5 Reasons Your Computer Could Be Running Slow | Computer Repair Corona

Most likely, you know how frustrating it can be to use sluggish desktops and laptops. You’re probably reading this article on one right now. But, did you know that your computer slowing down is likely because of how you’re using it? It can be the programs you’re running, the files you’re downloading that are slowly filling up your hard drive, or it could be a virus that you mistakenly installed on your computer.  

We’ve taken the time to collect five of the most common reasons why your computer could be running slow, and what you can do to speed it up a bit.  

  1. Too many programs open or running. Sure, you can theoretically do a million things at once, but to do so quite literally requires an extremely powerful computer. Unfortunately, not all of us have access to such a computer. Most of us only have a computer that can run so many programs at once before it starts slowing down, or in worse cases, crashes altogether. Fortunately, all you need to do to solve this very simple problem is shut down or quit any programs that you currently aren’t using and in the case of browsers, learn how to bookmark pages and links so you don’t have to keep them open all the time.  
  1. Your hard drive or memory could use an upgrade. Your computer will also slow down if your hard drive is nearly full, or if you’re constantly maxing out your computer’s memory performance. The solution to this is rather simple – it’s either you upgrade your hard drive and/or memory or delete files that aren’t being used and remove any unnecessary programs that may be running in the background.  
  1. Unnecessary software updates and “bloatware”. If you’re not careful, you might be installing programs and applications that have automatic updates activated, or come pre-packaged with other unnecessary software without you knowing. Both can take up valuable hard drive space and slow down your computer’s performance. Not to mention it can put your computer at significant risk. Always remember to double-check whatever you’re installing on your computer.  
  1. Too many applications running at start-up. Like how some applications can have automatic updates activated, some are programmed to run automatically during start-up unless the settings are changed. This can sometimes be useful, but more often than not, it’s a nuisance and can significantly affect performance, especially in older desktops and laptops. Making sure that only necessary applications are running on start-up can help speed up your computer’s performance.  
  1. A virus might be slowing your computer down. Plenty of viruses can infect your computer without you ever knowing, running silently in the background and collecting important information, including passwords, financial information and so on. As such, it’s important to install an anti-virus solution, even if only free and basic, to help minimize the chances of your computer being infected by a virus. It’s also a good idea to avoid downloading and installing anything from suspicious and unsecure links or websites.  

The more you know about maintaining your computer, the faster and more efficient your computer will be. And, with these tips, your desktop and/or laptop will be running faster than it ever has! 

 

 

The Importance of Regular Server Maintenance | Corona Server Maintenance

Frequent and regular server maintenance is, more often than not, seen by many as a nuisance, and why not? The servers, after all, will have to be taken down for maintenance work. And, it’s only understandable for businesses to look at server downtime directly as financial loss. Then, there’s the added cost. But, really, server maintenance is not as bad as it looks like.  

The truth is, there are plenty of benefits to taking the servers down, albeit momentarily, for maintenance, including the following: 

  • Improved security. No matter how great and well-coded software is, it can and will contain bugs and security leaks, some of which has not been discovered yet. The key reason why servers need to be regularly taken down is so that patches can be applied to eliminate as many risks as possible. Do it regularly enough, and the server becomes much less of a security risk than when it doesn’t go through maintenance as often. Think of the expected downtime as a momentary delay to prevent much worse problems in the future. 
  • Better performance. Again, software, no matter how efficient it was made to be, can and will always be improved. Sometimes, the improvements are small, but it is incremental. Over time, the said improvements can help eliminate bottlenecks that often occur during complex situations. In many cases, the small improvements can add up over time and prevent any prolonged server downtime in the future, while creating a more stable environment than the last.  
  • New and enhanced features. Speaking of improvements, software is best approached with a proactive manner. Many agree that introducing new features and improving previous ones can go a long way in eliminating as many risks and bugs as often as possible. This can then translate to higher level of service towards clients and business efficiency.  

