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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The eBay Hack: Should you be worried?

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

Ebay, the world’s biggest internet auction site, is the latest large organisation to be the victim of a cyber hack.

Blaming what they call an “Achilles heel” for the encrypted user information being taken, the company quickly advised users to change their password in order to prevent personal information falling into the wrong hands.

It’s thought to be the biggest reported hack ever in terms of the number of people affected (approximately 223m worldwide). Although it’s believed that financial data is not at risk, it’s still a major concern that data such as phone numbers and email addresses could be exposed to hackers.

So how does this news affect you, the eBay user?

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Child Internet Addict

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Category: IT News, IT Security.

According to new research, over a third of young people believe they are addicted to the internet.

The poll, carried out on behalf of Tablets for Schools, a charity that campaigns for the increased use of tablet type devices in education, unearthed some shocking statistics on how much today’s young people actually rely on devices that allow them to access the web.

One 12-year-old who was interviewed as part of the survey said: “The internet nearly always controls my actions.

“I have been told that I am addicted to the internet, and prefer its company rather than being with other people. I feel lost without the internet.”

Being addicted to the internet at a young age can have dangerous consequences with potential exposure to cyber bullying, violent and pornographic content.

So how can you tell if you’re child – or a young person you know – is addicted? Here are five things to look out for:

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Shocking Tech Myths

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Category: IT News.

Despite advances in technology, the way many of us use our phones, PCs, laptops and pretty much everything else containing a chip or circuit board remains well and truly stuck in the past.

So how many of these unwritten rules still apply when it comes to devices today – and were they ever actually true in the first place?

Writing on behalf of The PC Support Group, Matthew Crist takes a closer look at some relatively unknown tech fables.

1. More mobile bars means more signal

The bars on your phone actually indicate the signal strength from the cell tower nearest to you, and have no bearing on your ability to make a call. Your mobile reception still depends on how many people are connected to that tower. So you could still make a call perfectly with just one bar, while struggle to be heard when you have all five.

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Work Smarter Not Harder

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Category: Business, Cloud Computing, Mobile Computing.

We believe that businesses of all sizes can start to work smarter and more productively by embracing the concept of remote working and really harnessing the power of technology.

Many companies have been reticent about using remote working, and it’s not really expensive or difficult to implement. Companies of every size need to evaluate where and how greater connectivity can improve their business

Having access to systems, files and emails whilst away from the office brings a range of business benefits and cost savings – from increased productivity and greater staff motivation to more effective use of time.  So, what can you do?

Enable your staff to work from anywhere…

An amazing 80 per cent of businesses report that employees do not have full access to business systems that would make their work easier and more efficient, including the technology to work away from the office.  The ability to work effectively from almost any location is one of the biggest changes happening in workplaces today and can increase productivity significantly.

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Heartbleed Bug

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Category: IT Security, Latest.

If some of the headlines from the past week or so are to be believed, all our email accounts and social network sites are easy targets and the information about us they contain are just waiting to be hacked to within an inch of their lives at any time with little anyone can do about it.

But don’t panic just yet. It might not be as bad as you think.

So before you start saying Farewell to Facebook or “ta-ra” to Twitter, here’s a little more information about the Heartbleed bug, what it does, how it works and how you might be able to fight it.

1. What is the Heartbleed Bug?

Basically, the Heartbleed bug allows anyone on the internet to read the memory of the systems protected by the vulnerable versions of the OpenSSL software. It’s official name is CVE-2014-0160 and allows an attack to read information from a web server even when it’s supposed to be secured against intrusion. The bug affects an OpenSSL extension known as “heartbeat” which makes it possible to keep a secure communication channel open without re-negotiating security protocols.

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5G Questions

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Category: IT News.

4G may still be a relatively new phenomenon, but already there is talk of 5th generation broadband being a real possibility in as little as five years time.

While much of the world has yet to experience the full benefits of 4G services, technologically-obsessed South Korea has already announced a £900million investment to fund its successor, while Chinese firm Huawei is also spending $600 million on 5G research between now and 2018.

And at the same time Prime Minister David Cameron has announced plans to introduce 5G to the UK thanks to a partnership with Germany as the world prepares for a “new industrial revolution.”

But despite all the talk and promises of huge funding there are still people wondering exactly what it is that’s getting everyone so excited?

So if you’re still a little confused about what 5G can actually offer you and how it will change your life, here are the answers to just a few of those burning questions:

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Rolling Dice

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Category: Data Backup, IT News.

This week saw World Backup Day, so are you still gambling with your I.T?

When you left for work this morning did you lock up your home? Did you lock up your car in the car park or your cycle to the railings? Of course you did, after all you do’nt want anyone ransacking your home or stealing your transport do you? At work you may have a password on your computer, or codes to get you into various parts of the building.

What if I told you that you were still leaving the door wide open for a malicious attack that could literally cripple your business within hours?

Way back in February of 2013 I wrote a blog asking people not to be the hacker’s best friend and now it is time for a reminder. Since publishing that post, we have been approached nearly every week by a business whose website has disappeared or been pointed to another less than family-friendly site – the heart-breaker is that some of these are our clients, who we have regularly reminded to take backups and perform updates.

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Windows XP

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Category: IT News.

On 8 April Microsoft will finally cease its support for the struggling operating system Windows XP – a decision that’s bound to be met with a mixed reception around the world.

The software, launched in 2001, is still installed on a third of all PCs globally and only Windows 7 (released in 2009) has managed to have any real impact on its usage, being installed on just under half of all PCs today.

But Microsoft would much prefer that people were using the very latest OS, Windows 8.1 as XP has become known as something of a “zombie”.

In fact, its demise has been a long time coming. Microsoft even released an XP End of Support Countdown Gadget just to make sure everyone knew it was soon to be defunct – and this news could be the gentle nudge that PC users have needed to encourage them to upgrade.

So if you’re one of the many users still loyal to XP, be prepared for vultures in the form of hackers, viruses and malware to begin circling over the rotting corpse of XP as Microsoft stop releasing security patches and updates for the soon to be deceased software.

But what has caused this long overdue fall from grace?

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Office for iPad

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Category: IT News, Microsoft Office.

Shares in Microsoft have soared following rumours that their Office suite will soon be available to use on the iPad.

So is there any truth in this latest round of Microsoft-Apple gossip? Well, it seems we won’t have to wait long to find out.

Reuters recently reported that Microsoft had a full version of its Office suite ready to release for on iOS, it just wasn’t sure when the company would make the announcement. Well, the answer could well come sooner rather than later.

Microsoft is holding a media event on Monday March 24th in San Francisco to announce what it called “some news related to the intersection of cloud and mobile”.

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