Life rebooted: Tyler Parrish on protecting your data, overcoming adversity
Operating a computer company on Marco Island involves a lot of what you might expect. At Marco Island Computers, owner Tyler Parrish offers a myriad of services, from web hosting to video surveillance and smartphone repair, but that’s not the bulk of his business.
While the company offers sales, service and instruction to both business and individual customers, a lot of what Parrish finds himself spending time on is cleaning up problems that arise, particularly when computer users find their systems infected with viruses or spyware and teaching them how to avoid that situation in the future. Along with that goes data recovery and backup, and education on how to be a better user.
Many of the customers on Marco Island are older folks, not always on the cutting edge of computing, and Parrish has the skillset and patience to talk to people in language they understand. With a bachelor of science degree and a master’s in education, he taught computer science at ITT Technical Institute in the Boston area. Along with his computing knowledge, he identified “patience and persistence” as the vital attributes that enable him to be successful.
“The best thing I love is when people have a virus and after I fix it, I can teach them how to stay safe online,” he said. “Scam artists keep me busy all the time. Viruses like Zeus and Heartbleed are serious problems.”
In many cases, the customer has no idea what specifically is going on with their computer, just that it isn’t doing what it’s supposed to. This was where Kathy and Brad Laubach of Fiddler’s Creek found themselves.
“It was fried – just wouldn’t start up,” said Brad. The Laubachs came in to pick up their up and running laptop, fitted with a new solid-state hard drive, and were full of thanks for the work performed by Marco Island Computers.
“Tyler was great. Our neighbor referred us, and said, “I found the best computer person,” said Kathy.
“You’re covered on this for a year,” Parrish told them. “I can access your desktop remotely, with your permission, and work on it remotely.” Showing that Brad Laubach was taking steps to try to safeguard his digital network, he had taped over his laptop’s camera.
Marco Island Computers’ office is on the sixth floor of the Regions Bank building on Bald Eagle Drive, in a corner office overlooking Veterans’ Park. Parrish just moved to a larger office space in the complex, and has added a new hire, technician Taylor Hinot, to help keep up with the workload.
“He’s a whiz kid, half my age,” said Parrish, 42. Marco Island Computers deals with both PCs and Macintosh computers, and Parrish has both at home. He recently built a $5,000 gaming-intensive PC for a customer but finds himself increasingly drawn to the Apple offerings.
Parrish acts as caregiver to his parents who live on Marco, particularly his father, which helps with relating to older folks and understanding their mindset, he said. He also had to serve as his own caregiver, quitting alcohol cold turkey two years ago. He tried Alcoholics Anonymous but ultimately decided on another path.
“I knew I had to take control. October 19, 2017, I recommitted my life to Jesus Christ,” said Tyler, crediting his faith with his sobriety.
Parrish said he realizes there are other computer service operations on the island, and he believes what sets his business apart is his “Mayberry mentality.” To make it easier to access Marco Island Computers, he just held a launch party for his new app, available for Android and at the Apple App Store.
“With local support, you can walk in and have a conversation. I answer my phone seven days a week,” he said. He wants to evangelize on how people can keep themselves safe online, with a few simple tips.
“When you sit down at your computer, you are in front of the whole internet. Usually, it’s user error when people get viruses. Don’t open an email from someone you don’t recognize, and if someone calls and says they’re from Microsoft, hang up.”
If you go
Marco Island Computers
- 606 Bald Eagle Drive, Suite 605