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How Not To Get Locked Out Of Facebook And Other Online Accounts

“Hi, Scott.  I need your help,” the voice on the other end of the line greets.

“I’m locked out of my Facebook account and can’t get back in because I don’t remember my password.  Can you help me?”

While I happily try to assist, I know the chances for success are extremely low.

Facebook, Google and most other online services do not have a phone number you can call, speak to a live person, and have them reset your password.

Instead, your only option is to rummage through their web-based help documentation, submit an online form, and hope the requested information you provided is sufficient for someone to eventually send you instructions on how to get back into your account.

The majority of the time, this fails.

Why Account Recovery Fails

All online services provide you an easy way to recover lost passwords or regain access to your account.  The account recovery process typically involves sending an email to your email address or a text message to your cell phone.

So what’s the problem?

Most people never set up their recovery information in Facebook, Gmail, Pinterest, eBay, Amazon, and other commonly used websites.

Those who did when they first created their account seldom update their recovery information when their email address or phone numbers change.

How To Set Up Recovery Information

Each platform differs slightly in how to set up your account recovery information.  Here are links to instructions on how to do so on some of the most common websites:

Don’t Wait!

Avoid the frustration of forever losing access to your online accounts.  Invest a few minutes right now to take these important steps:

  • If you don’t already have a second email address, set up an alternate email address with Gmail (www.gmail.com).
  • Log in to each of your online accounts (Facebook, Gmail, Pinterest, eBay, etc.).  Configure your recovery options in each of them.
  • Associate your cell phone number, if you have one, with the account.
  • Set periodic reminders to make sure your account recover information is kept current.

 

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7 Common PC Problems – And How To Fix Them (Part 2)

Benjamin Franklin wisely wrote, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

This holds true in all areas of life, including with your technological gadgets.  My clients who observe good computing habits year-round typically don’t experience many problems between their regularly scheduled PC Tune-Up appointments.

In my last column, I shared with you the first three of seven common PC problems that I and my techs deal with daily.  Today, I’d like to share with you the final four and offer helpful tips in how to avoid them.

 

Forgetting to Install Windows Updates

Cybercriminals and hackers attack your computer by taking advantage of security holes in your PC’s operating system. 

The two latest ransomware infections – Petya and WannaCry – rendered hundreds of thousands of computers worldwide inoperable.

Those computers wouldn’t have been affected had those PCs been kept up-to-date with the latest Windows Updates.

PREVENTION TIP:  Regularly install Windows Updates on your computer or set your computer to automatically do so. 

 

Forgetting to Install Updates for Software Programs

Just as important as installing Windows Updates is installing updates for common software programs.

The critical ones to keep current are Adobe Flash, Adobe Reader, Adobe Shockwave, and Java.  Most of these programs run in the background when you’re browsing various websites, so you may not even know about them.

If you don’t keep these updated, your computer is highly exposed to viruses and malware – because hackers commonly exploit these programs.

PREVENTION TIP:  Regularly install updates for Adobe Flash, Adobe Reader, Adobe Shockwave, and Java.  Be warned, tho, some pop-ups you receive prompting you to update these programs may be fake.  It’s best to go to www.adobe.com and www.java.com to manually update these programs.

 

Downloading Programs From Unreliable Sources

You desire to use your PC for fun and games.  A quick Internet search reveals an exciting new game you can download for free.  So you do.

Moments later, your computer becomes infected with all sorts of extra programs and new toolbars fill the top of your web browser window.  Your PC begins running slower.  You’re greeted with pop-ups every time you try to access the Internet.

It’s extremely important to only download and install programs from reputable websites.  Many websites offering free software contain malware, which can range from annoying to causing serious computer problems.

PREVENTION TIP:  Only download software from websites you know and trust.  Carefully read each screen during the installation process to make sure you’re not installing any unwanted or malicious add-ons.

 

Using Unsecured Wifi Connections

Unsecured wifi connections allow you to connect your laptop, mobile phone, or tablet without requiring a password. 

While it makes accessing the Internet easy, it also exposes your personal information and files to others who are connected to the same wifi connection. 

If it’s your own home wireless network that doesn’t require a password, you’re allowing anyone who’s near your home the ability to access your Internet connection and even your files.  You could be held legally liable if they conduct illicit activity while connected to your Internet.

PREVENTION TIP:  Secure your home wireless network with a password.  Use caution when connecting to public wireless networks; avoid accessing banking and other personal websites on these connections.

