June 1, 2019
Windows 7: That’s All She Wrote
Are the 2020’s coming faster than you thought? It is certain that big things will happen in the next 10 years but before that happens we need to concern ourselves with what happens in the next 7 months. On January 14th, 2020, the Microsoft Windows 7 operating system will be put out to pasture and Microsoft will no longer provide support for it.
Microsoft will no longer release security vulnerabilities patches or update other important features that may affect reliability. This can leave serious security issues without these important updates.
In order to stay protected with a supported operating system, you will need to upgrade your computer to Windows 10.
To find out if which version of Windows operating system you have:
• Open the start menu by clicking the Windows icon in the bottom left hand corner of the screen.
• Type System Information in the Search box and then open the resulting item.
• Operating System version will be listed under OS Name
May 31, 2019
Managed Services Update – New Features for Mac Users
We are excited to offer some new features for our Mac OS clients on Managed Services (compatible with Mac OS 10.11 and above). We will be activating a new antivirus in the coming month to swap compatible users over to BitDefender antivirus.
In addition to the new antivirus offering, the same great managed document backup solution we offer to our Windows clients is now available for our Mac OS clients (Mac OS 10.11 and above). For now, this is limited to office documents of specific file types (details below) but a full backup option is in the works and will be released in the future.
Document Protection – $5/month per computer
Automatic backup any office documents twice a day. These documents are held for 28 days providing 58 restoration points for a single price.
May 30, 1019
Here is a suggested schedule for computer maintenance:
Update antivirus *
Perform virus scan *
Check for critical updates *
(* Performed Automatically Under our Managed Services)
Check event logs
Delete temp files
Check local backups
EVERY 3 MONTHS
Change passwords to email and domain login
EVERY 6 MONTHS
Check for third-party software, driver and BIOS updates
Remove old downloads and unused software
Secondary malware scan
Hard drive check and defrag
Physically clean device and perform cable management
Battery backup checks
Clean and reorganize file structure
Disaster recovery testing
Group Policy review for domain users
Penetration testing for security vulnerabilities and phishing email testing
Change passwords to all logins
December 20, 2018
Microsoft Office 2019
Another 3 years has past, so it is time for a new version of Microsoft Office. Now that Microsoft has had a few months to work out some kinks, we are offering the new 2019 version of the Office software to our clients in need of a new install or upgrade. With some major changes in the core applications, here is what you are missing by running an older version:
New to Word, Excel and PowerPoint is the ability to translate words, phrases, and other text selections to another language with Microsoft Translator.
2. PowerPoint’s Big Additions
PowerPoint has become slicker than ever with the addition of slide morphing , zoom capabilities allowing you to flip to other slides without changing your current slide location, and the ability to use the Surface pen as a remote.
3. New Visual Effects
In Word, Excel and PowerPoint, users can now add Scalable Vector Graphics and even apply filters to those graphics. The new Inking feature brings the ability to draw on documents using a touchscreen or mouse. Office can then convert these drawings to moveable shapes.
4. LaTeX Equations
Word now gives the ability to create complex math equations using the LaTeX syntax.
5. And Much More…..
New Functions in Excel. New Charts and Data Types in Access. Simple click to link tasks in Project and easily view progress of those tasks. New Diagrams and Templates in Vizio.
If you are ready to dig into more of what the new Microsoft Office 2019 has to offer check out Microsoft’s website. You can also find helpful Microsoft tips, training and quick start guides here.
If you have any questions or would like to order Office 2019, please contact our offices at 860-836-4191.
November 19, 2018
Preparing for the Worst
Nobody wants to think about death but it is something we will all will have to face, along with our loved ones. It is important to be sure that your digital life is organized. Everything from credit card access, financial institutions, email, social media profiles and more should be organized so that your loved ones can properly close down any unneeded accounts. To make sure you are ready follow these quick tips:
1. Make an inventory of your current digital accounts.
• Financial Institutions
• Utilities (Electric, cable, etc.)
• Social Media Accounts
• Email Services
• Other various accounts
2. Make sure you are aware of the correct passwords and record them for easy access.
Set up a password management product such as KeePass, LastPass, Dashlane or 1Password to simplify this process. By keeping all of your information in a password manager, you will only need to provide a single password to your loved ones to access the rest of your accounts.
3. Make note of any accounts with 2 Factor Authentication
Using 2 Factor Authentication greatly increases security but will make it harder, if not impossible, for your loved ones to access your accounts when needed. Make sure to record the 2 Factor Authentication recovery codes provided during setup of this feature and store this along with the password information.
If you need assistance in setting up a password manager or have any questions on what we can do to prepare your digital assets, please contact our office at 860-836-4191.
