Preparedness for COVID-19 / Coronavirus

What ever you do - don't panic!

If we find ourselves faced with a quarantine / lock-down situation such as in China and now Italy and Iran, where our businesses may be closed by order of the authorities, what’s YOUR backup plan?

Can you remotely access your work servers or cloud services? Is it SECURE?

Remote Desktop exposed to the world is a bad idea due to multiple vulnerabilities, but a VPN (Virtual Private Network) connection can be used to access your systems in a much more secure manner.

Assuming you already have these, have you tested them?

If you don’t have the ability to remotely access your business resources, but are interested in getting this functionality implemented, please reach out to us and let’s discuss options.

You can use our CONTACT FORM or call 864-990-4748 x201 for more information. We work with Greenville and Upstate South Carolina based businesses and non-profits exclusively.

’twas the nite before Christmas – the computer version

An Early Christmas for Ryan
Merry Christmas – Happy Festivus!

Merry Christmas!!!!!

May this holiday and the new year be filled with joy and happiness, and your time spent with family & friends, not fighting with your computers and networks!

Be safe if you are road-tripping!

We will be closing the office early today, the 24th and return Friday the 27th. However, as always, should you need us for computer or network support, you can leave a message at 864-990-4748 or use our CONTACT FORM and will get back to you promptly!

If you don’t get everything you are hoping for from Santa, such as a the shiny new notebook computer, call us on Monday!

And here’s a story for you………

I first read this story on a University of Arkansas computer system sometime before 1985 and promptly typed it up and put it on my BBS (Non-Prophet BBS) for people to read. I have sent it in email, and “snail mail” for the last 34 years or so…  I still get a kick out of it.   If anyone knows the author, please contact me so I can give credit and thank them. – John M. Hoyt

‘Twas The Night Before Christmas – (VERY DATED) Computer Version

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the shop,
The computers were whirring; they never do stop.
The power was on and the temperature right,
In hopes that the input would feed back that night.

The system was ready, the program was coded,
And memory drums had been carefully loaded;
While adding a Christmasy glow to the scene,
The lights on the console, flashed red, white and green.

When out in the hall there arose such a clatter,
The programmer ran to see what was the matter.
Away to the hallway he flew like a flash,
Forgetting his key in his curious dash.
He stood in the hallway and looked all about,
When the door slammed behind him, and he was locked out.

Then, in the computer room what should appear,
But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer;
And a little old man, who with scarcely a pause,
Chuckled: “My name is Santa…the last name is Claus.”

The computer was startled, confused by the name,
Then it buzzed as it heard the old fellow exclaim:
“This is Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen,
And Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen.”

With all these odd names, it was puzzled anew;
It hummed and it clanked, and a main circuit blew.
It searched in its memory core, trying to “think”;
Then the multi-line printer went out on the blink.

Unable to do its electronic job,
It said in a voice that was almost a sob:
“Your eyes – how they twinkle – your dimples so merry,
Your cheeks so like roses, your nose like a cherry,

Your smile – all these things, I’ve been programmed to know,
And at data-recall, I am more than so-so;
But your name and your address (computers can’t lie),
Are things that I just cannot identify.

You’ve a jolly old face and a little round belly,
That shakes when you laugh like a bowl full of jelly;
My scanners can see you, but still I insist,
Since you’re not in my program, you cannot exist!”

Old Santa just chuckled a merry “ho, ho”,
And sat down to type out a quick word or so.
The keyboard clack-clattered, its sound sharp and clean,
As Santa fed this “data” into the machine:

“Kids everywhere know me; I come every year;
The presents I bring add to everyone’s cheer;
But you won’t get anything – that’s plain to see;
Too bad your programmers forgot about me.”

Then he faced the machine and said with a shrug,
“Merry Christmas to All,” as he pulled out its plug,
“And to all, a good night!”

Merry Christmas everyone!

We’re celebrating our 10th year!

Image result for 10 year anniversary
Happy 10th Anniversary To Us!

As I was meeting with a prospective client and telling them about our business last week, I suddenly realized that day was the 10th anniversary of Homeland Secure IT opening our doors for the first time!

