- How do I know a website is secure?
- How do I know they are who they say they are?
- How do I prevent Identity Theft?
- How can I improve the performance of Internet Explorer?
- Why is my computer telling me “Windows cannot open this file:” when I try to open a specific file?
- Should I shut off my computer when I'm not using it?
- What is better for my business: Cable Modem or DSL?
- Should I buy a laptop or a desktop?
- My mouse is not working properly.
- How should I clean my computer?
- What is the best way to access the office computer remotely?
- Why is my computer not turning on?
- Why can't I turn off my computer when it crashes? I have to use the power supply switch on the back.
- How often should I defrag my hard disk?
- How can I protect myself against viruses?
- Will my firewall protect me from viruses?
- Can viruses affect my hardware?
- What are Trojans?
- Should I go wireless or wired on my network?
- Do I need a router?
- How do I change my screen resolution?
- My colors are grainy and speckled with dots. What should I do?
- What does the refresh rate on the monitor do?
- I have a dual output video card and want to use two monitors. Is this possible?
- Which forms of payment does your company accept?
- Can you help me back up my data?
- Is data backup for everyone?
- Is data backup easy?
- Can you look at the files on my computer?
- How much does it cost?
- How long does this take?
- What are the benefits over Geek Squad or other larger companies?
- How far will you travel?
- What if I’m not satisfied?
- How do I qualify for Free Recycling?
- What products are eligible for recycling?
- Do I still get charged the California Recycling Fee?
- What type of peripherals can be recycled?
- Do I have to clean off my data on my old computer?
Q: How do I know a website is secure?
A: The ease and convenience of Internet commerce certainly has revolutionized the way we communicate. But how can you be sure the personal or business information you are typing into a website is safe and secure? Any reputable website uses SSL technology to ensure that your information is being transmitted to them securely. Basically, SSL scrambles or encrypts the information you type before it leaves your computer and is sent across the Internet. Once the information arrives at the other side, it is unscrambled or decrypted using a code that only they know. So how do you know a website is using SSL technology? There is a status bar at the bottom of your browser that displays some important statistics about the site you are viewing. If the site is using SSL, a little yellow lock icon will appear on that bar toward the right hand side. If you double-click on that lock, you get a “Security Certificate” window displaying information about who the SSL certificate was issued to, and who it was issued by.
Q: How do I know they are who they say they are?
A: There are many third-party companies called Certificate Authorities who issue SSL Certificates to websites. These companies verify that the website is a legitimate business.
Q: How do I prevent Identity Theft?
A: Identity Theft is a rising problem and one you should never say “that will never happen to me”. Identity theft is not a crime exclusively directed at computer users, but the wide-spread use of technology certainly makes people who conduct personal and/or business transactions online much more susceptible. There is nothing you can really do to guarantee 100% that you never fall prey, but there are many things you can do to minimize and control risk. Here are a few tips to help you protect yourself:
Never give your password to anyone else.
Never email personal or business information – even to trusted parties.
Never respond to unsolicited email or spam.
Use hard-to-guess or strong passwords which include numbers letters and symbols. (Do not use names of loved ones, “god”, pet names, Social Security number, house address, login name. and lucky numbers).
Password protect files that contain sensitive information.
Make sure you are using a firewall and anti-virus program.
Q: How can I improve the performance of Internet Explorer?
A: Every time you visit a website, Internet Explorer (IE) will download images and text to your computer so it can display them on your screen. It stores all this information in a temporary location on your computers' hard drive. This is useful if you frequent some site regularly because IE uses these files instead of downloading the information again. This “caching” improves performance but over time all these files can end up slowing your browser down, or cause other problems. It is a good idea to periodically purge this cache.
You can tune-up IE by the following:
Open Internet Explorer
Click Tools, Internet Options
On the Settings tab, click Delete Files
Select the “Delete all offline content” option.
Depending on how much temporary information is stored in the cache, you may have to wait several minutes before this process completes.
