Cabling Issues

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Category: Computer Maintenance, Computer Networks, IT Support.

Is this a familiar situation with the data cabling in your offices?  Is there just one of these or are there multiple situations throughout the building, hiding under desks, in cupboards and above ceilings?

The reason for the appearances of these “Mini Switches” is usually that as a company grows or invests in new equipment they find they don’t have enough IT cabling outlets to support what they need.

Additional staff will require extra data cabling outlets for PC’s and phones and as new equipment such a telephone systems are installed, new dedicated IT cabling outlets are required but not always available.

The quick fix approach shown in the photographs is to find 1 spare data cabling outlet and add on 5/8/16 way mini switches and plug all the new requirements into that.  These can number 1 per room if the equipment installed needs a lot of new IT cabling outlets.

However, the more of these mini switches are installed, the greater the bottlenecks down the IT system.  In a lot of cases these mini switches will then link from one to another.  In some businesses we’ve seen (for example) a main switch linking to a floor serving switch to 4 mini switches in a row in each office.  Several of them also had 2 connections between switches creating a loop on the network almost shutting it down completely.

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Six Things You Can Expect from the iPhone 6

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Category: Mobile Computing.

There are a few things you can be sure of at this time of year.

The nights start to draw in, the weather takes a distinctively autumnal turn and Apple produce their latest iPhone handset.

If rumours are to be believed, Apple’s latest offering – the iPhone 6 – is expected to be just around the corner with a September 9 announcement date mooted.

Despite what seems to be an annual event at the end of every summer, there appears to be no let-up in the frenzy of excitement that surrounds this well rehearsed event and there’s little doubt that the world will be watching as CEO Tim Cook unveils another piece of “must-have” technology.

However, with many questioning the advances in innovation that Apple’s recent iPhone models have made – the pressure is somewhat on Cook to deliver.

The rumour mill has been in overdrive in the lead up to the widely anticipated launch, with many experts predicting a larger, faster, “all singing, all dancing” version of a handset which was first released over seven years ago.

So, as we all wait for the official announcement, here are six things that you should probably expect from the iPhone 6:

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Category: IT Support, Microsoft Office.

With their latest Office 365 suite, Microsoft has certainly made a bold statement when it comes to the future of home and business computing, while also throwing down a challenge to competitor products.

Their innovative office suite differs greatly from previous versions of Microsoft Office – from how you use it, what you can do with it and even how you pay for it.

And though change for change’s sake isn’t always a good thing, it certainly seems like this latest software has real potential.

But before you decide to install the suite to your own machines, here’s a look at just what Office 365 can offer you and your business, as well as how we at The PC Support Group might be able to support you in this process – we call this infographic Office 365: What it means for your business.

Want to demonstrate how Office 365 can benefit a business you know? Feel free to share our infographic using the HTML code below. You can also click to enlarge the image.

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Extend iPhone Battery Life

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Category: IT News, IT Support, Mobile Computing.

Unless you’re still using that faithful old Nokia 3210 you’ve had since the turn of the millennium, you probably find yourself constantly checking the battery life of your iPhone to make sure you’re not stuck on a desolate hillside in the middle of nowhere without being able call for help or (more importantly) left out of social plans, unable to see what your friends are up to or play Candy Crush Saga.

Battery drain for smartphone users isn’t a new phenomenon but since the launch of Apple’s iOS 7.1 mobile operating system iPhone users in particular have complained about dwindling battery life.

But according to former Apple Genius Bar worker Scotty Loveless, it’s not necessarily iOS itself that is causing batteries to drain quickly – but all the Apps that are running on it.

So does this mean we need to change the way we all use our phones and access the Apps we value so dearly or simply change our phones full-stop?

Here are nine tips you can try that might just increase the battery life of your smartphone:

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SEO DIY or Outsource

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Category: IT Support, Online Marketing.

Search engine optimisation (or SEO) is one of the key aspects in driving traffic to your website.  As a business, generally speaking, you have two options; learn and perform SEO in-house or choose to outsource to a suitable SEO company.

Here are some tips to help you make the right decision for your business.

DIY IN-HOUSE:-

Use your writing skills

Keeping your website content updated and relevant should be a priority.  Inactive content (if your blog hasn’t been updated in months or years, for instance) can be an indication that your information might be outdated – or simply that the website is no longer in use.  Writing news or blog posts on a regular basis is a good way to stay updated. Not only is this an advantageous SEO strategy but it also sends out the right signals to your audience.

Submit your website to the main local search directories

It can be relatively straight-forward to submit your site to Google Places, Bing Local and Yahoo Local.  Sign up and choose categories that are relevant to your business. Upload a few photos and videos if you can. Once you’re listed, ask satisfied clients to leave positive reviews. By doing so, you are adding credibility to your business online and enhancing your reputation.

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Spam Emails

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Category: Data Backup, IT News, IT Security.

New research suggests that cyber-crime costs small businesses around £800 million a year.

Not only that, but you have a responsibility to put adequate measures in place – if not, you could face fines of as much as £500,000 for cyber breach and data loss under current legislation. Other threats include: social media misuse, hacking, and loss of company devices.

As many as 60 per cent of small firms reported security issues last year, with major breaches costing a small firm on average between £65,000 and £115,000.

Here, we’ve created a useful checklist to help you assess whether you are helping reduce the chances of the worst happening to your business.

How many of the following questions can you answer “YES” to?

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Facebook Work Version

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Category: IT News, Latest.

There’s no doubt social media can be a valuable tool when it comes to developing workplace connections, discussing the latest industry news or even finding a new job.

Although, many will argue that LinkedIn is setup to do exactly that.

However, not wanting to miss out on this particular niche, Facebook is planning to build its very own “at work” website that will go head-to-head with LinkedIn as the professional’s choice of social network.

An unnamed source at the company has claimed it is working on a new version for use during working hours. Sky News reported the anonymous individual as saying: “We are making work more fun and efficient by building an at-work version of Facebook.”

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No More Facebook

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Category: IT News.

A strange phenomenon occurred in offices and workplaces everywhere just recently.

Ashen-faced employees could be seen looking glumly at their monitors, scratching their heads and even conversing with the person sat next to them in more than just grunts and ineligible noises.

But what was it that caused this strange and uncharacteristic behavioural shift?

Was it news that an asteroid was plummeting towards earth and we only had minutes to live?

Was it the declaration of World War 3?

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Spam Protection

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Category: IT News, IT Support, Latest.

With the recent news that online users ought to be braced for an incoming cyber attack, many people will be wondering what they need to do in order to keep their personal details secure.

Unsurprisingly, the Get Safe Online website has been inundated with people wanting to find out more information and advice. With that in mind, and following on from our blog last week, here are some pointers to take a note of that could help protect that valuable data and financial information from possible attack.

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Cyber Attack Prevention

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

The National Crime Agency have announced that online users have two weeks to prepare for a “powerful cyber attack”. Two pieces of malware software known as GOZeuS and CryptoLocker are at the centre of this alert and are reported to be responsible for hundreds of millions of pounds of fraud globally.

At The PC Support Group, we’re putting together an action plan to best protect our customers

All computer users are being warned to ensure their security software and operating system are both up to date, and to run scans to check for any problems. Important files should also be backed up.

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