Little Angels Dracut

PCTech Solutions and Walter have been nothing short of great for our company. Walter and his staff have guided us over the years with our many of questions and concerns; no matter how crazy or minor they may seem. Walter is our go-to tech guy! He always has the solution to our needs. Walter exhibits patience like no other with us, as he walks us through step by step with tasks while educating us as we go. Dracut Little Angels staff thanks you for your many years of dedication, hard work, service and tech support!

Sincerely,

Little Angels Dracut 🙂

Samson Concrete Construction Inc.

Emerging technologies have driven our construction business forward. PCTech has been there to advise, support and troubleshoot. It’s always a pleasure to work with honest, professional people like Walter Riley and the PCTech team. We highly recommend PCTech.

JoAnn Glavin, Office Manager
Samson Concrete Construction Inc.

Nashoba Heating & Cooling, Inc

We are a small family owned HVAC company and have used PCTech Solutions for over 5 years now. Whenever I call for service we are taken care of immediately. Walter is extremely knowledgeable and always pleasant when he comes to our office. I will continue to use this company as long as they are in business.

Nashoba Heating & Cooling, Inc

Denommee Plumbing & Heating Inc.

We run a high volume plumbing & heating Service Company. We have 8 plus computers on our network and multiple printers. When our computers go down, all hell breaks loose and we can’t do what we need to do.  I can’t say enough good things about PCTech solutions and the response and service they provide. Walter has personally saved our bacon countless times, sometimes twice in one day. Many times over the phone for simple sage advice. We actually gave him a key to our office for when we are out of town. We trust Walter and his staff that much. Their prices are very reasonable and they always search for the most cost effective option for equipment upgrades. We have used PC Tech solutions for more than 10 years and they have always kept us on line without fail.

We put our faith in a few things around here, one is Bill Belichick the second is Walter and his staff at PCTech Solutions.

Guy Denommee
President
Denommee Plumbing & Heating Inc.

Pinnacle Physical Therapy

PCTech Solutions and Walter Riley have been at the center of our business and family technology issues for over a decade. Our business web site design and social media strategy have been effectively managed by PCTech helping us maximize our exposure in the internet world. Constantly looking at better ways and upgrading elements of our platform with the fast changing technologies has helped us keep pace and competitive. Walter has been an amazing support. At home, every computer purchase, software upgrade and the challenges have been met head on with incredible turnaround times, low costs and customer satisfaction beyond levels of measurement. All of this done with a kind smile, and a passing story as you become a PCTech family member. This relationship has made this challenged technology family well supported.

Bob Worden 
Atkinson, NH/ Tyngsboro
Pinnacle Physical Therapy

Liability Consultants, Inc.

I began hiring Walter back in 2004. At the time, I worked for a small construction company and we hired him to set up the computer system in our office and to assist us with our home PC’s. I then went to work at a legal/consulting firm in 2008 and brought him in to assist us with our server and office computers. He has been an invaluable asset to our firm since the day he stepped in the door. He also sets up everyone’s personal laptops and home computers. He is extremely helpful when it comes to purchasing hardware and software and we value his expert opinion. He plays a crucial role in our office.

Walter is trustworthy, dependable, extremely knowledgeable and just a sincere pleasure to work with. He is always up-to-date with the newest technology and software. Everyone here appreciates all that he does for us to keep our server and computer systems up and running smoothly. And, we probably don’t tell him that enough. His pricing is more than fair and we honestly don’t know what we would do without him!

Maureen Fuller
Office Manager
Liability Consultants, Inc.

Wireless Network Security

1. DON’T CALL ATTENTION TO YOURSELF

Each wireless device has a name, called a Service Set Identifier, or SSID. Any device that tries to hop onto the wireless party line must know this name. By default, most networks broadcast this name to make connecting easier — the equivalent of saying to the world “here’s my front door, it’s probably open if you want to try it.” That’s a good idea if you are Starbucks, and you want customers to breeze in and out of your network. It’s a bad idea if you don’t want Victor, the voyeur next door, to read your e-mail. Turn off the broadcast SSID function and you’ve won 25 percent of the battle. It means a hacker will have to guess your network’s name to get in.

2. CHANGE YOUR NAME

Now, make guessing that name much harder — change it. Wireless network vendors ship their products with SSID names set to obvious defaults. For example, the popular LINKSYS product uses the name “linksys” as its SSID, until it’s changed. Hackers know this, and wander round town using programs with names like “Netstumbler” to see who’s leaving their data up for grabs. If they detect you’re using a Linksys card, they may attempt to connect to your network by trying the linksys SSID. Take another moment to change the default, and you’re halfway there. If you change your SSID every few months, you’re more than half way home.

3. SCRAMBLE YOUR DATA

Thanks to days gone by when the various brands of wireless devices didn’t play nice with each other, manufacturers decided it was best to turn off encryption when their products were sold. That solved some of the incompatibility problems, but it created the big problem we have today — namely, that when Victor the neighbor hops onto your network, he can read your e-mail because it flies around your house in plain text. But nearly all devices have an option to scramble the data using an encryption tool called WEP — Wired Equivalent Privacy. WEP works, and will almost certainly make Victor give up his casual digital voyeurism.