Less Downtime, Better Efficiency 

Regular planned server maintenance can also be a good opportunity to check for backups, adjust server resource allocation, doing reboots to keep servers fresh, and doing necessary application level tests to make sure that the server is running as well as it should be. Don’t worry, though, as some tasks are highly automated, so downtime is kept minimal.  

Remember, it doesn’t matter how small or how big your business is, server maintenance should always be done regularly. By ensuring there is less chances of downtime and better efficiency, it directly translates to higher chances of profit for your business. This effectively renders the “financial loss” as a result of maintenance-related downtime moot and irrelevant. Additionally, the various improvements that come with the patches applied during server maintenance only serves to help improve your business and its services.  

Of course, since there are a lot that happens during server maintenance, many of which you may not have any idea about, it’s best that you choose to work together with a trust-worthy company that fields a team of experts that has built a reputation in ensuring that their client’s servers are running on all cylinders at all times.  

Call Up & Running Computer Solutions today for information on our maintenance packages to keep your business up and running, 951-737-8558 or visit our website at www.urcs.net.

The Importance of Backing Up Your Business Server | Server Repair Corona

Backing up your computer data is important to making sure that your most important files are well-protected. This is especially important when we’re talking about business servers. 

Not only will backing up your business servers keep much of your data safe from hackers and the occasional hardware failure, but it’s also much easier to move data – and prevent data loss – if you back up regularly.  

If you still aren’t convinced that backups are essential, be sure to check out the following reasons below on the importance of backing up your business sever.  

  • While backup servers aren’t cheap, they could end up saving you a lot of money in the long run. Case in point, in the event of any unprecedented data loss, your business won’t have to lose any data permanently. So, even if your original business server crashes, it’s still possible to recover your data. This is also where off-site backup hosting plans justify their extra cost and come in handy, as they can essentially serve as backups to your backups.  
  • Depending on the nature of your business, your business server may also contain data from other users. Some of this information can be considered sensitive, especially if you’re hosting a large social media website of sorts. Your users and clients rely on you to keep their sensitive information not only secure, but also safe. Having backups just in case something goes wrong is a great way to gain the trust of your customers.  
  • Having backups ready and available also makes it a lot easier to migrate data from an old server to a new one. There’s also less chances of a server downtime when using backup for data migration, helping you save both money and time.  

Is Backing Up Data A Time-Consuming Task? 

Not at all! Although manually backing up your files every day can be time consuming, it’s an outdated method that’s no longer recommended these days. Instead, many of today’s backup server systems operate automatically, usually after office hours. Such systems also help streamline the whole process by making sure to make backups only of files that were changed throughout the day. And, because it doesn’t require you nor any of your employees to do anything, such server backup systems will quickly prove to be an invaluable tool for your business.  

Of course, most experts will recommend that businesses do another weekly backup in addition to the automated daily ones. Having a physical data backup stored in an off-site safe or off-site server adds another layer of protection and security, without really costing the business much.  

Back Up Your Business Server Now! 

Take a proactive approach to your data and invest in backing up your business server today. Think of it as an insurance policy of sorts for your business sever, a way to protect your business’ valuable data from both internal and external threats.  

Remember, choosing not to back up your business sever today puts your business sever at risk for data loss, hardware failure, malicious viruses and hackers that may end up costing your business a lot more money in the end! 

Call Up & Running Computer Solutions in Corona, CA for help with backing up your server at 951-737-8558. Learn more at our website at www.urcs.net.

 

5 Tips To Prevent Your Computer From Overheating | Corona, CA

Hard drive failure

Although most modern PCs are built with fail-safe switches that cause them to shut down if a computer is nearing or reaches the point of overheating, it’s still a situation that you generally want to avoid.

Below are five useful tips that can help you prevent your computer from overheating again or ever!

  1. Keep it clean – Keeping your computer moderately clean will make a huge a difference when it comes to temperatures. It doesn’t even have to be sparkly clean. It just has to be free of dust build-up. In particular, you’ll want to clean the fans and heat sinks regularly to keep things cool.

Note: If you plan on removing dust from your computer, make sure that you shut it down and unplug it first before dismantling it. Also, if it’s your first time, take a video of yourself taking the whole thing apart to make it easier for you to put it back together.

