Film Shooting In Studio

Lorem Ipsum has been the industry’s standard dummy text ever since the, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry’s standard dummy text ever since the, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book.

River Side Nature View

Lorem Ipsum has been the industry’s standard dummy text ever since the, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry’s standard dummy text ever since the, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book.

City Road Side

Lorem Ipsum has been the industry’s standard dummy text ever since the, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry’s standard dummy text ever since the, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book.

Capturing The Beauty of Grassland

Lorem Ipsum has been the industry’s standard dummy text ever since the, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry’s standard dummy text ever since the, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book.

New Service Hours

Multiple devices

To provide the best service possible, we’ve made some changes to our business hours.

In-Home

In-home support is available by appointment MondayFriday, 9am6pm, except on bank holidays.

If you call by 11am you’re most likely to be scheduled that same afternoon.

Remote Support

Remote support is by appointment MondayFriday, 9am6pm, and Saturdays 9am6pm. Remote support allows an expert to connect to your computer screen and resolve any issues that don’t require an in-home technician. These are usually software, email and error-message related issues.

You must have a working Internet connection.

This costs less than an in-home appointment for the same task, and you’re more likely to work with an expert to same day you call.

Other Ways To Get Help

Our updated phone system allows text messages!

We encourage you to take pictures of any issues, error messages or alerts and text (561) 809-2218 for a prompt response.

You may also fill out our contact form and attach any images related to the problem.

Finally, if you have an Android device download the Genesis Computing app to reach an expert quickly.

How to Make An Appointment

To book an appointment all you have to do is call (561) 809-2218.

If you call outside our business hours, that’s ok! Simply leave a message. Feel free to send a text as well.

“Petya” Cyber Attack: Safety Tips

A computer infected by the Petya ransomware.
A computer infected by the Petya ransomware

Just weeks after the “WannaCry” virus scare, we have another European cyber attack that is projected to spread to the U.S. Are you safe?

What is Petya?

Petya virus ransom message.
The bright red text makes the Petya virus easy to spot.

The culprit behind the Petya cyberattack is a type of malware (virus) called ransomware. Ransomware encrypts a computer’s files, preventing them from being opened. Then, a payment message locks the computer down and threatens deletion of all the files unless a fee is paid. This particular virus asks for $300.

You should never pay the ransom. There’s no guarantee your files will be returned.

How Does It Spread?

It has primarily spread through email. Don’t open any attachments that you weren’t expecting or that were sent from unfamiliar email addresses. When in doubt, ask the sender if they meant to send you an attachment!

Who Is Vulnerable?

Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8 and 10 are affected. In other words, if you’re not using a Mac, your computer can be attacked by Petya. Sorry Windows users, but don’t worry! Keep reading to learn how to protect yourself.

How to Protect Yourself

Computer user

Like WannaCry, the Petya virus only affects Windows computers that have not kept up with updates. Follow these steps to make sure your computer is protected.

Update Your Antivirus

Norton Security Suite warning screen
Don’t ignore your antivirus messages!

If you’ve had computer service with me, you have antivirus on your computer that is set to automatically update. Rest easy!

For those who aren’t sure, double-click on your antivirus icon (e.g. Norton Security Suite, Avast)  and there should be a prominent “update” option, because staying up to date is essential for antivirus to work properly.

Update Windows

Find the section for your operating system and follow the steps.

Windows 7

Windows  8 & 10

Windows 10 update screen
You may see this message when your computer is turning on/off.

Windows 8, 8.1 and 10 are configured for automatic updates from the start. As long as your computer is in sleep mode and not shut down, updates will install overnight.

 

Back up Your Files

Seagate backup drive
Recommended product: Seagate external driveBuy on Amazon

A backup is always good to have, even if you don’t think there’s much on your computer. The stress, inconvenience and expense of getting hit with malware can be avoided if you simply have a backup of your files.

This requires an external storage device (usually an external hard drive). Windows computers have built in backup software called Windows Backup (Windows 7) and File History (Windows 10).

Call a Professional

Of course, I’d be happy to help you in-person or over remote support! Simply call (561) 809-2218 or fill out this contact form to set an appointment. Don’t wait for your computer to be hit by ransomware. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

 

Learn Google Chrome in 10 Minutes

A desktop and laptop running Google Chrome.
Chrome is available on Windows, Mac, and mobile devices.

Google Chrome is my favorite web browser. It’s fast, secure, and has lots of features to make browsing easier. I’ve put together a short video series to familiarize new users.

Printing

Since Google Chrome lacks a menu bar found in browsers such as AOL Desktop or Internet Explorer, this video will show you the menu button, and how to print.

Bookmarks

Bookmarks (called “favorites” in Internet Explorer and “favorite places” in AOL) are shortcuts to easily return to a site later. For example, if you find yourself clicking through lots of pages to get to your email, you could save yourself time by simply bookmarking your inbox.

Downloading Files

Being able to download files, whether from email or the web, is an important part of being able to use your computer. In this video we cover downloading files from the Internet using Google Chrome.

