NEPA Geeks Blog

Watch out for DNS Services Invoice Scam

Watch out for DNS Services Invoice Scam

Have you recently received an invoice from a company called DNS Services charging you for “DNS backup services?” Be warned, it’s not an invoice, it’s a solicitation from DNS Services.

A client recently sent us a copy of an “invoice” he received from DNS Services — DNSsvc.com, a DNS backup provider. Take a look at the picture below to see the actual letter they received:

domain name services scam letter dns services invoice scam

(click the image to see full-size)

On the surface, it looks like a bill, complete with a mailer to send in with a payment of $65. However, if you look closely (the block of text below the total in the account summary details box), you’ll notice that it’s actually “a solicitation for the order of goods or services, or both, and not a bill, invoice, or statement of account due. You are under no obligation to make any payments on account of this offer unless you accept this offer.

In other words, it’s not a bill; you owe nothing. DNS Services simply wants to charge you so they can provide a service that you are not yet receiving. Think of this more like an advertisement — albeit, one so cleverly disguised to look like a bill that unsuspected customers might feel compelled to pay it, and that’s the problem. Unsuspecting customers have been sending DNS Services money for a service they didn’t want or need. What’s worse, we’ve read first-hand reports from other sites warning about DNS Services that a lot of these folks are having trouble getting their money back.

But what about a DNS backup service? Is this a service you actually want or need? Probably not, especially when you consider that NEPA Geeks already provide a backup domain-name server for web sites hosted with us. In general, 2 domain name servers are all you normally need. A DNS is, basically, an internet-connected computer that resolves a web address (the WWW.COM) to the computer where your website is hosted. It’s very rare that these servers go down. Therefore, a backup service isn’t really needed.

In short, if you receive an “invoice” from DNS Services, throw it away. You owe them nothing. And would you really want to do business with a company that conducts themselves in this way? Probably not.

How to fix iPhone’s “Do Not Disturb” not turning off

iPhone’s Do Not Disturb not turning off?

Not getting notifications on your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch today? Wondering what the little moon icon on your status bar means? Read on.

If you noticed that iPhone’s Do Not Disturb won’t turn off after January 1st, 2013, you aren’t alone. This morning, I noticed that the crescent moon “do not disturb” icon on my iPhone was still being displayed in the status bar at the top of screen despite being scheduled to turn itself off after 7 a.m. I didn’t think much of it until I learned that this is a bug that is affecting a lot of iPhone users.

For some reason, if you set the feature to turn on December 31, 2012, it doesn’t automatically switch itself off after January 1, 2013. Note that the built-in alarm in iOS still functions (as mine did, this morning) but you’ll be missing notifications, including those from other alarm apps that you might be using. Fortunately, it’s very easy to fix.

To fix the Do Not Disturb not turning off bug, just turn it off. Seriously. The Do Not Disturb function will resume functioning as normal, turning back on and off at the scheduled times. Easy, right? Well, just in case, here’s how to fix the iPhone’s Do Not Disturb bug.

Step 1: Tap the “Settings” icon on your iPhone.

Step 2: If the Do Not Disturb switch is set to On (as seen in the picture below,) simply tap the switch to turn it off.

iphone do not disturb bug won't turn off how to turn off do not disturb

Notice that the scheduled “switch on” time returns as seen in the next picture.

iphone do not disturb bug won't turn off how to turn off do not disturb

And that’s it! We’re following along just to see if there are any other problems waiting to pop up since the date change, but this seems to be the one affecting most users.

[Update] It seems that, while this does turn off the Do Not Disturb feature, it doesn’t completely fix the problem. You can still turn the feature off and on at will, but the automatic scheduler doesn’t work. The Do Not Disturb feature can only be switched on and off manually at this time.

Apple is aware of the problem but has issued a statement that the bug will not be fixed until January 7. So, it turns out that the fix isn’t as simple as we were hoping, but at least it can be routed around until Apple gets around to correcting in come Monday.

NEPA Geeks now accepts payment via Square Wallet. What is Square Wallet?

Paying invoices just got easier with Square Wallet

NEPA Geeks is proud to announce that we are now capable of accepting payments with Square Wallet.

square wallet logo icon squareup nepa geeks now accepting square wallet payments what is square wallet how to use square wallet

Square Wallet payments now accepted at NEPA Geeks

What is Square Wallet?

Square Wallet is an application that runs on your smartphone. It stores all of your credit card information and allows you to make transactions right from your phone whenever you’re at a store that accepts Square Wallet payments. It works on iPhone and Android smartphones. (Check here for Android availability.)

