Coronavirus: Not Just for Humans Anymore!

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you would know that the news item that’s been on headlines around the world is the 2019 Novel Coronavirus. In China, thousands have been found out to have the virus, hundreds have died, and people who have tested positive for the virus have been discovered in 24 countries and counting. The number of victims is seen to continually increase until warmer climates arrive in some countries that would discourage the virus from spreading.  Unfortunately, the arrival of warm weather will take weeks, if not months.

But then, it’s not only human health that’s been infected by the coronavirus. Apparently, cybercriminals have also capitalized on this unfortunate trend to spread malware and stage email scams. Reports in Japan have verified that this virus has been trying to dupe unsuspecting Japanese email recipients who are currently already a bit cautious because of China’s proximity to the country. Although it has not yet spread in other countries, this Coronavirus also has the potential of spreading worldwide and causes substantial damage to businesses and sadly, people’s lives.

So, what is this Coronavirus about?

Hackers have been taking advantage of people’s fears over the Coronavirus that started in China to open emails that have malware attachments. Japanese email users have been the first reported victims of this malicious gesture.

Researchers with IBM X-Force and Kasperky have discovered that hackers are sending spam emails to people in the hopes of infecting smartphones and computers with malicious software. The malware is disguised as legitimate information about coronavirus.

(Via: https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2020/02/03/hackers-use-coronavirus-spread-computer-viruses-inject-malware/4644439002/)

 

Emotet? What’s that?

Apparently, the emails that contain the Coronavirus is known as Emotet. It is usually an attachment to the email that is disguised as a document or an mp3 audio or mp4 video file. What’s alarming with Emotet is that it usually goes undetected by various anti-virus programs, even those that scan emails and the files attached to them.

Different iterations of the email have been discovered by cyber security firms IBM X-Force and Kaspersky, with the emails being sent in several different languages. Experts warn it’s “quite common for threat actors to exploit basic human emotions such as fear – especially if a global event has already caused terror and panic”.

(Via: https://www.9news.com.au/technology/coronavirus-email-scam-warning-as-emotet-trojan-attached-to-pdf-mp4-and-docx-files/4b7f9c98-31fa-4b03-8729-7499a0ff7fa2)

 

Emotet on the Rise

Take note, however, that this is not the first case of the Emotet malware causing damage. In fact, the cybersecurity agency of the USA has noted in January 2020 that there has been an increase in the incidences of this malware strain’s attacks.

While Emotet started life as a banking Trojan, over the past five years, developers have added additional functionality, including making the malware a dropper – aka downloader – so that it can be used to install additional malicious code on endpoints it’s infected, as well as giving it the ability to scrape victims’ PCs for contact information.

(Via: https://www.bankinfosecurity.com/emotet-malware-alert-sounded-by-us-cybersecurity-agency-a-13640)

 

Taking Advantage of Fear

The lack of information regarding the actual Coronavirus has provided cybercriminals a platform to spread their malware. As people all over the world want to quench their thirst for information on this global medical emergency, hackers have taken advantage of this. Cybersecurity writer Davey Winder opines about this.

Using emails that purport to come from official public health centers, the heartless hackers attach Microsoft Word documents that supposedly contain advice on protection against contracting the virus. It is hardly surprising, given the circumstances, that people open those documents. If they do, however, then a message informing them to enable content will appear, and the infection is made.

(Via: https://www.forbes.com/sites/daveywinder/2020/02/01/coronavirus-has-infected-the-cyber-are-google-and-twitter-the-cure/#2a41c6b06149)

 

What can you do?

Fortunately, unlike the medical Coronavirus situation, it is not that bleak in the malware Coronavirus front. As a citizen of cyberspace who gets emails every day, it is essential that you can spot these fraudulent emails, so that you can avoid falling victim to them. Moreover, you can help your extended network – your company, friends, and family by making them aware of the dangers of these phishing emails.

First, decide what your messages (talking points) are to different audiences about the coronavirus. Remember that most staff believe that management under-communicates, so governments and businesses need to think hard about policies (like travel), procedures and online behaviors that are expected given their unique situations.

(Via: https://www.govtech.com/blogs/lohrmann-on-cybersecurity/coronavirus-scams-prepare-for-a-deluge-of-phishing-emails-fake-alerts-and-cyberthreats.html)

 

Times like these, it is important that all of us become more discerning of where we get our information. It does pay to have reliable sources of information so that we can avoid hackers who are taking advantage of current events. Just like it is very important to know where to with your hard drive or external storage. Let our team of professionals help you by visiting https://www.harddriverecovery.org/repair-hard-drive.html, where you can get more information. Try this link as well.

