Scammers are exploiting a Firefox bug to freeze your browser

Scammers are taking advantage of a Firefox bug that causes your browser to lock up and display the following message:

“Please stop and do not close the PC … The registry key of your computer is locked. Why did we block your computer? The Windows registry key is illegal. The Windows desktop is using pirated software. The Window desktop sends viruses over the Internet. This Windows desktop is hacked. We block this computer for your safety.”

It then tells you to call a toll-free number.

Don’t call the number!

Never ever call any number like this.

Simply force-quit your browser and go about your day.

Mozilla says it’s actively working on a fix but as of right now there isn’t one.

Handy Windows 10 Touchpad and Touchscreen Gestures

windows 10 touchscreen

Windows 10 supports a variety of keyboard shortcuts (See last month’s post) as well as gestures for touch-based devices. Try them out a few times, and before long they’ll become second nature.

Touchpads are standard equipment on laptops and for everyday computing a modern touchpad can do pretty much everything a mouse can.

Windows 10 touchpad gestures

GESTURE WHAT IT DOES
Tap the touchpad with one finger Open or select an item
Tap the touchpad with two fingers Show more commands (like right-clicking)
Tap the touchpad with three fingers Open Cortana
Tap the touchpad with four fingers Open the Action Center
Place two fingers on the touchpad and slide vertically or horizontally Scroll
Place two fingers on the touchpad and pinch Zoom out
Place two fingers on the touchpad and spread them apart Zoom in
Swipe three fingers up Show thumbnails of your currently running apps in Task View
Swipe three fingers down Show the desktop
Swipe three fingers either left or right Switch between your open apps
Swipe four fingers either left or right Switch between virtual desktops

If you’re working on a tablet or a touchscreen PC, here’s how to get around:

Windows 10 touchscreen gestures

GESTURE WHAT IT DOES
Tap Open or select an item
Tap the Windows button Switch between the Start screen and the currently running app
Press and hold Pop up a menu to display more information about the item
Press and hold, slide and release Move an item to a new location (the equivalent of dragging an item with a mouse)
Pinch with two fingers Zoom out (used in apps such as Maps where you commonly zoom in and out)
Spread two fingers apart Zoom in (used in apps such as Maps where you commonly zoom in and out)
Rotate with two fingers Rotate the display in the direction you move your fingers
Swipe horizontally Scroll sideways through a screen
Swipe vertically Scroll up or down
On the lock screen, swipe up from the bottom edge of the screen Display the login screen
Swipe in from the left edge of the screen to the center Show thumbnails of your currently running apps in Task View
Swipe in from the right edge of the screen to the center Display the Action Center
Pull down from the top of the screen to the bottom Close an app
Swipe down from the top of an app Bring up the app’s title bar
Slowly pull down from the top of an app Snap the app to take up one half of the screen

Windows 10 Keyboard Shortcuts

Here are the most useful Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts — get to know these and you’ll save oodles of time as you zip around Windows 10 without taking your hands off the keys.

* The Pause key is located to the upper right of most keyboards; however, some portable and laptop keyboards don’t have a Pause key.