How to use Square Wallet

Using Square Wallet is simple and quick. It’s just like using a credit card, but there’s no need to remove your wallet or swipe the card through a reader. In fact, with “hands-free” payments activated, you don’t even have to remove your phone! Just say your name at the Square Wallet-enabled register and the clerk will know it’s you when your picture pops up on the screen. You get all of these benefits, and it’s still just as safe as paying by card!

More Options, More Benefits

When you use Square Wallet, you’ll be able to see all of the other businesses in the area that also use Square Wallet. Many will even be offering deals, rewards and discounts just for using it. For example, we offer 10% off your first purchase when using Square Wallet at NEPA Geeks.

You can use Square Wallet to send and receive gift cards, unlock special rewards and much more. It works on both iPhone and Android, so if you haven’t already done so, sign up today! And be sure to use it when you stop in to get 10% off your first purchase at NEPA Geeks.

NEPA Geeks’ Gift Certificates are a great deal!

Give the gift of healthy computing with NEPA Geeks Gift Certificates!

Mr. T. Santa Claus Nancy Reagan

Mr. T. Claus says, “I pity da foo’ who don’t buy NEPA Geeks’ Gift Certificates for their loved ones this year! Ain’t dat right, Nancy Reagan?”

With roughly 17 days left until Christmas, you might be trying to square away a few of those hard to buy for people who seem to have everything. Gift certificates are a popular option for most people because they allow the gift-giver the chance to offer something meaningful without spending money on an unwanted gift. If you’re looking for just such a gift, NEPA Geeks is here to help. Yes, we offer gift certificates!

Many friends and relatives will be receiving new gadgets and computers this year. Wouldn’t it be great if they had some kind of insurance policy for when things go wrong? A gift certificate from NEPA Geeks will help offset the cost of repairs and maintenance to get those problems taken care of, and they can be applied to anything we do! Repairs, maintenance, service calls, custom installs, web hosting and more.

Do you know someone who is “accident prone,” who tends to drop their phone or spill drinks into their keyboards? We can help! Do you have an older family member who refuses to ever give up their old desktop PC? We can get it tuned-up and up-to date for them! Just purchase an NEPA Geeks gift certificate for any amount and they’ll be able to redeem it with us for repairs and other services.

We use PayPal, so it’s safe and secure to use, just like cash! If you have any questions, about NEPA Geeks’ gift cards, just give us a call and we’ll be more than happy to help you. 570.474.5100 or email us at staff@nepageeks.com




Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are fighting over your pictures

Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are having a tiff about who gets to see your pictures.

instagram facebook and twitter

When social networking sites fight, users lose.

There’s a reason your Instagram photos aren’t showing up properly on Twitter today. The New York Times goes into the details of the story, but the basic idea is that, ever since Facebook bought Instagram, the relationship between Instagram and Twitter has been falling apart. Those relationship problems came to a head today, December 5, when Instagram decided to stop supporting embedded photos within Twitter, causing them to show up cropped and off-center. Kevin Systrom, Instagram’s chief-executive, confirmed his company’s move and added that Twitter will be completely cut off from embedding photos in the future.

As Instagram moves to make their photo-sharing more social by integrating with Facebook, Twitter has also been making moves to add the ability for Twitter users to add photo filters in much the same way Instagram does, negating the need for Instagram. In the meantime, the ability to “sync users” — the ability to place an @ in front of a Twitter user’s name and direct the photo at them —  is going away, as Twitter will no longer support the function on Instagram.

It’s not clear who all of this bickering is supposed to benefit, but one clear loser is us: the users.

When social networking sites decide to stop getting along, it makes it difficult for everyday users to share photos with friends and family. Not all of your friends are on Twitter, just as not everyone you follow on Twitter use Facebook, so to cut off a large group of users not only keeps them from interacting with the things you do, but it can hurt your brand if you rely on those networks to bring traffic to your site. So, what can you do?

Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do about Twitter and Instagram not getting along, but if you hosted your content on your own website, you’d be able to share it with everyone — regardless of what network they choose. And, by using a content management system such as WordPress, there are plugins available that will allow you to share images easily with both networks, just like before. Why rely on the terrible choices and business tactics of others when you can do everything you want on your own site? That’s true freedom!

Top 5 Reasons You Need A Blog! – A guest post by Darling Stewie

Our good friend and fellow blogger, Darling Stewie, wrote up a terrific guest blog post to give everyone her top 5 reasons you need a blog. If this post doesn’t convince you to purchase a hosting account and set up your blog, right away, nothing will! Get ready to have your ironic, artisanal, hand-knitted socks knocked off.

 Top 5 Reasons You Need a Blog!