Coronavirus: Not Just for Humans Anymore! is courtesy of http://www.harddriverecovery.org

From https://www.harddriverecovery.org/blog/coronavirus-not-just-for-humans-anymore/

Data Recovery Services Company Discusses The Microsoft Edge Browser

Hard Drive Recovery Group’s (HDRG) has just published an article on one of the lesser used web browsers out there: Microsoft Edge.

In the post, “Microsoft Edge: How To Use It”, Hard Drive Recovery Group discusses how you can use Microsoft Edge for your daily web browsing tasks. Despite being on the lower side in terms of usage share, Microsoft Edge still boasts an impressive toolkit when it comes to web browser functionality. It contains many of the same features that can be found in more popular web browsers such as Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome, putting it up there in terms of functionality and security.

For quite a while, until the launch of Microsoft Edge in 2015, the default web browser for Windows was Internet Explorer which attained a peak of 95% usage share among web browsers in 2003. This usage share fell promptly after the release of Mozilla Firefox in 2004 and Google Chrome in 2008. This decline in usage share was a product of better alternatives due to lack of innovation and improvement, which is why Internet Explorer today is widely famed as a ridiculously slow and buggy web browser. This has been addressed in recent releases from HDRG.

Maureen Davies, speaking for HDRG, states, “Usually, for Windows users, because of the stigma around the default Windows web browser, one of the first steps people take upon purchasing a new computer or reformatting their own is to download a web browser other than the default.”

In 2015, Microsoft announced that Microsoft Edge would replace Internet Explorer as the default web browser for all its Windows 10 devices, a vastly improved version of its predecessor.

Some key features that Microsoft Edge proudly incorporates as part of its interface are bookmark importing, Cortana (Microsoft’s own virtual productivity assistant), a distraction-free Reading View, and, most importantly, a way to block cookies, pop-ups, and trackers, all great ways to prevent the infiltration of malware from internet sources. Additionally, since Microsoft Edge aims for a fully customizable experience, all of these features can be enabled or disabled according to the user’s preference, giving way to a more productive and satisfying user experience.

“Unfortunately, despite Microsoft Edge’s undeniable superiority to its predecessor, its market share still falls flat from today’s web browser giants,” said Davies. “Microsoft Edge still stands at 5.77% which is even lower than Internet Explorer today, at 7.26%.”

One problem that had been troubling internet users over the years about Internet Explorer was its security and its conformance to industry standards, both of which were relatively lackluster. Among these issues was that malware writers were specifically targeting Internet Explorer as a medium to distribute their malware because of its poor security.

Microsoft Edge has now eliminated those issues and now boasts superior functionality. Despite this, the issue of data loss still persists. In the same way that anti-virus and anti-malware software are improving to combat these malicious software, malware are also constantly being updated and equipped to bypass browser security. This presents a major threat to all businesses and organizations who depend on their data to operate.

Davies comments, “Data loss can cause panic among a lot of people. It poses a major threat for any business or individual. Whether it involves important emails, financial reports, or precious family memories, losing data has huge repercussions on our daily lives. This is precisely why Hard Drive Recovery Group encourages you to contact them even if another data recovery service has advised you that your hard drive is beyond recovery. “

Hard Drive Recovery Group offers over-the-phone data recovery evaluation for free. Whether it’s a simple laptop SSD or a multiple SAS drive RAID array, HDRG provides safe, affordable clean room data recovery with a 95% success rate.

Call HDRG or visit their website today.

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from Hard Drive Recovery Group

The Search for the Laptop That’s Right for You

Despite the proliferation of mobile devices that can do almost anything except cook your food (we can’t say that for certain in the future, though), laptops have remained to be a dependable tool for anyone immersed in technology. Laptops have stood the test of time and the challenge to its popularity by handier and smaller devices because they combine the best qualities of desktop computers, smartphones, and tablets. They are more mobile, flexible, and almost as, if not equally or more powerful than desktops. On the other hand, laptops edge tablets and smartphones when it comes to power, multi-tasking, and user preference with image sizes. After all, not too many people can appreciate videos or even pictures displayed on a five, seven, or even an eight-inch screen.

Getting the best laptop can be a challenge though, as the market is saturated with different models, different brands, all offering different features that will surely benefit you.

Or not.

You will need to do some introspection on what best suits your needs, then consider your preferences, before finally picking the right one for you.   If you go straight to the store, you will most likely be overwhelmed by the selection. The next laptop will be shinier, sleeker, faster, and more powerful than the other, each one seemingly calling your name. But if you have your choices narrowed down to your specific needs, then you will most likely end up a winner with a sparkling new laptop that’s just right for you.  We’ve scoured the World Wide Web for guides, and here are our recommendations:

For the stylish, light, and practical user: A Chromebook

If you’re the type whose main use for a laptop is to do a lot of surfing and social media, then a Chromebook should be your best option. This machine is best for the trendsetter who mostly prefers style over function (Chrome books are known to be quite light) but still be readily connected, anytime. But with the popularity of the Chromebook with users and manufacturers alike, which one should you go for? Should you stay with Google’s own Pixelbook or Samsung’s Galaxy Chromebook tickle your fancy more?

