Some people actually take this seriously

Posted by on May 27, 2013 in IT Top Tips

Some people actually take this seriously

I’ve seen this a few times now, but what I hadn’t realised was some people do actually take it seriously! We had someone use our drop off and diagnose service the other week, “My Computers not working properly” was the message they left us with… On starting it up, it was clear it was infected with a particularly nasty virus, it’s the one that fills the screen with a ‘Police’ message saying something along the lines of “Your computer has been locked due to the detection of illegal activity”. We have seen a variety of these along the same theme now, some we’ve been able to clean up, some we’ve ended up having to rebuild the whole computer. But this was the first time I’d actually had someone ask me “What’s the cost if we pay the fine?” Well I have to say I was flabbergasted, I thought it was blatantly obvious this was a scam, but they really thought it was real (No I didn’t ask what they’d been looking at!!!) Top Tip Before you put ANY payment (or other personal details) in to your computer, think about it very carefully, did you ask for this, could it be a scam? If you are at all unsure please call and get some advice – 01543 241...

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Did you get the Job Interview?

Posted by on May 13, 2013 in IT Top Tips

This one came up during a recent I.T. Clinic, we’d been talking about e-mail and computer scams, and right on cue someone received this e-mail… Now you’ll notice there are no links to click which could take you to a malicious site, and no attachments that could contain a virus… so what’s the point in sending out a seemingly harmless email… We’ll it got me wondering at first, but then after reading it a bit more closely I realised it was an ‘old school’ scam… Take a closer look at the phone number… On first read it looks like a mobile number, but it’s not… 070 numbers can be premium rate… After a bit of research it seems this particular number is quite new (the first reports had been 3 days ago), one victim was actually waiting for a job interview and called it… £4.50 was his bill for that call… another was concerned the ‘real’ person would miss their interview chance so called up too… Also if you happened to read this email on a mobile phone, most of them have this ‘handy’ feature which identifies phone numbers and makes it easy for you to click on them… Top Tip Know the number you are calling… if you are unsure about the number just pop it in to Google, especially if you don’t recognise the first 3 or 4 digits… Google 070 If you are at all unsure please call and get some advice – 01543 241...

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E-Mail Wrestling – The Olympic Sport of Poor Small Business Owners

Posted by on May 7, 2013 in IT Top Tips, Small Business IT Issues

E-Mail Wrestling – The Olympic Sport of Poor Small Business Owners

When it comes down to it, E-Mail should just work, it’s not something you want to spend time worrying about, or wondering if it’s working, or whether you’ve got all of your e-mails… you’ve got far too many other things going on in your business for that. I feel I should start this off by letting you know I have built, installed and setup E-Mail systems for some of the largest organisations in the world. Without being big headed about it, it would be fair to say I know more than most when it comes to mail systems, and the way E-Mail works (or should work!) I’ve also got a deep understanding of what’s important to a small business, I’ve run a couple of my own for 7 years now, and in that time I’ve worked with and supported the I.T. for hundreds of other small businesses. What I’ve found over the years is that many businesses are either spending far too much time trying to work around poor email systems or worrying about whether their email is working or not… Are you World Champion at E-Mail Wrestling? The Olympic sport of Poor Business Owners? Fed up of spending half your day wrestling with E-Mail problems? Drop your details in below and we’ll get you set-up with a trial of Office 365 and show you how you can break out of this business limiting sport… It’s crazy, what you need as a business is to know your emails are safe, reliable and secure. Even more so if you’ve got staff, you need visibility over your company email. If it calls for it, you need to be able to take a look at the incoming and outgoing email of your employees. In my time I have seen and dealt with businesses using most of the common e-mail systems including POP, IMAP, Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, Zimbra and of course Microsoft Exchange. I’ve also seen some weird and wonderful attempts to replicate some of the benefits of Exchange with bespoke in house e-mail systems, in almost every instance these end up causing far, far more problems than they ever fix. In my experience, Nothing works as smoothly, or as seamlessly and a well setup Microsoft Exchange solution (be that hosted Exchange or an in house Exchange server). I’ve heard all manner of reasons and arguments as to why you should not use Exchange, but none of them have stood up, and most have been founded on either a lack of understanding or just plain bad advice. It’s crazy, what you need as a business is to know your emails are safe, reliable and secure. Even more so if you’ve got staff, you need visibility over their company email. If it calls for it you need to be able to take a look at their incoming and outgoing email… with POP this just isn’t possible! These...

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What have you been buying with Paypal?

Posted by on Mar 11, 2013 in IT Top Tips

What have you been buying with Paypal?