We have been so busy providing sales and service to our customers that we let the date slip up on us and didn’t get to prepare a party, or even buy a bottle of champagne.

Obviously, it’s no small feat to start a business during an economic downturn and to manage to thrive through it.
Hard work, dedication and love of what we do has helped us to endure, but, we owe our success to our incredible customers who have allowed us to serve them over the years – many of them since the start!

So on behalf of Pamela, Wes & myself, THANK YOU!
Without YOU, we wouldn’t be here!

Here’s to another ten! (raising an imaginary glass of champagne)

If ever we can help with your business computer, server or network needs, please don’t hesitate to reach out. You can use our CONTACT FORM, or pick up the phone and call 864-990-4748×201.

John M. Hoyt

Homeland Secure IT means business!

Exciting news!

In 2018, we stopped accepting walk-ins at our location on Mauldin Rd in Greenville SC, and began to focus our energy on what we do best, on-site, remote and managed business services. We entirely phased out home / individual services except to owners and staff of our existing business clients.

Part of that decision was directly influenced by the fact that the property management company at Augusta Pointe (Lee & Associates), leased to a client who has hired many new employees since moving in and left us with no parking for ourselves, much less our clients.

With clients not coming into our store-front, and all of us in the field more than we were at the office, we formed a new plan – to relocate our base of operations.

We’re happy to say that our transition is mostly complete!!!!

Yes, 2019 is bringing new and exciting opportunities and challenges for us, but in the end, it is better for our clients in all regards.

And yes, it’s also better for us! We’ve increased our own internet bandwidth to gigabit, upgraded our infrastructure with new VoIP phones, and implemented an entire new network from firewall to switches, to enterprise grade Wi-Fi and even bigger dual monitors. That should help ensure our own technology doesn’t get in the way of serving you.

So what really has changed for you, our client?

Besides our mailing address, the biggest change will be less distractions and the interruptions that walk-in clients bring, resulting in even faster response time.

Additionally, we’ll be using any of the time that has been freed up to continue to enhance our managed services offerings (remote maintenance & support, patch management, malware / virus protection, backup and disaster recovery).

We’ll still offer all the hands-on work at your location, repairs, preventive maintenance, deployment of new hardware, replacement of old.

We’ll still provide quick turn-around on orders of new computers, and hardware, and may even begin to drop ship directly to you to expedite that even further.

So there you have it. Our new year is already looking up, we hope yours is too!

If you have questions, or would like to schedule a consultation for your Upstate SC based business IT needs, please give us a call at 864-990-4748 x0 or use our CONTACT FORM.



PSA: Those Emails from Microsoft are probably fake…

Public Service AnnouncementIf you have not received a phone call by now claiming to be a representative from Microsoft stating your computer is at risk, then you are lucky. You’re much less lucky if you *have* received one of those calls and believed them.  They sure sound convincing.

The new fad is to send emails that look very convincing, with links to necessary updates. These are forged to appear they come from Microsoft and yes, people fall for it.

Don’t believe everything you read. In fact, if you have questions, just reach out to your IT provider and let them verify.

Better yet, consider working with an IT services expert who can keep your business network up to date with all Microsoft patches so you never have to worry about it.

Homeland Secure IT provides these services and more to Greenville SC based businesses.

Call us at 864-990-4748 for more information or use our handy contact form.

Stay safe!


PS: Here’s a notification from Microsoft that IS authentic which also says not to believe hoax emails:


Hash: SHA256



Title: Microsoft Security Update Releases

Issued: October 9, 2018






The following CVE been added to the October 2018 Security updates:


* CVE-2018-8292


Revision Information:



– CVE-2018-8292 | .NET Core Information Disclosure Vulnerability

– Reason for Revision: Information published. CVE-2018-8292 has

been added to the October 2018 Security Updates.

– Originally posted: October 9, 2018

– Aggregate CVE Severity Rating: Important

– Version: 1.0


Other Information



Recognize and avoid fraudulent email to Microsoft customers:


If you receive an email message that claims to be distributing a Microsoft security update, it is a hoax that may contain malware or pointers to malicious websites. Microsoft does not distribute security updates via email.


