HouseCall can quickly identify and fix a wide range of threats including viruses, worms, Trojans, and spyware.
ESET online scanner is a one time scan that detects and removes malware. It's easy to use and runs from any browser.
Computer Maintenance Tips
THE BEST ANTI-VIRUS! - A users best anti-virus and malware protection is their brain. If users are attentive and cautious, they can prevent any virus or malware problems on a personal computer. There are people who have nothing better to do than create problems for end users and their computers. It's your job to make sure they don't.
YOUR EMAIL IS NOT AS SAFE AS YOU THINK! - Don’t trust everything in your email. Be careful about clicking on web links and opening files or images within your email. Even if it’s from a trusted contact, make sure it seems like a valid email from that person. If you’re not sure, either contact that person separately or delete the email.
IF THEY CALLED YOU, IT'S PROBABLY A SCAM! - No one from Microsoft, or any other technology company, will call you and know that you have viruses on your computer. This is not possible so do not allow anyone to have remote access to your computer unless you’re 110% sure they are an actual tech that is trying to help you out. And if they called you, they're probably not.
DRIVERS FOR YOUR COMPUTER! - If you need a driver, or a driver update, do not use third party programs for finding and installing drivers on your computer. Those usually always come with malware or viruses embedded in them. To get the drivers you need, use Microsoft updates or the computer manufacturer’s website. If you’re not able to find the drivers in those locations, be very selective about where you download drivers from.
FREE ISN'T FREE... EVER! - Downloading programs to get "free" music or movies will always cost you. Maybe not now, but eventually. The same goes for "free" performance or cleanup programs. Mind you, the virus/malware programs that we install on your computer are free to use, but A Better Tech spends a lot of time researching and keeping up with what is good for your computer. When one of those "free" programs becomes a problem on your computer, you’ll have to pay a good computer shop technician, like A Better Tech, to fix it.
YOU MAY NOT NEED A NEW COMPUTER! - When computer operating systems get viruses or malware, or cluttered over time, it seems like your hardware may be failing. This isn't necessarily the case and doesn't mean that you need a new computer. There are times that parts can fail and a computer needs to have hardware repaired or replaced, but this doesn't always require buying a new computer. A Better Tech can do extensive testing on your computer to insure that your hardware is working well and your computer just needs to be cleaned up or have the operating system re-installed. Give us a call to find out what options are available to you.
BACK UP YOUR STUFF!!! - Now days, photos are taken AND saved digitally. Whether you believe it or not, those digital copies can get damaged and are irreplaceable. A Better Tech suggests that you keep at least one copy of all your important files on an external backup hard drive. Even better, would be to have two copies on two separate external hard drives, and keep one of those hard drives at a location outside of your house in case something happens there.
DON'T ADD MORE "PERFORMANCE" OR "SECURITY" PROGRAMS! - If you like Norton, McAffe or any other antivirus program better than what we recommend, feel free to use them. A Better Tech can even load them for you. But if you’re not sure about a program or ad, please be careful about adding stuff to your laptop or desktop computer. A lot of viruses come from the ads you see that say you need their protection. They look official, but that’s how they trick you into downloading them. This is also a ploy to get credit card and other personal information, which can lead to identity theft. Windows computers usually always come with some sort of anti-virus program already installed on them. Microsoft actually includes Defender with their operating system. So, when you see a pop up saying you need to buy their security, it's more than likely a scam.
OCCASIONAL ROUTINE MAINTENANCE! - Here are some things you can do to help maintain your computer and keep it running smoother for longer. Start by running disk cleanup to clear out all the temporary system files from your computer. This program can be found in Windows administrative tools or by searching for it in the Windows search component. The program is completely safe and won’t delete anything you need. Then you'll want to clear the cache and history from any other web browsers you might use. Somewhere in the browser settings, you can find the option to do this. Next you can go through your installed programs and uninstall any old programs you don’t use, or that look suspicious. After that, run a scan with your anti-virus software, then with Malwarebytes and lastly run one of the on line scanners we link to on our site.
