Answers...

to commonly asked questions.

viruses

You're not being "hacked". You're being outsmarted.

The word "hacking" is being incorrectly used in the news these days. You are far more susceptible to being tricked or fooled, than you are being "hacked". The term hacked makes us think there is some terrible code running that someone installed on our computers. Bad guys don't have to work that hard. You're way over thinking it.

All they really need to do is send you an email like this one and hope you fall for it. Or just get one of these and sit back and wait for you not to notice.

Do not fall for these tricks!

Scotty,
I tried to take a screen shot of a window that has appeared on my computer several times in the past 24 hours; but lost it before I could send it to you.  It’s title is: “personal files are unprotected” and is accompanied elsewhere (and at different times by a small window) by a request to scan files and then clean the junk files.  I see no Apple ID on either of the screens; the first one is “powered by Amazon” and the smaller second one simply has a robot looking (Michelin Man) icon on it.  So far, I have done the scan, and it is now saying that I can clean 2.7 GB of junk files, but I hesitate to go any further until you can confirm that is legit?!  Where would it have come from without any Apple or other ID?  It seemed to have come out of left field???
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No No No! These "cleaning" pieces of software are not a good idea to have anything to do with. They are setting you up to try to convince you that you have some terrible problems. They will show you all the files they say are corrupt. Then they will tell you to call a phone number for help. There is nothing wrong. These are completely unnecessary. They will tell you your computer is unprotected. They will say your social security number may have been exposed. They will use words like "firewall", or "open ports" to try to convince you you need their help. They are lying. They will use icons that are very close in design to Apple's own intellectual property to try to subliminally convince you they are the good guys. They are not. Here's an example:

This is Automator. It's a program that comes on every Mac and it is written by Apple. It's a program that allows technical users to write their own set of commands of sorts. Most users will never use it but it lives on every Mac and is completely harmless.
Screen Shot 2016-08-26 at 11.29.57 AM

Here's the logo of one of the terrible pieces of software I mentioned before. Notice the similarity in design.
Unknown


Do not do business with any of these type companies.

When Youtube is not Youtube.

Hey Scotty,  new one on me.  Went to youtube official page and now a popup saying I need to send my name and password to 'cumbby.in:80.  force quit does not help.
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Sounds like you've run into an ad. This is a very convincing ad. Usually poses as a different site and force quitting and restarting your browser only takes you right back to the same place. There are bad guys out there that buy domain names very similar to popular ones. For example, if you add an extra y to nytimes.com you will go to a completely bogus site.

Should be a simple fix. Force Quit Safari and before restarting, hold down the shift key. That should get you back on the safe internet again. You will also want to open safari preferences and check extensions. Uninstall all extensiions.

Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 12.17.09 PM

I think I have a virus

Don't know what is wrong? My computer is telling me I have a virus.
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You don't have a virus. It's an ad on your browser. Like Safari or Chrome or Firefox. The ad is trying to scare you into calling the phone number. Don't call the number. Here's what to do:

Quit or Force quit your browser (Safari most likely)
Hold down the shift key and start your browser back up again.

Problem should be gone.

The ad may reappear another day but it's living on a website. You went to a website that that terrible scary ad was hiding. Just don't go back to that site again. If you do, simply follow the instructions above and you'll be back on your way in no time.

No, you don't have a virus, but...

Lots of people report suspected "viruses" lately. While we don't have to worry much about that, we do need to be careful not to fall for the terrible ads that have been appearing lately. These ads use javascript to hijack your browser. So here are a few tips to get yourself out of the tar pit you find yourself in from time to time on the internet these days.

1. Don't fall for the warnings that you don't have a firewall, or that your security is in jeopardy, or that your social security number has been compromised. These ads are designed to scare you.
2. Don't call the number on the screen. Don't give them any credit card, routing number, checking information. This has actually happened with several of my clients.
3. Force quit your browser using the key command "option+command+esc".
4. Restart your browser holding down the shift key.
5. Go to preferences in your browser and turn off extensions. Often these extensions will have an uninstall button.
6. Check to make sure your homepage is what you'd like it to be, not some terrible search page.

