Scams Getting Even More Crafty

One of the most annoying things that has been happening to me lately are these endless phone calls I get from scammers.  They are posing as tech support help, the IRS, and banks.  These scams are getting much more sophisticated as scammers are now utilizing stolen data in an attempt to “accredit” themselves and cause people to let their guard down.

Recently as reported in one of my favorite security blogs, a rather tech savvy individual was almost conned into giving all their bank account info over to a scammer because the call was so convincing.  The caller posed as a bank teller asking about his account and some fraudulent charges that had been made.  The caller had the target’s address and a few other key pieces of information, and despite the target’s usual skeptical nature he was almost tricked.

This is why it’s more important that ever to educate yourself about popular phone scams and know what to look for.  Staying up to date on things like this is crucial to ensuring that you don’t get taken for a ride.  And spreading the information is also helpful as not everyone is looking out for these things.  The elderly and immigrants are especially susceptible to these scams.

Common Phone Scams:

1.)  The IRS Is Going To Arrest You:  This one has been making the rounds for a couple years now, and apparently the FBI actually caught the original ringleaders and arrested them.  However it was so successful that there are a number of copycat scams making the rounds.  Remember – the IRS will not call you and threaten you with police action – that is a fact.

2.)  Microsoft Tech Support: Always beware of callers claiming to be tech support telling you that you have a virus.  No legitimate tech support company is going to voluntarily call you.

3.)  The “Can You Hear Me” Scam:  This scam is hell bent on getting a recording of your voice saying yes so that they can make purchases under your name.  This is a tough one, so awareness of this scam is key.

4.)  Information Verification Scams:  These callers will ask you to confirm certain information, usually posing as insurance agents or something similar.  They may sometimes have partial information of yours and ask you to fill in the gaps in a way that sort of tricks you into letting your guard down.

Tips On Not Falling For Scams

One rule I have that I encourage everyone else to follow if possible is to NOT answer unknown numbers.  Also, if you have to answer unknown numbers, do NOT entertain any unsolicited calls from individuals and companies that you’re not expecting.  This is ESPECIALLY true if the person has a foreign accent.  (However the accent rule is not set in stone, obviously).

Additionally, keep an eye on the news and perhaps follow a tech blog or two so you can keep tabs on the constantly changing nature of threats and scams, and educate yourself.  Knowledge is power in this area, and ignorance of threats is a good way to get conned.


Reasons To Safeguard Your Data

If you need any more reasons to safeguard your data, then look no further to the rising cybercrime rate, as well as the news headlines in 2018 with all of the data mining and social warfare going on online.  Even Facebook, it was found, was listening to your conversations in order to advertise to you.  Those terms of service are so cryptic that nobody knows what’s in them.

So what is the best way to safeguard data these days anyway?  This post will help you to figure out the best ways that you can prevent any hacking or theft of your data, or infection by virus or malware.  The more  you know, the better protected you will be in the long run.  The reason most people fall victim to cyber crime is because they just don’t know enough about it and how to prevent it.

Get A Security Software Program

If you don’t have a security software program on your computer then you are leaving yourself open to viruses and malware.  Period.  You need to get yourself a tried and tested program such as Malwarebytes or Spyhunter 4.  Both of these programs can protect you from threats such as spyware, malware, ransomware, and more.  If you want to compare, you can check out this Spyhunter review over at We Hate Malware, and then compare it to Malwarebytes or some of the other software suites such as Avast.

There are many good choices out there, and getting at least something is better than nothing.  No program will be 100%.

Avoid Internet Bad ‘Hoods

If you like surfing adult, gambling, black hat and hacking sites, and getting torrents, then I’m sorry to say that you might want to change your ways.  These are the most notorious internet areas for cyber crime and hacking.  If you really want to continue to visit these sites then you should definitely think about getting a specific netbook or laptop just for that, and keep no personal data on it.  That’s the best way to protect yourself so that your important files on your PC don’t get compromised.

These internet areas are known for “drive by installations” and similar things, where you only have to visit a website and you’re cooked.

Back Up Your Data

This goes without saying, but it’s almost one of the best defenses against malware out there.  If anything comes your way, with an adequate backup you can just roll back and forget that anything even happened.  However, this obviously won’t protect you from things like keyloggers, which steal your data and you don’t even know that you have an issue.

The best way to back up your data is to use a cloud backup tool such as Backblaze, that keeps updating your files on the fly.  You never have to remember to back up your data, and it’s always up to date (this needs a decent internet connection, however).

I use Backblaze myself and it saved me from a hard drive failure in the middle of a paid video editing job that I had to do.


How To Speed Up Your Computer

If your PC or Mac is slowing down and there are no hardware issues, you do not need to contact your computer services company as you can speed it up by yourself even if you are an average user. This post discusses some of the tweaks and tune ups that you can implement to speed up your computer.

Reduce Number of Start-Up Application

If your computer is slowing down during start up, then it is probably you have a lot of startup programs {programs the computer initially loads and runs during booting process}. Having a large number of startup programs while result in more processing time which slows down the computer.To remove unwanted start up programs if you are in windows, click on the “Start” button and type “MsConfig” in the Search field this will bring up the System Configuration window. Click the “Start up” button and uncheck the program that you don’t want to run during start up.

Remove Unwanted Background Programs

When using your computer, some programs do run on the background. When you notice that your computer keeps on slowing down, it might be as a result of these background programs taking up a lot of computer resources. You can check these programs using the taskbar and end the processes of those you do not want to run in the background so as to speed up your computer.

Use Antivirus or Anti-spyware Software
Viruses, malware and other unauthorized programs will always slow down the speed and performance of your computer. To prevent this, it is important to use an updated antivirus program and regularly scan you system to get rid of any unauthorized programs, malware and viruses.It is recommended to use as anti-virus software that comes with anti-spyware software – Spyware gathers information from your machine without you knowing or asking for permission when you are in the internet thus slowing down your computer.

Free Up Disk Space and Undertake Defragmentation

Free up your disk space can help speed up your computer as having lots of files increases the time computer takes to index, retrieve and open them. The best way to free up your disk space is by permanently deleting and unwanted files.When a hard disk is fragmented it slows down the performance of the computer as to open a file means that the computer has to search for the location of the different fragmented files, piece them back together and then open them resulting in slowing down of the computer.

To defragment you hard disk if you are a Windows user, go to your hard drive >> right click >> Tools >> Defragment now >> Select a Hard disk >> Click Defragment button. The best time to defragment is after adding a large file, your free space is below 15% or have installed a new version of operating system.

Clean / Repair Registry
Problems in the windows registry files may cause slowing down of computer which can lead to hanging screens, display of error messages and crashing of windows. These problems can be caused by incomplete uninstallation of software, corrupted or missing hardware drivers. Cleaning or repairing your registry using Registry repair software tools is the best option as it will correct any registry issue and help speed up your computer.


Use A Utility Software Tool

There are a number of different software tools out there on the market that you can use in order to really speed up and clean up your computer.  And the best part is that these tools work automatically without needing a lot of effort from the user.  A few great options are RegCure from Paretologic software for PCs as well as Mackeeper for Apple computers.  Both are excellent software tools designed to help optimize your computer with as much ease as possible.


In conclusion it’s very nice to have a computer that actually works properly!  Despite taking a little bit of effort it can really leave you with a higher productivity level because it’s less of a hassle to get things done on your PC.