Windows 7 End of Life Reminder

Windows 7 End of Life Reminder

What You Need To Know

The operating system Windows 7 has served us well for around the last 8 years but unfortunately Microsoft (the creators of Windows 7) will stop supporting it on 14th January 2020. This means that there will be no more automatic updates to protect these computers from hackers, viruses and other vulnerabilities.

How This May Affect You

The computer will still run, but it will become increasingly more vulnerable to hackers and viruses. Even if the computer is not connected to the internet, makers of software and hardware (like printers, webcams and MP3 players) will no longer support Windows 7. For some time now, Windows 7 has not worked on the latest generation of Windows processors.

What Can You Do

While some people may choose to take the risk of not upgrading to save money, the cost of recovering data from a hacked system, and then having to upgrade anyway will cost more in the long run. It is highly recommended to upgrade before these dates.

In most cases it is possible to install a new operating system on your computer, although we have come across a small number of older machines purchased before Windows 10 was released which have failed to install Windows 10, and the manufacturers have not offered Windows 10 hardware support due to their age. If this occurs the best course of action will be to buy a new computer.

In most cases, we would also recommend upgrading machines with an affordable SSD hard drive, which will increase machine performance and we can install and fit, and will be cheaper than purchasing a new computer.

Talk to us and we can let you know the best course of action based on your circumstance.

Office 2010

Microsoft Office 2010 (usually used for Microsoft Word and Excel) will also be discontinued on 13th October 2020 and should be upgraded for the same security and compatibility reasons.

Office 2019 is the latest version which was release on 24th September 2018.

Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2

Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2 will also become end of life on 14th January 2020. In the same way these will also have no more automatic updates to protect your server from hackers, viruses and other vulnerabilities. The latest Windows Server 2019 was released on 2nd October 2018, and no new main versions are due to be released now until after 2020.

We recommend that old server hardware is replaced with new hardware. If you are unsure if you have a server running these operating systems, please contact us, as we can provide a quote for a new virtual server system.

How do Customers Find you?

How do Customers Find you?

Ever wondered what customers search for to get to your website?

The BUZZWORD you may of heard of is SEO which stands for the search engine optimization. This is basically the words in which a potential customer use to find you and where about’s you appear on that list on a search engine such Google or Bing.  Did you know that over 3.5 billion google searches are made every day ! that’s a lot of potential customers wanting to find something out. The clever people at google use a special algorithms to rank the websites based on the users search and the content on the destination site but everyone wants to be at the top.

Keywords is the key?

So I bet your thinking how do I get up the top and improve the traffic to my site ? well the answers are not that simple but various tricks can help you gain more visits. It does involve a lot of research of your field but rest assured some are simple. One helpful SEO enhancer is called google trends, this website shows you what the world is searching for for example when i’m writing this blog the current trend is ‘Megan Markle’. This handy site is categorized into 9, ranging from music searches to news articles.

The second trick is keywords, this is the content on which you have on your site matching with the search, by having the same language as potential customers. In this example I search  for the word  “Chelmsford” on google trends, and from the image below you can see how many people have had Chelmsford in their searches and also it tells you the trending searches within the constraints.This is a great tool to find out how your business is searched for, or what the current trend is around a certain word.

 

Above are the results based on the word ‘Chelmsford’ people have been searching for in the last seven days. As you can see from the image that there is a box labelled queries, I find this to be the most helpful box because that’s the actual text  what the users a typing to find what they are looking for.

So what about us ?

To really engage with our customers at A PC repair I  engage google analytics, this is another handy tool by google to analyse your site plus its free ! This handy piece of software shows where you’re getting your traffic from illustrated below and you can set time frames. This tool allows you to really focus on where your customers come from , device they use and how long they spend on your site, giving you feedback that could help you gain more activity from your site through improving certain channels.

 

More information on how we can help your  business with SEO click here 

 

 

 

The Benefits of Using a Cloud Based Antivirus

The Benefits of Using a Cloud Based Antivirus

There are many benefits of using a cloud based Antivirus, this new system is making its way into commercial use with such programs as Panda to protect all devices from harmful malware and processes. Below are some benefits of using this technology to protect your business devices. 

