Author Archives: Kristin Willis

Attack on SolarWinds Turns to Malwarebytes

It seems as though we have not seen the last of the attacker, who on December 14th, 2020, breeched the Orion platform in SolarWinds software.

According to Malwarebytes:

“We can confirm the existence of another intrusion vector that works by abusing applications with privileged access to Microsoft Office 365 and Azure environments. After an extensive investigation, we determined the attacker only gained access to a limited subset of internal company emails. We found no evidence of unauthorized access or compromise in any of our internal on-premises and production environments.”

Malwarebytes is a trusted name in cybersecurity. Although they do not utilize SolarWinds software in their company, they and other companies like Microsoft have been affected by it. They thank security companies, such as CrowdStrike and FireEye for their efforts in vividly recounting attacks publicly in hopes to avoid further issues.

Crowdstrike shared that malware coming from activity, called StellerParticle included SUNSPOT. SUNSPOT had been added to certain software builds (such as SolarWinds) as a backdoor. It then acted discreetly while replacing different source files with malware.

“The design of SUNSPOT suggests StellarParticle developers invested a lot of effort to ensure the code was properly inserted and remained undetected, and prioritized operational security to avoid revealing their presence in the build environment to SolarWinds developers.”

Source: Crowdstrike

For help with computer security issues, call us at 1-800-620-5285.  Karls Technology is a nationwide computer service company with offices in many major cities. This blog post was brought to you from our staff at the Denver Computer Repair Service. If you need computer repair in Denver, CO please call or text the local office at (720) 441-6460.

Computer Terminology To Know

When it comes to computers, it’s imperative to have a bit of knowledge of its terms and their meanings behind them. While there’s a plethora of hardware and software technology terms to fully comprehend computers as a whole, there are basic acronyms and words to help you better understand your computer. Here are a few:

URL, as we all know is simply a web address. But the acronym is known as Uniform Resource Locator. It can also be known as Universal Resource Locator.

BSOD, or Blue Screen of Death is an error that shows up on your monitor as a blue screen. This unfortunate error usually indicates your system has crashed.

IP Address is also known as Internet Protocol Address. This is a series of numbers which are identified to a local network or device. The identification connects to your online activities.

Cache/Cookies seem like intriguing terms for the computer world. They’re not harmful, but these files are created and saved by websites you visit. In addition, the websites can track visits. Thankfully, these cache/cookies can be cleared when certain issues ensue, such as pages not loading.

CPU is the Central Processing Unit that pertains to the memory and control of the computer. This hardware allows the user to utilize the programs and apps installed.

UI, or User Interface, can be applied to a visual display of a computer as a whole (monitor, keyboard, mouse, etc.). It can also mean apps and the internet and how users engage with those products and services.

VPN is also called Virtual Private Networking. This network allows users to acquire privacy while they’re online. It gives security and peace of mind when you are on a public Wi-Fi connection.

OS is known as the Operating System software. For example, Windows 10 and MacOS are both operating systems. The software connects with the hardware, keeping your PC working the best it can for you.

For any computer related issues, call us at 1-800-620-5285.  Karls Technology is a nationwide computer service company with offices in many major cities. This blog post was brought to you from our staff at the Arvada Computer Repair Service, if you need better SEO or computer repair in Arvada, CO please call or text the local office at (720) 441-6460.

Microsoft Adding Features to Taskbar

Features will include weather, stock, and newsfeed

Windows Insiders are testing out the new widgets that will be added to the Windows 10 taskbar in a future update. It’s been a while since any new features had been added to the taskbar, so it will be interesting to see how users respond to it.

Tom Warren from The Verge writes on their blog, “The taskbar feature will pop out into a mini feed of content that can be personalized with the latest sports news, headlines, and weather information. Microsoft is using its Microsoft News network to surface news and content from more than 4,500 sources. The company has been curating this through artificial intelligence in recent months, and this particular feature will also learn what news is relevant to you when you dismiss or like stories in the feed.”

Source: Microsoft

It’s also shared that Microsoft Edge browser would be installed. So, if you click on a link on the newsfeed, it will open up the Edge browser for you to read it. You will have the ability to disable the feature, if you would rather.