I’ve had a number of people email me over the last couple of weeks with this one, it’s proving quite popular at the moment, These are designed to scare you in to thinking someone has just hacked your eBay or Paypal account and bought something, when in actual fact they are hoping to panic you in to clicking the link, Remember you can hover over the link (Don’t Click!) to see where it will take you, see what happens when I hover over the ‘www.paypal.com/help’ link here: It’s actually got nothing to with PayPal has it? This will end up taking you to a site that ‘looks’ like Paypal in the hope that you will panic and put in your login details. They will then use these to actually login and use your account! Make Sense? There are hundreds of thousands of these e-mails going out everyday, it costs them very, very little to do, and they only need a minuscule amount of people to click and take action to make it worth their while. Don’t be one of their victims! If you think you may have recently fallen for one of these, the first thing you should do is change your password (Remember what I said about searching for the REAL site on Google rather than using an email link!), and if you’re still worried give us a call. Top Tip: As I said a few weeks ago, if you are at all unsure, the best thing to do is to go to Google and ‘search’ for Paypal, login this way and check your account. Never click the links in emails like this, or any email you are remotely unsure about. Remember, as Thomas Jefferson said “The Price of Freedom is eternal vigilance” If you are at all unsure please call and get some advice – 01543 241...

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Terrible Trip…. Help Needed

Posted by on Mar 4, 2013 in IT Top Tips

Terrible Trip…. Help Needed

I’m sure you’ll have seen a scam like this before, these e-mails have been going round for some time now, in various forms, but the gist of them is usually the same. Someone you know (well you are in their contact address book at least), is abroad, they’ve been attacked and had all their money, cards, phones stolen and now they need some money to get home. They are asking you for help. The way this works has changed a bit over the years, but the general format now is… 1.       Scammer hacks in to persons e-mail account (usually from a weak password) 2.       Scammer sends email to most people in personals address book 3.       Anyone that responds the scammer then replies back to from a different email account (usually with 1 letter different in the email address, so you don’t really notice) 4.       Email conversation will continue and ask for a money transfer via Western Union So what can you do about this? Well first it goes without saying if you receive any email like this, or asking for anything out of the ordinary, treat it with extreme suspicion, these e-mails prey on good nature and kindness. Is there anything you can do to stop your own email account being hacked?  This scam all hinges on access to your email account in the first place, and that is usually down to a simple password or using the same password across multiple websites? – Is your password you your pets name? – Or your own name, perhaps with a number on the end? – Is your email password the same as your facebook, ebay and LinkedIn passwords? You’ll have seen in the news of high profile sites being hacked and peoples account details being stolen, the trouble when you use the same password across several sites is if one gets hacked and your email address and password stolen, the first thing they do is try that password on your email account! I wrote a guide some time ago on tips for creating secure passwords, let me know if you’d like a copy and I’ll dig it out for you, It’s also worth noting, that although it does not prevent it, it does make it a bit more difficult for the scammer if you don’t have a ‘public’ email account (like yahoo or Hotmail), it’s a bit more difficult for them to work out how and where to access your email if you are not on a widely known email provider (let me know if you’d like more info on this too) Top Tip: Don’t use easy to guess passwords, like the names of your family, pets, or simple words. For logins you use a lot (like your email, facebook etc), use different passwords on each one. Remember, as Thomas Jefferson said “The Price of Freedom is eternal vigilance” If you are at all unsure please call...

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The suspicious case of the Amazon Order – a story of co-incidence

Posted by on Feb 25, 2013 in IT Top Tips

The suspicious case of the Amazon Order – a story of co-incidence

If you’d just placed an order on Amazon and then you got the email below through a few hours later, what would you think? What do you think? Would you be tempted to click the link? What made this even more tempting was the recipient of this e-mail had just placed on order via their iPad for the first time… Luckily they had the good sense to send it over to us before doing anything with it and we were able to advise them it’s a scam. There are a few ways to tell (Firstly I’m not aware of Amazon sending this type of thing out anyway!) but usually the most obvious and easiest is to hover over the link (DON’T CLICK!) and see what it actually shows… Can you see it’s not actually got anything to do with Amazon! (aronfel.com) It may have just been a coincidence and good timing (There are a lot of these emails being sent out!) but it’s still worth changing your password and running a virus and malware scan on your computer just in case… Top Tip: Treat any email asking you to ‘Login to confirm your account details” with suspicion, most major players will never send you an email asking you to login to confirm details. Always hover over the link before clicking to check it out, better still rather than click the email link, open up Google and search for the site instead… I always do this with my banking. Always. As Thomas Jefferson said “The Price of Freedom is eternal vigilance” If you are at all unsure please call and get some advice – 01543 241...

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