Best Buy’s Geek Squad offers tips on how to deal with Ransomware

Minneapolis, MN, 2016-Aug-02 — /EPR Retail News/ — You turn on your computer, only to find that you’re locked out of all of your files — everything from work documents to family photos. There’s an ominous message on the screen demanding that you pay a fee to regain access.

That nightmare scenario has become all too real because of ransomware, a type of computer virus that cybercriminals around the world are using to scam money out of unsuspecting individuals and businesses. It’s nasty stuff, and it’s on the rise.

To learn more about it and how to prevent it, we talked to Geek Squad Agent Matt Dockery from our data recovery team at Geek Squad City in Kentucky.

What is ransomware?
Agent Dockery: Ransomware is basically an advanced form of malware that changes the file extension (e.g., .jpg, .doc, .pdf, .xls, etc.) of every affected file on your computer to a random extension with a very heavy encryption. Then they leave a note that essentially says, “Your computer is infected. If you go to this random site and pay us money, we may unlock your files for you.”

These viruses can be hidden within spam and phishing emails, pop-up ads, downloads from unsecured sites, torrents — pretty much anything you can download into your computer. Even things people wouldn’t normally think about, like browser cookies, can allow the malware creators to track what you’re doing and target specific pop-up ads for you.

When I first started seeing ransomware infections as an agent in a store precinct several years ago, they were very simple things that you could just go into the computer’s registry and delete. Now, they’re advancing to the point where they can lock your computer. They can even infect your phone, tablet or smart TV. Windows and Android devices seem to be more susceptible to these types of infections, but Apple OS devices are not immune.

How can I prevent it from happening to me?
Agent Dockery: The best way to avoid it is to keep up-to-date antivirus software and internet security on any device that you’re using, whether it’s your computer, your tablet or your smartphone. I recommend that people set their antivirus software to automatically update twice a day, because some of these variants of the ransomware will change on a daily basis or even every couple of hours.

Never click on links or open attachments from email addresses you don’t recognize, and be sure to delete your cookies after you’re done browsing. The longer a cookie sits, the more information it can gather about you and the more time it has to be used against you. I have my browser set to auto-delete every bit of browsing history every time I close the browser.

What should I do if it happens to me?
Agent Dockery: Definitely do not give scammers any financial information because that will put you at risk for identity theft and credit card fraud. If people kidnap your dog and hold it for ransom, you’re not going to trust them with your credit card information. Don’t expect them to be honest people if their life’s work consists of trying to steal other people’s data.

The easiest way to get rid of ransomware is to bring your device to a Geek Squad precinct. The software we use is very good at getting rid of some of that stuff because it works outside of the infected operating system. Online support can sometimes help with that, but it’s hit or miss. It really depends on the severity of the ransomware.

The most surefire way to get rid of one of these viruses is to do a complete factory restore to get everything back to the original, out-of-box settings, so my biggest recommendation is to keep your data safe in case this happens to you. Regularly backing up your data on external media, such as a flash drive, external hard drive or the cloud, will prevent you from losing your crucial data. Clouds are probably your safest bet, just because they are less likely to fail. In data recovery, we deal with broken hard drives and broken flash drives that were people’s backups.

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Best Buy's Geek Squad offers tips on how to deal with Ransomware
Best Buy’s Geek Squad offers tips on how to deal with Ransomware

 

Source: Best Buy

Best Buy features comedian Adam Devine in its new back-to-school ad campaign

Minneapolis, MN, 2016-Jul-20 — /EPR Retail News/ — Best Buy has launched a new back-to-school ad campaign that features comedian, actor and producer Adam Devine in a series of educational and humorous TV, digital and social spots.

Each element highlights a common scenario students face, and shows how to navigate awkward and difficult college tasks. Devine often partners with Best Buy Blue Shirts to demonstrate how easy it is to enjoy the best in tech for every situation.

“I hope our approach on how to tackle the tough college stuff helps show how easy Best Buy makes tech for families,” Devine said. “It’s a fun twist on the usual laundry list of back to school essentials for what can often be a challenging time for both parents and students.”

In addition to a variety of online videos, digital and social media ads, the new campaign will give college students the opportunity to use ”Adamojis” in texts and on social media. ”Adamojis” will be available for download at the App Store starting Wednesday, July 20.

