What is a Keylogger? [And How to Protect Yourself]

June 15th, 2021

what is a keylogger

“They’re watching my keystrokes?”

As cybersecurity threats become more vicious, they’re also becoming more cunning in the ways they capture data. While this is true, one of the most prominent is also one of the oldest data-stealing techniques — keylogger malware programs. 

“What is a keylogger?”

Keyloggers are software systems designed to log keystroke data from a user’s computer and transmit them to a third party. Cybersecurity threats frequently hide keyloggers in malware programs to steal confidential information. Some of the most commonly stolen data points include passwords, banking information, and other sensitive items. 

“Are there legitimate uses for keyloggers?” 

Though commonly employed by cybersecurity threats, keyloggers may also have a legitimate application. For example, some business entities may use keyloggers to monitor employee computer usage as white hat spyware. Investigators may use keyloggers for user surveillance. Software developers and researchers may also use approved keylogger systems to study user experience. 

While there are many legitimate uses for keyloggers, they have a propensity to be misused for cybercriminals. 

“How does a keylogger work?” 

Keyloggers are installed on the backend of a computer’s operating system or possibly an internet browser through a third party — either through an approved entity or without the user’s knowledge. Like many other malware programs, keyloggers are frequently downloaded due to a user clicking on a malicious link or downloading a file they believe to be harmless. Keyloggers can also be installed through an external hardware device — such as a mysterious flash drive —  plugged into a computer’s USB port. 

Once installed, depending on the particular software, a keylogger can capture and transmit everything from website form data and screen activity to even hijacking the cameras, microphones, or a device’s GPS information. 

“How can I protect myself or my organization against keyloggers?” 

Revisiting cybersecurity best practices is the best way to protect yourself or your workplace against keylogger infection. 

Never connect to open wireless internet networks without proper protections. Also, make sure your wifi router is thoroughly password protected.

What is Ransomware? Answering Your Ransomware FAQs

June 14th, 2021


what is ransomware

In spring 2021, Tulsa experienced one of the most significant cybersecurity events ever to strike the municipality — a ransomware attack. In addition to city communications, as of the writing of this piece in June 2021, some utility payment systems have not fully recovered. 

“What is ransomware?” 

Ransomware is software installed on an unsuspecting user’s devices — computers, phones, hard drives, and other affiliated equipment — with the power to remotely encrypt hard drives, applications, or even operating systems. The software essentially holds the data and systems hostage — requiring a passcode to unlock the systems and gain access to the information. Cybersecurity threats will usually demand a ransom in return for this passcode or the decryption of the data. 

“How does one’s computer or system become infected with ransomware?” 

The most likely infection method for an organization is via something called phishing. In a phishing scenario, an organization member with a device connected to a more extensive system will either accidentally or through manipulation download malware through an email attachment or some other access point. Either the individual clicks on what they believe to be a harmless email link or, in a spearphishing scenario, they’re deceived into downloading a file from a compromised source they would usually trust. There are other ways to be infected with ransomware. 

“What do should I do if I suspect a ransomware attack has taken place?”

If you suspect that a ransomware attack has taken place or you’ve received notification requesting a ransom, there are some actions you can take to mitigate the damage. Firstly, you will want to segment your system by unplugging networked systems. Changing shared passwords may also be an excellent way to limit the rate of infection. Bring up any unfamiliar activities with your organization’s IT department. 

“How can I reverse a ransomware attack?” 

Sadly, there is no magic cure to ransomware attacks. Yes, malware scan systems are helpful, but they’re no match for behavior training — helping your employees manually vet links before they click them to limit exposure to cybersecurity threats. However, once infected, there is little you can do if a nefarious actor has control of your data. This is why ransomware prevention and preparation are key.  

“How do I prevent ransomware attacks?” 

  1. Behavioral training. Every member of your staff needs to be on high alert against phishing and spearphishing scenarios. Many make the mistake of only training those with access to sensitive data. However, those who share files with those individuals can be used as conduits for malware systems. 
  2. Regular malware scans and security patch upgrades. Making system scans and security patch upgrades standard protocol is a great way to protect your organization’s system from deeply embedded malware programs. 
  3. Automated and tested three-tier backup. According to cybersecurity professionals, your data is highly vulnerable if at least three separate sources don’t back it up. There are several different backup protocols a company or organization can put into use with the help of a managed IT provider. In addition, a robust data backup system helps reduce the chances of a cybersecurity threat taking monetary advantage of a company or organization through their sensitive data. 