Note for Windows Insiders: The preview may carry bugs that can affect your device. To become part of the Windows Insiders Program and try out upcoming features before anyone else, sign up here! Be sure to read the Important Notice before agreeing to join, as it adds a variety of risks to your computer.

If you are needing help with computer issues, please give us a call at 1-800-620-5285.  Karls Technology is a nationwide computer service company with offices in many major cities.  This blog post is brought to you from our staff at the Tucson Computer Repair Service. If you need computer repair in Tucson, AZ, please call the local office at (520) 526-9940.

How to Uninstall Apps

A short, “how-to” blog post for the last day of 2020. Happy New Years Eve!

Sometimes, programs and apps unexpectedly stop working properly. You can easily remedy this by uninstalling and reinstalling them.

Or if you would rather them not take up space on your hard drive, uninstalling is easy. While there are a handful of applications that cannot be removed, such as Maps and People, uninstaller applications, such as Revo can remedy that issue.

To do this, head over to the Settings app, then to Apps, and Apps & features. From there, click on the problematic apps on the list and uninstall them.

If you are needing help with computer issues, please give us a call at 1-800-620-5285.  Karls Technology is a nationwide computer service company with offices in many major cities.  This blog post is brought to you from our staff at the Plano Computer Repair Service. If you need computer repair in Plano, TX please call the local office at (469) 299-9005.

Computer is Running Slow

Computer performance is quite important, especially since more and more people work remotely. So, if yours is running slower than normally, you may find one or more of these culprits.

Too many opened programs

Multiple programs running at the same time can cause issues to the speed of your computer. It results in a loss in processing power. To check this, open up the Task Manager app in the Start Menu. From there, you can end unnecessary tasks.

Outdated Windows Update

Microsoft releases Windows Updates to keep your computer running as smooth and securely as possible. If you’re running an outdated Windows version, search for Check for updates in your Settings.

You may have a virus

No one chooses to acquire viruses on their PC. Unfortunately, it happens often. Malware can cause computer performance to noticeably drop. Virus & threat protection is easily accessible in the Windows Security of the Settings app. This scans your PC and lets you know if any action is necessary.

Low Disk Space

Freeing up space on your PC will potentially boost the speed. Open Storage settings can be found under Storage in the Settings app. From there, you will be able to how much space you actually have.

For help troubleshooting PC issues, call us at 1-800-620-5285.  Karls Technology is a nationwide computer service company with offices in many major cities. This blog post was brought to you from our staff at the Mesa Computer Repair Service. If you need computer repair in Mesa, AZ please call the local office at (480) 240-2950.

New UI For Alarms & Clock App

A new UI (user interface) for the Alarms & Clock app is currently in the works for Windows 10.

According to Windows Central, this UI has been unannounced as part of the “Sun Valley UI refresh”. Zac Bowden, a senior editor, stated on the blog, “The new app update is in testing now with Insiders in the Dev Channel, and will likely roll out to production machines sometime in 2021. I understand that this Alarms & Clock app update is part of the Sun Valley initiative, which aims to reinvigorate the Windows user experience with a refreshed design and new features in time for the fall 2021 release.”

Source: Windows Central

It appears the devs are recreating simplistic apps, such as this one, to make them look more modernized with the other Windows 10 apps. There’s a definite difference in the current UI and the one in development.

The Alarm & Clock app is currently being tested by Windows Insiders.

If you are part of the Windows Insiders Program, you can update your computer before anyone else does – great for future reference. If you’d like to sign up, you can register here, accept the terms and you’ll receive a Welcome E-mail. Be sure to read the Important Notice before agreeing to join, as it adds a variety of risks to your computer.

For help troubleshooting Windows 10 issues, call us at 1-800-620-5285.  Karls Technology is a nationwide computer service company with offices in many major cities. This blog post was brought to you from our staff at the Mesa Computer Repair Service, if you need computer repair in Mesa, AZ please call the local office at (480) 240-2950.

What is the X-Mode Tracker?

The Wall Street Journal shared a report recently about the X-Mode Tracker. But why it is being banned from certain phone apps?

This particular tracker collects information for government organizations. The information taken is then bought and sold for many purposes.

According to the report, “The two largest mobile-phone platforms told developers this week that they must remove X-Mode’s tracking software from any app present in their app stores or risk losing access to any phones running Apple’s or Google’s mobile operating systems.”

