Posted on 20th March, 2015 | Tags : , , , , , , , , , | No Comment

Airplane Ticket SCAM is Coming Around Again!

If you are invited by a friend to participate in this SCAM — DON’T DO IT! Follow the report link below for the details. This scam comes around every year with more people falling for it and reaping the “rewards” of believing they will actually get something for nothing.

Remember — There is NO Free Lunch. There is no Free Beer Tomorrow. Don’t fall for these scams. By following their rules to “invite at least 100 friends” to like this BS campaign, you risk exposing your friends to having their identities stolen.

Just say NO to these SCAMS!

Let’s all be safe out there, OK?


The Facebook page (today) is titled “Get 2 Southwest Tickets”  The “event” on Facebook is SW Rewards.

The Facebook Page Address

Read the Snopes write-up on this SCAM


Southwest Airlines Ticket SCAM

Southwest Airlines Ticket SCAM

Posted on 17th March, 2015 | | No Comment

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Posted on 11th March, 2015 | Tags : , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comment

Today’s PSA

While working on a decent sized network yesterday, one of the users mentioned some nasty little program added into the applications that would not uninstall.

Malware Alert!

Malware Alert!

Binkiland Search is the culprit. This is MALWARE and takes over your search function.

Even Revo Uninstaller couldn’t see / remove this pest, so I had to manually extract it from the registry.

The interesting part is that all workstations are locked down with no ability to install applications unless logged in as Administrator – or provided with temporary Admin credentials. Another interesting note is that AVG did not see this thing sliding in the back door.

The user was attempting to install the Google Chrome browser. I suspect the site she chose to download it from was not legit.  Our security settings would not allow Chrome to be installed, but somehow BinkiLand bypassed the security.  We are investigating this.


Not-So-Cute PDF Writer

One more piece of interesting information: CutePDF Writer contains a Trojan. AVG will NOT allow you to install this thing on your computer. Your clue should be when a vendor redirects your computer to a site named DownULoad to get their software. This product is not free. It is reprehensible that they install this crap along with their product – and piggyback on a toolbar with invasive characteristics.

Foxit makes a free PDF reader that we’ve been recommending for about 10 years.  They also have a very affordable writer (lets you make your own PDF documents out of anything you can get your hands on) and it’s malware-free.

We implement AVG CloudCare for our clients, which includes Malware Protection, Content Filtering and Remote IT so we can administer your computer remotely.  If you are interested in this very affordable service, contact us today.

We also offer a very cost-effective and efficient Cloud-based Backup to protect you against data loss.  Remember – not everything is recoverable – at least not without robbing your kids’ college fund.  With our system you can back up to an external drive at the same time you are backing up to the cloud.  You are very thoroughly protected.

Let’s all be careful what we click on out there, OK?

Posted on 27th February, 2015 | Tags : , , , , , , , , | No Comment

Today’s PSA:

Lightning-CF-CardBe very careful handling your camera memory cards!
We just attempted recovery on another dead CF card with no success. It is most likely the culprit was a static electricity discharge. The smallest amount of static electricity (that you cannot even feel) can destroy storage cards and computer memory in a heartbeat. The damage may not show up for weeks or months – or may be immediately apparent.

Memory circuits are comprised of very sensitive storage material which is highly susceptible to static electricity. Consider this: The smallest static discharge that you can actually feel is at least 1,000 (one thousand) volts. The variety where you hear a SNAP and it makes your eyes water is probably somewhere in the neighborhood of 10,000 volts.

It takes a lot less than that to fry your irreplaceable data.


How to you protect your memory devices?

Here’s what I do:

When removing the memory from a DSLR (or any other camera), keep the skin of one hand or arm (or your foot if this is easier) against something connected to “ground”.
Likewise when inserting the memory card into the reader that’s connected to your computer, keep yourself grounded.

Where can you find a good ground?

The metal cabinet of any large appliance is usually grounded as is the cabinet of your computer (hopefully). This is not necessarily true of laptops. Most pieces of electronics with a 3-prong plug will have the chassis connected to ground as well.

If you have a non-carpeted floor, any metal cabinet sitting on it, like a desk or filing cabinet should discharge the static electricity on your body effectively.

You can purchase an anti-static mat if you handle sensitive electronics frequently. This is how we work on computers in the field.  It’s a lot less expensive than data recovery.

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Posted on 20th February, 2015 | Tags : , , , , , , , , | No Comment

Samsung Galaxy S5

Samsung Galaxy S5

Does your Samsung #GalaxyS5 constantly notify you that it’s reconnecting to your #WiFi? Well, so did both of ours and it’s a fairly recent problem, most likely caused by some infernal #Android update that’s not ready for prime time. Are you listening, #Google?

Here’s the #DIY? fix:

Go to Settings > Network Connections > WiFi

(NOT Settings > WiFi)

Uncheck the Smart Network Switch at the very top of the page. That’s all you have to do.

