A SaferPC Subscription is designed to provide access to enterprise-level maintenance and support to everyone, at a reasonable rate. Subscriptions are allocated and billed per device, not per user. Discounts are provided for multiple devices. A SaferPC Subscription covers almost any security or software problem you might have with a subscribed device.
- security updates
- security hardening
- privacy tuning
- virus and malware removal
- operating system upgrades
- operating system reinstallation/reset
- software updates
- software installation & tuning
- software-related Q&A
- regular system diagnostics
- device-based email/web/application issues
- software configuration
- data migration
- “light” training
Operating System (OS) upgrades (like installing the latest version of Windows 10 or macOS) and tuning are included.
A Note on Training
Some “light” training is included. For example, if you need to be taught how to perform common tasks such as attaching files to an email, resizing pictures, importing/synchronizing pictures from your phone or camera, using Google Photos, creating Outlook rules, implementing a backup platform — that’s included.
Advanced training — such as teaching you how to develop Outlook automation scripts, Word macros, make website changes, BASH, Perl, C#, construct a nuclear fission reactor, or to play piano or something — is not covered. 😉
What is Not Included
The following list represents a non-exhaustive selection of products and services that are not covered by a SaferPC Subscription. If you want to know if something is covered, ask!
- Replacement hardware/parts or hardware of any kind
- Media (CDs/DVDs/USBs)
- Software licenses
- Labor for hardware issues (replacing drives, RAM, video cards, cables, or other components)
- Data recovery
- Shipping, in either direction, should a hardware or software issue require the machine to be in my presence to be resolved
- On-site service labor, even if the labor would otherwise fall within the covered list above
- On-site service fee ($20 within Tuolumne County, $1/mile outside of Tuolumne County)
- Web hosting
- Website changes
- Content management
- Non-event log review
- Report writing, documentation, and expert witness service
- Non-device specific labor, unless that device is subscribed (like working on your phone, tablet, television, garage door, entertainment center, irrigation system, and so on – Yes, you can subscribe your phones and tablets and stuff, too!)
Most of this is due to the time, expense, and effort required to get somewhere just to have the hardware in my physical presence, which is almost never required. Those few times it has been required were things like catastrophic drive failures and initial hardware installation, which aren’t covered anyway.
I only ever recommend the use of stable hardware and software (and will sometimes delay certain updates and upgrades due to stability concerns) because I want to ensure that our clients live a happy life and aren’t having weird issues.
I often support software that the vendors don’t, won’t, or can’t – even if it’s software I’ve never seen. While I may not be able to fix or rewrite their software, I can almost always figure it out, teach you how to use it, and anticipate or resolve most problems you would likely experience. Some vertical market software is too complex or time consuming to study and implement, and will not be covered by your Subscription.
I can and do support some software that’s end-of-life (EOL), but I will also recommend (and sometimes nag) that it be removed or replaced. The risk of EOL software is significant and vastly increases the chances that you’re going to experience an infection or security incident.
I do not support pirated software. First, as a developer myself, it really grinds my gears to see someone using a pirated OS or application when there are so many awesome free/libre and open source software (FLOSS) alternatives. Second, it’s simply impossible to secure software that’s pirated.
You will be notified promptly as the determination is made if an event is not covered by your Subscription. For example, once a hardware failure is detected, or if a device is not within an active Subscription, or if it’s an unsupportable application, or if the labor would not otherwise fall within the above covered services.
For any issue, you’re always welcome to ship it to me — or bring it to me — should it not be possible to resolve an issue remotely.
What We Require of You
While I can install most updates, perform most security fixes, and maintain almost any subscribed device whenever it is online – even without user interaction or contact – I do require several things of all clients:
- Call me! You are always encouraged to call me immediately, 24/7/365, for any issue. Really. I want to help you!
