Making Technology Easier for Seniors

The pandemic has changed the world. More people have been pushed online in new ways, and for senior citizens this can be particularly challenging. Even registering for a COVID-19 vaccination requires going online in many countries. Plus, social gatherings and other appointments have gone virtual. Don’t add to a seniors’ social distance. Here’s how we can help seniors with their technology needs.

Think of all that has moved online in 2021:

  • telehealth
  • scheduling services
  • service appointments
  • church, club, association, and neighborhood meetings
  • shopping
  • selecting and reserving library books

It’s not that these things weren’t using technology before, but there were other options. Now, seniors may need to get online to take part in weddings, funerals, or baby showers. Thus, it’s essential that they have the right tools and know-how to log in and connect virtually.

Another problem? The senior is stuck at home and can’t go out to get computer help the way they might have done before. Meanwhile, family members may not yet be able to visit to help out.

How We Help Seniors with Technology

Socially distancing can have an especially negative impact on senior citizens, and factoring in a technology barrier doesn’t help. A managed service provider can help seniors tackle tech challenges. With their coaching, the senior can connect confidently and securely.

To stay in touch with family today, the senior has many online channels available. They can get on Facebook, use FaceTime on a mobile phone, start a video call on their desktop, or send an email. They also might play online games with family members, or join a watch party on a streaming service such as Amazon, Hulu, or Netflix. The list goes on and on.

All this requires technology in the home. Deciding on what kind of computer to get or upgrade to can be daunting, not to mention the challenge of setting it all up and connecting it to other devices in the home … or installing a router … or making sure the software is up to date and patched to lower the risk of malware or hacker attack.

Then, once the technology is installed, the learning curve doesn’t flatten out entirely.

In our digital environment, there are so many more devices to connect to one another. Maybe the printer is wireless and connects to the phone, or the router provided by the cable service isn’t giving a good enough signal throughout the house. A residential IT expert can help with that, too.

Our IT team can also suggest software solutions to make life easier for seniors online. We can recommend ways to integrate all the technology to simplify the environment. We know about changing default passwords for cybersecurity, and we can also set up password wallets. This can help forgetful seniors who might otherwise repeat access credentials across accounts.

Connect with Our Residential Support Team

You can rest assured that you or the seniors in your life have the IT help needed to stay connected. We’re able to explain, coach, and troubleshoot at any time. As we’ll get to know the technology, we can often help faster, too, plus we can do a lot of our work remotely if that makes the senior feel safer.

Some seniors fear technology. We get it. We can address concerns about going online. We will reassure with the right precautions and by setting up a secure system. Our experienced techs are always happy to help. Contact us at (978) 346-4087!

Senior Shopping Hours

Grocery Stores

  • Market Basket – Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 5:30 am – 7:00 am
  • Star Market & Shaw’s – Tuesday, Thursday 7:00 am – 9:00 am
  • Stop & Shop – Every day 6:00 am – 7:00 am
  • Trader Joe’s – Monday 9:00 am – 10:00 am
  • Whole Foods – 1 hour before official opening hours. Check your local store
  • Roche Brothers – 7:00 am – 8:00 am
  • Price Chopper – Every day 6:00 am – 7:00 am


  • Target – Wednesday, 1st shopping hour
  • BJ – Every day, first hour before official opening, 8:00 am – 9:00 am
  • Cosco – Tuesday, Thursday, 8:00 am – 9:00 am
  • Walmart – Tuesday, 6:00 am – 7:00 am
  • Dollar General – 1st shopping hour
  • Walgreen – Tuesday, 8:00 am – 9:00 am

How To Get Rid of Scamware

In the past year, it’s not uncommon to see a message similar to the above plasters on your PC screen. Scam artists have long tried to evade the myriad of anti-virus and anti-malware software and this is one that slips through.

The following steps will remove this type of scams in majority of the cases.  Otherwise, your computer would need more in-depth cleansing. The idea is to cleanse all your web browsers as well as identifying and removing any modifications to your computer registry settings.

Here are steps to cleanse each of your web browsers:

  • Download the three free programs onto a flash drive using a separate PC if you can:
    1. CCleaner – 
    2. Malwarebytes –
    3. Zemana –
    4. Remove the flash drive and insert into the infected PC.
  • Cleanse Your Browsers’ temporary files, cache and cookies
    1. Install CCleaner
    2. CCleaner will start after installation.
    3. Make sure you close all your web browsers
    4. Click “Run Cleaner”
    5. Click “OK”
    6. CCleaner will run for a while.
    7. After it finishes, “X” out the application.
  • Scan for malware
    1. Install Malwarebytes
    2. Application will start after installation.
    3. Click “Scan Now”
    4. It may take up to 30 minutes depends on your system
    5. “Remove” or “Quarantine” all found abnormalities.
    6. Restart your computer.
  • Scan for registry and browser hijack devices
    1. Install Zemana
    2. Application will start after installation 
    3. Click “Scan”
    4. Program will scan and when it finishes scanning, click “Next” to quarantine all found traces of suspicious entries.
    5. “X” out of the program
  • Restart your computer.

Use your computer to see if the problem has gone away.  If it has, congratulations!  If not, we have to perform additional steps to remove the pest.

At this point, you have 3 free programs installed and they will remind you to purchase their software.  If you want to remove them, go to “Control Panel”, “Programs and Features” to uninstall them.

Good luck.

