What’s new at SaddleBrooke Computer Club

Richard Beaty

Windows 10

The big news from Microsoft—Windows 10 will be released this summer. To provide for the smoothest possible transition in the computer club classroom, The SBCC board decided to defer implementation of Windows 10 and continue to use Windows 8.1, at least until the winter holidays.

If you want to learn more about Windows 10, it is being installed on a demonstration PC, and two six-week Move to Windows 10 demonstration classes are scheduled for the fall. See the course calendar at www.saddlebrookecc.org for details.

Beware of Scammers Offering to “Fix” Your Computer

Continuing my summer theme on Computer Security, today I address the issue of companies that contact you, alerting you to problems with your computer and offering to fix them. Sometimes these offers come up on your computer. Other times you get unsolicited phone calls warning you of problems with your computer.

Recently reported in SaddleBrooke is a scam whereby a pop-up appears on your computer, warning you of a problem and instructing you to call a number to get help. When you get someone on the line, they may claim to be a Microsoft contractor who has been authorized to take care of issues with Windows computers. At this point, they ask for your credit card information and authorization to remotely access your computer. They then proceed to install virus and malware protection programs on your computer – programs that are actually available to you for free. You will not only be charged for these services at the time they are provided, but they may enroll you in a monthly recurring charge, supposedly to monitor your computer and keep you free of problems.

The most notorious support scam is probably the Window Support swindle. Many SaddleBrooke residents have received calls from someone purporting to be from Windows Support. I’ve received these calls myself multiple times. They tell you that they have detected problems with your computer, and they can fix them online. They may have you run a program that lists a whole host of things that are supposed to be malicious. In fact, the things displayed, while they may look strange to you, may be completely benign. To “fix” these issues, they ask for your credit card and remote access to your computer. Not only can this cost you money, but when you open up your entire computer to a complete stranger, you have done the virtual equivalent of opening the front door of your house to a thief. They may install malware on your computer; they may download sensitive files. Whatever they do, they are definitely up to no good.

Know this—Microsoft will never contact you about a problem with your computer. And any kind of pop-up warning that instructs you to call someone else for help is not on the up-and-up.