Here is a link to the story.

Change your passwords

The latest security breach of 500000 email accounts at Yahoo email, should remind us to change our passwords today.
Change them all. It is a great habit to change your passwords every month. Just write them down, date them and put them in two places.
Email is the weakest link in cyber security. So much of our data and online access is connected to our email account(s) in one way or another.
Data security breaches of big named servers is not going away. Until biometrics is perfected we are stuck using text passwords.
Happy computing and be well, be safe, behave.