RatRod Computer Repair - If we don't know it is broken, How can we fix it.....
Spyware is a type of malware that can be installed on computers, and which collects small pieces of information about users without their knowledge. The presence of spyware is typically hidden from the user, and can be difficult to detect. Typically, spyware is secretly installed on the user's personal computer. Sometimes, however, spywares such as keyloggers are installed by the owner of a shared, corporate, or public computer on purpose in order to secretly monitor other users.While the term spyware suggests software that secretly monitors the user's computing, the functions of spyware extend well beyond simple monitoring. Spyware programs can collect various types of personal information, such as Internet surfing habits and sites that have been visited, but can also interfere with user control of the computer in other ways, such as installing additional software and redirecting Web browser activity. Spyware is known to change computer settings, resulting in slow connection speeds, different home pages, and/or loss of Internet connection or functionality of other programs. In an attempt to increase the understanding of spyware, a more formal classification of its included software types is provided by the term privacy-invasive software.In response to the emergence of spyware, a small industry has sprung up dealing in anti-spyware software. Running anti-spyware software has become a widely recognized element of computer security practices for computers, especially those running Microsoft Windows. A number of jurisdictions have passed anti-spyware laws, which usually target any software that is surreptitiously installed to control a user's computer. 
At RatRod Computer Repair we like to define these types of threats as "Computer Terrorists".  They are designed to scare the normal user into thinking that they need their product, when infact all you need to do is call RatRod Computer Repair to schedule an appointment for a tech to fix the problem.
These free programs are commonly music download programs, screen savers, and even Spyware detection programs. The program may be free, but in order to make money the program’s author has bundled other Spyware programs to sell information and get paid by advertisers. These programs and components track information about the internet sites you visit, launch pop-up ads, add search toolbars, change your browser homepage and spy on your computer – which can dramatically slow computer performance. These programs run in the background, and are usually not detectable by normal system diagnostics tools that are included with your computer.
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To schedule an appointment with a RatRod Computer Repair professional, call (775) 560-2413.
Spyware Removal
In recent tests, it is found that store bought anti-spyware programs only remove around 40-70% of known spyware on your system.  The way that some of the spyware is written these day, is that they can detect the presence of a tool that is installed to remove them and in turn dis-able the removal program even before it is opened to do it's job to remove the infection or computer terrorist.  There are some spyware removal programs that are not set up for the "home" user, but for a professional, mistakenly loading one of these super spyware removal programs, could cause the damage of system files or loss of internet connectivity.  We recommend that you contact a RatRod Computer Professional for recommendation, therefore protecting you from unintentional damage to your system or network.
RatRod Computer Repair professionals deal with spyware/malware on a daily basis. In fact, the majority of our service calls involve spyware removal. RatRod Computer Repair utilizes several up to date removal tools and techniques to safely remove nearly or all of the spyware running on most computers. We accomplish this without the loss of your important data (i.e. pictures, documents and favorites). Also, we will educate you on avoiding spyware/malware in the future and install free programs that will help you in the fight to stop spyware/malware from getting into your machine.
To schedule an appointment with a RatRod Computer Repair professional, call (775) 560-2413.
Spyware Avoidance
When it comes to spyware, the best defense is a great offense. Taking action to avoid getting spyware on your computer in the first place helps prevent you from becoming a victim. That is, of course, easier said than done. However, there are a number of actions you should take to guard against the spyware threat:
  • Keep Windows up-to-date by setting up automatic updates in the control panel. Microsoft issues critical updates at least monthly. Many of those are designed to eliminate or avoid specific spyware threats.
  • Install an anti-virus software package and keep it updated at all times. There are many of these available, some of which are free. The most popular brands include Norton, Microsoft Defender, McAfee, Spybot, Search & Destroy, Pest Control and Grisoft. Your Internet service provider may offer a utility or guide you to a recommended solution, too.
  • Don't download shareware (or anything else for that matter) from unknown sources. Seek out reliable providers of free utilities, such as download.com.
  • When you do download software, read the end user license agreement before committing to the installation. When in doubt, do not install the software.
  • Don't click on any pop-up or advertisement for free anti-spyware software. These are almost always fake, even if they carry the name and logo of a well-known publisher. Ironically, this is a very popular method used to distribute spyware and other malware. If you're looking for anti-virus software, go directly to the company's Web site and be sure you're where you think you are.
  • Set your browser and operating system security level to at least the medium setting (or higher) for best results. You may see a few more warning messages, but it's a small price to pay for security.
  • Install a firewall and, if you have a home network, use a separate router, rather than sharing the Internet connection through one of your computers. This puts one more barrier between you and the bad guys.
  • Avoid questionable Web sites. If you visit a site that seems strange, there's a good chance you shouldn't be there.
  • If a virus alert appears on your screen as you visit a Web site, don't click on it, even to close it. Instead, type control-alt-delete to launch the Task Manager and use the "End Task" command to close the window. Next, use your own anti-virus software to run a complete scan of the system.
  • Never open an e-mail attachment if you're uncertain of its source.
If your computer has symptoms of an infection, or is acting not normal, or you have been unsuccessful at removing it by yourself - stop wasting time and schedule an appointment with a RatRod Computer Repair professional. Call (775) 560-2413.