When you apply these recommendations, I guarantee you’ll see your PC doctor less often.

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7 Common PC Problems – And How to Fix Them (Part 1)

Early this spring, I visited Dr. Kocher for my annual physical.

“It looks like you’ve lost some weight,” he smiles, noting that I dropped to 154 pounds this year from 178 last year.

“Yea,” I cheerfully reply.  “I’ve been regularly working out at the gym since January.  I’m feeling a lot better.”

He listened to my heart and lungs, tapped on each knee, and asked a handful of other questions.  Then he sent me out the door with well wishes till I visit again next spring.

I remain mostly healthy throughout the year – by exercising and eating (mostly) right.  Which is why I only need to visit Dr. Kocher for my annual checkup.

The story is similar for 37 of my clients with their computers.

They bring their PC in twice a year for a Comprehensive PC Tune-Up Service.  This allows us to perform the thorough diagnostics, deep cleaning and optimizations designed to detect and prevent major computer problems.

Because these clients also observe good computing habits year-round, they typically don’t experience any problems between appointments.

In this two-part series, I’ll share with you seven common PC problems I see affecting many of my clients’ computers and give you helpful tips in how to avoid them.

Relying on Free (or No) Antivirus Protection

Of all the virus-infected computers clients bring into Calibre, I’d estimate 90 percent of them are “protected” by a free antivirus program – like AVG, Avast, Avira, or Microsoft Security Essentials.  Sadly, some don’t even have antivirus protection at all.

Hackers and cybercriminals use viruses and malware to break into your computer, steal your personal information, and damage your files.

Malicious attacks, such as the WannaCry ransomware outbreak in May, are becoming more and more prevalent and destructive.

Purchasing and installing a strong antivirus program designed to protect against the newest type of viruses and malware is one step in avoiding major, costly PC problems.

 

Neglecting to Back Up Important Files

Early Monday morning, a business client called seeking assistance in restoring a critical spreadsheet an employee had mistakenly deleted overnight.

Because they wisely implemented our data backup solution two years ago, I restored the Excel document in less than five minutes.

But most PC owners – home and businesses – neglect this essential protection for their computers.  Many assume nothing bad will ever happen to the files stored on their PCs.

Yet, hard drives fail, viruses infect, people delete, and natural disasters happen.  All of which can cause all your pictures, documents, and music to be forever lost.

You can back up your files in many different ways.  Some are better than others.  But if you don’t have a back-up system in place, you need to get one today.

 

Using the Same Weak Passwords

 

Think about your most common password.

Is it a really easy one – maybe using an ordinary word followed by some numbers?

Do you use that same password for multiple websites?

Weak and predictable passwords make it incredibly simple for hackers to gain access to your email and online banking accounts.  Using the same password for everything opens your entire online world to unscrupulous people.

Two steps you should take:

1) Create stronger passwords.  Choose one with a variety of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols.

2)  Safely store your passwords in a password management program, like LastPass (www.lastpass.com).  This allows you to easily retrieve and remember them.

Join me next time for the remaining four common PC problems and how to avoid them.

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Tales of Three Clients (And The Moral of the Stories)

Richard received an email from his web designer last month informing him she had taken an opportunity that no longer allowed her to maintain his company’s web site. He immediately forwarded the information to me requesting I “handle it.”

He knows his time and energy as a small business owner are best spent building his business and serving his customers. It’s wasteful for him to fumble around with computers, his website, and other tech issues.

Ever since Richard asked me to support his computer needs over seven years ago, he’s viewed our relationship as that of a trusted advisor. He knows we have his best interests at heart and will make the right recommendations and decisions for him because we understand his business and his technology needs.

For example, when the sales rep for his accounting software calls his office to process the annual renewal, he gives them my phone number and tells them to speak with me. He refuses to talk to them.

Because of this relationship, I can proudly report his computers and network have had NO major issues causing loss of data or significant interruptions in his business. The small, common computer problems are very infrequent and solved quickly.

But I have several clients – both business and residential – who are unlike Richard. They prefer to make changes or tackle computer problems on their own without consulting a computer professional.

Just today, as I’m writing this column, a client frantically called me within minutes of the Frontier technician leaving his office after installing the DSL Internet service. He discovered his two computers couldn’t communicate with each other. Nor could he print to either of his wireless printers.

A quick phone call to me prior to changing his Internet service providers would have prevented his moment of panic, his computer problems, and a costly emergency service call.

