Posts Tagged ‘denver’

Protecting your children online

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015

Over the last two weeks, we, your computer magicians at CET, have seen several systems infected with viruses due to “tween” sons straying from homework assignments into some of the worst garbage on the internet. It was one of this summer’s biggest news stories that has ultimately resulted in the ‘unintended’ proliferation of pornographic images across television, the internet, and Facebook postings. Strange to ponder and difficult to imagine but today’s teens and tweens are subjected almost nonstop to sexually explicit images. In an article published Monday, September 21, in “Christian Today”, the writer laments the fact that today’s teen and tween boys (and girls) are practically encouraged to engage in more and more risky behaviors involving sexting, videotaping, sending of sexually explicit images, taking part in sexually explicit conversations and surfing for pornographic websites and videos ( But there is a brighter side to that same technology that parents and grandparents can tap into – parental controls. In fact, nearly all internet-connected devices, from computers and gaming consoles to smartphones and tablets, can be configured for parental controls.
The website offers this breakdown of the different types of parental controls.
1. Filtering and blocking – limiting access to specific websites, words, or images
2. Blocking outgoing content – preventing the sharing of personal information online
3. Time limiting – setting limitations on the amount of time or hours of the day access is available
4. Monitoring tools – software or configurations that warn parents or record information regarding certain activities on the monitored system
Your child’s safety is important and unfettered access can be a pitfall, particularly for tween boys. If you need help, we’re here to assist you. Call us or come by our office.

A Month After Microsoft’s Windows 10 Release

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015

It’s been a month since Microsoft released Windows 10 and we, your PC Magicians at CET, have been pleasantly surprised. Yes, there have been some hiccups but that’s kind of expected with a major operating system release, just ask Apple and all those Mac users to reflect on last year’s Yosemite release.
As expected, when impatience users attempt their own upgrades, there can be “heck to pay”. Remember that the upgrade will probably take significantly more time than the time it takes to watch a half hour episode of “The Big Bang Theory”. Also be aware that during the upgrade, your system may restart several times and could display a black screen with no indication of the system running for fifteen minutes or so – do not shutdown the system during this period. In fact, if you get anxious in any way, you shouldn’t watch the upgrade proceed at all – walk away and go watch “The Matrix” or something.
Another issue that we have seen at CET is that video drivers, particularly on HP systems running Intel HD graphics, can become corrupted during the upgrade. If you’re having issues after the upgrade, check with your manufacturer to get updated drivers.
Not everything is rainbows and unicorns, of course. We have also seen issues with folders being marked as Read-Only following the upgrade but simply changing the folder attributes will resolve this issue.
One of the nice things we’ve found is that – if you’re unhappy with your Windows 10 upgrade – you have the option to go back to your Windows 7 or Windows 8 (or 8.1) operating system. We have tried this on several systems and it works well – but should be done within the magical 30-day window.
We’ll keep an eye on Windows 10 as the system updates progress and keep you updated on the positives and negatives as we see them.

The Strength of a Good Password

Friday, January 17th, 2014

Good account passwords are extremely important! Whether you’re using MI-Connection in Mooresville, Time-Warner in Cornelius, Charter in Denver, Windstream in Davidson, or an AOL account in Statesville, if you do not have a good password then you’re setting yourself up for problems. Hackers can easily push past simple passwords and gain access to your accounts. A password like “aol123″ isn’t going to protect anything – your first line of defense against hackers and, effectively, identity theft, and the subsequent problems associated with that, is a good password.
Good passwords contain both upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and non-alphanumerical symbols such as !, @, $, %, or & when applicable. Be aware that some providers do not allow all characters but mix it up as much as possible.
Use password length to your advantage. The longer the password, more difficult it is to hack using a brute force method. Using a brute force application and the processing power of a standard desktop computer, a simple 5 character (letter only) password can be identified within 24 hours. Tripling that length – say a 15 character (letter only) password – increases the time associated with brute force applications by more than ten times. Adding the numbers and symbols, as suggested above, makes the brute force method extremely time consuming and much less probable.
Do not use common words found in a dictionary. This makes your password much less secure and even easier to hack. Additionally, do not use personal information because this too can easily be accessed by hackers using Facebook, LinkedIn, or other social media information found in simple internet searches.
Finally, change your passwords regularly. Monthly or quarterly changes are sufficient for most applications. When you do change your password, don’t use just two or three that you rotate, use several and even change them up.
If your password does get hacked, change it immediately! Also, change your security questions on the hacked account. It would also be a good idea to change the passwords and security questions on your other accounts just in case.