Director of First Impression, Jay Clements
Jay is the newest edition to the TechPros family. He grew up right here in Franklin, so he feels right at home in our office on Church St. As the Director of First Impressions, Jay is responsible for running the front-end of our office. He keeps our retail area neat and organized, answers a majority of phone calls, and checks in new systems to be serviced in our shop. If you walk into our office, chances are that Jay’s smiling face will be the first thing you see.
Although Jay is new to the IT field, he is always eager to learn something new from our technicians. He’s also willing to pick up odd jobs, where needed, to improve the overall appearance of our office. From cleaning up systems to updating our social media pages, Jay works to increase customer satisfaction and strives to provide an exceptional customer experience for everyone.
Jay’s interest in computers started when he was in middle school. He would often play strategy games on his family’s first home computer which was a Windows 98 Gateway PC. Since high school, Jay has been an Apple user, but his coworkers are slowly convincing him of the benefits of owning a PC. Jay is learning more and more each day from his co workers, and can’t wait to further his knowledge of the IT field.
3 Fun Facts about Jay
- Favorite Food: Texas Style Brisket (Dry Rubbed and Smoked)
- Favorite Thing to Do: Rock Climbing
- Favorite Band: The Beatles
If you are having any issues with your computer, we encourage you to come into our office located at 601 Church St to pay Jay a visit. He, and the rest of our team, will do our absolute best to assist you. If you have any questions, please feel free to call us at 615-595-6399 or email us.
TechPros Tips & Tricks for Windows 10
Windows 10 is arguably the best Windows operating system to be released thus far. It is fast, user friendly, and contains many new features that can improve your overall experience. Below are a few tips and tricks to help Windows 10 users get the most out of their experience.
- Rather than upgrading to Windows 10, we recommend bringing your PC into TechPros for a clean installation. This helps to minimize any issues with drivers, programs, etc.
- You don’t have to create a Microsoft account to use Windows 10.
- Microsoft tries to steer you toward creating a Microsoft account online. While there are some benefits to using a Microsoft account with Windows 10, it is not necessary to have an account in order to use it.
- If you do decide to use a Microsoft account with Windows 10, it should be for your own personal use, not for use with a business.
- For a guide on how to create a local account go to this link.
- Snap Assist
- Snapping initially started back with Windows 7, but there are new snapping features available with Windows 10.
- In order to snap a window, all you need to do is left click and hold your mouse on the window, and then drag the window to the left or right of your screen. Once you’ve dragged the window, a transparent overlay will show you where your window will be placed on the screen. Then simply release your hold on the mouse button for the window to take this position.
- For further snap assist information visit this link.
- Helpful Keyboard Shortcuts:
- Press and hold the Windows key + X to bring up the Quick Link menu
- Press and hold the Windows key + left arrow key or right arrow key to snap a window to the left or right.
- Press and hold the Windows key + up arrow key or down arrow key to maximize or minimize a window.
- Press and hold the Windows key + L to lock the computer. If you have a password, it would be required to unlock it.
- Windows 10 still has all the old keyboard shortcuts as well. If you need a refresher, feel free to visit Microsoft’s website for a list of these shortcuts.
- Printer management has changed.
- To manage a printer or a scanner, simply go to the Start Menu and click on Settings. Once in the Settings menu, click on Devices. Printers & Scanners should be the first sub menu. Scroll down past your available printers and scanners to toggle default printer controls as well as downloading software over metered Internet connections.
- Making Windows 10 feel more like Windows 7
- Some Windows users that are more familiar with Windows 7, may desire to make their desktop more like the older operating system. Here are a few tips to make Windows 10 feel a bit more like Windows 7.
- Right click on the desktop → Select Personalize → Set Background and Lockscreen as TechPros wallpaper → in Colors tab, turn on “Automatically pick color from background” → in Start tab, turn off “Show recently added apps” → click on the link below to choose which folders appear on the start menu → turn on the following: File Explorer, Settings, Documents, Pictures, Videos, Music
- Open File Explorer → right click on “Quick Access” → change the Open File Explorer to: dropdown to This PC → Uncheck the two checked boxes under the Privacy section.
With these tips and tricks in mind, Windows 10 should be much easier to use. If you are a new Windows 10 user and you need some additional help adjusting to your new operating system, or if you would like to have us perform a clean installation of Windows 10, feel free to email us at email@example.com or call us at 615-595-6399.
Deter your security concerns with cookie control
Most computer users have some general knowledge as to what cookies are, and we don’t mean the kind your grandma makes. We are talking about the online tracking every time you visit websites. Learning a little more about a cookie can help you control your privacy easily. Basically, a cookie is a note passed back and forth from web servers to web browsers. When you visit a website, the browser will send a cookie that has information about your visit to the server. It can also contain information about you, such as the voluntary information you enter onto their website.