KEY
COMBINATION
WHAT IT DOES
Windows key Show/hide the Start menu (toggle)
Windows-A Show/hide the Action Center (toggle)
Windows-C Open Cortana in listening mode
Windows-D Show the desktop or go to your previous location
Windows-E Open File Explorer
Windows-H Take a screenshot of your current app and share it
Windows-I Open the Settings app
Windows-K Connect to a wireless display or audio device
Windows-L Lock the device or switch accounts
Windows-M Minimize all windows
Windows-O Lock the screen orientation
Windows-R Open the Run box
Windows-S Open the Search box
(or Cortana, if you’ve enabled it)
Windows-T Put the focus on the taskbar and cycle through your running desktop apps
Windows-X Open a menu of tools for power users
Windows-Tab Open Task View
Windows-Pause* Display System Properties screen
Windows-1 through 9 Go to the app in the corresponding position on the taskbar
Windows-, (comma) Peek at the desktop
(requires holding the Windows key down)
Windows-Home Minimize/restore non-active desktop apps (toggle)
Windows-up arrow Maximize a desktop app
(or restore it if it’s minimized)
Windows-down arrow Minimize a desktop app
(or restore it if it’s maximized)
Windows-F1 Get Windows help
Windows-Ctrl-D Add a virtual desktop
Windows-Ctrl-F4 Close the virtual desktop you’re working in
Alt-Tab Cycle through thumbnails of open apps
Alt-F4 Exit the current Windows app or desktop application
Ctrl-A Select all
Ctrl-C Copy
Ctrl-E Select the address bar in Edge
Ctrl-N Open a new window in Edge
Ctrl-R Refresh
Ctrl-V Paste
Ctrl-X Cut
Ctrl-W Close the current window in Edge
Ctrl-Y Redo
Ctrl-Z Undo
Ctrl-F4 Close the active document in desktop apps
Ctrl-mouse click Select multiple items in File Explorer
Ctrl-Shift Select a group of contiguous items in File Explorer
Ctrl-Shift-Esc Run the Task Manager
Ctrl-Shift-N Create a new folder in File Explorer
PrtScrn Take a screenshot and place it on the Clipboard
F3 Search for a file or folder in File Explorer

Would you like that SHAKEN/STIR? More on the fight against Robocalls.

Robocalls are currently the number 1 consumer complaint to the FCC. In the month of June alone Americans received over 4.4 billion robocalls. The FCC, all of the major phone carriers, along with other industry professionals specializing in robocall blocking technology have been working diligently on solutions to these increasingly annoying and dangerous scam calls. Their most recent tool in the battle? SHAKEN/STIR.

What is SHAKEN/STIR?

Ok, this is quite a name – SHAKEN/STIR stands for Signature-based Handling of Asserted information using toKENs and the Secure Telephone Identity Revisited.

Basically SHAKEN/STIR verifies calls that are coming to your phone and tracks where the call is originating, identifying potential scammers. The system will use a small symbol or logo to let you know that the person calling you is, indeed, authentic. While call verification won’t block annoying robocalls from reaching your phone, it does give you more information about the caller before you answer the call.

How does that help?

Robocallers have mainly turned to “neighborhood spoofing” (or replicating a number within your area code that looks familiar to you) so there’s a much better chance of you picking up the phone. However, once you pick up the phone, they know your line is active and, therefore, you are likely to get more calls. SHAKEN/STIR gives you the ability to quickly figure out whether the call is coming from a real person or a robocaller.

When will roll out and where?

The FCC expects providers to have the SHAKEN/STIR standard implemented by the end of 2019. The FCC has mandated all of the major phone carriers uphold this new standard – not only verify the calls within their network but also the calls coming from other networks.

Upon launch, SHAKEN/STIR will only work in the U.S. Even though a lot of robocall scams do come from outside the country, most illegal telemarketing originates from the United States.

Keep in mind that SHAKEN/STIR requires modern phone systems (such as 4G) to work, so older landlines will not have the new protections.

You may already be noticing the rollout of SHAKEN/STIR and as the year comes to a close you will see more and more. Do you think that SHAKEN/STIR will help or not?

Have questions?

Need assistance?

Contact TeCHS!

(800) 669-2022

www.ezdigitallife.com

The 5 Most Common Robocall Scams Today (2019)

robocall scams

Some days, you cannot pick up the phone without running into yet another fraudster demanding money. Maybe it’s not a bad idea to just avoid unknown callers. The con artists keep calling hot spots, after all, where people keep answering the phone. Americans were blasted by 3.36 billion robocalls in April — up 6.5% from a record set in March, according to the YouMail Robocall Index, a provider of voicemail and call blocking services. It amounted to about 1,297 robocalls every second. 

Most of those calls were from debt collectors, according to YouMail. But robocalls are being sent by fraudsters to make it look like the call is coming directly from the Internal Revenue Service, the FBI, your electric company, a bank or Microsoft.

