Tag Archive | computer

Tid Bits of Help: Learning new stuff – Microsoft 10

WOW, what I’ve been learning in the past week!

Well, it all started with having some sort of computer issue in the first place. I wasn’t able to download Windows 10. Then I got this crazy message that I had a “BSOD: Error 333 Registry Failure” on the dreaded blue screen. It had the message telling me that if I turn off my computer, more damage will happen and may not be recoverable. Swell! Then within the screen message – call Microsoft at … and it gave a toll-free number to call.

Well, with all the changes Microsoft has been making of late, I went against my cardinal rule – do not believe these screens or any phone calls from “Microsoft”. Yep, I called. Why? Because I honestly thought that this was legit – because of all the recent Microsoft changes.

WRONG! Do not fall for this.

However, because of this horrible mistake and finally listening to my little voice, I called Microsoft. Well to be more accurate, I went to the site and clicked the link to have a tech call me. The Microsoft tech (yes a REAL one), was able to fix what was “fixed” that could potentially cause more harm. Then asked me to call back, because the scan would take up to two hours. When I called back another wonderful person (yes a REAL Microsoft tech) set up my Windows 10 download!

Huzzah!!

Well, today I was wondering about Microsoft Security Essentials – I had that on Windows 7. It turns out that Windows 10 has Microsoft Defender built in – no need for a virus protection program! While researching (OK, same article) how to make sure it’s activated I found TWO handy icon/keyboard functions to know.

First one. On your keyboard, press the Windows icon + x. The screen that pops up gets you:10-18-15 keyboard icon

  • Programs & Features
  • Power Options
  • Event Viewer
  • System
  • Device Manager
  • Network Connections
  • Disk Management
  • Command Prompt
  • Task Manager
  • Control Panel
  • File Explorer (this look is a lot different)
  • Search
  • Run
  • Shut down or Sign out
  • Desktop

The second handy thing, on your keyboard, press the Windows icon + i. The screen popping up gest you:

  • System (display, notifications, apps, power)
  • Devices (Blue tooth, printers, mouse)
  • Network & Internet (Wi-Fi, airplane mode, VPN)
  • Personalization (background, lock screen, colors)
  • Accounts (yours, sync settings, work, other users)
  • Time and Language (speech, region, date)
  • Ease of Access (narrator, magnifier, high contrast)
  • Privacy (location, camera)
  • Update and Security (Windows update, recovery, backup)

Note: when it comes to Personalization, still right clicking anywhere on the screen still gets you to the personalization options. However, this too is vastly different than what Windows 7 offered.

So “dinosaur” that I am, I’m going back to playing with my desktop computer and see if I can learn more. Why “dinosaur”? Well, I’m one of those folks who believe that phones are for making calls (and I guess taking pics). Computer time is for the computer, and I’m not at all for texting. Why? Because forcing me to work at my desk is better. Actually talking with people instead of texting is better for all of us (besides, people are forgetting how to spell correctly). Looking up while walking is always a good thing.

Technology – Helpful Pain in the …?

Ah yes technology. Where would we be without it?

There are many incredible things technology has brought us – personally I love dishwashers. (yes, that is technology) No, I will not get in to a long list of technology, I’m sure you’re acquainted with a variety of forms.

computer hackerWhat I will talk about: the abominations called HACKERS, SPAMMERS, and the rest of their ilk.

One of the latest attacks – people calling you and telling you that there’s something wrong with your computer. They introduce themselves as: I’m Jason from Microsoft PC Help & Support. Your computer is sending us multiple warning/error messages. I am calling to help you with this problem.

OK, so Jason (sounds like he’s from India/Pakistan area of the world) tells me that he’s from Microsoft. I told him: “no, Microsoft would not be calling me, I don’t believe you.” As I’m about to hang up, he stated that he misspoke, his company is a contractor with Microsoft and they monitor Microsoft problems.

Uh huh, sure you do.

I told him I wanted proof of who he is, the company, then maybe I would listen more. He said that with each step he would show me what was going on and would explain everything. He then directed me to a website: http://www.ammyy.com/en/ and asked me to click the “Start working with Ammyy Admin (it’s free) button and we will get started.” It even has a warning: Attention! Please read this before giving UNKNOWN people access to your computer. So I asked what would this do. “Oh, this is so I can remote access your computer.”

Oh I don’t think so!

If you’re already telling me that you can tell that my computer is sending warning/error messages, why do you need remote access? Didn’t answer that one. I didn’t download. When I questioned how would he even know that my computer had any errors (even though my constantly updated computer protection programs don’t show any issues).

His answer?

Oh, well Microsoft has built in special codes in to the software just for this reason. Your computer is on right now, correct? Yes, it was. Doesn’t seem to matter that before his call I wasn’t on the internet. “Microsoft still knows.” Um hm. I’m not networked to anything – at all there’s no way. Then he says that hackers can get in to your computer without internet access and get your IP address. Then, once a hacker has that, well, they can do anything and it traces back to you and you’re the one responsible for all wrong doing. So, to protect you, let’s get started.

Remember how I mentioned technology has given us many things? Well cell phones are one of those things. Called my computer guy (CG) while I had the other guy on my house phone and told him what was going on. He told me to hang up IMMEDIATELY. So I did.

CG explained this current scam and that it was on the news just the other day (10/30/13). These guys call and do what they can to convenience you that your computer is failing and they can run scans to help clean your system. They will ask for personal information and credit card info, then “run” the scans. One person (according to the news) was charged $900 and the system wasn’t fixed. CG told me to just hang up on these calls.

So, if you get a call from a 206-456-0661 number – ignore it – that’s the number used when they called me last night. After I hung up they called back, my husband answered, the guy said, we got disconnected somehow. Yep, we hung up on you. But we need to start working… my husband said no, any issues will be handled with our CG who we know and trust – don’t call here any more and hung up.

Yes, technology is great. The thing that isn’t so great; the scam artists/hackers, etc. who seem to thrive off making people’s lives miserable. Yes, I know, this kind of thing has gone on for years, Carpetbaggers where a horrible lot. Just be careful, know who’s contacting you. If you have questions, hang up and call the company they say they represent and ask questions.

Oh, make sure your passwords are changed on a periodic basis. After last night’s call, I changed all of my passwords.