Computer Troubleshooters of SW Austin

Computer Troubleshooters of SW Ausitn is of the franchisees in the Worlds #1 IT servcies and management companies.

Operating as usual


Today, Sue asked "Are WiFi and Internet the same thing"?

It is a great question. One which many people are confuse about. Even "techs" have started to use them synonymously. While this may make it easy on the tech to just play along with the client's understanding, we do client's a disservice by not explaining the difference.

Why is it important to understand that they are different and how? Well the short answer is, it is common that one is working but the other might not be. If you do not know which, how do you resolve the issue or even know who to call to help.
For example in Sue's case - WiFi works she can connect to her WiFi network; even print to her printer but cannot browse the internet. In her case this is a problem with the ISP(Internet Service Provider) - She is not getting as signal from them. The ISP has to resolve this issue. In contrast at one point, I had a horrible WiFi router. That router would frequently but irregularly just drop WiFi. All my wired devices, severs and computers still had internet access through that same router. The problem here is the Router, replacing that router is the resolution. Understand the difference and which is having problems helps you troubleshoot, communicate to a service provider, or not be taken advantage of, when they do not fix the root issue.

The technical definitions :
WiFi is a short range(think with in your home or office) Wireless protocol that allows you to connect to your LAN (Local Area Network) to share common resources such as printers and internet (and servers and other things).
Internet is a public WAN (Wide Area Network) which allows computers and devices to communicate with each other globally.

An analogy:
WiFi and Internet are like conjoined twins that cannot be medically separated. If both are not healthy or functional both suffer. Yet both are unique and individual and must be looked at separately.

It's now easier to email Computer Troubleshooters of SW Austin 12/12/2018

It's now easier to email Computer Troubleshooters of SW Austin

It's now easier to email Computer Troubleshooters of SW Austin

Computer Troubleshooters of SW Austin updated their business hours. 12/12/2018

Computer Troubleshooters of SW Austin updated their business hours.

Computer Troubleshooters of SW Austin updated their business hours.


The Scary thing about sextortion emails is not what they said they caught you doing or what they claim to have done to your computer.

First, what is a sextortion email: It is a Spam email where the sender claims they hacked into your computer while you were viewing adult oriented websites. The claim goes further to say they have installed Malware, downloaded all your contacts and threatens to send all your friend, family and associates a copy of the video recording they made of you using the camera on your computer. Of course, unless you send them x amount in untraceable funds.

Do not worry – None of that actually happened. Of course, you know that because you do not go to those sites, anyway. Even, so read on.

Now, the scary part of these is, they send you a password as proof they did all this. That password, at least at some point, was one that you have used. If as I said above, they did not actually hack your computer, how did they get one of your actually passwords? They got your email and the password by compromising (hacking) a website where you used your email address as the user id and that password. The actual site that was compromised really could be anyone. There have been some specific ones traced but others that remain unknown. SO FAR, all the ones that have been traceable are known compromises from 10 years ago.

Even if you “NEVER ACCESS THOSE” sites (being adult sites), covered up the camera on your computer or do not even have a camera, you cannot ignore this. The risk is that password is known as well as the user ID(your email address). Which, you may have used the same combination of ID and password on sites like your banking, credit cards, investments, email and even shopping sites which you may have saved credit card or banking information on.

So, what do you need to do (everyone even if you have never gotten one of these sextortion emails):
• If you have not changed your passwords recently, change them; yes, all of them.
• Do not forget about sites you do not frequently use
• I know it’s hard but try not to use the same password for everything. If you have a hard time remembering passwords – there are encrypted password tools such as keeper, lastpass and others. If you have a current version of Microsoft Office you can create a spreadsheet and encrypt it. Either way you only have to remember one master password to lookup the other passwords.
• If sites have the option, turn on two factor authentication. This is the thing where after you log in, it will send you an email or txt message with a code to enter.
• If you do not regularly use sites be careful about saving credit card numbers, or bank account information on them.
• It is OK to say “no”; Do not open files or install programs that you do not know specifically what they are. EVEN IF, someone you know sent it.
• Keep your computer updated
• Keep an antimalware program and keep it updated.
• Be vigilant (maybe Pessimistic) about things computer wise. What I mean here is – this is todays scam – tomorrow there will be a new twist to a scam.

Maybe, one day, we'll not have to have locked doors. Till then, I guess we'll have to have passwords to unlock them.


