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AskBillFirst Newsletter - April, 2016
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25 Web Resources That Will Maximize Your Productivity

 

Do you find yourself with little time for yourself at the end of the day? Do you find yourself on Facebook or other social media sites instead of doing the work that really needs to be done? Did you know that there are apps and programs that you can install on your computer that will help you stay focussed and on track? 

I ran across this article the other day with some great links to tools that will help you be more productive. There are tools to help keep you from distractions, tools to remind you to take small breaks, tools that play white noise in the background, tools that allow you to clip webpages and store as notes, tools to check your spelling and grammar while writing emails and other writings. 


You can read the list of resources and their links here. I highly recommend Grammarly, https://www.grammarly.com, a browser add-on that will point out your misspellings and grammar mistakes, offer suggestions on corrections and works wherever you write online, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.

Another way to be more productive is to use a news aggregator. If you find yourself going from news source to news source wasting valuable time, you should consider an app or website that gathers up news from all over the internet and pulls them all together for you. You can then skim the headlines and just read the articles you're more interested in. What's nice about most of these apps is that you can share or save articles you find. They also work on your phone and tablets as well as you computer. I use Flipboard quite a bit but you can view the following list and check out a few: http://goo.gl/mSkvN

RANSOMWARE - What is it? How to Avoid it!!!


I'm keeping this article in this months newsletter because this type of malware is picking up steam. I've received several emails with either Word or Zip attachments that if opened would have installed ransomware on my computer. It's critically important that you pause before opening email attachments and verify the sender and the message.  Please don't think this only happens to companies. I've known a few individuals who have had their files and computers locked by ransomware. I can't stress enough about having backups as well, especially cloud backups. I like iDrive because it is has a low annual cost, allows plenty of storage and allows you to back up multiple devices under one account so you can back up not only your computer but your phone and tablet as well.

Perhaps you heard of the Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center that recently had to pay $17,000 to hackers who had seized control of the hospital's computer systems and held them for ransom? They aren't the only ones being held ransom, just one of several recently. There were over 4 million ransomware attacks my mid-year 2015 and it's growing. 


What is ransomware? Ransomware is malicious software that allows a hacker to access a computer or network of computers, encrypt the files on that computer and then request money to decrypt it. Doing so basically lets the hackers hold your files or computer hostage. Even if you pay, there's usually no guarantee that your files will be released.

How does your computer get hacked? Generally, it happens when you open an infected attachment in an email, or you visit an infected website (which WOT should protect you from). Once the software gets on your computer, it may take a day or so to go to work but when it does, you'll find that your sensitive files, your pictures, and videos, your files in your Documents folder, are all locked and there's nothing you can do to open them; unless you pay the ransom.

How to avoid it? The single biggest thing that will defeat it is having a regularly scheduled backup. If you are attacked with ransomware you can clean up your computer and restore your files from backup. Keep in mind that some ransomware will also encrypt files on an attached external drive so if you're backing up to an external drive, disconnect it when you're done with the backup. You can also back up your files to the internet. I use iDrive for my cloud backup. With iDrive, you can back up not only your computer files, but you can back up your cell phone files, such as pictures, contacts, text messages, Facebook pictures and videos and more. You can back up multiple computers and devices to the same account. You can also backup to a USB hard disk attached to your computer for a local backup. 

Next, make sure that your antivirus software is current and active. 

Make sure that your programs are updated, especially Windows and Adobe software. 

Do NOT open email attachments unless you are 100% sure they are safe, even if it says it's from UPS, FedEx, or your best friend. If a strange window pops up in your browser, use Ctrl-Alt-Del and go to TaskManager to close your browser. Don't click on the pop up as they will often be programmed to install malicious software and never call the phone number in the pop-up to have them "fix" the malware attack (they only want access to your computer to do more bad things). 

If you have any questions, please email me and I'd be happy to help you.

 

Everything coming to Netflix in April 

As part of a new monthly section, I'll start including a link to let you know what's coming to Netflix so you'll know what to watch in your hmmmm, free time.

Click the following to see the list: http://goo.gl/2MWIIa

My New Website


I've redone my website, http://www.askbillfirst.com. I value your input so would you do me a favor and take a look at it, try out a few of the pages and send me your feedback by filling out the form on the "Contact Us" page? If you do I'll give you a 25% discount on any first computer service help I do for you. Thank you. Additionally, if you refer my service to anyone and they tell me who referred them I'll offer that same discount to them and to you as well.

AskBillFirst Remote Computer Service

"Hi Bill, my computer is running beautifully again!!! Thank you!!!"
"Hi Bill, my computer is working just great."
"Thanks again!! You're the best!!!"


Those are just a few of the comments I've received from people I've worked with.

When your computer is running slow, or your programs aren't working, who are you going to call? When your software vendor is blaming your hardware and your hardware vendor is blaming your software, who are you going to call? When your helpful friend decides to help you out by running some new special program and your computer no longer starts, who are you going to call? When your kids get done using your computer and you can't run your programs because of all of the popup ads, who are you going to call? Need 
help in getting your new technology set up properly so that you are safe from vendors who want to get to know you better, and from other bad elements on the internet?

 

You're going to want to call me. I can remotely connect to your computer to assist you with what may be going on with your system so don't hesitate to ask if you need to. It won't always be free support, but I promise that I won't charge anything if I can't help you. I can assist with both Windows and Macintosh computers. 
 

I also offer a monthly service for a small fee, where I connect to your computer remotely, with your permission, and run Windows updates, security scans, and clean up your hard disk. This ensures that you're running with the most recent "safe" updates and your computer is working at its best. 

 

This service also entitles you to unlimited email and phone support throughout the month as well. 

 

Please email me at billj@askbillfirst.com or call me at 714-922-0135 if you have any questions.

 

You can also click here or the link below to schedule a consultation with me or to set up the monthly service.

https://www.vcita.com/v/bill.jimenez

 

This issue is kind of technical in nature...I know, duh.

If you have any questions or need help with any of this, please contact me.

 

If you find this information worth sharing, please do. Forward it on, or encourage your friends and family members to sign up to recieve their own newsltetter

 

Additionally, I am available for technical support. I can remotely connect to your computer to assist you with what may be going on with your system so don't hesitate to ask if you need to. It won't always be free support, but I promise that I won't charge anything if I can't help you.
 

Please email me at billj@askbillfirst.com or call me at 714-757-0976 if you have any questions.

 

You can also click here or the link below to schedule a consultation with me or to set up the monthly service.

https://www.vcita.com/v/bill.jimenez




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