Best of Lawrence Computer Repair 2018 – DoctorDave Again!

Best of Lawrence computer repair 2018

We’re the best in 2019

In case you haven’t heard, DoctorDave Computer Repair won the “Best of Lawrence” contest yet again.

On behalf of our entire team, we all appreciate you taking the time to pick us in this fun contest. I think we do a great job, but it’s better when we hear it from our clients in situations like this. We’re also the top-rated business on Google Reviews and Yelp. People also shared the love on Facebook and Angie’s list. It’s nice to be popular!

This August will be my 15th anniversary of doing DoctorDave full time. If you’re an existing client, look for a special invitation to our 15-year party.

Starting in August, we’ll begin offering our DoctorDave Primary Care Wellness membership program. As a member, you’ll get peace of mind your computer problems are solved for a fixed cost each month. We’ll also include a ton of exclusive members-only benefits. To find out more, get on your newsletter mailing list by clicking here. We’re offering this program to mailing-list clients first.

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The Science Behind Tech Support Scams

ABSA Bank Call center. Auckland Park Johannesburg.

Tech Support Scams are a common problem we help our clients with.  It’s a significant part of our computer repair business in Lawrence and Kansas City.  Ever wonder how these criminals can steal so much money?  There’s science behind it.

This rather dense academic study from Stony Brook University explains how the scams work.  They spent over eight months talking with scammers and seeing where the scams lead.  They found that it’s mostly ads causing people the problems, not browsing habits or anything the users do wrong.

The best part of the paper is the suggestions for companies like Google, Microsoft, and Apple to prevent these problems.  As end-users, we don’t have much influence.  However, the authors also suggest Public Service Announcements to inform the public.

I think local media should give back to the community by running PSAs teaching people how to avoid tech support scams.

Photo by Media Club South Africa

Overselling Internet Service Now Illegal

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Well, at least in the UK.  Gotta leave it to those Brits for holding their Internet Service Providers (ISPs) accountable.

Last year, the regulatory authorities in the UK announced they’ll make sure that the speeds a company promotes are what the customer gets.  They’re always a little variation, but you can’t sell and advertise Jumbo speeds and just give average to slow speeds in return.

Those changes are in sharp contrast to US laws.  The FTC last year when it repealed Net Neutrality also reduces some of the accountability requirements for ISPs.  Here in Lawrence, we’re seeing clients all the time getting much less speed that they’re paying for.  It’s a shame and it’s not right.

If you’re not getting the speeds you think you should, give us a call.  We can run some independent speed test and help you hold your ISP accountable.  Short of that, you can always move to the UK.  I hear London is lovely this time of year.

Photo by JeepersMedia

New Internet Options From Verizon

VerizonWith pretty much duopoly of Internet Service Providers in Lawrence, any change is welcome!  If you live in rural areas, you’re options are even more limited.  Verizon could change that according to this announcement.

Clients sometimes use their wireless phone service to provide internet.  The problem is those services are slow and expensive compared to the speed you can get from traditional companies like Midco (formally WOW, Knology, and Sunflower) and AT&T.

Until our city gets involved, we’ll continue to be stuck with limited options.  I’ll again mention how much I am a proponent of municipal broadband.

Photo by JeepersMedia

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Posted in Commentary by dgreenbaum. No Comments

Should You Get Rid of Old Accounts?

Old OneOnline accounts seem to pile up like mismatched socks in a drawer.  Should you delete those extra accounts?

If you’re concerned about security, I say yes.  Even if you use unique passwords everywhere as we recommend, you’re still at risk.  Hackers can use, let’s say, an old Yahoo email address to reset a password on another online account, which is then used for an account you care about.  The less information that’s out there about you, the better.

Some experts though suggest closing an account is a risk.  For example, ghacks reminds us that some providers like Microsoft and Twitter reuse old accounts.  I think those are isolated situations. The risks of hackers getting into old accounts is greater than any danger of reuse.

Photo by 2bmolar

Most People Aren’t Recycling E-Waste

DSC00365When you get a new computer or smartphone, what do you do with the old one?  According to a recent report, only 20 % of people in the US are recycling it.

Those old devices could just be sitting in a closet or basement. Sadly, many people just throw them out with the trash.  Not only is that bad for the environment, but bad for security.  Anyone could get that old computer and recover the information from it.

Fortunately, we offer recycling services for free.  We work with Connecting For Good in Kansas City to redistribute technology to low-income families.  If Connecting can’t use it, they make sure it’s ethically recycled using proper and safe techniques.

If you’ve got old stuff lying around, give us a call, send us a text, or write us an email. We’ll help you recycle it instead of leaving you as one of the statistics in that report.

Photo by baselactionnetwork

Phones are Highly Personal

Incase x Supreme iPhone 5 case exclusively available at Supreme stores. 1

This statement may seem obvious, but still need to be proven by science.

I don’t know about you (well, actually I do according to this study), but when I’m without my phone I panic.  Where is it?  I’d be much more upset about misplacing my phone than my wallet.  That dreaded 1% battery sign means I’m cut off from the rest of the world.

I’ll admit it; it’s an extension of myself!  What about you?  Do you agree with that statement?  Or do you just see it as a method of communication?

Wasn’t life simpler when all phones did is make phone calls?

Photo by Incase

Locked Out of Your Google Account?

GoogleThat question should strike fear into your heart.  I know it does mine.  That’s why I freaked when I read this article about one tech writer unable to access his account.

The worst part of his story? He had no idea how he got locked out or how he got back in.  It all started with a forgotten password.  Once he tried to reset it, he was locked out for over a week.

Of course, a password manager would have helped him.  We recommend 1Password. If your Google account is critical, there are some safety measure that can be added so you can get back in once you’re locked out.

We do this all the time for clients, so if you rely on Google and Gmail, give us a call, send us a text, or write us an email.  Most appointments are less than an hour. The safety and security is worth its weight in gold according to our clients.

Photo by Dudley Carr

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Posted in Tips by dgreenbaum. No Comments

Cheap Batteries Cause Fires

Batteries are one of the most common parts we see failing in laptops.  They’re a part that wears out, just like your car battery.  The problem is name-brand ones are expensive.  You can save 90% or more by buying generic.  Don’t.

Although the news is full of examples of minor fires or personal injuries, few top this story.  A cheap battery from Amazon destroys a house.  We’ve seen permanent damage to laptops from counterfeit batteries, but nothing like this.

It’s just not worth skimping on a battery.  That’s one reason why we usually recommend replacing a laptop after a few years.  With new laptops costing around $400 and replacement batteries around $100, it’s often better to get a new laptop with a new battery and a new warranty.

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Posted in Tips by dgreenbaum. No Comments

Emotional People Most Likely to Get Hacked

couple yelling at each other

Sadly we deal with a ton of tech support scam victims at DoctorDave Computer Repair in Lawrence, KS.  Too many!  I’m always interested in how these scammers work to train clients to avoid them.

The secret, according to Stanford research is emotions.  That’s good news.  You don’t have to be tech-savvy to avoid it, just level-headed.  These scammers seem to have more success with older clients.  The study explains that older people when emotional, are often more likely to get taken in by tech support scams.

The take-away from this story is not to panic.  Just give us a call.  Calling us will interrupt the emotional cycle. You know you trust us to tell you if it’s a scam or not.  Spoiler:  it’s almost always a scam.

Photo by hang_in_there

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