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January « 2010 « ZolexPC Blog About Us - Remote Computer Support & Help | Zolex PC
18Jan/10Off

Beware of Scam Sites Related to Haiti Relief

With the tragedy in Haiti recently, opportunities arise for the best to come out in people by giving their hard earned dollars to a worthy cause such as Haiti relief. Unfortunately tragedies and catastrophes like Haiti's current situation can give rise to golden opportunities for scammers and Flim-Flammers alike to make money off of a willing and generous public. There are plenty of Scam Sites already out there trying to do this masking themselves as helping Haiti but really just helping themselves to your generous donations.

Anyone can create a website to accept donations and then simply not spend a dime of the money they receive on Haiti. They could pocket the money themselves, buy a new car, or anything they want. Is it completely dishonest and dishonorable? Yes. Does that mean people will not do it to make a buck? Absolutely not.

You need to make sure if you are donating money that it goes to a legitimate place. During Hurricane Katrina, many websites sprung up and many scams were launched. These defrauded people who wanted to help by making donations and the money just vanishing for the websites closing up shop quickly thereafter. This not only deprived the true victims of the Hurricane but also of the people trying to help them.

A good way to make sure your donation goes to the right place is do some research on the company or website. Do they look legitimate? Do they look like a fly by night type? Are there spelling mistakes on the website? (Believe or not this is true of many foreign scams. Spelling does not seem to be a specialty)

When you make a donation you should be sure that it is a legitimate organization. Even a legitimate organization may not donate all of the proceeds as they do have other expenses. The legitimate ones will usually be very open, upfront, and transparent on how their money works and what it goes too. Use the list below to make the right choice and ensure that your charitable contribution does make a difference.

www.clintonbushhaitifund.org. is a perfect example of a legitimate site that meets all the criteria for making a donation and knowing your money won't be wasted or misspent. This is the official site for former President's Bush and Clinton Haiti Relief Fund. They are transparent and legitimate. This was set up by the President and U.S. government. See the link to this Fox News also listing some other legitimate and safe sites or ways to make donations. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,582902,00.html

Websites can be put up in a matter of hours and appear completely legitimate so do your research before you donate your money to a scam. Texting scams are very common. With texting you never know what else you could be signing up for. Scams come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Be it via Text messaging, Email Scams, Websites, Facebook, or any other means. Where there is a way to take advantage and trick people through their own generosity, you can be sure there are plenty of slime and scum who will take advantage of it. Be careful where you donate and make sure your money goes to the right place and people.

Thanks for reading and have a great rest of the week. Our best thoughts and wishes go out to those in Haiti who are suffering, hurting and to those who are doing all the good work trying to rebuild it.

Steve

www.zolexpc.com

11Jan/10Off

Signs That Your Hard Drive Might Be in Trouble

Having a Hard drive crash or begin to fail is never a good experience, but with a little know how, you can do your best to prepare for the worst.

The best thing you can do to prevent data loss is to back up your important files and data on a regular basis. You should back this up to either an External Hard drive or online back up software. By backing up your data, even if your hard drive should go Kaput!, your data will still be safe. Data Recovery on a non-working hard drive can be done but usually only by Professional companies. The cost usually is at least $1000.00 depending on the status of the drive.

The worst sign you can hear from your Hard Drive is a clicking or clucking sound. This can also be a ticking, or a whirring sound. If your PC does not boot up and you are hearing sounds like this, your hard drive is probably dead. There is still a chance for Data Recovery but as mentioned above it will be very expensive. In Mechanical failures such as these even Data Recovery may not be possible. Hearing your Hard drive click and cluck indicates the drive has had a crash of some sort. This could be physical damage to the platters themselves where your data is stored. By the time this happens it is usually too late to back up your data. You are most likely looking at a new Hard Drive and Fresh Reinstall of Windows or a Factory Restore and a new Hard Drive.