November 13, 2018
Why Small Businesses Matter – We Care Computers
HamletHub has published an article about We Care Computers. Read the article here.
October 24, 2018
Phishing – Educating your Staff
Our WCC Managed Services will mitigate the effects of malicious entities online, but the best prevention from phishing attacks comes from user education. By training your staff on what to look for, you can help avoid these threats altogether. Some of the biggest threats come from phishing emails that are infected with a malicious file or links to websites trying to get your passwords. Luckily there are some easy ways to help weed out phishing emails from the rest of your inbox.
1. Double check the sender’s email.
It may appear to be from a known contact or company, but make sure to check that the email and domain match up. Example: John Smith (email@example.com). Many times phishers will change the display name to a name you may recognize to get you to follow the links or download a file.
2. Double check the link.
By moving your mouse over the link without clicking on it, the address that it directs to will be displayed. Try it on this link: http://www.wecarecomputers.com/
3. Just because it looks real does not mean it is.
Most phishing scams that are attempting to retrieve login information will copy the real login pages from common email sites in order to lull you into a sense of false comfort.
If you would like to test your ability to recognize phishing emails, take the Sonicwall Phishing IQ Test at the link below:
If you would like additional training, please contact our office to discuss the options available for training on Phishing, Ransomware and more.
October 22, 2018
Comcast’s New Failover Internet Option
If you are a Comcast internet customer, a new service has been released to make sure you are always connected to the internet. By adding a 4G cellular hotspot connection and Comcast Cradlepoint router, your Comcast router will automatically cut over to a 4G connection if the main connection cuts out. While the service will be much slower than that of the traditional connection, it will ensure important functions such as email and credit card functionality will continue in the event of a power failure.
This service is available at a cost of only $29.95 a month and also includes an 8-hour battery backup.
If you are interested in adding this feature for your business or home, please contact our office and we will refer you to a Comcast representative.
August 10, 2018
You Have the Power…. Until You Don’t
When setting up a computer for the first time, some users unsuspectingly plug them directly into a wall outlet thinking this will be fine and not knowing the real truth.
Not all power outlets are created equal.
A computer plugged directly into the wall is susceptible to power surges from lightning, electrical line issues, blown fuses and more. These electrical surges can destroy computer components, including the hard drives that store your valuable data, leaving you with a hefty bill to recover from these disasters.
Power strips and surge protectors are not the same thing.
While many people use these terms synonymously, a power strip is essentially just a way of adding more physical outlets to a wall outlet. One side plugs into the wall and the other has multiple outlet in a strip. Unless the strip says surge protection somewhere on it, it is most likely not going to provide protection from a harmful electrical surge. The red power switch alone is also not an indicator of this feature.
Surge protectors are not good forever.
Once a surge protector has been tripped by an excess electrical current, that surge protector should be replaced. They can also wear out with time and should be replaced after about 3-5 years to be safe. After all, a $15 surge protector is a lot easier to replace than an entire computer or a decade worth of photos.
A battery backup is even better than a surge protector.
A surge protector will help prevent damage from excess electrical current but an abrupt stop to that same electrical current can also be damaging for your devices. A battery backup will ensure that your computer has a few extra minutes to prepare itself for this event and by utilizing the USB connection your computer will automatically shut itself off to prevent damage. These few minutes can also provide one last chance to save the documents you have been working before losing power.
It is important to use the proper accessories to prevent these issues from occurring. These tips will help you to get the right equipment for the job.
If you would like to ensure you are properly protected or purchase a battery backup for your systems please call us at 860-836-4191.
August 8, 2018
Why We Recommend Solid State (SSD) Drives
They are super fast. If a computer has no malware and sufficient RAM the largest bottleneck for speed will be the hard disk! An SSD is about 100 times faster than a traditional hard disk and computers will boot up in less than a minute.
Go Green Save Energy
SSDs consume less power. For a laptop or table, you will be able to get more minutes out of your battery life.
For laptops, SSDs will reduce weight. An average SSD is 77 grams, while an average traditional hard disk is 752 grams.
Cool and Quiet
SSDs will run cooler, and make virtually no noise.
May 29, 2018
Time to Reboot your Routers
It was recently revealed that a group named the Sofacy Group has been able to infiltrate hundreds of thousands of routers in over 50 countries. Many major manufacturers such as Linkysys, Netgear and TP-Link have already been found to be compromised. A full list of devices has not been released but it is believed that a large number of manufacturers and models have been infected by the malware, called VPNFilter.
