Ransomware headlines focus on interrupted hospital services or downtime at several major brands. But ransomware can just as easily infect your home computer. [Read more…]
Tablets are convenient, light, and portable. Maybe you got a new one during the holiday, or your old one needs replacing. You can feel better about moving to the new device if you turn the old tablet into a child-friendly device. Here’s how. [Read more…]
The Unexpected Benefits of Password Managers
The main advantage of a password manager is obvious to anyone with more than one account online (i.e. everyone). Instead of remembering all 100 usernames and passwords, the password manager autofills them. It’s a boon. But it’s not the only reason to use a password manager. This article shares several more unexpected benefits. [Read more…]
It’s upsetting when a home computer breaks down: “My whole life is on there!” Then, you have to trust someone to take care of your device. It’s a lot to ask, and that’s why we’re sharing these five tips to help you feel better about your choice of repair person. [Read more…]
The New PC TuneUp
How exciting! You got a new computer for Christmas. It’s sleek, shiny, and so much faster than what you had before. That’s great, but it doesn’t mean you should leave it untouched. This article shares several steps you might take to secure your data and keep that new device in tip-top shape. [Read more…]
Delivering SMS “Smishing” Scams
Smishing is high up on the list of words that do not sound as intimidating or threatening as they should. Smashing the word fishing together with the “SM” for short messaging service (aka text), smishing is a cyberscam. [Read more…]
Every time you’re online and a site sends a separate code to check your identity, you’re using two-factor authentication. It’s become the norm. So, of course, hackers have figured out how to get around this, too. This article shows you how they do it and how to stay safe. [Read more…]
DIY Computer Repair: Don’t Do It
Most people like to take a shot at fixing things themselves. With some things that works out great, but when it comes to do-it-yourself computer repair, it’s probably not worth the effort. This article shares some of the things to consider before trying to do that repair solo. [Read more…]
What Does “Right to Repair” Mean, and Why Does It Matter?
You may not think of yourself as “handy,” so the thought may not even have crossed your mind to take apart your cell phone or laptop to try and repair it. But did you know that in certain cases it might be illegal for you to even try? There is a debate raging over the “right to repair.”
The right to repair issue crosses many products. Car enthusiasts have fought to access parts and guides to repair their vehicles. Farmers are pushing for the right to fix their John Deere agricultural equipment. Now, there are people lobbying for the right to fix laptops, cell phones, and other electronics.
Manufacturers, meanwhile, maintain that doing so risks their intellectual property. There may also be safety risks.
Additionally, they make money from planned obsolescence. Many PC users know what this means already. Anyone on the widely popular Windows 7 operating system had to move to new software in 2020. Microsoft is on a ten-year cycle. It provides a software product its full attention for five years, then it begins offering new options and stops supporting the old one. At the end of the decade, the software is no longer updated or supported. That means no security patches either, which means vulnerability to cyberattack, so users must go to the next version.
Now, you’re not going to build your own operating system, but what about when something goes wrong with your smart phone or tablet? You don’t always want to have to buy a new one. Plus, trading out the old one for a new device runs counter to sustainability goals. You end up with one more piece of hardware destined for the landfill.
Right to Repair Activism
Consumers, repair pros, watchdogs, and green activists have all joined the right to repair debate. They want to be able to upgrade processing power, memory, or battery power in electronics.
But many companies refuse to release the necessary parts (e.g. Apple). Manuals and product guides aren’t made available either. This makes it almost impossible to do-it-yourself repair the company’s products. The consumer must pay the manufacturer for repairs, or they can turn to a third party vendor (affiliated with the manufacturer).
When it comes to technology, the tide may be turning. Why? We are increasingly reliant on our phones and other devices. There’s more push back against a business model that forces us to upgrade every two to four years.
Plus, we’re more aware globally of the value of recycling and up cycling. One American grassroots group notes that repairing tech could bridge the digital divide. PCs for People wants to improve access to technology by rebuilding donated devices.
What It Means for You
Laws are in the works in many places to legislate the right to repair. In the U.S., Apple and Tesla are among those lobbying against state efforts. Nevertheless, 14 states have passed laws on right to repair. The EU has a law requiring companies to provide parts to independent repair workers. The UK’s right to repair regulations come into effect this year. Australia is currently assessing its laws related to right to repair, too.
Until laws change, consumers pay whatever the manufacturer demands for products that aren’t built to last. This also has each of us contributing to global technology waste. For more on the issue, visit repair.org, the site of the Digital Right to Repair Coalition.
Meanwhile, if you have technology that needs repairing, our IT experts can help. Book an appointment today!
Choosing the Right Computer Monitor
Your hardware, software, and internet connection shape your computing experience. The last essential piece of the puzzle? The monitor you use.
The first thing you need to consider is what you’ll be using the monitor for most. Gamers will have different requirements than those professionals or families viewing photos. [Read more…]