My Tech Guys Mailbag

We often get questions sent to regarding a whole range of topics. In this new feature, we will be sharing some of these questions and our responses.

Hello guys!
As you may recall… My Dad has had you guys do quite a few things over the years — related to his computer(s).
I have a question about security on his laptop — and the number of phishing emails that land on his computer – daily… as he is now 80 years old and vulnerable to some real cyber attacks… I am wondering whether you have uploaded security software on this laptop or not?
I use an apple so don’t have this problem… he’s a Shaw customer…. what do you suggest, please?
[name hidden]


Hi Andy & Andrea,

If Andy is running Windows 7 he will have Microsoft Security Essentials and if Windows 8 or 10 he will be running Windows Defender. As all antivirus programs update themselves from the same online repository, they are all about as good as each other so we recommend the smallest most streamlined built-in antivirus programs that come with those respective versions of Windows. Most Virus programs get in via other ways. There are a number of things I would recommend for Andy in this case:
1. Creating a Gmail Address

Google is a massive company that specializes in algorithms. This means their inbox get substantially less junk mail than some of the smaller local providers like Shaw and Telus. Changing to Gmail will immediately cut down the number of rogue emails Andy receives. The older shaw email can be set to forward all emails on to the Gmail account and to auto-reply to people who email Andy letting them know the new email address. Read more on our article about Gmail here:

2. Installing adblockers into his browsers
Adblockers are a form of add-on’s, extensions or plugins and augment your browser for safer surfing (read more here: Adblockers do not stop viruses, but they do stop you seeing most adverts and we find the majority of trouble people can get into online is self-inflicted. For example, searching google for windows support brings up scammers in all the Ad positions. Each one of these numbers specializes in conning the unsuspecting from their money.
3. Keeping programs up to date.
You may notice that certain programs update A LOT. This is usually not to add more feature but usually to patch certain security flaws that have been found since the last patch. These programs (Flash, Java, Adobe Reader etc) need these latest updates to protect against the latest viruses out there.
1. Get an inbox filter such as ZeroSpam. This company, for a nominal fee, will guarantee no spam gets through. It works by acting as an intermediary between the sender and Andy, slowing down the inbox slightly but gleaming out all possible malicious emails
2. Getting paid additional protection like Malware Bytes Premium. This software protects against more advanced viruses like rootkits, spyware, ransomware and of course malware. Offers real-time protection while browsing and crushes all the latest scams.
No solution is entirely foolproof but instituting these countermeasures should help Andy have a free and clear system. In the end, educating the end user even a little can make all the difference so we are happy to take some time to sit down with Andy and build some safer browsing habits.
Let us know if you would like a hand setting some of this up!
Brian Bailey
The My Tech Guys Team

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