Small Business and Security

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May 30th, 2013

When I visit small businesses and bring up security products, I always hear “oh, we are only a small company, no one will hack us.”

Don’t be fooled! Cybercriminals threaten small businesses every second.  The cost to the victims can equal millions of dollars.  Basically hackers target smaller business since they know they don’t invest in security like the larger businesses.

You don’t need to spend thousands on security.  Basic protections should be sufficient. So protect yourself, your competition does.

Contact Computer Care Associates (508-370-8080) for a review of your small business systems.

Don’t Let Windows 8 Make You Anxious

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May 20th, 2013

Don’t Let Windows 8 Make You Anxious

You realize you need a new computer.  So, you then go to the store (or the internet) to begin researching what you can purchase only to find that most newer computers have the Windows 8 operating system on them.

My opinion – Windows 8 is a good operating system.  Of course, as with anything new – there is a learning curve to be able to use all the functions.  Once someone gets used to how it works, it is actually faster and better than previous operating systems.

For the person who is used to Windows XP, I customize their new computer – and would put in a menu bar.

Windows never put in a menu bar.  PC users need a menu bar.  Thus, I download “classic shell”.  Classic Shell is a collection of usability enhancements for Windows. The main features is a highly customizable Start menu which has multiple styles and skins.

Using the classic shell cuts in half the learning curve for this new operating system.  With the classic shell, the screen goes straight to the desktop “look” and not to the tiles.

However, it is wise to note that becoming used to the tiles is a big part of Windows 8 and should be explored as well.  My concern is for the User to become comfortable first by starting with the “desktop look”, and then they can learn about the tiles at their own rate.

Bottom line, computers are a rapidly changing industry.  Computer Care Associates is your ally and we can help you adapt and begin to enjoy your new computer!  Call us at 508-370-8080.  We work remotely or on location.

JONATHAN SHAPIRO, Computer Care Associates


Internet, Networking & Computer Repairs

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September 28th, 2010

One of the areas Computer Care Associates focuses on is being an intermediary between the User and the Internet Service Provider (ISP).  Very often the residential user or small business cannot describe the actual problem plus, they end up not being able to communicate to the “help desk” or tech area of the ISP. 

An example of this:  A residential user was having issues with their modem but in order to deflect the problem, the ISP was blaming the router (which was their own hardware equipment that was in place).  The average individual has no idea about the workings of these products and can very easily be confused with the technical jargon. 

Some issues can only be resolved by speaking directly with “internet provider” and COMPUTER CARE ASSOCIATES  provides clear communication to resolve any issues that come up.  We will talk directly with the technicians on your behalf, fight for what is your right (in a tactful manner) and in all honesty – we’ve gotten the customer more than they had ever hoped for in the majority of the instances!

Since we offer a full service for each customer, we consider working with your ISP on issues as part of the computer repairs and we treat each customer as if it were our own family member.  “Caring for Your Computer is Job # 1”

We also provide remote services as opposed to in-home services for those in locations which are outside of our service area.  Call us (508-370-8080) or email us about any of the services we offer.

I am getting a Blue Screen on my monitor!

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September 27th, 2010

I am getting a Blue Screen on my monitor.  Should I be concerned?

While a BSOD stands for “Blue Screen of Death” this problem is not always fatal. Unfortunately, the reason for this problem is not always very clear. Computer Care Associates works hard to find the cause and remedy the problem.

The Blue Screen Of Death named after the color of the screen generated by the error.  There are various reasons for a blue screen.  It is really important to write down the information from the blue screen.  The problem ranges from “bad software drivers, hardware problems (memory, hard drive), software conflicting with other software, or even a virus in the computer.

How to analyze blue screen errors

Hardware errors are very difficult to analyze.  All you can do is eliminate potential problems.  One blue screen I was getting indicated a problem was with the hardware.  However it didn’t tell me what exactly was causing the problem except for a vague message.

 The first step is find out the cause of the problem is to clarify what exactly is happening.  Is this a software error or an issue with your hardware (hard drive). Write down the error message if you can.

It is very important to note what the “blue screen” says. We use this information to isolate the offending file.  In many cases, the problem can be caused by a bad hard drive, bad software or viruses/spyware.

Besides calling an expert (like COMPUTER CARE ASSOCIATES) what else can I do?

You can run some programs that scan your equipment.

  • Memory Check
  • Hard Drive Error Checking
  • Drivers from the Manufacturer’s website (of your hardware devices)
  • Virus and Spyware check

It never hurts to scan your computer with several different scanners.  What one scanner finds, another will not.

TIP:  Be careful and choose wisely, don’t just pile on more software scanners and protection.  Call and ask COMPUTER CARE ASSOCIATES (508-370-8080) 

The bottom line is that a blue screen cannot or should not be ignored.  It is like your body having a temperature.  It is an indication of a problem that needs to be resolved.  At Computer Care Associates, we analyze these problems and come up with a solution.  Unfortunately the resolution is not a quick and simple fix.  However make sure that backup has be done recently and you have the applications (MS Office 2007, Photoshop, etc.) on hand in case it needs to be reinstalled, as well as the Operating System Disk and the Driver Disk.  This can be in the form of “recovery disks” or just disks from the computer manufacturer.