How to Safely Recycle Old Tablets and Phones

  • Comments: 0
  • Written on: January 6th, 2012

I was a guest on the Morning Blend this week as part of our weekly Compute This! TV segment. On the show the hosts asked me how you can safely dispose of old tablets and computers so your personal data does not get into the hands of criminals.

As we use tablets and phones for online bill paying, banking and more, they are jam packed with personal information that can’t be easily deleted. Watch the segment below for more information!

Nearly Half of all Scanned Computers are Infected

  • Comments: 12
  • Written on: February 3rd, 2010

The Anti Phishing Working Group reported that in the third quarter of 2009, 48% of the computers scanned for malware were infected with downloaders, password stealers, or other forms of malware.

Their report also indicated a 5.5% increase in reports of first time phishing attempts, with an overall decrease in the number of victims.

This indicates that cyber criminals are working faster to get new phishing sites online, but those sites are being discovered and neutralized more quickly than ever.

The report continues on to indicate that the single greatest problem in the battle against phishing scams is a general lack of awareness among those in the public about how the scams work and how to avoid becoming a victim.

New Email Phishing Scam Targets Small Business Users

  • Comments: 2
  • Written on: October 19th, 2009

In the past, phishing scams were almost always something people using Hotmail, Gmail, or Yahoo mail had to be concerned about. But now a new twist to an old email scam has small business users calling their IT people almost daily.

Emails like this one are being sent out on a mass basis to people who are not using any of the mass-email services:

Dear user of the schrockinnovations.com mailing service!

We are informing you that because of the security upgrade of the mailing service your mailbox (tschrock@schrockinnovations.com) settings were changed. In order to apply the new set of settings click on the following link:

http://schrockinnovations.com/owa/service_directory/settings.php?email=tschrock@schrockinnovations.com&from=schrockinnovations.com&fromname=tschrock

Best regards, schrockinnovations.com Technical Support.

If you look at the HTML code behind the “confirmation” link you will find that it is actually taking you to http://schrockinnovations.com.it1ttil.com instead of http://www.schrockinnovations.com

If you follow their link, you will see a page that looks like this:

outlook_spam

The phishers want you to download an executable file that will probably infect your computer with a virus.

Our web staff has been taking questions from our customers as well as other confused email users who don’t have an IT person who would have sent them this kind of an email.

If you get one of these, just mark it as spam. Whatever you do, don’t download the .exe file!

Hustad Roofing Makes Quick Work of My Roof

  • Comments: 4
  • Written on: October 3rd, 2009

Last year Kim and I put our house on the market, and although we had a lot of interested people look at it no one could get financed in the middle of the credit crunch.

old_shake_shinglesWe plan on attempting to sell the house again next Spring, so the name of the game right now is to make the improvements that will help us sell the house quickly at a fair market price.

Our Realtor told us that one of the biggest concerns about the house was that the roof was at the end of its lifespan. We had a cedar shake roof that was designed to last 30 years. It was put on in 1982, so it really was about time to have some work done.

roof_tearoffKim and I interviewed 6 roofing companies before we finally settled on Hustad Roofing. Kim liked the owner because she had that woman gut feeling that she could trust the owner. I like them because they came in with the best reputation AND the lowest bid.

naked_roofThey showed up at 9:00 in the morning and 7 men amazed my 3-year old son by climbing on the roof and peeling off wood shingles like they were a fruit roll-up wrapper.

The whole removal process took less than a couple hours, and the new roof was on by the end of the day.

Hustad had laid tarps on the ground to catch the nails, shingles and paper that was being torn off for a quick, easy and complete clean up.

Overall I was very impressed with the job they did, and the pictures speak for themselves.

roof-finished

Absolute iPhone Disgust – An Apple Service Nightmare Rant

  • Comments: 1
  • Written on: September 17th, 2009

I can’t believe a company like Apple or even AT&T can treat their customers this way and expect to keep them loyal. Here is what I just sent to Apple’s feedback email address (like anyone will ever read it):

I don’t even know where to begin. My business iPhone just died in the middle of a text message today. It will not turn on again at all. It was purchased October 11, 2008 (less than a year old) at the AT&T store in Lincoln, NE (68516).