Harvey might not just be the invisible rabit coming in the door this weekend for Austin.
Many Clients have asked what needs to happen with their servers and computers as Harvey is knocking on our doors.
1) back them up
2) ship a copy of the backup to someone 20 miles(might not torwards Houston or New Orleans) away from you.
3) If you have a UPS that has been properly set up, you should be ok to leave the power on. (for extra safety it you really want you could shut them down)
4) There is a great difference between a power strip and a surge protector (UPS's are surge protector) - if you do not know that thing the mass of plugs is connected to is a surge protector - it would be a good idea to power everything down and disconnect the power strip from the wall outlet.

New ransomware attacking Macs! Here's how to defeat it | 03/03/2017

New ransomware attacking Macs! Here's how to defeat it |

No computer is ever immune to malware or vulnerabilities. As the user base for Mac continue to climb we are seeing more "infected" Macs.
All computers should have a good anti-malware but know they are kind of like getting the flu shot. They do not protect you against everything that is out there; not even everything that is known; just what the vaccine has been “coded” to protect against. You still have to wash your hands, keep your immune system healthy, do healthy things. Having Anti-malware is no different, it only projects you against what has been defined or coded and not against everything. It is still a must have but it does not mean you can go about your computer life in an unhealthy matter. Remember all Anti-malware programs only protect against about 80% of what is out there.

Kim Komando outlines how this badly code ransom-ware can be recovered from.

New ransomware attacking Macs! Here's how to defeat it | Last week, a new form of ransomware surfaced that's targeting anyone using the MacOS platform. If you have a Mac, you're at risk of contracting this virus, which scrambles all of y...

Top Story: Fake Amazon ads hiding in plain sight all over the web | 02/20/2017

Top Story: Fake Amazon ads hiding in plain sight all over the web |

I wanted to share this from Kim Komando, not because it is a new threat but because it is a quite common threat. Yet, we see computers, pads, phones and talk with customers all the time that have fallen prey to this scam. Kim, speaks about a specific Ad for Amazon that was on Google. However, it is important to know, this is not an specific issue with Google or Amazon. It has happened with an ad for Ebay from a Yahoo search. It can happen with any site that delivers ads as their means of revenue. Commonly this is any search engine but is not exclusive to them. Because these look like a web site doing what web sites do, your anti-malware programs are likely not going to catch or stop this. It's up to each of us to be vigilant, to recognize it. Before, providing user IDs, passwords, credit card, any identity information, double check the url. The part between the https:// and the first / is that the domain (web site) you thought you wanted. If you know the URL (the web site address), for example or, it is better to type that in the address bar (usually at the top of your web browser where you see the http://... or https://) and to use .com or whatever than to use the search engine. You will get to where you want quicker and even get less Ads in the long run.
Also if your home page (the page that comes up when you first open your browser) has changed without you changing it you might have installed some malware that can injected ads (ads that are not directly from the website you are visiting). Same is true if you have some Random toolbar added. If prompted to install or run (open) some thing that you do not know specifically what it is, it is Ok to say "no" or cancel. Also be careful, when you're browsing or searching the internet about calling numbers from web page the popup possibly claiming you're infected with malware. If you are trying to find (searching for) the customer service number for a provider, go to that providers web site (,,, etc.) to find the customer service number, instead of doing a search for it. There are many, many fake customer service scams that come up on top of search engines. Be vigilant!

Top Story: Fake Amazon ads hiding in plain sight all over the web | Google claims it's taken down more than 1.7 billion fake ads, but it's missed one of the biggest scams out there. This ad from Amazon looks legitimate, but it leads anyone who clic...


In the current politically and emotionally charged environment we are in, please remember that SPAMMERS, SCAMMERS and Malware makers prey on things that get you to react. If out of the blue you get some email, for something you have never signed up to receive or from somewhere you have never purchased from, it is at best SPAM. Whether you are in extreme support or extreme opposition, check your emotions when your checking your email. Do your own extreme vetting of your emails. The best thing you can do is delete the email.

Do not click on the link to show your support.
Do not Unsubscribe or asked to be removed. (YES, I said do NOT).
Do not reply - whether to show your support or to give them a piece of your mind.

Also remember that it is quite easy to spoof an email and send a bad email as if from someone you know. Make sure you do your vetting even on those emails {from people you know}.


Windows 10 - upgrade.
This week has been full of questions and calls about Windows 10 upgrades. The question about Windows 10 upgrades is usally "should I upgrade?". However, this week the question has been how did I get windows 10?"

To answer the usual question - should I?
Back in July 2015 Microsoft released Windows 10. In an unheard of move by Microsoft they offered Windows 10 for "free" to anyone who is currently using Windows 7 or Windows 8 until July of this year 2016. Back in July 2015 the answer to this was absolutly not if you are on Windows 7 but you might think about if you are using Windows 8 (or 8.1). The reasoning is simply you never want to be the early adopter of any technology (not unless you can afford lots of downtime). Let everyone else figure out the bugs and flaws.

