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Tech Fred's Tips
Hunter and Bozo!

#1 Play it safe and watch out for online and telephone scams!   If you receive a random phone call stating that your computer is infected with a virus/malware and the party claims to be from Microsoft or your Internet Service Provider (ISP), THINK AGAIN!  Same applies to surfing the Internet and hitting pop ups from a company (usually claiming that they are a Microsoft Certified Partner, etc.) stating that your computer is infected and to call a 1-800 phone number for tech support, etc.  Many people are falling prey to this scam and there is no way to recover lost funds as this scam is usually internationally based thus doesn't originate in the United States where the FCC or State Attorney General's office could normally assist.  NEVER, EVER give anyone that you do not know remote access to your computer!  These thieves typically run a fake security scan of your computer showing numerous system errors, instances or malware, etc. and offer to rectify all of these bogus issues for a flat fee or tech support contract.   Once in, a scammer could manipulate system files, delete/encrypt files and data if their ransom (tech support fee) is not paid.  Unfortunately, we have repaired many computers that were hacked in this manner. 

#2  Back up your valuable data!  With the low cost of USB flash memory drives, access to the CLOUD and external hard drives, you have no excuse not to back up data that you consider "critical".  Whether this be family photos, music files, work documents/databases, etc.; a regular backup regimen would be prudent in preventing permanent data loss.  I consider myself an expert at data recovery from failing drives and media.  That being said, there are a few times where I am not able to recover a customer's data and I refer them to a Data Recovery Center.  Analysis fees alone range from $200-$500 and are typically, non-refundable.  Data recovery, if successful, can range in the thousands of dollars for even a few gigabytes of data dependent on the damage severity/length of recovery process.  Blue Moon Computers sells external hard drives, USB flash drives and offers off-site data storage (on our secure servers) to suit your back up needs. 

#3 You may love Fido, but Fido may not love your computer!  Remember to keep you notebook computer, phones, cables, media, etc. out of your pet's path or there could be dire consequences!  You would be amazed by how many walk-in repairs are due to pet damage.  Dogs that chew A/C adapter cords, parrots that peck the keys off of keyboards (this seriously happened :-), mice that manage to get into computer towers and chew wires, cats that "mark" the tower as their own, etc!  Also, an occassional air dusting of the computer's fans/fan ducts would be advisable if your equipment is located in an area with heavy, loose pet hair flying around.  Unplug your equipment from A/C power first in order to prevent damage.  Blue Moon Computers sells canned air duster, electronics cleaner, wipes, etc. for your convenience.