We returned Tuesday afternoon to find parts of the house infested with ants. And one of my computers infected with something, or it got messed up during the brown-outs when temps hit 113 here in the Valley. The computer kept shutting down every few minutes for no apparent reason. So, I lost the week trying to get it to work properly. (It kept turning off – and Internet Explorer can’t access key sites, like the IRS site.) I did find a terrific solution, even though it took much longer than I would have liked to effect the fixes.
With all the possible choices – Norton, Kaspersky, McAfee, I decided to select McAfee to scan my computer for viruses and spyware. Turns out, there was no virus. But there was a bunch of spyware. It was a fortuitous choice. Not only do they provide the routine security software, they also have 24/7 telephone support service if you’re having a problem. Better yet, you can get unlimited tech support for up to 5 computers for under $300 per year from their Cyber Defender service. (In fact, you can get your computer diagnosed at no cost.)
Their tech support took over my computer controls and examined the files and cleaned up stuff that was clogging the registry and otherwise slowing the computer down. You can’t imagine what a reassuring feeling it is to just turn it over to them, without having to drag your computer to some service-center and hope you get it back in your lifetime.
The only problem? The kind techie who took my computer was too efficient. After he got done cleaning up, he didn’t ask me – he just started a defrag process. On a computer with gigabytes of hard drive (rather than the old devices with megabytes), the defrag processes take forever. It ran all day, late into the night. I have recommended to the company that they consider asking before defragging. Perhaps we might need to actually USE the newly functional computer? We can be trusted to run de-fragmentation processes while we sleep. Except for that really frustrating glitch (think biting nails and climbing walls), they were heaven-sent. If you use their services, tell them in advance to show you how to run defrag yourself – and do it at night.
We’re adults. We can be trusted.
Note: The service contract is well worth the money. You can deduct it as a repair and maintenance expense. And you can reach a live person 24 hours! Just when you need someone in an emergency. They help you on the spot.