Hey NEPA Geeks blog readers! This is Darling Stewie of DarlingStewie.com stepping in for a fun guest post to bring you some deets on why you should really consider having a blog. I’ve had DarlingStewie.com for 2 years, and helped run several other area blogs including NepaBlogCon.com/Blog and PepperJam.com/Blog – and I love it! But… why do I love it you ask? Is it because Barney Stinson has a blog? Is it because I’m a pasty white computer geek? Is it because I drank the kool-aid and wore the nikes? Well, yes, yes, and…. yes. But there’s more, so much more!

Barney Stinson has a blog. Just one of the Top 5 Reasons You Need A Blog

1. Blogging is like totally cool.

Remember the days of getting your school lunch poured down your pants? …Yeah, me neither. But
seriously, if you have a blog, you become like this super cool space warrior whom everyone is all
like “WHO IS THAT” and you can be like “Oh it’s just me, I have a blog.” People respect you. They see a
force to be reckoned with – someone who can articulate their brainwaves in a sort of productive way.
Because, let’s face it, it takes guts, creativity, direction, and some sort of digital prowess to make a blog.
Srsly. It makes you a cool dude. Or chick.

Blogging is like a cult. Just one of the Top 5 Reasons You Need A Blog

2. Blogging is like a cult… once you join – you never go back.

My blog friends and my real world friends are like 2 different animals. The blog community is tight and full of fun loving internet people. They all know each other and they all get each other. If you’re obsessed with Interwebs things, then a blog is a perfect way to join this strange little community of fun people. I’ve met some of the most kickass people I know because of blogging. And let me tell you… the cult is fun. Free kittens! No just kidding. But I’m not.

3. Blogging gives you the chance to be seen and heard like… all the time.

Um – hello – the Internet has this big neon green blinking “Open” sign on the door, and it’s on 24/7. That means all the time, for you peeps who don’t know why 24/7 means. So anyone can access your blog anytime, anywhere, and pretty much from any device, except a remote control covered in tinfoil. (Tried it.) It’s an auto-updating newspaper in full color without the annoying black ink on the fingers… it’s a TV where you don’t have to Tivo the show you want because you’ll be at your Yodeling Yoga classes during its airing. Forget about telling your friends “Hey watch me on TV Friday between 3:15 and 7:25 on this channel you probably never heard of.” No thank you. Just give them your cute little URL and they can check that out whenever they want!! And keep coming back for more… because… it’s always there!

4. Blogging covers all the creative canvases you want it to.

Maybe you’re the kind of person who likes to drivel on about their dreams… in particular a great dream they had last night where they turned into a rainbow trout and ate San Diego, California. Hey man, it’s cool! But if you like to write stories, are a super nerdy wordy wordsmith, or just love grammar, blogging is for you. Let’s say you’re a really awesome photographer who takes stellar artsy black and white pictures of lawn furniture. I’ve been there! Blogging is for you too, Mr. or Mrs. Shutterbug. Let’s say you take it one step further and like to take videos of yourself doing jazzercise with your bulldog to Paula Abdul music videos. I mean, sure, we’ve all been there. Upload those videos to your blog! It’s pretty much any way you want to communicate digitally, you can do it, with blogging. Text, photo video, and much more. How cool is that?

Are you right-brained? That's just another of the Top 5 Reasons You Need A Blog

5. Blogging is a stress reliever of epic proportions.

Some of us are right brained, and some of us are left brained. Right brained people are creative and left brained people are analytical. And for us right brainers, not having a creative outlet can be stressful! But for me, I cope with anxiety and its source is: not creating! It sounds weird, but I’m serious… if I am not drawing weird comics or creating some new meme or blogging or writing silly tweets, I go stir crazy! Some people need creativity to release stress. Blogging is a refreshing creative outlet. Sure, it takes some practice. It combines a lot of different kinds of art, like writing for the web, a little bit of artistic talent, some graphic design, some social media prowess, and a general flair for digital fun. But if you have trouble once you dive in, you can be assured the blogtastic cult of the Interwebs community will be there for you. Blogging is a total creative release, so get in touch with your inner e-muse and get blogging!

Small Business Saturday

small business saturday banner NEPA GeeksNEPA Geeks are proud to announce that we will be taking part in Small Business Saturday, this Saturday, November 24.

What is Small Business Saturday?

Small Business Saturday is a program sponsored by American Express to support small businesses that create jobs, stimulate the economy and help enrich their communities. American Express founded Small Business Saturday back in 2010 as a way to help small businesses increase their exposure. Last year, over 100 million people shopped at independently-owned businesses, and the hope is that we can all help to increase that number significantly! American Express offers tools that will help us, as a small, independent business, reach out and offer extra benefits and services to our customers.

