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Author

Category: IT News, IT Security, Latest, News.

UK travel money firm Travelex is still offline more than 5 days after a cyberattack.

The foreign-currency seller has been working on the issue since the software virus attack on New Year’s Eve.

“We regret having to suspend some of our services in order to contain the virus and protect data,” Travelex boss Tony D’Souza said.

The company has resorted to carrying out transactions manually, providing foreign-exchange services over the counter in its branches.

Travelex has a presence in more than 70 countries and has over 1,200 branches and 1,000 ATMs worldwide, with exchange machines a common sight at airports, and customers can also use a smartphone app.

It has affected Sainsbury’s Bank, Barclays, and HSBC amongst others which all use the Travelex platform.

For more information about how to protect your business, please download our free cybercrime bulletin here

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Category: Windows 7, Windows 10, IT News, IT Security, Latest, News.

Make sure you make this year a Happy New Year by not missing the imminent Windows 7 deadline. 

At The PC Support Group, we have kept our clients up-to-date with the approaching deadline, January 14th when Windows 7 will reach its end of life.  So, if you’re one of the thousands of UK businesses still using it, you have exactly a week today to upgrade – or you could be issuing an open invitation to cybercriminals.

While your PCs won’t suddenly stop working, from next week, Microsoft will stop updating or supporting your operating system, meaning that automatic security and bug fixes will end, making it increasingly costly to maintain and vulnerable to attack.

And you can guarantee that cybercriminals will be targeting Windows 7 users after January 14th, because they know that their defences are down.

While Windows 10 isn’t right for everyone, there are many advantages of upgrading from 7 to 10:

  • It’s simple, with a minimum of disruption – in most cases you can keep your files and software on your existing PC
  • Many programs you use will already have been updated to work on Windows 10, so you can just carry on as normal
  • Although, the layout and interface is different with a little patience you’ll be able to transition and use it relatively easily
  • There are many great additional features and functionality on Windows 10 that will be a big help for your business, such as the Cortana virtual assistant and enhanced security
  • Support for Windows 10 is expected to run until at least 2025, so a small investment now will provide peace of mind for the next five years or more.

So, if you’ve decided to go-ahead and upgrade, here are just a few things to bear in mind:

  • You’ll need to calculate how many users you have and how many licences you need
  • While Windows 10 will run perfectly happily on most existing hardware, it may struggle on older machines, so now may be the time to upgrade some of your hardware too
  • Although as mentioned earlier, most software has been updated to enable it to run on Windows 10 you will need to check that this is the case with all the software you use before going ahead
  • Once you’ve established what you require, you’ll need to identify a budget and potentially look into financing options
  • Time, resource and investment will be required but upgrading will almost certainly bring productivity and business efficiency benefits, which will deliver a fast return on your investment.

It’s not too late – if you’re still using Windows 7  – contact your IT support provider to discuss if upgrading is the best solution for your business before the support ends next week,  or contact our friendly team on 03300 886 116 or by email on info@pcsupportgroup.com to find out about our IT and telephony services.

www.pcsupportgroup.com

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Author

Category: Business, IT News, Latest, News.

Northwest-based IT & telephony provider, The PC Support Group has been announced as a winner of the “50 Best Managed IT Companies in the UK 2019” awards.

The awards, held last night in London and now in their fourth year, are organised by the global news media group eChannelNews.   They highlight the best-managed businesses in the UK IT sector in terms of their performance and capabilities.

Companies are evaluated in 12 key business areas with questions developed with the input of over 30 professional business coaches from the IT sector.

Phil Bird, managing director with The PC Support Group said:

“We are delighted to have received this award for the second year running which shows that our business practices are consistently amongst the best in the IT sector.”

Phil continues:

“We work hard to provide a world-class IT support service, working with our clients to help them grow their business by using the right technology for them.  We also truly believe we have the best staff delivering the highest IT expertise.”

The PC Support Group provides fully managed IT & telephony support to SMEs across the North West.  Their focus is to protect and enable their clients to achieve their business goals through exceptional service and IT expertise.

For more information about the services, The PC Support Group can offer your business contact the sales team on 03300 886 116.

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Author

Category: IT News, IT Support, Latest, News.

Acquisition International Magazine has announced the winners of the 2020 Global Excellence awards and Northwest-based IT provider, The PC Support Group is:

Most Outstanding SME IT Support Specialists, 2020 – UK

Acquisition INTL’s Global Excellence Awards were launched in 2016 to recognise and reward the firms and individuals whose commitment to sustained outstanding performance has seen them leading the way, not only in their own sector or industry, but across the entire global corporate spectrum.  The awards showcase the work of businesses and individuals at the top of their game, getting an inside look at how they go above and beyond for their clients time and time again.

The PC Support Group provides fully managed IT and telephony support to SMEs across the North West of England.  Its core focus is to protect and enable its clients to achieve their business goals through exceptional service and IT expertise.

