How to avoid getting caught in a scam this holiday season

It may be a little early but its getting close to Thanksgiving so now’s a good time to warn you all about the scams you may come across online searching for that price deal of the year. When buying something off a website check for hidden fees, if a website isn’t going to be upfront with you and is going to nickel and dime you behind your back, you should strongly consider spending your money elsewhere. Be careful of homemade goods sold on Facebook and if you do purchase something in that way get proof you actually exchanged money for a product in the form of an email with a receipt with the sellers name on it. If you plan on making a purchase with a credit card make sure the website is secure, to check this look on the left side of the URL address bar and you should see what looks like a closed padlock click on it and it will tell you if you are on a secure site or not, to learn more go to your banks website and then follow those instructions. Remember the obvious scams such as buying knock off merchandise and such and you will be just fine. Happy (early) Holidays and good luck with the shopping.

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How To Make Your Online Presence Even Better

What makes a good online presence?

I am often asked this question and always respond with, “it depends on what you are trying to accomplish”. If you are store that wants to expand their business and grow their name you can use the internet for social media promotions and your website for sharing your companies information in more detail.

I can easily list a handful of companies who have a killer online presence with their website and social media.

It doesn’t matter the size of your company or organization, a good online presence only reaps benefits. Take for example a local gym I frequent, I wrote a good review on their Facebook page and within 10 minutes, during business hours, they responded with a grateful yet humble response, but when I wrote a less than stellar response to a store where I had a rotten experience, they ignored it. You also have to watch what other companies post and keep up with it, if your direct competitors are doing something it might be wise to follow but not imitate them, to keep yourself looking original and unique.

How you act online can be the difference between success and failure for your business and the difference between losing business and getting new / repeat business from the internet user.

You need a company that can help make sure your information is getting out there and is being shared and that when people respond to you online they feel that they are being listened to.

If you would like to know more about how we at afl’s Knights of Technology can make your website and/or social media everything you could dream of and more, call us at 248-425-0009.

We hope you will come to us for all your technology needs!

Car Hacking: Remote Controlled Terror

Im sure you’ve at least heard about it, hackers with the proper connections and software can with a wireless signal connect to certain cars through their internal computers and mess with the car. But now it has gotten worse, Chrysler released a statement saying their cars are susceptible to being hacked! They say the vehicles in danger of this kind of attack are Dodges, Chryslers, and Ram.

 

You can update your car yourself using the software found here  http://www.driveuconnect.com/software-update/

Be sure to get that update if you or someone you know has a vehicle that requires the update

Gone In A Flash: Flash and the Internet’s failing relationship

Flash, one of the Internet’s earliest forms of video production and playing may soon be a thing of the past. In recent weeks information has come out stating that Flash is trouble if used properly by hackers and other cyber criminals. Flaws in the code that make Flash work could allow what are known as “cyber-attacks”. This means online criminals can wreak havoc with your computer through the internet. Mozilla and Google, among other names, even announced this week that their Web browsers will be dropping default support for Adobe Flash in the name of security. The point of all this is, Flash may be heading the way of Dial-Up internet, DOS, big clunky monitors and computer towers, the technology scrapyard! So be safe everyone, use flash sparingly and never let it run freely until its safe.

Are You The Searcher Or The Searched?

Are you searching or being searched? Many websites such as Google, Yahoo and Facebook are performing an action on you called data mining every time you use them. This tracks what you look at, what you search, what results you click on and more. The point of this isn’t for a study sadly. it’s to aim advertisements and products at you. I’m sure you have noticed at one point or another that the advertisements on the side of a website are awfully specific for you or oddly similar to something you searched recently. That’s data mining. I am sure you feel its invasive and in many ways it is. Take the story here (http://www.forbes.com/sites/kashmirhill/2012/02/16/how-target-figured-out-a-teen-girl-was-pregnant-before-her-father-did/) about how target figured out that a teenage girl was pregnant before her father did and the drama it caused! I’m sure you are wondering “how can I stop this from happening?” an easy fix is to disable cookies for websites. That makes it harder for some sites to track you. You may also wish to install a web browser advertising blocker program. One example is Ad Block Plus. There are also some internet browsers that are supposed to help reduce some of these risks, such as Aviator. There are no guarantees though. In the end you need to be aware that if you want to be on the internet, which has many benefits, you are also accepting the fact that others are interested in what you do on the internet any way you try.

Websites On The Go: Mobile Phones and Websites

Im sure you all know of what a smart phone is by now, but did you know in many ways the smart phone industry is stealing some of the thunder from the Macs and PCs? Instead of going their desktop or laptop to look up a website, now people are doing it from their cell phones and tablets. In the old day a website just needed to look good in Internet Explorer and Safari, but now it needs to look good not only on computer browsers but on the screens and displays of all tablets and smart phones. To better understand this id suggest looking at a couple websites on your smart phone, if its hard to work with,read, or follow its not mobile friendly, an example of a mobile friendly site is http://www.alwaysaspergers.com which was custom built to be mobile friendly, screen reader accessible and more, if you would like more information or would like to have a professional web developer look at your website, call 248-425-0009

 

 

It may be time to replace your Windows

Drum Roll Please!!!!

 

On July 29, 2015 Microsoft will be releasing their latest version of Windows, Windows 10.

 

Starting today, you might be seeing a new icon in your task tray (right side of the start bar) that looks like the windows logo (4 rectangular squares).  This is the icon showing that you are eligible for the FREE windows upgrade.  You can click on it and choose to have windows 10 installed as soon as Microsoft releases it.

 

But, at this time you don’t need to rush to do that.  The software will be available for free for 1 year from the July 29th date.  Even though the operating system seems to be functioning well during tests, there are always issue that will appear once the mass market starts to use any new operating system.

 

My suggestion is to wait at least a month before doing the upgrade to give time for the biggest issues to be corrected.

 

In the meantime, if you would like to get to know more about the upgrade, you can right click on the icon and there is an option that will take you to a location that will show you more information about the upgrade and the new operating system.

 

The upgrade is something that you will want to schedule a good time to accomplish where you won’t be inconvenienced by not being able to use the computer while the update is being performed.  It could take an hour or more to complete.  As always, if you would like help with it, you can always contact us and we will be glad to help you with the updating of all of your computers.

 

248-425-0009