NEPA Geeks Blog

Could Your Backups Survive A Ransomware Attack?

ransomwareMore and more businesses and organizations are getting stung by ransomware demands. Hospitals, schools, social networks…some days it seems like an epidemic that leaps around arbitrarily, and hackers are raking in millions.

Tallied across the word…billions.

Ransomware attacks are devious in their simplicity. A user in the target business is tricked into opening a file, usually through a phishing email or download. The file contains malware which instantly encrypts your data and demands money in exchange for the password.

No payment = no password = no data.

All of the target businesses should have backups, which they could simply revert to without paying any money, but the FBI reports more than $209 million was sent to hackers in the first quarter of this year alone. Keep in mind, this was just payments within the US, and only counts those who came forward.

Last year it was only $25million.

Aren’t backups helping?

Sometimes the backup solution fails and the data can’t be retrieved. This is particularly true in cases where the solution has been in use for years and something failed along the way. In other instances, the target business has a backup that can be restored, but it doesn’t include everything they need for full recovery.

Finally, and the most common reason so many businesses are forced to pay the ransom: the ransomware attack affects the entire system – including attached and synchronized backups. If the backup is also caught in the ransomware encryption, it becomes useless as a recovery method and the only options are to pay or lose the data forever.

Each day spent trying to recover the data is a drain on valuable business resources and in many cases, results in massive revenue loss.

The only defense is to block the malware before it can infect the first workstation, and then continue the protection with a comprehensive backup strategy for all workstations and servers. Give us a call to discuss how we can help secure your business against ransomware today.

On-Site Computer Repair Appointments Available Now. Book online!

Schedule Your On-Site Computer Repair Appointments Today!

Remember the days when doctors made house calls and milk was delivered to your doorstep? (Actually, I don’t… that was way before my time… but…) When it comes to computer repair, NEPA Geeks is bringing those days back with on-site computer repair appointments — and you can book them online!

We all know that businesses change and evolve over time. As a client base grows, being in more than one place at a time becomes more difficult — but not impossible! NEPA Geeks is finding new ways to be in more places, helping more people. By using remote services, scheduled drop-offs and on-site computer repair appointments, NEPA Geeks can be wherever and whenever you need them!

On-site computer repair appointments let us be right where you need us, right when you need us.

Right now, you can schedule an on-site appointment to have a tech make a housecall for whatever computer issue you might be having. Scheduling is easy to do online, and you can even chat with a tech online in real time! This will allow us to focus on quality, giving you — our clients — the best, personalized, one-on-one service you can get. Book an appointment right now.

Who should schedule an on-site computer repair appointment?

Here at NEPA Geeks, we recognize that we have certain clientele who have mobility issues. For some folks, picking up a heavy desktop might be extremely difficult. For others, they worry that, once they take everything apart, they won’t be able to put it back together again. For these, and a variety of other reasons, it’s best to schedule a house call for your computer repair and have our tech come in for an on-site appointment.

We also understand that there are certain conditions which can cause a computer to fail. For example, you might have a problem that can only be replicated at your home or office. By going to the environment where the computer is, we can get a better picture of what’s happening, and how to fix it. Printers, for example, can be very finicky. You shouldn’t have to take your entire system apart just to have new drivers installed — let us come out and do that, for you.

Remote Services, and More!

For some computer repairs, a remote service might be more practical. Why have someone come into your home when they can fix the problem over the internet? No need for the inconvenience of tearing down and setting up a system or waiting for the tech to arrive — we’ll just fix it for you, online. And best of all, if you need a remote service call, you can schedule that online, as well.

However, for those times when a single house call won’t be enough, use the online form to schedule a drop-off. For repairs that can only be done in-shop, we recommend dropping the computer off, as well. Simply set up a time and a technician will be available to secure the equipment from you.

So, why wait? Schedule an on-site computer repair appointment, right now. The good ol’ days are back. It’s that easy!

Winner, winner! We won the NEPA BlogCon Tech Blog of the Year!


It’s been several weeks since we closed up our computer repair shop in Mountain Top, making the Dolphin Plaza on Route 315 our permanent home. (Located on 237 Old River Road Wilkes-Barre, PA 18702, in the rear of the Dolphin Plaza. Come on down and see our new place!)

We’re about as moved-in as we’re going to get, and the dust is still settling, but we are completely open for business. Fixing iPhones and iPads, desktop and laptop computers, etc., etc. And don’t forget, if you’re having trouble upgrading to Windows 10, we are here to help. The bugs are still being ironed out, but quite a few people have reported that they like it much more than Windows 8.

Yep… It’s business as usual, for us, with lot’s of fun to be had! But in that time, we were VERY pleased to learn that we won the NEPA BlogCon Tech Blog of the Year award! Woo!

I (Dee) had a great time at BlogCon, this year. I was also one of the presenters and really enjoyed having the opportunity to share my story and my passion for blogging with the community. I got a lot of positive feedback and even managed to reach a few people on an emotional level. That felt special, to me, and I will cherish that memory for always. Can’t wait to attend next year!

