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Frequently Asked Questions - MiTech IT

General computer knowledge and common pitfalls to avoid.
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What can I do to keep my computer running efficiently?
What should I do if my computer is running really slow?
What can I do about my slow internet speed?
I keep getting this pop-up window about a virus alert? What do I do?
Oh no! What should I do if I accidently deleted a file?
I'm getting a "blue screen" on my computer. What does that mean?
Is backing up data on my computer important?
How secure is my computer workplace environment?
Does MiTech Services guarantee it's work?


What can I do to keep my computer running efficiently?


By following a few simple guidelines, you can maintain your computer, help increase your PC speed, and help keep it running smoothly. Here are some tips...

1) Remove spyware, and help protect your computer from viruses. Spyware collects personal information without letting you know and without asking for permission. You can buy or download software (such as AVG) to help eliminate spyware. The software will also help guard your system in the future from viruses, spyware, adware, and other malicious software (also known as malware).

2) Use the Disk Cleanup tool on your PC. The Disk Cleanup tool helps you to free up space on your hard disk to improve the performance of your computer. The tool identifies files that you can safely delete and then enables you to choose whether you want to delete some or all of the identified files.

3) Use the Disk Defragmenter tool on your PC (sometimes shortened to Defrag by users), which is a Windows utility that consolidates fragmented files and folders on your computer's hard disk so that each occupies a single space on the disk. With your files stored neatly end to end, without fragmentation, reading and writing to the disk speeds up.

4) Use the Error Checking utility on your PC. As you use your hard drive, it can develop bad sectors. Bad sectors slow down hard disk performance and sometimes make data writing (such as file saving) difficult or even impossible. The Error Checking utility scans the hard drive for bad sectors and scans for file system errors to see whether certain files or folders are misplaced.

5) If you try all the previous remedies and your computer still isn't running as fast as you would like it to be, you may want to consider updating the operating system on your machine. MiTech Services can help you upgrade.


What should I do if my computer is running really slow?


There are several things we recommend you do on a monthly basis to keep your computer speed at it's highest level. Here they are:

• Empty Recycle Bin
• Empty Windows Temp folder
• Run Scandisk
• Run Defragmenter
• Full System Virus scan

You should also check to see if there is any software installed on your machine that is no longer used or that has been installed without you knowing it. If there is, remove them. Important - if you are not sure what the software is, do a search on Google and find out about it. If you know what the software is, but forgot what it does, go to your Start menu and start it up. And always check for viruses and spyware on your computer. If you have a virus program, update it and run a full system scan. If you do not have one, we recommend AVG's free Anti-Virus software and AVG's free Anti-Spyware.


What can I do about my slow internet speed?


Here are some common reasons why high-speed internet connections can perform slowly...

1) You might have poor hardware connecting your machine to the wall.

2) Maybe your modem-router is not configured correctly.

3) Your network interface card (NIC) is older and slower hardware.

4) You might have spyware/malware infecting your machine, and secretly using your Internet bandwidth.

5) A download may be occuring in the background, and you are unaware of it as it leeches your bandwidth.

6) Your company's ISP (internet service provider) may be having issues with routing signals to you.

7) DNS (domain name system) tables might be outdated, so signals are getting sent to the wrong addresses on your ISP network.

8) Your browser memory cache is so full, your browser has to slow down to allow for its limited hard drive space.

9) Radio or microwave devices in your workplace might be degrading your internet wireless signal.

10) Your computer is more than 3 years old, and is not able to move electrons fast enough for modern web pages.

11) You have left dozens of windows open in the background, and they are clogging your computer CPU. Whatever the case may be, consult with the pros at MiTech Services to diagnose the problem and get you the most out of your internet speed.


I keep getting this pop-up window about a virus alert? What do I do?


Watch out for fake virus alerts! Rogue security software, also known as "scareware," is software that appears to be beneficial from a security perspective but provides limited or no security, generates erroneous or misleading alerts, or attempts to lure users into participating in fraudulent transactions. Here's what to do if you think you might have rogue security software on your computer:

1) Scan your computer. Use your antivirus software or do a free scan with the Microsoft Safety Scanner. The safety scanner checks for and removes viruses, eliminates junk on your hard drive, and improves your PC's performance.

2) Get help from a Microsoft partner, like the pros at MiTech Services.

3) Check your accounts. If you think you might have entered sensitive information, such as credit card numbers or passwords into a pop-up window or at a rogue security software site, you should monitor your associated accounts.


Oh no! What should I do if I accidently deleted a file?


First you need to check your Recycle Bin on your desktop. If the file is not there, call Mitech Services. We can perform a professional scan on your machine to recover your lost files.


I'm getting a "blue screen" on my computer. What does that mean?


The "Blue Screen of Death" (also known as BSoD, Blue Screen, or bluescreen), known officially as a "Stop Error" or a "bug check", is the error screen displayed by the Microsoft Windows family of operating systems upon encountering a critical error, of a non-recoverable nature, that causes the system to crash. Stop errors are hardware or driver related, causing the computer to stop responding in order to prevent damage to the hardware or data. In the later versions of Windows (Windows NT and later) the screen presents information for diagnostic purposes that was collected as the operating system performed a bug check. Contact the pros at MiTech Services immediately to address this issue.


Is backing up data on my computer important?


As a general rule, people who use their computer occasionally (5 hours/week or less) should be backing up their data on at least a weekly basis. If you use your computer more frequently, however (more than 10 hours/week), backing up daily is probably a good idea. Another variable is the type of data you store on your computer. Obviously, the more important it is to you, the more important backing it up becomes. There are many ways to backup data on your computer - the least effective of which is having the only backup location on your actual hard drive. Instead, use external hardware such as an external hard drive, CD's, or a memory stick. Online backup is another option. This requires the use of an Internet-based data backup storage service.


How secure is my computer workplace environment?


Maintaining a secure small business network isn't easy. It takes time and energy to keep things locked down. Here are 10 of the most critical steps you can take to keep your data from ending up elsewhere:

1) Use encryption on your wireless access points (AP).

2) If you have a wireless network, make sure to hide your SSID (service set identifier), or at least change its name to something common.

3) If your router (wired or wireless) has a Web management interface, disable access from the outside network. And change the admin default password now.

4) Make sure all of your PCs use antivirus software and if you're using Windows, add antispyware protection.

5) If you are running a Web server on your LAN, put it on a DMZ.

6) Speaking of Web servers on the Internet, if you have them, you should scan regularly for exploits.

7) If your ISP offers such an option, use a VPN (virtual private network) for access back to your local LAN or your remote Web server.

8) Disable file/print sharing on everything other than your file server.

9) Use whole disk encryption on all laptops that will ever leave home.

10) Start doing regular off-site backups now.

There are plenty of other security options that will buy you peace of mind and make it harder for hackers, but these 10 items are easy to implement, don't cost much in terms of your time and money, and will have big security payoffs. Contact the pros at MiTec Services for more information.


Does MiTech Services guarantee it's work?


Yes, we do offer a 30 day service guarantee after your initial service call. We also offer a guarantee that states if we cannot resolve an issue completely to your satisfaction, we only charge you a maximum one-hour diagnostic fee and any parts/software used for the repair.

 

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