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How did that program end up on my computer?

| July 29, 2014

Hello everyone,

As a technical blogger, sometimes us techies help each other out with stories and writing. This blog has been already been posted on my buddies website, thought a share was worth it.

Original story

Have you ever opened up your browser, and all of the sudden your home page is different or there is a tool bar at the top you don’t recognize? You probably recently installed some new program, and it had extra software “wrapped” up with it. You probably agreed to install it, without even knowing it, as annoying as that may be.

When you do a search for something you’d like to download, you likely find several links. It’s always good to look for the actual creator in the address to verify it’s the real version. Notice on this screenshot for my search of Avast (an antivirus program) download the first two are from, but the third is from

where did that come from 12 How did that program end up on my computer?

Downloading from the main source can reduce the risk of extra programs being added. But not always. More on that later on. First, let’s take a look at how you may be tricked into this software installation.

Let’s say I want to download a program called Magic Camera (just an example, I didn’t test the program itself, so this is not an endorsement to download it). I did a web search and found a site to download it from. I click on Download now, ignoring the little blue “Direct Download link” that’s so tiny I missed it.

where did that come from 2 How did that program end up on my computer?

Now I’m able to go through the installation steps. First, it will download the installer, then I click on the downloaded file to run the installer. One of the first screens I see is this:

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I just read the top that says Click Accept to continue the installation. But read and see what I’m actually installing. The main screen says that Search Protect will change the home page of IE, Google Chrome, and Firefox, AND prevent 3rd parties from making changes. At the bottom it says, “By clicking ‘Accept’ you confirm that you have read and agree to the Search Protect Terms of Service and Privacy Policy and agree to install Search Protect.”  But who reads that stuff? Click Accept.  [NOTE SEARCH PROTECT IS A MALWARE PROGRAM, AND WILL INFECT YOUR COMPUTER!]

Next screen…

where did that come from 4 How did that program end up on my computer?

Another accept window. I just click Accept, because, again, who reads all this? But by clicking accept, I have just agreed to install GreatArcadeHits, which will serve “advertising through in-text, pop-up/under, transitional, and banner ads in your web browser”. Yes, I just agreed to this. So now they have hijacked my browser home page and will give me pop ups and banners. [NOTE GREAT ARCADE HITS, ISANOTHER MALWARE PROGRAM, WHICH WILL INFECT YOUR COMPUTER!]yo

This just goes to show you to be careful what you download. Read ALL those windows, don’t just blindly acceppt.  But also, be careful when you uninstall. When testing these installation techniques, I downloaded a program called Drive Boost (again, not a promotion for the software.) When installing I saw this window at the end of the installation.

I saw that tiny little check mark that tried to get me to install an additional program, but I was smart enough not to leave that checked! Once I decided I didn’t need the program, I went to uninstall it and saw this window:

where did that come from 5 How did that program end up on my computer?

The instinct is to immediately click on the BIG RED BOX! But stop and look at what it says. Uninstall and Get Advanced SystemCare FREE. The same program they tried to get me on when I installed. What I really want to do is click that tiny link below that says “No, I want a full uninstall.” Can you see how easy we get suckered in?

But it’s not just downloads from small companies, big business suck us in too.  Have you run a Java update lately? We recommend to keep it up to date, but be careful, because every time you update, you will see this screen:

where did that come from 6 How did that program end up on my computer?

Those check marks are there automatically, so if you just hit next, you may find the Ask toolbar at the top of your browser, and your default search will be set to Ask as well. Keep in mind, every time you need to update Java, this window comes up and is checked by default, so pay attention if you do not want that option.

This type of software can be added to any installer, even well known companies. Just be careful where you download from, and read those dialog boxes and windows that come up to be certain what you are installing. It’s easy to get fooled but now you will be wiser to these tactics.

There is another way of stopping these assorted programs from entering your system.  This program is called Unchecky.  You can download it from here

Basically Unchecky stops installers which try to push additional unwanted programs onto your computer.

If you have installed programs such as those above (prior to installing Unchecky), then our advice, is to run your malware removal program.  These programs WILL infect your machine, causing it to become slower and slower.

We are often asked “How did those programs get installed on my computer, as I didn’t install anything”.  Well this just goes to show exactly how easy it is to do.  So please be careful.