But never, until now, has there been a true competitor to the Pixelbook. More recently, though, the company announced the new Galaxy Chromebook, priced at $1,000 to match the Pixelbook’s price. And, with its beautiful 4K OLED screen, this new Chrome OS 2-in-1 has more than what it takes to go up against Google’s own Pixelbook.

(Via: https://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/samsung-galaxy-chromebook-vs-google-pixelbook/)

 

For the student: What are your best options?

True, laptops are a must for the people in the corporate rat race, but a professional’s laptop is often issued by his or her company. This leaves students (and their parents) as the biggest consumer block of laptops. They would prefer something speedy, powerful, with long battery life to withstand the countless hours spent in the library, and lots of storage to keep electronic copies of journals, papers, and video lectures, among others.

The best laptops for students need to fit a few criteria. So, whether you’re heading back to school yourself, or sending your kid off, there are a few things to keep in mind.  For example, you might find budget laptops to be one of the best laptops for students if price is a huge consideration.

(Via: https://www.techradar.com/in/news/mobile-computing/laptops/10-best-laptops-for-students-983385)

 

For the jet-set crowd: The Hybrid

2-in-1 tablets and laptops may have seen their heyday in the twilight years of the 2010s, but they’re not out of fashion at all.  Mobility is the premier consideration for some people who always must be on the move, and hybrid laptops still satiate that market. Carry a tablet when you’re moving and dock it to its keyboard to do some heavy typing, 2-in-1s are perfect for journalists, writers, and vloggers.

The world of 2-in-1 laptops is becoming increasingly crowded with brilliant devices that marry the best of both worlds, giving you fully rotating or detaching touchscreens so that you can watch movies or play games however you like, while their keyboards also mean that you can get work done, whether that’s emailing, writing or whatever else you need to do.

(Via: https://www.pocket-lint.com/laptops/buyers-guides/150705-best-2-in-1-pc-tablets-and-laptops)

 

Laptops for Gamers

The market for gaming laptops has considerably widened over the years, with the image of the online gamer evolving from someone in a dark corner, mindlessly pressing controls and staring into a PC monitor to someone who can be in the outdoors (albeit only in a coffee shop, but still). Graphics quality and speed are essential to a machine that gamers would surely love playing in.

With the best gaming laptop, your gaming sessions don’t have to stay in one place. You can frag friends in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare at a coffee shop, get lost in Control on a plane, or train up in Mortal Kombat 11 in bed, all while enjoying blistering framerates and high-res visuals.

(Via: https://www.tomsguide.com/best-picks/best-gaming-laptops)

What about creatives?

For those using laptops in their creative endeavors – photography, video editing – processing power is everything.

Powerful laptops weighing just a few pounds can now handle many of the tasks that editors used to perform on intricate and expensive equipment in a studio. So whether your boss expects you to make first edits in the field, you’re a film student, or you just want to review your vacation footage on your flight home, you should consider a laptop with robust enough specs for video editing.

(Via: https://sea.pcmag.com/laptops/20703/the-best-laptops-for-video-editing-in-2020)

 

But for all these consumers, storage is of utmost importance. The amount of storage space a creative person needs for storing video, all the photos and footage a vlogger has, and the wide array of online content a student needs to download, can be measured nowadays in terabytes. For those who may encounter problems with laptop storage, there’s https://www.harddriverecovery.org/mac-data-recovery/ to help. For more information, do check on their site.

The Search for the Laptop That’s Right for You was originally seen on http://www.harddriverecovery.org

From https://www.harddriverecovery.org/blog/the-search-for-the-laptop-thats-right-for-you/

Data Recovery Services Company Discusses Antivirus For Windows 10

Hard Drive Recovery Group, a data recovery services provider from Irvine, CA, has just published a blog post which discusses how computer users can protect their Windows 10 unit from viruses. This blog post carries on HDRG’s mission to educate computer users on simple but helpful ways they by which they can safeguard their precious data.

In the post, “How to Secure Windows 10 From Viruses”, Hard Drive Recovery Group discusses how you can defend your data from malicious software (AKA malware) using antivirus software. The typical impression people have is that installing a third-party antivirus software is top priority. That was actually true for a time—until Windows 8 came around.

Up until Windows 7, Windows Defender (originally named Microsoft Security Essentials) was offered as a separate download. Since Windows 8, the software is conveniently built-in to all Windows devices, offering users a reliable, hassle-free way to defend their computer against malware. Conveniently, it is also free to use.

Windows Defender also sports a user-friendly interface and functionality. But, despite being free, it is almost as good as its commercial competitors, and is a strong positive of Windows 10, unlike many other issues.

