A reader told us she got a call from ascam  guy saying that her Windows computer was about to crash. She took it seriously because he claimed to be from Microsoft. This is a scam and not a rare one.

The thing to remember is Microsoft never calls you; you call them. To get their phone number, go to Microsoft.com and click “support.” Don’t Google it, as we once did, or you might click on an ad from a scammer and find yourself relinquishing control of your computer over the Internet.  Joy’s computer was wiped out that way once. Naturally she was given a stern lecture and demoted two grades.

If you have a problem you suspect came from the bad guys, try “system restore.” This will take your computer back to an earlier time. It can go back a day or two or a few weeks. (You do not go back with it. Darn.)  This works with some viruses, but not all. If in doubt, do a so-called “factory reset.”  It takes your computer back to the day you bought it.  If you Google “factory reset” and add the model of your computer, such as “HP Pavilion 23,” you get instructions. This is handy for phones too.

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