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How You Can Avoid The “I Wish I Would Have” Lament I Hear Frequently From Clients

“I’ve not talked to one person who has had anything good to say about Windows 10,” Barbara expressed when she picked her laptop up Friday after having us perform our recommend bi-annual Windows 10 Check-Up Service.

“I figured Windows 10 wouldn’t be a bad operating system, but boy was I wrong!  I wish I would have gotten a computer with Windows 7 instead,” she lamented.

Oops!

I hear regrets like this from clients almost every week.

They didn’t know any better when they were shopping for a new PC.  They just bought what they saw on the store shelf or mistakenly took advice from a big box store sales geek and came home with a Windows 10 computer.

Only to quickly realize it was a mistake.

YOU don’t need to suffer like these unaware clients.  But you DO need to make a decision quickly to avoid that same fate.

Take a moment to answer these four questions:

  • Is your current computer more than five years old?
  • Is it running slow?
  • Are you having constant problems with it?
  • Have you been thinking about upgrading to a newer computer, but just haven’t bought one yet?

If you answered yes to one or more of those questions, it’s important you finish reading this column.

You Already Know This

Regular readers of this column know I strongly encourage you to stay with the Windows 7 operating system.  It’s time-tested, proven reliable, and easy-to use.

You’re familiar with it.  You know how to use it.  Your software programs and hardware devices work with it.  It’s a solid, mostly problem-free operating system.

The Dilemma

But effective October 31, 2017, Microsoft is forcing all PC manufacturers to stop selling new computers with Windows 7.

All new computers after that date – no matter where you buy one – will come with the problematic Windows 10.

(If you visit any of the big retail stores now – like Walmart, Best Buy, Staples, Office Depot, you will only find Windows 10 computers.  They only sell Windows 10 machines because they take their marching orders from Microsoft in the form of spiffs and other monetary kickbacks.)

Whether you buy a new desktop or laptop now at a big box store or wait until after October 31 to buy one anywhere is a bad decision – because of Windows 10.

The Raw Truth

When you buy a Windows 10 computer, you’re buying a PC that’s suffering from a terminal illness.

I’m sorry to use such a crude comparison, but I’m telling it like it is.

The way Windows 10 is configured right out of the box and with each forced update, Microsoft creates frustrating problems and errors on your computer requiring frequent, costly repairs and regular check-ups just to make sure your PC runs the way it’s supposed to.

I’ve written extensively in the past about the major issues with Windows 10 and don’t have room to explain them in-depth in this article.

I encourage you to download my free report “7 Frighteningly Dark Secrets Microsoft Desperately Doesn’t Want You to Know About Windows 10.”  It outlines many things that should concern you about Windows 10.

Visit http://www.caliibreforhome.com/windows10secrets.

What Choice Will You Make?

If you’ve been considering buying a new (or refurbished) desktop or laptop, you need to do so before the end of October.

I don’t want to see you, like Barbara, buy a computer you’ll hate – because it’s hard to use, requires regular visits to the PC doctor, and seriously invades your privacy without your knowledge or consent.

Independent computer companies – like Calibre Computer Solutions – can still order new and some refurbished computers with Windows 7.  But the absolute deadline is October 31.

I invite you to call me today to discuss your options.

Maybe you don’t need a new computer – just a good tune-up and upgrade of your existing one might make it last longer.

But if you do need a new one, you don’t want to wait until it’s too late and you’re stuck with only getting Windows 10.  It will be a purchase you’ll regret for years to come.

 

 

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How To Determine If A Website Is Safe

Scrolling through your Facebook news feed, you see a friend shared a link to an interesting story.  It’s obvious it will take you to a different website if you click on it.

Or maybe you’re a recipient of one of those emails a friend sent to everyone in her address list.  You’re encouraged to click on the link to watch a funny video clip.

Because you’re a faithful reader of this tech column, you know you’ve got to be careful on the Internet.  Viruses and malware lie in wait to infect your computer.

So how can you tell if a website is safe to visit or not – before you browse to it?  How can you be sure your PC won’t become infected?

The bad news

Unfortunately, there’s no guaranteed way to assure a website is completely safe or virus and malware free.

The good news

But there are some fairly reliable tools you can use to help gauge the safety of a website before you visit it.

First, you can use online web-based scanners to examine the web address.

·      Norton SafeWeb – https://safeweb.norton.com/

Security vendor Symantec offers this website to provide you an analysis of a website’s reputation.  Most of its information comes from the general public who submit reviews based on their interactions with the websites.  So you must still use caution because these reviews are not necessarily legitimate.

·      Comodo Site Inspector – http://app.webinspector.com/

Comodo Site Inspector, a free service by the popular cybersecurity vendor, will scan a URL for twelve potentially harmful components that could damage your computer.  The scan can take several minutes to complete.

·      ScanURL – https://scanurl.net/

Similar to Norton SafeWeb, ScanURL.net checks multiple databases such as Google SafeBrowsing, Web of Trust, and PhishTank to see if a site has been reported as a potentially malicious site.

Second, you can implement DNS filtering on your router.

DNS can be considered the phone book of the Internet.  Each website address (like www.calibreforhome.com) points to a specific server address comprised of numbers where the site is hosted, known as an IP address.

OpenDNS offers a free service for home users, allowing you to filter all your Internet traffic through their DNS servers, which are programmed to block known harmful websites.  It can also speed up your web browsing, compared to using your Internet Service Provider’s default DNS servers.

You can check out their packages at https://www.opendns.com/home-internet-security.

Finally, you can install a web filtering software program on your computer.

The Managed Web Protection we offer prevents you from visiting websites known contain malware, spyware, adware, and other infections.  It also functions as a parental control tool – keeping your kids and grandkids from visiting inappropriate websites.

Of course, the safest method of all – don’t click!