  1. Use high-quality thermal compound – Thermal grease, thermal gate, thermal paste, and heat sink paste are among the many things thermal compounds are called.

If you’ve had your computer for a while, chances are that the CPU is generating more heat than before as thermal compound tends to deteriorate over time. Do yourself and your computer a favor and buy a high quality thermal compound from your nearest computer hardware shop and apply a pea-sized amount (Look at YouTube videos if you’re unsure) over your CPU after dusting out your heat sinks and fans.

  1. Ensure adequate airflow – Good airflow requires paying attention to your computer’s layout and to where you place it. Installing enough fans will do wonders in helping keep your computer cool. But, it will even run much cooler if it’s not rammed right up against the wall. As a rule of thumb, put your computer on top of a table where it can suck in cool air and push out hot air properly. Also, make sure that the fans in front are used for intake, while those at the back are used for exhaust.
  1. Install a better heat sink – While most modern CPUs run cool enough using only the stock heat sink it comes prepackaged with, older ones may require better, larger heat sinks. Investing in one could keep your CPU – and in turn, your whole computer – running a few degrees cooler.
  1. Tweak your BIOS settings – Options may vary depending on your computer’s motherboard and cooling hardware. However, regardless, there will be options, so don’t be afraid to jump into your BIOS and see how you can play with it. Most likely, you’ll find all sorts of controls for fan speeds and thermal triggers. With a little bit of trial-and-error, you should end up with just the right mix of cool and quiet.

Note: Most modern motherboards have software available – either via CD or via download – that lets you access fan settings without having to go to your BIOS. Such software should come in handy if you want to set your rig to run silent under normal use, and jump into max-cooling mode when you’re playing video games or doing something intensive.

For more information on computer care or if you are experiencing trouble with your computer or network, call Up & Running Computer Solutions. We can help answer any questions you have and can repair any issues. Call today 951-737-8558!

 

 

 

What Is The Difference Between Malware and Viruses? | Corona, CA

Data Breach

It’s very important to know the difference between malware and viruses. A virus is just one kind of malware, but the actual term is largely used by the public. The term “malware” refers to any type of malicious software that’s designed to infect your computer or mobile device, including a computer virus.

What is Malware?

Malware is a software that’s designed to specifically hard and infect host systems. This includes viruses along with other kinds of malicious software such as Trojans, worms, spyware and adware. Ransomware is also another type of malware that’s used to commit financial fraud and extort money from those that use computers.

Common Malware:

  • Virus- This is a contagious program that attaches itself to another piece of software, and then progresses to reproduce itself when the software is running. Viruses are often spread by sharing files or software between computers.
  • Adware- Adware is the least dangerous and most profitable malware. It displays ads on your computer.
  • Spyware- This is a software that spies on you by tracking your internet activity in order to send adware back to your machine.
  • Worms- This is a program that replicates itself and destroys data and files on your computer. Worms are designed to “eat” the system operating files and data till the drive is completely empty.
  • Trojan Horse- This is one of the most dangerous Malwares. Torjans are designed to discover your financial information and take over your computers system resources.
  • Ransomware- If you see a screen that warns you that you have been locked out of your computer until you pay for your “cybercrimes”, you have ransomware. Even if you do pay to unlock your system, you are not free from of it locking you out again. The request for money is usually in the thousands.

In order for you to protect your devices from the malware mentioned above, you must use an effective anti-virus. If you suspect that your computer is infected with malware, contact Up & Running Computer Solutions in Corona, CA at 951-737-8558 today. We can repair your computer and get you back up and running! To learn more about our company or to put in a service request visit our website at www.urcs.net.

What Is Cryptolocker? | Corona, CA

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Cryptolocker is a ransomware that’s designed by cyber criminals. This malicious malware attacks operating systems by encrypting all of the files from the machine. According to security researchers there has been an exponential growth in ransomware infections in the last year. Ransomware such as Cryptolocker and newer versions like Locky are now utilizing new methods to attack machines and encrypt their files before their victims have any idea. Tens of thousands of machines have been affected by this ransomware. These victims are either forced to pay a ransom or hope they have backup recent enough that they don’t lose too much data.