Malware comes to the Mac

Hi there!  You helped clean up my mac a few months ago because it was very slow and giving me the rainbow spinning all the time.  It is not happening again.  I was considering upgrading to a new desk top with more space and possibly faster, but didn’t want to do so if I was going to get these same problems.  I think you said some of the problem was things I picked up online?  I guess that would be the case again in a new Mac?  Just don’t want to waste money if the issues will b the same….Otherwise, I might want your advice and set up for a new mac.
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Yes. It's become a very common occurrence that people are accidentally installing malware on to their macs. This new malware comes in many forms. IntallMac, TuneMyMac, MacKeeper, MacReviever are all bad pieces of software in my opinion and should be avoided. The good news is that they don't install themselves. I human being that lives in the house has to fall for the marketing trick of "your mac is running slow..click here and your prayers will be answered." Most of these terrible scams advertise on less than moral websites often and that's usually where we pick them up.

With all that being said, a new mac doesn't solve that issue. We have to be conservative when surfing the web, don't fall for advertising scams, and try to avoid the darker seedy parts of the internet.

There are many reasons a mac can start performing slowly. Age is one of them if the user continues to update their computer. Each update asks the hardware to perform tasks it was not originally designed to perform. That's why no one you know is using the original iPhone anymore. Each operating system update slows the phone's performance just a little more than the last one. Computers are the same way. So if your computer is several years old and you're running the latest version of the Operating System, then yes. It may be time to upgrade.

Do I have a virus?

Scotty, I have a question. My computer says "system virus warning action required." It is form Norton. I cannot exit from screen. Even when I turn off computer and restart, I am unable to use Safari. Two things-- the phone number number is not for Norton, and I do not have a Norton account. What do I do?
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This is becoming a more and more common occurrence on the mac. There are several possiblilities.

1. You’ve downloaded one of the many scam pieces of software such as “tunemymac”, “mackeeper”, “installmac” which pretend to do wonderful things for your mac, but in fact, they are tricking us into believing we have problems and should call that number where someone is waiting to convince you to give your credit card number away.

2. You could have installed an extension for Safari which is doing the same thing.

3. You may merely be looking at an ad within your browser.

You are probably correct that while it says it’s from Norton, it is not. I still do not recommend people use virus software on their macs. What I do recommend is great common sense. These programs do not install on their own. They pretend to look very much like Apple software but in the end, any program you install must still require your admin password. And only a human being who knows that password can install one of those pieces of software.

Did somesome install bad stuff on my computer?

Scotty, had some folks washing windows in my house and I now have " your browser has been blocked screen". Guess looking at bad stuff? $1000 to get it unblocked? "Policebadult" at bottom of page.. Alleges FBI etc. guess this is a scam. What do I do?
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It is highly likely that the coinsedince that you hare having some work done at your home has nothing to do with your computer issue. They are most likely not related. This is totally %100 a scam. It may very well simply be an advertisement or browser window. I would suggest shutting down the computer and restarting. Then when opening your browser go to a page like cnn.com or similar. If you HAVE in fact installed a malicious piece of software accidentally, I would be happy to remove it for you. Macs are not impervious to bad guys but we are a very hard target. And when I hear stories such as this one, it’s almost always because the user of the computer installed the program and granted permission to be installed with their password.

Is this really from Apple?

Is this really from Apple?  The reply address looks fake.
Screen Shot 2014-10-23 at 11.29.45 AM
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Yes. Good eye. It’s totally fake. These guys are getting better at hiding their intentions and becoming more convincing. The the rule still stands. Don’t click on links in email you weren’t expecting. In this case, the goal is to get you to click the link so that you’ll go to a website they’ve set up to look like an apple site so that you’ll put your appleID and password into. Clicking the link doesn’t cause the harm. It’s you then being fooled into giving your information up once you get the the webpage. If you ever receive something you are suspicious about, you can hover over the link in your email program and it will reveal the actual URL.

Other clues to watch out for include: grammatical errors, punctuation errors, poorly constructed sentences, etc...

Don't be scammed! There's nothing wrong with your Mac.

Scotty,  been experiencing several problems including not interfacing with my printer.  Called Pixma to get them to reinstall software to fix and they said that that system has been compromised.  They further showed me that I have a virus in the name of Trojan Horse and that my network is corrupted by CSRSS.exe.  They suggested that they install, from their end, 'Network Shield' for $239 + tax for one year.    Can you advise , as they are sure that my personal data and financial info online is at the mercy of Hackers from Nigeria.  To date those have not been disturbed, to my knowledge.  I am wondering if I was talking to scammers. I used an 855 number on Pixma website.
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Ok. Where to begin? Pixma is a model of Canon printers so calling any number associated to “Pixma” would possibly result in the scam you’ve happened upon. Do not, repeat DO NOT give your card to any online phone service claiming your computer has been hacked etc... That is 100% a scam. The fact that you may not be able to print to your printer is irrelevant to anything they can see as having been hacked or having a virus etc...