Q: Why is my computer telling me “Windows cannot open this file:” when I try to open a specific file?
A: In order for Windows to load the appropriate program for a specific file type, it needs to know which one to use ahead of time. In this case, Windows is telling you that it does not know which program to use for this particular file. Windows “knows” which programs to
use by something called file associations. These associations are determined by file extensions. For example, Windows knows to launch Microsoft Word any time you double-click on a file with a .DOC extension because .DOC files are associated with Word. The file associations are just a list of file extensions and corresponding programs.
There are 2 reasons why you are receiving this prompt. First, you may not have the correct program installed. For example, if you try to open a file with a .PDF extension and you do not have Adobe Acrobat installed, then you will be prompted with this message. When you install Acrobat it will automatically tell Windows to use it when a user requests to open a PDF file. It does this by making an entry in the file associations list. The second reason you might get this error is because someone or something has altered your file association list. Sometimes the installation of other programs can change entries in the list causing this to happen. In this case, the file associations must be manually repaired.
Q: Should I shut off my computer when I'm not using it?
A: There's a lot of debate over whether you should shut down your computer when not using it. We believe you should. Here is why:
Despite energy saving features, you are still wasting electricity.
Leaving your computer on increases the risk of damage during lightning storms, power surges or outages.
While on, your computer is subject to attack by hackers.
While on, other people may be able to access private information.
Although we feel these risks outweigh the benefits, there are some reasons to leave it on.
You don't have to wait for it to power on.
You can log in remotely.
The Window Automatic Updates has plenty of time for downloads.
Q: What is better for my business: Cable Modem or DSL?
A: As you might expect, the answer depends. Sometimes you may not have much of a choice as service depends on location availability. But, if you have a choice, the answer is still unclear.
Cable modem generally offers much higher speeds at a relatively low cost. Cable is also available in nearly all areas since Cable TV has a strong presence. However, there are some drawbacks to Cable Modem service. First, most providers do not offer advanced business services such as static IP addresses. This is important if you want to host your own mail, web or terminal server.
Second, cable is a non-switched (or shared) technology which means speed is dependent how many other users in your area are using the same service. Although the speed is generally much higher than DSL, there are times when it can fall far below it.
Although DSL is becoming more widely available than in recent years, you cannot always get service. DSL technology depends upon the distance of your facility from the local telephone companys' central office. The further away you are the slower the speed you will get. Many times the distance is too great to get service at all. DSL services are available in 2 basic flavors: ADSL and SDSL. ADSL offers fast download and slow upload speeds. Depending upon the ISP, you may or may not be able to get a static IP. SDSL on the other hand offers the same download and upload speed and usually comes with 1 or more static IP addresses.
Q: Should I buy a laptop or a desktop?
A: This question really should read: Should I buy a laptop instead of a desktop? The obvious benefit of a laptop is mobility both inside the office (using wireless) and outside. But there are a number of drawbacks to consider. First, feature for feature, you will pay a premium for a laptop when compared to a similarly configured desktop. You are paying for the miniaturization of the same technology. Second, performance is always sacrificed for size so don’t expect screaming number crunching speeds on a laptop. Third, a laptop is not as ergonomic as a desktop. The screens are generally smaller, the keyboards are not suited for a lot of typing, and the pointing devices are not nearly as comfortable as a full sized mouse or trackball.
Q: My mouse is not working properly.
A: Are you wondering why your mouse seems a little jittery? Does the pointer skip around a lot? Is it somewhat hard to control? Is the motion rough? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then your mouse is suffering from dirty rollers.
If you are using a roller-type mouse then turn it over. Carefully remove the ball by opening the door on the bottom of the mouse. Clean the ball by blowing off any dust or particles. Set the ball and door cover aside and look inside the mouse. You should see 3 rollers: 1 thin wheel and 2 long bars. Using your fingernail gently scrape off the accumulation on the surface of the rollers and the wheel. Make sure you turn them completely around to get off all the debris. Replace the ball and cover, then take it for a spin.
