Get Support is pleased to announce the launch of a new Sonos store for audio fans in and around the Oxford area. From today shoppers will be able to purchase high quality Sonos speakers and audio hardware from our new online store.
With prices starting from just £169 for a PLAY:1, any music fan can afford to upgrade their HiFi experience. The modular nature of the Sonos range means that you can also add to your music network at any time. You can build any combination of wireless speakers into the configuration you need for maximum enjoyment.
“We’ve seen plenty of high quality technology over the last 12 years while supporting Oxfordhsire’s Businesses,” said Get Support’s MD James Craddock, “But we are stunned by just how easy the Sonos equipment is to use and enjoy. The sound quality produced is absolutely incredible. We are looking forward to bringing it to Oxfordshire’s homes”
The Sonos range makes it easy to enjoy stunningly high quality audio in any room of your house. A fully wireless set up also allows you to position speakers and other equipment exactly where you want it, so you can enjoy your music throughout the whole house.
Get Support also offer a full installation service for people who want to avoid the hassle of configuring wireless speakers and bridges. Just ask for more details when placing your order.
We also offer a selection of additional units that allow you to add Internet-streaming capabilities to your existing HiFi set-up. You get the best of both worlds without having to replace anything.
Check out the store now and upgrade your listening experience – you won’t regret it.
Are you really, really interested in computers? Would you like to turn that hobby into a job? One where you get paid to follow your passion?
If so, Get Support are looking for you.
We are currently recruiting for a Junior IT Support Technician to join our team. Initially you will be an invaluable part of our helpdesk service, answering customer calls and helping them resolve IT problems as quickly and efficiently as possible.
We’ll also train you in using our state-of-the-art monitoring systems so that you can identify and fix problems before they cause major problems for our customers. And as your skill levels increase, so too will the opportunity to visit clients sites and troubleshoot complex technical problems on the front line.
In fact, working with Get Support you will be exposed to more new technologies and concepts than any college course could possibly hope to cover. You’ll learn all the skills and techniques you need to launch your career in IT support and network management. And you will be paid as you learn.
Established in 2000, Get Support is a leading provider of IT support services to businesses in and around the Oxford area. We are fully committed to keeping all of our customers 100% satisfied by avoiding jargon, providing a fast response to queries and giving them a personal, friendly service.
So if you love computers and are serious about making a career out of them, this could be the perfect role for you.
For more information click : Apply for the Junior IT Support Technician Role
Get Support are also looking for an experienced IT Support Engineer to work in and around the Oxford area. Apply for the Experienced IT Support Engineer role if you’d like to be considered.
The National Crime Agency (NCA) has been warning UK businesses and consumers to prepare for what is thought to be one of the biggest malware attacks of recent times. Working with the other international governments, NCA officials claim they have bought British businesses a two-week timeframe in which to protect against a resumption of the cyberattack.
So is this a case of media hype, or is your business really under threat?
Security researchers have been monitoring two serious items of malware currently circulating across the internet, GOZeus and CryptoLocker. GOZeus, also known as ‘GameOver’, has already been used by criminals to steal sensitive information like passwords and online banking details from thousands of computer users across the world.
If the virus fails to spot any valuable data to steal, GOZeus is then used to automatically install CryptoLocker – a particularly nasty little tool that encrypts files before demanding $300 from users for a fix. Encrypted files cannot be accessed until they have been decrypted by paying the ransom, the only other way to access is your data is by restoring from backup.
Both GoZeus and CryptoLocker have been circulating on the web since at least September 2013, extorting up to £60 million from affected users. Working together, international law enforcement agencies were able to seize the servers used to control the botnet responsible for controlling both tools, preventing further extortion demands.
Officials estimate we have two weeks in which to detect and clean up these infected machines before they are activated by the criminals once they have rebuilt their command and control servers.
According to the NCA, GOZeus is already installed on more than 15,500 computers across the UK – less than 0.05% of all the machines currently in use.
Although these numbers are fairly low, Malware is a continuous risk and a serious threat to everyone, and for those reasons it is always a good idea to make sure you are protected.
Even if CryptoLocker and GoZeus cannot ‘phone home’ to receive instructions and demand payment from affected users, files remain encrypted and inaccessible. It is crucial then to prevent infection in advance or risk serious business disruption.