“Computer users typically want to get the best value for their money, that is, getting the best service for the least amount of cash,” said Maureen Davies, spokesperson for Hard Drive Recovery Group. “Windows Defender does arguably the best job of providing computer users the value they need. It’s free, there by default, and does the job seamlessly.”

Apart from the default Windows Defender software, users can also opt to protect their computers from viruses using a diverse selection of antivirus software. Avast and Malwarebytes are particularly reliable choices.

Installing Avast will temporarily disable Windows Defender in order to prevent any conflicts from occurring. Malwarebytes, on the other hand, is good to use in tandem with the default Windows Defender. It protects against viruses and other types of malware as well.

Typically, because of the endless waves of confusing computer jargon, computer users will find It difficult, and, oftentimes, pointless, to tell the difference between viruses and malware. The truth is, malware encompasses viruses and various other types of software as well, such as ransomware, spyware, trojans, etc. Because of this, an antivirus alone is inadequate for computer security, so anti-malware software must also be considered in order to maximize a computer’s security and safeguard the data.

“The fact is that antivirus software can only help you so much,” said Davies. “So, the absolute best way to defend yourself against malicious software is to tread the internet with care. It will be useful to familiarize oneself with spotting malware in disguise. Always be wary of pop-up advertisements and avoid downloading files from suspicious sources.”

Another source that malware can come from are email attachments. Although this will typically come as common sense to younger generations who are more familiar with computers, the elderly are not as informed. Virus infected files may accidentally (or intentionally, through spam) be sent through email

Furthermore, because virus writers are intent on getting past antivirus software, virus programs evolve at the same rate as antivirus software. To overcome this, it is essential to keep antivirus software regularly updated to the latest version.

One can also benefit from reducing the damage done by viruses by regularly backing up data on different media such as clouds or hard disk drives, which are commonly kept unconnected to the computer system. By regularly backing up data, damage is significantly reduced.

Hard Drive Recovery Group offers over-the-phone data recovery evaluation for free. Whether it’s a simple laptop SSD or a multiple drive RAID array, HDRG provides safe, affordable clean room data recovery with a 95% success rate.

Call HDRG or visit their website today.

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from Hard Drive Recovery Group

Don’t Be Held Captive By Ransomware

Aside from the Novel coronavirus, the only news that has been hogging the spotlight is the recent spate of cyber-attacks. We’ve only gone past the first month of the year, but entire companies, industries, and even local governments have already fallen victims to malicious attacks on their systems. These cyber-threats come in the form of ransomware, a malware that has been around for years but has been very active in the last weeks of December up until January. A good number of establishments and their systems have been under threat as user information is bound to be compromised if they do not succumb to the demands of these attackers.

The recent attacks in cyberspace have been brought about supposedly by what is called ransomware. And yes, it does appear threatening as it sounds, as not only do these programs wreak havoc on an entity’s systems, the name further suggests that there is a sort of criminal activity with a ransom demanded in exchange for the malware to not inflict further damage.

But before we get ahead of ourselves and launch into full panic mode, let’s get to know the enemy first. What is ransomware, in the first place? What is this menace that has been making headlines and has caused even big businesses and governments to stir?

Ransomware, All You Need to Know    

Is ransomware just like any computer virus in existence? Not particularly.

The first ransomware, known as PC Cyborg or AIDS, was created in the late 1980s. PC Cyborg would encrypt all files in the C: directory after 90 reboots, and then demand the user renew their license by sending $189 by mail to PC Cyborg Corp. The encryption used was simple enough to reverse, so it posed little threat to those who were computer savvy.

(Via: https://www.malwarebytes.com/ransomware/)

 

Ransomware Rises Anew

Now, you might say that ransomware has been around the block for quite some time, so why is it scarier in its resurgence? That’s because utility companies and other industries that hold private information of its clientele and customers have become the subject of the latest attacks. Of course, when confidential information has been compromised, public interest is heightened.

The file-encrypting malware—variously referred to as Snake or Ekans (not the Pokémon)—first appeared in December 2019. Dragos notes in its report that the ransomware threat appears to be “relatively straightforward” as it encrypts files and shows a ransom note on the screen, requesting payment to return control of computers. But there is something darker about this malware.

(Via: https://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/security/a30767090/ekans-ransomware-industrial-systems/)

 

Control Systems of Industries Have Been Targeted

Just how dangerous is ransomware? Anyone using any utility – that’s everyone (unless you live in a cave, which won’t allow you to read this) will be compromised now that the ransomware Snake or Ekans has also targeted utility firms.

Cyber criminals are launching ransomware attacks that are specifically targeting industrial control systems (ICS) in what researchers say is the first instance of file-encrypting malware being built to directly infect computer networks that control operations in manufacturing and utilities environments.