If your wireless mouse is not working. A solution might be to replace your batteries.
Q: How should I clean my computer?
A: Keeping the outside and inside of your computer won't necessarily extend the life of your computer, but it can certainly help avoid a premature demise. Dirt is a big enemy of electronics. Here are some helpful hints on how to clean and how to keep your computer clean: Keep the computer off the floor. Dust tends to accumulate under desks. Since your PC uses internal fans to cool itself off, that dust is likely to end up inside your computer. This can cause fans to get clogged and thereby reducing their effectiveness. Dirt can also coat chips and other components and settle inside CD-ROM and diskette drives.
Do not spray cleaners directly on the computer. Liquid sprays can easily drip into seams and crevasses causing damage to your system. Use a soft cloth moistened with ordinary glass cleaner to wipe dirt or dust off screens. Take extra care with LCD screens. Too much pressure can damage the fragile screen. You can use the same technique on keyboards, mice (the underside too), and other components. Make sure your PC is turned off when cleaning it.
If your computer operates in a dusty or dirty environment (such as a factory or warehouse), then consider cleaning the inside of the computer periodically. You should have an experienced technician do this for you as you can likely damage the system if you are not careful. Air Cans will sometimes release the pressurized liquid chemical in addition to the air itself. These chemicals may short circuit electric components. Take extreme care if you plan to use an industrial strength pneumatic air system as the air pressure can actually rip components right off the motherboard. Use a diffuser nozzle with short bursts.
Q: What is the best way to access the office computer remotely?
A: There are a number of solutions available that can help you either tele-commute or to bring work home. The right solution will depend on many factors including how many people will be doing this, how often, and budget. Here are some of the most common scenarios:
Logmein.com is a free web-based remote access solution. You install their software on your office computer. Now, all you need is to go to any computer with an Internet connection and you will be able to remotely access your office computer.
Symantec PC-Anywhere is much like the Logmein solution but there are some important differences. You buy PC-Anywhere once and can install in on 2 computers: the host and remote. There is no monthly fee. But, if you want to access the office computer from multiple places, then you will have to buy and install additional copies of the “remote” program. This can be inconvenient if you plan to access your computer from many other places. PCAW makes more sense if you will work remotely from only one place.
Microsoft Terminal Server allows you to provide many people in your company to remotely access corporate resources remotely. Microsoft Terminal Server is much more robust and cost effective if you have 5 or more remote users especially if they work offsite full time. It is also much more secure because you can control and limit what remote users can do once they log on.
Q: Why is my computer not turning on?
A: Please check all connections. Make sure all of your plugs are connected to a surge protector or battery backup to protect your computer and other hardware.
Some of the best battery backup manufactures are APC, Tripp Lite, or Cyber Power. Capacities will vary with each computer configuration. A 500va backup will be sufficient to power 10 or more minutes to a powerless environment.
Q: Why can't I turn off my computer when it crashes? I have to use the power supply switch on the back.
A: Try holding the front power button for five or six seconds. Merely pressing the button will not turn the PC off, as this isn't a spring-loaded switch that has an On and Off. By holding the button for several seconds, the computer knows to shut the power supply down.
Q: How often should I defrag my hard disk?
A: That really depends on what you do with the drive. If you add and delete a lot of data, you'll want to defrag monthly. If you're a casual user, every three to six months is probably fine.
Q: How can I protect myself against viruses?
A: The first things you should do are
1) Buy or download a free antivirus program. Update that antivirus program, then run a full scan of your system.
2) Do not open Email attachments--even if you know who they're from. Some Email worms will send mail from a friend or loved-one's computer, so the send might appear to be from someone you know, but might actually contain a virus.
3) Stay away from shady sites.
Q: Will my firewall protect me from viruses?