You can find full instructions for proactive protection against GoZeus and CryptoLocker in the Get Support's guide: Protecting Your Business Against Malware. And don’t forget, if you are already having problems, you can always call our team of specialists now on 01865 594000.
Virus, Trojans and malware are small computer programs designed to steal information, or to corrupt data. Some malware is designed merely to be a nuisance while others can help criminals extort money or to steal confidential information that can be sold on or used in other crimes like identity theft.
Obviously malware is not only unwanted, but also has the potential to cause your business significant harm. Here is how to protect against malware attacks.
Just like any problem in computing, prevention is better than cure. The best way to recover from a malware attack is to try and avoid infection in the first place. Cybercriminals use a number of devious techniques in the hope of tricking you into installing their malware – so you need to be on your guard. The best way to prevent a malware outbreak is to understand how they work.
Often you can tell a lot about a suspect email simply by looking at it. If anything strikes you as odd, ask yourself:
If you answer ‘no’ to any of the above questions, you should delete the message. You definitely should not click any links or open any attachments in a suspicious message.
Remember that you can always call or email the sender and ask them to resend another message if there is an issue.
Malware typically exploits flaws in your computer software, so it is extremely important to keep everything as up to date as possible. Whenever you are prompted by your computer to update something like Windows, Adobe or Java, you should not delay.
Note: Never, ever, ever click on a pop-up or banner that advises you to update when browsing the web. Only ever perform updates from inside the installed applications.
You probably see dozens of warning messages pop up on your PC every day, and you probably ignore almost all of them. But these system messages contain all manner of useful information, not least warnings about potential threats. So pay attention, and if in doubt, don’t click ‘yes’.
If you’re not sure about something you’ve seen on your PC, call Get Support and speak to one of our technicians who will be able to advise.
Administrator-level accounts have full access to your computer, giving malware direct access to everything. Instead you should perform your day to day operations using a ‘user’ level account to restrict the effect malware can have on your PC. Some experts believe that removing admin rights mitigates 92% of critical Microsoft vulnerabilities. Again, if you need help, give the Get Support team a call.
No anti virus solution is completely foolproof, but it is an important defence against malware infection. You must:
Anti virus is an important and powerful part of your prevention strategy.
The final defensive step you need to take is ensuring you always have a data backup. In this way, should something penetrate your defences, and corrupt your data, you can always roll back to a ‘clean’ copy.
Get Support will be able to help you set up a suitable data backup routine that protects your data against theft and infection. We’ll also help you through the process of restoring your data should the worst actually happen. Just give the team a call today.
If you have any questions or queries at all, get in touch with the team now on 01865 594000.
The revelations last week about Heartbleed, a security flaw in common website protection mechanisms, has caused shockwaves across the Internet. Many experts (including ourselves) are advising web users to change sensitive passwords immediately because they may have already been stolen by hackers.
Here are a few tips to improve password security to protect yourself in future.
Believe it or not, but some people choose the silliest, and therefore easiest to hack passwords. The most common passwords in circulation are ‘123456’, ‘password’ and ‘qwerty’, all of which are easily guessed. Other examples include the names of spouses, children or pets – again easily guessed and therefore insecure.
The key to a good password is choosing one that is at least eight characters long and includes upper and lowercase letters and numbers. For increased security you should avoid using dictionary words – “real” words – in favour of random looking groups of letters. It is however very important that you choose a password you can remember without writing it down anywhere.
However, for maximum password security, you must not use the same passphrase for every website – if someone manages to get hold of your password, they could then access all your online accounts and you would be no better off.
Having said that, the use of similar passwords is perfectly acceptable, so long as you take care to keep them safe in your memory.
Once you have settled on a password, there are still some things you need to do to keep it safe:
Remember that you will need to apply these same principles to every password for every website.
The Heartbleed security flaw continues to be a major problem for many websites, so it is very important that you change your passwords now. Using the tips above you should be able to create strong passwords that are much harder for criminals to ‘break’, giving you an additional layer of security.
As always, you should give the Get Support team a call on 01865 594000 if you need assistance with passwords, or would like further advice on keeping your mobile workforce secure when connecting to the office network via public WiFi.
Chances are that you got up this morning to news of “Heartbleed”, a serious flaw affecting millions of websites across the world. You may have even received a number of emails from various online service providers telling you that they have successfully patched their servers to correct the problem.
But what is Heartbleed?