In the meantime, if you haven’t liked our page on Facebook, why don’t you get on that, right away? We had to change a few things around to accommodate the new location and get the information all up to date, so if you notice a few things that seem out of place, or old, outdated information, just let us know so we can get it sorted out.

As always, we are your friendly, neighborhood computer repair shop, but now with more room to serve everyone!

Windows 10 is Coming, and NEPA Geeks are Here to Help You Upgrade

Windows 10 is coming, and as the latest edition of the powerful operating system, it promises to be better than ever.

Windows 10

Microsoft has set the release for Windows 10 to be July 29, 2015 — only a few weeks away. But the really big news is that this version of Windows will be free to current users of Windows 7 and Windows 8. In fact, you may have noticed the new icon sitting in your task bar, asing if you want to upgrade. All you have to do is claim your copy, and it will waiting for you. But what then?

That’s when you call us — NEPA Geeks. We’ll ensure that the upgrade process is smooth and trouble-free.

For a low price of only $99.99, NEPA Geeks will backup your existing data and upgrade your operating system to Windows 10. Your data will then be put on a DVD and returned to you with the computer. (Again, this only applies to current Windows 7 and 8 users who have registered for their free copy of Windows 10.

Curious about upgrading, but not really sure if it’s for you? You will be able to find a TON of information on the new operating system over at Microsoft’s blog, detailing almost anything you could want to know about it.

Still unsure? Feel free to give us a call. We’ll be more than happy to answer any questions you might have on what you need to do between now and July 29th to get ready for the upgrade, as well as what you can probably expect from the operating system itself.

And don’t forget, the price of $99.99 comes with a free backup, ensuring that your data will be safe and secure in the event that you find incompatibilities with your software or hardware, or simply don’t like Windows 10 and wish to revert back to your original operating system. Just let us know, and we’ll discuss details about downgrading.

So, are you ready for Windows 10? July 29 is just around the corner… Better get on it, today!

It’s Spring Cleaning Time for Your PC!

It’s Spring Cleaning Time for Your PC!

Do you have a “dirty” computer? Chances are, you do. Dust, dirt, hair and other things can get inside your computer, causing anything from minor nuisances to reducing the lifespan of the components inside. But how do you know your computer is dirty if you’ve never looked inside? Here are some symptoms to look out for:

Slow Downs

Slow downs are usually a dead giveaway that not everything is running smoothly on your hard drive. Over time, the constant adding and removal of files leaves gaps on the disc where data is overwritten to make room for new applications and files. This is called “fragmentation,” and causes your hard drive to work a little harder and take a few extra moments to find where everything is located.

As part of a tune-up, NEPA Geeks will make sure the hard drive is “de-fragged,” allowing it to work quicker without putting more wear and tear on its sensitive components.

Excessive Heat

Heat is extremely bad for your computer, and the inside of your computer can be like an oven if vents are blocked and fans aren’t working properly. Irreparable damage to the video card, CPU and memory chips can occur within minutes, leading to costly service and repairs. If your computer is giving you odd errors, not booting properly or sounds like jet engine taking off, there might too much heat inside.

At NEPA Geeks, we will clean out the dust, hair and whatever else might have managed its way into your computer before it’s too late. We’ll make sure the heatsinks are free of dust and that vents are wide open for good airflow.

Weird Noises

You might not realize it, but there are a lot of moving parts inside your computer. Spinning fans can buzz if dust and other debris touch the fins. They also buzz when the ball-bearings begin to wear down. NEPA Geeks can replace fans before they fail altogether, allowing your computer to overheat.

Hard drives might not look like it, but they have moving parts, as well. Inside that little metal box is a spinning disc and a “read/write” head that scans the disc and writes or reads data on the disc – it actually looks a lot like a needle on a record! Over time, any of these parts can wear out, leading to buzzing and other noises you definitely don’t want to hear a hard drive make. If not backed up immediately, all of your data will surely be lost. NEPA Geeks can take care of that, no problem!

Other sounds, such as beeps and clicks, might also indicate problems that aren’t immediately obvious or noticeable, but can lead to data loss or permanent damage to the computer’s components. Generally speaking, if something doesn’t sound right, it might be a good idea to give NEPA Geeks a call ASAP.

Give NEPA Geeks a Call

And there you have it! If it seems like your computer is running slower, hotter and making noises it’s not supposed to, it’s definitely time for a spring cleaning!

NEPA Geeks are open from 9 am to 6 pm Monday through Friday, and Saturday from 9 am to 3 pm.

Our phone number 570.474.5100.

Lastly, be sure to watch for the grand opening of our Wilkes-Barre store, coming soon!

Protect the Data on Your Home or Business Computer with Our Carbonite Online Backup Setup

Protect your home or business computer with NEPA Geeks Geek Care Carbonite Online Backup setup!

NEPA Geeks is now a Carbonite authorized reseller, meaning that you can now purchase Carbonite’s automatic online backup service for your home or work computer through us. We can even bundle it with our Geek Care Managed Services Plan!

Subscribers in more than 100 countries rely on Carbonite to provide easy-to-use, affordable and secure cloud backup solutions with anytime, anywhere data access. Carbonite has backed up more than 300 billion files, restored nearly 20 billion files, and currently backs up more than 350 files each day automatically. You’ll never have to remember to back up again!