The Microsoft Security Response Center (MSRC) uses PGP to digitally sign all security notifications. However, PGP is not required for reading security notifications, reading security bulletins, or installing security updates. You can obtain the MSRC public PGP key at <>.








Microsoft respects your privacy. Please read our online Privacy Statement at <>.


These settings will not affect any newsletters you???ve requested or any mandatory service communications that are considered part of certain Microsoft services.


For legal Information, see:



This newsletter was sent by:

Microsoft Corporation

1 Microsoft Way

Redmond, Washington, USA


















Send me Bitcoin or I will expose you for visiting porn sites – scam / sextortion

Public Service AnnouncementHey friends, I woke to find an email from a client who said they were being extorted for thousands of dollars and wanted help in securing their computer.

Turns out, I also received an email today from Spiceworks which addressed the exact same email…  The email looks like this:

From: Ciel Quan <>

Date: July 12, 2018 at 12:43:49 PM EDT

To: “” <>

Subject: user – password

I’m aware, <AN ACTUAL PASSWORD THE USER USED>, is your password. You don’t know me and you’re probably thinking why you are getting this e mail, correct?

actually, I placed a malware on the adult video clips (porn) web site and you know what, you visited this website to experience fun (you know what I mean). While you were watching video clips, your internet browser started out functioning as a RDP (Remote Desktop) with a key logger which provided me accessibility to your display screen and also webcam. Immediately after that, my software program obtained every one of your contacts from your Messenger, Facebook, as well as email.

What did I do?

I made a double-screen video. First part displays the video you were watching (you’ve got a nice taste : )), and second part displays the recording of your webcam.

What should you do?

Well, I believe, $2900 is a fair price for our little secret. You will make the payment through Bitcoin (if you do not know this, search “how to buy bitcoin” in Google).

BTC Address:

(It is cAsE sensitive, so copy and paste it)


You now have one day in order to make the payment. (I’ve a unique pixel within this email message, and at this moment I know that you have read this email). If I don’t get the BitCoins, I will, no doubt send your video recording to all of your contacts including close relatives, co-workers, etc. However, if I do get paid, I will erase the video immidiately. If you really want proof, reply with “Yes!” and I definitely will send out your video recording to your 9 contacts. This is a non-negotiable offer, thus do not waste my personal time and yours by responding to this email message.

The good news is that there is (most likely) no recording… And there’s no actual malware (most likely)… Therefore this person is totally safe (most likely).

The scammer has made this very creative post, and it’s got factual information in it to help give it some bite.  But, they didn’t get that password from malware they planted, they instead pulled it from one of the previous breaches.

So, don’t fall for this. Nobody saw you doing something you would be embarrassed by (most likely).

Here’s a link to the Spiceworks article:

And another article worth reading:

Be careful out there!

If you do feel your business may have been affected by malware, or could be, let’s talk.  Homeland Secure IT helps businesses in the Greenville SC area. Use our CONTACT FORM or call 864-990-4748.

We’ve been nominated Best of the Upstate – Best Computer Services!

In this day and age, where the “big boys” are the only ones who can afford TV and print ads, it’s amazing when a small, local business gets a little blurb out there… Especially when it’s “free” so to speak….

You see, each year, for as long as I can remember, The Greenville News has sponsored a reader driven “Best of the Upstate” awards system. Sure, the big box stores get in there and they win, quite frequently, because lots of customers equals lots of votes. Heck, lots of employees equals lots of votes.

Anyway, we were nominated by you, and we are honored to even be nominated! It means a lot to us that you took time from your busy schedule to do that!!!!!!

But, now, the voting has begun and we’re just one of many who are up for the one award.

If you would be so kind as to give us another minute of your time to vote, we would appreciate that very much as well!

Here’s the things my family are up for:

Culture, Arts & Entertainment – Best Local Band

Services – Best Computer Service – Homeland Secure IT

Shops and Wares – Best Carpet Store – McAbee’s Custom Carpet

Like last year, you can only vote ONCE per email address….

This is what we are after:
Best Computer Services - Best of the Upstate 2015

You can bet I am voting for our clients and friends too!   If you have been nominated and want my vote, email me… Chances are good I have already voted for you, but I don’t want to miss anyone!