Furthermore, CSRRS.exe would be an executable file that would ONLY run in windows as it is. Any file by that name would not run on your Mac. These type of companies: Tunemymac, Mackeeper, Network shield or whoever the people you spoke with, are all preying on mac users who may not know any better and would fall for any story they tell. It is a hoax. They will say anything to scare you.

You most likely dialed a number advertised on the web as an advertisement claiming to be able to help your mac. I can not stress enough that your printer issues have nothing to do with anything these people you spoke with. I strongly suggest you do not give any personal information out. Instead, you can join me on my weekly town hall on Monday and we may be able to troubleshoot the printer issue remotely. If you’ve never used my free town hall meetings, you can check out what they’re like in the link at the top of this page marked “
previous town halls”. No scams! Just free help.

Trend Microsystems?

Scotty,
Please advise if I need the Trend-Micro Systems software on my computer.  I have had it since 2009.

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No. Absolutely not.

Same scam, different day.

Scotty:

These strange emails are coming more and more frequently.  Since 5:00 yesterday I’ve received 20 of them.
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It’s not really an attack. More likely your email address has been compromised and is now on a list of emails that spammers use to sell advertising. Feel free to forward any of these suspect emails to me and I could give you a better idea. Just be sure not to follow any of the links provided in the email to a web page then enter your information into those pages. Clicking on the link itself won’t really cause harm, but entering information once you get there can. Overall the mac is a pretty secure operating system but we humans are often fooled by what what we see.

Do not use "rapport".

Can you please tell me how I can quit receiving any e-mail on my laptop.  Somehow all the AOL mail to my "real" computer comes in on that mail site (the stamp logo) on the laptop, and in trying to erase it, I've erased every bit of saved mail I had, plus a bunch of other mail.  I keep getting messages from Roadrunner that my system is 70% full and I think it has something to do w/the laptop.    I don't want to get any e-mail on the laptop, and I've gone into Mail Preference and can't see how to undo it.  I'm read to take a hammer to the whole thing.  Any easy way?

Thanks.
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To remove an account in the Stamp program (apple’s email application) first open the program then under the word “mail” in the menu bar, select “preferences”.

Screen Shot 2011-10-12 at 9.21.30 PM
Next, in the newly opened window, select the email account you wish to delete. To do this, click on the accounts picture across the top then select the road runner account. Finally, hit the minus button in the bottom left corner. That email account will no longer appear in the stamp.
Screen Shot 2011-10-12 at 9.23.28 PM

If you want to remove multiple accounts, just select the next account and hit the minus button again.

Windows virus alert scam.

Internet connection in upstairs girls room very very slow! U helped a few yes ago. What should we do?
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There are several things to consider. Large homes usually require multiple routers. My general rule of thumb is one router per every 1300 or so square feet. Give or take depending on home construction and layout. So it may be a situation where we need to add an additional router. If your network was strong in that area and is now weak then that is something we may need to address by checking on the current router’s performance. If you need assistance you can schedule a session online.

Help-Trojan attack...not exactly.

Scotty - I need you to help me with something.  We still have our home in Charlotte but I need help w my apple stuff in NYC.  We have a place on the Upper East Side in NYC.  Who is the NYC equivalent of you?  Or do you ever come up here?
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Great to hear from you.  No, I don't find myself in NYC very often at all.  Two things:

1st.  I would check the consultants network for NYC and choose a consultant off the list.  Consultants are now reviewed so that should help you choose one.  Try here:  http://consultants-locator.apple.com/index.php?PHPSESSID=f2e691555fa5ea6f32bd9a5782ae0ce6&fuseaction=home.directory&offset=0&rppg=8&q=11210

2nd:  I am online every monday night and often help people from all over the US.  It's free and there are usually about 4 to 5 people in the online meeting.  If it's just a software issue you can always just schedule me to help you individually online as well.  I also do online remote sessions.  It works for some things but physical problems like networks or broken printers won't work trying to fix remotely.  

You don't have a virus.

