Do you remember when the internet was safe? Was it safe? Really? Regardless, it’s a virtual nightmare today (or it least it can be if you don’t protect yourself).
In this episode we’re joined by TJ Watson, owner of Bits n’ Bytes Computers and PK Jordan, East Valley Mediator who’s passionate about internet safety. Together we get to the bottom of what’s going on out there, what to do about it, what to avoid and anything else that comes to mind.
Your Car Can Get Hacked…and Your Phone!
Michigan State University found that if you plug your phone into the car, and your car has WiFi capabilities, that hackers can break into your phone and get all of your data. That’s for an integrated USB port, not one of those cigarette lighter adapters. Whatever is on your phone is available to hackers if you don’t protect the WiFi in your car. Angry wives could make bag things happen!
Don’t Let the Car Dealers Take Advantage of You
Dealers are using unethical tactics. Our good friends, Ron and Julie from Collision Works, reported that a friend took their car to a dealer. The couple got an ‘Action Plan’ on the dealer estimate — $5200! She did not approve it, and they called Steve to come pick it up. Steve gets on the phone, can’t get a hold of anybody. So, he tells them he’s coming to pick the car up. Suddenly, they’re available! They claim she’s already signed it and they’re already tearing the car apart. She didn’t give any approval. Steve got the head of service, who said they didn’t start work, but that they’d have to charge double for diagnostics. That’s not getting by Steve. They brought the car to Friendly and only needed routine service!
The problem is they intimidated this woman, which so many dealers try to do. They lied to her. And you’re not even getting great techs at the dealers.
Dealer recalls get people into these situations. You have to take your car to a dealer for recall work. Steve went in for an air-bag recall. They said he needed an oil change. He had just changed the oil! They didn’t check the dipstick or the lube sticker. They try to sell you unnecessary services when you go in for recall work. So much for ASE certified technician! Can’t even check the oil to see it’s crystal clear!
TJ Watson: Bits ‘n Bytes Computers, a History of Service
TJ jumped into this segment, giving the multi-generation history behind his computer repair company. He built his first computer at the kitchen table. Now, he runs a successful business. He offers a unique service. It’s about personal relationships. His customers come back for that personal touch, that pleasant experience. When somebody needs a new computer, he gets to know what they need from the computer. Most places tell you what a computer can do for you. That’s backwards, and you can end up with an expensive mistake.
What happens to an outdated computer? People tend to store these in their houses, afraid to throw out personal data. So TJ offers recycling. It’s a free service there! They do a DOD level wipe, so not even the CIA could get data off of it.
Cybersecurity: Keep Your Data Safe
38000 students in Germany had to stand in line to get new passwords because they were hacked. So, they talked passwords. Passwords can be the biggest vulnerability when they’re weak, like Password01. Don’t do that! And don’t stick with the default password. That’s how the Ring devices are getting hacked. Don’t let the excitement of a new toy keep you from managing your passwords. There are great programs/apps like LastPass that can manage your passwords for you. You can run this on your browser, your computer and your phones and tablets.
What about those virus alerts we get on our computers? Is that a real thing? Truth is, you can just ignore it. These are almost always a trap. Just hit Alt-F4, and that’ll close the window without you having to click on it, which can cause malware to get installed. Windows 10 comes with Windows Defender built in, which has great protection. TJ just adds in Malwarebytes, and you’re covered!
TJ also does a security assessment. Bring your computer into the store, and they’ll go through it with you to make sure you have the best, latest security software ready to go. Individuals getting hacked is a real problem. Ransomware has run rampant. They’ll lock out your computer and demand ransom money in order to unlock it. TJ gets 20-25 people a day in the store with hacking attempts.
BREAKING NEWS: The Phoenix City Council just passed a fee on Lyft and Uber for airport drives, so get ready, January 1st, for a more expensive trip to or from the airport.
Protect Your Kids Online During a Divorce
Next up is PK Jordan. Felecia’s got her on retainer just in case Steve messes up! PK is a divorce mediator and has worked with all kinds of situations. But lately, she has taken a very hard line into internet safety. She’s really on this. A mediation session is a three-hour session, and she talks to the couple and parents about internet safety. There are so many vulnerabilities on a phone, that predators can really track the habits of our kids.
She has expanded this topic into her services, to help parents understand how to monitor their kids’ safety in two different households. Most parents, when they hear this, they’re hearing it for the first time. They had no idea! But it’s more than just her clients. It’s the whole community. We need to get smarter on this!
Families in high conflict have difficulty communicating, and PK looks to empower them. They walk through everything from parental controls, applications that help them monitor their kids technology usage. In fact, TJ can help you get these installed. One problem is that people are tied to their cell phones, and they need to get smart on this.
Internet Predators and Suicide: Protect Your Kids
So, what prompted PK to get so involved in this? Last year, she attended specific training on this. On May 11th of this year, her son took his life at 17-years-old. She doesn’t push her story on her clients, but when it comes up, she talks about it. Her son had concealed depression. There were no signs, but there was an internet predator who provided info in Reddit on how to die by suicide. This person influenced him to a different method. She has 390 screen-shots of this conversation. It’s terrifying what this person was telling her kid what and how to do it. This person could have called 911 or helped her son. It’s not bullying or influencing. It’s simply providing the information.
Now, PK is sharing her story with parents, at talks, in schools, etc. It does take a village to raise a kid. Our children don’t talk to parents, they talk to their peers. We need to get the word out.
PK is involved with a documentary on ABC that airs at the end of January. They’ll review gaming and the internet predator.
There is a newly FCC-approved 988 suicide number to call and get direct to help.
Computers for Those with Special Needs
TJ’s wife Becky was in the booth, too. She has been instrumental to the business, helping build that customer relationship business that’s so important.
So, what about Windows 7? There are no more security patches or updates for Windows 7, go bring your PC into TJ and get upgraded to Windows 10.
81-year-old Larry. Larry had never owned a laptop. His wife had passed, and he wanted a laptop to take out back at his house. He want to Best Buy, and the sales person noticed his hands shaking from Parkinson’s. The sales guy turned him away. That’s unfortunate. But, Larry was not defeated. He found TJ’s store, came in, asked for a laptop. TJ noticed the shaking in his hands, and Larry told him what happened. TJ asked him to come back in a couple days, to allow TJ to come up with a solution. Larry came back, and TJ showed him his solution — a trackball. It worked! That’s the kind of attention you’ll get at Bits-n-Bytes. They work with a lot of seniors. They have a private classroom to help seniors in a private setting.
Suicide Prevention and the Holidays with Your Kids
With Christmas vacation upon us, kids will be out of school. Show interest in your kids. Talk to them about their friends and what’s going on at school. Kids want to be heard! They complain about parents not listening. Communicate with your kid, listen to them. Get at their physical level. Sit with them. Lie down next to them. When you talk to them, you might hear that they’ve considered suicide. You could save a life. Be there, ask the hard questions. Encourage your kids to trust to trusted friends and family. PK has a foundation, the Laloboy Foundation. If a parent is in need of counseling, they can assist. They help kids get the services they need.
We’re off for the next two weeks, so Happy Festivus, Felice Navidad, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah…HAPPY HOLIDAYS! Safe and Happy New Year. Here’s to a great new decade starting in 2020!
Until next week, Drive Friendly Arizona!