Our Blog/Articles

6 Scams to look out for this Christmas

Putting up the tinsel is no reason to let your defences down. Knowing the methods that cybercriminals use can help you stay safe. Last year, according to the Centre for Retail Research, UK consumers spent almost £80bn at Christmas. A fair proportion of that money was spent online. Unfortunately, this means rich pickings for fraudsters, who like to make the most of the festive season by coming up with ever more ingenious ways to target consumers during the Christmas rush. So how can you spot the scams and, more importantly, protect yourself? Fake online shops As the retail rush ramps up, fake online stores pop up to prey on our desire for a bargain. Sometimes, these sites will be poorly desig

Why is my Computer so SLOW?

Woah, who slammed on the brakes? Your computer used to speed through startup and let you open almost everything at once, but now it’s struggling to crawl along! Everything takes so much longer or crashes without warning. Something isn’t right. If it’s gotten so bad that you’ve found yourself drooling over the idea of a new computer, even though your system isn’t that old, we’ve got some good news: you can get your whizzy speeds back with a little TLC. Computers generally start slowing down within 12 months, but it’s not because their parts are broken. And it’s not because they’re faulty. It’s not even because you have so many browser tabs open that you lose count. Slow computers have a numbe

4 Simple Tips to Keep Your Internet Banking Safe

Online banking has boomed in the past few years to become the new norm. Branches are out and apps are in. Half the time when you visit a branch, you’re steered towards a computer for a DIY transaction – with optional assistance. But is internet banking really safe? You’re always told to keep your financial details private, but now also to jump on board the online banking train – talk about a push/pull scenario! The good news is you CAN bank safely online with a few simple precautions. Always type in the website address Many attackers will attempt to trick you into clicking a fake link to your bank website. Usually sent as a ‘phishing email’, they’ll claim there’s a problem and ask you to cli

How to Make Your Photos Last A Lifetime (and Beyond)

Digital cameras are great, and thanks to smartphones, we have one with us almost all the time. We’re taking more photos than ever before, and building a lifetime of digital data. But despite the enormous value of these photos and videos, most people don’t have a backup. It’s time to shine a light on this essential task and make it a regular habit before those precious memories are gone forever. If you asked someone what possession they’d save from a house fire, most would say photos, and they’d make a point of grabbing a frame or album on the way out. But with digital photos, you don’t need a fire to lose everything, they could simply disappear in the blink of an eye with hardware failure or

Everything You Need to Know About Facebook Privacy

Finding the balance between Facebook privacy and Facebook fun can be challenging. It’s a double-edged sword that allows us to connect with friends no matter where they live, but it also publicly shares information that just a few years ago, we’d never dream of putting online. You can search for people based on where they went to school, town they live in, clubs they belong to, who they’re related to…but when is it too much? Your birthday is the first piece of info collected when you sign up, and it’s great getting birthday wishes from friends and family when it appears in their newsfeed. But while Facebook is sending you balloons and funny memes, your birthday is now public knowledge. It see

What Computer Do I Need?

When it comes time for the purchase of a computer, many people are at a loss as to what they actually need versus what some salesperson is trying to sell them. We want to make that process easier for you, so we will break down some of the basics in this post. For the purposes of this post, we will be focusing on Intel-based, Windows PCs. What Do You Want To Do? This is the first question that you should ask yourself. Determining what you are going to be using your computer for will help you establish a baseline for the specifications of new computer. Are you mainly going to be doing things like reading email, visiting websites (such as news sites, or Facebook, etc.) with maybe the occasional

Why Does My Computer Get Hot?

A common issue that many computers suffer from is overheating. As mobile computers are getting slimmer, there is less room for cooling fans or even just air to circulate. With desktop computers, more powerful processors and huge video cards are generating more heat inside the cases. In this article, we will explain just why your computer overheats, and outline ways to combat it! Laptops The industry-led trend for laptops is smaller, thinner, and lighter. At the same time, they are trying to seek more power out of them. Which, for the most part, is a good direction to go. Who doesn’t want the computer they have to charry around every day, to weigh as little as possible, but still be robust en

Phishing: What is it & How to detect it!

