While it is nice to think about that one time that you were able to debug a simple problem on your laptop to get the pop ups to quit pouring in, computer repair is often far more complex. Even though there are many different varieties of repair when it comes to laptops, desktop computers and tablets, the underlying mechanics of these devices tend to be similar to one another. For as much as the average person knows about computer repairs, there is just as much that they don’t want to have to know. For example, here are 10 things you probably didn’t know about computer repair (especially with local storefronts):
#1. There Are Few Regulations For Repairing Computers
Unlike other major fields of employment, the government hasn’t really done a whole lot for sanctioning would-be repair techs from starting their own shops, regardless of their limited abilities. This has made it difficult to get any legitimate guarantees on the service being done in less mainstream repair locations.
#2. There Are More Than 6 Thousands Viruses Made Every Month
As crazy as it sounds, there are a lot of folks every single day that are looking to ruin your computer. For whatever reason, thousands of viruses are created every single month. This makes it all the more important to have a respected anti-virus application on your devices to monitor real-time activity, update regularly to fight off new viruses, and ultimately keep your computer from needing repaired in the first place.
#3. Ransoming Viruses Can Rarely (If Ever) Be Solved By A Computer Tech
While a local computer whiz might be able to upgrade your hardware or replace a damaged screen fairly easily, what they can’t do is retrieve a ransomed computer from internet pirates. More and more, computers are being held hostage until their owners pay a bitcoin ransom to unlock them. This gives these predators access to any and all personal information you have on your computer, including sensitive documents, account information and photographs. Monitor suspicious email.
#4. You Are Responsible For Your Data
When you take your computer to a repair shop, you have to back up the data someplace else. You don’t know what process has to be done to restore your computer to working order, and sometimes that is a complete formatting of the drives and reinstallation of the operating system. That means everything on your computer could be gone.
#5. Used Parts Are Common
You might be surprised to learn, along with the lax regulations regarding repairs in general, is that there is no stopping repair shops from using old or used equipment in your “upgrade” or repair that they will tell you is new. Know how to spot a scam like this by learning what newly installed parts should look like (based on what you were told was replaced).
#6. Lack of Credentials
Since there are less regulations and rules regarding computer repairs than there would be with other maintenance locations, techs aren’t always certified or have the necessary credentials to adequately repair what they claim to be able to.
#7. Every Stated Cost Is An Estimate
While this is most commonly the case for mom and pop repair locations, it also rings true with box store repair technicians. You will find that few repairs are as simple as you think, and part of this is the complexity of the repair itself and also a little bit of added expenses for trouble that wasn’t really trouble at all.
#8. Outsourcing From Your Local Shop
When you leave your computer with what you deem competent repair techs, you are trusting that they know how to fix the problem you are experiencing (whatever that might be). More commonly for local repair shops, they are simply boxing up your device and sending it to the manufacturer for refurbishment and repairs.
#9. Bootlegged Software Upgrades Are Commonplace
Another issue that you might encounter, that you likely weren’t aware of, is that a lot of the upgrade software that you can request from these small time repair locations is bootlegged. This means that it was not obtained legitimately, and then it was replicated to be used on multiple different systems.
#10. The Free Anti Virus Software Is Just As Good
It is easy to think that premium antivirus programs are better than those that you can find online for free. However, with many great free options out there like Avast, paid services are slowly dying off to reputable and powerful protection for your computer that doesn’t ever cost you anything.