City paid Hackers $600,000

Riviera Beach, FL recently paid ransomware hackers $600,000 to unlock their computers. The ransomware hackers had locked all the government computers and encrypted all their data. The Riviera Beach City Council gave into the ransomware hackers’ demands. They currently appear to be in the process of getting their data back right now.

The city of Riviera Beach apparently had no backups of their data. The infection appears to have started on a single computer from clicking on an email. The ransomware spread to their entire network network before it encrypted all their data.

We have seen this same sort of attack at many businesses and home user’s computers. Inside a small network running off a single router at your home or business an infected computer can spread infections across all your systems. Windows and Apple computers inherently trust other computers within your own local network. They only have minimal security protections against other systems on your own network.

All of Riviera Beach’s problems could have been solved with having a backup of their data.

What to do to protect Yourself?

Ransomware and hackers can strike at any time and the most cost effective protection is to have a backup of your entire system and data. We recommend all our clients have both an on-site and off-site backup. A $50 external USB hard drive is all you need for an on-site backup. Off-site backup services like Carbonite start at $72 a year and backup all your data instantly upon creation.

The are several reasons why you want both an on-site and off-site backup of your data. On-site backups are often targeted by ransomware attacks before they encrypt your local data so that you have no method to restore your data without paying them. On-site backups are also more susceptible to fire, theft and just general wear and tear (all hard drives eventually ware out). Off-site backups are very slow to restore from, sometimes taking up to a week to download all files if you need to do a total restore.

By having both an on-site and off-site backup you minimize your risks. On-site backups are great for a quick restore of a deleted file or going back quickly to a previous revision of a file. Off-site backups allow for a greater length of time to restore files. Backup services like Carbonite store multiple revisions of your data so you will have 5-7 snap shots over time to restore from. Off-site backups are great for a home, business or an entire city that has been hit with ransomware where you lose all access to your computers and data.

How to restore after ransomware?

After you have been hit by a ransomware attack often your best move is to reformat the computer. Additionally, all computers on your network should be turned off or isolated from one another. You will need to keep them off until you can verify that all systems are clean.

Windows 10 and MacOS allow quick methods to format the entire hard drive and start from scratch. Once you have a base Operating System up you should install anti-virus software immediately. If you have a on-site backup (hard drive, flash drive, NAS, etc) that is not encrypted or infected with the ransomware you can restore off it.

Off-site backups are the clear advantage for post ransomware cleanups. Even if encrypted data has been uploaded to their service you can restore a previous version of the file. You can often restore from as recent as the previous day’s version of a file. We often see clients after a ransomware attack and off-site backup services like Carbonite have entire teams dedicated to assisting you with restoring files after a ransomware attack.

For professional help with backups, proactive ransomware security or post ransomware cleanup, 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 Phoenix Computer Repair Service. If you need computer repair in Phoenix, AZ please call our local office at (602) 445-9862.

iPad Gets its own OS

At WWDC 2019 earlier this month, Apple announced that iPad was getting its own operating system. Branching off from the original iOS, the company is attempting at making an even better and more unique experience for iPad users.

Apple includes on their website that this new iPadOS can give you, “multiwindow experiences, add full drawing experiences for Apple Pencil, and contribute fonts for systemwide use.” This can benefit those who can easily multitask and quickly maneuver from app to app. This OS will also improve the iPads’ performance on the internet, extending the web app efficiency.

But to top it all off, the iPadOS will be able to handle external drives. This supports not only the brand new iPad Pro coming out soon, but also previous iPads! The OS will be available for beta testers by the end of this month, and open for the public by the Fall season. Keep a look out!

For help with any Apple brand products, 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.

Back Up Your Computer

A failing hard drive is one of the worst things that would happen to your computer, because of all of important documents, photos, and more saved on there. Backing up your computer is highly recommended by both Mac and Microsoft technical support and would ease your mind greatly. It’s also simple to do!