A: No. While some firewalls may save you from worms scanning the Internet for open ports, a firewall will not save you from Human error virus infection, such as opening email attachments or partaking in file sharing.
Q: Can viruses affect my hardware?
A: No. While in theory a virus can erase the BIOS of a PC and some even manage to erase all the data on hard drives, this type of damage is not permanent.
Q: What are Trojans?
A: A Trojan is a program you might willingly put on your computer that turns out to actually be a virus.
Q: Should I go wireless or wired on my network?
A: If you are in near proximity to your router or modem, then you should go with a wired network. While there may be no real speed advantage, there are security risks when going with a wireless network setup.
Q: Do I need a router?
A: If you only have one PC in the house then, no, you do not need a router. If you have two or more PCs, then we recommend a router because they are pretty inexpensive and also help secure your internal network from snoops by providing Network Address
Translation (NAT). NAT means the router has an external IP address provided by your ISP and then provides your internal network with an internal IP address, such as 192.168.1.2. This means the outside world cannot "see" the internal computers.
Q: How do I change my screen resolution?
A: You can change your screen resolution by either right-clicking the desktop and selecting Properties, or by going into the control panel and clicking the Display icon. You will then click the Settings tab. In Vista, you will find the monitor settings under the Personalization icon, then the monitor tab.
Next, look for the slider bar that says Resolution. Be careful not to set the resolution too high, as older monitors may not be able to handle the resolution and could possibly go black. If this happens, do nothing, as Windows will usually revert the resolution back after 15 seconds without a response from you. Typical resolutions are 800X600 or 1024X768. If you have a widescreen monitor, you can even try 1280x768.
Q: My colors are grainy and speckled with dots. What should I do?
A: You may have a couple of problems here. 1) Your colors may be set to 256 and should be set to 16-bit or 32-bit depending on your graphics capabilities. Or 2) You should make sure your graphics drivers are installed. To update your graphics drivers, visit the manufacturer of the card (nVidia, ATI, etc..) and download the latest drivers, then go to the Control Panel, then System, then Device Manager. You will see a listing for your display adapter. Right-click the adapter, then click Properties, then select the Driver tab and finally Update Driver.
Q: What does the refresh rate on the monitor do?
A: Generally, you will not want to mess with these settings if your monitor is working okay. If you're monitor flickers or if you are suffering unusual eye strain, you may want to increase the refresh rate to reduce the flickering.
Q: I have a dual output video card and want to use two monitors. Is this possible?
A: Yes, having two monitors is great for multitasking or increasing the amount of your workspace for photo editing, spreadsheets or other tasks that demand multiple Windows open at once. To do this, connect both monitors to the card and navigate back to the Display settings area. You should see a box with a 1 and a box with a 2. The number 1 box is your main monitor. If you click on the second box, you can now adjust the settings for the second monitor. If you're not sure which monitor you're adjusting, click Identify Monitor and a huge number will be displayed on your screen. You can even drag the boxes around to get the exact orientation of the physical monitors.
Q. Which forms of payment does your company accept?
A. We accept cash, checks and credit cards. Credit card payments that are accepted are Visa®, MasterCard ®, American Express®, and Discover®.
Q. Can you help me back up my data?
A. Yes! We offer remote data backup service at reasonable rates. Please contact us for more information.
Q. Is data backup for everyone?
Q. Is data backup easy?
A. Backing up with I.N.C. is simple. After we install and setup the Data Backup Client to a computer, everything is automatic. No CDs, no external drives, and no headaches.
Q. Can you look at the files on my computer?
A. Can we? Yes. Do we? No. Just as if you would drop your computer off at a computer repair shop, we have access to your whole computer. However, we respect our client’s privacy and only access what we need to fix. Everything we do is kept with the utmost confidence. We don’t read or open files we only fix problems.
Q. How much does it cost?
A. This depends on which service you require. We have two services to better serve your needs; Business and Home. We are an hourly rate business and depending on the severity of the issue, the hours will vary.
