Category Archives: Common Customer Concerns

TechRestore Offers One on One and Group Training for Apple Devices

Yay! I got a Mac! …. Now what??

Have you ever wished you could sit down with someone and have them just show you how to use your iPhone, iPad or Mac?  Are you confused by the newest updates? Do you just know there are features you’re not taking full advantage of?

TechRestore answers the call!  We not only repair, refurbish and sell Apple products, we use them and we love them!  Now, we’re happy to offer 45 minute one-on-one instructional courses in our store.  These sessions cover basic applications and help you fully understand and efficiently use your Apple devices.

Currently we offer training for iPhone, iPad, iPod, iMac, MacBook, MacBook Pro and MacBook Air.  Topics range from using Touch ID to understanding iCloud to just getting started!  If you have a specific topic you want to cover that’s not on our listing, just call the store after you book your appointment.

Our trainings are available for $39.99 for one session OR you can save some and learn more with three sessions for $99.99.  We’re all about adding value, so rest assured, you won’t be left hanging.  We allow extra time for questions. Sessions can be booked here ,directly from our FaceBook page or just call or come by our store.

Groups can also take advantage of this great service!

Maybe you want to collaborate on a project, or share files and photos or get the most out of FaceTime!  Whatever your needs, you can trust TechRestore to be there with knowledge, experience and understanding. Team TechRestore has over 30 years of combined hands on Apple expertise and extensive experience in corporate and school site training.  Groups of THREE or more qualify for special discounts on in store training and larger group trainings can also be accommodated.

Recently, we added some short, focused training videos to our YouTube channel.  Head on over (and subscribe, because there are more coming soon) and check them out!  These are done right in the store (so you can hear all the life going on in the background) by our very own Daniel B. (the Bob Ross of all things Mac).  The first is a quick tutorial for Photos, the second is part 1 of understanding “Settings” in iOS 11.

We’re here to help!  Let us know what topics YOU would like to see, in person or in a video.  After all, who would we be without our awesome customers?

Don’t have an iPhone, iPad or Mac? We can help with that too!

TechRestore is a TRUE Mac specialist – we buy, sell, repair, use and LOVE Apple products. Come see our selection of Grade A devices, laptops and desktops for sale.  Of course, we don’t stop there!  We back up all our products with a full 90 day functional warranty AND we offer extended warranties that include accidental damage coverage.  See store for details.

We look forward to meeting you!

Cool and Interesting on FaceBook This Week

Ok, so we’re going to go a little further back than “this week” because we have been posting some weird and wonderful things  on FaceBook! Here are the highlights, in case you don’t follow us on FB.  If you don’t, you really should – we don’t always do a recap of postings on our blog, but we post fun facts, useful tips, new and weird tech from all over the web on our page everyday.

Leading the top 5 weirdest things we’ve ever posted: The Third Thumb.  Please, please watch the video and see if you can stop thinking about how helpful this could be!  I mean, some of those people don’t look too coordinated and they were doing just fine.  Coming in at honorable mention in the weird things category, the “10 Weirdest Emoji”, unraveling the mystery of the enigmatic emoji. (Que dramatic music.)

If you are looking for cool things to do with the incredible camera in your pocket, you may get some inspiration from Burton Rast. His 100 photos in 100 days were taken on his iPhone 6s.  He used an app to edit them to draw your eye to what he wants you to see – with incredible results.  If you have your own gang of photographers, put together an amazing project without a third party app, using Photos’ Shared Albums feature.  It’s the best reason yet to scatter and reassemble (and you may learn some things about your friends, families or co-workers, too).

Apple’s HomeKit is now available to try at select Apple stores in an unexpected way.  It goes way beyond “Why can’t you just get up and switch off the lights?”.  With the advances in Augmented Reality, we imagine it won’t be long before you can see it “work” in your home using just your phone.

With all this talk of photo taking and editing, the possibilities of AR, your iPhone battery may be feeling faint! Fear not, here are 10 in depth, pro-level tips to fix battery drain (some you may not know about, we didn’t!).