Remaining vigilant against ransomware is challenging but ultimately worth it.

How to Protect Yourself from Computer Viruses [VIDEO]

May 26th, 2021

Our own Ken Palmer spoke with our parent company, JD Young Technologies, to discuss some of the ways you can protect yourself from computer viruses.

Conversation contents:

  • 00:38 – How to tell if your computer is infected with a computer virus.
  • 01:13 – The ways you can acquire a computer virus.
  • 01:48 – Website visits versus phishing email schemes as a way of getting computer viruses.
  • 02:42 – The impact of COVID-19 and computer virus transmission/infection.
  • 03:22 – How to remove computer viruses from your system.
  • 03:48 – How to keep your computer free of computer viruses.

Professional Computer Repair in Tulsa, OK

Whether your laptop screen remains blank or is experiencing any other problems, you can trust the friendly professional computer repair technicians from Geeks to the Rescue — located at 61st and Memorial in Eton Square between Pet Supplies Plus and Aldi.

Visit them online or feel free to call 918-369-GEEK.

Help! My Laptop Screen Went Blank! [2 Quick Tips + Troubleshooting]

May 26th, 2021

laptop screen went blank and doesn't work


Whether you were using your laptop for a task or just opened it, being greeted by a blank screen while you know the laptop is running is more than troubling. Before you toss the entire thing out of the window, let’s do a bit of troubleshooting to see if you can isolate the problem before seeking out professional computer repair.

Two Possible Quick Fixes

Possible Quick Fix 1. Check your screen brightness.

What looks like a blank or dead screen may simply be a screen brightness setting that has been accidentally pushed all the way to one side or the other. You should be able to adjust the screen brightness using keys on your laptop’s keyboard.

Possible Quick Fix 2: Reboot your computer. 

A reboot can remedy a wide variety of computer issues.

If those two issues didn’t remedy your blank screen issue, let’s get to the bottom of the problem with some troubleshooting!

Step 1. Check to see if the laptop screen is indeed blank — devoid of all colors.

The presence of other colors may denote a different issue entirely. Suppose you see a white screen or possibly a variety of randomly assorted colors. In that case, there’s a better chance that you’re looking at a problem with your video card — a fix that would require the attention of a computer repair specialist.

Step 2. Listen for any activity happening with the laptop to isolate the issue to the screen.

There is a vast difference between a laptop with screen issues and one that simply will not power up. Listen closely for any indication that the computer is running. Some solid-state drive (SSD) laptops may run extremely quietly due to the lack of a spinning hard drive. However, there is still likely some audible indication that the computer is running — possibly even sound coming from the device’s speakers.

If you hear nothing and no other lights come on, it may not be that it’s only your screen that isn’t working but that the entire computer is failing to power up.

Step 3. Take note of when the screen goes blank.

At what point in using your laptop screen goes blank can say a lot. If you reboot the computer, it starts up fine, and then the screen goes dark shortly after bootup may indicate an operating system (OS) issue such as a corrupt file.

If this is the case with a PC, this may be an issue with the loading of the Windows operating system — which may possibly be resolved by reinstalling Windows.

If your laptop display screen went blank during use, it might simply be overheating. If you notice that your laptop screen shuts off as the computer gets hot to the touch, this is likely the case. Many laptops will automatically shut off the graphics process unit (GPU) upon overheating. The cause for overheating may range from debris gumming up the components or a faulty cooling fan.

Sometimes, blowing out the inside of the laptop with canned air can remove any insulating debris, causing heat retention. However, if this gaining access to these compartments on your laptop requires tools, you’re likely better off leaving this to the computer repair professionals. Even if it seems within your abilities, untrained disassembly of any computer components may result in accidentally shorting out specific circuits or damage due to electrostatic shock.

Step 4. Rule out a motherboard issue with an external monitor hookup.

If you have access to a standalone monitor or external display, see if hooking if connecting it allows you to use the laptop’s computer through it. Most laptops will have a USB, HDMI, or Firewire connection that enables you to connect them to a secondary display or even a television.