I live in Omaha, NE (68108) and there is an Apple store here. I called 611 from my iPhone to find out what we need to do to get her phone replaced. After 5 dropped calls, and a total of more than 20 minutes on hold, I finally got through to an Apple support representative (who was really an AT&T support representative).

He informed me that AT&T does not have any stores in Omaha. (Here’s a link to the half-dozen AT&T stores in Omaha )

I read him the numbers for the first three, and he tried to call and was unable to get through to a representative (in one case the number was disconnected!)

I gave up on him and called the AT&T store where I bought the phone in Lincoln and spoke to the manager. He informed me that the AT&T store where we bought the iPhone can’t replace it at all. Even though my phone is less than a year old, it has to be done at an Apple store. No exceptions.

So I called the Apple store. The representative there told me that he couldn’t set up an appointment at the Genius Bar, so I would have to go online and do it.

FRUSTRATING. SO now an hour after I started, I go online only to find that I have to wait 2 DAYS for an appointment.

Needless to say at this moment I am seriously missing my HTC touch from Sprint. I doubt anyone will actually read this, and if anyone does they won’t be empowered to do anything about it in my case or as part of an aggregated policy, but it makes me feel better to send it.

I love my iPhone, but this is not the Apple service that has differentiated your company in the past, and I can honestly say I will be looking at other options in the future for my business telephone needs.

Last Saturday’s Compute This

  • Comments: 0
  • Written on: May 20th, 2009

On Compute This, the term “whaling” was discussed. No, this is not another word for fishing; it is a word that describes online attacks for account information. We also touched on Google’s fail that happened earlier in the week. Google’s search engine was down for several hours, leaving users unable to use the site. We […]

May 16th Radio Show, a Whale of a Good Time

  • Comments: 0
  • Written on: May 16th, 2009

What is whaling and why does Steve Jobs care? On Compute This, we talked about the term “whaling.” Whaling is a term similar to phishing except that big names are targeted for maximum impact. Over the past month, several whaling attacks have taken place against wealthy executives and individuals. The reason for whaling these people […]

Heading Off to Disney World for a Much-Needed Break

  • Comments: 1
  • Written on: April 29th, 2009

Over the past three months I have opened a new Lincoln Service Center, hired and trained 5 new technicians, installed a new in-shop manager, hired a communication coordinator, and launched two of the most successful sales in Schrock Innovations’ history.

With that said, I could not have done any of these things without the daily support, assistance, and love of my wife Kim. Getting all of this done came at the expense of many days and nights at home with my family. It’s time for a little catch up time, and what could be better than going to Disney World in Orlando Florida!

This is an all-play-no-work vacation. We are going to stay in the park at the Wilderness Ridge resort, so we won’t be interrupted by any conferences 😉

Seems that my buddy Ken McArthur is still trying to track me down. He actually had the guts to schedule HIS conference AT Disney World WHEN I would be there and then offered me free tickets.

LOL… Ken my wife says NO WORK!

Watch the Ultimate Upgrade in Action

  • Comments: 0
  • Written on: April 14th, 2009

Yesterday I posted about Schrock Innovation’s Ultimate Upgrade Sale and a few readers have asked me to shoot a video of the computer to show off some of the components that were used.

I have been crazy busy the past few days, so I have not even had the chance to edit any of the HOURS of video from the construction of the new Service Center yet. Nevertheless, here is the next best thing:

This is the commercial that will start airing today on Channel 10/11 in Lincoln about the special. This is the first time we have ever used television to promote a specific offer, so it should be interesting to see how it goes. What do you think of the spot?

The US Navy Provides an Easter Sunday Miracle

  • Comments: 2
  • Written on: April 12th, 2009

Its days like today that I am so proud to be an American. The US Navy provided an Easter miracle of sorts today when it freed Captain Richard Phillips from a handful of Somali pirates with three successful sniper head shots.

Congratulations to the Captain’s family and crew members. Not only did this crew successful foil the initial pirate attack, the cool head of the captain got everyone out of the situation alive who wanted to get out alive.

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