KEEPING TRACK OF ALL YOUR PASSWORDS! - It seems like every time we turn around, we’re having to type a password for something. We have to create an account for just about everything we do or own. Well, for end users, it gets a little cumbersome to remember all the account information. A Better Tech recommends that you, as an end user, use some method for maintaining all the passwords you have. You can make, or even find a template of a spreadsheet that is used specifically for maintaining all of your accounts and their log in information. Other options include programs like KeePass. This is a database program that allows you to keep all your account information private & you only have to remember one (1) password. Other information you should keep track of with all these accounts is Pins, ID’s and Security questions. KeePass makes it easy to input all this, or you can add headers to your spreadsheet for all these columns.
DON'T BUY ($$$) INTO THE POP UPS! - One of the biggest computer problems we see is customers with a Virus that they got after they clicked on a pop up or ad that told them they “NEEDED” the product being sold. We’ve also seen many customers that have bought unnecessary ad on programs that advertising convinced them they needed. These ad on programs are usually something that is advertised in a program that is being used by the customer, but it’s not necessary to keep using the primary program. So, as you’re working on your computer and you see an ad or pop up trying to sell you something, be cautious and research things prior to spending your hard earned money. You can prevent wasting money, ending up with more programs to slow down your computer or even worse, ending up with a virus that takes you down completely.
GET YOUR COMPUTER RECONNECTED WHEN YOU GET HOME! - After A Better Tech is done making your computer run like new, there will still be a couple of things you have to do when you get home. Since we reloaded the operating system, your computer no longer remembers what your Internet access is. You will have to connect the Ethernet cable or input the password for your Wi-Fi. The driver for your printer has also been erased during this process. You will have to re-connect your printer and re-install the driver to be able to print again. If you have any other devices that were connected to your computer, you will have to go through the process to set those up again as well. A Better Tech can help if you’re not sure how to get everything working again.
RE-NAMIMG OR MOVING SYSTEM FILES AND FOLDERS! - Computers are supposed to help with keeping our lives organized. And most operating systems do a pretty good job at keeping our files in the right place. But, some users like to change things around to suite their needs better. This isn’t a problem for the most part, you just have to remember one thing. When your operating system was installed, it placed certain system files in specific locations so the operating system can find the files easily. If you move or rename these files or folders, you will cause problems for your operating system and possibly even make it not work anymore.
GOOGLE IS YOUR FRIEND! - You can find all kinds of info on line about how to resolve computer problems. Just be careful what you follow and don't do anything you're not sure about. As much as users like to think that everything on the Internet is true and safe, that’s not always the case. Don’t just accept the first answer you see as correct, do some research. It’s also a good idea to research the source to make sure they’re a reputable source for computer problem resolutions.
DON'T USE DEFRAG ANYMORE! - Defrag used to be a very popular and useful program for optimizing your operating system. After using Defrag, you could definitely see a performance increase on your computer. Operating systems now days are a lot better at keeping your file system optimized, so you shouldn’t use Defrag any more. This is especially true with newer hard drives since it can cause unnecessary writes to a solid state drive. SSD’s are designed to last much longer than mechanical hard drives, but writing too SSD’s excessively can shorten it’s life span.
DON'T BE TOO CLICKY! - While you're installing programs, surfing the web, reading email or any other number of things on your computer, be sure to pay attention to what you're clicking on. If you've ever seen a computer repair technician working on a computer, they move fairly quick and seem to click on things without reading them. That's only because they've done it many times and already know what the screens and pop ups say. Before you start to click on something to proceed, insure you know what you're clicking on.
CALL A REPUTABLE COMPUTER TECH! - If your computer isn't running the way it's supposed to, and you're not sure how to fix the problem, call a computer technician that specializes in repairing computer problems. Even if you don't call A Better Tech, call a professional that can help you out with your computer services. It will save you time and money.