Microsoft Calling – Your Computer Needs Help!

The day is going well. You answered all your email and now you’re working on a presentation for next week. The computer seems a little slow, but it’s a large file. The phone rings … “Hello! This is Jake from Microsoft and we have been alerted that you have a virus on your system. I would like you to go to: http://www.#@$!.com (this is not a real website) and put in this code so that I can help.” Stop! It’s a scam. Shortly after you allow them to login, they will be asking for your credit card number. You will be a victim. Don’t engage them, just hang up. You will never receive a legitimate, unsolicited call from Microsoft or its partners to charge you for computer fixes. Even if you became suspicious and did not provide your credit card, if you allowed them access to your system, you must: Change your passwords. Change the password on your email, bank and other critical … [Read more...]

The Internet of Things and Baby Monitors

It is reassuring to know that you can use a baby monitor to keep an eye on your child from anywhere.  Or is it? The Internet of Things is created by devices that inventory, capture and record everything in our world and make that information available electronically anywhere - anytime.  Devices, like baby monitors, that provide information through an Internet connection have seen fast growth. The convenience they offer is attractive.  But what if the security they provide is lacking? Recent accounts have shown many baby monitors have security holes.  There have been a couple of reports where the hacker got into the monitor and did some very inappropriate and disturbing things.  It is impossible to know why hackers do what they do or understand how someone could be so crude, but the important lesson is that you have to be vigilant and protect yourself. There are so many … [Read more...]

Best Places to Work: #3 Small Employer is LAN Systems

Allison Shirreffs, Contributing Writer  - Atlanta Business Chronicle LAN Systems CEO Mary Hester wasn’t convinced her company’s top three finish in last year’s Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Best Places to Work competition wasn’t a fluke. “This is a tough business,” she says of the IT solutions business. “We can’t always make our employees happy.” Don’t tell that to LAN Systems employees. It appears Hester and LAN Systems’ senior leaders have created an environment where employees are happy more often than they’re not—because they’re back in the No. 3 spot in the small employer category in the 2015 Best Places to Work contest. “I work with a team of dedicated people that I can count on, even when we are busy and more importantly when the stress levels are high,” said a LAN Systems employee in a survey taken as part of Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Best Places to Work program. “Our … [Read more...]

Something Happened

Who says techies have no sense of humor!  The 'Something happened' error from Windows 10 is elegant in its simplicity and humorous in its delivery. One blogger referred to it as existential. The error is frustrating for those who receive, but I have to admit, it made me smile.  It reminds me of my Unix days where the "existential" error was: "Fatal error" at a command prompt.  It had an equally helpful description - none - as to what could be happening.  Somehow a graphic window with "Something happened" is far more friendly than "Fatal error" at a terminal prompt.  At least the Something happened gives you closure, even if only a Close button. For the Unix crowd, sometimes there was a code or string of esoteric language following the Fatal error, but often mere mortals could not decipher it.  Somehow, we survived the error and reboot. Often the error did not reoccur and if it did, … [Read more...]