The Sofacy Group aka A.P.T. 28 and Fancy Bear, is believed to be under the direction of Russia’s military intelligence agency and is best known for being connected to the hacking of the Democratic National Committee prior to the 2016 Presidential election.
Effects of the VPNFilter malware include data surveillance, using your device to continue the spread to other devices, cutting off internet access and more.
The good news is that the FBI has already taken action to seize the domain used to communicate back to the originators in order to reduce further spreading.
Reducing the effects on your devices can be done by rebooting your router but, as always, the firmware should be kept current in order to provide the best protection. Additionally, any routers using default passwords should be changed to a more secure choice.
If you unfamiliar with how to reboot your router (which can be done by unplugging for 30 seconds) or how to upgrade your firmware we are happy to assist you in the process.
Confirmed list of infected devices: (this list does not include all affected devices)
• Linksys E1200
• Linksys E2500
• Linksys WRVS4400N
• Mikrotik RouterOS for Cloud Core Routers: Versions 1016, 1036, and 1072
• Netgear DGN2200
• Netgear R6400
• Netgear R7000
• Netgear R8000
• Netgear WNR1000
• Netgear WNR2000
• QNAP TS251
• QNAP TS439 Pro
• Other QNAP NAS devices running QTS software
• TP-Link R600VPN
May 25, 2018
Windows 10 Updates
It is time for another round of big Windows 10 updates to roll out. With the recent 1803 update, we have seen some issues with clients that use Avast or AVG antivirus programs. Several computers have come in not being able to completely boot up after the update was performed. We were able to get into the user profile to see that the update had completely botched the Windows installation, rendering it useless. There have been other reportable instances of this occurring with both Avast and AVG.
As with any large Windows update, it is recommended that a full backup of the computer be performed and any antivirus protection that may interfere with the update be turned off. It may also be necessary to uninstall the antivirus completely.
If you find yourself prompted with an update, make sure to follow the proper steps to ensure the installation goes smoothly or call us so that we can assist you with the update. If you are on Avast or AVG, this is a great time to consider our We Care Computers Managed Services with World-Class Bitdefender Antivirus.
Call us at 860-836-4191 for more information.
May 9, 2018
Scareware – What is it and how do you get rid of it?
What is it?
Scareware is malicious software that tricks computer users into visiting malware-infested websites. The reason it has this name is because it is designed to scare you and make you think there is something wrong with your computer. The good news is that this message is almost always just a persistent pop-up that stays in front of other windows.
How do I get rid of it?
The best way to get rid of these messages is to follow these steps:
Note: You will lose all unsaved work that had been done during your internet browsing session.
1. Hit the ctrl-alt-del buttons at the same time or right-click the time in the bottom right hand corner of the screen and click Task Manager in the menu that pops up.
2. In the window that opens, left-click the name of the web browser you are using. The most common choices are Google, Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer.
3. Click End Task.
4. Reopen the web browser and choose to not restore closed pages if the option is given.
1. Hit the command-option-esc buttons at the same time or left-click the Apple menu in the top left-hand corner of the screen and click Force Quit in the dropdown menu.
2. In the window the opens, left-click the name of the web browser you are using. The most common choices are Google, Chrome, Firefox and Safari.
3. Click Force Quit.
4. Reopen the web browser and choose to not Restore closed pages if the option is given
These messages are most commonly received by clicking on a malicious ad or mistyping the name of a website (e.g. amazno.com, mircosoft.com, facebok.com).
The hope of those that put these messages there is that you will call the number in the warning. They will tell you that you have a serious problem with your computer and that they can help. They will request access to your computer by using a remote desktop application. Once in your computer they can copy files from your computer to access confidential information or use benign technical information to attempt to convince you to buy counterfeit software from them. There are many ways that they can make money from this scam but the important thing to remember is that there is a reason it is called SCAREWARE.
If you need help with any unwanted popup message, please call us at 860-836-4191.
February 22, 2018
Welcome to our new website! We are introducing a new exciting and modern design to our logo and website. Please send any comments/suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for you continued support.
Unlimited Monthly Maintenance Plans
We Care Computers now offers an ALL INCLUSIVE/PLATINUM Monthly Maintenance Plan. With this package we will monitor your systems, back up your files, protect you from malicious web traffic, update your servers and much more.
The all-inclusive plan includes:
- Remote help desk support
- Onsite repairs – normal onsite repair for hardware malfunctions/minor repairs
- Server support – remote and onsite
- Switch and firewall management
- Remote monitoring/management of all workstations and servers:
- Remote monitoring
- Antivirus protection
- Web protection
- Patch management
- MOB – 500gb per server
- Monthly reports
- And Much More
Call us at 860-836-4191 for more information.