07 Nov 2017

How to prevent a virus infecting your computer

Viruses and malware can have a devastating effect on your computer and if you are running a business can cause downtime, data loss and money. Here are out top tips for keeping your PC virus free:

  1. Think before you click – Do not open email attachments from someone or a company that you do not know. Do not click on junk mail. Before clicking on a link, hover over it, to see where it’s going to take you and if the internet address doesn’t match the sender domain, do not click. Also beware of phishing emails. First, check that the senders email address matches the company name. For example, if the email is reported to come from Barclays, then the address should be in the format, someone@barclays.co.uk not someone@barclaysbankuk.com. Any email that asks you to provide personal information should be treated in the first instance as suspect. Common phishing emails are from Banks, HMRC, Paypal and delivery companies.
  2. Keep your operating system up to date – Whether you are running on Windows or Mac, updates are important. Some updates are security updates that will plug security leaks in the system.
  3. Install Anti-virus software – This is the most obvious tip, but it’s surprising how many people don’t run antivirus. It can also be the case that anti-virus was installed in the past, but has somehow disappeared. It is important to check regularly that your anti-virus is installed and active.
  4. Ensure anti-virus is up to date  – Without the latest information about new viruses, your anti-virus system may not protect you.
  5. Wireless security – Wireless connections are great, but always ensure that you are NOT running an open network and ensure that you are using WPA or WPA2 security. WEP security is no longer secure. Also be careful who you give the wireless password to and if in doubt, change the password.
  6. Beware of fake alerts – If you are browsing the internet and you get a message suggesting that your PC is infected or has some other problem, do not click and do not phone the number. This is a scare tactic to either get your PC infected or to scam you.
  7. Use an up to date internet browser – Older browsers like Internet Explorer are not up to scratch these days. Using Chrome, Firefox or Edge will ensure that security checks are made when you visit a site and you will be notified if there is a problem.
  8. Avoid Cold Callers – If anyone calls you to tell you that there is a problem with your PC, PUT THE PHONE DOWN. These people are scammers and once they have control of your PC, they are free to install key-loggers, backdoors and the tools that may steal information.
  9. Scan USB drives –  Before using an unknown USB drive in your PC, get your anti-virus software to scan the drive to ensure it is clean.
  10. Disable image previews – Many email programs like Outlook will automatically download images in a email. Images can contain malicious code and by downloading the image you may get infected.
  11. Make sure your Firewall is active – Windows and Mac both have built in firewalls, but it’s a good idea to make sure the are switched on. Some third party anti-virus systems have their own firewall, again, make sure it’s switched on.
  12. Backup – The biggest threat to data these days is ransomware. If you get hit, your files will be inaccessible unless you pay a ransom. That’s if you get them back at all. Once ransomware is on your PC, it can also infect regular USB backups and any network drives. The only way to protect against this is to backup to the cloud to a system that keeps multiple revisions of your files.

If you have concerns about your computer security, we can help. Call us on 0203 637 6370

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25 Sep 2017

£222 m paid out by SMBs for ransomware demands in 2016

Worldwide, 1 in 20 SMBs (Small and Medium-sized Businesses) were attacked by ransomware last year. Research has revealed that funds paid out to un-encrypt data has reached a new high.

Datto, the company behind Backupify.com, a cloud backup system, have produced a report on Ransomware and found that in 2016-17, companies paid out $301 million (£222m) to ransomware hackers.

The report polled over 1700 MSPs (Managed Service Providers) who work with over 100,000 SMBs. It found that of those MSPs who responded, 99% think that there will be an increase in ransomware attacks in the coming 2 years.

The effect of a ransomware attack can be 3 fold: The cost of paying the ransom, downtime and possible data loss. Datto have stated that the downtime and data loss are the biggest issues.

Robert Gibbons, chief technology office at Datto stated: “The impact of downtime affects SMBs far more than the cost of ransom requests. Seventy-five percent of MSPs reported having clients who experienced business-threatening downtime as a result of a ransomware attack,”

The report says that attacks have been on the rise this year and more SMBs are reporting the attacks to the authorities, but most companies prefer to keep the breeches a secret.