Scotty,
I still use a second gen iPhone (3G) and have been putting off purchasing a new one.  Apple usually releases new versions of the phone in June, but that may not be the case this year.  Should I go ahead and get the iPhone 4?  
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That 3G phone is definately starting to show it’s age I’m sure. You’ve waited long enough but I think you’re right. I don’t really foresee Apple releasing a new phone until after the summer. No one knows for sure however, our best info will come from the WWDC conference to be held the first week in June. Look for Apple to announce details on iphone release roadmap then. They just released the white iPhone so it is not likely they’ll come out and revise them so soon after the white release. But this is all merely speculation. Only apple knows. I would suggest waiting til the first week of June to hear what Apple says then base your decision on that.

Are there viruses yet for the mac?

 I am trying to download pictures through You send it.  It is doing that thing where the icons in my documents are greyed out so they are locked from me.  You did something very simple to correct this.  It was like a setting was clicked that only allowed me to access certain ones...I cant find out where to switch this back.  Thanks
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When you go to open the file, choose “all applications as shown below:

Screen shot 2011-04-11 at 12.54.08 PM
Then choose the application you wish to use to open the file. However, if the file has a weird extension at the end of its name, you may still not be able to open in. It’s the last three or so letters that tell the computer what application to use to open a file. For example .pdf opens in preview. .doc opens in word. .jpg can open in iphoto or quicktime. etc...

Yahoo account compromised

I have updated my addresses on my computer and they are not updating on my palm pixi.  Everything synced to normal.  DO I need to sync again or should it autoatically do this.  Also, I do not know how to get my addresses onto my ipad.  Do I need to sync them with a usb? Or should it be doing it automatically.  My ipad doesnt seem to be remotely syncing with my computer/google account?
Thanks for your help the other day.  Just a few kinks to work out.
Thanks
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If you have google contacts set to sync within Apple’s Address Book, and a google account on the pixi, then it should work. But nothing’s never easy. First check in Address Book. Go to Preferences for Address Book and

Screen shot 2011-04-01 at 12.20.09 AM

You may want to uncheck then check again and it will ask for password and username. Reenter to assure these are correct. If all else fails, you can sync your contacts directly using Mark Space’s Missing Sync. But you shouldn’t have to pay for something that google offers for free.

Google’s contacts work on an exchange server. Here’s a way to make it happen automatically on the iPad:
Gmail iPhone Sync Review - iPhone Apps, iPad apps & iPod touch App Reviews | AppSafari
A lot of steps but usually works well.

Another method:
Sync & import Google Gmail Contacts on iPad

Viruses for the mac?

Scotty, I wasn't successful bringing up your site on Safari to schedule a time.  I'm having printer problems (HP Officejet J4680 All-in-one).  I changed the cartridge, but ink is inking out most of any printed text.  The printer is a year old and out of warranty.  I need clear printed text for K-1s for my CPA, so this problem needs a fast fix.  Have you encountered this problem and have a solution?  Do you suggest I purchase a new printer?  I'm available this Sunday from noon on.
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One thing you may want to try is doing a head cleaning.  In the settings menu there is a tools area most likely that will have a command telling the printer to clean and align the print heads.  The problem is that this process will often take lots of ink on it's own.  If you ARE in the market for a new printer you may want to consider the Photosmart Premium 310 or 410 models from HP.  For less cost the Photosmart Premium All-in-One is also good.   They have a new technology that works well with iPhones and iPad devices.  I know you may not have one of those now but it's good to have just in case one of those comes into your life.  They are also good printers.  Maybe a little fancy but overall easy to use, setup, and manage.  Big touch screens for exactly the reason you dealing with right now.  

Scam pop up

    Okay, I need technical help and I'm hoping you can help me.  I have an iTouch that I barely use, but I would like to connect it to my Promethean Board here at school.  Is there any way I can do that?  I know if I had an iPad I could connect it.  
 
     Also, I tried to get some apps on my iTouch, but it says:  "This application requires the iPhone 3.0 software update."   How do I get this update?
 
     I would greatly, greatly appreciate your help!
 
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Now, you need to connect the iPod Touch to iTunes and run the updates.  You'll need to get up to the latest release of the iPod software which is 4.2 I believe at present.  You'll also want to make sure that iTunes itself is up to date.  As far as video out from an iPod Touch, you'll just need the correct cabling.  More info here:  iPhone, iPad, iPod: TV out support
That should do it.