The “How to College With Adam Devine” spots can be viewed at BestBuy.com/HowToCollege.

Students can get great deals on all of their back-to-school necessities when they register at BestBuy.com/StudentDeals. They will receive exclusive monthly coupons for everything from MacBooks, laptops and computers to dorm essentials like compact refrigerators, microwaves and TVs.

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Best Buy features comedian Adam Devine in its new back-to-school ad campaign
Best Buy features comedian Adam Devine in its new back-to-school ad campaign

Source: Best Buy

 

Best Buy announces 1,000 Toyota Prius c hybrids to serve as its new Geekmobile vehicles

Minneapolis, MN, 2016-Apr-12 — /EPR Retail News/ — With a brand new ride and refreshed logo, Geek Squad is all revved up for the road ahead.

Best Buy announced today the dispatch of nearly 1,000 Toyota Prius c hybrids nationwide to serve as our new Geekmobile vehicles. The new Geekmobile, boldly bearing the updated logo, better reflects today’s new Geek Squad — the nationwide tech-support task force that is continually expanding its services to keep pace with ever-changing technology.

When Geek Squad began more than 20 years ago, it was a small, local business dedicated solely to repairing personal computers. Now, it is a national organization of more than 20,000 Agents who visit homes 13,000 times a day to help customers learn about and enjoy their technology.

“Today’s Geek Squad Agent is more likely to help a client with a new home theater experience, optimizing their Wi-Fi or smart security solution than the family computer,” Geek Squad Chief Inspector Nate Bauer said.

In recognition of today’s big news, Geek Squad has enlisted a special deputy. Super Bowl MVP Von Miller, Dancing With the Stars cast member and self-confessed geek, will join Agents on the first client house call made in the new Geekmobile.

Agents visit clients’ homes more than 5 million times a year, and the Geekmobile has always been a highly recognized symbol of the Geek Squad brand. That tradition started with the original pistachio-green 1958 Simca Aronde Elysee and continues today with the rollout of the Prius c.

Geek Squad selected the Prius c because of its innovative engineering and environmental advantages. The Prius revolutionized the auto industry as the first mass-produced hybrid car.

The new, greener Geekmobile will cut the Geek Squad fleet’s emissions by 50 percent, as compared with the previous vehicle, which rolled out nationwide in 2004. The switch to the hybrid will help Best Buy make significant progress toward its commitment to reducing its own carbon emissions by 45 percent by 2020.

The logo, meanwhile, has been modernized to reflect more than a computer repair heritage. The sleek, refreshed design is easier to read on today’s small screens (think smartphones and watches), as well as when it’s zipping by on the side of a Geekmobile.

You can learn more about Geek Squad’s service offerings online or by visiting your local Best Buy store. You can also download the Geek Squad app, which provides access to our Agents who are available all day, every day.

 Media Contact:

Jeff Shelman, Public Relations
612-859-4632
Jeffrey.shelman@bestbuy.com

SOURCE: Best Buy

 

EPA named Best Buy a Gold Tier Award Winner for its recycling program

Richfield, MN, 2016-Feb-12 — /EPR Retail News/ — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) named Best Buy a Gold Tier Award Winner at the agency’s National Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) Program Electronics Challenge ceremonies in Washington, D.C. on Thursday.

The EPA distinction recognizes our commitment to electronics recycling, transparent management practices and consumer education throughout 2014. In that year alone, we sent 61,000 tons of electronics to certified recyclers. Recycling that amount is equal to taking 31,000 passenger vehicles off the road for a whole year.

Our recycling program is a key part of a larger Best Buy product stewardship story. You’ve heard the old adage “reduce, reuse, recycle.” At Best Buy, we support our customers’ products throughout their entire life cycle – repair, reuse, recycle. A full suite of services extends the life of products and makes it easy to trade up to the latest-and-greatest technology, along with providing convenient end-of-life options:

  • Our Geek Squad technicians repair millions of devices a year. Prolonging a product’s life prolongs its value for our customers.
  • We help customers reuse through the Best Buy Trade-In program. We accept thousands of different types of consumer electronics products to ensure they live a second useful life.
  • And our customers trust us to responsibly recycle their electronics when they no longer have value. We have already recycled more than a billion pounds of e-waste.

To learn more visit Corporate.BestBuy.com/Sustainability. For more Best Buy Corporate Sustainability news, follow us on Twitter: @BestBuyCSR.