What is a cloud based antivirus?

Cloud Antivirus is a solution that transfers antivirus scans to a cloud-based server, rather than clogging up a user’s computer with a complete antivirus suite. While traditional security programs rely on the processing power of a user’s local computer, cloud computing solutions install only a small program on a desktop, which connects to the security provider’s Web service. There, data from antivirus scans are analysed, and instructions for appropriate solutions are sent back to the user’s computer.

Some of the benefits of cloud based Antivirus :

  • Reduces the strain of the processor  By relying on cloud technology to process and understand  the scan data provided, a user’s computer only needs to scan its file system periodically and then upload the results. This dramatically reduces the amount of processing power needed to keep a system safe.
  • Works in real time – real-time data can be pushed to the desktop client, updating local blacklists (malicious files and sites) and whitelists (approved files and sites), rather than waiting for a user to perform a manual update or relying on once-a-week or once-a-month automatic updates. Cloud antivirus is often less expensive than purchasing a full software suite. All common antivirus features such as virus scanning, scan scheduling, reporting and file removal are a part of cloud-based antivirus offerings. The processing location is the only significant change.
  • More efficient – Each instance of the antivirus is connected to the central server in the cloud. Scanning and virus updates can be done in real-time and automatically. This, therefore, reduces reliance on users waiting between the time a security breach is discovered and when protection sent to users.
  • Antivirus is needed- Some people think they don’t need antiviruses because they’re careful online – the truth is that, while being careful online does help a lot, antivirus applications are an important layer of security. You could be compromised by loading a webpage in a fully-patched browser with fully-patched plugins if your browser or the Flash plugin has a zero-day vulnerability that isn’t patched yet. In other words, you can become infected through no fault of your own. Having a cloud based antivirus gives you that protection you need

What we use at A PCRepair.

We use software called Panda this uses state of the art technology such as AI and Big Data to really protect your devices against all threats. They only deploy solutions when processes are malicious and harmful to your device and clever enough to detect attacks before they even happen. For more information on why Panda can protect your business please call us 

 

August 13th is International Left-Handers Day

August 13th is International Left-Handers Day

 

Happy left-handers day!

Being a left-hander in this world run by righties it’s nice to feel appreciated. Did you know that the day was first celebrated in 1976, to promote awareness of left-handed people that have inconveniences of living in a predominantly right-handed world. It also is aimed to show some of the amazing abilities and products designed just for left-handers.

Here are 3 products specially made for the left-handers out there.

  • The common scissors – we all know from school if you had that if you had more then one child that was a lefty it was a long wait to use the only pair of yellow and green scissors available. The science behind the left scissors is so that you can see the paper you are cutting. The blades are just reversed for a clearer view.
  • Tin opener–  These specialised openers are fully reversed for the safe opening of tins. They have a  more comfortable grip and designed to be safely used by left-handers.
  • Left-handed computer mouse – this product is very good and actually works in a more economical way to help left-handers control the mouse on the computer better. gone are the days when you had to fiddle about and move the mouse to the left-hand side and hold it in a very uncomfortable manner.left handed mouse

These products are all available here at the left-handed shop.

so as mentioned above international left-handed day does also celebrate the abilities of the lefty community. Below are some amazing facts about being left-handed.

5 facts about left-handed people

  1. They make up to be roughly 12% of the population
  2. Are more likely to pursue creative careers
  3. According to one study, they are faster typers because on a QWERTY keyboard, there are 1447 English words typed solely with the left hand, whilst only 187 are typed with the right hand
  4. Famous left-handed intellectuals include Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, and Benjamin Franklin.
  5. Left-handedness runs in families. Lefties in the British royal family include the Queen Mother, Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles, and Prince William

If you didn’t know the struggles and strengths of being left-handed, now you know!  so if you know a lefty out there needing some help with computer accessories we could help and supply different solutions catering all budgets. Visit the link below to talk to our of our qualified technicians.

Contact us 

New Email Scam Uses Hacked Passwords

New Email Scam Uses Hacked Passwords

Recently many people people are being sent emails containing a new twist on an old e-mail scam, which could cause recipients to think the con is believable.

