Hello and welcome back to the wonderful world of the Dogpound. Just so you know, this article is being written from my secret Dogpound...

Hello and welcome back to the wonderful world of the Dogpound.

Just so you know, this article is being written from my secret Dogpound bunker, which happens to be my office at work.

Sadly, the reason I am in here on a Saturday morning is that my laptop is in the shop for repairs. I am having my laptop scanned for any bad software that might have been installed by a third party.

Let me explain. I was having some issues with my laptop a few weeks ago, and I got into a help site that offered to do a scan for me. I watched them maneuver through my system, and they pointed out that there were some illegal connections [I had been hacked]. They offered to fix it, and for about two hours they ran all kinds of programs and installed new software to protect my laptop from outside influence. Of course, at the end they wanted to be paid, plus they offered a service contract covering a number of years. I signed up and thought all was good. They put their contact information on my laptop, along with the invoice for easy reference. They even called back in a few days to make sure everything was running like it should. Just to be sure, I called them a few weeks later to run another check just to see if they would respond, and they did.

Now in the back of my mind there was always that bit of concern, so I took it to our company IT guy to have him do a scan. He did not see anything out of the ordinary. I’m sure he did not do a really deep dive,but it was reassuring. Then I got a phone message that said they were from this company, and they were getting security “pings” from my laptop. What? One, I leave my laptop turned off until I need it, which is usually in the evening after supper, second, not being a computer nerd, why would they get any notification from my laptop unless they installed something, which was not mentioned to me?

So, I called up a local guy who I have used in the past and asked him to pick up my laptop for a deep dive scan. The minute I explained to him how I got into this, he told me it was more than likely a scam. The verdict is still out. He said it would take a few days to run all the scans plus any additional time if there are any issues found. Now you know why I am in my secret bunker, plus I am not going to try and type all of this on my iPad. I don’t have the thumbs for that! One good thing about this whole mess, the boss just walked by, and I am sure he is thinking, “Wow! Look at that go-getter. I should think about giving him a nice raise.” Not!

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK
“To err is human, but to really mess things up you need a computer.” – Paul Elrich

SMILES
•What is the difference between a blonde and a computer? You only have to put the information into the computer once.
•How is a man different from a computer? You only have to tell it once.
•How can you tell if a blonde has been using your computer? There is Wite Out on your screen.
•How are men like computers? They are hard to figure out and never have enough memory.
OK, that is all I have today. As always, be good, do good, play safe, and remember: your computer is a tool and not a way of life.
— JR