Ask Mr. Modem: Beware Of Security Scams


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Q. I received a message that warned me of security problems on my computer that could be fixed if I clicked a link and paid some outfit $24.95. My security programs show no problems. I’m inclined to think this is a scam. What do you think, Mr. M?

A. Any alert that appears out of nowhere, emanating from something you didn’t install or approve, should be considered a scam, malware or worse. Even if the message was legitimate, for it to analyze your computer without your permission means that your computer was hacked – broken into – which is illegal, not to mention how it can ruin your day.
This type of scam is successful because many users react instead of thinking it though and wind up paying to fix a problem that never existed in the first place. Delete the message, don’t click any links and be happy that you dodged a digital bullet.

Q. I received some promotional CDs that are smaller than normal. I put one in the tray but I’m afraid to slide it in for fear it will get stuck in my computer. Help!

A. As long as the center hole is the standard diameter of any other CD, and the CD doesn’t physically fall through the slider tray, the CD should be fine to use. If the tray does not physically support the CD, then a mini CD adapter is needed. Run a Google search and you will find a lovely assortment of adapters from which to choose.

Q. I’ve got a really dumb question, Mr. M., so here goes: When you scan a document, does it use printer ink? I just bought a printer/scanner that requires four ink cartridges, so I don’t want to waste any ink.

A. There are never any dumb questions here in Mr. Modemville, so I’m glad you asked. When you scan a document, it does’’t use any ink. Scanning creates a digital image. Think of it as taking a photo of the item being scanned. Printing a scanned document does consume printer ink, but if your printer isn’t churning out a printed sheet, it’s not consuming ink.


Mr. Modem’s Sites Of The Month

Classical NPR – www.npr.org/music/genres/classical
If you love classical music, visit this site one time and you will soon be coming Bach for more.

Federal Spending – www.fedspending.org
If your blood pressure is running low and it needs a boost, point your browser here to Boondoggle Central.


Mr. Modem’s technology-tips, eBooks and award-winning weekly computer-help newsletter – outstanding gifts for the coming holidays – are available on http://www.mrmodem.com.

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