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Apple vs. FBI: Invasion of Privacy?

While the use of cellphone hacking agents - such as Stingray - and computer/network monitoring software are perceived by the general public as protective measures to keep our country safe, one has to wonder; Is my Snapchat log really a matter of national security?! Every country in the world is keeping a close eye on the Apple vs. FBI lawsuit with bated breath. If the government forces Apple to create a ‘master code’ for their un-hackable encryption system, governments – both foreign and domestic – will be demanding their ‘right’ to use it as well. Take, for example, New York City which currently has over 185 iPhone’s waiting to be cracked, their owners ranging from drug dealers to murderers. Now, while you might say, “that doesn’t affect me!” you might want to think again. What happens when the master code is sold to a foreign enemy? What if iPhone’s are hijacked while it’s driving your brand new car? What if a foreign enemy hijacks an iPhone, which is utilizing iDriver, with a car full of explosives - unbeknownst to the driver - to commit an act of terrorism? Invasion of person property? In other thought provoking news, it’s being reported that monitoring software is already being abused on a local scale. The Maryland Court of Special Appeals recently determined - yet again - the use of warrantless cell-site simulators is a violation of the Fourth Amendment. Stingray, monitoring software that may or may not have already hit your radar, mimics cellphone tower signals which can trick a user’s cellphone into connecting to the network to reveal their location. At...

Laptop vs. Desktop: A Tech’s Story

Buying a new PC, whether desktop or laptop, can be a pain in the RAM. Generally speaking, there are literally thousands of mix-and-match options to choose from in today’s technological world. With just the click of a button, any consumer in nearly any country can purchase their own customized laptop or desktop machine fully loaded to fit their particular needs. Unfortunately, this doesn’t happen unless you already know what qualifiers to ask to make a computer compatible for you. After experiencing frustration from our customer base, we asked on of our technicians to break down some ‘need-to-know’ basics: Here a few things to look for in buying a new pc. Should I get a desktop or laptop? If you are person who works in an office or in a study at home, a desktop would be the best choice because the money you would save from a buying a laptop could be used for a desktop with higher specifications. However if you are person who is always on the go or needs to have your pc or mac wherever you go, then the laptop is going to be your choice. The mobility however will mean more money to purchase a laptop. Should I get a solid state drive or standard hard drive? To simply put a solid state hard drive is the best you choice you can make. Solid state drives are more expensive however they will make your pc run faster and the overall performance of your pc with applications will run at a higher rate. However, if you only need a computer to search the web, check...

Windows10: To Update or Not to Update?

Have you recently installed the latest Windows10 update and are wondering where your favorite app has gone? Question no more! Microsoft’s latest Windows10 update decides whether or not the applications you’ve installed are necessary to your everyday computing. In a recent Lifehacker.com Article, users were shocked to learn Windows will determine what’s relevant on your computer. The apps they find “outdated” or “incompatible” will be removed from your system. While some might not notice a difference, some are finding their essential business tools/programs no longer available without any prior notification. Do you find this as intrusive as we do? One of our own technicians experienced the woes of the new Windows10 update after attempting to use Dashlane (a secure autofill program for usernames and passwords): Image Error Message: Your system administrator has blocked this program. For more information, contact your system administrator.   So Microsoft, you’re the new System Administrator for all Windows10 computers? Interesting. Our technicians have found the only fix for this update is to access your registry – we highly recommend you don’t do this without help – and edit the new update. While this seems easy enough, editing the registry can be...

You Like Me, You Really Like Me

Scammers on Facebook have found yet another workaround for creating phishing schemes intended to snag your personal information. Like-farming isn’t a term used regularly, but it’s an act that might keep you from ‘like-ing’ everything you see on Facebook. Similar to Catfishing, like-farming scammers will publish an attention grabbing Facebook post asking for ‘likes’ to “get a new Galaxy S7” or “look at my adorable kitten!”. Once these scammers have reached enough ‘likes’, they will then change the content of the original post and include malicious malware downloads. Unfortunately, now that you’ve ‘liked’ said post, you’re helping circulate the virus. Fox News - Like-Farming warns users to be cautious about their Facebooking practices; just because you like cute kittens doesn’t mean you should ‘like’ them on a random Facebook account. Stick to who you know, not what you know. P.S Please feel free to ‘like’ us on...

Genius Bar’s 15 Minutes of Fame

Congratulations Apple lovers, your dreams are about to become a reality! As of last week, Apple released a statement (ZDNet.com Article) granting an additional five whole minutes to your support session. Genius Bar has upped the ante in the tech support world by giving their consumers an extension of their genius time. Currently, Apple allows their technicians 10 minutes to diagnose, repair, and explain in detail the issues your device might be exhibiting. If your session extends past the allotted 10 minutes, your technician will stop and schedule you a follow-up appointment. They’ve now graciously bestowed upon us 15 whole minutes of technical support for the several hundred dollar device you’ve already purchased. Thank you, Apple, that’s a very kind gesture. Don’t snicker you Microsoft/Android lovers! While bashing a timed tech support session we must remember; at least they’re catering to the masses – in store – with one of your friendly ‘neighborhood kids’. Overseas calls could test the patience of the Pope. Many consumers will relinquish their Windows products to speak to someone they can relate to. A combination of the two services (Apple and Microsoft) is what My Computer Works strives to maintain. Fast, friendly, knowledgeable tech support from one of your ‘neighborhood...

Top 10 Anti-Virus Programs of 2016

The top 10 anti-virus programs of 2016 that received perfect scores across the board for Windows 10 are Bitdefender, Kaspersky, Avast and Avira. Windows 10 comes with Windows Defender already however this program only runs subpar of what is needed to keep your pc protected. If you have Windows 10 and you are using Windows Defender, you need to switch to a better third party program to protect your pc. My Computer Works recommends Kaspersky Antivirus to be the third party antivirus program that keeps your pc secure and protected. The top antivirus programs that received top scores for Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 are Bitdefender, Kaspersky and Avast. Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 come with Windows Defender already on the operating system however Windows Defender can only detect 70% of viruses on the computer whereas third party programs average around the mid 90% for detection. Windows Defender also has a unique error of mislabeling certain threats or not even recognizing a threat when running a pc scan. This can be a huge issue when it comes to keeping your pc secure from new and harmful viruses.  My Computer Works recommends Kaspersky Antivirus to be the third party antivirus program that keeps your pc secure and protected. The top antivirus programs that would be considered best for the Windows 7 operating system are Bitdefender, Kaspersky and Avast. Windows 7 come with Microsoft Security Essentials already on the operating system however time and time again third party antivirus programs always outperform what comes pre-installed from Microsoft. Microsoft Security Essentials offers little protection for a pc when it comes to malicious...