Another coming sign of doom for your hard drive is if you notice your PC is having trouble doing the simplest of tasks such as opening a folder. Or even deleting or creating documents. Some viruses will slow down your PC to a crawl. One way to tell the difference between these two is with a Virus and slow operations, you will see your CPU (processor usually maxed out). This can be seen from Task Manager. With a Hard drive that is having trouble writing the CPU should be running at a pretty normal speed. The good thing about the slow writing is you still may have time to back up your data. You should immediately get anything off the Hard drive that you can. Use either your own back up system or an online back up.

If your hard drive is not seen when you start your PC, this could mean a lose cable inside the machine. It could also mean an infection has gotten into your Windows system files and corrupted the Drive. You can check the cables on your hard drive by opening up your PC case and examining the wires. Unplug them and plug them back in to see if that resolves your issues. If it does not you will probably need to have your PC serviced by a professional. When it comes to hard drives, the average user does not have many options. Hard drive problems are usually best left to the professionals.

Replacing a hard drive cost wise is not very expensive. Depending on the size of the drive, it shouldn't cost you too much. Where you can run into some expenses is in the Re-install of Windows. Hard drive issues are usually going to mean replacing the drive or Windows and this will result in a loss of data. The best thing you can do with a bad situation such as this is to BACK UP YOUR DATA.

Hard drive failures will happen eventually due to time and wear and tear. Backing up your data is your safeguard to avoiding a catastrophe when your Hard drive decides it has had enough.

Thanks for reading and have a great rest of the week.

Steve

www.zolexpc.com

4Jan/10Off

5 Things You Can Do To Keep Your PC Healthy This Year

Happy New Year Everybody

Five things you can do to keep your PC healthy this year

1. Keep your software up to date

This is extremely important as without the latest updates your system will not be protected against the latest threats. You should make sure your Windows is up to date. Windows will usually download the updates for you. When prompted install the updates. Your Anti-virus software updates by itself but some Antispyware programs require a manual update. Examples are Spybot and Spyware Blaster. When Java prompts you to update it, you should do it as well.
Without these updates your PC will not be protected against the latest threats. Keep your software up to date.

2. Run Scans at least once a month or every two weeks

Your Anti-virus software will usually scan your PC at least once a week. If you use Antispyware programs, you should do a manual scan with them as well. Anti-virus scans by themselves will not find all the malicious software on a PC. They need to work in conjunction with Anti-spyware software for maximum protection. Whatever your scans find should be deleted or Quarantined, depending on your software.

3. Be careful where you are surfing

When you go to unsafe sites, you are asking for trouble. If the website you are on looks suspect or suspicious, you should navigate away from it. If you go to a website and instantly receive a message that your machine is infected or other error messages, it is a good bet the site you are on is malicious in nature. You should navigate away from the page and consider giving your system a quick scan with your Security Software. It only takes one wrong click to infect your machine with a virus.

4. Be careful of email attachments even from friends

2010 could be the year of the return of the email virus according to recent articles. Email attachments even from friends could contain viruses. So be sure you can trust the sender and be suspicious of it even it looks legitimate. Is there any message attached with it? Some viruses and worms can spread by infecting someones address book and forwarding the infection to everybody listed. Be care of email attachments before opening them.

5. Stay off file sharing sites

File Sharing sites can be a factory for Infections. Especially free sites that specialize in music. Many virus creators will post their infections and worms on these sites by naming them as popular songs or artists. Users will click on this link expecting a Britney Spears song and get a nasty Worm instead that could try to steal their Credit Card or banking information. If you are very careful and examine the file sizes and types, you can reduce your risk or infection while using these sites. File sharing sites are a source of infections and are considered risky to use on your PC. Many of them also force you to install some sort of Ads on your PC. These can slow down your PC, collect surfing data for marketing purposes, probably sell your email as well, so they should be avoided.

By doing these 5 items you can significantly decrease the chances of getting an infection on your PC. Thanks for reading and Happy New Year.

Steve
www.zolexpc.com

   

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