Secure your Software and Save your Devices with Help from a Pro

If you have used computers or mobile internet devices for a little while you’re probably familiar with this story. You just picked up a new device about 6 months ago, now little by little your computer or tiny pocket computer (aka phone or smartphone) is running slower than you know it should be. Either it won’t boot anything at all, or it’s flashing a mysterious and frightening blue screen and then restarting. It might be giving you strange messages about your system security from software that you’ve never seen before and you know you never installed. Even when it was brand new out of the box, it was jam-packed with a million extra icons for features you didn’t understand and would probably never end up using – but you didn’t know exactly how to remove them.  Even for the most die-hard computer taskmaster, these are situations that would cause many of us to throw our hands up in the air and just buy a new one – but rest assured that this is as unnecessary as it is wasteful and damaging to the ecosystem.

You may need professional help with this – and we are a group poised to assist. We have been helping people with their IT professionally for over a decade and are ready to help you directly or connect you with someone who can, in order to save you time and money – and to save the world one more device from e-waste landfill.

Brendan founded Geeks Cheaper to bring helpful reliable IT to the masses for less, and has been operating with rave reviews for ten years. We are working on moving the momentum of Geeks Cheaper into EarthStar and make them one synchronistic whole which can give you the computers you crave sustainably, with the power, food and water services that will healthfully enable you to use those devices in comfort, for the good of all, and heal the planet too. He will be able to help you in person or digitally – or point you in the right direction. Please contact us today to set up services or consultation!

If you’re savvy, try these tips before calling:

  • Check out your system’s startup tasks. Every platform has a way of doing this. In Windows, you can click the start button, then “Run”, and type in MSConfig to reach the “System Configuration Utility”. On Android phones and tablets, you can go into “Settings” and then “Apps” to disable apps that you do not want from starting when the device does. You can also uninstall many things that are not being used. Be careful!  These panels are very sensitive, and you will change the configuration of your PC or device, for better or for worse. You should only remove or disable non-critical apps, nothing related to your OS itself – and leave your anti-virus running. Which brings us to the next point…
  • Use special software to clean up your PC for you. Many hijackers and spyware can be removed from your PC with a program called Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware, which can be free but also has a decent and lower-priced pro version to help keep you clean. This is a very handy program that will get deeper than most traditional antiviruses that do not deal with browser hijackers and other issues.
  • Make sure you have a decent antivirus running on all your devices. This now includes smartphones! It’s now very easy to get a free antivirus that will keep you well-protected from even the most recent threats. On Android smartphones and tablets we recommend AVG – on Windows PC we recommend the cloud-based Immunet Protect.
  • Periodically back up and restore your Operating System. This is the gold standard number one option for clearing up a system and making it “like new” again. With cloud apps backing up all our settings and data real-time, it’s hard to lose data anymore but you can still make an attempt to make sure that everything is off of your PC or device anyway. If you have a smartphone, back up your pictures and files to your SD card using a File Manager. If you have a PC, you can use an external hard drive, thumb drive, optical disc or a partition on the system drive dedicated to your files to back up. Ask Google – look up the specific guide on the best way to back up and restore your device to factory settings and software. When you do get it back online, try to be more careful about the applications you allow to be installed in the browsers or device itself – and enjoy more stable operation in the long run. And don’t forget that antivirus!

Again, if any of this sounds just a little bit over your head, please call a tech or let us find one for you – before you just go out and get another device. Most of the time, money can’t fix problems that ingenuity and creative problem solving could solve easily – and much of the time, it makes things worse. Computers are an excellent demonstration of this element of sustainability – there is effectively no replacement for either learning more about what you’re doing, or get ahold of someone who does. That said, please use the contact form below to consult with us if you need any device-related help and we will either help you directly or find someone near you that can!