(Via: https://www.zdnet.com/article/ransomware-attacks-are-now-targeting-industrial-control-systems/)

 

Professional Advice: Don’t Engage

Ransomware attacks, as the name suggests, target companies with information that cybercriminals will reveal unless they receive ransom they demand. So, the question now is, should those under a ransomware attack give in and pay?

When it comes to ransomware attacks on municipalities, paying hackers isn’t the right solution. First, there’s no guarantee hackers will return sensitive data. Second, there’s no guarantee cybercriminals won’t leverage and monetize the data anyway, returned or not.

(Via: https://www.darkreading.com/risk/ransomware-attacks-why-it-should-be-illegal-to-pay-the-ransom/a/d-id/1336905)

 

Ransomware and You

Finally, what should you do when ransomware attacks?

But you can limit your losses if you take precautions before someone tries to attack you. Those precautions can include protecting your networks and computers from being attacked, preventing the attack from proceeding and allowing you to recover if the attack was successful.

(Via: https://www.forbes.com/sites/waynerash/2020/01/29/how-to-reduce-your-chances-of-getting-hit-with-ransomware/#586aeac31875)

 

Along with enjoying the benefits of the quantum leaps in technology, having to deal with cybercriminals is one of the challenges we must face, unfortunately. Another is having to deal with problematic hard drives or other storage. Come and visit this site and free yourself from data recovery woes.

The following blog post Don’t Be Held Captive By Ransomware was originally seen on Hard Drive Recovery Group

From https://www.harddriverecovery.org/blog/dont-be-held-captive-by-ransomware/

Hard Drive Recovery Group Offers Data Recovery Services

Irvine, CA based Hard Drive Recovery Group recently published a post explaining how computer users may speed up their Windows 10 system. A universal problem faced by PC users is the fact that their computers will often slow down over time due to a variety of reasons. Hard Drive recovery group recently published a blog post that explores how users may deal with some of the problems they might face when using Windows 10, especially problems concerning speed.

“By being around for four years now since its release, Windows 10 proves that it is unquestionably a proficient operating system from Microsoft. Compared to previous versions though, updates are now mandatory,” says Hard Drive Recovery Group. The actual update can cause lag but generally won’t take too long to finish unless the user has delayed updates for too long. Updates are generally meant to address system issues that may be plaguing one’s computer and slowing it down, but there are other ways in which one can speed up their computer and improve its performance.

If one’s computer has extra software, it might be in the interest of speed to simply uninstall them. One can download or buy almost any software on the internet but, if one does not use a particular piece of software, it may be better to simply uninstall the software. “Redundant programs take up space on your hard drive and can reduce performance,” the article says. The process of removing unnecessary programs is relatively simple, and almost anyone with basic knowledge regarding computers can get it done quickly.

Another factor that may reduce the speed of computers that run Windows 10 can be found in the graphics settings. Windows 10 features very detailed, beautiful graphics and animations that serve to give the Operating System its visual appeal. The issue is that these graphics and animations can affect performance even though they are in no way essential to the system’s function. Removing these extra graphics and animations is a very easy task and can greatly increase the performance of one’s computer.

Anyone looking to really increase the speed of their computer can choose to increase the amount of RAM in their system as well. “Your PC’s overall speed can be hugely improved by increasing the amount of virtual memory (RAM),” says Hard Drive Recovery Group’s article. “Windows 10 requires a minimum of 4GB to run smoothly, although this does not take into account resource hungry applications such as video games. The easiest solution to this is to install more RAM. Your PC has a certain number of RAM ‘slots’ into which you can insert chips. To determine the type of memory your machine uses, open Task Manager (Ctrl + Alt + Del), then click ‘Performance.’ The system will display any memory slots in use as well as the type in use (eg: DDR4).” For more information on boosting the performance of one’s computer, read Hard Drive Recovery Group’s recent post.

Hard Drive Recovery Group offers data recovery services that are completely warranty safe and secure. The company employs a number of highly trained technicians with the skills and knowledge necessary to swiftly recover customers’ data. The data recovery company recovers 98% of the hard drives they are asked to salvage. They have recovered data from systems using hardware and software configurations by Compaq, Dell and many others. The data recovery company takes pride in their versatility and simplicity—and their methods of data recovery reflect this ethos.

“This company has more than 25 years of experience handling issues like RAID failure, hard drive crash and laptop drive failures with leading edge data recovery techniques,” says HDRG. “HDRG boasts hundreds and thousands of satisfied clients who experience various types of issues with hard disk drives, such as fire and flood data loss and accidental loss—many of which were thought to be unrecoverable due to the damage that was inflicted upon them. Due to the top quality data recovery services provided to customers, however, they have got a customer retention rate of 99%, and they have also received over 80% customer referrals from the customers they have served previously.”

Read more about Hard Drive Recovery Group online through any of the above links. Those interested can also check out their previous release, which goes into further detail on the subject of data recovery.