It was also discovered that fewer companies are prepared to pay out when they are attacked and of those who do, 15% do not get their data back.

All companies are under threat from ransomware, but it was found that finance, professional services, construction, manufacturing and health care are most under attack.

Geeks Remote Support are a Datto Managed Service Provider.

Data which is backed up by Backupify cloud backup is protected from ransomware attacks.

If you are concerned about your Office 365 or G Suite data being attacked, click here to find out more about Backupify.

We can implement Backupify for your company – To enquire, click here

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11 Jul 2017

Bitdefender Internet Security

Choosing antivirus software can be a daunting decision with nearly 20 well know products to choose from. Three factors should be taken into account when choosing antivirus:

  1. Protection
  2. Performance
  3. Usability

So why do we recommend Bitdefender Internet Security?

In terms of protection, in recent tests, Bitdefender protected against 100% of 175 0-day attacks. This means that it protected against unknown threats. It also protected against 100% of 12169 known threats.

Moving on to performance.  Having great protection is one thing, but that should not come at the expense of your PC’s speed. All antivirus systems will have some sort of impact on performance, but Bitdefender has the least impact on performance. For example, in the application launch tests, applications opened 12% quicker that the industry average with Bitdefender and copying files was only 1% slower compared to industry average of 7% slower.

So, onto usability. The last thing you want from an antivirus system is that it identifies legitimate software or websites as dangerous. In tests, Bitdefender gave no false warnings for a sample of 500 websites, gave only 4 false warnings during system scans of 1, 205, 032 items which matches the industry average and gave no false warnings whilst installing or using legitimate software.

If that isn’t enough to convince you of Bitdefender’s superior nature, they have been around for 15 years and protect 500 million computers in 150 countries. Their intelligent antivirus engine can detect and neutralise the newest threats in as little as 3 seconds.

Finally, Bitdefender wins awards year after year. For example, in 2016, it won editors choice from PC Mag, was recommended by PC Advisor, and was editors choice by Tom’s Guide. It also won best performance in 2015 and 2016 in tests by av-test.org, the independent IT-security institute.

So, if you want the best protection from all types of threat including ransomware, check out our recommended Bitdefender products here

 

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18 May 2017

Ransomware - Security Bulletin

Ransomware has been in the news as over 100 countries were hit including the UK.  Many NHS trusts were hit causing cancelled appointments, but what does this mean for end users like yourself?

 

Ransomware is a type of virus which encrypts (locks) your files with a key which means they can cannot be accessed without the encryption key. To obtain the key, a fee needs to be paid to the attacker, however there are varying reports as to whether the key will actually be supplied at the point of payment. This being said, the best option is to avoid being hit, or in the worst case scenario, if you are hit that you have a backup to restore your files. Here’s a list of ways you can protect yourself from the various types of ransomware.

 

  1. Make sure your Windows operating system has all updates installed and ensure updates are set to automatically install.
  2. Ensure you have an anti-virus system that has a firewall and anti-ransomware protection.
  3. Backup up your data online. Backing up your files to an external USB drive or network drive will not protect you as the virus can also encrypt the files on the external drive.

 

If you are not following these procedures, then you may be vulnerable. Geeks Remote Support recommend the following products to keep you safe online:

 

Bitdefender Internet Security

This antivirus product provides the most thorough malware protection on the market. It has advanced anti-ransomware protection to stop your files being encrypted. It also has a firewall, password manager, secure file shredder and will not slow down your PC.

 

Malwarebytes 3

With 4 layers of protection, Malwarebytes is also a great solution to keep you safe online. It will protect you from malware, ransomware, exploits and malicious websites.

 

iDrive

Backing up online is the only way to ensure that if you get hit that you can get your files back. iDrive backs up all of your files safely to the cloud where the virus cannot get to them. It also keeps 10 historical versions of each file, so even if a file gets locked or corrupted, you can restore a previous version.

Check out our recommended security and backup solutions

If you’re unsure if your PC is safe or would like to install any of these products, but don’t know how to get started, Geeks Remote Support can help.

