Frequently Asked Questions

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What do Viruses, Trojans, and Other Malware Actually Do?

  Everyone knows viruses and trojans are bad, but a lot of people don’t know how exactly they work. Viruses, for example, are programs that copy themselves and infect a computer, spreading from one to another—just like, well, a real-life virus. Trojans, on the other hand, are applications that look normal, but secretly have code that’s doing something else—like letting someone else control your computer. And, as always, make sure you’re running a good antivirus program—even if you have good browsing habits. We offer managed anti-virus and malware software for only $30 per year.

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How Do I Keep My Laptop’s Battery In Good Health?

  You’ve probably heard some people say you should drain your battery completely before charging it, or that you should keep it between 40% and 80% all the time to make it last longer. Most of these rules are outdated, applying to older nickel-based batteries. Luckily, most or all of your gadgets these days run on Lithium Ion batteries, which are easy to take care of. The gist is: they last longer when you perform shallow discharges, keep them cool, and don’t leave them plugged in while they’re running at 100%. Honestly, though, batteries have a finite life no matter what, and your efforts will only go so far—so don’t stress about it. Focus your efforts on getting better battery life out of your iPhone, Android phone, or laptop on a given charge instead—and knowing how to replace the battery when it starts dying.

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How Can I Tell if an Email Is Spam?

  Some spam is obvious (“I lost 30 pounds and made $24356 in five hours by taking this special pill!”), but other messages are more subtle. A lot of spam relies on “phishing,” in which a spammer will try to make their email look like it’s coming from a legitimate source in order to get your information. They may tell you to click a link that looks like it’s going to paypal.com, but if you hover over it, you’ll see that it’s really going somewhere else—likely a PayPal-disguised site where you willingly type in your information. Luckily, you can usually avoid those tricks by checking the URL and typing it in yourself instead. Be careful, too—sometimes those links will cause you to unknowingly spam one of your friends, which only spreads the scam.