Both Apple and Google told all developers they will ban any apps that include the X-Mode software, unless it is removed within 7 days.

Although many apps with this software include a terms of service. This include an opt-in for data collection. The decision for removal is to protect the users. Even if the user accepts the terms, their data can be abused by the ones collecting it.

For software related inquiries, call us at 1-800-620-5285.  Karls Technology is a nationwide computer service company with offices in many major cities. This blog post was brought to you from our staff at the Frisco Computer Repair Service. If you need computer repair in Frisco, TX please call or text the local office at (469) 299-9005.

Use Cortana to Find Files on Your Computer

Another Windows 10 update will be released soon, but for now the devs are having some fun. Windows Insiders are getting a sneak peek at the new Cortana feature, which will extend its skills.

According to Tech Radar, “Windows Insiders that have updated to the latest build of Windows 10 can now use Cortana to translate their thoughts into direct actions to find and open files which helps save time spent navigating around the operating system.”

Source: Windows Blog

Cortana became a separate app for Windows 10 in the May 2020 update. The option to disable Cortana was available to users as well. But it seems like maybe users will want to enable it to give this new, upcoming feature a try.

For any Windows 10 feature inquiries, call us at 1-800-620-5285.  Karls Technology is a nationwide computer service company with offices in many major cities. This blog post was brought to you from our staff at the Arvada Computer Repair Service, if you need better SEO or computer repair in Arvada, CO please call or text the local office at (720) 441-6460.

Amazon Emails May Contain Phishing Scam

With the holidays here, and the pandemic continuing, more people are ordering gifts online. Amazon, being one of the leading online retail stores in the world, is often mimicked by hackers to steal customers personal information. Not only that, but they’re mimicking delivery emails, which is quite disturbing and dangerous.

According to Check Point, “they are not just trying to target consumers with fake shopping-related emails and websites.  They are also ramping up phishing and fraud attempts to take advantage of the shipping services that will deliver the goods we have purchased.”

With the spike in purchases, there has been a higher amount of phishing emails. These emails claim that errors have evolved with delivery, including a link or download button to fill out a form to resubmit information.

Do not click links

It’s important to double check the sender’s email information to verify its legitimacy. Also, the customer should not click any links unless they know for certain if the company themselves had sent it. You may notice grammar errors in the email as well, which would indicate a phishing email.

To amend the situation, customers should contact the retailer. This will protect any and all personal information on your computer.

For help with computer issues, call us at 1-800-620-5285.  Karls Technology is a nationwide computer service company with offices in many major cities. This blog post was brought to you from our staff at the Mesa Computer Repair Service, if you need computer repair in Mesa, AZ please call the local office at (480) 240-2950

Widespread Computer Issues- Revisited

Back in 2013, we shared this blog post, explaining the most known issues in the computer world. This is simply a re-post, in hopes to remind users of a few computer issues and how to fix them.

What’s the strange WHIRRING NOISE coming from inside your PC? Most likely this is a sign of an overtaxed or dying FAN. Your fan may have come loose or may have become clogged with dirt and dust, decreasing its effectiveness and requiring it to work harder than it should have to. Thus, it is vital to clean out any dirt and debris that may obstruct the computer’s ventilation.

A non-functional fan can potentially cause OVERHEATING as well. All components of a computer demand appropriate and sufficient ventilation and cooling, as they generate heat during operation. When you are dealing with any kind of odd computer noise it is of utmost importance to perform a backup of all valuable, irreplaceable files saved on the system’s hard drive.

Although clicking sounds are the predominant, ominous indicators of a HARD DRIVE CRASH, failing to acknowledge other strange noises as a sign of a potentially serious issue could result in catastrophic data loss. There are many possible causes for hard drive failure, including overheating, faulty air filter, power surges, violent vibration, static electricity, mechanical failure and virus infection.

Your PC’s longevity is top priority!

If you’re needing help with computer problems, call us at 1-800-620-5285.  Karls Technology is a nationwide computer service company with offices in many major cities. This blog post was brought to you from our staff at the Frisco Computer Repair Service. If you need computer repair in Frisco, TX please call or text the local office at (469) 299-9005.