Recent Articles


Microsoft Phone Scam!

Known as the Microsoft Scam or virus/spyware scam, many people are receiving phone calls from a company or companies sometimes claiming to be from Microsoft.  They will inform the person that their computer is badly infected with viruses or spyware and that they can tell because they tracked your IP address.  The company goes on to say that they need to fix your computer right away or you will lose everything.  They proceed by getting you to download software or visit a website that would allow them access to your computer.  If you allow that to happen then they have you.  The cost for such access turn’s out to be around $150 to $200.  The company in question does a few things in your computer to appear as if they’re fixing your virus infestation. In all cases that is not what they are doing, instead they are gathering your personal information including passwords, credit card information, etc. As you know this can and will lead to identity theft.

First of all Microsoft would never call anyone up out of the blue like that so don’t waste your time with them just hang up.  I’ve included a YouTube video for you to watch on this subject.

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Software Piracy

How To Tell If You Have A Legal Copy Of Windows

We all like a good deal now and then especially when it comes to expensive software.  That’s why most people turn to software piracy.  Software piracy is the unauthorized copying of software. Most retail programs are licensed for use at just one computer site or for use by only one user at any time. By buying the software, you become a licensed user rather than an owner. You are allowed to make copies of the program for backup purposes, but it is against the law to give copies to friends and colleagues.  Often people and some computer repair shops will try to sell you Microsoft Windows Operating Systems such as Windows 7, at a greatly reduced price.   This is where you must stop and ask yourself is this a legal copy of this software.

So how do you tell if it’s a legal copy of the software?  Microsoft affixes a sticker to each piece of software they sell.  This sticker is called a COA or Certificate Of Authenticity.  A COA is not a software license – it is a visual identifier that assists in determining whether or not the Microsoft software you are running is genuine. However, without it, you will not have a legal license to run Microsoft software.  It must also be noted that it is illegal to sell just the COA without the software it authenticates.  Examples of COAs and previous versions can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/howtotel

If you receive offers for COAs as stand-alone items, be aware that these offers are highly suspect and can put you at risk. To fall victim to stand-alone COAs offers means that you may have wasted valuable money and you will not have a legal license to run the software. The best way for you to protect yourself is to purchase software from a familiar, reputable reseller. The Anti-Counterfeiting Act of 2003 makes it a criminal offense for dishonest resellers to distribute stand-alone COA labels.

Software piracy results in lost wages, lost jobs, and unfair competition.  You can help stop this illegal and harmful activity by knowing how to spot and avoid illegal software.  Reporting suspected violations when you encounter them, can have a positive impact on the fight against piracy.  There are three ways to report someone suspected of software piracy:

1:  By Email at piracy@microsoft.com

2:  Call the Microsoft Anti-Piracy Hotline at (800) RU-LEGIT

3:  Fill out an online reporting form

Microsoft takes all leads seriously and will investigate, although they can not tell you the outcome of your lead.

I hope this will help someone to identify illegal software and give you resources to do something about it.  Please feel free to email me with any questions or concerns or visit my website at www.computeremporium.ca

Resources:

http://www.microsoft.com/piracy/reporting/default.aspx

http://www.microsoft.com/howtotell/

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Email Spam and Scams

Definitions of Spam and Scam:

SpamE-mail spam, also known as junk e-mail or unsolicited bulk e-mail (UBE), is a subset of spam that involves nearly identical messages sent to numerous recipients by e-mail. Definitions of spam usually include the aspects that e-mail is unsolicited and sent in bulk.  E-mail spam has steadily grown since the early 1990s. Botnets, networks of virus-infected computers, are used to send about 80% of spam.  Continue reading

Cleaning The Inside Of your Computer

In today’s busy lifestyle we often neglect our computers until there is a problem with them.  Like homes or cars, our computers require regular maintenance to prevent future problems.  Today, I will be talking about how you can clean the inside of your computer because over heating which is one of the most common causes of computer failure. By taking these steps you will give your computer a longer life span.  I recommend you do this at least once every 3 to 6 months and possible every 2 to 3 months if you  smoke or have pets.  laptops of course are different and should be cleaned by a professional.  It does require the laptop to be taken apart in most cases in order to remove all the dust that has built up.  Continue reading

System Optimization Software

I have been asked to review a piece of software that is supposed to optimize your system.  I thought instead of reviewing just this one piece of software I would talk about system optimization software in general and the pitfalls you can fall into if you’re not careful.  I will of course talk about this particular piece of software and inform you of others that are available, both paid and free versions.  Continue reading