Computer First Aid Kit

Monday, June 17, 2019 Article Image

You're having trouble with your computer, tablet, or smartphone. Perhaps your gadget is frozen. Before you call us, what can we do to stop the hemorrhaging before we get there?

Restarting Your Computer, Tablet, or Smartphone

One of the first lines of defense for any electronic gadget, is to restart the device or to shut it down. When we talk about starting or shutting down a computer, it’s often referred to as booting it up or down.  Booting comes from the phrase, “pulling yourself up from your bootstraps.”  You can do a warm boot (restart), or a cold boot (start up or shut down).  Warm means that your computer is already on, and warm, when you turn it off. Cold means that your computer is starting up from not being on, or being completely shut down. To further complicate the situation, you can also do a hard boot, which means that you’re shutting your computer down when it’s in the middle of something, and hasn’t gone through its proper closing processes.

Booting terminology aside, a restart often jogs your computer into behaving itself if it’s stuck on something. 

To restart a PC, you press the CTRL-ALT-DEL (Control, Alt, and Delete) buttons all at the same time twice.

For a Mac computer, press "Control-Command-Media Eject", to quit all applications and restart the computer or Control-Command-Power to immediately restart the computer. More information on Apple's Support Website.

Restarting an iPad is a single button press followed by a swipe on the screen.  Press and hold the Sleep/Wake button on the upper right corner, then slide your finger across the screen to turn the power off.

There is so much variation with Android phones that you may need help or some experimentation to find the on/off button.  For certain Android phones, press and hold the single button on the right side. Others have three buttons on the right side, and the on/off button is the one by itself.   Once you find the on/off, the phone will give you the option to touch an icon to power it off or restart it.

iPhones are hopefully more straightforward. 

To turn an iPhone off, press the single button on the right side, then slide the bar on the screen to turn it off.

Closing Frozen Programs

Perhaps you’ve been surfing the internet on your PC with Google Chrome.  Suddenly your computer no longer responds to your keystrokes.  You can press the CTRL-ALT-DEL buttons, all at the same time, to bring up a “Close Program” dialog box. Then you can choose to close your unresponsive Google Chrome, or any other program that is causing problems.

On a Mac, use the Command-Option-Escape keys all at once to bring up a Force Quit Applications window.  You can then choose to close any windows that you may have open.

Safely Closing Pop-Ups

One strategy that bad guys use for infecting your computer is to create pop-ups that execute malware (viruses, Trojans, malicious software or computer programs) on your computer whenever you click on the pop-up.  It could be as simple as using the X in the corner to close out of the pop-up that would enable the malware to load on your computer.  A way to close a pop-up without clicking on it, on a PC, is to right click on the pop-up in the task bar, then select close. You may also hit Alt-F4 to safely close a pop-up.

For a Mac, what do you do? Luckily, you’re less likely to have a malicious pop-up on a Mac. If you did want to close a window or an application without clicking on it, you could use Command + Q to quit the active window/application.

An Ounce Of Prevention Is Worth A Pound Of Cure

Virus protection software with a firewall provides safety from viruses, Trojans, and malware.  It’s definitely worth the investment to purchase this software for your computer.

If you’re normally a trusting person, turn yourself into a doubter when you’re using your computer or electronic device.  Think twice before you click on any link that you receive in an email or text.  When in doubt, if you really do want to check out the link in an email, go directly to your bank’s website, for example, to initiate the contact from your end.

When making an online purchase, look for the S in the URL, or web address.  For example, the GroovyTek URL should be https:// when you’re purchasing sessions from us, and you should see a little tiny lock in the bar next to the web address.

What To Do If You Think You've Been Hacked Or If You Have A Virus

If you think you may have been hacked or that you may have a virus or malware, your first reaction should be to disconnect from your network or WiFi.  You may want to physically disconnect from the network because in some cases, hackers have made devices look like they’re disconnected from the internet, when you’re still connected.  Next, you should attempt to shut down your device.

After doing the basic triage of disconnecting from the network, and shutting down, it’s now time to seek professional assistance to get back up and running.  If you’re feeling adventurous, you can try to fix the problem yourself by running your virus protection software, or by downloading and running Malwarebytes. You can always call GroovyTek for help.

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