- It’s always easier to address a problem immediately than to cope with whatever may have transpired after an event. Call, email, text, heck – send a carrier pigeon! – but get a hold of me when you have even the tiniest inkling that you should. Trust that instinct.
- Malware infections often start small and gradually become huge problems. No antivirus software is perfect and no security product can prevent all incidents. Don’t wait for it to get ugly: Contact me the moment you suspect something is wrong.
- Most importantly, our goal is to make you secure & happy to use your device. Don’t waste hours of your time (or even minutes!) trying to fix something yourself because you thought it was “too easy” for me or that you “should know how to do it” or that you “don’t want to bother me.” That’s what I’m here for.
- High-speed Internet service must be maintained. A minimum 3Mbps connection is required. The faster, the better.
- The rate for a SaferPC Subscription equates to only a quarter of an hour of labor per month and the slower your connection is, the more effort must be devoted to your device.
- You must install my remote support software and allow it to run on your device.
- Regularly restart the supported device(s). At least once per month your device will need to be restarted. Most operating systems will force this on you, so knowing that it needs to be done, you should anticipate it and be prepared to restart on a regular basis.
- I can restart your device for you when I am finished, but be aware that doing so will close any open applications. You’ll need to opt in to “device restarts.”
- The supported device(s) must be turned on, online, and available for updates and maintenance at least twice per month for at least 4 hours each. Failure to enable/boot a device means that it may not receive timely updates and is at increased risk of compromise.
- There is no discount, refund, or deferrer for devices that do not meet minimum operational times. Inevitably the time to service them will come, and the effort involved doesn’t dissipate simply because a device wasn’t turned on during any given period.
- If you do not wish to have your device on 24/7, I’m happy to turn it off when maintenance is completed (unfortunately, I usually can’t turn it on). You’ll need to opt in to “off when done” and make sure you don’t leave anything running on your device that could result in data loss.
- If you have multiple devices Subscribed and prefer to have one or more devices off, we can enable wake-on-lan (WOL) for your devices that support it. This allows us to use any online device to turn the other devices on, maintain the devices, and turn them off again when complete. You’ll need to opt-in to this service.
- If you prefer maintenance to be performed “after hours” or only on certain days, we are happy to oblige — you just need to relay your preferences.
- Pay your bill in a timely fashion. We bill quarterly, but work daily. Even when I’m not actively working on your device I’m studying, researching, and investigating thousands of applications, security incidents, and related news in order to be able to provide you with the best possible advice and support. We don’t charge an arm and a leg, and we gotta eat, too.
- In the unlikely event you were ever to decide to cancel the service, please let us know in a timely fashion — not after we have been maintaining your hardware for 6 months and wondering why you haven’t replied to invoices or paid the bill.
Now for the Fine Fine Print
This service is offered in the hope that it will be useful, but without any warranty. It is provided “as is” without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied, including, but not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose. The entire risk as to the quality and performance of the service is with you. Should the service prove ineffective, you assume the cost of all necessary servicing, repair or correction.
In no event unless required by applicable law will We (Shawn K. Hall, SaferPC, 12 Point Design, and/or any associate or assignee) be liable to you for damages, including any general, special, incidental, or consequential damages arising out of the use or inability to use our services (including but not limited to loss of data, or data being rendered inaccurate, or losses sustained by you or third parties, or a failure of the service to operate with any other programs), even if We have been advised of the possibility of such damages.
All payments are due within 10 days of billing, prior to Subscription period. We reserve the right to discontinue support or terminate your Subscription or service at any time, either partially or fully. Your sole remedy is continuation of service until the end of the paid period. No refunds are offered or provided.
You are responsible for payment of the Subscribed period. You agree that you will pay for Subscribed services until you Unsubscribe from the service. Non-payment is not a valid form of terminating your Subscription. We may, at our sole discretion, opt to continue to service you until such time as we receive notification of Subscription termination. You agree to pay any costs and fees incurred in the recovery of payment.
Questions? Contact me.