People always say you should upgrade your RAM. But what is it, anyways? Random access memory, or RAM, is one of the most important components of not only desktop PCs, but laptops, tablets, smartphones, and gaming consoles. Without it, doing just about anything on any system would be much, much slower. But what is RAM really?!
#iphoneipad #android #chromebook #mac #windows #techgadgets
But are you charging your smartphone properly? According to research, you are probably making charging mistakes that are shortening your battery's lifespan.
Here are a few dos and don'ts of battery charging you may not know about.
#batteries #iphoneipad #android #chromebook #mac #windows
Thousands of popular children’s apps available for download on Google Play may be violating child privacy laws, according to a new study, drawing more attention to big tech’s data-collection efforts.
The researchers found that potential privacy violations came in different forms. More than 1,100 children’s apps collect identifying information from kids using tracking software whose terms of service actually prohibit their use for children’s apps. Researchers also found that nearly half the apps are not taking “reasonable procedures to protect the confidentiality, security, and integrity of personal information collected from children.” Get the details and scoop here!
#security #android #google #chromebook
More and more smartphones are adopting USB-C, a rising cable standard — but there aren't yet many quality USB-C headphones available. Some device makers are now releasing their own branded USB-C headphones to sell alongside their USB-C smartphones. Many USB-C headphones are on the pricier side and may have limited smartphone compatibility. Read the full story.
#iphoneipad #android #mac #windows #techgadgets
Security researchers have uncovered 89 malicious Google Chrome extensions on the official Chrome store that can inject ads, code to secretly mine cryptocurrency, and load a tool to record and replay a person's browsing activities. According to researchers at Trend Micro, this collection of extensions affected over 423,000 users and was used to form a new botnet called "Droidclub." Find out here which extensions these are and how they work. Learn more here about cryptocurrency, like Bitcoin.
#windows #mac #iphoneipad #android #security
As it gears up to launch Chrome's built-in ad blocker on February 15, 2018, Google shared some details about how the new feature will work. First announced in June, the new feature will remove only the most intrusive types of ads that violate the Coalition for Better Ads' standards. Find out the latest here.
#google #news #windows #chromebook #mac #iphoneipad #android
Design flaws in processors from leading chipmakers could let attackers access sensitive information. The flaw impacts more than just Windows, Macs and iOS devices and affects most all computers, phones, tablets, watches, smart TVs and the like.
This is a flaw in the computer CPU chips at its most fundamental level and is NOT a virus, so cannot be eradicated by anti-virus or anti-malware software. It will require several levels of fixes to include no less than: the operating system, BIOs, and CPU driver. At this time, no hardware replacements are necessary, just firmware and software fixes. However, due to repair complexity, if not done properly and by a professional, it could render your device completely useless, otherwise known as "bricking".
For questions or to have your computer repaired, call The GoTo Tech Guru!
How did this happen and what's the fix?
#security #news #iphoneipad #chromebook #mac #tv #virus&malware #windows #android
A cheap power strip might protect equipment from power surges, but it does nothing to help when the power goes out and your system comes to a halting crash. Your hard drive is constantly reading and writing, even when you're not doing anything on your computer. Your hard drive, where all our critical files and data reside, can be irreparably damaged when it is in the middle of a read/write and there is an unexpected power loss, such as due to a lightening storm. Although you may not notice obvious damage immediately, slowness in your computer or when things stop working / working correctly as they used to are signs there has been damage. Additionally, during storms and even on clear, sunny days, there are power surges and brown outs (lulls in power). These can damage your computers electronics as well. Although a surge protector can protect again power surges, it won't do anything about brown outs.
In order to protect your computer against power lulls and interruptions, you need a battery backup, appropriately named an Uninterruptable Power Supply (UPS). UPS units provide a buffer against power supply interruptions ranging from a few minutes to an hour or more depending on the size of the unit.
A simple way to think about the importance of a UPS unit is to think about working on a desktop or laptop computer. You’re at home, your computer is plugged into an appropriate surge protection strip, and you’re busily finishing up some reports for work. A summer storm suddenly knocks the power out. Although the lights go out, your work on the computer is uninterrupted because it switched over to the UPS battery power seamlessly when the flow of electricity from the power cord vanished. You now have plenty of time to save your work and gracefully shut down your machine, preventing any damage.
For more information on UPS's, read this article.
For help with purchasing and installing, call The GoTo Tech Guru!
#mac #chromebook #windows #batteries
To ensure that you have as secure an experience as possible, Google is rolling out a trio of important changes to Chrome -- for Windows users, at least. It will detect unwanted software that might be bundled with downloads, and provides help with removing it.