You get an new email. It’s from Paypal. It says there is a problem with your account. It provides a link and instructs you to click on it to “verify your login credentials.” You follow instructions, but when you enter in your username and password, it doesn’t take you to your account. It takes you to a fake (but mostly legit-looking) page, and now your info is in the hands of criminals. What just happened? It’s called “phishing”. So what IS phishing? (According to Phishing.org:) “Phishing is a cybercrime in which a target or targets are contacted by email, telephone or text message by someone posing as a legitimate institution to lure individuals into providing sensitive data such as persona

The Ubiquitous USB port: Explained…

Every computer has a USB port.  Most have 2 or more.  You use them for everything from attaching your keyboard & mouse, to uploading files from your flash drive.  They’ve become commonplace and taken for granted.  But do you REALLY know what USB is? What It Is… USB ( Universal Serial Bus) is the most popular method to connect your computer to various devices and peripherals. USB technology is supported by most of the major operating systems (Windows, OSX, and Linux) and some mobile platforms such as Android.  USB is a hot-swappable technology, meaning that USB devices can be added and removed without having to restart the computer. USB is also “plug and play”. When you connect a USB device t

Will That Click Cost You Thousands?

Ransomware has undeniably been the biggest security threat of 2016. No-one was safe. Hackers targeted everyone and everything, including home PCs – and they were astoundingly successful – costing upwards of £36 Billion for the UK  alone. Business is booming for hackers, with thousands of attacks each day bringing in an average of £640 per residential target. Perhaps even more alarmingly, the financial cost of each individual attack is on the rise – the more ransomware proves to be an easy earner for them, the more they demand each time. For a quick payday, some hackers offer to ‘rescue’ you from immediate danger – for a fee. One method is to trick you into thinking you have a virus that will

Why Your Windows Updates Are More Important Than Ever

In recent news, the ransomware WannaCry swept the world, knocking out computers in an instant. It hit businesses, government and police departments and of course the NHS hospitals in the UK. It was a mess! Affected users had all their files encrypted and couldn’t get them back unless they paid a ransom of around £300. This attack was particularly bad because it took advantage of a Windows vulnerability to spread itself from network to network. What wasn’t clear in the media though, was that home users were also exposed to the attack - but only those with a vulnerable Windows installation. One simple security patch, issued by Microsoft months before the attack was all it took to create a no-e

What’s a PUP? and i don't mean a puppy

PUP stands for Potentially Unwanted Program.  Broadly speaking, any program that is distributed as part of another but not needed for its functionality can be considered a potentially unwanted program. “A PUP (potentially unwanted program) is a program that may be unwanted, despite the possibility that users consented to download it. PUPs include spyware, adware, and scams, and are often downloaded in conjunction with a program that the user wants. How They Get You You want to download a specific application- so you click on the download link.  Up pops a dialogue box asking you to confirm that you want to download it.  You click “Yes”.  What you didn’t notice was that hidden in the small pri

Why Do Computers Slow Down Over Time?

Remember the awe you felt when you turned on your new computer and it loaded in a flash? Your computer was the envy of your friends and you weren’t afraid to bathe in that glory. Button on, ready to go, those were the days! After a year or two though, it doesn’t seem to be quite as zippy…no, you’re not imagining it. It really has slowed down, not just in comparison to newer models and your expectations…There’s a measurable drop in speed and power that has nothing to do with worn out parts. The good news is a little maintenance can have that baby cruising at top speed again. Let’s take a leisurely walk through the system and spot the culprits: Start-up applications: It’s super convenient to h

6 Brilliant Ways Managed Services Can Work For You

Wouldn’t it be great to know you could access the internet from every room in the house – including the outdoor entertaining areas? How about printing wirelessly from wherever you happen to be? Many homes are embracing the flexibility of having multiple devices and users, but with each new addition come increased headaches when trying to make it all work together. They know what experience they want, but actually assembling a complex network can be like trying to juggle a live, angry octopus! Most people don’t realise just how complex their tech setup has become. Ask around and you’ll discover homes commonly have 4 mobile devices, 2 tablets, a desktop or laptop, a printer…plus a smart TV, me