Q. How long does this take?
A. This depends on the severity of the issue your computer is having. Computers are fickle and often different issues have similar symptoms. We diagnose your computer first to determine exactly what the issue is. Once it's pinpointed, a more accurate estimate can be given.
A. All client information is strictly private. We will not sell or redistribute your personal information to anyone.
Q. What are the benefits over Geek Squad or other larger companies?
A. Personal Service, honesty, and integrity. When it comes down to it, to a larger company, you are just another number or computer they want to get in and push out. They do not give you the unique service that I.N.C. does. We are here to, not only, fix your computer, but also to inform and educate you so that you don't run into the same or similar issues in the future. We are happy to answer any and all questions, with no cost to you, regardless of you’re knowledge of computers. We speak to you in English, not geek, and help you to understand what we are doing to your computer and how it happened. Again, larger companies just want to get you in, take your money, and get you back out.
Q. How far will you travel?
A. Generally, we travel to the surrounding communities around Los Angeles County. This isn't to say we won’t make a special trip to your location if it’s not listed! Give us a call and find out if we will come to you. We are here for our customers near or far!
Q. What if I’m not satisfied?
A. I.N.C. guarantees satisfaction.
I.N.C. 90-Day Warranty
The limited warranty begins from the completion date and covers any defects in material or workmanship. Warranty includes hardware and software services, but not for software issues, I.N.C. cannot be held responsible for the stability or manufacturing of any software or hardware.
Voiding warranty is subject to, but not limited to the following conditions: failure of equipment or parts, tampering or modifications made by owner, user, or any parties affiliated, acts of god (fire, earthquake, etc.), damaged caused by failure to use machine properly (water damage, improper handling, malice or intent to harm equipment, etc.).
In case of voided warranty, I.N.C. has the right to issue an invoice to be paid by client. I.N.C. may not provide prior notice of charges if services cannot be foreseen due to unprecedented technical issues.
Q. How do I qualify for Free Recycling?
A. Purchase any computer or monitor and receive Free Recycling of your old computer and old monitor from an I.N.C. and receive free recycling of your old computer products.
Q: What products are eligible for recycling?
A: Free recycling is available with qualifying purchases of new or I.N.C. certified refurbished computers and/or monitors. This offer is not valid with the purchase of used equipment. I.N.C. will accept for recycling computers, monitors, and peripherals from any manufacturer, except products contaminated or suspected of being contaminated with chemicals, biological agents or other substances that are not integral to the original new equipment or otherwise associated with normal office or household environments. I.N.C. will not accept hazardous waste. I.N.C. will not accept batteries that are not an integral part of the system being recycled, UPS systems, CRTs that have been removed from their cases, or CRTs that are cracked or broken.
Q: Do I still get charged the California Recycling Fee?
A: Yes, but only if you purchase a product that is subject to the California Recycling Fee, and not for any recycling in which you participate under this program. If you are a California end user and you purchase a product that includes a display measuring more than four inches diagonally, the State of California requires manufacturers such as I.N.C. to collect a fee from you, so I.N.C. will add that fee to your purchase price. This fee is entirely separate from I.N.C.’s own recycling program, and I.N.C. must collect this fee if you purchase products subject to this law, whether or not you choose to participate in I.N.C.’s recycling program. There is no charge to participate in I.N.C.’s recycling program.
Q: What type of peripherals can be recycled?
A: Computer peripherals include: cables, mice, keyboards, computer speakers, printers, scanners, floppy drives, optical media, and external hard drives. .
Q: Do I have to clean off my data on my old computer?
A: Yes, before sending equipment for recycling, you should (a) delete data on the hard-disk drives and any other storage devices in the products; (b) back up or transfer any data prior to deletion; and (c) remove any removable media, such as diskettes, CDs, or PC Cards. I.N.C. has no responsibility for loss or confidentiality of customer data on recycled equipment.