But the bad news is, WEP isn’t fool proof. If Victor is a serious hacker, with the right motivation, the right tools, and free time on his hands, he can decipher your encryption key and unscramble your e-mail. That should certainly give wireless users pause, but the news isn’t as bad as it sounds at first, says Nigel Ballard, Director of Wireless for Matrix Networks in Portland, Ore.
“It takes an extremely determined, socially maladjusted individual to sit outside your house for hours on end,” to decipher the data, said Nigel Ballard, Director of Wireless for Matrix Networks in Portland Ore. “If he’s parked outside your house, there’s so little traffic going over your access point, he may have to sit out there solidly for a day and a half. And if he wants to see your e-mails that badly, I suggest he just break a window.”
That’s why using WEP only gets you three-quarters of the way there.

Computer security for the home user has become an important topic. Preventing and detecting unauthorized use of your computer can protect you and your identity from an intruder. We now use computers for many financial and personal communications.

Unfortunately, it is very easy to break into an unprotected computer. Like your car, there are ways to increase the security level of your computer. There are numerous products on the market designed for protection.

A Firewall is a product designed to prevent many types of attacks to your system. There are two basic types, Hardware and Software. The Hardware or Network Firewall is a physical device that is placed between your Internet connection and one or more computers. The Software Firewall is a program that will reside on your computer and keep the casual intruder from breaking in. The latest version of Windows comes with a built-in Firewall. It is not activated by default, and must be turned on. There is also a log that can show you who is attempting to access your computer; whether it is authorized or not.

One of the biggest vulnerabilities is Windows itself. There are constant security updates released. Using the built-in Windows Update feature will help protect you from many security breaches that are discovered by intruders.

Some other easy preventive actions include keeping your computer turned off when not in use, ignoring and deleting unknown E-mail, and backing up your most critical data in case of a problem. While most users do not regularly back up their data, it is very important to at least back up data that can’t be recovered with your original software CD’s. CD writers and ZIP disks have made this task easier, but even the old floppy diskettes can be used. For help with security and intruder prevention, call PCTech Solutions.

You ARE at Risk

One of the most troubling aspects of using a computer today is the risk of viruses, worms, and Trojan horses. A virus is a computer program that is designed to spread itself from one file to another on a single computer. A virus will not intentionally spread itself to another computer. That’s where we come in. By sending an e-mail with an infected attachment, the virus is sent to an unsuspecting user without your knowledge.

Worms are also computer programs, but unlike viruses, do not need human interaction in order to spread. The computer worm is designed to copy itself from one computer to another via E-mail. Once the worm has infected your computer, it will use your address book to send anonymous E-mails, with the worm attached, to everyone that is in your address book.

A Trojan horse is a program that appears to serve some useful purpose, but hidden within is a destructive program, virus, or worm. For example, last November, a Trojan named Trojan.Zasil was spread via E-mail with the subject “free video”. The Trojan can do no harm unless it is opened or launched.

The best protection from these destructive programs is to install antivirus software on your computer. Most computers that you buy today will have this software already installed. The software is relatively inexpensive, and there are numerous reputable companies that provide it. It is most important to not only use the antivirus software regularly, but to also update it. New viruses come out daily, and the antivirus companies send out updates as soon as they can. Renewing the yearly license is critical to the virus updates. Once the license expires, the virus scan will still run, but there will be no protection from any new viruses. Some of the worms that have been released actually disable antivirus software, or prevent you from even installing the software. There are ways around this; however, the risk of losing critical files increases significantly.

A virus, worm, or Trojan horse can cause your computer to act differently. You may notice a significant speed decrease, or as the destruction spreads, it may cause programs to work improperly or even stall your computer. In some cases, you may even notice that the hard drive sounds different.

Stress Free Computing

If your homepage has been switched, you have a “new” toolbar, or your computer always pops up advertisements, you are most likely infected with spyware.

“Spyware” or “adware” are typically defined as software that tracks computer users’ actions and history. It is also used to pop up advertisements and random messages without permission. Some types of spyware allow the software to “hijack” your browser and force you to specific websites. The spyware on your computer will track which websites you visit, how often you visit, and what you do while at that site. A typical computer that is unprotected can have hundreds or thousands of spyware infected files.

Like viruses, spyware is easily downloaded unnoticed and can hide in places that most computer users won’t find. Many of these programs come quietly attached to legitimate software that you download.

There is currently legislation proposed to combat spyware, but there are issues with legitimate advertising that must be addressed before any changes are made. This legislation would bar companies from installing software that reports its users’ actions, sends any personal data to other companies, or uses any pop up ads without permission.

Some reputable anti-spyware programs such as Ad-Aware or Spybot work very well to combat spyware. There are other less known programs that are unproven or even unsafe. The latest versions of anti-virus programs now are programmed to find and eliminate spyware. It is extremely important that the software is kept up to date and run regularly.

A well maintained computer takes some effort, but once the routine is set up, you can protect yourself from intruders and malicious software. For help eliminating spyware, or any of your computing needs CONTACT US.

Contact Us

Scroll Up
free
hit counter