If connecting to a secondary monitor works, there’s a high likelihood that there is just an issue with your display and nothing else — perhaps a loose or damaged connection.

If your computer still fails to fire up using a secondary monitor, there’s a high likelihood of a graphics or motherboard issue.

What to do now?

If none of the more simple fixes (rebooting, screen brightness settings, debris blow-outs, or OS reinstallation) don’t do the trick, your best bet is to bring in your laptop to a computer repair professional. Fortunately, because of your troubleshooting, you may save a decent amount on labor due to reduced time helping them diagnose the issue.

Professional Computer Repair in Tulsa, OK

Whether your laptop screen remains blank or is experiencing any other problems, you can trust the friendly professional computer repair technicians from Geeks to the Rescue — located at 61st and Memorial in Eton Square between Pet Supplies Plus and Aldi.

Visit them online or feel free to call 918-369-GEEK.

Should I Upgrade My Laptop or Buy a New One?

March 10th, 2021

man smashing laptop with hammer

“We used to have boxes of photos in our closets. Now, it’s just old computers. ‘Heh, there’s our wedding computer.’” 

-Jim Gaffigan

Modern laptop commercials would have you believe that your current laptop is a laggy, unsecured bandwidth hog in need of replacement. Oddly enough, like a car, laptop computers are no more than a collection of components. And like cars, they’re likely upgradeable. 

Let’s look at what parts of your laptop you can upgrade to give you a few more years before forking over hundreds, if not thousands of dollars on a new model.  

When to Replace Your Hard Drive

Sadly, hard drives are not immortal. Because many have physically spinning components, they may wear out — leaving your data lost forever. If your computer is slowing down, routinely freezing up, or throws up warnings about corrupted data and bad sectors, it may be time to replace the hard drive. Computer repair professionals can help you safely transfer data to another hard drive for safekeeping. 

When to Upgrade Your RAM

If your laptop is running slower than usual, it may be time for a RAM upgrade. Still, this isn’t always the case. If your computer has 16GB of RAM or more and your computer is still running slow, there may be other reasons for the drop in speed. Still, if your RAM is below this level and you’re needing your computer to process memory-intensive commands (gaming, audio/visual editing, etc.), a good boost of RAM may be a relatively inexpensive shot in the arm. 

When to Replace or Upgrade Your Battery

Batteries are one of the components of your laptop (or mobile device) that degrade over time. No battery holds the same charge as it did years later. If your laptop doesn’t seem to be able to remain off of the charger very long, instead of ditching it for a totally new system, a simple battery upgrade may be just the ticket. And lucky for you, many laptop models don’t even require any tools to replace a laptop battery. 

When to Replace Your Laptop Keyboard or Trackpad

We all have that friend with the ancient laptop who can’t type certain letters or symbols. But there’s no reason to put up with that. Many laptops are designed to allow for interchangeable keyboards by computer repair professionals. In many instances, a keyboard can be successfully switched out and extend the life of the laptop for many more years. Still, before this is done, an external keyboard should be tried with your laptop to ensure that the issue is, indeed, your keyboard. Motherboard issues can present themselves much like laptop keyboard malfunctions. 

In Conclusion

Before you ditch your laptop and shell out some major coin for a brand new model, it’s worth having it looked over by a computer repair professional. In many instances, annoying glitches may be due to replaceable or upgradeable components. At best, you may be looking at a few inexpensive repairs. At worse, if it’s not repairable, the computer technician will be able to give you some pointers on what devices may best fit your needs and budget — saving you time and money in the future. 

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Office 365 vs Office 2019 – Which is Best For You?

March 10th, 2021

Why have separate Microsoft service offerings? 

Whether your company’s office software is a bit outdated, you’re looking to expand, or you’re becoming increasingly remote, there are several different options to choose from — even just from Microsoft! But which one is best for you and your team? 

What is Microsoft Office 365? 

Microsoft Office 365 is a subscription-based suite of Office products. For a monthly rate per user, your team has just about every Microsoft Office product at your fingertips — from anywhere. The subscription fee includes ongoing support as well as perpetual upgrades — ensuring that your team always has the latest and greatest tools from Microsoft. 

Who is best served by a Microsoft Office 365 subscription? 