Web Browsing & Google Search

To get to where you want to go on the Internet you’ll either need the web address of your destination or know how to use Google to find it. This video will teach you how, using Google Chrome.

Want more?

Subscribe to the Genesis Computing YouTube channel for more helpful videos!

Amazon Sale (This Week Only!)

Kindle Paperwhite, the best selling Kindle

Is it time to upgrade your Kindle? Have you wanted the new Amazon Echo? This week is the time to buy an Amazon Kindle or Echo for yourself or for a gift. Not sure what any of these devices are? Don’t worry, in this blog post we cover Amazon’s popular devices to help you decide which to buy.

Kindle: Millions of Books at Your Fingertips

Amazon Kindle devices enable users to browse, buy, download, and read e-books, newspapers, magazines and other digital media, wirelessly. Unlike tablets, Kindles do not have glare.

Kindle $79.99 $59.99

Amazon Kindle
Buy on Amazon

The standard Kindle is great for casual readers who will be using their e-reader at home. It’s affordably priced, but unlike the other models, it’s available only in a Wi-Fi version (as opposed to a Wi-Fi + 3G option as well). But if you’re always using it when you’re connected to your personal Wi-Fi network, this shouldn’t be a problem.

The introductory-level Kindle has all of the basic essentials an e-reader should offer, while boasting the most affordable price tag in the line. Designed to be small and lighter than a paperback, the Kindle weighs 6.7 ounces, has a 6-inch screen, and a battery life of up to four weeks.

The standard Kindle is great for casual readers who will be using their e-reader at home.

Buy the Kindle on Amazon now

Kindle Paperwhite $119.99 $99.99

Kindle Paperwhite
Buy on Amazon

The next step up in the Kindle line is the Paperwhite. This model introduces users to a built-in light for better reading in daylight or nighttime conditions and sharper resolution for a better-quality display.

With its backlit screen, the Kindle Paperwhite is great for nighttime bookworms. This e-reader offers more advanced features than the basic Kindle, while still keeping its price relatively affordable.

Buy the Kindle Paperwhite on Amazon now

Kindle Voyage $199.99 $179.99

Kindle Voyage
Buy on Amazon

The Voyage takes Kindle functionality to a new level. Its adaptive front light automatically adjusts to your lighting conditions, and a feature called PagePress makes page turning as easy as applying increased pressure.

Thanks to its advanced light capability, the Voyage works well for dedicated readers who will be taking their e-reader outside regularly.

Buy the Kindle Voyage on Amazon now


Echo: Your Personal Voice Assistant

Amazon has developed a voice-enabled assistant called Alexa. This is similar to Siri found on Apple devices and Cortana found in Windows 10. By speaking the command word, “Alexa”, your Echo or Echo Dot can give you the weather, play music, and even order food.

Echo $179.99 $139.99

Amazon Echo
Buy now on Amazon

The Echo is a speaker and home automation controller, and is perhaps the pinnacle of the Alexa lineup. It streams music, plays room-filling audio, controls home smart devices and fulfills search queries. Just ask it to tell you a joke or place an order on Amazon.

This is made for consumers who want a centralized smart home controller and speaker all in one. The Echo is the most expensive of the three Alexa-equipped products, but it doesn’t require any supplementary purchases, like speakers. Place it in your living room, and it’ll quickly become part of your daily routine.

Buy the Echo on Amazon now

Echo Dot $49.99 $39.99

Amazon Echo Dot
Buy now on Amazon

Amazon Echo Dot delivers many of Amazon Echo’s coveted features in an affordable package that’s just over an inch tall.

This device is for consumers who want voice-enabled, hands-free speaker functionality in any (or every) room.

Buy the Echo Dot on Amazon now

Tap $129.99 $99.99

Amazon Tap
Buy now on Amazon

The Tap is an Alexa-enabled, portable Bluetooth speaker. The Echo Dot may work in any room, but the Tap is best known for its ability to work practically anywhere.

It’s best for music listeners who crave voice-activated speaker functionality outside the home. The Tap is the most mobile of the Alexa-enabled speakers and has up to nine hours of battery life. Amazon also sells silicone slings for the device — for $19.99 — that make it easy to transport. But you’ll need Wi-Fi access to use many of the Tap’s best features. When you’re away from a connection, you can connect directly to your phone if you have cell service.

Buy the Tap on Amazon now

Need Lessons?

Amazon Echo
The Echo blends into any home.

Want to get the most out of your Kindle or Echo? Lessons are available! Just contact us to set up an appointment to learn in-person or virtually using Skype or Facetime.

Is Free AOL Going Away?

AOL Desktop final alert message
Are you an AOL user? Read on.

AOL Desktop vs. AOL Webmail

Before we continue, it’s important to understand the difference between AOL Desktop and AOL webmail.

AOL Desktop read mail icon
If this is how you check email, you’re on AOL Desktop.

AOL Desktop is a program that has to be downloaded and installed on the computer. It provides email, web browsing and news headlines all in one place. However, it’s not without it’s flaws. It’s loaded with ads, slow and prone to errors. I go into more detail in the Stay Away from AOL Desktop blog post.

