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Tariffs could raise cost of laptops, tablets, cell phones

If you are thinking of buying a laptop or tablet, you might want to do it sooner than later. Recently announced tariffs from the Trump Administration could raise laptop prices by as much as 19 percent or $120, no matter which manufacturer made them. This is according to a report released earlier this week by The Consumer Technology Association. Tablets would increase about $50 above the average retail cost of $264.

If you are looking to buy a new computer, do you know a good deal from a bad deal? Just because something is on sale doesn’t mean it’s a good deal. Sometimes spending just a little more money can result in getting a much better computer, one that will be much less frustrating to work with. Sometimes the less expensive model is actually a better performing device.

Once you buy that device, make sure that it is setup correctly. Updates from Microsoft and the manufacturer (HP, Dell, Lenovo, etc…) need to be done. Security and maintenance programs also need to be installed. Settings need to be changed in order to optimize the performance of your new computer. Files need to be transferred to it.

Esser Consulting, LLC can help you with the buying decision, advising and explaining the differences so that you’ll get the best bang for your dollar, even accompany you to a local store. Once you buy it, have it properly setup, secured and optimized. Contact Esser Consulting, LLC today at (920) 735-1806 to schedule an appointment.

What to do if your hard drive crashes

Your computer’s hard drive is a piece of equipment, and like any other piece of equipment (ie: your car’s water pump, your washer, dryer, or dishwasher) it will eventually break. It is not a matter of if your computer hard drive will crash, but when. I strongly recommend backing up your files on a regular basis, but what if you aren’t doing that, or if your backups for some reason fail?

Gillware brochure

Sometimes your files can be recovered by a local computer repair company like Esser Consulting, LLC.  But what happens if your hard drive is unresponsive, is making a clicking noise, or is damaged and files cannot be recovered locally? If your files are important enough, then it is time to contact a company that specializes in data recovery.

Esser Consulting, LLC is a Gillware Data Recovery Trusted Partner. If your hard drive crashes and you need your data files – pictures, Word documents, Excel Spreadsheets, e-mails, music files or other data – recovered, call Gillware at 877-624-7206 and use referral code  8247. You will receive free inbound shipping, free evaluation, and $25 off when you use this referral code.

I have been referring data recovery customers to Gillware for several years now, and they have been very successful recovering people’s data files. They also recover files from smart phones and tablets, DVRs, USB flash drives, camera SD and micro SD cards, as well as many other storage devices.

Buying a new computer? Do you know what to buy and how to properly set it up?

Buying a new computer for the upcoming holiday season?
Do you know a good deal from a bad deal?
Just because something is on sale doesn’t mean it’s a good deal. Sometimes spending just a little more money can result in getting a much better computer, one that will be much less frustrating to work with. Sometimes the less expensive model is actually a better performing device. Do you think the sales associate will steer you in the right direction, or just refer you to the model that “needs to get moved”?

Once you buy that device, make sure that it is setup correctly. Updates from Microsoft and the manufacturer (HP, Dell, Lenovo, etc…) need to be done. Security and maintenance programs also need to be installed. Settings need to be changed in order to optimize the performance of your new computer. Files need to be transferred to it.

Esser Consulting, LLC can help you with the buying decision, advising and explaining the differences so that you’ll get the best bang for your dollar, even accompany you to a local store. Once you buy it, have it properly setup, secured and optimized. Contact Esser Consulting, LLC today at (920) 735-1806 to schedule an appointment.

Online Security Tips for Shopping on Cyber Monday (or any other day)

Shopping online on Cyber Monday (or any other day)? Here Are Some Online Security Tips:

  • Use a credit card, not a debit card. Better recourse. Better protection vs. fraud.
  • Consider using a separate credit card, with a smaller credit limit, for shopping online.
  • Don’t use public Wi-Fi. Too easy for data to be stolen, or to connect to an unsecured or spoofed hotspots. Mobile users should use their data plans instead of public Wi-Fi.
  • Only shop on secure sites. Look for https (s=security) and padlock.
  • Be careful when clicking on links. Make sure you are on the correct website and that you spelled the website name correctly. Signs of some spoofed websites include bad spelling and poor grammar. It is very easy for hackers to spoof legitimate websites.
  • Make sure that your web browser, operating system and other software such as Adobe Flash Player are updated to the latest versions. Outdated software is more vulnerable to being compromised. Latest browser updates warn about insecure sites. For Windows computers I recommend using Patch My PC.
  • Use good passwords. Make sure they are different on each site. Longer passwords are more secure. Use capital and small letters, numbers and characters. Using unique passwords is especially important as hackers are testing passwords compromised on a breached account on other accounts.
  • Review your statements. Beware of small charges on your card. Hackers use them to “test” your account. Report any discrepancies to your card company.
  • Beware of pop-up and other digital ads that are not from the store’s official social media page. If you have to answer questions (survey scam) or share on Facebook for a deal that is too good to be true, it’s probably not legit.
  • If using a mobile device, only download and install apps from the O/S official store (Google Play, Apple iTunes, Microsoft App). Also, install a security app, and keep your apps and O/S up-to-date.

The Importance of Keeping Your Computer Patched

A key component of staying safe online is keeping your computer up-to-date. Hackers and virus writers love outdated software. It might contain a security vulnerability or “hole” that can provide them with access to your computer. Outdated software can also be buggy, or have performance issues, which are usually fixed with a newer version of the software. These are two of the main reasons why it is important to keep the software on your computer updated (or “patched”).

Microsoft, Adobe, and occasionally Oracle release updates or patches regularly to keep their products secure. These updates are normally released on the second Tuesday of the month, which is known as “Patch Tuesday”. Microsoft’s updates can be installed manually or automatically. I recommend doing them manually, as a computer restart is usually required. You can also check to make sure that they were installed correctly.

Several years ago I was looking for an easy way for my customers to keep Adobe’s Flash Player and Oracle’s Java updated. I came across Patch My PC, and after corresponding with the developer, was asked to join the team as a contributor. Patch My PC Updater is a free, easy-to-use program that keeps over 100 programs up-to-date on your computer. It is also an easy way to install any of these programs on to your computer. Scammers and hackers sometimes trick people into installing fake updates for these programs. Patch My PC is a safe and secure program which ensures that you are installing the valid program.

Whether you are a computer novice, semi-tech savvy, the go-to tech person for your family and friends, or an IT professional, Patch My PC Updater will make patching your PC easy. It can be downloaded from this link: https://patchmypc.net/download.

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Esser Consulting, LLC
Curt Esser

2410 S. Kerry Lane
Appleton, WI 54915-1665

(920) 735-1806
cesser@esserconsulting.com

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