Protection for your Children and Family
CyberPatrol is a great add-on program to help protect your children from the internet predators out there to give you the peace of mind your are looking for.  Mozilla does not have a built in parental control feature, so an add on security program to help protect your children is needed.  Internet Explorer has a parental control that can filter websites that are bad for kids.  Open dns will protect your children further from porno graphic sites.
CyberPatrol. Click here for more information.
If your computer has symptoms of spyware, or you have been unsuccessful at removing it by yourself - stop wasting time and schedule an appointment with a RatRod Computer Repair professional. Call (775) 560-2413.
Email Spoofs
E-mail spoofing is e-mail activity in which the sender address and other parts of the e-mail header are altered to appear as though the e-mail originated from a different source. Because core SMTP doesn't provide any authentication, it is easy to impersonate and forge emails.Though it can be legitimate, it is usually fraudulent. Because the purpose is so often malicious, "spoof" (an expression whose base meaning is innocent parody) is a poor term for this activity, which can confuse newcomers to it, so that more accountable organisations such as government departments and banks tend to avoid it, preferring more explicit descriptors such as "fraudulent" or "phishing".It is commonly used in spam and phishing e-mails to hide the origin of the e-mail message. By changing certain properties of the e-mail, such as the From, Return-Path and Reply-To fields (which can be found in the message header), ill-intentioned users can make the e-mail appear to be from someone other than the actual sender. The result is that, although the e-mail appears to come from the address indicated in the From field (found in the e-mail headers), it actually comes from another source.Occasionally (especially if the spam requires a reply from the recipient, as in advance-fee frauds), the source of the spam e-mail is indicated in the Reply-To field (or at least a way of identifying the spammer); if this is the case and the initial e-mail is replied to, the delivery will be sent to the address specified in the Reply-To field, which could be the spammer's address. However, most spam emails (especially malicious ones with a trojan/virus payload, or those advertising a web site) forge this address too, and replying to it will annoy an innocent third party.Prior to the advent of unsolicited commercial email (spam) as a viable business model, "legitimately spoofed" email was common. For example, a visiting user might use the local organization's SMTP server to send email from the user's foreign address. Since most servers were configured as open relays, this was a common practice. As spam email became an annoying problem, most of these "legitimate" uses fell victim to antispam techniques.
To schedule an appointment with a RatRod Computer Repair professional, call (775) 560-2413.
Best Practice is to Install a good Anti-Virus Program
RatRod Computer Repair techs will install a good known Anti-Virus Program on your computer to help you combat the cyber threats.  Most web based emails (i.e. Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail etc.) have virus scans already, but if you utilize MS Outlook or Windows 7 Mail or any other computer based email program, you need to get an anti-virus program that scans your incoming and outgoing e-mail. It's a good idea to have a professional from RatRod Computer Repair to install the anti-virus program for you.
Most viruses will disable anti-virus programs, anti-malware or any other programs that try to fix the virus, therefore, if you have a virus before installing the anti-virus program, it is most likely that the anti-virus program won't work properly. Anti-Virus programs need to be set up to update automatically so that they can get new updated virus definition files from their parent website.  Installing more than one Anti-Virus program, you can further damage your computer as the old saying "Too Much Protection is more harmful to the system".  Install only one anti virus program on your system. You can have more than one Anti-Spyware program, as one doesn't find something, another one will.
To schedule an appointment with a RatRod Computer Repair professional, call (775) 560-2413.
Internet (High-Speed Broadband)
Advantages of High-Speed Broadband Internet:
  • Direct connection to the internet - no waiting for your hardware modem to dial-up anytime you want to view a your email or search the internet.
  • If you currently have 2 phone lines in your home, you can now disconnect the second phone line and save on your monthly bill.
  • Faster download speeds that range from 256 Kbps to 3000 Kbps and higher are available (check with your provider).
  • Share your internet, printers and documet files with multiple computers within your home via wireless networking. No more "wires" in your home- RatRod Computer Repair can set up a wireless networking solution for you. Your laptop can now be utilized anywhere in your home or on your patio while enjoying your morning cup of coffee.
RatRod Computer Repair can install Internet from most providers in less time and usually for a lessor fee than the Internet provider. Internet is available in 3 different types: DSL, Cable and Wireless:
  • DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) utilizes your phone lines, but is on different frequencies so that you can be connected to the internet and make and receive telephone calls on the same phone line at the same time by utilizing a filtering system. DSL service is provided by AT&T and other area providers.
  • Cable Broadband - Provided by Charter Communications
  • Wireless Broadband or cellular signal works the same as your cellular telephone.  Most have to be line of sight to the nearest cell tower for you to connect.  So research the provider to ensure that you have the strongest signal for your area.  If you get cellular phone signal that is strong, chances are that you can get a good wireless broadband signal as well. You may even be able to just expand your current cellular telephone service to incorporate a data plan for your PC at a lower bundled cost.  Check with your provider.
    Service providers: Clearwire, Verizon, AT&T, Sprint
Call RatRod Computer Repair today to discuss other advantages and information needed when upgrading from your slow dial-up internet connection. We can also help you sign-up and/or install broadband internet. (775) 560-2413
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