Some firm use “neighborhood spoofing” technology to make it seem like calls were from local area codes, even using the first three numbers of the recipient’s own phone number to encourage people to answer robocalls, according to the FCC. 

The robocall revolt is building.

Democratic lawmakers in Washington have introduced various bills to stop robocalls, automated calls that use a computerized system to deliver recorded messages to cell phones and landlines. One bill, called the Stopping Bad Robocalls Act, would strengthen the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and help the Federal Communications Commission more take action against robocallers. 

“Robocalls are a great annoyance for American families, especially American seniors,” said U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., in opening remarks at a robocalls hearing before the Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection subcommittee. “One-third of calls are now unwanted robocalls,” she said. 

Unwanted calls — including illegal robocalls used by criminals pretending to be from the IRS and elsewhere, spoofed calls and telemarketing — are a major source of complaints for regulators. The Federal Trade Commission estimated that fraud from unwanted calls costs consumers about $9.5 billion annually. In fiscal 2017, the FTC received more than 4.5 million complaints regarding robocalls and nearly another 2.6 million complaints about live callers.

Consumers can report unwanted calls at www.ftc.gov/complaint. 

Here’s what to watch out for now:

1.) FAKE CALL FROM A “NEIGHBOR”

You’re always inclined to pick up the phone when you can see the call is from your own area code even if you don’t recognize the entire number. But scammers increasingly know how to manipulate caller identification information to make it seem that the call is from a local area code — even though the con artists might be operating in another state or overseas. “Scammers use such spoofing to increase the likelihood that consumers pick up the phone and to increase the consumer’s trust in the call,” according to a warning from the Federal Communications Commission.

2.) FAKE UTILITY BILL COLLECTOR

Fraudsters aren’t just calling to demand money for unpaid tax bills. Some scams have morphed into attempts to con people into handing over money for fake utility bills, too.

The phony utility collection calls are rampant across the country, but typically don’t start out with a robocall. It starts out with a real person and they call and say, “We’re going to shut off your lights in two hours unless you pay this money.” Then the robocalls begin.

In addition to collection calls, consumers are getting hit with other utility-related robocalls. About 19 million such utility-scam calls were made in March relating to a pitch involving “save money — need your info,” according to YouMail.  One scam: A robocall may suggest a program that can pay your utility bills at a discount if you wire money elsewhere first, instead of paying your utility directly… which is obviously, a bad idea.

3.) FAKE IRS BILL

Crooks are now using telephone numbers that are spoofed to look like they’re from the IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers to trick taxpayers into paying nonexistent bills, according to the Internal Revenue Service. Scam artists have programmed their computers to display the TAC phone number to appear on the taxpayer’s Caller ID. When a taxpayer questions whether the call is real, the con artist directs the taxpayer to the IRS.gov site to “confirm” that the call is from a legitimate number for a local TAC office. 

After the taxpayer has “verified” the call number, the fraudsters resume their demands for money — typically on a prepaid card or a gift card. 

The use of a prepaid card or a gift card enables a fraudster to practically immediately transfer money from the card purchased by the consumer onto another card held by the crooks. Think of it like transferring two or three Starbucks gift cards onto your Starbucks gold rewards card. 

More than 43 million robocalls were made in March alone relating to IRS-related scams — nearly doubling from February, according to YouMail’s research. Regardless of how authentic the caller ID might look, the IRS warns that taxpayers should never fall for unreasonable demands. If the contact from the IRS is threatening in any way, demanding immediate payment, and demanding payment by a particular method – it’s not the IRS.

4.) FAKE 0% CREDIT CARD OFFER

Nearly 123 million robocalls were made in March with a promise to get your credit card rates down to 0%. It was the most frequent scam robocall in March, according to YouMail’s research. Sometimes, you’ll hear from “Heather in Account Services” or maybe someone from “Card Member Services.”

In some scams, you might be asked for an up-front fee to get the ball rolling on those lower rates. In another twist, scammers promising a low rate might ask you to read off your credit card number first to them over the phone to verify the card. 