While the spam message has been around for some time (with some minor changes to the wording, spelling and grammar), the email now references a real password in the subject and beginning of the message that has been previously used by the recipients email address.

While this type of message is known as a sextortion scam email, the only item that changed in the past was the Bitcoin address that is asked to be used to pay the amount demanded. This new variant now begins with the line “<password formerly used by recipient> is your password.”

The content of the message is below:

Subject: <YOUR REAL PASSWORD>

<YOUR REAL PASSWORD> is your password and now Let me get straight to the
point. You do not know me whereas I know you and you are probably
thinking why you’re receiving this e mail, correct?

I actually installed malware on sex vids (sex sites) & guess what, you
visited this porn web site to have pleasure (know what I mean?). And
while you were busy enjoying those videos, your internet browser
started out working as a RDP (Remote Computer) with a keylogger which
allowed me accessibility to your display as well as your camera
controls. Immediately after that, the software obtained all of your
contacts from social networks, and e-mail.

What did I do?
It’s simply your bad luck that I got to know about your misdemeanor.
Next, I put in more days than I probably should have exploring into
your life and prepared a split screen sextape. 1st half shows the
video you were viewing and next half shows the recording of your
webcam (it is someone doing inappropriate things). Honestly, I am
ready to delete details about you and allow you to get on with your
daily life. And I am going to provide you a way out which will achieve
it. Those two choices are either to ignore this e mail (not
recommended), or pay me 1 BTC.

What should you do?
Let’s investigate those two options in depth. First Alternative is to
turn a blind eye to my message. You should know what will happen if
you take this path. I will, no doubt send out your sextape to your
entire contacts including friends and family, coworkers, and many
others. It won’t help you avoid the humiliation your self will feel
when relatives and buddies find out your dirty videotape in their
inbox. Option 2 is to make the payment of 1 BTC. We will name this my
“confidentiality charges”. Lets see what will happen if you go with
this way out. Your naughty secret Will remain private. I’ll keep my
mouth shut. Once you you pay me my fees, You can freely keep your
routine life and family as if none of this ever happened. You’ll make
the payment via Bitcoins

Transfer Amount: 1 BTC
BTC ADDRESS IS: <ADDRESS REMOVED>
(You need to Remove * from this address then note it carefully)

Note: You now have one day in order to make the payment. (I have a
unique pixel in this e mail, and right now I know that you’ve read
this mail). If I don’t get the BitCoins, I will definitely send out
your video to all of your contacts including close relatives,
colleagues, and many others. nevertheless, if I receive the payment,
I’ll destroy the video immediately. If you really want evidence, reply
with “yes!” and I definitely will send out your sextape to your 6
contacts. It’s a non-negotiable one time offer, so do not waste my
personal time & yours by replying to this e mail.

We have recently been contacted by customers who have received a similar email. In every case, the password shown had been previously used with an online account that was used with their E-Mail address.

It is likely the E-Mails are generated using automatic scripting, taking the email addresses (or usernames) and passwords as a result of a data breach from a popular website. There are a number of sites supplying stolen data that have listed usernames, email addresses and passwords stolen from data breaches. There are a couple of websites such as Have I Been Pwned which can be used to check to see if your email address may have been compromised in a known data breach.

While the senders could have obtained lists from multiple breaches, the only patten we have found so far was everyone was affected by the LinkedIn hack of 2012 where around 164 million email addresses and passwords were exposed 4 years after the data breach took place.

Here are some things you can do to avoid becoming a victim:

  • Never send compromising images of yourself to anyone, no matter who they are, or who they say they are.
  • Do not open attachments from people you do not know, and in general be wary of opening attachments even from those you do know.
  • Use different passwords for different services and change them or a regular basis.
  • Turn off and cover any web cameras when you are not using them. Some laptops have a tab which allows you to cover the webcam, and if it does not you could use a piece of black tape.

While most companies will contact you if your details have been compromised as a result of a data breach, there are also websites which list known breaches that can be used to check to see if you have used a service which has had a known breach.

Sextortion, even automated scams like this one is a serious crime and under no circumstances should you reply to the sender or send them any money. Further information on what to do if you have been affected can be found on the NCA Website.

 

 

Author: Steve Perry