AVIMark Print Error “This command is not available”

One of our new clients is an animal hospital and they use a clinical software application called AVIMark.  They were unhappy with their MSP for a variety of reasons and decided to ask us to look into several of their lingering ‘unsolved’ printing issues.

Couple of their computers either cannot print labels or print the wrong sized labels.  Those were quickly resolved by our senior technician.  But one computer just wouldn’t print Word documents and PDFs directly from AVIMark, their veterinary software.  After over an hour with two AVIMark technical support agents remote logged in and inspect their computer, the recommendation was to uninstalled and reinstalled Microsoft Office.

That’s kind of odd because Microsoft Office functions correctly when invoked directly.  So uninstalling and reinstalling Microsoft will just get us back to the same place.  I spent some time on the internet and found a proposed solution from IT-Simplified, LLC which described a similar problem when AVIMark gets an error code 5 when trying to print.

The solution is to turn off Microsoft Word’s start up options show it would not display the splash screen.  I suspect AVIMark did not update and  include the correct switch setting in its command on later version of Microsoft Office.

To get AVIMark to print.

  1. Start Microsoft Word directly;
  2. Either create a new document or open an existing one (either way will work);
  3. Click File
  4. Click Options
  5. Near the bottom, you should see “Start up options”
    1. uncheck all 3 options.
  6. Click OK
  7. Click “X” on upper right corner to exit Microsoft Word; and
  8. Reboot the computer.

AVIMark will now print.

Cleanse Your Browser & VPN Services

As mentioned in my newsletter, to keep your Internet activities private, you should cleanse your browser history and cache contents, as well as setting up a VPN connection.

As you know, there are quite a selection of browsers: Internet Explorer, Edge, Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera and more.  The procedure to remove history and cache contents is different depending on your browser.  This website ( gives excellent instructions on how to accomplish this for all these browsers.

For VPN services, here are 4 alternatives that deserve some attention, among many others:

  1. OpenVPN – free
  2. ExpressVPN  – $6.67 per month.
  3. NordVPN – $2.75 per month.
  4. CyberGhost – $2.75 per month.

They are very easy to install, connect and have different features as well as number of VPN servers around the world. Using VPN ensures your Internet communication is secure and confidential.

May the privacy be with you!

Comcast Website Flaw Exposed Customer WiFi Passwords

ZDNet reports on May 22, 2018 a security flaw uncovered by two security researchers, Karan Saini and Ryan Stevenson.

Using only Comcast account number and the house number, Comcast router/modem activation screen will display the router’s WIFI password in plain text, even though the web form asks for full address.

If a bad actor has a Comcast account number, s/he can simply guesses the house number or apartment number.

This bug also returns the new WIFI password even if the modem/router has already been turned on.

Comcast reportedly corrected this error shortly after ZDNet’s report. Stay tuned.

Email Scam Log Entry #6: Why am I so lucky?

Email Scam: Boston Globe recently was reporting on a woman receiving an email from Publishers’ Sweepstakes she won but need to pay taxes and some fees first.  She called the phone number and a nice young woman congratulate her and urged her to keep it confidential and don’t tell anyone, even her family so it can be a surprise.  Right?!  Below is excerpt of another email received this past week.

“My name is Warren E. Buffett an American business magnate, investor and philanthropist. am the most successful investor in the world. I believe strongly in‘giving while living’ I had one idea that never changed in my mind ? that you should use your wealth to help people and i have decided to give {$1,500,000.00} One Million Five Hundred Thousand United Dollars, to randomly selected individuals worldwide. On receipt of this email, you should count yourself as the lucky individual.”

Visiting Geeks: Am I lucky or what?  Who doesn’t know Warren Buffett, the oracle financier hailed from Omaha?   Forget about grammatical mistakes and typos.  I’ll take ‘United Dollars’ whatever that is.  Smile and hit your <delete> key.

Rabbit Ear

After power was restored Tuesday night after the storm, we found the FIOS interface was fried.  It’s weird without Internet, phone and TV.  As we live just outside of Boston, we can get TV signals using good old antenna.  But we threw that out long long time ago but we found a short coax cable so we connect it to the TV but signal was weak. Adding a booster did the trick.  Our TV receives the usual major channels.  Here’s our signal booster.

Functional Antenna Design

Email Scam Log Entry #5

Scam Email #5: this appears in inbox…”

Good morning.

Dont regard on my English, I am from Japan.We loaded our malicious program on your device.After that I thiefted all private background from your device. Moreover I received some more evidence.The most amusing evidence which I got- its a videotape with your masturbation.I put virus on a porn page and after you loaded it. As soon as you decided with the video and tapped on a play button, my deleterious soft immediately loaded on your device.

After adjusting, your web camera shoot the videotape with you masturbating,  additionally I saved the video you watched. In next week my virus collected all your social media and email contacts.

If you wish to destroy all the compromising evidence- transfer me 980 united state dollar in BTC(cryptocurrency).

I provide you my Btc wallet address – 1FkizUB6vgJzUz6fQyTRZckcu3QBT

You have 24 hours to go from this moment. If I receive transaction I will destroy the evidence forever. Otherwise I will send the record to all your friends.”

Visiting Geeks: This sounds pretty alarming for the recipient but it’s a scam. Unfortunately, scammers can buy emails by the thousands and simply blasts this type of scary emails out to demand money. Ignore it.  We are testing email screening software to cut down these types of nonsense.  Stay tuned.