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from Hard Drive Recovery Group

Data Recovery Services Company Discusses Windows Update Issues

Irvine, CA’s Hard Drive Recovery Group, a data recovery services provider offering RAID, Mac and SSD solutions, has published two new blog posts about Windows 10, and how consumers and business users can avoid the problems created by the operating system’s update feature. Windows 10 is the first flavor of the operating system that makes it incredibly difficult to refuse an operating system update, which has caused many, many problems for users of older computer systems. The post is a continuation of HDRG’s mandate to educate its customers on protecting both their data and computer systems from various issues external and internal.

In the post, “How To Prevent Windows 10 Updates”, HDRG discusses the fact that Windows updates are almost unavoidable, but there are built in features which at least enable a user to delay the updates for as long as 30 days for Quality Updates, and up to a full year (365 days) for Feature Updates. This is beneficial particularly for users with older systems, as often Windows Updates can cause more difficulties than they do benefits.

“Windows Updates can be very beneficial for users with newer systems, and can plug security holes in the OS that can potentially be harmful for the system and its data,” said Maureen Davies, spokesperson for Hard Drive Recovery Group. “Where the updates tend to be problematic tends to be with older systems. Many of these older systems are built on hardware that can conflict with new updates, which can be very annoying for users.”

The post references a trick which enables users to label their Wi-Fi connections as “limited”, which will stop updates from being automatically pushed to the system. Also of note is the ability to stop Windows Update from within the Services tab, which can also help the user.

“One of the real benefits of the Windows operating system used to be that you could pick and choose updates, and avoid the ones that were crashing computers,” said Davies. “Being diligent with Windows 10 updates is certainly much more difficult than it has ever been for Windows operating systems, but it does have payoffs for those that put in the work.”

Symptoms of a bad update can mean sudden freezes, blue screen errors or automatic restarts that were not present before. By viewing the “View Update History” tab in Settings, and then clicking “Uninstall Updates”, it is possible to view and remove recent update by reading the “Installed On” date. After uninstalling, search Google for “Hide Windows Updates or driver updates”, and download the app. From here, users should be able to hide bad updates.

In a second post entitled, “Easy Ways To Fast Track Your Windows 10”, HDRG discusses some of the ways that users can speed up their Windows 10 systems from within the operating system without changing hardware items such as video cards, RAM or SSD drives. By accessing the Startup tab within the Task Manager, for example, one can easily determine which programs are weighing heavily on the startup process, and steps can be taken to limit or disable their use.

“The Startup tab in Windows 10 remains a critical feature for the OS, and although it is less accessible than it was previously, it can help users that have older, limited systems,” said Davies. “If a user is not especially maintenance-centric, many of the entries that weigh down the system’s resources can be surprising, and can make a big difference when disabled.”

One of the key points addressed by both post is that all is not lost for Windows 10 users with older computers that would prefer to continue using their systems and keeping their data intact.

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from Hard Drive Recovery Group

Data Recovery Services Provider Discusses Notification Reduction In Latest Blog Posts

Irvine, CA data recovery services provider Hard Drive Recovery Group has published two recent blog posts discussing how users can lessen the hassle that automatic notifications provide. Nowadays, almost every application features constant user notifications, which can be distracting and make for a poor overall computing experience. The posts continue HDRG’s commitment to educating customers on the ins and outs of their computers as well as protecting their valuable data.

In the post, “How To Deactivate Push Notifications In Your Browsers”, HDRG discusses one of the new bugaboos of the Internet: the Push Notification. Previously known as “pop-ups”, these notifications tend to be bothersome, repetitive and annoying, and recent browser technologies have made them more accepted overall. An additional problem with these browser notifications is that they tend to follow a user around, and are not delete-friendly. In fact, many people tend to mistake these “pushes” as actual Malware.

“The issue with push notifications is that they tend to pop-up when you least expect, or want them to,” said Maureen Davies, spokesperson for Hard Drive Recovery Group. “What’s worse about these things is that they aren’t so easy to get rid of, as opposed to pop up ads, which tended to disappear once a new site is pulled up.”

Fortunately, most browsers are automatically configured to at least ask the user if push notifications from certain websites are acceptable to them, which enables the right of refusal. Fortunately also, users that love advertisements from their favorite websites can have them in their face as much as they want by enabling the push notifications.

In a second post entitled, “How To Turn Off Or Mute Your Windows Notifications”, HDRG discusses some of the most annoying – and often ridiculous – notifications in the computing world: those from Windows 10. While these notifications can certainly be informative in cases where the disk cleanup needs activation or when it is necessary to free up some additional hard drive space, often, they are repetitive and relentless.

Sadly, with Windows 10 the ability to stop updates and patches from automatically installing is greatly restrained, meaning that any hardware conflicts have to be dealt with post-installation. What this means is that often the user is notified when a new update has been installed.

