Archive for 'computer security'

As experienced computer technicians, we have a lot of experience surrounding the old topic of virus removal (now more frequently referred to as malware: malicious software), and have assisted thousands of customers since 2002 with malware removal from both home and business level computer users.

Virus Removal in Boston

Virus Removal

We get calls and emails daily regarding computer viruses from troubled individuals that want to know what they can do to remove the virus(es) and spyware, or better put, malware (malicious software) from their computer. Our initial reaction is always to ensure their immediate security, so we ask them questions like:

“Is your machine powered on and are you connected to the internet?”

–>We ask this to ensure that the virus is not transmitting their personal data back to its host (the hacker that wrote the malware application). If so, we ask them to at least disable their internet connection by unplugging their Ethernet cable from either their PC or the Router, and if, god forbid, they are still using dial-up, then disconnect the phone line from their PC. This precautionary action will terminate their connection to the internet and cease any possible communication between the virus/malware and their host.

“What are you running for security software? If yes, is it a free version or paid version, and is your license current?” (e.g. anti-virus, anti-spyware, firewall, etc. software such as AVG, Norton, Avast, Panda, McAfee, CA, etc.)

–> This helps us determine how badly their machine is infected. Let’s face it, none of these security software are infallible, but we try to put our best foot forward when protecting our networks, data and PC’s. If they tell us that they are not running any security software or it has expired, we know, right off the bat, that the machine is swimming with many viruses.

“Are you able to get online?”

–> This helps us determine whether or not a remote session would even be possible, or do we need to physically possess the computer to conduct a proper virus removal. It also helps us determine how badly the viruses have infiltrated the computer.

Computer Virus Removal

Computer Virus Removal

A PROPER virus removal….hmm…that brings us to the theme of this blog post. Every kid out there with a screw driver and a computer that thinks they know even a little about computer repair, is on the web advertising his or her services (mostly on Craigslist.com and Google/Yahoo & Bing Maps since it is free to advertise there) claiming that they are some kind of expert: BUYERS BEWARE!

  • They undercut the market since they do not have any company overhead such as insurance payments and in many cases personal and/or commercial rent/utilities, etc.
  • They don’t have any technical certifications and/or very little field experience beyond their own PC’s
  • Most of which are still in high school or just barely graduated (if they graduated at all), and even more have zero college or formal education, and definitely no technical training.
  • They don’t carry any sort of insurance, so when they botch the job and lose all your data you as a consumer have zero recourse.
  • Most importantly: They don’t truly understand Virus Removal and how to do it correctly!
Buyer's Beware

Buyer’s Beware

We as a company are constantly interviewing technicians and looking for the best of the best technicians. As such, we have a pretty steady flow of resumes coming in through our IT Jobs recruitment. and we personally review each and every one of these resumes – most of which get tossed out. Occasionally we do receive resumes that look promising and merit at least an initial investigatory phone call – which I myself place. When conducting these initial interview calls, we begin to drill down on the technical aspects of computer repair and networking as a start to begin to judge what the candidates’ true technical knowledge and experience are, and one of the first topics we discuss is virus removal.

10 times out of 10, the candidate will state that they really understand virus removal and it is no problem for them. Then, as the conversation continues, and we ask them to walk us through a typical virus removal process and we discover about 9.5 times out of 10 that the candidate really doesn’t get how to do a simple, or a complex (or thorough) virus removal. It is not as simple as most people think. Typically unless someone has been trained by a technician who really knows what they are doing, they themselves really don’t know the proper tools to use, or how to use them correctly (e.g. the anti-virus software that really work, how to effectively use a hard drive adapter kit so you don’t boot into windows but can read the drive and run virus scans, how to use Safe Mode and Safe Mode with Networking effectively to ensure success, etc.)

