Month: February 2018

Computer Scam Log Entry #2

Scam #2: Email with title “Automated Intuit Invoice Message” from that payment is due for an invoice.  The message says:

‘Dear customer,

This invoice email message is being delivered to you by Intuit Inc. on behalf of Transamerican Credit Group Ltd. Please click the link above to view an invoice’

It also includes a trademark acknowledgement and a link to Intuit’s privacy policy.

Visiting Geeks: This is a scam or phishing expedition. There are obvious signs of malfeasance in the email, including the sender’s email address from a company you don’t know, the name of the company sending the invoice is different from the email sender. Furthermore, hovering the mouse over the links reveal long and gibberish web addresses.  Bad guys know it’s tax season and use Intuit as a trusted brand. Smell fishy. Delete email right away.

Who Needs Backup?

The answer is everyone, except the few who don’t care losing data, be that documents, contacts, favorites, pictures, tax returns, accounting records….  In one incidence, a grandfather asks us to recover a file with first sounds made by his new born grandson.

Data loss is inevitable.  The causes are plenty: hardware problems, system update malfunctions, malware, virus, ransomware, fast fingers….  The pain will be much less if there’s a backup. However logical this sounds, many still don’t backup. Why not?

Nowadays, backing up is easier than ever.  If backing up to an external storage device or setting up local backup software is too complicated, welcome to the age of cloud backup.  It’s real easy and cheap.

Carbonite and Backblaze are two U.S.-based cloud backup companies that majority of our customers use. For personal use, Carbonite is $6/month ($72 / year) and Backblaze is $5/month ($50 / year).  Both provide unlimited storage.  Carbonite backs up one user’s data by default and Backblaze backs up all users in the same computer.  They both work in the background automatically.  There are many other cloud backup companies but either one of these would be excellent choice.

Computer Scam Log Entry #1

We receive customer inquiries almost on a daily basis whether an encounter is a scam, virus or what not. I’m going to keep a simple log entry whenever our customers or friends call in.

Scam #1: A voice mail claiming that your Microsoft License expired. Call a toll free number right away to avoid loss of data.

Visiting Geeks: Microsoft does not call. Your computer’s Microsoft operating systems license has been activated by the computer manufacturer at the factory.  In theory, it should never ‘expired’.  However, license of a new Microsoft operating system improperly installed due to hardware/software error will expire after a period of time and the computer will display a warning message.  Still, not Microsoft calling you.



You Google printers and a zillion of them spit out on your screen. That’s not helping.

Put aside your brand preferences for the moment and forget about the glitz and fancy features.

Here’s my 3 MUST HAVEs.

#1 MUST HAVE. Printer has to be easy to install and maintain.  So, a LCD screen on the printer is my #1 MUST HAVE.  I don’t want to look up in the manual or remember all those esoteric button combinations in order to set up/review printer features. No screen, no go.

#2 MUST HAVE. Then you want to see if the printer provides Ethernet and/or Wifi LAN feature.  With the LAN enabled printer, printing can be shared among family/staff members.  I prefer Ethernet connection as it is less error prone and drama, in my view.

#3 MUST HAVE. AirPrint. Look for the Apple AirPrint compatible logo before you buy. Invariably, someone wants to print from an Apple device. With AirPrint, printing from iPad and iPhone will be a bliss.  Otherwise, it gets complicated.

Aside from the 3 MUST HAVE features, there are many other items to consider. Most printers offer all-in-one features, including multi-page scanning, copying and faxing.  Print quality in general is good enough unless you are looking for high definition printing. Then you should find ones that provide higher resolution.

Paying more means faster print speed, better durability, more paper sizes and possibly color laser.

Most importantly, don’t be too cheap.  Spending $150 +/- should get a decent new home/small office printer.