How to setup your iPhone or iPad for Exchange with Pictures

| July 23, 2014

How to setup your iPhone or iPad for Exchange

Instructions are in ORANGE

Setting up Exchange

Go to your Home page on your iPhone and click on the gray settings button

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Click on the “Mail, Contacts, Calendars” setting


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Click on “Add Account”

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Click on “Exchange”

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–>Fill in your email, password and description will be automatic, or name it what you like

You should see a “verifying” spinning at the top. If it does not verify, then start over. It’s very common for iPhones to need it setup one or two times for the server to connect. If asked to keep information on the iPhone or delete, you can keep it on the iPhone. If it will absolutely not connect, you can call

Once your account is added, we will set up your default calendar and contacts.

Next we will setup your calendar and contacts to be default on your iPhone

Go to the home page on your iPhone

  • Click on the gray settings button again, and once again, “Mail, contacts and calendar” (as we did above)
  • Now scroll down about half way until you see “contacts”
  • Be sure that the default account is your exchange account

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Next down is “calendar”

Set the default calendar to be the exchange you setup 

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Now we will be sure your calendar is viewing the right calendar.

  • Go to your Home page on your iPhone
  • Click on the “Calendar” button

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Click on “calendars” at the bottom

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Then check or uncheck the calendars you don’t want to view. 

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Google Calendar Sync shutting down on 8/1/2014

| July 21, 2014

google cal synch Google Calendar Sync shutting down on 8/1/2014Dear readers,

If you are using Outlook for your email and using a Google calendar and have been successfully synchronizing your calendar from Google Calendar to Outlook, this feature will be turned off at the end of July, 2014 -unless you upgrade to their Google Apps at $5 per month. (see at the bottom of this blog the message from Google)

Many years ago, Google offered a free sync tool that worked quite well. At one point, they discontinued allowing downloads. If you haven’t got a new computer or needed to fix it, you could very well still be using it just fine. If you are one of these folks, this blog message is for you. For those that realized it was not a viable calendar synchronizing solution because they could not download the sync tool, I have helped many people move to 3rd party apps, iCloud or if they have a business branded email (.com), then we also have moved people to Microsoft Exchange (Which is included in Office 365 Business)

If you are not sure what to do, please call me for a consult.

Other options if you do not want full on Google Apps at $5 per month

  • Install a 3rd party app to sync the calendars from Google Calendar to Outlook, some 3rd party applications I have used are Gsyncit and CompanionLinl
  • Use iCloud
  • Use to sync your calendar and contacts (and email)
  • Move to a more robust system, like Microsoft Exchange that will sync your email, calendar, contacts, notes and tasks. I have never had one client tell me they hate this system, it’s one that you will love to pay for and it’s priced at $4.95 per month.

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I found this on a Google Support page

Google Calendar Sync, a Windows application that syncs events between your Google Calendar and your Microsoft Outlook calendar, is no longer supported. Almost two years ago, we announced that we ended support for Google Calendar Sync and on August 1, 2014 the application will stop syncing events.

We recommend that you uninstall the application on your computer and view your Google Calendar events using one of the other ways listed below.

Uninstall Google Calendar Sync on a Windows computer

  1. Click Start, then Control Panel.
  2. Click Programs, then Programs and Features.
  3. Select Google Calendar Sync.
  4. Click Uninstall.

Note: Directions for uninstalling may be different for your version of Windows.

Other ways to view Google Calendar events

Contact me if you need more information, or want to schedule an appointment for help. 612-865-4475



Microsoft Office 365 Training & Consulting

| July 21, 2014

So you’ve purchased Microsoft Office 365…But now what?! If you are looking for help setting up and managing Microsoft Office 365 for your organization, learning more about the features, and simply becoming more knowledgeable about the product–you’ve come to the right place!

….And most importantly, get trained and train your staff to use the most robust features Office 365 offers! Training is always overlooked, it’s the most important part of new products icon smile Microsoft Office 365 Training & Consulting

help now Microsoft Office 365 Training & Consulting

We offer training on the following

  • Group or Private Training for the following products

  • Microsoft Office 365

  • Microsoft Exchange

  • All Outlook Versions

  • Smartphone

  • Basic SharePoint


How we help

We have a discussion about what your goals are and your needs with Office 365 and Exchange. Our standard training is always offered with any migration we assist with, but some teams have special needs. We help you figure those out and offer easy to understand training.


Meet your Office 365 Consultant

lisa2 Microsoft Office 365 Training & ConsultingLisa Hendrickson has been troubleshooting, training and consulting email since 1996 and Outlook since 2000. She is familiar with all aspects of email including iCloud, Gsynchit, Microsoft Exchange, POP/IMAP, Managing folders,