Here’s another story:

The other evening while wasting time on Facebook, I saw a friend’s post soliciting help in hooking up her Spectrum (formerly Time Warner) cable modem. She couldn’t find any place in her house with the connections for the cables.

One person commented, “Find a teenager in your neighborhood or call one of your grandkids.”

To many, setting up a cable modem should be easy and take less than five minutes. But I’ve had instances where it necessitated a 30-minute phone call to get it working after it was properly connected.

Grandkids who are “computer geniuses” and family members who “work for Microsoft” keep computer repair shops across this country in business. They know just enough to royally screw up your computer or network – leaving you to foot a hefty repair bill to clean up their mess.

So what’s the moral of these stories?

Find a computer professional you know, like, and trust.

Then let them handle EVERYTHING related to your technology – whether it’s at your home or your business.

Call them BEFORE changing service providers, installing new software, buying a new printer or other hardware, or disconnecting any cables.

The money you spend for advice and direction from someone who knows what they’re doing (i.e. someone who does it every day for a living) will be CONSIDERABLY LESS than what you’ll shell out to fix something you or someone else broke.

As the old saying goes, “If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional, wait until you hire an amateur.”

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You Can Avoid Becoming A Victim

Fraud

“Hi, Scott. I need to give you my new credit card information. My old card got hacked, so the bank sent me a new one.”

I receive calls like this almost every week from clients who have recurring transactions set up with us.

Scams, fraud and identity theft are on the rise. A sad reality of the 21st century.

Did you know …

  • 13.1 million U.S. consumers lost almost $15 billion because of identity theft in 2015, according to a Javelin Strategy and Research study conducted last year?
  • credit card fraud could jump from $4 billion to $10 billion by 2020, according to a February 2016 CNBC report?

All this is despite the advances in new security features, like the EMV chips in debit and credit cards.

If you haven’t been the victim of a computer scam, fraudulent bank or credit card use, or identity theft, you probably know someone who has. The negative effects cause incredible frustration, cost hours of lost time, and results in the loss of hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

Becoming aware of how scammers, cybercriminals, and identity thieves work and knowing how you can protect yourself is critical in this age.

In honor of National Consumer Protection Week, March 5 through 11, I’d like to provide you with this information. But I would need considerably more space than what I’m graciously given here in this column.

So I’ve created a new three-part video series where I share practical and little-known consumer safety tips.

These tips provide you the knowledge you need to be a smart consumer, even when scammers catch you off guard. Armed with this information, you’ll avoid falling victim to scams, identity theft, and fraud.

Common Computer Scams
In the first video, I’ll teach you how to quickly and easily identify the three most common computer scams. Some are blatantly obvious, yet many people fall hook-line-and-sinker for them. After watching this video, you won’t be one of those people.

How Identity Thieves Work
In the second video, I’ll describe some of the sneaky ways identity thieves steal your personal information. It’s not just through your computer, either. You’ll be surprised at how easy it is for these criminals to go undetected and how at-risk your privacy is.

How to Protect Yourself
In the final video, I’ll give you 10 specific actions you must take to protect yourself – in both the physical and digital worlds. You’ll be given the steps, resources, and tools necessary to keep your personal and financial information as secure as possible.

You can sign up to view the videos for free at on the home page of this website – www.calibreforhome.com.

I promise I’m not going to try to sell you anything, and I won’t be filling your email inbox with useless junk messages.

I simply want to help combat the growing trend of fraud and identity theft. The best way for me to do that is by sharing with you what I’ve learned as I deal with it on a daily basis.

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Beware the Fake Windows Support Scam

It was early Monday afternoon when Larry’s phone rang. “Hello,” he greeted the caller, expecting it to be a friend or family member.

“Hi. I’m calling from Windows technical support. We have detected a problem with your computer,” the caller proclaimed in an almost unintelligible accent. “I need to log in to your computer to check to see what is causing the problem.”

Suspecting something to be fishy about this, Larry told the caller he should call back in an hour. Then Larry immediately called me to inquire if this was legitimate.

This type of scam has been around for years, but is still going quite strong. Callers – often from foreign countries – pose as computer support technicians from companies like Microsoft, Norton, and other well-known computer industry names. They try to convince the victim that their computer is running slow, is infected, or has problems that they need to check out.

To make you “believe” what they are saying, they instruct you to go to your computer, pull up the Windows Event Log and observe various warnings and errors appearing there. Although most of these entries are no cause for alarm, these scammers adamantly assert these are problems that must be fixed immediately – for a cost!

