Head back to school with the right gear from Connecting Point

It’s that time of year again. As days grow shorter and the calendar creeps ever closer to summer’s end, it’s time to think about heading back to school. And you can’t head back empty-handed, now, can you? You’ve got to gear up as if for battle. And Connecting Point has the right gear to win that battle…

  • A new MacBook. Apple’s MacBook offers the ideal balance of an effortless slim-and-light form factor coupled with the power to get things done. With new seventh-generation Intel Core processors, 12-inch Retina display,1 a full-size keyboard, force-sensing trackpad, versatile USB-C port, and all-day battery life,2 MacBook features big thinking in an impossibly compact form.
    It even comes in your choice of four stunning colors. Prices start at $1299.
  • Apple TV. Apps are now how you watch your favorite movies, shows, sports, and more. And it all starts with Apple TV. With the App Store on Apple TV, you can play big, exciting games on your big screen. You’ll also find apps that turn your living room into a fitness studio, a classroom, or a shopping destination. Add in the latest tvOS features and the Siri Remote, and there’s never been a better time to be a TV. From $149.
  • A new iPad. Four different sizes. Four different sets of capabilities. And four different price points, now starting at a super-affordable $329.
  • A new Windows laptop. Connecting Point carries the best and brightest in Windows portability, from industry heavyweights like Dell, HP, and Lenovo. And prices start as low as $300.
  • A new Beats audio solution. Like BeatsX, for example: the perfect wireless companion for your everyday life. With up to eight hours of battery life, you’ll experience authentic sound all day. With Fast Fuel, just five minutes of charging delivers over two hours of playback. The Apple W1 chip delivers easy pairing with your Apple devices and unique features like Siri integration. And the unique Flex-Form cable provides easy pocket portability, the included eartips provide comfort, and the secure-fit wingtips offer further stability. Shop the entire Beats line in our convenient online eStore, and have them shipped to your door or to our store.

1Display size is measured diagonally. 2Battery life varies by use and configuration. See www.apple.com/batteries for more information. TM and © 2017 Apple Inc. All rights reserved.

How to protect your Windows PC from WannaCry ransomware

UPDATE 05.25.17:  Here’s Connecting Point’s Service Manager, Jason Kellogg (among others), in an interview about WannaCry and other ransomware hitting systems right here in the Rogue Valley. (Courtesy NBC5, aka KOBI Channel 5, the local NBC affiliate.)

WannaCry screenshot virus ransomware security Connecting Point Medford Oregon

You’re probably safe. But you really should make sure—now.

The first reports came out of Britain last Friday: The National Health Service found some of its Windows PCs under attack by a virulent piece of ransomware named WannaCry, foisted on vulnerable systems by a group calling itself Shadow Brokers. Then it attacked Germany’s national rail system. WannaCry exploits a critical vulnerability in Windows computers, a vulnerability that Microsoft had issued a patch for back in March. But for those not diligent with their operating system updates, many found their computers completely unusable, with a pop-up message informing them that their files were encrypted and locked. To release them, they needed to pay a ransom of £230 (about $300) to a BitCoin account.

By Monday morning, the attacks had surfaced globally, in particular in China, where many computers run on pirated versions of Windows and thus cannot be patched. The extortion scheme has now spread to 150 countries. Microsoft has pointed a finger at the U.S. government’s National Security Agency (NSA), which created hacking tools enabling this type of cyberattack – and then had them stolen by hackers. Ironic.

So are you at risk? If you’re using a licensed copy of Windows and have up-to-date security software installed, you’re probably fine – but let’s make absolutely certain.

Which versions of Windows are at risk?

WannaCry take specific advantage of a vulnerability in older Windows operating systems to infect and encrypt.  These versions are Windows 8, Windows XP, and Windows Server 2003. If you’re currently running Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2, or Windows Server 2016 and have been diligent about system updates, you’re fine.

Here are some steps you can take to protect your PC from WannaCry:

  • If you don’t have a recent backup, make one immediately. Once WannaCry encrypts your files, your options become very limited. Restoring your system from a backup is one of them – but you can’t make such a backup retroactively. As we tell our customers: You should assume at all times that, 30 seconds from now, everything on your computer will go away… forever. You should always have multiple current backups, with at least one of them kept off-site (in case of fire or other disaster). Talk to one of our sales or service specialists about implementing a robust backup strategy as soon as possible.
  • Make sure you have the latest Windows updates and patches installed. As mentioned above, the security vulnerability that makes WannaCry and other attacks possible was identified and patched by Microsoft a couple of months ago – but it only works if it’s been installed. Windows 10 checks for updates on a regular basis, then downloads and installs them automatically. But in light of this recent attack, you should check to make sure you have the latest updates installed. To do this, click the Start button, then go to Settings > Update and security > Windows Update, and select Check for updates. Windows XP users can download a special patch Microsoft created to address this vulnerability. Find out how here.
  • If you’ve turned off Windows Update, turn it back on. Many users, weary of constant updates and patches, disable this important feature. Better to deal with a bit of inconvenience than risk infection by malware.
  • Use a good Internet security suite. PC Magazine has an in-depth review of the current offerings here. Get a good one, install it, and keep it updated.
  • Bring your co-workers into the loop. At your next staff meeting, budget time to go over “best practices” for using office computers. A good place to start: Don’t click on questionable links, and don’t open suspicious attachments. IT administrators should restrict user access to the company network to just the areas they need to do their jobs.
  • If you’re attacked, don’t hesitate. Act. Shut down the entire network immediately. Ransomware often threatens dire consequences if you turn off the computer or disable Internet access, but that is rarely the case. Security experts and law enforcement agencies warn against paying ransoms, since this only encourages fresh attacks further down the road. And paying the extortion fee does not guarantee your files will be unencrypted.
  • Get a Mac. While no longer immune to all viruses and other malware, Mac systems are far less prone to such infections. (The exception would be if you are running Windows on your Mac via something like Boot Camp or Parallels. Windows running on a Mac is just as vulnerable to WannaCry and other PC malware as any other Windows computer.) The same holds true for users running ChromeOS, Linux, or mobile operating systems like iOS and Android.