Phil Bird, managing director of The PC Support Group said: “We are thrilled to have received this award that recognises us as an outstanding business as we are very proud of our unique customer service that means we go above and beyond with all our clients whenever we get the opportunity.”

Phil continued: “We actively request feedback from our clients so we can constantly improve our service.”

The rigorous selection process undertaken by Acquisition INTL’s in-house award specialists guarantees that all award recipients were chosen purely on merit based on the proven performance over the last 12 months.  Whether you run a single office firm or a multinational corporation, we reward those that are succeeding in their endeavours, innovating, growing, and improving.

To find out more about these prestigious awards, please visit www.acq-intl.com

To contact The PC Support Group to see how they can help you realise your business potential with world-class IT support, call 03300 886 116 or contact them here

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Author

Category: Windows 7, IT News, IT Security, Microsoft Office.

Windows 7 officially reaches end-of-life in January 2020. So, if you’re one of the thousands of UK businesses still using it, now’s the time to upgrade – or you could be issuing an open invitation to cybercriminals.

 

While your PCs won’t suddenly stop working, from January 14 Microsoft will stop updating or supporting your operating system, meaning that automatic security and bug fixes will end, making it increasingly costly to maintain and vulnerable to attack.

And you can guarantee that cybercriminals will be targeting Windows 7 users after January 14, because they know that their defences are down.

If you haven’t already, my advice is to start planning now to upgrade to Windows 10 and make the switch well before the January deadline. This way you’ll avoid any period where you’re not supported and the associated risks.

 

While Windows 10 isn’t right for everyone, there are many advantages of upgrading from 7 to 10:

  • It’s simple, with a minimum of disruption – in most cases, you can keep your files and software on your existing PC
  • Many programs you use will already have been updated to work on Windows 10, so you can just carry on as normal
  • Although the layout and interface is different with a little patience you’ll be able to transition and use it relatively easily
  • There are many great additional features and functionality on Windows 10 that will be a big help for your business, such as the Cortana virtual assistant and enhanced security
  • Support for Windows 10 is expected to run until at least 2025, so a small investment now will provide peace of mind for the next five years or more.

So, if you’ve decided to go-ahead and upgrade, here are just a few things to bear in mind:

  • You’ll need to calculate how many users you have and how many licences you need
  • While Windows 10 will run perfectly happily on most existing hardware, it may struggle on older machines, so now may be the time to upgrade some of your hardware too
  • Although as mentioned earlier, most software has been updated to enable it to run on Windows 10 you will need to check that this is the case with all the software you use before going ahead
  • Once you’ve established what you require, you’ll need to identify a budget and potentially look into financing options
  • Time, resource and investment will be required but upgrading will almost certainly bring productivity and business efficiency benefits, which will deliver a fast return on your investment.

If you’re still using Windows 7 and would like to discuss your options and find out how we can help you, leave a message here and mention Windows 7 upgrade and we’ll get back to you or call our friendly team on 03300 886116.

Phil Bird

Managing Director, The PC Support Group

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Author

Category: Cloud Computing, Data Backup, IT News, IT Security, IT Support.

If you’re assuming that your cloud synching and sharing services, such as Dropbox or Google Drive, are acting as your backup or are taking responsibility for automatically backing up all your data, then, please, think again!

The fact that some businesses are making this assumption came across loud and clear at an event we hosted recently to help improve SMEs cybersecurity awareness and skills.

It’s an understandable assumption to make, but it’s also a dangerous one too – that could extract a heavy price if you fall victim to a determined cybercriminal. Let me explain why and what to do to keep your priceless data and systems safe.

The boom in cloud-based services is transforming the way businesses operate, with fantastic new capabilities now at our fingertips. But it’s also a complex, and at times confusing marketplace, with new, multi-layered products and services emerging all the time, each trying to outdo their rivals with more and more features and functionality, backed by persuasive sales and marketing campaigns.

It’s important to remember that, while cloud file sharing and storage solutions synch your data across multiple devices, this does not add up to a robust backup system. In fact, file syncing services cannot differentiate between ransomware-encrypted files and regular files, and therefore they can sync malware-infected data! And ransomware attacks on businesses are rising, up 12% in 2018, with businesses now the victims of more than 80% of all successful ransomware infections.

As a specialist IT support and services company, we devote significant resources to understanding these cloud-based products, their features, benefits, and complexities, so that we can help our clients to make informed decisions about their IT. But for many SMEs, often with small teams and limited resources, it can be very difficult to navigate a safe course.

When it comes to backing up your data and systems, my golden rules are:

  • Assume nothing!
  • Question everything!
  • Be certain that you have a dedicated backup solution over and above your file sharing solution
  • True cybersecurity is about having layers of protection – think of your premises with combinations of locks, alarms, password-protected entry systems, and CCTV.