Carbonite offers automatic, continual and secure online backup for your home or business computers so you can rest easy knowing your irreplaceable files are protected. Once installed, your files will be backed up automatically to the cloud – no hardware required.

Anytime, anywhere file access means freedom for you.

Not at your computer?  No problem! You can get to your backed up files from any computer connected to the Internet or even from your smartphone or iPad® with Carbonite’s free app. And, with Carbonite’s Anytime, Anywhere Access, you can view your files anytime – whether you’re at home, or on the go!

Protect your files with Carbonite today!

Visit this link or more information on how you can start backing up the files on your home or work computers, contact us today at or call 570.474.5100.

New Ransomware Scam Targetting iOS Devices Through Find My iPhone Exploit

We are warning all of our customers with iPhones and iPads that they should immediately back up their devices either to their iCloud account or to their personal computers. Several news outlets have reported that hackers are using a Find My iPhone exploit to remotely lock-up iPhones and iPads.

The “Find My iPhone” feature is an important safety mechanism that allows a user to lock-down and erase sensitive data in the event that their device is lost or stolen. However, in the wrong hands, this feature can be used to disable devices and, in the case of this attack, demand a ransom to reactivate it.

The hackers are using a classic attack known as “phishing” to set up sites that look like legitimate Apple websites. The user enters their email and password into a form on the sites, thinking they are accessing a legitimate website, but are actually sending their credentials to hackers. The hackers then use this information to access and lock the devices using the “Find My iPhone” feature to demand a ransom in exchange for unlocking the device.

Again, if you haven’t done so already, backup your data to iCloud or your computer. (It’s important to note that iCloud’s Photo Stream will only store your last 1,000 images, so users with a large number of photos should definitely back them up to their computer.) Users are being asked to bring their devices to the nearest Apple store if they’ve been compromised. There, they can get their phones unlocked. However, doing so requires a hardware reset, which means that all data on the device will be lost. This is why it is extremely important to set up your iCloud account and backup your data immediately. Doing so is the only way to get your photos, pictures and music back after a hardware reset.

For more information on this attack, visit or

What you need to know about Windows XP End of Life


Attention! If you are a PC user running Windows XP on your home or business computer, it is extremely important that you contact us right away!

On April 8, 2014, Microsoft will be ending its support for Windows XP. What this means for you is that Windows XP will be left open and vulnerable to any future attacks from hackers.

In the past, hackers found security holes and exploits that would allow them to do anything from hijacking your computer to stealing your valuable information. When these holes would become known, Microsoft would release a patch update that would close the holes and help keep the hackers out. From April 8 on, however, these patch updates will no longer be released, meaning that any new holes or exploits will remain so forever.

If you are a home user, your personal information — along with anything else stored on your computer — could become accessible to anyone knowing how to exploit these security holes. As such, it’s very important that you upgrade to any operating system later than XP. This includes Windows Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8.

If you run a business that has computers running Windows XP, this is especially important as it could mean the end of certain security certifications. Running a computer with XP will soon become a liability as it means that your computers are no longer secure or trustworthy. If your business relies on storing the information of customers and clients, this data could be easily available to hackers capable of exploiting new found security holes in your systems! As stated, it is vital that you contact us right away for help and a consultation on what you will need to upgrade your home or business computers.

A quick call is all it takes to make sure you have everything you need to keep your computers running safe and secured. Our number is 5704745100 and we are available from 9 am to 6 pm Monday through Friday (9 to 5 on Saturday.) Just give us a call and we’ll be sure to help!

Bitcoin for Computer Repair Now Accepted at NEPA Geeks. You can even pay with Litecoin.

According to, NEPA Geeks is the one of the only computer repair shops (if not the ONLY computer repair shop) in North-East Pennsylvania that accepts Bitcoin for computer repair.

Well, as far as we can tell, based on the screenshot below:

coin map

This map shows businesses in NEPA that accept Bitcoin, including Centerline Guitar Repair Shop in Hazleton.

If you’ve never heard of Bitcoin, it’s an open source peer-to-peer payment network and digital currency that was introduced in 2009 and has been steadily increasing in popularity and worldwide acceptance as a legitimate currency.

One of the facets of Bitcoin that make it so attractive to businesses and merchants such as ours is the low transaction fee associated with transferring funds. Typically, the transaction fee is lower than the 2 to 3% charged by most credit card companies. This reduced fee helps us keep costs low, which we then pass on to customers and clients by keeping our rates for repairs low. All in all, if we can keep the regular cost of doing business down, it’s better for everyone, and that’s why we’ve decided to incorporate Bitcoin as a method of payment.

We accept Bitcoin for computer repair, web hosting, iPhone and Android repair, and even game console repairs. The cost of parts and all of these services, and many not even listed here, are easily paid for using Bitcoin. So, if you’re one of the many early adopters of this brave, new, digital frontier, we’d be more than happy to assist you by allowing you to pay in the currency of your choice! (Litecoin also accepted!)

For more information, stop in or give us a call. We’re always here to help.