However I will applaud it for one thing: its design has been consistent for decades. AOL users know their way around. To many, that comfort outweighs the many technical issues.

AOL web mail
Access your AOL mail from any device on aol.com.

AOL webmail is a website. It can be accessed from any computer or device that has a web browser (e.g. Internet Explorer, Chrome, Safari, Firefox) by simply going to aol.com and clicking on Mail. This method has many advantages, such as the ability to block ads. On the other hand it requires a bit more familiarity with the web. Printing an email or saving an attachment can be a task if you’ve never been shown how to do so.

At the end of the day, AOL Desktop and AOL webmail provide access to the same email and address book, and are just different ways to reach the same destination.

What Is AOL Desktop Gold?

AOL Desktop Gold
Now it’s secure? What was it before?

I’m going to be frank; AOL Desktop Gold doesn’t appear to have any newsworthy features over the current version of AOL Desktop. They tout security improvements such as two-factor authentication and encryption, but they fail to realize that:

  1. AOL’s user demographic generally doesn’t care about two-factor authentication or know what it is
  2. AOL’s competitors (Gmail, Yahoo Mail, etc.) offer such security features for free.

In short: AOL is basically slapping a $50/year price tag on the same old product, with “new” features the average user won’t use or care about.

Use AOL Free

Regardless of whether you’ve received a message to switch to AOL Desktop Gold, you don’t have to pay for AOL.

Check Your Membership Status

AOL free plan description
AOL has a free plan.

First, it’s a good idea to check if you’re already paying for AOL. Many users are, and don’t even realize it. You can find out by going to myservices.aol.com. If your plan isn’t shown as “free”, similar to the photo above, you can click the “Change Plan” option and switch to free. You won’t lose your email, contacts, or favorite places. You probably won’t notice a difference.

Use AOL Webmail

If you are receiving messages to pay for AOL Desktop Gold, you’ll have to stop using AOL Desktop and start checking your mail on mail.aol.com from your computer’s web browser (e.g. Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome). It’s the same email and address book as AOL Desktop, and it doesn’t take long to get used to the new layout.

Use a Mobile Device

Do you own a smartphone, Kindle Fire, iPad, or Android tablet? All of these devices come with a mail app that is compatible with all major mail providers, including AOL. You can also download the AOL app, which is nice if you want the all-in-one experience of news, weather and email.

If you’re reading this article on a mobile device, click on the appropriate link below to download the AOL app.

iPhone & iPad

Android (Samsung, LG, etc.)

Kindle Fire

Call a Professional

Are you having trouble with the latest AOL changes? Schedule an appointment to work with an expert. We’ll ease your transition away from AOL Desktop and make you more proficient with your computer as a result. Lessons are available for PC, Mac and mobile devices.

Make sure you forward this to friends on AOL!

“WannaCry” Virus. Are You Safe?

Computer infected with WannaCry

News outlets have been reporting a computer virus spreading rapidly across the globe. The malware, dubbed “WannaCry”, is expected to hit U.S. computers today. Are you safe?

What is WannaCry?

WannaCry news headlines
WannaCry in the news

WannaCry is a type of malware (virus) called ransomware. Ransomware encrypts a computer’s files, preventing them from being opened. Then, a payment message locks the computer down and threatens deletion of all the files unless a fee is paid. This particular virus asks for $300.

You should never pay the ransom. There’s no guarantee your files will be returned.

How Does It Spread?

It has primarily spread through email. Over 200,000 users in Europe and Asia are affected, as of this writing.

Who Is Vulnerable?

Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8 and 10 are affected. In other words, if you’re not using a Mac, your computer can be attacked by WannaCry. Sorry Windows users, but don’t worry! Keep reading to learn how to protect yourself.

How to Protect Yourself

WannaCry is actually not new; Microsoft patched the security hole used by the virus back in March. Follow these steps to make sure your computer is protected.

Update Your Antivirus

Norton Security Suite warning screen
Don’t ignore your antivirus messages!

If you’ve had computer service with me, you have antivirus on your computer that is set to automatically update. Rest easy!

For those who aren’t sure, double-click on your antivirus icon (e.g. Norton Security Suite, Avast)  and there should be a prominent “update” option, because staying up to date is essential for antivirus to work properly.

Update Windows

Find the section for your operating system and follow the steps.

Windows 7

Windows  8 & 10

Windows 10 update screen
You may see this message when your computer is turning on/off.

Windows 8, 8.1 and 10 are configured for automatic updates from the start. As long as your computer is in sleep mode and not shut down, updates will install overnight.

 

Back up Your Files

Seagate backup drive
Recommended product: Seagate external driveBuy on Amazon

A backup is always good to have, even if you don’t think there’s much on your computer. The stress, inconvenience and expense of getting hit with malware can be avoided if you simply have a backup of your files.

This requires an external storage device (usually an external hard drive). Windows computers have built in backup software called Windows Backup (Windows 7) and File History (Windows 10).

Call a Professional

Of course, I’d be happy to help you in-person or over remote support! Simply call (561) 809-2218 or fill out this contact form to set an appointment. Don’t wait for your computer to be hit by ransomware. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!