So many different businesses are turning to monthly subscription services for their tools and programs. For those who prefer to pay a monthly fee and have their Microsoft products one less thing to worry about, Office 365 is a great option. The system is also preferred by many larger teams that have many member systems to manage. Office 365 is also the favorite among companies with larger, remote-based staff members due to its inclusion of Microsoft Teams — a live chat/call/instant messaging service. Also, Microsoft’s OneDrive online storage system is a very handy way to store and transfer large files between team members.

What is Microsoft Office 2019? 

Unlike Office 365’s subscription-based model, Microsoft Office 2019 is a one-time purchase per user. This single transaction per team member includes a suite of Microsoft Office products as recent as 2019. Depending on whether you opt for the Home or Business versions, this package includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. 

Who is best served by Office 2019? 

For individual users or smaller teams who don’t necessarily have to have cutting-edge office software tools to get the job done, a one-time purchase of Microsoft Office 2019 will likely fit the bill nicely. For these smaller companies or departments, having one less monthly expense to manage is convenient and the savings over a couple of years will make upgrading a fairly easy process — that is, when they feel that an upgrade is warranted. 

Still on the fence between Office 365 and Office 2019?

For a more in-depth discussion, vCIO Jason Spivy recently sat down to speak with JD Young Technology’s Business Solutions Academy about both services. You can watch the video and read the full transcript of that conversation on the Resource Center of JD Young Technologies.

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Laptop Stolen? Do These Things Immediately

February 8th, 2021

person stealing laptop from backpack

If your company laptop is stolen, how much money do think this will cost your company? 

$700? $1,000? 

We hate to be the bearers of bad news, but if your company laptop has been stolen, the loss of the hardware itself is likely the least of your company’s worries. According to an FBI crime computer survey, the average cost to a company from a stolen laptop is in the ballpark of $30,000. 

Before you start an internet search about who is spending $30,000 on laptops, know that this figure was calculated according to the value of the stolen data housed on these devices when not properly secured. For companies with a heightened security protocol, thieves may not have been able to pull any data from the computers. For others, potentially millions of dollars worth of information may have been available without so much as a password standing in their way. 

So, do you think your laptop has been stolen? Here is what you should do next. 

1. Change all of your passwords.

Changing your passwords on a regular basis is not a bad idea. If you feel that someone could potentially access any private information through your lost or stolen computer or personal device, there’s never been a better time to change all accessible passwords. You should be able to change your passwords from a remote location once you have confirmed your identity with your banks, credit card companies, company IT administrators, email providers, and even social media accounts. Taking this step early may save you and your company a great deal of trouble. Even if you later discover your device was simply misplaced, the worst-case scenario is that you now have some new passwords to remember. 

2. Confirm that it was stolen and not simply misplaced. 

For one reason or another, we’re all conditioned to believe that if we’ve lost something in public, it was likely stolen. However, in many instances, we’ve simply misplaced the item. According to a report by LaGuardia Airport, they revealed that an average of 800 laptops are left at their checkpoints every year. You may need to just retrace your steps. You might find that you just left your laptop at a cafe, in the back of an Uber, or elsewhere. 

3. Track it down with GPS. 

Whether you lost your laptop or it was stolen, if it still has power, there’s a good chance that you can track it down using GPS. For laptops running Microsoft, you will likely be able to run a search using the program’s Find My Device feature. If you’ve lost track of your Mac, you can use Find My Mac. By the same token, you can also track down your lost iOS or lost Android devices via GPS as well.

4. Cancel all saved credit cards. 

It’s never been easier to cancel credit cards at the first sign of trouble. Credit card companies have made canceling cards a sinch not only to protect account holders but also to protect themselves from loss. You can likely just give them a phone call and have your credit cards canceled in moments.

5. Notify your clients. 

While it sounds like you’re admitting some form of weakness by admitting when any of your devices or data has been compromised, your clients would rather find out immediately from you rather than via a phishing attempt through your email address later. They’ll appreciate you being very upfront, honest, and responsible. You may also be surprised at how understanding they’re likely to be. 

Before your laptop is stolen: 

If you’re reading this even though your laptop has not been stolen, there’s never been a better time to develop a plan for what you’ll do if your laptop, your mobile device, or any other conduit for personal information is stolen. Make sure your passwords, security measures, data backups, or retrieval methods are functioning optimally. 


