Sins of IT Support Companies

Date:

Author

Category: IT News, IT Support.

Does your IT Support ensure your systems are good enough OR do they ensure that they are actually giving you a competitive advantage?

If something goes wrong – do you rest assured that you have an IT support partner you can rely on?

Not sure?  Then consider these seven signs that mean it’s time to consider a new IT support partner…

1. You only talk to your IT Support when something goes wrong

A good IT support firm will perform preventative maintenance to reduce the chance of things breaking in the first place. You should feel able to turn to them for advice whenever you need it – do you have unlimited telephone contact during each working day all in with the price of your contract?

In short, they should be more than The Emergency Service for your business-critical computers. If they’re not, you can almost certainly get better value elsewhere.

Read more »

Broadband Fibre

Date:

Author

Category: Broadband, Business, IT Support.

If your business relies on the internet, then you need to ensure you have a broadband service that is dependable. Many small businesses simply look for the cheapest option and that usually translates to a broadband package designed primarily for residential use. Business broadband packages generally offer a more reliable and more secure service.

Choosing the right package can be daunting but many internet service providers (ISP) now offer exclusive packages that address many of the concerns about running a business online, or being reliant on the internet for information or communication purposes.

Here are some aspects you should consider before selecting a broadband package for your business:

Read more »

Date:

Author

Category: IT Support, Mobile Computing.

Earlier this year it was reported by the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-bristol-21629210) that a couple ran up a bill of nearly £2000 because their 5 year old son accidentally made in app purchases on their iPhone.

Most surprisingly was the fact that they had their iTunes account password protected and they thought they were safe. How did this happen and could it happen to you?

What you may have noticed is that once you enter your iTunes account password it remains active for 15 minutes without the need to enter the password again. That means that in this period anyone (including any nearby 5 year olds) can make further purchases without the need for the password.

If you want to avoid this here’s what to do…

On your iPhone or iPad go to the ‘Settings’ app and choose the ‘General’ option. Scroll down and select the ‘Restrictions’ option and then tap on ‘Enable Restrictions’ and enter a 4 digit Passcode.

Scroll iPhone 1down the screen to the option ‘Require Password’ which normally shows a default of 15 Minutes. Select this and change the option to ‘Immediately’ and then go back by selecting the ‘Restrictions’ button at the top left of the screen. The “Require Password” option should now say ‘Immediately’.

Job done!  Now your iPhone or iPad will prompt for the password again the very next time someone tries to download a chargeable app, rather than after a 15 minute free-for-all!

 

 

 

Computer Virus

Date:

Author

Category: IT News, IT Security, IT Support.

The PC Support Group has issued a warning to all computer users about a type of computer virus attack which appears to be affecting an increased number of systems in recent weeks.

This relatively new type of malware is capable of bypassing anti-virus/anti-malware protection by changing its appearance, and until anti-malware software is made aware of the new ‘strain’ it isn’t able to block it.  This process can take hours from when the virus is released and as a consequence there is a window of time where systems are particularly exposed and vulnerable to attack.

Read more »

Date:

Author

Category: Business, IT Support.

Here at The PC Support Group, we manage IT for hundreds of businesses and one thing that we regularly come across are business owners and managers who are frustrated that they don’t understand IT and so feel incapable of choosing a good IT support provider.

We often hear that they have been “blinded with science” and don’t know what to believe. Most have also had bad experiences with previous IT support providers too.

Of course there are no guarantees of a great service but there are some basic, non-technical, questions that any business should ask an IT support supplier before engaging them in order to improve the chances that they will perform.

This infographic shows 20 great questions every business should ask an IT support company when selecting a new support provider. You can see the full size image by clicking here.

Read more »

PC Support

Date:

Author

Category: Business, IT Support.

Asking the right questions can make selecting the right IT support provider for you and/or your business a much easier process. As an IT support business striving to provide a great service to our customers we love being asked tricky questions as we’re confident we can answer them. Here is a list of the questions we think will help you sort the wheat from the chaff.

1. Can you provide me with some reference companies to speak to?

Everybody knows that there’s no greater measure of a company’s ability to deliver than through referral so always ask for a number of references. You don’t have to call them all but if they can provide a few to select from it will instantly give you confidence.

And for those you do speak to, here are a few potential questions you could ask:

  1. Do they deliver what they promised?
  2. Are they responsive and easy to get hold of?
  3. Do they communicate well – letting you know what’s happening with issues?
  4. Do they stay within the projected budget?
  5. Would you use them again?

Read more »

Date:

Author

Category: IT Support, Microsoft Office.

We’ve previously updated you on the fact that Microsoft is withdrawing support for the Windows XP operating system in April 2014 but you may not be aware that the same fate awaits Microsoft Office 2003.

In 2002 Microsoft produced the Support Lifecycle policy to ensure that users of their products where given clear visibility of the support they could expect. They committed to providing a minimum of 10 years support from product release (5 years Mainstream Support and 5 years Extended Support) and they also committed to informing customers when such support would be withdrawn.

In line with this policy, Microsoft announced that Windows XP (Service pack 3) and Office 2003 will go out of support on 8th April 2014.

Read more »

Date:

Author

Category: Computer Maintenance, IT Support.

Just like checking the oil and water levels in your car we should be checking on the health of our computers. Here, David Tyrrell of The PC Support Group (Leeds) provides an overview of what he would recommend:

AntiVirus and Malware

Antivirus software should always be up to date and a full computer scan should be run at least weekly. If this is left unchecked then even a seemingly operational AV system will be ineffective and any new virus could cause havoc on your system. It could corrupt important documents or even attach itself to an email and spread itself amongst your friends and business partners. Most Antivirus software will allow you to schedule a scan at a time of your choosing. Set if for late one evening and simply leave your computer on overnight.

Windows Updates

Microsoft regularly writes fixes for issues that are found by everyday people. They obviously can’t get to everyone’s PC themselves, so they put these updates on their website. To make things easier they also give you a program to apply these updates called, unsurprisingly, Windows Updates. Again this can be set to run automatically at a time of you choosing. Personally I like to set mine to download the updates in the background so that I can schedule there install after my Anti Virus scan has run.

Read more »

Date:

Author

Category: Data Backup, IT Support.

Backup solutions can vary enormously and it is important to be aware of the consequences of choosing one solution over another. While many services provide excellent protection, some cover just data while others cover entire systems. Some enable faster recovery of your systems in the event of a major problem, while others ensure that your systems are safe from physical risks such as fires, floods or theft.

Data protection policies and legalities also need to be considered as some cloud backup solutions may not be suitable for UK businesses due to where the data is ultimately stored.

Data only or full system backup?

Data only backup

Backing up your data is a great start as it means that if there is a failure within your IT system then your vital, irreplaceable business data such as documents, financial information and emails can be safely recovered.

The disadvantage of only backing up your data is that everything else on your system has to be recreated from scratch – which in the case of a server can take several days.

Read more »

IT Outsourcing

Date:

Author

Category: IT Support.

IT Outsourcing is an extremely effective way for businesses to either fill a skills gap that they don’t have within their organistion, or when a support function can be delivered more effectively and more cheaply by a third party.

Outsourcing as a concept has been around for years and could be traced back to the early days of manufacturing where external companies and individuals were employed to produce specialist components. These days, the same principle is used but for a whole host of services such as marketing, HR and especially IT support.

If you or your company is having IT issues, this is where IT outsourcing can come to your aid. So, what are the real advantages of outsourcing?

Read more »