What is Ransomware?

Ransomware

  • Ransomware is a type of malicious software designed to block access to a computer system until a sum of money is paid.

How does Ransomware work?

  • Computers become infected with ransomware and other viruses usually accomplished by tricking someone into clicking on a Universal Resource Locator (URL) or link.
  • Ransomware can also spread by clicking on an attachment.
  • Ransomware is largely distributed by email typically containing documents like fake mail delivery notifications, energy bills or tax returns, according to reports from security company Symantec.
  • When users click on a bad link or attachment, the ransomware encrypts the computer’s hard drive, locking people out of computer files, including photos and music libraries and a screen may appear threatening to destroy the files unless a ransom is paid.
  • Recent reports are now finding new ransomware that can infect computers without clicking on anything.

Windows Operating System Security

  • It is well known that Microsoft computers often called PC’s are the most vulnerable to viruses and malicious hacks.
  • Microsoft’s latest computer operating system Windows 10 comes equipped with security utilities that are designed to protect computers from malicious attacks but does not protect the computer from the user’s own mistakes and falling into Internet traps that invite problems directly.

Mac Operating System Security

  • Although Mac’s have been known to be immune to viruses that would normally infect a PC in the past, there are increasing reports confirming that mac computers are also at risk to viruses and can surely be infected with ransomware.
  • Apple has announced recently that they have revoked the digital certificate that is required for ransomware to be installed.

How can I protect my computers from Ransomware?

  • If you use a Mac or a PC it is essential that you stay on top of performing all of the latest and newly released operating system security updates. This alone makes a big difference as it pertains to security and even general performance.
  • There are many tech support companies that provide security services for home and business computer users. If you are not 100% confident that you can maintain your own computers and protect your data using a reliable backup solution you should contact a trustworthy tech support company and have a technician check and maintain your computer at least 1-2 times per year.
  • Ultimately, think of your computers, devices, and your network like you do your cars or even your physical body. You need to perform recurring maintenance and checkups to ensure the best health and performance. If you do not have the knowledge or expertise to do these things yourself, you should contact a professional.

Chromebit – Tech Help LA

Chromebit – A full Chrome OS-based computer on an HDMI stick.Chromebit - Tech Help LA

The $85 Chromebit is a 75 gram (or 2.6 ounces) stick that you can plug into any HDMI port — whether that’s a regular computer screen or that large TV in your living room. It comes with 16GB of onboard storage (in the form of relatively cheap and slow eMMC storage) and 2GB of RAM.

Google – Chromebit Device

In many ways, it’s a larger, bulkier version of the old Chromecast stick. Just like that device, it comes with a dedicated charger, but unlike the Chromecast, it also features a USB port. The Rockchip-based Chromebit comes in “Cacao Black” and “Tangerine Orange,” but overall, it’s a pretty unassuming device that’s mostly meant to disappear behind your screen anyway (hence why I’m not sure why there is an orange version).

While most people will likely want to use a Bluetooth mouse and keyboard to connect to the Chromebit, the USB port allows you to plug in wired peripherals as well (and with a USB hub, you could even plug in multiple devices).

Because it’s a full Chrome OS machine, you can pretty much run any web app on it. It’ll let you play movies and TV shows from Google Play, Netflix or Hulu, just like any other Chrome OS device, for example.

You could probably use the Chromebit as a somewhat cumbersome media center in your living room if you wanted to, but it’s really at home in a school, enterprise, or maybe call center. As long as the work only involves web apps (or maybe a remote connection to a more fully-featured machine), the Chromebit is up for the job and can turn any screen into a usable desktop.

In the U.S., the Chromebit will be available at Amazon, Fry’s and Newegg (interestingly, Google’s usual Chrome OS partner Best Buy isn’t part of this initial list of vendors).

Contact Tech Help LA for more info on the Chromebit device.

Make It Work Computer Support

There has been a LOT of talk and chatter circulating about a well known IT Computer Tech Support company closing their business known as “Make It Work”. The company serviced thousands of customers from Santa Barbara through Los Angeles down to San Diego. This unfortunate situation has left ex Make It Work customers in limbo. Many of their customers are irate concerning their pending contracts and losing money to the business after abruptly closing shop. More importantly, since Make It Work did NOT allow their customers direct access to their service technicians, it has been a challenge to get in contact with the technicians they once trusted with their computers, data, and overall networks.

Image representing Make It Work as depicted in...
Image via CrunchBase

Due to the recent close of Make It Work’s business and services, Ron Patterson is gaining widespread exposure to his own business known as Tech Help LA.

Many ex Make It Work customers have diligently and hastily Googled and have found Ron Patterson’s whereabouts to get help with their computers for technical support.  Ron states “By the graces of God I was smart enough to have the courage to branch off and start my own business that made more sense using better tech tools and embracing remote technical support”. Ron left Make It Work on good terms almost exactly 1 year to the day before their business completely failed. 34 Jobs were lost and payroll was still pending and unpaid. Company cars were repossessed and customers ranted in disbelief.

Message from our CEO – Ron Patterson:

Ron Patterson Senior Technician - Tech Help LA

“I AM AVAILABLE TO HELP”

My Company has been in business now for over a year and the demand for technical support is growing constantly. Our pricing is as low as it gets for a trustworthy tech support company (See pricing). If you have been looking for me… Here I am at your service. Feel free to call and ask for me directly from our Contact Us page where you will find our business contact number and email. I pray for the individuals directly affected by the close of Make It Work. I encourage all of the technicians at Make It Work who lost their jobs to also reach out and I will see what I can do to help. At the very least keep Tech Help LA in mind as a reliable source for technical support, web design & development, social media services, and general technology consulting.

God bless you, your families, and businesses, and have a Happy New Year!!!

R. Patterson

Tech Help LA - Los Angeles Computer Tech Support IT Services