Follow These Six Rules For A Strong, Effective Password

12 Technology Ingredients For Working From Home

February 8th, 2021

man working from home wearing headset

More people have converted to a remote work environment in the past 12 months than ever before in modern times. Though the prospect of working in your pajamas may sound nice, some of the niceties of the office may have been left behind. 

In this piece, we’re going to cover 12 different aspects of technology you’ll want to make sure you have in your home office environment.

1. Suitable Internet Connection

Unless you’re a gamer or video producer, there’s a good chance you’ve been taking your home internet connection for granted until this point. With the growing need for reliable internet speeds for teleconferencing (think Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, Skype, etc.), you may consider upgrading your internet connection speed. Doing so may be as simple as calling your current internet service provider (ISP) or even switching providers. Either way, this shouldn’t be immensely difficult.

2. Competent Computer Setup

There’s a good chance you were able to take your work-assigned computer home with you. If you weren’t able to do so, you’ll likely want to consider an upgrade if your home computer was only used up until this point for looking at cat videos and balancing your budget. 

As you begin to set up your home office, do not neglect office ergonomics. Your neck and back will thank you for using an ergonomically conduce home work environment

3. Antivirus Software

As you leave behind your office’s professional IT services set up, your home internet connection and computer hardware are likely no match cybersecurity threats. To combat hackers after precious company data, it will be worth installing a professional-grade antivirus software program. Your entire company will thank you later. 

4. A Lookout For Phishing

Spammers know that more and more people are working from home through more penetrable networks. This is when it pays to remain vigilant as to what emails you’re opening and definitely what links you’re clicking. If it looks “phishy” or spammy, don’t open it and notify your company’s IT department. Though you may be on the lookout for such threats, your other co-workers should be warned of such nefarious actors. 

Related: 7 Ways to Spot a Fake (& Possibly Malicious) Email

5. A Solid Data Backup System

If you’re only keeping all of your work files on your local computer, you may be one coffee spill away from losing tens of thousands of dollars of information. Make sure that all of your valuable data is being saved to a secondary backup system—preferably a cloud-based data backup. 

6. Audio & Visual Equipment

Working from home doesn’t mean you’re not going to have any meetings. Because this is the case, don’t skimp on the audio-visual equipment! Having a good microphone, headphones, and video camera should be a requirement for all remote workers with your company. Let’s break down what this means. 

7. A Decent Camera

Laptop web cameras have come a long way. However, if your image looks grainy or laggy, it may be time to upgrade. A low-quality image can be immensely distracting for co-workers and especially for sales contacts. Just as you would want to ensure you look your best in person, doing so virtually means making an investment in a high-quality web camera.

8. A Good Microphone

If you’re attending regular virtual meetings, a quality microphone is a great investment. Not only will this decrease feedback and fuzz, but this will allow your voice to penetrate the meeting noise so you can make your thoughts heard.

9. Headphones / Headsets

Don’t make the teleconferencing faux pas of using speakers during a Zoom or Teams meeting. Not only can this lead to terrible feedback and echo, but it will weaken your message and even make you appear unprofessional. Do yourself and everyone else in your meeting a favor and invest in a good pair of headphones that you select specifically for meetings. 

For overhauling your entire teleconferencing experience, consider investing in microphone-enabled AirPods or a comfortable over-ear headset. Sure, you may look like a video gamer or a sideline sports commentator, but it will make your teleconferencing meetings much more pleasant for both you and everyone with whom you’re communicating. 

10 . An Optimal Teleconferencing Service

If your team isn’t on the same page when it comes to using a singular telecommunications platform, this decision is long overdue. So, which one should you select? This very much depends upon a variety of factors—the main one being where you currently house your information infrastructure. 

  • If your team already relies upon Microsoft’s suite of office programs, Microsoft Teams will likely be your best choice. 
  • If your team use’s Google’s G Suite, now known as Google Workspace, Google Meet may make the most sense.
  • If you’re either a largely client-facing organization or you allow your employees to utilize a variety of platforms, Zoom’s professional plans may be a good fit.  

Anytime you use teleconferencing systems, it’s important to make sure any sensitive information is protected from third-parties.