The experts at Connecting Point can offer assistance in making the transition from Windows to Mac as painless as possible (we’ve done it literally thousands of times). We even offer a monthly class to ease your switching journey.

Our ‘Birthday and Rebirth Sale’: April 14th-30th, 2017

Our ‘Birthday and Rebirth Sale’: April 14th-30th, 2017

birthday Connecting Point 42 years anniversary new location Mac PC iPad sale

It’s both a birthday, and a rebirth.

Happy birthday to us! Back in 1975, the company that would eventually be known as Connecting Point was born. Now, 42 years later, we’ve moved to a beautiful new location at the corner of Poplar and McAndrews in Medford. To celebrate our 42nd birthday and our new digs, Connecting Point’s got some very special offers in store for you…

  • For starters, take 42 dollars off the price of ANY new desktop or laptop, Mac or PC. Choose from America’s favorite brands: Apple, HP, Lenovo, ASUS, Acer, and more.
  • birthday Connecting Point Epson Expression XP-430 All-in-OneWe’re also offering the $99 Epson Expression Home XP-430 printer/scanner/copier for just 42 dollars with any new computer purchase (and yes, you may combine this with the first offer!).
  • Or save 42 dollars on the price of any iPad Pro — and that includes both the 9.7-inch and 12.9-inch models.
  • Or choose from our large selection of wired computer speakers, from leading brands like Sony, Logitech, and Altec Lansing, all on sale for just 42 dollars each.

Come celebrate with us!

It’s all part of Connecting Point’s BIRTHDAY AND REBIRTH SALE, celebrating both 42 years as the Rogue Valley’s technology experts – and the move to our beautiful new location at 1251 East McAndrews Road, Medford.

Come join the party at Connecting Point, southern Oregon’s only Apple Premier Partner — and home to sales and service for the best and brightest computers, devices, peripherals, and accessories.


This sale runs from Friday, April 14th through Sunday, April 30th, 2017. Rain checks will be available for all offers except wired speakers, which are limited to stock on hand. Also: Yes, the first and second offers may be combined for even more savings! 

Apple, the Apple logo, Mac, and iPad Pro are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.

It’s Connecting Point’s UN-BLACK FRIDAY SALE, all weekend long! (Nov. 25-27, 2016)

It’s Connecting Point’s UN-BLACK FRIDAY SALE, all weekend long! (Nov. 25-27, 2016)

Connecting Point's UN-Black Friday Sale 2016This season is supposed to be about more than scoring the best deal. Peace on Earth, goodwill toward all, anyone? So we’re not playing that game. First, we’re not going to be open on Thanksgiving Day. That’s so unfair to our employees and their families. Second, we’ll be opening at our regular time, 9am, on Friday morning. And third, we aren’t going to make you surrender your dignity by waiting in long lines for a limited supply of…something or other. Sure, we’ll have some great stuff on sale, but we’ll be offering them all weekend long (11/25 – 11/27/16). And if we run out, we’ll offer you a raincheck. So hit those other places first, then stop by Connecting Point to decompress. The music will be soft, the cookies sweet, the beverages refreshing.

We invite you to come on in! We’ve got some pretty great offers and gift ideas waiting. Click here to discover more…

Deal of the Week | NeatReceipts Mobile Scanner for PC $59.99 (reg. $199.99)

Deal of the Week | NeatReceipts Mobile Scanner for PC $59.99 (reg. $199.99)

BANNER-DOTW_yellow_reflect_640x160Connecting Point's DEAL OF THE WEEK - NeatReceipts Scanner for $59.99 (reg. $199.99)THIS WEEK: NeatReceipts Scanner for PC $59.99 (Reg. $199.99)

Mobile scanner and digital filing system. Scan receipts, business cards, and documents on the go while its powerful software identifies, extracts, and organizes key information.

  • MOBILE: Transform your device’s camera into a smart scanner that’s always at your side.
  • ACCESS: Always have access to the most recent version of your Neat files, via web, mobile, and desktop.
  • INDOCUMENT IDENTIFICATION: Technology transforms the words and numbers on your page into useful, usable data.
  • EXPENSES & REPORTING: Managing your finances will be a breeze and tax time will be less taxing.
  • ORGANIZATION: Find, filter and arrange your files any way you want with Neat’s adaptable folder structure.
  • SECURITY: Your documents are synchronized between your various devices and securely backed up on remote servers with bank-level encryption.
  • SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS: Microsoft Windows 7 or later and an available USB port.

This offer runs from Friday, November 18th through Wednesday, November 23rd, 2016, or while supplies last. Sorry, no rain checks.

Connecting Point’s SCARY SAVINGS SALE: Oct. 28th – 31st, 2016

Connecting Point’s SCARY SAVINGS SALE: Oct. 28th – 31st, 2016

Connecting Point’s SCARY SAVINGS SALE: Save so much, IT’S SCARY!
Friday, October 28th through Monday, October 31st, 2016

BANNER for Connecting Point's SCARY SAVINGS SALE 2016Need a new Mac but AFRAID of paying too much? Looking at a new PC but TERRIFIED of substandard service and support after the sale? FEAR NOT! It’s Connecting Point’s SCARY SAVINGS SALE to the rescue, now through Halloween, to save your very soul (or at least your bank account).

Find out how you can save on a new Mac or PC.

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