Speaking of Pro-Level .. Bill Nye the Science Guy.  The coolest things he’s ever done, well, only a few people really know that.  But for the vast majority, who have kindled or rekindled a curiosity of the sciences, engineering, life on earth – these are 11 OF the coolest things.  We feel like any one of us could increase this list to infinity (and BeYOND .. c’mon, you know you said it too).

If you’ve enjoyed the drone footage of Apple Park coming together like we have, well, it will soon be over.  For good reason, of course.  If you do a search for “drone footage of Apple Park”, there are approximately a gajillion. A nuisance at best and a real security risk at worst, especially as employees begin moving in to the massive new digs.

There were more tips and a “Happy Birthday App Store”!

If you have ideas or fun, weird, interesting facts to share, please comment!  If you dig what we’re doing and want the undying thanks of all your closest family and friends, please share us!  And be sure to follow along on FaceBook.

Have a great weekend!

Your friends at TechRestore

 

 

Those Annoying “Infected” Pop-Ups are Fake 100% of the Time

Say you’re casually surfing the web and suddenly there’s a pop-up window in the middle of your screen stating “Your computer is infected! Download this NOW! or call us NOW!”.  Even if you’re savvy enough to know it’s fake, you may still get an instant headache at the thought of detecting and removing this annoying message.  If it’s the first time this has happened or if you’ve been through a virus nightmare before, your reaction may be more dramatic.

Rest assured, those annoying pop-ups are fake – 100% of the time.

The pop-up is really there, but the service they are basically demanding you download and pay for is malicious and will not solve any problems.  In fact, in most cases, it will make the problem a million times worse.  Now, Macs are not immune to malware but the operating system is less vulnerable.  Sometimes, that makes Mac users more susceptible because they are not accustomed to seeing these fake warnings.  MOST malware (viruses, adware, spyware, ransomware, etc) targeted at Macs require you to take some action to allow it first.  Even if you don’t download it, or call, many times the pop-ups will continue and you will need to take some action to remove it from your system.

So where does this malware come from and how can you tell what it is?  Simply put, malware is any program whose purpose is to cause harm to your system.  There are subsets of malware, with varying degrees of harm.

  • A virus is a contagious code that infects other software and spreads itself through a system and to other computers.
  • Adware, while not malicious itself, can affect overall performance and be super annoying.  It’s basically uninvited commercials.
  • Spyware is malicious, in that it does what the name suggests: it spies on you.  It tracks activity and is usually difficult to detect, it also can cause unwanted pop-ups.
  • A worm is an attack that replicates itself and destroys user files and system files, disabling a computer or a network.
  • Trojans disguise themselves as harmless programs, but once opened unleash viruses and attack systems.
  • Ransomware is less common but has been in the news more lately, it gains access to a system and encrypts data files, demanding the user pay to have them decrypted.  This type is particularly dangerous and authorities should be notified immediately.
  • Scareware is that pop-up with an ominous warning. “Call now” or “Download Immediately”, IF you do call or download, there will always be future problems.

Most browsers (Safari, etc) and Mac OS will warn you if you’re opening a program from the internet (as opposed to the App Store).  If you visit sites where there is a lot of peer-to-peer networking or file sharing going on, you may consider an anti-malware that runs real time scans on your system.  If you don’t download from the internet, click unknown links in email and verify requests for personal information before giving it out, you may still want to install a “clean up” tool instead. You would run a program like this if you suspect malware.

Be sure you do your homework and read reviews from non-biased sources prior to paying for any anti-malware software.  For example, go to PC Magazine or MacWorld and then search from their site. Our techs install a free program called Malwarebytes when they clear malware from a computer to help you stay “clean” in the future.

If you have or suspect you have malware, TechRestore is here to help.  Our techs are pros at getting your computer in tip top shape, in case you’ve fallen into one of the traps listed above.

Be on Guard Against Mac Malware OSX/Dok

Macs are less vulnerable, by nature, to viruses and malware, but they are not impervious.  There is a real threat right now, that we feel compelled to share with you, so you can be on guard and spread the news to other Mac users.   It takes over the system, but it starts with a phishing email, hoping you will let it in.

Now, most of us know by now about phishing and how to check for fake emails.  Many companies have a dedicated link on their website to report suspicious emails, in fact.  Bad guys are bad, though, and they spend their time making it harder and harder to tell the true from the false (seriously, can we give them some better project to spend their time on?).