Even more importantly, most don’t get that we first and foremost have to be concerned with any sensitive data on the customer’s hard drive as a priority to recover, and then worry about the virus removal process. For most customers the data on their hard drive is a priority. As such, we always prioritize the data recovery and include questions surrounding this topic in our list of questions when we are “getting our arms around” the problem initially.

Lastly, most techs out there will only run one (or perhaps) two anti-virus applications on a computer, find some viruses, remove them, and then think they are all done – when in fact, they have only removed a minority of the malware on the hard drive and most likely still have some remnants of the malware, which are most likely to return in some fashion. These are the techs that will tell you they can do a virus removal in an hour or two. To truly do a thorough cleaning of a hard drive the proper way, you must run at least 4+ applications on your hard drive – which brings me back to the point that to do a proper virus removal takes anywhere from at least 3 hours, to as long as 24 hours depending on the depth of infection, how many files are on the hard drive and how powerful the machine is from a hardware standpoint.

We also recommend running a registry cleaner software such as RegCure to help optimize your PC’s performance and cut down on possible registry errors.

Feel free to call us to answer any questions you have – no obligation for free advice: 1-866-417-3945. It is our goal to help you achieve the peace of mind over your computer system, and the computer services company that assists you with your home or business IT infrastructure.

Technology to Relax

Technology to Relax…

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You clicked on an online banner by mistake, or you opened an email from an unknown sender, these and many more could cause your computer to get infected with malware; and it only gets worse when you do this on a computer connected to your office’s network. When one computer in a network gets infected with spyware or computer viruses, it is only a matter of time before every computer in your office gets infected. To prevent massive downtime and a lot of wasted money, you should get professional virus and spyware removal done on your computers.

When any kind of malware infects a computer you can be sure that you are in trouble. There are viruses that can corrupt your hard drive, rendering it completely useless, and all of the data it contained will be irrecoverable. And then there are spyware programs that will copy all of your passwords and important information, making it easy for someone to steal your identity and ruin you financially. These threats are real, and if you take a nonchalant stand against them then you have already lost.

If you own a multi-million dollar business conglomerate then odds are you already have a team of IT experts that will handle any computer-related threats. But what if you only have a handful of employees and none of them can be considered as “experts” when it comes to IT? Would you just resign to your fate and let your computers and the precious data they contain to completely vanish without a trace? Fortunately for you, there are plenty of companies out there who can help you when your precious company computers are at risk of getting completely destroyed from the inside.

You may think that you would not need any spyware or virus removal services because you already have an antivirus program installed in all of the computers in your network, but you thought wrong. There are hundreds of thousands of different malware programs out there, and they are multiplying even now, and not even the best antivirus program can protect you from all of them. Computer virus and spyware removal experts know how to track down what kind of malware they are dealing with, and they also know what kind of action they need to take get rid of the problem. If you value your computers and the precious data they contain, you should partner up with a good IT services provider as soon as you can.

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In this day and age, almost all aspects of business are handled through computers, and this is exactly why your startup company will hugely benefit from IT staffing. If you only have a dozen or so employees working for you, then your company may not be large enough to require hiring your own team of IT experts, but that does not mean that you can make do without them. Fortunately, there are staffing services that you can avail of so your company can enjoy the benefits of having someone with expert knowledge in computers and networking, without having to make room in your payroll.

Do not get too excited though when choosing an IT staffing service, there are plenty of pitfalls that you may encounter along the way, so you better prepare yourself so you do not risk getting the wrong kind of service. Here are some tips that you may find useful when you are out there looking for a company to partner up with:

Low Costs Does Not Necessarily Better Service

When people are out shopping they tend to gravitate towards products that are priced lower than the others, but as smart shoppers will tell you, low prices does not necessarily mean you are getting the same quality as the products with a larger price tag. This is also true when looking for staffing services, you should try to find a company whose services are top-notch and reasonably-priced, and by that it means that they are not the cheapest in the bunch, but they do provide you with more bang for your buck.

