Entries tagged with “old computer”.

Microsoft just announced that support is ending for some older versions of the Windows operating system (OS).

  • Support for Windows Vista without any service packs will end on April 13, 2010.
  • Support for Windows XP with Service Pack 2 (SP2) will end on July 13, 2010.

If you’re running one of these versions after support ends, you won’t get security updates for Windows. This means that your computer will be at risk for viruses, spyware, and other malicious software. If you don’t know what version of Windows you’re running, click the following link to see Which version and service pack am I running?

Is it the end of the world? No. But you do want to make sure you’re able to keep your data safe.

Advances in hardware and software technology have shortened the useful life of the average computer to about five years. After five years, they become obsolete. If your computer is older than about 5 to 6 years, you may think about looking into replacing it.

If you do, please refer to my WebSight Viewpoint Nos. 20 and 21 for tips on getting rid of an old computer.

For your daily use files, back them up to an external hard drive or server. Copy critical record files to a CD and store them in a secure place. Remember to keep your account access passwords somewhere safe, as well. If something should happen to you, all of your data will be nice and safe…from those who will need access to help you out!

Also, keep a copy of your files in an off-site location to prevent data loss in the case of a fire, theft, or other disaster at your primary location. There are online backup services that you can use to back up just your critical files, or the whole enchilada, saving the entire contents of your computer.
Basically, you download a backup utility to your hard drive and using the utility, identify the files you want to back up, and set up a schedule to automatically backup those files. The cost for the online service is based on the amount of space you require.

It can seem a little pricey to purchase an external drive or to subscribe to a service, but think of how much you would “pay” if you lost everything and had to start over. Ouch!

Keep your data safe…you’ll be glad you did!

Keep your computer safe! Turn on the auto-update option, and set it to run a full system scan at least once a week.

Most viruses and worms arrive on your computer in the form of e-mail attachments. A few of them exploit security flaws in the operating system or in your browser to launch automatically, but if you keep your anti-virus program updated, your chances of being infected via this route are small.

E-mail “spoofing” and “phishing” are when a person or program masquerades as another. Some are convincing-looking messages that appear to be sent from a large company like a bank or some other entity you may do business with. The message may even contain links to a counterfeit version of the company’s Web site, complete with genuine-looking graphics and corporate logo. The intent is to fool the users into thinking that they are connecting to a trusted site, for instance to harvest user names and passwords.
If you don’t have an account or if you no prior relationship to the sending company, you can simply delete the e-mail without even opening it.

  • If it could be from a potential client, look at the title of the message.  Does the title of the message make sense?  If it contains an RE: (reply) or FW: (forward) and you haven’t had prior communications with the sender, it’s highly suspect.
  • Take notice of the grammar and spelling used in the message. If a message originates from a legitimate company, say a bank, they would NEVER release it without it having gone through a bevy of reviewers and editors.
  • Be careful when opening e-mail attachments. DON’T just blindly click on them to see what it is.  And most importantly, NEVER open any attachment from someone you don’t know.
  • DON’T always believe a link provided in the e-mail … if you’re not sure, DON’T click on it.   Spoofed e-mails will often direct the link to a bogus website.  In Outlook, if you hover your cursor over the link, it should show you the actual URL that the link is being directed to.  If it’s different from what’s visible it’s not going where you think it is.

Minimize your computer virus risk. When reading your e-mails, think before you click.