Computer (Internet) Security

There are numerous FREE internet security software packages out there, but are they enough to protect your computer (or device)?
They might be, but the threats are coming in from an ever increasing number of ways. Although most free products do offer a good range of protection against viruses, they don’t necessarily protect you from item such as boot sector viruses, or malware. They may or may not have additional items such as firewalls, parental controls, or content filtering. But that may be OK for basic use. If you are a business then most of the free versions out there aren’t able to be used legally in any case.
And what if you find a virus with a free application, and it tries to clean it, but it doesn’t work properly, who do you turn to? Google/You Tube! These are your options or to turn to your local Computer Support/Repair company to try to clean it for you (or worse case retrieve your data and rebuild the system)
Does it protect you from browser hijacking, and other Malware which is becoming more frequent on the internet today?
We have seen extremely good results in our Managed Anti-Virus, you still get a software package (Fully Featured) installed on your computer, but because it reports to a central panel on the internet, we can be alerted to the fact you have a virus, and if the system has managed to clean it for you! If it hasn’t we can clean it for you (sometimes remotely), we can even tell if it hasn’t been updated for a while, this is useful as one of the first things a Virus should do is to try and stop your anti-virus from working!
Don’t Worry it isn’t some dodgy software either it is AVG Cloudcare for more details visit http://www.limbtec.co.uk/it-services/hosted-services/anti-virus or call us on 01752 546967.

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What are you missing

What are you missing

You’ve probably got here as your a small business searching Google for an answer to a Technology/IT issue!
What are you missing by DIY IT Support?
We firmly believe in letting people to do what they are good at, but as Technology has become more and more consumerised, people believe they should be able to buy something on line, and set it up and it will work.

And whilst it may be fun to waste your time when you are at home with this, and it doesn’t matter too much if it just kind of works, when it comes to your business things are different.  We recently took on a new customer who had sign a new contract, and part of that contract was to have an awful lot of new technology in place, not only that it had to configured correctly and had to be tested!  They weren’t 100% certain they could actually do it.

What was required wasn’t actually rocket science, it was fairly straight forward.  But for them it was something that was completely different, and they have certainly benefited from some of our hand holding.

So what did we do, we took a peer to peer network (that wasn’t working that well) and we replaced it with a server based network, we added Office 365 to it, for their email.  A Hosted Anti-Virus, and Hosted Back up Solution to it.  Lastly we added a security appliance to make sure the whole network was protected from attack, from the outside.

The installation took 1 day, although the entire network was pre-configured, actual disruption was down to only a couple of hours, whilst we transferred data on to the network.  We actually did a site visit the next day to see what issues they were having, so we could resolve them, they were actually having NO problems everything was working.

Would they have achieved this by DIY approach, well they could have, but what would it have cost them, in time? in lost productivity? And would the end result be as secure, and still be fully functioning?

I suspect not, in fact I would say our cost for the install was less than 20% what they would have lost in time/productivity, they just carried on doing what they are good at, and we did what we are good at.

Make Us your Technology Team because there is no I in Technology.

If you want to know more, or think we could help call 01752 546967 or email martin@limbtec.com

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Happy Birthday to us!!

Today Limbtec is 12 years old, so we thought it would be good to see what was happening in 2002 when we started.

Operating Systems

Let’s start with Windows XP, when we started a new computing experience had just hit the streets, it was Windows XP, and it has lived as long as we have as a company.  Having said that most of our customers were still using

  • Windows 98
  • Windows 2000
  • Windows NT 4
We also had a few installs of Windows 95, and I do remembers looking at a Windows 3.11 system at some point, along with these we have also seen
Vista, 7, 8, 8.1
along with server 2003, 2008, 2012
This is without mentioning the work we have done on Mac both OS X, and it predecessor, and the few Linux/Unix issues we have dealt with.
Internet Connectivity

ADSL had really only just come out with blistering fast 2MB connections, although a lot of customers were dialing up (YES Really) on 56K connections, or maybe if they were a little posh might have an ISDN connection.  Currently sitting here on a FTTC connection at 76MB, having said that we also do far more online, not just with social media, but almost everything we do is reliant on an internet connection.
Storage
Servers had 10Gb or so of storage, and these we were replacing with servers with 40Gb of storage, now even the smallest of small business have 1TB of storage available to them, and probably even more than this
Although even small businesses had an advantage to having a Small Business Server, now a lot of these customers are using Office 365 and a nice fanless NAS box for on site document storage.
Backup of these were done by tape, DDS 4 or smaller, now for a lot of people the backup is done online into the cloud, and if it is an onsite storage it will more than likely be on to external drives.
Screen’s
Almost everyone had a crt screen (about 15″) sat on their desks, then LCD screens still around 15″, now we put out mostly 19 -21″ as standard and a lot of customers buying 24″ +.  Also seen the introduction of touch screens, which now with Windows 8 offers a new way of doing some tasks.
We have also said goodbye, to the floppy drive, and starting to see end of optical drives specially in mobile devices. Processors have become much faster, and with multiple cores, and memory, well that now comes in amounts never even dreamed of 12 years ago.
Now just wondering what the business IT environment will be in 12 years time?
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5 Simple Way to Combat Spam

SPAM! When we talk to any of our customers that we provide Computer Support in Plymouth, to, nine times out of ten they will insist that their greatest headache is the amount of spam that floods their email boxes on a daily basis.