You can book an appointment online at http://geeksremotesupport.com and an expert technician can remotely connect to your computer, ensure your PC is safe and install and configure any required products.

 

If you would like to talk to a technician, call us now on 0203 637 6370

 

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09 May 2017

Windows 10 - Beginners Guide, Tips and Tricks and Known Issues 

Windows 10 is nearly 2 years old and there are 400 million people in 192 countries who have upgraded. It has not been a smooth ride, with many bugs and security problems.

We’ve put together some articles which take you from learning Windows 10 basics to advanced features and secret tips and tricks.

Finally, there is an article detailing the various known problems and how to fix them.

 

 

This article from laptopmag.com runs through the basics, customization, problems, Cortana, Edge, performance, security and backup.

How to Use Windows 10 – Guide for Beginners & Power Users

Feb 6, 2017 … In this article, you’ll find 100 Windows 10 tips and tutorials, split into eight categories, and designed to coach you from beginner to pro.

 

 

 

Next up Komando.com with tips on customization, updates, search, explorer, task view and virtual desktops

5 Windows 10 secrets you need to know now | One Page | Komando …

Apr 30, 2017 … Windows 10 has grown in popularity, but have you taken the time to start learning the ins and outs? … And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

 

 

 

Ed Botts from ZDnet offers 34 tricks and shortcuts for more advanced users.

Tips, tricks and shortcuts: Ed Bott makes Windows 10 work for you …

Dec 5, 2016 … Need help navigating Windows 10? Let Windows pro Ed Bott be your guide.

 

Guiding tech have 19 tips and tricks covering customization, productivity, and Windows shortcuts.

19 Best Windows 10 Tips and Tricks

Feb 28, 2017 … Presenting a list of Windows 10 Tips and Tricks that will help in making way for a smoother Windows experience. Read on!

 

prophethacker.com have another 10 tips and tricks from resetting your password, to activating God mode.

Amazing Window 10 Tips, Tricks, and Hacks you Need to Know

Here I post the collection of best and new Window 10 tips, tricks and hacks that every window user need to know. With these cool window 10 tricks, you can …

 

 

 

If you’re an IT Pro, tomsitpro.com have 24 tutorials about installation and configuration in a business environment.

Windows 10 Guide for IT Pros: Tutorials, Tips & Tricks

Apr 18, 2017 … Here is a compilation of tips, tricks and solutions for IT professionals administering Windows 10 machines and networks.

 

Lastly, 10 of the most common issues users have experienced, including activation problems and hardware not working.

10 quick fixes for Windows 10 problems – BT

Jan 20, 2017 … Windows 10 isn’t without its foibles and undesirable features. Here’s how to deal with 10 of the most common.

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03 May 2017

Best Laptops 2017 - Round-Up

There have been many “Best Laptops of 2017″ so far this year. We’ve put together a bumper list of reviews from top review sites. It seems that screens are getting smaller with only a couple of 15″ laptops making the list. It sounds like 13″ is the new 15”. Ironically, two sites report that the best laptop for 2017 is the Macbook Pro from 2016! The Dell XPS and the HP Spectre also fair well.

 

First up we have cnet reviews of the Apple Macbook Pro 2016, Dell XPS 13, Apple Macbook 2016, HP Spectre x360 13, Lenovo Yoga 910, Dell Inspriron 15 7000, HP Spectre x360 15, Razer Blade Stealth, Origin PC Evo 15-S, Asus Chromebook Flip, Samsung Chromebook Pro, Microsoft Surface Pro 4, and Lenovo Miix 510

Best Laptops of 2017 – CNET

Apr 19, 2017 … CNET editors choose the best laptops and notebooks, covering … Updated 19 Apr 2017 … £1,100.00 at Amazon.co.uk See all prices.

