Tech Talk #26 – May 28, 2016
Microsoft is giving away the latest version of Windows, Windows 10. And they’re getting pretty aggressive about it – even marking it as a Windows Update. The upgrade can happen even if you don’t explicitly ask for it.
If you’ve decided Windows10 isn’t for you, or if you want to have some control over when your computer gets the upgrade, open your favorite browser and search for “Never10.” Never10 is a program from Steve Gibson at Gibson Research Corporation which lets you control when to upgrade to Windows10. Download Never10 only from the grc.com search result. Double-click on the downloaded never10.exe file to run the program. Now just click on the Disable Win10 Upgrade button. That’s all there is to it.
When, or if, you decide you do want the Windows10 upgrade, just go back to the never10.exe file in your Downloads folder, double-click to run it, and click on the Enable Win10 Upgrade button.
If your computer did the upgrade to Windows 10 and you don’t like it, you can always put it back. Here’s how: Open the Start menu and click on Settings. Then click the Update & security icon and select Recovery.
You should see a “Go back to Windows 7” or “Go back to Windows 8.1” option, depending on what was on your PC when you upgraded. Click the Get started button to restore your previous version of Windows. Of course, Microsoft will ask you why you want to go back. Don’t be afraid, let them know.
After your computer reboots a few times, the process is complete. Your desktop icons, wallpaper, and all your files and programs will be right where you left them.
Fake tech support scams
Well, those darn fake tech support scammers are still at it. It seems like there are more of them than ever and they’re changing their tactics.
In addition to calling you on the phone pretending to be from Microsoft, they are also now generating popups or unauthorized web pages on your screen. These popups can take over your computer and scare you about all sorts of bad things that you’ve done or that could happen if you don’t call the number on your screen to get it fixed. Immediately, if not sooner. Don’t worry it’s all a lie.
How should you handle these scammers?
For the phone calls, just hang up on them. Don’t engage them at all. They’re good salesmen and may trick you into doing things you shouldn’t do.
For the web pages that take over your computer, just turn off the computer, wait for a few seconds (maybe while you ponder the life choices someone must have made for it to seem normal to them to cheat computer users out of money) then turn the computer back on and all should be well. If you’ve got any lingering weirdness, run a full scan with your anti-virus and anti-malware programs and you should be good.
If you want to report a scam, try to get as much information from the caller as you can: The name of the company they claim to work for, the company’s web address, and a phone number or address. You’d be surprised how many of them will give that information to you.
Once you have all that information, hang up — and report the call to the relevant authorities. Microsoft has a Web page dedicated to tech-support scams; Google Microsoft scam calls to find it. The Federal Trade Commission also has a website for fielding complaints; Google Microsoft scam calls ftc to find their website.
Never give a caller your credit card number or allow them to install software on your PC. And remember, no one will ever call you and tell you there is something wrong with your computer.
OK, OK, wait. There is someone who might call you about your computer. There is a very very very slight chance that your Internet Service Provider (ISP) could call you if your computer gets infected with malware that turns it into a “bot” for hackers.
If a caller claims to be calling from your ISP, ask for the caller’s name, where his or her office is located, and for the office telephone number. Ask why you’re being contacted by telephone, what the issue with your computer is and how Internet provider could tell it was your PC specifically that had a problem. Then hang up and call your ISP back using the phone number listed on your bill, not the one your caller gave you. Ask for the tech support department or for the person who called you specifically.
It’s a new world
For years there has been a theory that millions of monkeys typing at random on millions of typewriters would reproduce the entire works of Shakespeare. The Internet has proven this theory to be untrue. – Anonymous
Do you have a computer or technology question? Greg Cunningham has been providing Tehachapi with on-site PC and network services since 2007. Email Greg at email@example.com.