It’s a QOS (Quality of Service) setting that no longer works the way it’s supposed to. The original design was to switch off of a WiFi that had a bad signal and back over to cellular data to maintain a reliable data connection.

The new version of Smart Network Switch seems to have more of a room-temperature IQ, so disabling the rascal solves the problem.

You’re welcome.

Galaxy S5 WiFi Settings

Galaxy S5 WiFi Settings

Galaxy S Smart Network Switch

Galaxy S Smart Network Switch

Posted on 13th February, 2015 | Tags : , , | No Comment

For all you guitarists out there. this is a terrific tuner for a pretty low price. I’ve been using one of these for some time now and I find it a big improvement from the much more expensive stomp box variety.

Posted on 12th February, 2015 | Tags : , , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comment

Malware protection news:

Contrary to popular belief, all malware (viruses, trojans, etc.) are not created equal.  Some are simply much better than others and we routinely find computers “protected” by competing products to be badly infected.  Also, no commercial anti-malware product is configured “out-of-the-box” for optimal protection.  They all need to be optimized by someone who actually knows what they are doing.  We have been using AVG for many years, with over 3,000 (THREE THOUSAND) installations and a very successful protection record.  We settled on this product after trying everything else on the market and finding them all lacking.

We are now offering a cloud-based AVG installation which includes Remote IT.  This allows us to remotely administer your protection, start scans and even troubleshoot your computer remotely if you so desire.  This results in big savings for technical support, as we don’t have to physically come to your location for most issues.  We can connect remotely for a lower hourly rate.

Optionally we can include content filtering, which protects your browser from connecting to known hazardous sites (highly recommended).

We also have SPAM filtering available as an option.  See the document below for an explanation and contact us if you would like to simplify – and improve your computer security.

These services are available for stand-alone computers, laptops, networks of all sizes and Windows Servers.  Get the best protection and service for your home computer or office network right here!


The price for all this peace of mind?

  • A paltry $5/month for Malware protection or:
  • $8/month with content filtering included. *
  • (remote administration included with either – or both options)
  • Add Anti-spam for another $12/month per account. **prices are per computer.  Setup and initial configuration not included.


Posted on 11th February, 2015 | Tags : , , , , , , | No Comment

Trojan Infestations in Rosetta Stone Install

Today’s PSA:

Malware Alert!

Malware Alert!

I just ran a new AVG malware scan on my one Windows based computer (I use Macs for almost everything) and found 16 Trojans in the Rosetta Stone data files.
This was after uninstalling Rosetta Stone and having the uninstaller lock up in the process.
It seems the folks at Rosetta Stone want to be able to harvest a lot more information from your computer than you signed up for.

My recommendation: Do NOT use their products. This is a sneaky, nasty, (and most likely) illegal thing to do.

Posted on 11th February, 2015 | Tags : , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comment

February 10, 2015


DFW Computer Investigations Partners with AVG

For many years, DFWCI has recommended AVG products for virus / malware removal and protection. In an effort to offer a more convenient and thorough computer security solution, DFWCI has recently partenered with AVG to offer their suite of CloudCare products to their clients.

AVG Authorized Reseller CCThe CloudCare suite includes anti-malware, remote administration, content filtering, SPAM protection and online storage. The core components of anti-malware and content filtering are part of the primary suite recommended by DFWCI. Client computers are protected and monitored via remote cloud console so the DFWCI is alerted the moment any intrusion is detected on the remote system. With this proactive approach, infestations can be correctd remotely, reducting costs of containment.


DFW Computer Investigations
Dallas, TX 75248




Posted on 30th January, 2015 | Tags : , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comment

You do have an off-site backup, right? A local external hard drive backup is a very good idea, but only if you take it off-site weekly and swap it out with another drive so that your most recent backup is somewhere else.


Because disasters happen every day where both your computer and backup drive are inaccessible:

  • Fire (obviously)
  • Tornado (your computer and data could be mile apart with drives that no longer spin)
  • Flood (you may never see your drives again)
  • Theft (we’ve had this happen to our clients)Disaster recovery can become a critical necessity in the blink of an eye.
    A cloud backup is your best defense against total loss of data.

It seems like everyone and their dog is offering a cloud backup these days, right,  How do you make a decision between all these offerings?  Well, we have done some research on this topic and have actually used several of the products out there.  Our sister business, Warren Paul Harris Photography, stores over 5 Terabytes of data and backing up all this data is absolutely crucial.  Also, some of our network clients have struggled with finding a solid and manageable backup solution as well.

All backups are not created equal.  Some are not capable of backing up Windows servers, as they cannot handle the permissions at a kernel level.  Our backup seamlessly integrates with both workstations and servers.

With some products, your cloud storage is managed from a local client application, but if you also want local backups to an external drive, you need an add-on application and another account (more $$$) to accomplish this task.  Not with our solution.

One application and a single, affordable monthly fee takes care of all your data protection at once.

Our recommendation is: 

iBackup cloud storage

IBackup Cloud storage

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