SOURCE: Best Buy

 

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EPA named Best Buy a Gold Tier Award Winner for its recycling program

EPA named Best Buy a Gold Tier Award Winner for its recycling program

Best Buy: Geek Squad Pop-Up at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport for a weeklong Tech experience for travellers

MINNEAPOLIS, 2015-12-15 — /EPR Retail News/ — Travelers passing through Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport this week will find a Geek Squad “Pop-Up Tech Experience” to help them make the most of their time spent in one of the busiest airports in the country.

The Geek Squad Pop-Up, similar to the precincts found in every Best Buy store, is located in Terminal 1 within the airport’s North Star Mall. It’s open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. today through Sunday, Dec. 20.

The weeklong experience will offer travelers convenient, free advice from Geek Squad Agents, kid-friendly technology activities, tech demos of this year’s hottest gifts, charging plugs for drained devices and tablets, and desktop workstations for accessing free airport Wi-Fi, playing games or shopping for last-minute presents.

Not traveling through the airport this week?  No problem — this holiday season everyone can get help from Geek Squad:

  • The “Gift of Geek Squad”: This year, for the first time, customers can give their loved ones a Geek Squad house call for a wide range of setup services for home theater, home networking, computing, gaming and other popular technologies. The “Gift of Geek Squad” limited edition gift packages are available for $99.99 and $149.99 in Best Buy stores.
  • Free setup with Best Buy Express kiosk purchases: Nationwide through Feb. 29, the purchase of any item from the more than 200 Best Buy Express Kiosks includes free device setup and training from Geek Squad. Best Buy Express kiosks, which are found in airports and additional locations across the country, offer customers the ability to buy  tech products and accessories 24/7 including no-contract mobile phones, chargers, headphones, tablets, smartwatches and more, all backed by the Best Buy Price Match Guarantee.
  • Free setup on top tech gifts: When customers buy a qualifying gift, they will receive instructions to pass along to their gift recipient on how to set up a one-on-one appointment with a Geek Squad Agent. Visit com/FreeSetup to view the gifts that qualify for free setup.

Check out all of the services Geek Squad provides and find a Best Buy store location near you.

SOURCE: Best Buy

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Best Buy: Geek Squad Pop-Up at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport for a weeklong Tech experience for travellers

Best Buy: Geek Squad Pop-Up at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport for a weeklong Tech experience for travellers

Best Buy and Geek Squad to help consumers understand and get excited about the Windows 10

SEATTLE, 2015-7-30 — /EPR Retail News/ — Windows 10 officially launches today, and millions of people will be updating their laptops and experiencing the new operating system. If you’re one of them, Best Buy and Geek Squad are here to help you understand and get excited about the newest addition to the Microsoft family.

First, here are a few things you need to know about Windows 10:

  • It’s free. And by that, we mean it doesn’t cost anything to upgrade.
  • It’s familiar. You might like to know the ever-popular (and missed) Start menu is back, along with the newer tiles.
  • It’s loaded with new features. Playing Xbox on your 2-in-1, having a personal digital assistant (her name is Cortana) and more are some of the most interesting new parts of the Windows world.

Second, you can download Windows 10 on your existing PC. Or, if it’s time to upgrade and you need a shiny new computer, head to Best Buy. We have one of the largest selections of laptops with Windows 10 already installed, and they will start to arrive in stores and on BestBuy.com today.

Third, if you need expert service and guidance to get up and running on Win10, Geek Squad is here for you:

  • Open Houses – Every Best Buy store will have free Windows 10 Open Houses for customers, staffed by Geek Squad Agents. These events will happen from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Saturday in August and September.
  • One-on-One Tutorials – Need more help? Schedule a one-on-one tutorial with a Geek Squad These are available in-store and online for 30 minutes, or in-home for 60 minutes. Prices range from $19.99 to $129.99. Use the tutorial to learn how to get started, where to go for help, the hottest new features, and more.

Finally, don’t forget about the extra goodies that are going to help you get the most out of your Windows 10 machine. From printers to mouse pads, and from ink to laptop bags, Best Buy has everything you will need to accessorize your computing life.

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Best Buy and Geek Squad to help consumers understand and get excited about the Windows 10

Best Buy and Geek Squad to help consumers understand and get excited about the Windows 10