Today that answer has changed, it is time to upgrade and take advantage of this free offer .

As far as why people are coming into work to find windows 10 has been installed. I have not confirmed this but it would seem that anyone who has Microsoft Update set to "automatic", (Automatically install and update windows) - are getting the Windows !0 upgrade automatically.

So the next question cames - can I go back. Well, unlike other Operating Systems (Windows) upgrades of the past, actually you can go back. However - that is usually several hours to back out.

At this point however, barring, a substancal business arguement to go back, I would encourage you to move forward with Windows 10. There will be some differences but if you will accept it is the future of Windows and where everyone will be soon - you might find it is not so different.


Back to the future 2 day...
Seems like it might be a good day setup a backup and business continuity plan.
So you can always bring your computer and business data back from the future...allowing you to restore your timeline to its normal order


Today is National Backup day.. Have you done your backup?

4 backup mistakes people make

1) Not having one - whether your files are stored on a floppy disk, hard drive, CD/DVD disc, a Flash drive, Solid State Drive or stored in the cloud, one thing is common all storage media fails. Worse of all is the human failure when we delete or change something that we did not mean too. OR when in install some form of malware that makes our files

2) Not automating it - look life is always getting in the way, the majority of us who intend to manually make that backup copy get it done once. If we actually do it again it is not often enough. To top that off it usually takes a long time to complete and you have better things to do than watch the backup pot boil. There are a number of great programs out there to make this automatic.

3) Not Monitoring the Automatic Backup - any number of thing can make your automated stop working - you backup media is full or failed; someone has been unplugging and plugging things back in causing the drive letter to change on the backup media.

4) Not testing your backup - look backing up is only one piece of the puzzle.. What would you have to do to actual get back one file that you deleted by mistake - do you know how to recover your files? What would you actually have to do if you had a complete storage media failure and had to recover everything. Do you know what you would have to do to get up and functional again? How long would it take?

4.5) not keeping a copy of a backup at a different location (at least 20 miles away). You have done a great job of getting a backup done and testing it... but what happens if you lost both your computer and backup due to fire, flood, tornado, or theft.

There as a great number of products out there to help you, some ok; some not so ok, Computer Troubleshooters can help you get setup with a backup plan.


Since we have had several below freezing temps in Austin recently and some more due tomorrow and Saturday Morning, I thought I would recycle this tip for 2011.

Timeline Photos 11/26/2013

Who can spot the problem with this computer from the picture?
Hint: it is not what you might think!


So I do not know the "right" way to handle this issue within FaceBook.
The issue is someone is claiming to have worked for us from 2002 to 2010.. Other than this guy has never worked for us, the other issue is that Computer Troubleshooters of SW Austin was not even open in 2002. Facebook does have a way to report accounts that you believe to be fake (which I have done, a couple of times now) but they do not have a way to note that you are disputing the employment history. Just in case someone is using FaceBook alone to look at employment history for any reason, This guy has not worked at Computer Troubleshooters of SW Austin, ever


Computer Troubleshooters of SW Austin's cover photo


I just got a call that I found very funny... it was only funny because I was not tricked and know that is SCAM..

Caller ID display " Wireless Caller"
I answered and was immediately on hold with music -
short wait and I guy with and Indian accent comes on and says:
"Sir I am from ????? tech center and I am calling because we are getting we have been getting reports for your computer about an virus that has been downloaded"
A couple of interesting points already the caller Id says Wireless caller - really? I do not think someone calling me like this is going to be calling me from a wireless phone. It is also interesting that where the question marks in my quote of him the phone cut out a little bit.. HMMMM..
So I thanked him for calling and as very concerned - I asked "which one is it”
he replies "its your windows computer"
I say " I five of them (actually more). which one is it"
The phone goes silent and died.. (I guess I over acted the concern)

Folks this is a SCAM - It seems to be a more frequent occurrence. I have had 4 of just my customer report it in the last two weeks and some of the other guys also report they are hearing more of it.
Even if they say they are from AT&T, Time Warner, Microsoft, Windows, Apple or whatever, this is a SCAM.
Unless you are playing a month service for someone like Computer Troubleshooters to monitor and manage your computers - No one is going to call you out of the blue to fix a "virus" on your computer. If we called you - you know us and who we are. Do not fall for this – these guys use some of the same tools we use to have you remote into your system then they install something that is malware or keystroke logger or the just steal information for the computer. They are not “fixing” anything while they are on the system

DO NOT FALL for it !


Computer service, and management.
Cyber security
IT management and consulting
Network Engineering
(not a retail store - professional office and services)



6034 Abilene Trl
Austin, TX

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