Separately, Chrome now has built-in hijack detection which should be able to detect when user settings are changes without consent. This is a setting that has already rolled out to users, and Google says that millions of users have already been protected against unwanted setting changes such as having their search engine altered.
But it's the Chrome Cleanup tool that Google is particularly keen to highlight. A redesigned interface makes it easier to use and to see what unwanted software has been detected and singled out for removal. By teaming up with ESET, Google says it has been able to make the tool even more effective.
Read here to get the scoop. As always, The GoTo Tech Guru is here to help make your life easier!
#news #windows #virus&malware
With all the complications of life, the last thing you need is for tech issues get in the way. After all, tech is supposed to make things easier, isn't it? Here are four quick tips on how to make your tech life just a little easier!
Most websites and apps let you sign in with just a username and password. If anyone guesses either of these, they can take over your account, steal all your money and/or steal your identity. An additional layer of security is called "Two Factor Authentication" or 2FA. With 2FA, there is an extra step the user must complete before access to the account is granted. It's usually request for a piece of information that only the legitmate owner of the account would know. This additional piece of information could be the name of the owner's first pet dog which is requested after the password is entered. It could also be a rotating/changing computer generated code that is sent to the cellphone of the owner via text. This cellphone number is previously established by the legitimate account owner as part of the account setup. This prevents a hacker from getting sent the code (unless they stole your cellphone as well). If available, you should always use 2FA, especially for bank accounts, credit card accounts, brokerage accounts and/or any account that holds personal identification information (PII) such as your social security number. Yes, it's an extra step, but it's worth the time to protect your PII and your finances.
For questions or help on setting up 2FA for your accounts, contact TheGoToTechGuru.
Broadband is offered in 4 major flavors today: Cable, DSL, Fios and Satellite. There is a lot of confusion between these, so here's what you need to know.
Cable can offer not just TV, but internet and landline VOIP (Voice Over IP; ie. internet telephone) telephone services as well, depending on your cable company and what package options they offer. There are a few main differences between cable and the alternative DSL and Fios options. Cable uses a copper line from the cable company to a junction box in your neighborhood or apartment building/condo complex and is split amoung your neighbors and you. As such, the bandwidth is shared with all your neighbors. Thus, if a few select people are gaming or doing heaving downloading, everyone else's bandwidth degrades.
DSL stands for Digital Subscriber Line and is for internet connectivity only, not for TV. It uses the regular telephone copper wire between the phone company and your home. You must have regular telephone service from your phone company in order to get DSL, but your telephone itself does not use it since it is just for internet access. Unlike cable, this line is dedicated to your dwelling so is not shared with your neighbors. It is typically slower than cable and Fios but is faster than satellite. It is the least expensive of these options.
Fios stands for Fiber Optic Service and is offered by Verizon. It is called by other names by other companies like AT&T and Qwest. Fios can be used for TV, internet and your landline phone. A fiber optic cable is run from the phone company to your house, so it is dedicated and thus bandwidth is not shared with your neighbors. If you install Fios, you MUST use the fiber optic telephone service since it replaces your regular copper-based landline phone. You still get a landline phone but it will be fiber based vs. copper based. It is the fastest of the three options because signals run through fiber optic cables and thus travel literally at the speed of light! Fios does come with a backup battery for when the power goes out, enabling you to make phone calls, watch TV and access the internet for a limited time. ***Of the four broadband options, Fios is the fastest and best option*** The downside of Fios is that when the power goes out and backup battery runs out, your landline phone won't work (with your old copper-based telephone you could still make calls). But you always have your cellphone!
Satellite currently only offers TV and Internet. Internet-wise, it is the slowest and most expensive of these options. Placement of the satellite dish MUST have a direct line-of-sight view of the satellite. This means the dish must be able to communicate with the satellite via a 100% unobstructed view. This means no trees, buildings and the like can be between your dish and the satellite. If you live in an extremely rural part of the world, like way out in the country, satellite may be your only option.
There are other considerations, especially when installing these in your home (placement, etc), so call TheGotoTechGuru for help!
The two worst enemies of not just your computer but any electonics, are heat and dust! This includes both external heat such as leaving your electronic devices in a hot car as well as heat generated by the device itself. When it comes to dust, there's a correct way to clean it and it may not be what you think! Water & Moisture are also terrible for electronics, including condensation that can be created by bringing your stone cold laptop from your car into your house! Learn more here on how to prevent heat and clean dust!