Please read and share this blog and the links below, which have some very helpful tips about how to educate yourself and hopefully avoid falling victim to these malicious attacks.

From the good folks at 9to5 Mac:

Nasty Mac malware bypasses Gatekeeper, undetectable by most antivirus apps

PSA: Now is a good time to educate your less-techy friends about ‘Apple’ phishing emails

A great article to not only remove, but to protect against in the first place, from MacWorld:

The best free methods for removing Mac malware, viruses and ransomware

And another, which goes into a bit more detail about this new threat, from Cult of Mac:

Gatekeeper won’t stop this ‘major scale’ Mac malware

And finally, a good overview of Mac general security tips from noodlemac:

My Favorite Mac Security Tips

Of course, if you don’t have time or don’t feel comfortable removing malicious programs yourself, we’re here to help!

PS – If you’ve been a subscriber for any length of time, you know we don’t usually post two blogs in one day.  We really feel like this is important and didn’t want to wait to pass it along.  Please share as you see fit and we’ll be back on our regular schedule next week!

To Cloud or Not to Cloud?

Do you use the cloud to backup your personal photos, documents, contacts, music and video? Is your data safe?  How does it work?  Is it worth it?

If you’ve ever lost a hard drive, or a phone you know – the pain is real.  Even worse, if you do have a physical backup you count on to restore your data, only to find out it’s been corrupted and you didn’t even know it.  Your precious data is gone and unless you have a small fortune to invest in getting it back, all you have are your memories.

So what is the cloud, exactly? Cloud storage refers to services that question-mark-cloudoperate large physical facilities full of servers.  The data you send to them is encrypted and only accessible by you (they cannot get it) using a password that you set.  You can sync automatically from nearly any electronic device (phone, desktop, etc). Most providers have multiple locations around the world and backup data in more than one physical place.  You can access your stored data from anywhere, by logging in to your cloud account.

You may feel like putting your data backup in someone else’s hands is just a way to have someone to blame if it gets lost.  That really couldn’t be further from the truth.  So what keeps some of us from getting on board with cloud storage?  With a cloud service, you can set up automatic backups of your data.  On your phone, you can even set it to back up every time you take a picture.  So what’s the hold up?

Here are a few common objections:

“I don’t have time.”  A lot of people feel this way.  The bad news is, if you have a TON of data, it will take a long time for that initial back up.  The good news, though, is that subsequent back ups will be very quick, mostly seamless.  You may also take into account how much time would be saved in the event of total data loss.

“I don’t know how to do it.”  Cloud computing has been around for a very long time now.  Before it became mainstream to offer it to the general public, large corporations and even governments were using cloud storage for their data (usually as a back up to a physical copy). Now that Amazon, Apple,Google, Dropbox, Box and many others are offering – even aggressively marketing – their storage services for free and for subscription, the interfaces are incredibly easy to use and setting up your backup schedule is easier than setting your DVR.

“It’s too expensive for the amount of space I need.”  Realistically, most of us need more than what the top companies are offering for free. Most services start off with 5GB for free and go up to 1TB, 2TB or even unlimited for a monthly or yearly subscription.  Depending on what you’re backing up (movies, for example, need a lot more space) you may be able to get by on 5GB.  Prices for subscription range from .99 per month (Apple for 50GB) up to $60 per year (Amazon unlimited).

“It’s not safe.”  Actually, it is safer than locally stored data.  The service where your data is stored cloud-storage-lockdoesn’t have access to your data, they only provide the space (be sure to read the privacy policy no matter what).  The real vulnerability to your data is the security you provide.  Use a rock solid password and change it regularly.  Use physical back up in addition to the cloud and use several cloud services (OneDrive for your documents, iCloud for contacts and photos, for example). The most valuable benefit is that your data is safe from malware and ransomware in the cloud. As the use of cloud storage rises in popularity, you can expect that optimization and security will also improve.

At the end of the day, each person has to decide how important their data is and what’s the best way to protect and preserve it.  The best advice you can take is your own!  Make a list of what’s important to you, what your concerns are and shop for a cloud service that fits the bill.