To keep your sensitive information (like credit card numbers and address details) safe from criminals, website operators typically encrypt data as it passes over the Internet. Your web browser establishes a secure connection to the website using a technology called Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) – you should see a padlock icon in the address bar of your browser when communicating via SSL.
The SSL connection acts like a secure pipe between your computer and the website, so that should someone successfully intercept your web traffic, they will not be able to read it. Your data remain safe whilst in transit.
The Heartbleed problem is caused by a flaw in the software that many websites use to create SSL connections. Although the encryption works flawlessly, there is a problem with the way that unencrypted data is stored on the website, potentially leaving it open to theft by cybercriminals.
Perhaps most concerning is that although the Heartbleed vulnerability has only just become common knowledge, the flaw has been installed on millions of websites for up to two years already.
Among the sites identified as having problems were Google, Facebook, Tumblr, Yahoo and Gmail.
Ultimately, responsibility for patching the OpenSSL flaw lies with website operators, many of whom have been working around the clock to fix problems.
However due to uncertainty about just how long many of these websites have been exposed means that some of your account data could already be compromised. As a result, Get Support are advising all of their customers and blog readers to change their website passwords immediately.
Although many website operators have been admirably open about problems they have encountered, some have refused to comment about whether they have been affected or not. Apple, Ebay and Evernote are among the organisations remaining tight-lipped about whether their clients have been affected.
Microsoft do not use OpenSSL for Office 365. This means that Office 365 users have nothing to worry about because data stored in Office 365 accounts has never been exposed by the Heartbleed vulnerability. It’s also good news for those businesses using Small Business Server on-site, they are unaffected. However if you have used the same password for Office 365 or your Office network that you use for other websites that may have been compromised, then we recommended changing your password and suggest not sharing passwords between websites and / or your office network.
If you are concerned that your business may have been affected by the Heartbleed flaw, or need assistance with securing your company website and network, give the Get Support team a call now on 01865 594000.
A Luton man has been convicted of unfair trading by using a scam technique to sell people computer software that was available for free. Mohammed Khalid Jamil received a four month suspended prison sentence, a £5000 fine and was ordered to pay £5665 compensation to his victims and £13,929 in legal costs.
Jamil is believed to be the first person convicted of operating the “Microsoft Scam” in the UK.
There are a couple of variations on the Microsoft scam, but they all operate in virtually the same way:
Once the scammer has gained control of your computer, they can then perform all manner of activities including:
Because there are common factors involved in the various Microsoft scams, there are some things to look out for:
Scam callers are always quite pushy, and will try and fluster you into doing as they say. By talking urgently, they will try and convince you that the “problem” is extremely serious and needs to be dealt with immediately.
If you think you receive a call that you think is suspicious, the easiest solution is to simply hang up immediately. Remember that Microsoft cannot tell if your computer has problems or not. Do not under any circumstances carry out their instructions.
Instead you should contact Get Support for further advice. Our team of trained and trusted technical consultants will be able to help you confirm whether your computer really does have a problem. Get Support customers should also be aware that as part of their support agreement, our daily proactive monitoring services will often identify issues, allowing us to fix them long before you become aware of a problem.
If you are in any doubt at all about the security of your computer or have received a call claiming to be from Microsoft, give us a call now on 01865 594000.
Google made headlines around the world last week after slashing the costs of online file storage using their Google Drive product. For as little as $1.99 per month, users can now buy 100GB of Cloud storage for their files.
With prices like that, Google Drive is a no-brainer right? Actually, maybe not.
Google offers a number of useful tools and services either completely free, or at a very small cost. They pay for these loss-leading services by generating a detailed picture of their customers that can then be used to sell highly targeted advertising by marketers.
Under the general Google Terms of Service (which everyone agrees to when they sign up for a Google account), any files stored in the Google Drive or Apps services can be accessed by the company to “improve our Services, and to develop new ones”. For consumers, these terms may be perfectly acceptable. For businesses however, there may be significant implications.
Google is keen to stress that the Intellectual Property rights to any files stored in Drive remain your forever. However using Google Drive means that all users, including businesses, grant Google a license to:
“use, host, store, reproduce, modify, create derivative works […], communicate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute such content.”
On the plus side, businesses signing up for a paid Google Apps account are promised “confidentiality” for their data in a supplementary agreement. The two different agreements seem to contradict each other, adding an unwelcome layer of ambiguity into the mix.