Thanks so much for everything!!!!!


— John & Pamela Hoyt






We’re about to celebrate our NINTH YEAR!

Public Service AnnouncementCan you believe it? Homeland Secure IT opened our doors in 2009 and here it is 2018.

When we took our first call it was during one of the worst economic times Pamela and I had seen. Businesses were closing, the market was flooded with IT professionals looking for work.

But we didn’t let that deter us from taking the bull by the horns and trudging forward because we knew we had a good service plan, and wanted to form long-term relationships with businesses and individuals that would survive the worst of times.

Now as we look back, we can see the things we did right, and what we can improve upon.

One area that has not served our clients well is residential service. So starting June 1st 2018, we will be dropping residential services with a few exceptions:

  • We will offer managed services – remote maintenance and monitoring, backup and more to home users.
  • We will offer on-site premium services to current clients who have a business account with us.
  • We will work with new on-site premium clients who have a home based business.

Another area that has been lackluster has been repairs at our office. Due to being in the field quite frequently, and not wanting to hire a receptionist that we would have to pay to be here (and in-turn pass that cost on to our customers), there have been far too many times when a client has come to our office to drop off a computer only to find the door locked. This is both inconvenient to them as well as frustrating!

With that in mind, we also decided that beginning June 1st, we only accept walk-in clients with an appointment.

These changes should help us to focus on the services that we excel at, and most importantly, keep our clients smiling!!!!

We look forward to more years serving you and want to hear from you if you have suggestions and recommendations on how to do that better.

If you are not a Homeland Secure IT client currently and need BUSINESS IT services, consultation or sales in the Upstate of SC, give us a call at 864-990-4748 or use our CONTACT FORM.


– John, Pamela & Wes


Stop using Microsoft IE right this minute – Exploit Warning

Public Service AnnouncementA few days back, security experts started reporting that an existing vulnerability in Microsoft Internet Explorer had been leveraged in a “Zero Day Exploit”.

What does this mean for you? You could open a specially crafted document and become compromised.

Microsoft has not released a patch as of this moment so they are advising the use of Microsoft Edge for the time being. I personally prefer Google Chrome, however, that’s entirely up to you.

Bottom line – avoid IE, or if you MUST use it, as we do for banking – consider using it only for the site/s that force you to do so and set something else as your “default browser”.

Here’s some more details:


As always, if you require assistance with this or any other computer support issue for your business computer or network in the Greenville, Spartanburg, Anderson, Pickens, Oconee County South Carolina area, just give us a call at 864-990-4748 or use our CONTACT FORM.


Windows 10 mouse and / or keyboard stops working after reboot

Public Service AnnouncementWe encountered a couple of clients who had something similar in common yesterday. They came into work and found that their mouse and/or keyboard was not functioning though they had not done anything different or applied updates.

The culprit was an update from Feb 16 that simply had not applied until after the machine had rebooted.

This was very frustrating for them as you can imagine, but honestly, it was just as frustrating for us. If you don’t have a keyboard and mouse you can use to manipulate the system, you cannot very well repair it.

If this happens to you, what can you do?

One solution is to plug in a device that has a different driver. Most standard keyboards & mice use the same drivers, so just swapping them around didn’t work for us, but a Microsoft wireless mouse with it’s own USB transceiver did the trick, giving us control of the machine.

Once you do have control, you can use appwiz.cpl to remove the KB4074588 and then disable Microsoft Updates before rebooting (it will reinstall itself if you don’t).

Disabling updates is a bad idea, but until this patch is fixed, to have a usable machine, it may be the easy way out.

Microsoft used to allow you to hide updates, but they removed that feature in Windows 10, then turned around and offered a tool that allows you to do the same thing – if you are technically inclined, you may want to try the troubleshooter package known as KB3073930 which gives you the ability to block or hide Windows Updates. You can find that tool here:


Fortunately for clients who use our managed services, their machines did not receive this update, saving hundreds of people from potential headaches.

If you need assistance with this problem, or you are interested in a patch management system for your business that can help keep your machines current with security patches and updates, please give us a call at 864-990-4748 extension 0, or use our CONTACT FORM.