“Both consumer and corporate users with older systems tend to complain the most about Windows 10’s automatic updates, mainly because they tend to cripple a computer that already seemed to be performing well,” said Davies. “Certainly this is probably not very intentional, but when a computer reboots every time a Youtube video is watched or freezes up when a document is being worked on, the culprit is usually a bad Windows update.”

An actual benefit of Windows notifications is that in the Action Center, a user can easily tune what kind of notifications should be served up, making the system as quiet or as loud as the user requires. An option in the Windows Action Center called Focus Assist is also beneficial, as it enables the user to pause all or only some notifications during certain work-heavy periods.

“The fact is, some people are major multi-taskers that can take a lot of bells and whistles in a computer system and not be fazed,” said Davies. “The majority of users, however, tend to lose productivity and focus when a system is informing them of numerous issues on their system.”

Hard Drive Recovery Group offers a free over the phone data recovery evaluation for all its hard drive data recovery customers. Whether a simple laptop SSD or a multiple drive RAID array, the company offers affordable, safe clean room data recovery that is effective in over 95% of instances. Call them or visit their website today.

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from Hard Drive Recovery Group

Microsoft Edge: How To Use It

Windows 10’s default browser is Microsoft Edge. Compared to other web browsers, Microsoft Edge’s is more on the clean and minimalistic side, more so physically than technically. Because when it comes to speed browsing, Edge is up there as well. Microsoft Edge also has some great features. For example, it has an eBook and PDF reading capability that blocks out interference to give you only the best reading experience. The cons though are that some websites don’t open in Microsoft Edge. If you work with a lot of extensions, there isn’t much in Microsoft Edge. You also won’t get a history search.

 

If you want to find out how to use Edge if you haven’t already, this will be your tour.

 

But first, you will want to block cookies, pop-ups, and trackers. To do this, click the three horizontal dots at the top right corner of the screen and click Settings.

Scroll down and click ‘View advanced settings’. Make sure the following three switches are all set to ‘On’: ‘Block pop-ups’, ‘Send Do Not Track requests’ and ‘Block only third-party cookies’.

(Via:https://www.techradar.com/how-to/computing/how-to-use-microsoft-edge-1312585)

 

Did you know that you can import bookmarks?

Microsoft Edge should be able to import from other internet browsers such as Internet Explorer, Chrome and Firefox directly (click the Hub button, select ‘Favourites’ and click ‘Import Favourites’), but Firefox doesn’t always show up.

If this happens, export your bookmarks from Firefox as a HTML file, then import them into Internet Explorer. Import them into Edge using the Internet Explorer option.

(Via:https://www.techradar.com/how-to/computing/how-to-use-microsoft-edge-1312585)

 

By default, Bing is the search engine in Edge. But you can always change this. Just head on to Settings again.

When you search in Microsoft Edge it uses Bing by default, but you can switch to another search engine that supports the OpenSearch standard.

Visit the search engine in question – for example, google.co.uk. Then click ‘…’, choose ‘Settings > View advanced settings’ and click the Bing menu, go to ” from the menu. Select your engine and click ‘Add as default’.

(Via:https://www.techradar.com/how-to/computing/how-to-use-microsoft-edge-1312585)

 

Not a fan of Cortana? Remove it.

When Cortana is enabled, she’s automatically integrated into Edge too, providing suggestions based on your current browsing and searches.

If you’d like to disconnect Cortana from Edge without disabling her completely, click the ‘…’ button in Edge and choose ‘Settings > View advanced settings’, then flick the ‘Get Cortana to assist me in Microsoft Edge’ switch to ‘Off’.

(Via:https://www.techradar.com/how-to/computing/how-to-use-microsoft-edge-1312585)

 

Love reading online? Then Microsoft Edge is for you.

Microsoft Edge’s distraction-free Reading View displays pages on a pale yellow background with a large, readable font. Want to change this? Click the ‘…’ button, choose ‘Settings’ and scroll down to the Reading section.

Click ‘Reading view style’ to choose a background colour (light, medium or dark – or white, grey and black) and ‘Reading view font size’ to select a different sized font.

(Via:https://www.techradar.com/how-to/computing/how-to-use-microsoft-edge-1312585)

 

Take control of what you read.

Edge features a button that allows you to bookmark interesting articles for reading later via the star button on the main toolbar (select ‘Reading List’, rename it if necessary and click Add).

Review your reading list via the hub button – choose ‘Reading List’ to browse the list, then when you’re finished with a specific article, right-click it and choose ‘Remove’.

(Via:https://www.techradar.com/how-to/computing/how-to-use-microsoft-edge-1312585)

 

Make the bookmarks bar and home button more accessible.

Store frequently accessed bookmarks in the Favourites bar folder, then open Settings and flick the ‘Show the favourites bar’ switch to On.