Weird email showing up and won't delete

I've got a simple computer question to run by you.  Child needs a computer for school this year.  I assume it's mostly word processing needs but not totally sure.   Husband’s thinking about cleaning up the hard drive on his Powerbook G4 and letting him use that.  I think that it's about 4 years old??  Do you think that's a good plan?

The new low end macs are about $1,000 - right?

Told you it was simple!  Take good care! Thanks,

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That powerbook has really seen its prime and it may be time to move on.  Yes you can get some more miles out of it.  You put office on it (you may already have it on it) and he should be fine.  But your kids are gamers also.  That powerbook can't drive anything modern in terms of graphics.  But that's not a reason to buy him a computer for school of course.  If he's a good kid and has proven he can take care of things then I'd say get him a macbook but if he still has a way to go in showing responsibility then he rides with the powerbook for a while and earns the nicer machine.  

Do I have a virus?

I have Quicktime Version 10.0 (90.3.1)


But is it necessary to download

QuickTime 7.6.6 for Leopard
Or is that going backwards?

Remember this is for my laptop, MacBook Pro


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A lot can be said for Quicktime 7. Quicktime 10, overall, has not been well received. Quicktime 7 is still available on your Snow Leopard disc as well as a free download here. Going from 10 to 7 is a step backward in the timeline of software development but I’ve found that 7 is very handy to have for certain things...ex: quick editing of video, not having to wait for load time on certain file types. So it’s totally fine to have both on your system. They will live together and you can just right click on a file to choose “open with” when you’d like to use one over the other.

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I was about to get one, went to the Mac store, went to my blog:

http://trippark.blogspot.com/2009/01/at-blue-line-guy.html

and saw I couldn't play this Quicktime file.  What's up with that?  It'd be SO perfect for me to have these kind of files play right on the iPad screen for interviews, etc.

Thoughts?


_________________

Yes, those videos are embedded as flash videos. And as you may have heard, iPhone and iPad do not support flash. Here’s more on the subject from Steve Jobs posted April 29, 2010.

http://www.apple.com/hotnews/thoughts-on-flash/ The only way they are going to play on the iPad is if they are not flash. You may want to consider pushing them to Youtube then embedding the youtube video into your site. The iPad will have not problem as Youtube is H.264 (Apple’s preffered video file type). You’ll see less and less flash around the web in the coming months as Apple has made it a personal crusade against Adobe (the makers of flash) to delete all flash from the web by not supporting it. They’re doing a pretty good job so far as many websites have done a 180 degree turn including CNN.com, NYtimes.com, ESPN.com, Wallstreetjournal.com, ABC.com and Facebook.com just to name a few.

Uninstalling Norton Utilities

When I add a contact from an email. It never gets to address book correctly. It lists the last name under first. Do I have settings set wrong?

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There’s an easy fix for this. Simply go to the address book preferences and reselect the order you’d like them to list as. Your iPhone has a similar setting as well.

You don't have a virus

Hi Scotty.......

I have been putting off emailing you  for a few weeks now.   Since you installled the new hard drive on my old G4 w/ OS 10.4  everything has been good except I can't access one of my directories on my old second or storage drive.  When ever I try to open the diretory up I get this message:

"The folder "Deadtrout Art Studio" could not opened because you do not have sufficient access privilages."

Also the little folder icon has a red circle with a diagonal slash through it.  I am able to open the other directories on this hard drive, just not this one.

Any suggestions?

Thanks

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This can be fixed by first selecting the folder in question then choosing “get info” from the file menu within the finder. Now you’ll see a window containing many items and among them “permissions”. Change the permissions of the file to your admin name having “read and write” permission. That should do it.



You may have to unlock the window before making changes.

Did I get a Virus? ....uh no.

Dear Scotty,
My 7 mpbs roadrunner seems slower and slower.  Also, my modem seems to go out such that I need to restart the modem and router too often.  I think I probably need a new modem since I think the one I have is at least 12 years old.  Do you have a favorite you would recommend?

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While I don’t recall what router you have, if it’s an airport extreme or Time Capsule then it’s very unlikely that device is at fault. What is more likely is that the modem is dying. Time Warner is pretty good at replacing old equipment without too much hassle. Meanwhile, to verify your speed here are a couple of sites to provide good indications of up and down speeds.

www.speedtest.net (choose a server other than Greensboro)
http://speedtest.twcnc.com/ (Time Warner’s actual download/upload speed testing site)

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