Some Thoughts On Keeping Your Stuff Safe

I had never really been stolen from – until this year.  This year I got nailed; my car was broken into twice.  One time they got my laptop.  Unfortunately I had a lot of sensitive information on my laptop but it was protected by the Windows password.  Now, were they able to hack into my computer and get my personal information?  I’m not sure.  I shudder to think about it.  But they probably just wanted to sell the electronics on Craigslist for money, so I’m hoping they just formatted the drive.

Keeping your personal information safe from identity theft is a real matter.  I hate to think about if those people were real thieves and had the knowledge to really go after my information from what they could find on the laptop.   And unlike my iPad, I didn’t have an option to remotely format my hard drive the next time it connected to the internet.  Then I thought, maybe there IS a program like that floating around out there.  Because that would be rather helpful.  If I’m never getting my laptop back, then I would love to ensure that nobody can get to what is on it.  I searched around a bit, and found that LoJack (the car theft prevention and tracking company) actually produces software to help track and manage stolen laptops!

Another option is to encrypt your data, avoiding the need to remotely erase.

In the meantime I try to keep my laptop backed up to the cloud (so I don’t have to rely on fallible hard disks) and keep my computer free of spyware with programs like Malwarebytes  (read this Malwarebytes review if you’re curious about it).  It’s a pain in the neck, but I’ve learned the benefits of staying on top of backing up your stuff.

Fixing Computers And Solving File Error Problems

Computers can be pretty annoying – over time they will most definitely slow down and require a lot of tinkering in order to run properly.  I strongly suggest that you look into getting yourself a good software tool in order to really clean out your computer and get it running like new.  I suggest also that you look into adding more RAM.  But let’s take a longer look into what is going on behind the scenes with these kinds of issues.

RAM.  RAM stands for “random access memory” and it’s a measure of how much your computer can do at one time.  It’s the “desk space” if you want to use a physical analogy.  The bigger a desk you have, the more you can have out and the more things you can have in front of you at one time.  Programs take up a certain amount of RAM when they are open, so increasing the RAM will enable your computer to do more at once, and usually faster.  It’s the best way to really physically speed up your computer.  RAM is not that expensive, and it’s not too complicated to install if you can follow some simple instructions.

Excess software is another drain on your system.  I suggest to most people that they do NOT install lots of software.  In fact, I suggest that you don’t install any software other than what is absolutely necessary.  Otherwise you run the risk of getting malware and adware stuck on your computer, which can put a huge drain on system resources.

Driver updates are another thing that can help your computer run faster and better than ever.  Drivers are just small pieces of software that enable your operating system to run your external hardware devices.  All of your hardware has a driver, although you may not realize it.  Drivers can be updated in order to improve the code and also improve the compatibility.  I suggest to most people that they look into getting a driver update software tool to update all of their drivers at once.  This can be a huge help in terms of updating your software and getting everything running more smoothly.

Other problems people tend to have are file errors.  The errors can be caused by a virus, an improper shutdown, or something else entirely.  It’s hard to pinpoint what exactly has caused it.  However, there are software programs that can help certain file problems.  For example, if you’re having a problem with your Outlook PST file, then there are specific programs out there that can help you.  For more info on how to repair a pst file then check out this article.

You can also get cleaning software, such as registry cleaner software and junk file cleaners.  These will help clear space on the computer and allow it to run faster by removing extra processes from running in the background.

Security Breaches Can Affect Anyone

Recently I had the number of a credit card stolen.  It was used to make a couple of fraudulent transactions.  However, the funny thing is, I had never used the card nor had I taken it out of the drawer I had put it in when I first got the card.  The bank told me that sometimes people can “guess” the number and information of a card…they just keep trying numbers and combinations until they get lucky.  But there are other ways of getting numbers that the banks sometimes fail to tell you:  sometimes there are leaks everywhere.

Recently there were fraud charges in which the numbers of a few cards were stolen without the cards ever having been used.  It is thought that a leak in Equifax or some other crack in the system was to blame.

The bottom line is that if you ever have a card that has been used for a strange or unauthorized transaction, you need to replace the card.  Usually the banks will tell you to do this because obviously they don’t want money stolen.  But at the same time you as the customer must make sure you keep track of your statements and ensure that there aren’t transactions on there.

One fraud case that has been flying under the radar is the mysterious case of the 9.84 transactions.  These are so small that you won’t notice them unless you’re scanning your statement.

If you want to ensure the safety of your online transactions, then you must take steps to secure your computer at all times.  This means using antivirus software tools from reputable companies.  Anti malware programs are great as well, such as Spyhunter 4 and other similar programs.

Also, make sure you’re not traveling through shady internet neighborhoods.  This means that you definitely need to stop going to those adult sites.  Oh you don’t go?  Okay ;)

Anyway, just make sure you keep an eye on your statement as these fraudulent charges can come out of nowhere.

Coming From Another Time

When I try to teach my parents how to use a computer it can be rather difficult sometimes – it’s like they’re coming from another time, and you really have to get to the basics of how computers operate. So when they came to me for help when their computer started slowing down, it was tough to explain everything in layman terms. However, we did get to the root of how everything works. I told them to think of the computer like a desk – the bigger the desk, the more stuff they can have out at once. However, the more stuff they have out at once, the slower they will go in terms of productivity. So when their computer is getting slow, there’s just too much stuff.

Now, getting rid of that “stuff” is hard sometimes. However, I explained to them that there are certain software programs that can really help clean out the stuff that they might not even know is there. For example, antimalware and antispyware programs can be a huge help in detecting malware programs that might be running in the background. One great program is called Spyhunter 4. This Spyhunter 4 review goes over how the program works, and how it can help to speed up a sluggish computer as well as protect your identity.

Another thing that you can do is to uninstall any software that you no longer need – that means going into the add /remove software section of the control panel and seeing if you can get rid of anything.

Other programs such as RegCure and CCleaner are rather helpful in terms of getting rid of all the junk files and folders and registry entries that might have built up over time. I definitely think that it’s a good idea to run these types of programs on a regular basis.