They then ask you to provide credit card information either over the phone or via a web site to pay for the service. Once they receive confirmation of the payment, the scammer then asks you to download software that allows them to access your computer over the Internet, which allows them to make changes and install software.

Unsuspecting computer users who fall for this scam suffer several problems. First, they pay an exorbitant amount of money for unneeded “repairs.” Second, their computer becomes loaded with useless and often-times virus-infected software. Third, they may become the victim of identity theft.

What should you do when you get one of the calls? Hang up! Don’t waste your time talking to them. Definitely do NOT perform any actions they ask you to take on your computer.

Be warned, though, that some of these scammers are very persistent. People have reported receiving numerous calls, even after explicitly telling the scammer to not call back.

Larry asked a really good question when he called me: “How do I know if something like this is real or fake?”

You should only consider phone calls from companies that you personally know, trust, and do business with to be legitimate. Although Microsoft is the maker of the Windows operating system on your computer, you don’t actually do business with them. So they will never call you to tell you there is a problem with your computer.

Your Internet Service Provider or your local computer repair company are probably the only two who might call you to let you know about an issue with your computer.

Even then, if you do get a phone call from someone purporting to be them, don’t immediately follow their instructions. Look up the phone number for that company and call them back yourself to inquire if they called you about a problem (don’t ask the caller for their number).

Another tell-tale sign of most scammer calls is if the person calling has a foreign accent. Most of the trusted companies you do business with have employees who speak the English language very well and without a noticeably foreign accent.

Phone scams have been around for a long time and promise to be a nuisance well into the future. Play it safe. If it doesn’t sound right, it probably isn’t. Hang up and call a computer support professional you know and trust. You’ll save yourself a lot of frustration and problems.

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What’s Your Password?

Forgot Password

“I changed all my passwords to ‘incorrect.’  So whenever I forget, it will tell me: ‘Your password is incorrect.’”

Memes like this provide much-needed laughter about passwords.  Otherwise, trying to create and remember complex passwords for nearly every website you visit causes you to cry in frustration.

Have you ever forgotten your password for Facebook or your email account?

You’re not alone if you have.  Over the past month, an increasing number of clients solicited my help to recover or reset forgotten passwords.

The Mistake Most People Make

Web browsers like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Internet Explorer offer to remember your passwords for all your websites.  You let them and you never have to type in your password again for that website.  It conveniently fills in your username and password each time you visit the page.

The problem occurs when your web browser must be reset.  Resetting your web browser can cause Chrome, Firefox or Internet Explorer to forget your saved passwords.

Then when you visit a site like Facebook, you must enter your username and password.

But because the only place your password was stored was in the web browser, you can’t log in. 

Thus begins the arduous and sometimes impossible task of resetting your password by answering security questions or replying to recovery emails.

Keep Your Accounts Up-To-Date

Resetting your forgotten password is much easier if you keep your email address and/or cell phone number up-to-date on various websites. 

Facebook, for example, allows you the option to have a code texted to your cell phone or a recovery email sent to your email address should you lose your password.  Within five minutes, you can create a new password and be on your merry way.

But some people I’ve assisted had an old email address or cell phone number configured in Facebook.  They also couldn’t remember their answers to their security questions.

The result:  forever locked out of that Facebook account.  Forced to create a new one, re-add all their friends, and start anew.

ACTION STEP:  Make sure your current email address and cell phone number are correctly configured as recovery options for all of your online accounts – Facebook, email, banking, credit cards, etc.

The Best Place to Store Your Passwords

Trying to remember zillions of different, complex passwords for different websites is mind-boggling.  Keeping an up-to-date written list is practically impossible.

That’s why I strongly encourage you to use a free password management program called LastPass (www.lastpass.com).

LastPass gives you:

  • Unlimited and secure storage for passwords and notes
  • Automatic backup of passwords
  • Automatic completion of login fields and forms

By installing a simple add-on to your web browser, you’ll have quick access to all of your passwords.  You can also store credit card numbers, license numbers, insurance information, and more.

You only have to remember one master password – the one you use to log in to LastPass.

LastPass will even detect when you change your password for a website and offer to automatically update it in the program.

For a measly $1 a month, you can upgrade to LastPass Premium and have access to your passwords on all your computers and mobile devices.

Please … if you don’t take any other advice I give, at least write down your passwords in a notebook.  Better yet, put them in LastPass.

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“I’m Not Just Buying A Computer,” He Said. So What Was He Buying?