11. A VoIP Phone System

One of the trickiest aspects of transferring from an office location to a remote office is receiving phone calls. Unless your business phone number connects to a mobile device, you may have a hard time receiving business calls usually sent to your office desk phone. This is when a VoIP phone system becomes invaluable.

What is a VoIP telephone system? 

“VoIP” stands for “voice over IP”—which essentially means that your business telephone systems are internet-based rather than supported by a traditional telephone infrastructure. While most traditional phone systems can be forwarded to other phone numbers, VoIP phone plans can be programmed to work on almost any VoIP-enabled desktop handset phone, mobile device, or even through your computer.

Related: What is a VoIP Phone System? [Explainer Video + Promo]

12. Go-To Remote IT or Computer Support

Though working in your bunny slippers from the comfort of your home is pretty nice, being miles from a capable IT support technician can be challenging. This is where a managed IT services and/or helpdesk service is nice to have—especially for team members working remotely. Fortunately, there are several third-party companies that offer robust service over the phone, via email, live-chat, and some that can even make house calls. 

Finding a locally-based managed IT provider before you experience a problem can be the difference between a productive workday and spending days attempting to troubleshoot annoying IT problems yourself. 

Conclusion—Working From Home is Likely Here to Stay

Even as conditions improve and many workers return to working together in physical offices, the pandemic has shown companies and employees alike some of the major advantages of at least having the option of working remotely. Some companies will prefer that their employees work from home. Some employees won’t want to return, possibly even seeking new positions that guarantee a remote work environment. We’re all adapting to this new normal as an option for work. With this new workplace normal will come new innovations as well as new challenges to workers and employers alike.

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Your Quick External Hard Drive Shopping Guide

December 14th, 2020

external hard drive buying guide

If you’re looking for extra space for your digital files, you have three options. 

  1. Upgrade your computer’s hard drive with a higher capacity drive
  2. Sign up for a cloud storage subscription plan
  3. Invest in an external hard drive or drives

In this piece, we’re going to traverse the world of external hard drives and help you determine if this is the best choice for your digital storage needs. We’ll then help you decide what style and size drive to acquire.

External Hard Drive vs. Cloud Storage Subscription

Suppose your laptop or desktop computer’s storage isn’t large enough, and upgrading your storage capacity is out. In this case, you’re likely looking at either a cloud storage subscription plan or a physical external hard drive device.

Cloud Subscription 


  • A third-party company securely guards your digital files at a remote location
  • Usually available for a relatively affordable monthly or annual fee
  • Easily backup all of your devices to a single account


  • Continous fees for the use of the service (and may increase over time with inflation) 
  • Digital files may be more vulnerable to interception if not encrypted
  • Backup or download speeds dependant on an internet connection

External Hard Drive


  • A one-time fee to buy instead of monthly fees
  • Your data never has to leave your home or office
  • Transport all of your data without the need for an internet connection


  • Susceptible to physical damage or being misplaced while in your possession
  • It takes up space on your desk or in your office
  • It may not end up being enough space in the long run

I want to buy an external hard drive. What should I look for?  

If an external hard drive feels more your speed than a cloud storage subscription, many options are available.

Hard Drive vs. SSD (Solid-State Drive) 

There are two types of external drive options—a traditional disk-based hard drive or a solid-state drive (also called an “SSD”). Traditional hard drives store and read data from spinning disks, while SSDs store information on immobile flash memory chips—like the storage chips in your smartphone, tablet, and many newer laptops. Though traditional hard drives tend to be less expensive per gigabyte of storage, SSDs are more resistant to damage due to a lack of moving parts. The lack of moving parts also makes SSDs much more compact. 

How much external hard drive storage do I need? 

Before shopping for external hard drives, it pays to consider how much storage you need. If you’re a photographer, videographer, or deal in huge files, you will likely need much more storage capacity than the average computer user. While it’s always a good idea to buy a little bit more storage than you think you’ll need, you’ll be able to save some money by purchasing a hard drive more in line with your actual storage needs. 

How should I compare prices for external hard drives? 

Much like buying groceries, looking at the price-per-quantity is also helpful when shopping for hard drives. Though some external hard drives will be built stronger or with more features, you can get the best price by comparing the cost per gigabyte of storage. 

How do I connect my computer or device to my external hard drive? 