Restore the Home button by switching ‘Show the home button’ on at ‘… > Settings > View advanced settings’. Change ‘about:start’ to ‘about:blank’ for a blank page or your desired home page’s web address, then click ‘Save’.

(Via:https://www.techradar.com/how-to/computing/how-to-use-microsoft-edge-1312585)

 

Share what you have just read.

Edge allows you to both annotate and then share web pages with others. Click the ‘Web note’ button and use the various tools to frame and annotate your page.

Once done, click ‘Save’ to save the note in OneNote or place it in your Favourites or Reading List. Click ‘Share’ to share it using a supported Store app like Facebook or Twitter, which you should install separately.

(Via:https://www.techradar.com/how-to/computing/how-to-use-microsoft-edge-1312585)

 

Some websites will not open in Edge. That is because it only has one plug-in. And that is when you can open it through Internet Explorer. Remember Internet Explorer?

Edge only supports one plugin – Adobe Flash – so some websites may not work properly. If this is the case, click ‘…’ and choose ‘Open with Internet Explorer’.

And if you’d rather make IE your default browser click ‘Start > Settings > System > Default apps’. Scroll down to Web browser, click ‘Microsoft Edge’ and choose Internet Explorer (or another installed browser) instead.

(Via:https://www.techradar.com/how-to/computing/how-to-use-microsoft-edge-1312585)

 

Microsoft Edge can still make your surfing and browsing experience great. To make your computer usage better for your data, take action when you experience problems in your hard drive or other storage. Visit https://www.harddriverecovery.org/blog/clicking-hard-drive/ and this site for more details.

Microsoft Edge: How To Use It was initially seen on HDRG Blog

From https://www.harddriverecovery.org/blog/microsoft-edge-how-to-use-it/

Data Recovery Expert Discusses The Power Of Google Drive, Computer Efficiency

Southern California data recovery services expert Hard Drive Recovery Group has published two recent blog posts, one on the Google Drive application sphere, and one on the parts of personal computers that can make a performance difference. The posts continue the company’s goal to keep customers well informed not only on protecting their data, but also on operating a computer efficiently.

In the post, “Why Use Google Notes When Taking Notes”, HDRG discusses Google Docs, which are an exemplary option for almost anyone working on the web today. While certainly it isn’t the best way to keep deeply private notes, as with anything on Google, it does have a number of solid features that make stand alone desktop word processing programs not only obsolete, but often irrelevant.

Organization is the key to operating with Google Drive, but fortunately the best feature of storing any kind of document, presentation or note there is in fact the search function. The Drive feature also allows users to share documents with only specific users, which makes for an excellent collaboration tool.

“While it’s unlikely Google Docs will ever supplant Microsoft Office, it does a lot of things that the latter program does, except free of charge,” said Maureen Davies, spokesperson for Hard Drive Recovery Group. “This seems to follow Google’s pattern of offering free products in exchange for access to personal information. For some people, this is quite worth it.”

The post also mentions the Google Docs research tool, which unsurprisingly integrates with search functions to enable a user to research terms and ideas while documents are being prepared. It too is available freely to anyone that has an Internet connection and a Google account.

In a second blog post, entitled, “What Influences Computer Efficiency”, HDRG references the key components of any personal computer, and discusses the speed factor for each.

“Every once and a while it’s important to put out a blog post that explains computers at their most basic level, if only because there are a lot of people out there that do not understand them,” said Davies. “When it comes to maintaining a computer system over the long term, knowledge is definitely power.”

The article (read more here) notes some of the bottlenecks in most computer systems when it comes to speed and data processing performance. Easily the most important bottleneck in any computer tends to be the hard disk drive. These drives tend to be much slower than solid state drives, or SSD, and can greatly affect the computer’s overall speed.

“When a computer is using an older hard disk drive, it is almost automatically slower than a system that uses an SSD,” said Davies. “In terms of overall performance boost, nothing is better than to upgrade from HDD to SSD.”

The article also references RAM (Random Access Memory) and video cards, which tend to round out the components most responsible for performance increases and decreases. These components are particularly important when the computer is required to do high-intensity processing tasks such as editing video and playing today’s serious video games. And while upgrading a video card is critical mostly for game play, RAM is something that very few systems can get enough of.

“While personal computers have greatly increased the level of performance and speed they offer a typical user over the past 10 years, typically software has not necessarily kept up,” said Davies. “But, with Windows 10 having such a large footprint, and the multitasking needs of many folks, you really cannot get enough RAM.”

Hard Drive Recovery Group does not repair computers per se, but the company offers emergency data recovery in cases of physical hard drive failure or hard disk clicking scenarios. They offer free hard drive evaluations over the phone, as well as at their Irvine, CA laboratory.

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from Hard Drive Recovery Group