August 21, 2019

Keys Computers opened last month at 99198 Overseas Highway, Suite 2, in Key Largo.

Contributed Keys Computers opened last month at 99198 Overseas Highway, Suite 2, in Key Largo.

KEY LARGO — “Click here. We need bitcoin. We are watching you.” These are phrases used by malicious computer viruses to unload infectious malware in your computer. These email or clickbait attempts are generic and aimed to scare you, and they work, according to Mickey Keats, a Keys Computer repair guru.

“It hijacks your machine and forces you to act,” he said.

As the technical director of Key Computer shop, Keats helps computer owners to better learn their operating systems and their software programs. The new, full-service computer repair and software training facility also builds websites and manages online marketing campaigns.

Keys Computer owner Archie Quintana, in addition to repairs, provides email campaigns, software support, websites construction and more.

Keats says undoing the effects of Malware is the most common request of customers.

“There’s spyware, malware, and basically they’re viruses. They’re unwelcomed software that’s implanted on your machine by browsers or emails,” he said. “It’s malicious and embeds itself on your machine.”

He also deals with a lot of dead computers that either won’t turn on or won’t do anything when they are on.

There are varying degrees of computer death, according to Keats.

He can often retrieve data off the hard drive of a computer that’s no longer working. If it’s the operating system that has failed, he may remove the hard drive from the machine.

“In the event that the hard drive system fails, then it’s a little trickier. There are different levels of aggressiveness we can approach,” said Keats, who recently earned his master’s degree in instructional technology. “I usually try to guide people to do the initial troubleshooting. Not because I don’t want to help them, but sometimes it’s something very easy.”

Computer technology has changed the way people do business and live their lives, according to Keats.

Keats said he has seen the profound impact that technology can have on people. He was involved in the 3D printing of prosthetic hands for Panamanian children and said the experience was humbling.

Keats has been following the breakneck speed of advancing technology for most of his life.

He and Quintana also plan to do onsite production.

“This room will be transformed into a production audio-visual room,” Keats said. “This will be the fun part of things. We live in an era that YouTube has fostered an entire generation of young stars. I’d like to think I have my finger on the pulse of technology.”

The store, which opened last month, is located at 99198 Overseas Highway, Suite 2. Store hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. For more information, call 305-396-7498 or email