Cookies are used to monitor website activity. Most servers use them to either track which websites receive the most attention or record personal information that a user inputs onto their site so that they can create customization for them. Cookies are only visible to the site that creates them, which means others cannot see your information. A server does not have access to your computer if you accept a cookie from them, nor are they a means to carry a virus. Some cookies are automatically erased once you leave the website. These are called session or transient cookies.
Regular cookies may be innocent, however there are some cookies out there that are not. The ones that pose a threat to your privacy are called Malicious Cookies, also known as Tracking Cookies. They monitor your online search habits for a period of time to provide advertisers information about weather you are their target audience. Most antivirus software can prevent malicious cookies.
Your computer allows you the tools to control cookies for your own privacy reasons. Under your settings, you can enable them or control how long they may be used. Some may consider simply blocking all cookies, however surfing may be a tad more difficult. Sites you frequently visit will not remember you or your preferences. Most cookies are harmless and even convenient, and if you keep your antivirus software current, you should rarely worry about the bad ones.
Protect your online activity and information
Everyone prefers top-notch security for their homes and vehicles, but what about their online accounts? It is unfortunate to say that most people prefer a convenient password instead of a strong one. Quality always works best, which means you need a strong password. A password is basically the lock to your online door, so you want it to be extremely difficult to break into, especially since cyber crimes are becoming more common than burglaries. So, what makes a password strong or weak?
Qualities of a strong password:
- It is over 7 characters
- It does not have your name, username, or brand
- It does not have a complete word or phrase
- It is not the same as your other passwords
- It has at least one capital letter (A, B, C, etc.)
- It has at least one lower case letter (a, b, c, etc.)
- It has at least one number (1, 2, 3, etc.)
- It has at least one symbol (!, @, $, etc.)
Even if your password has all these qualities, it could still be weak. Use acronyms of words instead of using full words or deliberately misspell the word. In order to remember your password more easily, try and choose something related to your personal life. If you write it down in case you forget it, don’t label it. It is also important to keep it hidden in a private place.
Avoid passwords that have these:
- It has the same letter used over and over (ex. Aaaaaa}
- It has letters or numbers in sequential order (ex. 123abc)
- It has the word “password” in it
- It has the phrase “iloveyou” in it
- It is exactly the same or similar to other passwords you have
It was reported recently that “123456” was the number one most used password among the users that were hacked on October 4th. Almost 2 million Adobe users had that password. If you recognize that your favorite password has any qualities like this, consider changing it. For more information about Adobe’s recent breach and why it is important to create strong passwords, click here- http://www.businessinsider.com/the-worst-passwords-to-use-2013-12
Stay savvy, stay safe
When you are traveling this summer, consider a few safety precautions for your electronics to be a necessity. There are the basic rules for safe traveling with technology, and then there are a few that you may not have been aware of. These precautions are not strenuous, and they can save loads of potential trouble in the future.
Before leaving, make sure you have all the correct cords and accessories you need then store them in luggage that will protect them from water and denting. Travelers should always remember not to leave them in places where they can be stolen. Make sure your electronics are locked up in your hotel room or car if you are away from them. Also, your devices are more likely to get knocked around or dropped while your traveling, so put a protective case on them. One more basic precaution that you should follow no matter what is back up your data. Make sure you have any important information stored somewhere else just in case your technology does get damaged, lost, or stolen.
Now that we have covered the basics, here are a few extra habits that travelers need to know:
First, familiarize yourself with your mobile’s roaming and data charges, especially if you are going to be away for a long period of time. There are ways to minimize costs, such as setting a limit to your data usage or turning it off. You can contact your mobile provider for further information.
If you need a laptop during your travels, it is best to bring one with no PII (personally identifiable information) on it. There are places that rent out laptops specifically for this reason, but if you prefer to bring your own, you can encrypt it. However, if you are traveling out of the U.S, research the policies of bringing encrypted information into a country. Some areas heavily regulate or restrict encrypted laptops.
Setting a strong password is a great rule for any device as well as ensuring any anti-virus software is up to date. There is also software you can download to track devices that have been stolen or lost.
Protect yourself when delving into the free Wi-Fi networks
Public Wi-Fi exists in most of our stores, libraries, coffee shops, airports, and public transportation areas that we visit daily. Since the general public has access to this convenience from day to day, then so do criminals. If you decide to use public Wi-Fi, keep your guard up at all times. The main rule to beware of free public Wi-Fi networks is to never make financial transactions, use credit cards, or shop at all. Online shoppers in public networks are easy targets for hackers.
Kevin Clark, an expert in cybercrime has said, “Public Wi-Fi is inherently unsecure. Anyone using it ought to do so with the premise that everything you do is visible to a third-party stranger with access to that hot spot…the chances of you being hacked far exceeds the chances of your home being burglarized. This is a big business.”
If you have the option, choose the Wi-Fi that is at least protected by a password. The most dangerous Wi-Fi is the open to all, no password needed, networks. However, they are so attractive for their convenience. Awareness is the key to preventing attacks and theft on your computer.