Your first reaction may be to change all your passwords, which is a great first step. But this is only the first of many steps in order to both protect yourself and eraticate any spyware, virus, malware or ransomware that may be making the situation with your PC even worse! Hopefully, you already have a full backup of your PC before the hack. But the first and best thing you can and should do, is disconnect it from the internet! If you need change passwords, do it from a different unaffected computer or tablet, even your smartphone. But by continuing to leave your PC connected to the internet, you are allowing the hacker to actively continue mining your affected PC for financial, medical, personal and other information! Worse, even with it disconnected from the internet but still powered on, any spyware or ransomware the hacker installed may continue to mine, propogate and thus spread! So your best bet is to turn your PC off and contact a professional to eraticate the problem. Of course there may be damage already done, such as possible loss of data and corruption to the operating system, but your goal is to minimize the damage so that your computer can be recovered to an operating status vs. having to reinstall the OS completely and lose everything. Here are some tips. For more information and to help you navigate this personal violation, contact TheGoToTechGuru!
Backing up your PC/Mac is the key to your sanity after a virus attack or hack. There's an old saying in Cyberspace: "The integrity of your data is only as good as your last backup!" There's nothing worse than to lose a year, 6 months or even a week's worth of work that you may not even be able to reconstruct! How about all those photos of your kids, anniversary or once-in-a-lifetime vacation? Fortunately, there are several options to back up your PC/Mac content online. It doesn't backup your operating system (eg. Windows or Mac OS), which you can more easily get, but these options will backup everything else if you so choose. Most of these services will automatically backup a file as soon as it's changed, such as a document, so you won't have to remember to do it manually. Of course, there's a nominal fee depending on the amount of backup storage you need, but it will be nothing compared to your sanity when you lose the precious photos and legal documents! Here is a review of several online backup services. For more information and to install these services, contact TheGoToTechGuru. If you prefer offline backups for more privacy, TheGoToTechGuru can provide a consultation on this option as well.
The latest USB connector, the USB Type-C, is emerging as the industry standard USB connector. It was developed by the USB Implementers Forum, the group of companies that has developed, certified, and shepherded the USB standard. It counts more than 700 companies in its membership, including Apple, Dell, HP, Intel, Microsoft, and Samsung. Although it's currently most commonly found on the Apple Macbook, you'll soon start seeing this new connector on other computers and devices. The USB-C connector is much smaller than the standard USB connector you see on most devices today. This reduced size was necessitated by the shrinking size of laptops and other devices as well as the need to carry more power, data and faster transfer rates. For more information on the USB-C Connector, read here.
The internet speed your provider advertises you're getting actually depends on several factors such as: how many other people are sharing that connection, the number of "hops" between your router and the provider's server. So how do you tell the internet speed you're really getting? Read this article to find out how to determine your real speed .. it's easier than you think!
So what’s the difference between an electrical power strip and a surge protector? The typical power strip provides nothing more than multiple outlets along a single “strip”. This “strip” plugs into a single electrical wall outlet, thus allowing multiple electrical devices to be plugged into a single electrical wall outlet. A surge protector also provides these, but guards against power surges often generated by lightning, thunder storms and when your power is first restored after an outage. Power surges can easily short-out electrically sensitive devices such as your TV, DVR, Roku, PC, laptop, tablet, smartphone, router and the like, because the surge contains far more power than these sensitive devices can handle. This will literally burnout your device(s).
Surge protectors are not usually recommended for high power appliances such as blenders, lamps, microwave ovens, washers/dryers and the like. Do NOT combine high power appliances and your surge protection strip on the same electrical wall outlet and power circuit as changes in high power appliance draws can cause internal surges.
Energy absorption / dissipation is what handles surges in electricity. This rating, given in Joules, tells you how much energy the surge protector can absorb before it fails. The higher the Joule number, the better the protection. Look for a Joule rating greater than 1,000, even more if you can afford it.
Response time is also important. Since surge protectors don’t kick in immediately, the longer the response time, the longer your electrical device is exposed to the power surge and the greater risk of damage. Look for a surge protector with a response time of less than one (1) nanosecond.
Finally, look for an indicator light that tells you if the protection is functioning.
If you have an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS), these only provide limited surge protection, usually in the low-to-mid 100-300 joule range. If your device(s) have a need for both a UPS and surge protection, you can consider plugging a surge protection strip into the UPS, however, depending on the devices' power demand, you likely won't be able to connect more than 1-3 devices into a single surge protector since the power strip plugs into a single UPS plug and this one plug handles a lower total power than a wall outlet.
For questions or to have the proper UPS / Surge Protector installed in your home/office, contact the TheGoToTechGuru.