As part of the NEPA Small Business Saturday group on Facebook, we’re honored to be a part of what they are doing to promote small business in NEPA!

What does that mean for you?

This Saturday, November 24, the NEPA Geeks office will be open and ready to serve you with any computer issues you might be having. Even if you don’t have a problem with your current computer, we can help you upgrade to a new computer, order parts for your existing system or even set you up with a new website or blog!

We’re offering free consultations15% off computer repair services and 10% off web hosting! And, to top it off, NEPA Geeks offers its Complete Computer Overhaul package for only $99.99 — a huge savings over our usual price of $129.99.

Call or stop in on Saturday, November 24th.

We’ll be here to help you learn more about what NEPA Geeks can do for you! Our number is 570.474.5100 and our address is 108 N. Mountain Blvd. Suite B, Mountain Top, PA 18707. We can also be reached at staff@nepageeks.com

For more information on Small Business Saturday, visit ShopSmall.com.

How to defrag your hard drive

How to Defrag Your Hard Drive

disk defrag windows xp

When was the last time you defragged your hard drive? If you’re like most computer users, it’s probably been a long time. If you answered, “Never,” or, “I don’t even know what that is!” we’re going to show you, now.

What is defragging?

In simplest terms, it’s taking all the bits and pieces of information stored on your hard disk and reorganizing them. Think of your computer’s hard disk as a big closet where everything gets tossed. Shoes, clothes, old cell phones, other gadgets and odds and ends… After a while, people just tend to close the door and forget that room exists, but sooner or later, you’re going to need something in there. As you go digging, you’ll come across an unpaired shoe, or a tangled up extension cord or two, an AC adapter to some appliance you don’t remember owning… It’s going to take a while to find everything you need. Time to clean it out!

Now imagine your computer’s hard disk looks the same way. Files get jumbled up, parts and pieces get moved around, stuff that used to be important gets pushed to the back to make room for new stuff that’s important… As the computer searches for pictures, emails and other programs you don’t use very often, it seems to take a long time. Defragging is your computer’s way of cleaning out the closet!

So, now that you know how important it is, and if you’d like your computer to run a little bit faster, read on to learn how.

How to defrag your hard drive in Windows XP

Before starting, make sure all open files and applications are closed. This is a resource intensive operation that will be moving large amounts of data around on your hard drive, so make sure nothing will interrupt it.

Open My Computer and right-click on the C: drive. Select  Properties, then click on the tab marked Tools. Select Defragment Now.

The colored bar in the disk defragger window will tell you how fragmented your hard drive is and how far is must go before the process is done. Once it finishes, close the window and resume normal computer operation. Congratulations! You’ve defragmented your hard disk in Windows XP.

How to defrag your hard drive in Windows 7

The easiest way to run disk defrag is to click on the Start button and type “disk defragmenter” in the search box.

Select a disk and click on the Defragment Disk button. Note that you can abort the defragmentation at any time by clicking the Stop Operation button. When the operation is complete, click Finish.

And that’s it! Now you know how to defrag your hard drive. Just remember to run disk defrag every so often (or schedule it for a specific time, as you can do with Windows 7) to keep your computer running smoothly. If you found this tip helpful, let us know!

Password Security: All but Dead in the Digital Age

Feeling safe and secure about your passwords?

You might want to take a seat, because that is about to change.

password security

How secure is your password? It might not matter anymore.

If you read only one article on password security this year, make it this one. In it, Mat Honan lays waste to the idea that passwords are anything but an inconvenience to hackers. After taking over his Apple, Twitter and Gmail accounts, hackers destroyed his digital life in the span of an hour. Documents, data — even pictures of his 18-month-old daughter were wiped out. Think it can’t happen to you? Think again.

Do you reuse the same password on multiple sites? Do you use “dictionary” words less than 16 characters in length? Do you have your email account linked to multiple accounts, such as Twitter and Facebook? When you need to reset a password, is that the same email address the notification goes to? I have news for you: you are vulnerable.

Learn some of Mat’s suggestions and tips to keep your data more secure, such as setting up double-authentication on your accounts when offered, setting up an email address exclusively for password resets that isn’t linked to anything else and the best way to answer those “personal” questions, such as, “What was your first car?” and “Where were you born?” Proficient hackers can usually answer these questions with a few strategic Google searches!

The article may be a bit lengthy, but it provides an eye-opening education into what it takes to keep your data secure, these days. Note that we aren’t suggesting you retreat from the web, just that you exercise a little more caution in what kind of information you publish and how securely you lock it down. Be safe!