Commonly asked Questions and Answers (Q&A)

In this edition, we thought we’d answer a few of the most common questions that we get asked on a fairly frequent basis.  We hope this will help to answer any questions YOU may have, and fill in any informational gaps.  Let’s get started! Q:  I just got another virus! I have a free anti-virus program on my computer, so what’s up with that? A:  Well… first of all, it’s good you have some protection on your computer.  Unfortunately, nothing is 100% foolproof, and free antivirus programs even less so.  What you need is a combination of a solid, reliable, frequently updated retail anti-virus program, active malware/spyware protection AND modified online behaviour.  It’s fairly easy to avoid the

Internet Lingo 101: Cheat Sheet for Beginners

The Internet is growing and evolving so fast even the dictionary has trouble keeping up. Here are 12 suddenly common terms that are helpful to know. Browser A browser is a free piece of software that lets you view web pages, videos and other online content. It’s a core requirement of going online, as it converts the computer languages HTML, Javascript and XML into human-readable form. The most popular browsers in 2017 are Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox and Microsoft Edge*. (*Internet Explorer has been superseded and is no longer recommended due to security concerns) Email Electronic Mail (formerly spelled with a hyphen: ‘e-mail’) is typed messages sent from one person/business to another via

I’ve Got A Mate Who’s Great With Computers

Everyone seems to have a genius in the family or “that mate” who has knowledge of computers.  But how much do they know, REALLY? When a customer tells me “I let a mate look at it, and now it is worse”, I cringe.  I know that the mate has probably made my job harder and my customer’s bill more expensive.  You would not take your car to your mate to fix if he/she were not a mechanic, so why take your computer to a mate if they are not a professional?  When I say professional, I don’t mean they took a course in computers.  I mean they have years of training in the sector and have the credentials to back it up.  (Microsoft/Apple Certified etc. ) You Mates often download software that appears to

How To Spot A Tech Scam Before You Get Stung

If your computer had a virus, you’d want to know about it ASAP, right? Before your important files become corrupted, you lose your photos and your digital life is essentially destroyed. Even thinking about it is terrifying. Tech scammers know we’d be lost without our computers, and that we don’t always know what’s going on behind the screen - which is why they’ve been able to swindle millions from every day people across the world. The scam goes like this: You receive a random phone call from someone with a heavy accent (usually Indian) saying they’re from Microsoft, or an alarming pop-up appears on the screen, saying it looks like your system has been infected with a virus. To fix the probl

Quickly Become A Google Fu Master…

There’s one thing all teens can do better than adults – and it’s not Snapchat. They’ve become experts at quickly locating information on the internet. That’s Google Fu, the ability to use search engines to whip up answers and research faster than a contestant on a radio quiz. Level 1 Mastery: Tell it what you need Google is smart and can understand “conversational searches”. Let’s say you came across a great recipe online, but the measurements were imperial. Google has you covered. Simply tell it what you want to convert, and what into. [number] [unit] into [unit] Enter “6 ounces into cups”…and hit enter. Google presents the answer, already calculated – AND it includes a handy drop down to c

Welcome to the ‘Internet of Things’

You arrive at home, and the door unlocks because it knows who you are, sensing the key in your pocket. The lights switch themselves on, and your favourite music begins to stream gently through the living area. It’s already the perfect temperature, and as you head for the fridge, you notice an alert on the screen congratulating you on meeting your exercise goal today and suggesting a tasty snack. ​​SMLXL Okay, it sounds like a scene from a movie, but it’s actually a reality today thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT). Almost anything that can be turned on or off is now able to be connected to the internet. An entire industry has popped up to help users create a custom experience designed aro

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13, Heywood Street,
Brimington,

Chesterfield,

Derbyshire,

S431DB.

 

Shop= 01246 200214

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