Unfortunately, if your email address is already on the mailing lists of any major spam offenders out there, getting yourself removed can be near impossible and in the short term, your only real source of relief will be to install a quality spam filter, preferably at the ISP level so that the offending messages are filtered before hitting your email server or inbox.

To prevent spreading your email address around even further, or if you’ve been lucky enough not to have your address already placed in the sights of the evil spammers, here’s five simple ways to keep your spam intake at a minimum.

  1. Never make any purchases from an unsolicited email. Even if whatever they’re selling seems to be an attractive and legitimate purchase, you have to consider how they got your email address in the first place. If they spammed you to begin with, by you making a purchase with them, you’re not only confirming that you address is valid, but that you’re also a prime target for future spam offers. In which case you can be sure that your email address will be sold throughout the spammer community as if it were gold!
  2. Never reply, click the unsubscribe link or click any link in a spam email. By replying or clicking the link in the message, you’re only confirming your email address for the spammer that they’ve got a valid, working email address for you. This is valuable information for a spammer. Don’t give it to them.
  3. Disable your preview pane. The utilities in use by spammers track who their messages were sent to, who opened the message and who clicked the links… all information used to help them strengthen the reliability of their list. If your preview pane displays their email message, this will report back to their reporting utility that you opened the email.
  4. Use the BCC option when emailing multiple recipients. If a spammer were to intercept your email, all of the addresses on your list would be viewable. Protect your friends and colleagues by keeping their addresses hidden from view.
  5. Use a secondary (or third) email address when making web purchases, posting to newsgroup lists or participating in forums. Spammers will collect email addresses from anywhere they can be collected. Keep your primary address for contact only with trusted, personal contacts and use a separate public address, such as a Gmail, Hotmail or Yahoo address for your other web activities.

No one, is safe from the evils of them spamming world. Use some of the basic strategies to keep your email inbox as clean as possible.

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General Bits and Bobs.

WOW, we’ve been so busy it is almost 2 months since I managed to post.

Lots have been happening here. We are in the process of migrating from one on-line backup provider to another. This would give you 10Gb of online storage for just £10 + VAT per month.

We have also installed our first hosted PBX, this is an addition to our range of Voice over IP (VoIP) or telephones over the Internet (Which i think for most people is a better term). This gives a full PBX functionality with out the upfront cost of the hardware to host the Phone System on.

On the Home user front we have seen another rise in the Hoax Security Software infection. If you get a pop up that is not your Anti-Virus telling you it has detected this many errors, don’t click on the offer to clean it up, or purchase the product. Speak to someone, who knows.

Laptop repairs are still going strong, particularly screen replacements, we aren’t the cheapest around, but all work is carried out in Plymouth, and we come and pick up your laptop and drop it back to you. This saves you tie and effort, and well worth the small amount extra we charge for the work.

Well Spring has Sprung, and the election is upon us, I am sat here now enjoying the warmth of the sun streaming through the office windows.
I’m off to drive around Plymouth all morning. Will post again shortly, and well before the 2 month period.

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I told you so

I hate to ba an I told you so, but it appears that I was right at the start of the year that a platform that would see a rise in attack profile, would be the Mac.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/8096822.stm item about the latest threat.

Don’t leave it to chance, if you have a mac you are at risk, get some protection on it, and do it today.

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Mac Security

Well, for those who have spoken to me in the last 4 months, I keep stating that the mass of macs out there is leading up to an attack in some way. Normally followed by ‘we use a mac we are secure’

Well try reading this blog post

Really, Macs are able to be breached. The time is nigh, honestly soon there will be an attack, or an outbreak that will hit the mac community. The point raised (the reason why Macs haven’t been attacked is it just isn’t worth it due to market share) in the article above are still valid but only just.

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EFS

Watch out what you do with EFS, we have just completed un-encrypting a small businesses data, after the keys were lost, due to a virus.

Be warned as not every decryptions work, we had access to everything we needed, and only failed to decrypt 1 file.

If you do use it, export your keys so you can always use them to recover your data.

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Nasty Worm

We have spent the vast majority of the last ten days cleaning up computers, from worm and viruses. Some have been the worm mentioned in the title above, linked from the BBC.

Simple steps to keep your computer secure.

  1. Ensure you patch your software, not only the Microsoft ones, but from any vendor.
  2. Make sure you have security software installed
  3. Make sure this software is up to date
  4. Ensure you carry out a full scan at least once a week
  5. Make sure your firewall is configured correctly and turned on

This will make it harder for any attack, What we find is often these threats come in through a Peer 2 Peer product (such as Limewire).

We are aiming to blog twice a week from now on, hopefully on Wednesday, and Sunday. But then again

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