Earlier this year I spoke about the key questions to ask about your data and backup arrangements, questions that enable you to ensure that you have robust measures in place. Click here to review that advice. Or if you’d like to discuss your backup options and how we can help you to make the most of new technology – and keep your business safe – call our team on 03300 886116 or email us on info@pcsupportgroup.com for an informal and confidential chat.

Phil Bird

Managing Director, The PC Support Group

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Author

Category: VoIP, IT News.

One characteristic that I know that successful businesspeople display time and time again is the ability to see opportunities where others only see problems.  And for me, the “Great BT PSTN/ISDN Switch Off” has got OPPORTUNITY written all over it!

So, what exactly is this big switch off and why should you be taking action sooner rather than later? Well, this is the process where PSTN (the traditional public switched telephone network) and ISDN lines will finally be switched off and everyone will move to cloud-based telephony or VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol).  And in case you were unaware the first stage of the process begins in just six months’ time.

But the thing is, why wait? Because even without this move by BT, the advantages of VoIP telephony are so game-changing for SMEs that it’s a no-brainer! VoIP allows you to make voice (and potentially video) calls anywhere in the world, from any device – all you need is an internet connection.

It will transform your business communications. With VoIP you’ll get:

  • substantial reductions – up to 70% – in business phone line and contract bills
  • next-generation technology that’s simple to transition to and easy to use and maintain
  • flexibility to use your own devices, keep the same number across all devices, add and remove users at speed
  • access to the latest versions, updates and mobile working features
  • integration with your other business systems
  • a great phone system to boost productivity, agility and customer service – without ANY capital investment.

The process is simple too. The only things you need to do is check your current contract (don’t accidentally fall into long renewal) and then find a qualified supplier with VoIP experience.  I would strongly recommend one that doesn’t tie you in for any length of time, so you can easily change if your provider doesn’t deliver the service you need.

I know there are people who are still nervous about making the move – and I do understand this because our traditional phone lines have been so familiar to us for generations – so let us help you TODAY.  Here, at The PC Support Group, we look after many of our clients’ combined IT and telephony needs – using a single, trusted supplier will make life easier for you and is more likely to identify more opportunities to take full advantage of VoIP and save more money in the process.

So, if your business is still using the old ISDN lines or if you have already moved to VoIP but are not happy with the service you are receiving then why not email our team on info@pcsupportgroup.com or call them on 03300 886116 for an informal and confidential chat on making the switch to VoIP sooner rather than later.

Phil Bird

MD, The PC Support Group

Date:

Author

Category: IT News, Latest.

Whilst we have all been enjoying the recent heatwave, our computer equipment definitely has not.  When switched on, our computers’ internal components generate heat, so if they are exposed to additional heat, it can cause major problems.  For example, the hard drive can expand in heat and consequently fail which could result in you losing your files.

Here are our top tips to keep you and your equipment working safely:

  1. Avoid direct sunlight

If your computer is near a window, make sure it is not in the direct sunlight otherwise it could overheat and even become dangerously hot to touch.

 

Consider closing a blind and opening a window or if either of these are not possible move to another part of the room that is not in direct sunlight.

  1. Think cool temperature

Make sure any place or room with equipment in is below 23 degrees centigrade. An airconditioned office is obviously best for maintaining a reasonable temperature but failing that get a fan to blow air onto the computer

 

Equally, if you have to leave your laptop or equipment in a car, make sure they are switched off and in a shaded place, preferably the coolest place within your vehicle.

  1. Equipment positioning

Make sure your computers and other computer equipment have access to an airflow/ventilation to keep them as cool as possible and, try not to put devices too close together. Servers in particular need to be kept cool so a small unventilated cupboard is the worst place for them in hot weather.

 

Also, laptops typically have fans underneath, so try to avoid having your laptop on your knee, better to have it on a flat surface.  If you can hear the fan constantly, it’s a sign of potential overheating.

  1. Unplug equipment that doesn’t need to be on

Make sure you unplug unneeded equipment to stop unnecessary heat from circulating.  If equipment is plugged in and switched on, it is generating heat.  Likewise, once your equipment is fully charged, remove the charger which can also overheat.

  1. Consider a move to the cloud

A move to the cloud means less physical equipment in your office or wherever you work which means less hassle for you.  Instead, any equipment is looked after externally in a professional and well-equipped environment, that would take all of the above into consideration.

Date:

Author

Category: IT News, Latest, News.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has raided a business in Liverpool over suspected data trafficking, the acquisition, and sale of illegally obtained personal data.

The business is thought to have carried out high volumes of data farming, known as vishing or voice phishing to obtain personal data of motor accident victims to sell onto solicitors for personal injury claims.

Vishing is a form of fraud conducted via the telephone, where a third party will attempt to obtain private, personal and financial information.  Often callers pose as policyholders, claimants or other companies in a position of trust.