TRI Newsletter – April 2020

TRI logo only.JPG

TRI Newsletter – April 2020

COVID-19 and remote access.

With the spread of the Coronavirus and the Shelter at Home order for MN, many of us are working from home, and we at Technical Reinforcements are among that many.  We have closed the office and are doing remote support from our homes. While this is not ideal it is the best we can do in this unprecedented situation. As long as you have an internet connection we can do a remote. In some instances we can do phone support when your internet is not available.

If you are having to work from home, and need help getting things set up, or troubleshooting a problem with your existing remote setup, we are definitely here to help.  In the past few weeks we’ve helped countless individuals and businesses get people set up to work from home during this time, and are happy to continue to do so as things progress.

Continue reading “TRI Newsletter – April 2020”

COVID-19 Reponse

To all of our clients and friends, new and old.

We at Technical Reinforcements, like many others, have been keeping an eye on the evolving situation with COVID-19, making sure that we are doing what we can to minimize the threat to both our employees and our customers alike.  This has taken form in actions like using hand sanitizer before and after appointments, generally trying to be mindful of our surroundings, but we have nevertheless just reached another threshold.

 

This afternoon a peacetime state of emergency was declared for Minnesota, and this is something we are taking very seriously.  Effective 3/14/2020 we are going to cease scheduling onsite technical support calls with a few select exceptions on a case by case basis.  Given the nature of transmission of this virus, with it being highly contagious while the infected are not yet symptomatic, and the germ haven that is the computer work space, it simply puts our techs, and by extension every client they come in contact with, at too high a risk.

 

To be clear, we are still providing tech support and fixing a great many things via remote session, but there may be some things which will simply need to be delayed if they are not time sensitive, until the situation is better under control.

 

As you’ve no doubt heard from many officials at this point, it’s an evolving situation, and we’ll re-adjust as more information is known. You can expect emails will go out once are comfortable with resuming onsite appointments.

 

If you have ANY questions, please don’t hesitate to call us @ 612-720-0233, or shoot us an email at info@reinforceme.com

 

Thank you,

James, Chris, Suzi, Brett, Clint & Adam

TRI Newsletter January 2020

TRI logo only.JPG

TRI Newsletter – Jan 2020

End of Support: Microsoft Windows 7 on Jan, 14 2020

You can continue to use Windows 7, but once support ends, your PC will become more vulnerable to security risks.  Windows 7 will operate but you will stop receiving security and feature updates. Be aware that, microsoft will get more insistent that you upgrade and there will be more pop ups telling you to do so.

If you are moving to Windows 10, should you do an upgrade or get a new computer?

TRI can help you determine if your computer is suitable for an upgrade, or if it is best to replace.  The biggest factor on upgrading your computer to Win 10 is, does your computer hardware meet the requirements?  If it does is it cost effective to do the upgrade? Is your processor at least an i5-4000+, 8GB RAM, do you have an SSD or is it worth it to install a SSD.  If it is an older or slower computer or you have been having issues then get a new one.

We are doing most of the upgrades in our shop as it is more cost effective to our customers, with the exception of when multiple computers need to be upgraded, we can then multitask and an on site upgrade can be more time and cost effective.

Continue reading “TRI Newsletter January 2020”

TRI Newsletter August 2019

Hello again!  We’re back with another quarterly newsletter today, with some new topics that we have been getting a lot of questions about lately.  We’ll be going over backups, end of support for Windows 7, and tips for choosing the right portable computing solution.

Backups

The best method to follow is the 3-2-1 Backup Rule. The 3-2-1 backup rule is an easy-to-remember acronym for a common approach to keeping your data safe in almost any failure scenario. The rule is: keep at least three (3) copies of your data, and store two (2) backup copies on different storage media (external hard drives, optical disks, or a cloud backup service,) with one (1) of them located offsite. To clarify, let’s take a look at each point of this rule.