To help prevent your machine from being infected I have complied a few tips on how you can avoid this malicious malware.

  • Be sure to update your operating system and security software on a regular basis.
  • Always backup important data and keep it on unconnected storage.
  • Be sure to keep up with the most recent security patches and other fixes.
  • Always keep your anti-virus and internet security up-to-date.
  • Never open any attachments from suspicious email addresses.
  • If you suspect that your machine has been infected make sure to change network passwords and online account passwords immediately.

If your machine does become infected and you don’t have any backup copies of your data, paying the ransom not recommended. Paying the ransom is never a good solution, as this only turns the malware business into a thriving and profitable business.

If suspect that your machine has been infected with Cryptolocker or another type of malware, contact Up & Running Computer Solutions in Corona, CA at 951-737-8558 today.

Proudly serving Corona, Riverside, Anaheim, Irvine, Newport Beach, Tustin, and all surrounding areas.

A Few Simple Steps to Clean Computer Towers | Corona, CA

Just like cars, boats and homes, your computer tower too needs a good deep cleaning every now and then. According to sources, your computer tower should be cleaned at least three to six months to prevent dust build, which can cause your computer tower to overheat. By eliminating debris and dust buildup will increase your computers overall performance and will keep it preforming smoothly. We here at Up and Running Computer Solutions have complied a list of a few simple steps you can take to clean your computer tower, which include the following:

1.       Gather up a soft brush, can of compressed air, electronic safe wipes, a vacuum and a screw driver to remove the computer towers panel.

2.       Be sure to shut down your computer, unplug cords from any outlets, and let the computer cool down before you start cleaning it.

3.       Begin by wiping down the outside of your computer tower with the electronic safe wipe you collected, then proceed by gently and carefully vacuuming out the computer towers vents.

4.       Next, remove the panel from your computer tower and cautiously vacuum the inside of the towner, be extremely careful not to touch any of the computers components.

5.       Now that you’ve vacuumed the loose debris and dust, take the soft brush and brush away of the remaining debris and/or dust. For the extra dusty areas you can use the can of compressed to help loosen the debris.

6.       Finally, replace your computers panel and plug back in the cables. Now your computer tower should be all cleaned up and ready to go!

There are many advantages that stem from cleaning your computer tower on a regular basis. Debris and dust buildup is one of the main factors that cause a computer to overheat, so don’t but your computer tower cleaning on the back burner.

If you suspect your computer may be damaged from excessive debris and dust buildup, contact Up & Running Computer Solutions in Corona, CA at 951-737-8558 to get your computer back up and running in great condition. For additional information regarding the sevcies we offer visit our website at www.urcs.net.

Proudly serving Corona, Riverside, Anaheim, Irvine, Newport Beach, Tustin and all surrounding areas.

Tips to Avoid Viruses this Halloween | Corona

Data Breach

Halloween is one of the most celebrated holidays, and cybercriminals want to be a part of the fun. As Halloween approaches, many hackers take advantage of popular Hollywood titles to spread computer viruses. For example, Google and other search engine results with keywords that are related to popular topics that are used to trick users into clicking on the malicious link.

Another popular form of spreading computer viruses is through spam. Hackers used typically Halloween characters to trick users and lead to where they want. This way, in addition to getting your personal information, hackers will redirect you to other websites selling prohibited products. We must educate ourselves and must be aware that hackers will try to deceive us with practical jokes. However, these practical jokes introduce malware to our equipment which will lead to a huge headache. The following includes a few tips on how you can avoid viruses this Halloween.

  1. Don’t open emails or messages that are received from social networks that come from an unknown source.
  2. Never click links that you get by email, unless you know it’s a reliable source.
  3. If you do click a link in an email, it’s important to look at the landing page. If you do not recognize it, close the browser.
  4. Never download attachments from unknown sources. During this holiday we must pay extra attention to files that come with Halloween related names.
  5.  If you don’t see anything out of the ordinary on a page but it’s requesting a download, do not accept.
  6. Never buy from online stores that don’t have a solid reputation. To be sure that your purchases are safe and secure, look for a security certificate, they’re typically located in the lower right corner.
  7. Don’t use shared computers to preform transitions that require you to enter a password or personal data.
  8. Be sure that you have an Anit-virus installed and updated.