Don’t pay the fee or hand over your credit card information to strangers. 

Amendments to the FTC’s Telemarketing Sales Rule prohibit companies that sell relief services like these rate reduction scams on the phone from charging a fee before they settle or reduce your debt.

A better bet? Call the credit card company directly to request a reduced rate. 

5.) FAKE MONEY-MAKING GUARANTEE

One word can make a questionable investment seem less suspect — guarantee. But the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, or FINRA, warns that impostors have been posing as securities regulators and offering ironclad investment guarantees in a phony pitch to buy up virtually worthless shares of stock. 

Scammers often send investors “official-looking documents, complete with logos and seals” as part of the ploy to make their stock buyback pitch look more legitimate. In some cases, the con artists want personal information that can be used for ID theft. Or they might ask for an advance fee to handle the sale of some stock. Once you send the money, you never see it — or any of the money promised from the stock buyback again.

FINRA has a toll-free number for senior investors who have concerns about their brokers and investments, as well as questions about potential scams. The hotline: 844-574-3577. The phone is staffed from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET on weekdays.

Remember, con artists are able to share lists of names and phone numbers, as well as some financial holdings of potential victims. So they might be able to sound legitimate. The financial fraudsters are more than willing to make repeated phone calls, too. 

Hang up. Do not engage. Do not respond. 

The risk of being scammed goes up when you answer some of these calls. 

Celebrating 8 years as TeCHS!

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THANK YOU ALL!

As we celebrate eight incredible and wonderful years as your TeCHS we can’t help but look back at everyone and everything that has helped us, guided us, taught us, hired us, partnered with us, and shared with us. We truly appreciate everything our amazing vendors, clients, partners and customers have done for us – thank you for your referrals and for your business. We truly appreciate you and we look forward to continue serving your technology needs.

Did you know that TeCHS used to be called Leader Creative Services? Leader Creative Services was started and run by Kim alone back in 2003 and only offered graphic design services. Then we (Kim and Seth) started dating and married… on our honeymoon we decided to team up in business as well and on June 03, 2011 we decided to change the name of the business to better reflect all of the technical solutions we will offer all of Ventura County together. Thus TeCHS was born!

Seth and Kim, your TeCHS, are proud Ventura natives with well over 30 years of combined tech-y knowledge and know how. We strive to keep everyone’s digital life running smoothly and to keep business and money in our beautiful and wonderful county! From the home user to local business needs – we provide affordable, fast, friendly, professional and reliable services for everything from your toaster to your website!

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Computer repair, virus removal, TV wall mounting, tech tutoring, graphic design, web design, and so much more.

We can’t wait to see what the next year will bring!

-Your TeCHS 

Can Your Cell Phone Detect Credit Card Skimmers At The Pump?

cell phone skimmer tip

Many of you have most likely seen the above graphic on social media… but is it true?

This is one of the very rare times that I can say that something like this swirling around social media is sort of actually true! There is, however, a catch.

The Bluetooth sensor in a mobile phone is a potentially useful way to detect and lower the risk of exposure to some common kinds of credit card skimmers… BUT your mobile phone’s Bluetooth sensor won’t detect all kinds of credit card skimmers (the older ones do not use Bluetooth technology) and your phone is prone to false negatives and false positives.

So, if you are at all wary you can give it a try… or simply chose not to use the credit card machine at all.

UGH! ROBOCALLS! (part 2)

robocall scams

“Hello! Please don’t hang up… did you know that you could save a bundle on…?”

Part 2:

4. Use the Best Apps to Block Robocalls

Another way to stop nuisance calls on your smartphone is via call–blocking apps. These apps can identify who is calling you and block unwanted calls that show up on a crowd-sourced spam and robocaller list.

Here are the top call blocking apps:

Nomorobo

Nomorobo is an iOS and Android app that offers real–time protection from a growing list of robocallers, telemarketers and phone scammers. Nomorobo lets the phone ring once, then tries to identify the caller. If the number is on the app’s robocaller list, the app will automatically block the call for you.