Continue reading “TRI Newsletter August 2019”

Customer Hit with Crypto Virus

For about the last year, TRI has been moving customers to our virtualization solution. A big part of this move is due to the cryptovirus craze. TRI uses a technology that allows us to snapshot the virtual machines (or a network file share), and then rollback to a specific hour sometime within the previous 2 week period. We have on-boarded numerous new customers who had unfortunately fallen victim to crypto viruses, but recently, we had a customer on our solution get hit with a cryptovirus. This is their story.

Continue reading “Customer Hit with Crypto Virus”

TRI Newsletter May 2019

Hello everyone!  In this quarter’s newsletter we’re going to cover scareware, general maintenance tasks that can be done to keep your computer working well, and some discussion on what mesh wireless networks are, and how they work.  So, let’s dig in!

Scareware!

What is Scareware?  Scareware is a pop up that show up while on the internet telling you, you’re infected.  You are not infected, it is not until you take action with the popup that you get infected (by clicking or calling).

The first thing you should do is Shut Down your computer. Many of them tell you not to, but that is because the scareware is loaded into your RAM (temporary working space).  Once the computer shuts down that is cleared. The first thing I will ask when called is did you shut down your computer.

Continue reading “TRI Newsletter May 2019”

Two-Factor Authentication for Regular People

What I’d like to touch on with this article is more for our regular users. You don’t need a degree in computer science to understand that user accounts all over the internet are getting breached. So what can a regular user do to help protect their accounts? The quick and easy response is to say, “Enable two-factor authentication.” But as we’ve found with the Reddit breach, not all forms of two-factor authentication are created equally.

Easily the most common form of two-factor authentication out there right now is the SMS text message-based. Let’s say you log into GMail, you put in your user name, your password, and then GMail sends you a text message with a code that you have to put into the website before your login is complete. That’s SMS based two-factor authentication. That’s widely considered to be better than no two-factor authentication at all.

I want to do is talk a little bit about other options that exist. Specifically with GMail, as a lot of our clients use GMail, both for personal accounts, and G Suite for business.

Continue reading “Two-Factor Authentication for Regular People”

TRI December 2018 Newsletter

TRI Newsletter – December 2018

Charity Scams to Watch Out for During the Holidays

‘Tis the season of giving, which means scammers may try to take advantage of your good will. A surprising fact about American donation habits is that everyday folks like yourself are the single largest driver of charitable donations in the United States. Giving USA’s Annual Report on Philanthropy found that individuals gave $286.65 billion in 2017, accounting for 70 percent of all donations in the country.

Continue reading “TRI December 2018 Newsletter”

TRI October 2018 Newsletter

TRI Newsletter – October 2018

Browser Spyware Infections “scareware”

Please continue to be diligent and aware when going online to surf the web or check your email.   I still get calls 2-4 time a day about attacks of “Scareware”. The first thing you should do is Shut Down your computer. Many of them tell you not to, but that is because the scareware is loaded into your RAM (temporary storage). Once the computer shuts down that is cleared. The first thing I will ask when called is did you shut down your computer.

(Example of browser “scareware”)
https://www.malwarerescue.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/systemversion.com-pop-up.png

Continue reading “TRI October 2018 Newsletter”

Sextortion Emails With A Twist

There’s a new email scam in town, and it’s taking people for quite a bit of money. The scam asserts that it has captured video of the recipient watching porn using their computer’s web cam, and threatens to send that video, along with the video the recipient was supposedly watching, to everyone in the recipients contact list. The twist? They give the recipient a password that the recipient has used in the past. It might be the distant past, or recent past, or even a password that’s currently in use.

This new twist lends a scary amount of credibility to the scam. To that end, as Vice reports, the culprits have made off with over half a million dollars so far in this scam. We’ve already had a number of clients call in about this scam, and our advice is to not pay the extortion money. You can find the full text of one of these emails on Kerbs On Security’s site, but I will post a snippet below.

Continue reading “Sextortion Emails With A Twist”