Tips For Battling Computer Problems

Posted by Martin Holyoke on April 27, 2015
Tech Advice / No Comments

onlinehealthIf you’re having computer problems then you’re not alone.  I don’t think I’ve met anyone that’s never mentioned to me the sad state that their computer is in.  Whether the hard drive breaks or the computer gets overrun with malware and adware, there’s never usually a moment when someone brags about how fast their computer is running.

I think the biggest complaint that I tend to hear about is the gradual slowdown of a computer system.  I always hear people talk about how sluggish their PC has become.  This is usually the result of a lot of extra junk on their computer.  This junk could be extra software that is running in the background – the more programs you add, the more resources seem to get drained even if you’re not running that particular program at the time.  It’s the fact that Windows tends to have an architecture that allows the base operating system to get affected by software a bit too much.

The solution to this particular problem is to uninstall any software that you don’t use.  I also suggest to manage what software is allowed to load when the computer boots up.  Did you know that many programs have small pieces that will load up when you start your computer and that run in the background even if you’re not using it?  This can be a huge drain on system performance, especially when you add them all up.

Another thing that can really kill system performance is adware, spyware, and malware.  These are rogue programs that sneak on your computer without your permission.  They can piggyback with legitimate software programs or they can install themselves via “drive by downloads” just by visiting an infected or hacked website (and you won’t ever see it coming).  The best defense is to prevent this via the use of antivirus software.  However, some programs will masquerade as legitimate software and the antivirus won’t detect it.  This is why we suggest supplementing your antivirus with a good antispyware program.  One great option is Enigma’s Spyhunter 4.  I use this in conjunction with Norton 360 and it has worked very well for me.

I suggest that you also try to prevent this from happening in the first place by avoiding shady “internet neighborhoods” such as adult sites and gambling sites.  Even forums can be a danger depending on the subject matter.

Another great thing to do is to keep yourself educated on computer security.  One of our favorite websites is called Krebs On Security, and it’s a great resource that almost reads like a crime novel.  Krebs reports on all different areas of computer and internet security and delves into the seamy underbelly of the internet and all the crime that lurks in its darkest regions. I definitely suggest that you check it out.

When Purchasing Insurance, Check Prices And Benefits

Posted by Martin Holyoke on April 22, 2015
Financial Advice / No Comments

customerserviceWhen purchasing insurance it’s definitely important to read the fine print. I remember when I had my car robbed recently. It was in a well trafficked area in broad daylight. They broke the glass on my car window and stole my backpack, which had my laptop, iPad, and Bose headphones in it. Obviously it was a huge loss for me. But I was quite dismayed when I called up my car insurance company to see if anything was covered – it wasn’t. Even my window wasn’t covered, because I hadn’t signed up for “full glass coverage.” This is something I didn’t even know existed.

So for your car, it’s often recommended that if you can afford it, it’s best to get some decent coverage that includes various things. However, the price of the window itself wasn’t that much so in my case it may have cost more over the long run to pay a certain amount every month for several years, for just one window replacement. So you definitely have to weigh the costs and what you think is worth it to you.

I also recommend that people get renters insurance to cover theft or loss in the event of a burglary or other disaster. I really want to get this kind of insurance in order to cover my computer and all the software data that’s on it. Although they couldn’t replace the data, they could potentially replace the cost of some of the software that was on the computer. You will have to check with the insurance company, and see what is covered. A lot of times you’ll have to have the receipts and proof of price at purchase, and other things. Then it’s definitely a hassle to get it all worked out with the insurance company, but a lot of times it’s worth it and you’ll get a lot of money back.

Traveler’s insurance is a different thing altogether. A lot of times I will get this insurance as it’s rather cheap, and it will cover me in the event of personal injury, theft, or lost luggage. I personally know from traveling that anything can happen, and it’s best to be covered when you’re out of the country. I also go on rather adventurous trips that involve some extreme sports, so I definitely like to add trip insurance. Another way to go is to see if your credit card covers you in the event of a travel emergency.

I was once on a surf trip and my friend got caught on the reef at low tide, and put her hand into an urchin. She had hundreds of little spines in her hand, and we had to take her to the local clinic to see if they could do anything. Thankfully she had travel insurance and it was mostly covered. You just have to make sure that you save all the receipts and other things. All in all, it depends on your personal situation and how much extra money you have. If you have expensive personal items like camera equipment, you should definitely insure them.