Nomorobo is free to use for 30 days, and then it costs $1.99 per month or $19.99 for an entire year. To sign up, you will need to provide Nomorobo with information. List the type of phone you have – wireless or landline – and select your carrier. Note: Not all major cell carriers support Nomorobo.

Truecaller

The Truecaller app for iOS and Android lets you find out who’s behind that unknown number. Copy and paste the number into the app’s search bar. Truecaller will search the unknown number to find out who it is. With a community-based spam list from over 250 million users, it’s a great resource to avoid answering an unwanted robocall. Another great feature of Truecaller is its ability to block spam calls. When a pesky telemarketer calls, there will be a big warning in red, telling you that it’s a spam call. Just swipe up when this happens to automatically block that caller and add them to the spam list. The Truecaller app is free for both download and use. However, there is a professional version that can be bought as an in-app purchase for $1.99 per month.

Hiya – Caller ID & Block

The Hiya – Caller ID & Block app is perfect for identifying calls that you want to accept and blocking calls and texts you want to avoid. The Hiya app is available for free on both Apple and Android gadgets with no ads, and it is simple to use. If you had to choose one, this is the best choice, in my opinion. It allows you to block calls, blacklist unwanted phone numbers and text messages, reverse phone search incoming call information and receive spam alerts. The app is powered by a database of hundreds of millions of phone numbers confirmed to be spam by other users.

Call Control – Call Blocker

The Call Control – Call Blocker app automatically blocks spam calls and calls from other numbers you don’t want to hear from. You can block entire area codes (like 888) if you’re getting tons of calls you don’t want from a particular location. The Call Control app is free and available for both Apple and Android gadgets. Worried about missing out on important calls? Call Control gives you your own personal Whitelist and Contacts Protection to make sure people you know get through. The app’s users actively report their spammers so its catalog is always up to date. Call Control will automatically block active spammers, and the reverse lookup allows you to track them to their source. You can add numbers to the Community Blacklist and choose to block specific numbers that won’t leave you alone.

5. Some Phones Block Robocalls Automatically

Did you know that some smartphones already have built–in spam and robocall protection in place? Samsung’s flagship Galaxy and Note smartphones have a native feature called Smart Call that automatically screens and flags suspicious numbers. Google’s Android smartphones like the Pixels and the old Nexus and Android One have built-in spam call protection. With this feature, users with Caller ID enabled will get a warning if a suspected spam call or robocall is received. Aside from ignoring the call, the user has the option to either block the number or whitelist it if the spam flagging is deemed an error. Any blocked number can be unblocked at any time. An option to report the call to Google is available.

6. Block Individual Phone Numbers

Here’s a feature that’s available on any iPhone and Android – the ability to block specific numbers. Although this cannot possibly stop every robocall and spammer number, you can at least block the recurring ones.

iPhone

On an iPhone, open your Phone app, go to your Recents tab, then tap the circular information icon on the right side of the number you want to block. On the next page, tap “Block this Caller” to put the number on your block list.

Android

On Android, you can likewise open your Phone app, navigate to the Recents section, do a long press on the suspicious number then select “Block/report spam.” (This may vary, depending on the manufacturer and model of your Android phone.)

7. Set Your Phone on Do Not Disturb

To block every number except your most trusted contacts or favorites, you can turn on your iPhone or Android phone’s built-in Do Not Disturb Mode. It’s an extreme solution but it will definitely stop all unwanted calls, including robocalls, telemarketing calls and spam calls.

Keep in mind that you will undoubtedly miss some legitimate calls when this mode is on, but unknown callers will always have the option to leave a voice message. You can add any number to your contacts list to let them through in the future.

iPhone

To customize your Do Not Disturb preferences on an iPhone, go to Settings  >> Do Not Disturb. Here, you can turn the mode on, set a Do Not Disturb schedule and set your allowed calls to either all your saved contacts or just your Favorites list. To quickly activate Do Not Disturb, go to your iPhone’s Control Center (swipe down from the upper-right corner on iPhone X, swipe up from the bottom for other iPhones) and toggle the Do Not Disturb switch (the icon looks like a moon).