You’ve likely heard the term “Podcast” quite a few times over the years, but what is it? The term came from when the original Apple iPod was popular, combined with the word “broadcast”, hence “Podcast”. Basically, a Podcast is an electronic audio or video recording of a news article, story, music collection or the like. Gone are the days of needing to time your radio listening or TV viewing to a specific time or miss it! Now you can just download it on-demand from the Internet to your PC, Mac, smartphone or tablet and listen / watch it at your convenience like on an airplane or during a long commute. There are thousands of Podcast shows and topics to choose from and they are usually free to listeners. So how do you find a Podcast? Many organizations provide Podcasts of their programs, like National Public Radio (NPR.org), listing them on their websites. You can also find Podcast listings using more centralized sites and utilities like Apple iTunes (for Apple products), Stitcher Radio or Podcatcher (for Android).
To download Apple iTunes, click here.
To download Stitcher Radio, click here.
To download Podcatcher, click here.
There are many opinions and articles on what you should and shouldn't do when charging your mobile phone and devices. I have found these to be very accurate throughout the years, both the hard way and otherwise. Although this article may speak to the iPhone, the same rules apply to any mobile device that uses Lithium-Ion batteries, the most common used today ... Android, iPad, Laptop, etc. Read this article for great advice on what NOT to do when charging your mobile devices.
Many people are not aware that the 5Ghz band is now available for Wi-Fi. 2.4Ghz has been around forever, so almost all wireless devices use it. As a result, the frequency is very crowded as it is also shared with cordless telephones, garage door openers, baby monitors, microwave ovens and more. Even if you don’t have some of these, chances are your neighbors do, so you’ll still suffer from interference and dropped signals due to conflicts.
Both the 2.4 and 5-Ghz bands have pro’s and con’s. 2.4 can go longer distances and through walls / objects much easier but is much more crowded so prone to congestion (ie. slow transmission) and dropped signals. 5-Ghz can handle transmission of larger amounts of data due to less congestion but is less able to penetrate walls and objects.
For both 2.4 and 5-Ghz, what channels within those bands you use and share with your neighbors and other devices also affects the quality of your transmission. You’ll need a professional to help determine channel conflicts and to make the proper adjustments.
For more information on 2.4 and 5-Ghz wireless bands, see this article or contact TheGoToTechGuru for more information and to setup or improve your Wi-Fi reception.
Standard spinning computer hard drives (HDD) are quickly being replaced by the newer Solid State drives (SSD). While the HDD has high spinning platters like an LP record, the SSD has no moving parts, similar to a USB stick ... so there's far less heat, the worse enemy of electronics (aside from water) and no moving parts to breakdown. SSD's offer much faster performance and durability than standard HDD's and SSD prices are dropping fast! The slowest thing on your computer is the HDD. Other advantages of SSD's over HDD's are: lower failure rate, lower power use, significantly faster bootup time (10-30 secs vs. 30-40 secs), less noise, less vibration, faster file read/write speed (550 MB/s vs. 50 MB/s).
So rather than buy a new PC, replacing the HDD with a SSD will likely improve its speed drastically. For more information on SSD's and their advantages over HDD's, read here!
A Chromebook is a laptop, but it runs Google's Chrome OS, not Windows or Mac OS X. As such, you cannot install Windows software on it like Microsoft Word, Excel or the like, although you can use Microsoft Office Online, the cloud version of Office. Google also has look-a-like software apps. The Chromebook is not designed to be a performance laptop, but rather for the person that uses mostly the internet with most applications and data residing in the cloud since there is limited storage on the laptop itself. Since the Chromebook is designed for use on the internet, many apps just won't work if you're not connected via WiFi. However, there are more than 200 offline Chrome apps that can work without internet connectivity, including Gmail, Pocket and Google Drive, and tons of the Android apps coming soon will also work offline. Chromebook benefits include low prices and long battery life. You can find lots of information on the Chromebook here and Chromebook buying advice/information here.
If you are in the market for an iPad/tablet vs. a laptop, this article is for you! There are advantages of both, but currently, there are significant differences. Generally, a laptop is more versatile and powerful than an iPad/tablet. Laptops (2-4TB) also have more storage capacity than an iPad/tablet (256GB). You can do things like email, websurfing, Facebook, Twitter, word processing and the like on both. But that is where most similarities end. Everything from photo editing software to backups can be different in procedure, functionality and quality of results (good or bad either way). Connecting compatible devices like cameras and scanners is very limited on an iPad/tablet. But many tablet apps can more easily do things than the software on laptops. Apps on an iPad/tablet (Free-to-$5) are typically much less expensive than software for a laptop ($40-$200). To find out more on what to look for on iPads/tablets vs. Laptops, read here or contact TheGoToTechGuru!
Like most technology, batteries need to be cared for. There is a lot of misinformation out there, so here are some tips to help clarify things!
Debunking Battery Life Myths for Mobile Phones, Tablets, and Laptops
I love technology and how it enhances our lives! Just think, without the Apollo moon missions, we might not have calculators! Imagine!!