While the standard means of connecting your computer to your external hard drive is likely via USB cable, newer systems now feature wireless data transfer. These systems allow you to treat your home-based or office-based external hard drive like your own personal cloud. While convenient, it is vital to consider your device’s data security, so no data is ever stolen from your hard drive or mid-transfer. Data encryption programs can help offset this problem.  

While shopping for external hard drives, make sure the interfaces (connection styles) are compatible with your devices. If these interfaces are not compatible, hardware adapters will be necessary. This is doable but does require more hardware to acquire and manage. 

Should I buy a portable external hard drive or a desktop hard drive unit? 

External hard drives usually come in two styles: home-based desktop external hard drives or portable SSDs. If you’re always on the go and need to take your files with you, a pocket-sized SSD will be your best bet. If you’re not quite the adventurer and only need the occasional file backup, a stationary desktop external hard drive with its own power connection may be more appropriate. 

Still have questions about expanding your hard drive storage space?

Whether you’d like to increase your computer’s hard drive storage capacity or would like help knowing what to look for in an external hard drive, the Tulsa-based computer repair experts from Geeks to the Rescue can help!

You Need a VPN…Now, What is a VPN?

December 7th, 2020


“What the heck is a VPN?” 

VPN stands for “virtual private network.” Think of a VPN as a lockbox around your online information and the sites you visit. VPNs shield your specific data and personal information from your ISP (internet service provider, such as Cox, AT&T, SageNet, Windstream, etc.) of those able to access your same network—such as those on a free wifi network. 

“I’m just your average internet user. Why do I need a VPN?” 

Though you’re fine with following the guidelines of your internet service provider (ISP), there are instances when using a VPN to access the internet is a good idea. 

VPNs Mask Your IP Address

Every computer, smartphone, or other device connected to the internet has its own unique signature known as an IP (Internet Protocol) address. You can think of this as your device’s license plate number on the information superhighway (aka: what some people called the internet in the ‘90s). Though you hadn’t planned on running that toll gate, there may be other times when not having your license plate listed is in your best interest—such as if someone is trying to follow you. VPNs act like a totally legal means of hiding your device’s IP addresses to allow you to anonymously use the internet. 

VPNs Hide Your Location and ISP

Sometimes, depending on your geographical location, your search results on the internet may be limited. Whether your ISP has limits on the data they want you to see, your company, school, or country has blocked certain sites, or you just want to watch country-specific shows on Netflix, VPNs allow you to tell the internet that you’re connecting to the internet from virtually anywhere…virtually. 

VPNs Encrypt Your Data

Free wifi in any cafe or airport can be hard to turn down. Though password-protected, you never know who is able to take a peek at what you’re viewing or sending over these open networks. A VPN, however, encrypts all data going to and from these networks. Through a VPN, your data is safe from snooping cybersecurity threats.

VPNs Hide Your Data from Restrictions

VPNs hide what you’re accessing from your ISP. This also means that you can bypass work or school restrictions on what you’re allowed to access. While this is the case, these networks will be able to see that you’re using a VPN, which may draw attention to your encrypted online activities. 

VPNs Keep ISPs from Throttling Connection Speeds

It’s not uncommon for internet service providers (ISPs) to periodically conserve data by throttling (reducing) connection speeds for certain sites. Those using data-heavy sites such as Netflix or other video streaming services may see the quality of their streams slowed and reduced. VPNs hide the fact that you’re visiting Netflix, YouTube, or video-rich news sites from your ISP, thus reducing data speed throttling. 

Disadvantages of VPNs

Still Not Completely Secure

Though you’re funneling your internet usage through a VPN, the VPN itself is able to see your data. For this reason, it is important to select a VPN provider that does not log the traffic histories of its users. 

Speed Reduction 

There will usually be a very slight speed reduction when using a VPN due to encryption. 


It’s never been easier or more affordable to use a robust VPN service. Most reputable VPN companies have simple-to-install software or apps that make using their services a breeze. It’s important to look for a VPN with a large number of global servers, high data caps, support a variety of devices, and have extremely robust privacy regulations. 

Still Have Questions About VPNs? 

If you’re still curious about VPNs, make sure to bring it up to any of the staff of Geeks to the Rescue. Though we’re not VPN providers ourselves, our knowledgeable staff can point you in the right direction.