Business Relationships

I don’t know Greg.  But Greg knows me, even though we’d never met.  He’s read this column for the past several years, sharing in my personal stories and technology insights.

He urgently reached out for help when Windows 10 unexpectedly took over his work computer Memorial Day weekend.  Although I was on vacation in Chicago, I called him, provided brief assistance, and told him I would have my technicians reach out to him first thing on Tuesday.

My technicians followed up as promised and quickly reverted his laptop back to Windows 7 so he could resume work.

When Greg recently purchased a new business and needed an office computer, the former owner told him to just go to one of the big box stores and pick up a computer.

Instead of following that advice, he told the former owner, “I’m not just buying a computer; I’m buying a relationship.” 

Then he promptly called me to discuss his needs and order the right PC to fulfill those requirements.

Greg understands that in life there are certain areas in which the relationship you have with a vendor is significantly more important than the product or service itself.

It’s probably also the reason the director of a local non-profit organization sought my counsel about some email issues they were experiencing and to provide feedback about suggestions they had received from their web designer and their current IT provider.

I gave him my honest opinion – go with your IT provider’s recommendation.  I provided him some insight into potential problems they could experience with that recommended solution and suggested a way to proceed without being locked into a horrible experience.

I could have suggested that our email service was his only best option, but I knew that for his particular situation, what our friendly competitor offered would fit their needs.  And there was no compelling reason for him to switch right now.

The director previously reached out for my input about whether or not he should upgrade his computers to Windows 10.  (My reply:  Absolutely NOT!  Discover why in my free report at www.calibreforhome.com/windows10secrets).

Building relationships on trust, courtesy, and common sense is what I strive for each and every day with every client – home user or business user alike.  Not just ringing up a transaction.

I work to get to know my clients.  What they like, their hobbies, their families, and more.

Relationships transcend any business transaction.  Having a great business relationship with your doctor, dentist, auto mechanic, realtor, financial advisor, insurance agent, and computer technician are among some of the most important ones you can develop.

The Cheers theme song sums it up perfectly:

Making your way in the world today

Takes everything you’ve got.

Taking a break from all your worries

Sure would help a lot.

Wouldn’t you like to get away?

Sometimes you want to go

Where everybody knows your name,

And they’re always glad you came.

How are your relationships with various business professionals?  Is it time go where they know your name and they’re always glad you came?

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This Tip Could Save You Money On Your Next Tech Problem

Reboot

Have you ever experienced any of these problems?

  • Your computer refuses to respond after being left on but unused for a while
  • Web sites take forever to load on your screen, even though you subscribe to a fast Internet speed
  • Programs run slowly, especially if they’ve been open a long time

Frustrating, isn’t it?

Especially when you’re trying to print an important document or send an urgent email.

So you pick up the phone and call me – your computer guy.

“Have you rebooted it?” is the first question I ask after you describe your issue.

What kind of help is this guy? you silently say to yourself.  Reboot?  I have a computer problem and Scott thinks rebooting my computer or restarting the program is gonna magically fix it.  And he’s a computer expert?  Pshhh.

It may seem like an elementary suggestion, but rebooting really can solve many problems with all of your electronic gadgets.

 

Real-World Examples Where This Works

Your Computer Is Slow

Leaving your computer powered on 24/7/365 allows you to use your computer without having to wait for it to boot up every time you want to use it.  It also lets your antivirus software run late night scans, keeping your computer virus-free.

But Windows processes constantly run in the background, even when you’re not actively using your PC.  Sometimes these misbehave, causing a drain on the computer’s resources that can’t be automatically fixed.

The next time you try to do something on your computer, it doesn’t respond or operates very slowly.

Rebooting your computer clears the system resources, giving your PC a fresh start.

Leaving your computer on all the time is fine.  Just be sure to reboot it at least three times a week.

 

Internet Problems

Your wireless router stays tucked away under your desk or in an out of the way place.  The little box magically feeds Internet and network access to all your computers, smartphones, tablets and wireless printers.

But just like a computer, the software on a router can become unstable.  This can bring your web browsing to a crawl or cause wireless devices to not connect. 

The majority of wireless network and Internet issues I receive calls about are usually fixed by unplugging your router for 30 seconds and plugging it back in.

 

A Software Program Stops Responding

Whether you’re using Google Chrome to surf the web or Microsoft Word to type a letter, you will probably encounter a time when the program stops responding to your commands.

