Friday, May 11, 2012

Phishing scams


I see a lot of spam these days, more and more it seems. Much of it comes in to my small business e-mails, like my PC Doc e-mail or my BRFRBO e-mail. Many of these are "PHISHING" e-mails, meaning someone is trying to fool me into making a payment when no payment is due, and of course the payment will go to the criminal and not the legitimate business. I posted an example of a fine looking e-mail from Verizon on this web site just a few weeks ago. Today I got one from a "PAYPAL" address. It was clear to me that it was a phishing attempt, and for Paypal I know that they have an address,, where one can forward suspected phishing attempts. I did that and got the following reply:

"Hello pcdoc,

Thanks for forwarding that suspicious-looking email. You're right - it
was a phishing attempt, and we're working on stopping the fraud. By
reporting the problem, you've made a difference!

Identity thieves try to trick you into revealing your password or other
personal information through phishing emails and fake websites. To learn
more about online safety, click "Security Center" on any PayPal webpage.

Every email counts. When you forward suspicious-looking emails to, you help keep yourself and others safe from identity

Your account security is very important to us, so we appreciate your
extra effort.



Thursday, May 10, 2012


Microsoft's Malicious Software Removal Tool (MSRT) became available with this week's Microsoft Automatic Updates. If you received this week's updates and installed them all you have MSRT. Microsoft updates this tool every month, and we have all just installed the May version.

I encourage you all to do as I do. Once installed, run a full scan on your computer. It'll take a while, but I view this as free insurance. The MSRT tool has never found a problem on any of my machines, and I am glad of that!

Be sure you have installed this week's updates and then do the following: Click on START then RUN and then key in MRT and click on OK. On the second screen click on FULL SCAN and let it run.

Note: in the above paragraph, MRT is not a typo. I don't know why Microsoft didn't set this up so we would run MSRT, but they chose to name the program simply MRT!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

What To Do If Your Laptop Is Plugged In But Not Charging

This is a very common problem, unfortunately, especially for those of us who try to get the most out of our investments nowadays. The author does a very thorough job of identifying all of the problems that might cause this phenomenon. I have experienced this at least 20 or 30 times, sad to say sometimes on my own laptops, and the problem, also unfortunately, is most often caused by item # 4 in this article from Yes, you need to check out all the possibilities, and if you are lucky you may find the cause of your problem is simple to fix.

If you eliminate all but # 4, you will need to take your laptop in to a hardware shop that can take the laptop apart and re-solder or replace the power connector, the place where what you plug into your laptop comes into contact with the innards of the machine.

The last time I had this done, it cost me about $100, but that was 10 or so years ago. The tab may be higher these days. However, I happen to be in possession of a laptop with the problem described in item # 4, and intend to drop it off at a local shop for an estimate. I will follow up with what I find out.

The article is definitely worth a read, You'll find it here.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

I accidentally came upon a new web site I hadn't known existed until today. It is Tech Tips Geek or

Check it out and see what you think. I will be doing the same and will likely post some of their tips if the site is as good as I think it might be.