FIX YOUR PC ONLINE?
Have you seen the commercials that advertise your pc can be fixed in seconds by experts over the Internet? There are some reasons to reconsider your decision to use this type of service to repair your computer.
If you are sick, would you trust just any doctor to properly diagnose your condition and recommend treatment with no examination? Sure, there are situations where your doctor who knows your history can make intelligent treatment suggestions but how can you trust someone who is not familiar with your particular situation?
FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt) is very common when dealing with technology. Suddenly, your computer has started displaying an error message. What can you do? If you are in panic mode, you might convince yourself that someone on the Internet will fix your problems.
My office has received a few panic calls after an online computer repair service had attempted to repair a sick computer remotely over the Internet. One client was sent an email that infected his computer in the wee hours of the morning. While he was in panic mode, he agreed to allow the online “expert” to repair the infected computer. The online “expert” was able to determine that another computer in the client’s business was also infected. “That will be another $200 and your problem will be resolved.” After staying up all night and getting all kinds of excuses about why the computer could not be repaired, the client called my office.
What should you do when your computer exhibits evidence of a virus? SHUT IT DOWN! Try to shut it down normally. If that doesn’t work, hold the power button for about 10 seconds. If the computer refuses to shutdown, pull the plug from the wall outlet. You should also remove the laptop battery if it refuses to shut down. Don’t attempt to fix it if you don’t know what you are doing. If the computer is powered off, the virus won’t get any worse. Take a breath and think before you leap.
Businesses are especially vulnerable to the promise of an easy fix. It seems so easy and convenient to allow someone to repair your computer remotely but a quick fix might not give you the results that you want.
Any computer can be fixed but at what price? The price isn’t just money. What about all the information and programs stored on your computer? Do you have the installation disks to allow you to reinstall? Do you know how to reinstall?
Some easy virus infections and software misconfigurations can be resolved by remote access but I refuse to remotely troubleshoot a system unless it has been recently inspected by my office. There are too many issues that might be overlooked without a hands on inspection.