To become more aware of such crimes,
Target is not the only one
Cyber Attacks Are More Common Than You May Think
During the latest shopping season, over 70 million customers’ information had been stolen when Target’s online security was invaded. This identity theft included names, mailing addresses, phone numbers, email addresses and credit card information. Over the years, retailers have taken measures to make cyber crimes more difficult, but some still manage to slip through the cracks by using malware, also known as a RAM scraper. Criminals use this to catch encrypted data when it travels through a live memory feed in a computer. This information just goes to show that cyber attacks are more common than you may think, but rarely publicized.
Most retailers attempt to keep breaches in cyber security secret because they are afraid it will hurt their business. Neiman Marcus, J.C Penney, and Nissan have also been victims of hackers while others try their best to remain unknown.
Shawn Henry, F.B.I.’s top former cyber police officer has stated, “There are two types of companies: companies that have been breached and companies that don’t know they’ve been breached…I’ve seen behind the curtain. I’ve been in all the briefings. I can’t go into the particulars because it’s classified, but the vast majority of companies have been breached.”
To learn more about what cyber experts have to say about situations such as this, visit
What do they do and why
Unfortunately, computers can get viruses much in the same way that humans do. Everyone does their best to prevent catching colds by staying healthy and clean. Our electronics need a similar kind of attention to avoid a computer virus. Even though a Mac is less likely to fall victim from a virus than a Windows PC, they are not bullet proof from them either. Therefore, weather you own a PC or a Mac, learning what a virus does is beneficial to taking care of your investments.
Computers are susceptible to different viruses just the way humans are susceptible to different viruses.
The three most common computer viruses
Earning its name from the famous Greek story, it firstly appears as a safe file that you have in your computer. Then it releases code that has the ability to destroy your computer from the inside by deleting data, blocking data, modifying data, copying data, and disrupting the computer’s functions.
This is a form of malware that goes around your computer’s defensive line by unlocking the backdoor and creating a hole in the software. Backdoors can be combined with Trojans, which creates twice the mayhem. Hackers control this malware more closely, which is worse for you. They have all the ability a Trojan has, plus the ability to send and receive files.
This virus has been considered some of the worst to extract. Hence its name, it conceals itself deep into the computer where they can’t be detected easily. Rootkits have the ability to copy, hide, and restart itself even after you have stopped it. This makes them difficult to locate and fight off because they can retaliate over and over.
A virus can appear in the form of anything, which makes it important to keep your antivirus software current. Hackers create these viruses because they can attain information, which can lead to access to all of your personal accounts. Most people do not realize when they have a virus and when they finally find out its too late. If you are concerned that you may have a virus or need to update your software, feel free to give TechPros a call.
Avoiding the dark corners of the Internet
The Internet is a melting pot of information, social interaction, entertainment, and countless other resources that we rely on daily. It is literally limitless and constantly growing for both the better and worse. Are you following a few basic guidelines to make sure you don’t stumble into the dark side of the online world where the scammers, hackers, and infiltrators are waiting to take advantage of you? If not, here are 5 online safety rules to follow for good measure.
Important Rule #1
Always have anti-virus software that regularly scans your computer to detect and prevent viruses. This can also minimize damage if a virus actually invades your computer.
Don’t fall for scams. This includes but is not limited to: popups, ads that sound too good to be true, strangers offering awards or free gifts, job offers making a fortune working from home, congratulations you’re the millionth customer pitch, random surveys, forms that require credit cards, and many other vague advertisements.
Research a company before you give them any personal information. If you plan to buy something from their website, try and learn as much as you can about them before you make the purchase. If you have a gut feeling that this seems a little off kilter, then don’t do it!
Don’t download files from untrusted websites. If you see an offer for a free software download, it has the potential to infect your computer.
Important Rule #5
Stay away from suspicious websites at all. Suspicious characteristics include but are not limited to: abundant popups, shady side ads, and uncertain links. Stray away from these because one wrong click could send problems straight to your computer.
Clear and easy household rules to keep your children safe online
If you are worried about the safety of your children when they are on the computer, there are many options to help minimize risk of unsafe or suspicious online behavior. Utilizing parental controls and safeguarding programs helps, but educating your child about online dangers will encourage them to develop safe habits. Also, clearly written rules can benefit every family member and provide an established boundary.
Educate your children to increase safe online habits. Make sure they know what personal information is and why they should not give it out. If they use email or online chat rooms, make sure they realize it is dangerous to meet someone they ‘know’ through the internet regardless of how long they have been in touch. Educate them about online scams and make sure they know to inform you of potentially dangerous or threatening emails.
Stay aware of what your children do online as well. Occasionally, visit their favorite websites to check that they are appropriate. It also helps to be aware of who they chat with and why. It will be easier for you to recognize if your child starts demonstrating suspicious, uncomfortable, or unusual behaviors online. Communication goes a long way when it comes to developing healthy online safety for children, especially when honest two way communication is encouraged.