If you think your computer many have a virus, contact Up & Running Computer Solutions in Corona, CA at 951-737-8558 today. We can repair your computer and get you back up and running! To learn more about our company or to put in a service request visit our website at www.urcs.net.

Is Your Computer Protected? | Corona, CA

Several people spend a good amount of time on their computers by going online for certain tasks or entertainment. Some of the things society use their computers for are searching for information, work, shopping, school work, social media, even banking. Doing such things may leave your computer vulnerable to hackers. Hackers are typically after personal information stored in your computer. Thankfully, keeping your computer protected from viruses and Trojans can be quiet easy, however, you must be on top of your computer’s security. The following includes a few tips on how you can reduce your risk of your computer contracting a virus or Trojan:

Use Anti-Virus Software. Installing an anti-virus program is a great benefit for your computer’s protection. An ant-virus program scans for viruses that attempt to get into your emails, operating system or files. Be sure the anti-virus is set to update automatically.

Install a Firewall. Firewalls are able help alert any suspicious activity on your computer, while also blocking viruses, hackers or worms from attempting to download malicious programs onto your computer. Some computers have a built-in firewall, however, they’re typically shipped in “off” mode, so be sure to turn the firewall on. Also, be sure to update your firewall on a regular basis.

Use a Pop-up Blocker- Avoid clicking on any pop-up ads by using a pop-up blocker. Many pop-ups are created by advertisers, but some may contain a harmful or unsafe programs that can damage your computer.

Do Not Open Unknown Emails- Emails can contain computer viruses so before opening an email, make sure you’re receiving it from a known address or sender.

Use a Strong Password- Be sure that you choose a strong password to protect yourself from potential hackers. Don’t choose something simple for your password; many hackers have a program that can try every single word in the dictionary in attempts to get into your system.

If you think your computer many have a virus, contact Up & Running Computer Solutions in Corona, CA at 951-737-8558 today. We can repair your computer and get you back up and running! To learn more about our company or to put in a service request visit our website at www.urcs.net.

Benefits of Managed IT Services | Corona, CA

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that managed IT services can work great for both big and small companies. Managed IT services offer a wide variety of services, from alarm services to data security to data backup and recovery. Not to mention these services can be performed on almost any device that’s used for business, such as desktop PCs, laptops, servers and mobile devices. The following list includes the benefits of having managed IT services:

  • 24/7 Monitoring and Maintenance. Many businesses don’t have a way to monitor their network day in and day out. Fortunately, a managed IT provider can monitor your systems 24/7. This type of monitoring is very valuable to companies because the earlier a problem is spotted, the earlier it can be taken care of. With 24/7 monitoring and maintenance, most any problem can be taken care of before it causes any severe downtime.
  • Access to Professionals- If something unexpected occurs, you can always pick up the phone and dial your managed IT provider for expert advice and/or help concerning the issue.
  • Improved Security- Having a secure system in place can be crucial to your company. With Managed IT Services, they generally offer contacts where they monitor your Firewall, Anti-virus, and can also apply all of the latest updates and patches to ensure you and your network is secure and that is runs smoothly.
  • Budget Control- Managed IT Service contracts allow companies to stop worrying about their network and allows them to budget your IT expenses with no monthly surprises.
  • Peace of Mind- Having a full service contract allows for one to focus on their business at hand, while the technical side is taken care of by IT experts.

Take the first step on the road to having a more productive, cost-efficient business by contacting Up & Running Computer Solutions in Corona, CA at 951-737-8558 today and ask for a FREE consultation of our Managed IT Services. Or visit www.urcs.net for additional information regarding IT Managed Services.

 Proudly serving Corona, Riverside, Anaheim, Irvine, Newport Beach, Tustin and all surrounding areas.