Which terms of service override the other? Are the Apps for Business terms supplemental or do they take precedence? Just how much of your rights are you signing over when you sign up? The only thing that is clear is that users of the free Google services, including businesses, can have no expectation of privacy.
With so many unanswered questions, Google Apps could actually become a legal minefield for business users and their clients.
Microsoft Office 365 on the other hand is much more straightforward. At no point does the OneDrive Terms of Service grant Microsoft permission to distribute their customers’ content for instance.
“3.3. What does Microsoft do with my content? When you upload your content to the services, you agree that it may be used, modified, adapted, saved, reproduced, distributed and displayed to the extent necessary to protect you and to provide, protect and improve Microsoft products and services. For example, we may occasionally use automated means to isolate information from email, chats or photos in order to help detect and protect against spam and malware, or to improve the services with new features that makes them easier to use. When processing your content, Microsoft takes steps to help preserve your privacy.”
By having a clear definition of what Microsoft will and will not do with your company data, you can move forward confidently with Office 365.
The Google Terms of Service prove just how important it is to check what you are agreeing to when signing up for a service – especially one offered for free. This is doubly true when considering that Microsoft’s Office 365 service, and accompanying OneDrive file storage solution, do not require users to hand over access rights to their content. Additionally data deleted from OneDrive stays deleted – Microsoft does not retain any copies for their own use.
From a business point of view, Microsoft Office 365 is a far safer choice for businesses looking to take advantage of Cloud-based productivity software.
If you would like to know more about the advantages offered by Microsoft’s Cloud services, give Get Support a call today on 01865 594000.
After nearly 14 years of service (and three replacement operating system releases), Microsoft is finally pulling the plug on Windows XP. From April 8th Microsoft will no longer offer support for the operating system, leaving millions of businesses across the world at risk of significant risk of data loss or cybercrime.
You probably never deal directly with Microsoft, so why does this announcement affect you? Because once the “extended support” period ends on April 8th, Microsoft will no longer provide any updates or security patches for Windows XP. The operating system will be officially retired and no further work will be done to secure or improve it.
With less than three weeks until XP becomes unsupported, businesses have a very narrow window of opportunity to get their affairs in order. Here are the steps you need to take as a matter of urgency.
Microsoft has been releasing service packs, updates and patches for years now and it is critical that all of your business (and home) machines are fully up-to-date. Use the Windows Update tool to get your machines fully patched and up to date, to make sure you get the benefits of the updates available.
The end of support means that security “holes” in Windows XP will not be patched after April 8th. Security experts believe hackers and virus writers will then deliberately target Windows XP machines because they are more vulnerable to attack. Ensure you have a reputable antivirus solution installed and running on all of your computers now. Make sure that your computers are set to collect antivirus updates automatically to reduce the chance of acquiring a malware infection in between software upgrades.
Sticking with XP after April 8th is not a sensible proposition because it places your corporate data in danger of loss, theft or corruption – could your business really afford the downtime? Instead you need to begin working on their plans to upgrade to a new version of Windows as soon as possible. In many cases this will mean upgrading computer hardware to fully support the resource demands of Windows 8.1.
Obviously a company-wide system upgrade may involve significant capital expenditure, but it is important to get planning and budget sorted out as quickly as possible. The new features of Windows 8.1 provide additional security for company data, along with tools to improve productivity, helping to repay some of the investment in upgrading.
These three steps should help keep any XP computers you have running relatively smoothly for now. You must remember that these guidelines are just a temporary measure, buying you some time until an upgrade to a new version of Windows can be performed.
If you need help getting your legacy Windows XP PCs into shape before April 8th, or would like to discuss the upgrade options available, give the Get Support IT Services team a call today on 01865 594000, drop us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or fill in the form.
A story has just broken that LinkedIn has been hacked and a file posting some (6.5 million) users passwords in encrypted form have been posted on a Russian web forum.
This isn’t as bad as the passwords being in plain text but that can still be decrypted / guessed by hackers.
Linked in has not been able to confirm or deny that this information is correct. According to @LinkedIn “Our team is currently looking into reports of stolen passwords. Stay tuned for more”
What this means is that your password for Linked in may not be safe.
If your password is in the list that's been published and it's decrypted, someone may gain access your linked in account. Worse still, if you have used your LinkedIn password elsewhere, those accounts could be at risk too.
Our advice is to change your Linked In password and if you are using the same password on other websites to change those too.
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Claire Moloney, Pink and Black Property Consultants
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