This week: Online Help - BEWARE
There are many circumstances that require calling a help desk to resolve a problem; i.e., Internet service providers for connectivity issues, but in the last month or so several of my clients have used online help desks and have called me after a less than satisfactory experience to fix the resulting issues. Some were scammers, the ones obtained from a popup on your monitor that indicates you have errors on your PC, and instructing you to click for help from their highly trained techs to fix your PC. When you click on the link, the tech will do nothing without your credit card number, after which they access your PC over the Internet and play inside, tell you that it’s fixed, go away, and you discover your PC has more problems than it had before the “help desk” intervened. And, most likely, they have downloaded all your personal data, and you have a recurring charge on your credit card, and you cannot find the company again. The other helpdesk used is CenturyLink. They have expanded into PC support as well as Internet support, but the word I have from people who have used their services is that their techs are poorly trained and have a finite script to work from, typically unable to fix the problems and often causing more damage.
I understand when your PC is down you want it fixed ASAP, and waiting for someone to come out to help you or take it to them is very time consuming, but you know who is working on your machine and where to find him/her. I usually back up your hard drive before I start working on it and keep a copy for about a year in case something happens to your hard drive so a copy of your pictures is available. Yes, I can use the current remote support options, but I prefer to be on site, and if your Internet connectivity has problems, there is no way to connect to your PC. So please do not click on any “Help Desk” link that may pop up from the Internet; instead, have a person you know work on your PC to keep your personal data personal.
‘til next week
Robert - 360-497-3130 Cell
Please send your questions to
snail mail to:
P. O. Box 372
Randle, WA 98377
Index to Past ComputerFAQ Columns:
May 29, 2013
May 22, 2013 Faxing With Multi-Function Printers
May 15, 2013 Scanners and Software
May 8, 2013 Battery Replacement May Be Necessary
May 1, 2013 Zombies Search Your Personal Info
April 24, 2013 Java and Adobe Updates NOT to be Ignored
April 17, 2013 Passwords And Email
April 10, 2013 Spring Cleaning-The Inside
April 3, 2013 Spring Cleaning for Your PC
March 27, 2013 Microsoft WORKS Great Substitute for Office
March 20, 2013 Windows 8 UPDATE
March 13, 2013 Helpful Equipment
March 6, 2013 Build Your Own PC
February 27, 2013 Build Your Own PC
February 20, 2013 More Help with Viruses
February 13, 2013 VIRUSes How Did I Get It?????
February 6, 2013 VIRUSes EXPECT A BAD YEAR!
January 23, 2013 Protect Your Computer from JAVA Vulnerability
January 16, 2013 Driver Update Managers
January 9, 2013 Unwanted Programs & Tools Bars
January 2, 2013 Randome Loss Of Interne
December 19, 2012 Recovery Disks
December 12, 2012 Warranty Service Part 2