For Macs:

You can either use iCloud or Macs backup feature, Time Machine. From there, you can reestablish any lost or accidental deleting from your computers’ hard drive. This is an easy go-to without the hassle of purchasing an external hard drive. However, when Time Machine is full, the oldest saved files will be removed. And if your computer is ever stolen or destroyed, you’ll lose everything.

For Microsoft:

Grab yourself an external hard drive and connect it to your computer to allow it access to your files. Back up your computer by using File History:

  1. Start Menu
  2. Settings
  3. Navigate and Update Security
  4. Backup

For help with any hard drive problems with either Mac or Microsoft, 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.

Catalina Update Available Earlier for Mac Users

This past week at WWDC, Apple revealed an major update to MacOs, naming it Catalina.

This Catalina update will:

  1. replace iTunes with Apple Music, Apple Podcasts and Apple TV
  2. allow your iPad act as a second monitor for your Mac
  3. run iPad apps

Although this update release isn’t until the Fall season, Apple stated that Mac users can use the beta version of Catalina in July. Just sign up for the Apple Beta Software Program. Apple adds in the FAQ section of the program that, “since the public beta software has not yet been commercially released by Apple, it may contain errors or inaccuracies and may not function as well as commercially released software.” Make sure you have a backup of your files so that you don’t lose whatever is on your Mac drive.

For help troubleshooting MacOs or any other Apple 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 Mesa Computer Repair Service, if you need computer repair in Mesa, AZ please call the local office at (480) 240-2950.

How to Check All Storage Devices on your Computer

The Windows 10 May Update included many features, bug fixes, and more. One specific update was the Storage page only showing the main drive storage, even if you have multiple drives.

But they can be easily found on the Storage page, under the More Storage Settings heading: View storage usage on other drives. Any detected drives will show up with your storage information.

Here’s how to get to it:

  1. Start Menu
  2. Settings
  3. Storage

On top of that, you can also click on each device to get a breakdown of what is taking up storage. This can contain pictures, apps, games, documents, and more. Knowing this information can help you free up storage, so your computer will run better.

For help with space issues or any hard drive problem, 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.

Is Your Computer One of the Million Susceptible to Malware?

Yes, you heard that right.

Last month, Microsoft warned users that their computers may be unprotected. While they released fixes back on the 14th of May for a ‘Remote Code Execution vulnerability‘, Microsoft explains that it’s ‘wormable‘ and could cause a handful of issues to your computer.

Simon Pope, the Director of Incident Response, Microsoft Security Response Center (MSRC) includes, “It’s been only two weeks since the fix was released and there has been no sign of a worm yet. This does not mean that we’re out of the woods. If we look at the events leading up to the start of the WannaCry attacks, they serve to inform the risks of not applying fixes for this vulnerability in a timely manner. “

Their fix to this vulnerability: simply update your system as soon as possible.

Better to be safe than sorry.

For help updating, restoring or dealing with any 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 Denver Computer Repair Service, if you need computer repair in Denver, CO please call or text the local office at (720) 441-6460.

Trouble with Internet Connection

Internet connection issues are one of the greatest tech nuisances, but thankfully there are plenty of reasons for it. Most reasons require little effort too. Here are just a few:

  • Checking your network settings are the initial ‘go to’ for your connecting concerns. Search for Network Status in the Start Menu.
  • Your Internet Service Provider (or ISP) is having problems, resulting in the ‘waiting game’ until they get resolved
  • Your router/modem needs to be reset
  • Computer needs to be reset
  • Software is misconfigured for internet entry

Windows includes a Network Troubleshooter to help diagnose and fix the problem. From Network Status, you’ll find it listed. It’ll then scan your computer to aid in treatment. For Mac computers, use Network Utility.

For help troubleshooting network issues or your internet connection, 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.

A New Update Released from Windows

Yesterday, Windows shared a new update to Windows 10. To see if you can updated, simply open your Windows Update settings (Settings – Update & Security – Windows Update) and click on Check for Updates. Keeping your OS updated allows you to utilize your computer to its’ full capabilities. It also keeps it secure from any possible viruses or crashes.