Android

On Android, go to Settings >> Sound (or Sound & Notification in other phones) >> then Tap Do Not Disturb to customize your Do Not Disturb settings. To activate Do Not Disturb, simply swipe down from the top of your display to access the Quick Menu then tap the Do Not Disturb icon to turn it on. (This may vary, depending on the manufacturer and model of your Android phone.)

8. Common Sense Prevails

This is the simplest solution, and many people try this low–tech approach to robocalls. If you receive a call from an unknown number or one that doesn’t show up on caller ID, don’t answer. If it’s an important call, the person will leave a message and you can get back to them. Millions of people are unencumbered by robocalls, and they don’t give these pests a second thought. But be advised: If you answer the phone and the caller (often a recording) asks you to hit a button to stop receiving calls, just hang up. Scammers often use these tricks to identify and target live respondents. Once they know the number is active, you may receive more calls in the future.

Need assistance? Contact TeCHS! We are happy to help with any tech need. (800) 669-2022 | www.ezdigitallife.com

UGH! ROBOCALLS! (part 1)

“Hello! Please don’t hang up… did you know that you could save a bundle on…?”

UGH… It’s a robocall, another automated telemarketer.

Nowadays, robocalls make up roughly 50 percent of all phone calls. In 2018 alone, robocallers spammed us with 26.3 billion calls. And it’s only going to get worse: Robocalls are going to become more constant in coming years.

You want to yell into the phone: “Don’t call me again! I don’t care who you are! Just go away!” Your words would fall on deaf ears though since there is no one on the other end… and if you breathe even one single word, your voice may be recorded for future use. Fun.

Luckily, you have a whole arsenal of smartphone tools at your disposal. You can block numbers, turn on Do Not Disturb mode, use your carrier’s tools, or use third–party apps to (mostly) end this telephonic pestilence.

cell phone

Here are a few tips for minimizing, or eradicating those unwanted calls

Reject Anonymous Calls Automatically

Many robocalls come up as “anonymous” on your caller ID, while most businesses and human beings come up as identifiable phone numbers. Chances are, you could terminate all anonymous calls without missing anything important. Depending on your service, you may have access to Anonymous Call Rejection. Enter the magic number *77, and you will hear three beeps. Hang up, and any call that hides its number will be rejected. This service varies by carrier, and some carriers charge extra. But it’s a helpful tool for scammers or robocallers who slip through the Do Not Call Registry.

Join the National Do Not Call Registry List

Millions rejoiced when the FTC created the National Do Not Call Registry – and in a perfect world, signing up would stop telemarketers from calling you. Technically, it’s illegal for telemarketers to call you if you are on this list. But the world isn’t perfect. Scammers don’t follow the rules, nor do they care about this list. It’s still smart to register your number as an added layer of protection against unwanted calls. Just go to the website donotcall.gov and enter the landline or cellphone number you want on the list. You can also  call 1-888-382-1222 from any phone you want on the list. That’s all it takes, and your number stays on the list until you ask for it to be removed or you give up the number. Once you sign up, the Do Not Call list takes you off for-profit business call lists, but it isn’t immediate.

Telemarketers update their listings only periodically, so the FTC says it can take up to 31 days. Also, political organizations, charities and survey takers are still permitted to call you. Businesses you’ve bought something from or made a payment to in the last 18 months have a right to call. When they call, however, firmly tell them to take you off their list and they have to honor your request, although they might still try to talk you into reconsidering.

Use Carrier Tools to Block Unwanted Calls

The four major carriers have tools to identify, filter and prevent suspected nuisance numbers from calling or texting your phone. Most require an extra monthly fee to activate the caller ID service, but network-level blocking is free of charge across all the carriers.