Tell the Staffing Service What You Need

Not all IT staffing services are the same; most of them specialize in different fields in IT. So when you are talking with a representative of a staffing company, you better make sure that you talk about what your company is all about and what you think your company needs right now. You need to be clear with your expectations from the staffing company because this will also tell them if they can provide you with that you need. You should also listen carefully to the proposals laid out by the staffing company representative so you can find out if they are really a good fit for your own startup company.

These are but some of the things that you need to keep in mind when searching for an IT outsourcing or staffing company to help with your company’s computer needs. Take your time and do not be in too much of a rush to find the perfect IT company so you can save money and lower the risk of mis-hiring.

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You would think that these days, structured cabling would no longer be required because of the advent of wireless networking, but you would be wrong. These days, cable networks are still in high demand because most, if not all businesses these days need the reliability, speed, and security that a good data cable network provides; especially now that more and more companies are also using the internet to make and receive phone calls (VoIP). If your business is ready to expand and get in sync with the latest in technology, then you need to look for the best structured cabling services you can find.

The structured cabling industry has gone through a lot of changes in the past couple of years. There are new cabling procedures, new products; the overall technology involved in structured cabling is rapidly evolving and it is still doing so until today. These recent improvements have made it possible for networks to get a whole lot bigger and more complicated. You can now integrate a VoIP system to the network, this will eliminate the need for a separate network for the phone lines; everything can now be monitored and controlled using a single control point.

You should not even assume that you do not need to hire professionals to install the cable network in your place of business. Network cabling is not as simple as just running the wires along the walls and into the awaiting sockets, there are more to it that just simply laying out hundreds of meters of cables. If not done properly, internet connection speeds will get compromised, and when the internet connection is sloppy, then the efficiency of your office will significantly drop as well.

Professional cabling services will also make sure their installations are future-proof. This means that even if there are significant advancements made in the networking industry in the next couple of years, you can rest assured that you do not need to rip out all of your existing cabling. If installed properly, your existing network can adapt to whatever kinds of changes may come.

All things considered, you can probably see why the work of professional data cabling services cannot even be compared to that done by untrained, in-house technicians; they are simply at a much higher level, and you can also expect that the professionals will be more efficient with their work as well. So, if you do decide on getting a structured cabling network installed, which will surely happen, you should only trust professional services for the task.

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Technology has evolved so much in the past couple of years that a lot of small businesses have gone completely paperless, they chose to convert all of their important information and other files into a digital format and stored online and in physical hard drives. This is why IT services are working overtime to make sure that your and your company’s private data is always kept secure and away from the hands of unscrupulous folks.

If you want to give your IT people a hand in keeping your data safe, here are some things you may want to consider implementing in your company:

If your business relies on regular remote access to your servers, then it is essential that you have a VPN along with a secure firewall to prevent unauthorized access to your system. With these systems in place, your IT personnel can monitor just who is accessing the system, what they have been doing, and block them from further gaining access.

You should also be wary about the use of email by your employees as they are usually used to send malware that can infect and compromise your entire system. One of the best ways to prevent malware from infecting your company’s data is to constantly remind your employees to not open any email that came from a sender they are not familiar with. You may also ask your IT service provider to install a content filtering system into your company’s emails so these kinds of attacks will get minimized.

If your company has been keeping up with the latest technological trends, i.e. the use of smartphones, then you really need to beef up your security measures. Modern smartphones can contain huge amounts of data, and if your employees use them for their work then they could contain plenty of information about how your company operates, the kind that can really do some damage when they fall into the wrong hands. You should instruct your IT personnel to digitally encrypt any sensitive data your employees download onto their phones, so in the event that they lose their phones or it gets stolen, then information contained within cannot be accessed easily.

These may seem to be simple methods, but you cannot deny the fact that they do work wonderfully well. If you need additional security for your company data, and you can never get too much, you should consult with a national computer services provider and ask about the kind of security they can provide you.

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