With the new release comes issues, however. According to Windows, there are listed ‘investigated’ issues:

  • Display brightness may not respond to adjustments
  • Duplicate folders and documents showing in user profile directory
  • Audio not working with Dolby Atmos headphones and home theater 

There are the issues that are listed as ‘mitigated’:

  • Intel Audio displays an intcdaud.sys notification
  • Error attempting to update with external USB device or memory card attached 
  • Older versions of BattlEye anti-cheat software incompatible
  • Unable to discover or connect to Bluetooth devices
  • Night light settings do not apply in some cases
  • Cannot launch Camera app 
  • Intermittent Wi-Fi connectivity loss
  • AMD RAID driver incompatibility 
  • D3D applications and games may fail to enter full-screen mode on rotated displays

Windows is working on resolving any/all issues and expected to release another update in late May. Keep an eye out!

For help updating to Windows 10 version 1903 or dealing with any Windows 10 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 Scottsdale Computer Repair Service, if you need computer repair in Scottsdale, AZ please call the local office at (480) 240-2960.

Windows 10 Update Won’t Restore

Word of Caution to Windows OS Users:

Updated on May 17th, Windows Support posted on their forum, explaining that, “you cannot restore the system to a restore point after you install a Windows 10 update.” This occurs when you install Windows 10 on your computer and turn on System Protection, then adding a R1 point to reinstate the system. A Stop error (0xc000021a) then shows up on your monitor. And restarting your computer only does nothing to fix the issue.

Windows claims that this is a known issue, including the following information on how to recover:

“During the system restore process, Windows temporarily stages the restoration of files that are in use. It then saves the information in the registry. When the computer restarts, it completes the staged operation.

In this situation, Windows restores the catalog files and stages the driver .sys files to be restored when the computer restarts. However, when the computer restarts, Windows loads the existing drivers before it restores the later versions of the drivers. Because the driver versions do not match the versions of the restored catalog files, the restart process stops.”

It’s possible to force a shutdown of the computer (this might have to be done a couple of times) and then enter the WinRE if a glitch occurs.

How do you do this? Windows can help:

In the Windows Recovery Environment (or WinRE), follow these steps:

  1. Select Troubleshoot Advanced options More recovery options > Startup settings, and then select Restart now.
  2. In the list of startup settings, select Disable driver signature enforcement.

    Note You may have to use the F7 key to select this setting.
  3. Allow the startup process to continue. As Windows restarts, the system restore process should resume and finish.

These steps restore the computer to its “R1” state.

Steer Clear of this Issue by doing this:

  1. Select Start > Settings > Update & Security > Recovery.
  2. Under Advanced options, select Restart now.
  3. After WinRE starts, select Troubleshoot Advanced options System restore.
  4. Enter your recovery key as it is shown on the screen, and then follow the instructions in the System Restore wizard.

For help updating, restoring or dealing with any 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 Denver Computer Repair Service, if you need computer repair in Denver, CO please call or text the local office at (720) 441-6460.

The Value of SEO

Search Engine Optimization, or SEO is a handy tool used to enhance website traffic and is a must-have if you’re looking to improve your company.

Did you know that HubSpot’s research shows that 75% of users never scroll past the first page of search results, with the number one page containing close to 2,000 words. So you’re losing 3/4 of potential readers or customers. And no one wants that! SEO with a detailed post ultimately help your search engine rankings.

According to Yoast.com, glancing over your Readability Analysis can pinpoint ways to better the posts with problems and good results. Also adding keywords, or search term will show search engines “what you want your page to rank for most.”

There are different types of SEO to look into.

  1. On Page SEO – Content, Keywords, Key phrases, etc.
  2. Technical SEO – site speed, structure, back end development
  3. Off Site SEO – quality backlinks from other websites

Your website’s SEO is a valuable part of your business, and if you need help with your search engine optimization, 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.