Why a maintenance contract?
Customers regularly ask me why a maintenance subscription is needed for your computer. That is a good question and very relevant, because you may wonder what remains to be done now that Windows 10 automatically performs its own updates if you do not consciously stop them yourself. I will tell you why trusting Windows is not enough.
Most of the problems that I see from customers have to do with (possible) contamination of their computer. A random problem presents itself in all sorts of variants and is not always immediately recognizable as a virus infection for a computer user. Usually, it means that the computer exhibits unexpected behavior or no longer responds as the customer was used to. Something may have gone wrong with software installation or an update, or a disk may fail. They will not last forever …
If it is not immediately clear to me where the problem is coming from, I actually always start scanning first. I usually have about three-second opinion malware scanners scan the computer one by one. In many cases, they always find a different form of spyware or – luckily less often – much more malicious malware such as trojans or rootkits. Clearing up such an infection afterward is no easy task, not even for the best antimalware. Usually, a reinstallation of the Windows operating system is, therefore, the fastest and therefore the cheapest option.
My goal with the proper maintenance of a PC is to prevent malware infection. I do this by regularly running second opinion scanners and thereby early signaling all forms of contamination that have not been ‘seen’ by the computer’s own security. That sounds like no computer security is watertight, no matter how reputable the malware protection you have purchased is. And that is exactly what is going on: no security software ‘sees’ and ‘grabs’ all forms of malware. The majority of security takes up to 90% of all viruses and some take 95%. A single good comes to 99%, but none catches 100% of all the junk that your PC wants to invade.
How did that happen? Simply because the security software always runs behind the facts. Every minute, countless new viruses, trojans, and rootkits are created by criminals and released on the internet. The makers of these viruses earn big money because they give other criminals the opportunity to break into or hostage computers and ask for ransom for the key you need to get your computer under your control again. The antivirus software requires updates for new virus definitions several times a day. Malware makers are therefore always one step ahead of the antivirus program makers.
Get more information: High configuration laptop on rent
What can you do to keep your computer safe?
To start with, I always tell my customers that one virus and malware scanner is good enough. Two scanners on a PC only slow down and do more harm than good in detecting malware.
If you do not (yet) have a scanner, I will first install good anti-malware software on your PC. You could drop your purchased scanner as soon as the period has expired so that you no longer have any additional costs.
Is that it?
Maybe it goes a bit against your intuition, but my advice is not to rely (too much) on antivirus software but especially on your own judgment in order to keep your computer free from malware. I, therefore, invest a lot of time teaching my customers how to work safely. I regularly spend an hour with a customer or on the phone telling and learning what to look out for, and what can go wrong if you do not follow advice for safe working. That is sometimes a bit technical, but it sometimes prevents me from having to remove viruses from the PC. In such a case, the subscription price does not cover all the hours that I have to spend in order to clean up the computer. If it nevertheless happens that your computer gets infected, cleaning up is included in the subscription, but not an unlimited number of hours.
If you purchase a subscription from me, I will ensure proper maintenance every quarter: your computer is up-to-date and regularly scanned and therefore safe. And you can call or email me if you come across something on your PC that you don’t trust.
Up to date
A very important second leg to keep a secure computer is to keep all software on your PC up-to-date. This means that not only Windows itself but all other software that you use must be kept up to date, also software that you initially do not think of or software that you do not use daily, or perhaps never use. Windows 10 is automatically updated, together with Adobe Flash, but that is not enough. There is also a lot of software on most PCs that are not automatically updated. You often do not see this software: camera control, screen control, sound driver, video editing software, photo editing software, media playback software, an office suite, mail software, and so on. If you do not keep all this software up-to-date and therefore have outdated software on your PC, the chance that someone will misuse it is quite high. Older versions of Adobe Reader and Flash, in particular, like to be abused by computer criminals, and then there is Java. The most abused piece of software in the world. If you don’t necessarily need Java, I wouldn’t put it on your PC. Many customers do not know how much risk they run with this and so I regularly advise people to remove it from the PC.
With a quarterly turn, I check and update all software and drivers that are out of date, I scan the computer with a second opinion scanner and I see if it can find the cause of any slowness that might occur.
That price difference between private and business is, moreover, because the impact of a non-working PC is much greater for a business user than for a non-business user. For a business user, therefore, much more depends on the availability of the PC and the maintenance itself should not take too long and have no negative effects on availability. In short, I take more responsibility when maintaining a PC from a business customer than when maintaining that same PC from a private customer.
Is maintenance also needed for a newly purchased computer?
A new computer will continue to do well for a while without this maintenance. But from my practice, I know that a computer of six months old without updates is already hopelessly behind and therefore vulnerable, and all without you realizing it. The risk of a malware infection is therefore already quite large after a relatively short time. Why a MacBook is ideal for school or study