AT&T

AT&T subscribers can use a free iOS and Android app called AT&T Call Protect. It has automatic fraud blocking and suspected spam warnings. You can manually block unwanted calls.

Verizon

Verizon recently announced a free call-blocking service that debuts in March. Verizon previously offered a “Caller Filter” service for $2.99 per month per line. Verizon also has identified 300 million spam and scam phone numbers that it will block through free spam alerting and call-blocking tools also coming in March.

T-Mobile

T-Mobile provides two free ways to combat robocallers and spam calls. First is Scam ID, an automatic system that identifies spam numbers when your phone rings. T-Mobile automatically does this on its network, and there’s no app to install or service to turn on. The second free method is Scam Block. Unlike Scam ID, which simply identifies known spam numbers, Scam Block gives you an option to block those numbers. To turn this on, dial #662# on your T-Mobile handset. To turn it off, dial #632#. Similar to Verizon’s Caller Name ID, T-Mobile has its own paid “Name ID” service, which identifies and provides caller information like the name, location and type of organization. You can block them as needed. This is included in T-Mobile ONE Plus plans. For other T-Mobile plans, it costs $4 a month per line.

Sprint

Sprint customers can sign up for its “Premium Caller ID” service to protect themselves from robocalls and caller ID spoofers. This service is $2.99 a month, and it provides a threat level indicator to give customers an idea of how suspicious a call is. It does this by flagging calls with real-time data trends gathered across the U.S. This service doesn’t automatically block known spam calls. Based on the threat level, you can choose to answer the call, block the number or report it to prevent future calls.

TO BE CONTINUED NEXT MONTH… with Apps to block scammers and other tricks already built into your cell phone.

Need assistance? Contact TeCHS! We are happy to help with any tech need. (800) 669-2022 | www.ezdigitallife.com


techs ventura

Your Digital Life Simplified!

How to Get the Best WiFi Signal in Your Home

wifi

We get this question a lot so I thought we should re-post this blog…

Your Wi-Fi signal strength begins to drop the farther away from the router you are. If your router is in the front of your house and your bedroom is in the back, you may be accustomed to slow internet speeds. The severity of the slow-down depends on quite a few things: your home’s construction, your router’s location, what router you are using, your internet provider, etc. Regardless of the other issues, where you put your router really can make a big difference.

Keep it central

Location, location, location! Location is key. Try to find the most central place in your home for your router. It is worth buying some longer cables and running the wire to the most central location that you can in your home. Consider even mounting the router on a wall or in a corner by the ceiling if you have two floors (radio waves generally spread out and towards the ground, not up). Think about putting your router on the second floor if you have one. Router antennas broadcast in all directions, so if you place your router next to a wall adjacent to your neighbor’s apartment, they’re getting that slice of your signal.

Avoid impenetrable obstructions

Radio waves certainly travel through walls, but the thicker the wall, the weaker the signal will be on the other side. If your home is fortified with brick or concrete walls, the signal is going to be absorbed by the wall and lose significant strength when traveling through it. Same goes for water, like a big fish tank, which can cause a lot of resistance for your signal. Metal and mirrors are also your enemy because those materials actually reflect radio waves, so putting the router behind a TV or in a bathroom is ill advised.

Avoid the kitchen

When it comes to battling any potential buffering of your Wi-Fi signal, the microwave is not your friend. Microwaves and WiFi routers operate using the same frequency. Additionally, metal objects will absorb a signal, and with a metal fridge, stove, and other kitchen appliances. It’s best to just keep the router out of the kitchen.

Play with the antenna

All the magic happens with the antenna. It’s the part of the router that’s broadcasting and receiving your WiFi connection. Antennas usually can move side to side or sometimes pivot full-circle in their socket. Play around with directing the antennas to increase the signal strength.

Last tip: ALWAYS password protect your WiFi.

For more information, or for assistance with your WiFi, contact TeCHS!

We are fast, affordable, and friendly. Serving all of Ventura County.

~Your TeCHS

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Your Digital Life Simplified!

www.ezDigitalLife.com | (800) 669-2022