Read More…

 

Next up, Expert Reviews offerings: Dell XPS 13, HP Spectre 13, Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Tablet, Lenovo Yogabook, Acer Switch Alpha 12, Dell XPS 15, Razer Blade Stealth, Microsoft Surface Pro 4, HP Chromebook 13, and Acer Chromebook R11

Best laptop 2017: The TOP award-winning laptops you can buy right …

Feb 20, 2017 … We here at Expert Reviews test hundreds of laptops every year, with the best
coverage in the UK. We’ve sifted through the laptops we believe …

 

Alphr are next on our list with reviews of Apple Macbook Pro 2016, Dell XPS 13, Microsoft Surface Pro 4, Dell XPS 15, Microsoft Surface Book, Dell XPS 13 2in1, Apple Macbook 12, Asus Zenbook 3, HP ZBook G3, Dell Chromebook 13 7310, and HP Stream 11

Best laptops 2017: The TOP laptops you can buy in the UK | Alphr

Here the best laptops you need to buy in 2017, with the fastest, cheapest and lightest all put to the test.

Read More…

 

Finally, we have reviews from PC Mag: Dell XPS 13 9360, Asus Zenbook UX310UA, Dell XPS 159560, Acer Swift 3, Lenovo Yoga 710 11″, Dell Latitude 13 7370, HP Envy 13, Acer S 13 S5-371, Microsoft Surface Book, Macbook 12″, HP Spectre 13, Macbook Pro 2016, Lenovo Yoga 900, Macbook AIr 13″ 2015, Dell Inspiron 13 5000, Microsoft Surface Pro 4, Microsoft Surface Pro 3, Asus Zenbook, Acer Swift 7,

2

Best Laptops 2017: Windows and MacBook Laptop Reviews …

Mar 23, 2017 … What’s the best laptop you can buy in the UK? Dell XPS 13 9360; Asus ZenBook UX310UA; Dell XPS 15 9560; Acer Swift 3; Lenovo Yoga 710.

Read More…

 

 

 

 

 

Check out these great laptops deals on Amazon – 10% to 40% off!

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02 May 2017

What is a NAS drive and why do I need one?

Ever wondered what a NAS drive is and/or if one would be any use to you? Essentially, a NAS drive is one or more hard drives (just like the drives that are in desktop PC’s) which are connected to a network. They can also protect your data and do other tricks as well.
Check out these 3 articles which will put you in the picture

 

Do You Need Network Attached Storage (NAS)? – Tech for Anyone

Apr 5, 2016 … The most obvious reason to get an NAS device over an external hard drive is how many things can access it. … Should You Use an NAS?

7 Reasons to Use a NAS for Data Storage & Backups

Jul 27, 2016 … If you’re wondering what, how often, and where you should back up your files, we have straight forward answers. Read More. Using a NAS you …

What is a NAS and why do I need one? | Seagate

Aug 12, 2010 … NAS or Network Attached Storage is a system consisting of 1 or more hard drives, an Ethernet connection and an operating system.

 

Up to 42% off these NAS drives

 

 

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29 Mar 2017

Best Smart Home Devices 2017

The advent of the “internet of things” has made it possible to bring your home to life with automation and monitoring. With the press of a button, or a voice command, you can control a wide range of “smart” devices. Here’s a roundup of the best smart home devices on the market right now.

read more

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07 Feb 2017

POP and IMAP Email - Which one should you use?

POP and IMAP Email

Choosing between POP and IMAP email these days is an easy choice. Most email programs and apps will automatically setup your accounts just by entering your username and password. However, if the process fails, you may need to enter the settings manually. If you are like me and have been using email accounts since the late 90’s then you have probably heard of POP and IMAP email, but what is the difference? read more

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24 Nov 2016

Why do I need a secure password?

Having a secure password for your email and website logins is the single most important thing you can do to avoid being the victim of hacking, fraud and other related criminal activities.

Before we explain how to create and manage secure passwords, let’s look at how passwords are stolen and the potential consequences.

Acquisition and Consequences

Brute-force attack

The main way passwords are stolen is by using a “brute-force” attack. As the name suggests, the thief will use a piece of software which will keep banging against your user account until is guesses your password. Brute-force attacks are especially successful if you use dictionary words and names, as the software will check your password against every word in the dictionary and any common name within minutes. Conversely, if a secure password in used, it could take hundreds of years, making it not worth the hackers’ time and in practical terms un-crackable. The thing to remember is that anything can be hacked, it just depends whether it’s worth the time and effort.

read more

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