What may have happened is the program encountered a memory leak.  The program consumes an exorbitant amount of memory, causing your computer to slow down and the program to “freeze.”

Simply close the program, wait 20 seconds, then reopen it again.

 

Did It Really Fix It?

Rebooting is always the first step you should take when you experience an issue with most any electronic gadget.

Your computer.  Your iPad.  Your Samsung Galaxy phone.  Your router.

If the problem persists or you have to reboot every day or multiple times a day, a more serious underlying issue could be the culprit.  A computer professional, like myself, can then help diagnose the root cause and recommend a solution.

 

The One Problem It Won’t Fix

Rebooting doesn’t fix every problem, though.

Every computer user eventually suffers from a pop-up window appearing on your screen, warning that your computer is infected.  You’re instructed to call an 800 number (which is a scam – so don’t call it).

Nothing you do closes the window.

To get rid of it, you must forcefully power off your PC.

If you experience this, immediately call a professional computer technician.  Do NOT continue using your computer.

Yes, you can power your computer back on.  Yes, websites may load fine.  Yes, you can check email.  Yes, you can type documents.

But your computer may still contain a virus or malware infection. 

Rebooting does NOT remove a virus – even if everything still seems to work fine.  In a short time, it will rear its ugly head again.  Viruses require specialized removal tools to thoroughly clean your system.

I always look forward to helping my clients with their computers.  Sometimes the fix really is as simple as turning it off and back on.

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Vista & Office 2007 Users: The End Is Near

Windows Vista

“Change is inevitable.  Change is constant,” wrote former British Prime Minister and author Benjamin Disraeli.

No where is it more true than in the world of technology, where changes occur over months rather than years.

Only two years ago, I issued the “final notice” about the death of Windows XP. 

Today, I’m alerting you to the upcoming end of life for the Windows Vista operating system and the 2007 versions of Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.).

Microsoft will no longer support or issue updates for Vista machines after April 11, 2017.  The same will happen for the 2007 versions of Microsoft Office on October 10, 2017.

Simply put, you do not want to use your computer – especially on the Internet – after those dates.  Doing so will leave you extremely vulnerable to virus infections and hackers looking to steal your personal information.  Repair options will become limited as well.

Many new software programs and hardware devices, such as printers and scanners, won’t work on these older computers.

 

Google’s Pulling the Plug Early

Internet Explorer 9 is the latest version of that browser available for Windows Vista.  Many websites do not display properly in Internet Explorer 9, as you may have already discovered.

A common workaround has been to use Google Chrome, my recommended web browser.  However, Google has decided to end its support for Google Chrome on Vista PCs this month – one full year before Microsoft puts Vista to sleep for good.

Continuing to use Chrome on a Vista computer after this month will make your PC more susceptible to viruses and hackers.

You could switch to using the Mozilla Firefox browser on your Vista computer.  But that’s not my best recommendation.

So read on…

 

How To Know If Your PC Runs Vista

First, you need to determine if your computer’s operating system is Windows Vista.

To do this, simply open your web browser and go to http://www.WhatsMyOS.com.  This website will detect and display the operating system installed on your PC.

 

What Version of Microsoft Office Are You Using?

No matter what operating system you’re using, you also need to know if your version of Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint or Outlook needs to be upgraded.

To check what version of Microsoft Office is installed on your computer:

  1. Click on the start button in the bottom left corner of your screen.
  2. In the right column, click on Control Panel.
  3. Click on “Programs and Features” in the window that opens.
  4. Scroll through the list until you find one that says “Microsoft Office” with the year following it.
  5. If the year reads 2007, read the next section.

 

What Actions You Need To Take

Is your computer either running Windows Vista or are you using a 2007 version of Microsoft Office?

Better start planning and budgeting for upgrades.

Most Vista computers cannot be cost-effectively upgraded to a newer version of Windows.  You need to plan on purchasing a new or recertified computer.

I strongly discourage you from buying a computer with Windows 8 or Windows 10.  These operating systems still have major problems and privacy concerns – which will cause you headaches and cost you lots of dollars to repair.

Although the big box stores can’t sell you a computer with Windows 7, Calibre Computer Solutions can.  You’ll be much happier with a stable, working computer that won’t break down nor cost you a fortune in repairs. 

Older versions of Microsoft Word and Excel can be easily upgraded to a new version of Microsoft Office.  Or you may be able to convert to the free OpenOffice software that does basically the same thing.

Your best option is to call us today to schedule a consultation so we can guide you through the upgrade or replacement option best suited to your individual needs.