My Thoughts

My Thoughts on Christianity and Other Things

Archive for the tag “Computers”

Scams

There seems to be more and more scams than ever before. We get them on our telephones, emails and random pop-ups and links online. Just the other day my wife got a pop-up scam on her computer. She clicked on what she thought was a news link, and up popped a notice saying she had a virus.

I myself have received phone calls from someone claiming to be from Microsoft and that I had a virus on my computer. And of course there’s the email scam.

Scam Pop-Up chopped

First I want to tell you about the pop-up that my wife got. It popped up without warning. The fake news link was a link to the scam, and it came with a voice. (I don’t know what it said. I couldn’t understand the voice.) It had a phone number and a code to tell the operator. A little closer look and you’ll see it’s clearly a web page.

Near the first of the year she got another pop-up saying she had a virus on her Windows computer. One problem. She wasn’t using a Windows computer. This pop-up was also a website. Looking at the web address, I went to their home web page. I decided to call the phone number. The woman who answered was very nice and polite and professional. She also wanted access to the computer. For fun, I played dumb and pretended to not know anything about my wife’s laptop. The woman was clearly getting frustrated, but was determined to get into a Windows computer. No way I was going to tell her that it wasn’t Windows. She finally wanted me to tell her what operating system I had. That’s when I hung up.

One day I answered the phone and the man on the other end said he was from Microsoft and he’s calling to inform me that I have a virus on my Windows computer. I answered back, “Really? What if I told you I work for Microsoft? And what if I said I work in the Anti-Virus Division?” He then hung up.

One more example. Another day someone called claiming to be from Microsoft. Unfortunately I answered the wrong phone and had trouble understanding him. For those who don’t know, I do have a hearing problem. If I was on the other phone maybe I could have fun with him. But as it was I couldn’t understand him, so he hung up. I guess it’s too difficult to scam someone who can’t hear.

Years ago I was talking to a policeman and he said to never agree to anything, and never give out any information over the telephone to anyone you don’t know. He said even if they said that they, themselves were from the police department, give them no information.

I’ll go one step farther. Even though I am an American, I once dealt briefly with the Canadian Army. Their policy was zero information. You could ask them what color is their army truck, and they wouldn’t tell you. Their thinking seems to be any collection of information could be built up to real intel, and therefor may become a national security risk.

For any pop-up on your computer claiming you have a virus, check to be sure whether or not it’s really your anti-virus or a website trying to scam you.

Years ago I had a laptop with Windows 7 with Microsoft’s own anti-virus, Security Essentials on it. A notice popped up claiming to be Security Essentials and that I had a virus. I clicked on it to remove the virus when the real Microsoft Security Essentials popped up said this is an unknown program. Then it’s asked if I really wanted to install it. I took a closer look at fake Security Essentials and noticed that it had a grainy look to it. While the real one had a very clear and crisp look to it. I then realized I was about down load a virus. I then used the real Security Essentials to scan the laptop and to remove any viruses that may be there.

So, pay attention. Is the virus notice real, or is it a website? Does it have a grainy low quality look? Are there misspelled words? Is your computer up to date? Is the operating system up to date? How about all the software you have, like Office? Is your anti-virus up to date?

Be careful and please give out zero information. And pray for protection.

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Computers, Love Them, Hate Them

Screenshot of my very old Ubuntu computer

Screenshot of my very old Ubuntu computer

Years ago there was a young man in Redmond, Washington who said something like “Computers will make life so much easier.” Hum, who was that man? I know! Bill Gates. The former co-owner and founder of Microsoft. In some ways computers do make life easier, much easier. But when they break down… Oh boy!

A few weeks ago I wanted a new laptop to replace an old one that I used to have Windows XP on it. A few years ago I installed a Linux operating system on it and I love it. But this computer is old and I wanted a new one. By the way the bistro is Ubuntu and I have the 12.04 version. After doing some research I decided on a Dell laptop. To be honest I choose the bottom of the line model for four reasons. One, it was on sale. Two, the processor is very Linux friendly which means it will work well with Ubuntu. Three, I am not going to be playing video games, so why pay for a computer that can do that? And four, I do not want a touch-screen.

I know many of you are thinking, “OK, So what’s the problem?” When I finally got the new laptop, I noticed that I couldn’t adjust the brightness of the screen. Well I don’t like that, but I could live with it. After I installed Ubuntu on my new laptop, I was happy. But after being online for awhile, my new computer locked up. There was nothing I could do but force it to shut down. The next day I was using it again for a couple of hours, and it locked up again.

I called Dell Computer, and found out that even though they can remote access Windows and Apple computers, they can not access any type of a Linux computer. Well Dell replaced the laptop and to my surprise, sent me the second one by next day shipping. (A very happy and unexpected surprise.) Their customer service was great.

After I got my new, new laptop, I tested screen brightness, good; and the Wi-Fi, good; and I even left the computer on all day. So far so good. Then somehow I messed up the trial version of Microsoft Office. Oh man, what else could go wrong?

Our other computer is a desktop with Windows 7. The monitor is old and wearing out. No big deal, I’ll just replace it. So I bought a new monitor locally, brought it home, hooked it up to the computer and… Hey this thing is worse than the monitor I’m replacing! So back to the store I go for a replacement, only to find out there are no more. They’ll have to order it. Oh great!

So now I’m home again and after placing an order for a starter motor for a customer of mine, the old monitor died. Now the desktop computer is useless until I get that second new monitor.

By the way I forgot to tell you that the wireless burned out on the old former XP now Ubuntu laptop. And when I installed the software that should make the wireless adapter work with my computer, it didn’t.

So in three weeks time, I went through one wireless adapter, two laptops, two monitors, (hopefully the next one will work) what else can go wrong?

So now I grab an old paper Bible because after all I still have to do another post on Revelation and, oh no… I can’t believe this. It seems like someone must has broken into my house and replaced the Bibles with ones with small print! Why would they do that? Now I know some of you may say that I’m getting old, but come on. I am no way as old as my parents!

Now to answer a couple of questions you may have. Why do I not want a touch-screen laptop? Simple, I am a mechanic and I do not want dirty, grubby, greasy fingerprints on the screen.

Next question, how did I do this post? I do have another laptop, but I’m still using the old Ubuntu laptop. To go online I use Netgear Universal Wi-Fi Adapter, model WNCE2001. Thing is meant for entertainment centers, but I use it for my old laptop.

I keep thinking about that guy from Redmond, Washington saying, “Computers will make life so much easier.”

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