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 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

Benefits of SDD over Traditional HDD

Benefits of SDD over Traditional HDD

Choosing between SSD and HDD is one of the toughest debates that has been going on for a long time now. After all, a hard disk is just a hard disk, right?

Absolutely wrong!

While a hard disk is used to store the data of your computer until recently hard disk drive (HDD) dominated the market for computer storage. This was primarily because they were affordable large storage capacity at comparatively low prices. But with the advent of solid state drive (SSD) in the recent years, there has been a remarkable trend shift in the flash-based storage technology.

An SSD does virtually everything a hard drive does but the data is stored on interconnected flash memory chips that retain data even when there is no power present much like the USB stick.

The SSD vs. HDD debate, here are some benefits of SSD and why they are a better choice.

  1. An SSD consumes less power than an HDD because it has no moveable parts: HDD relies on the movement of the magnetic disk to function. This makes it energy efficient and reduces the tendency of the system to overheat.
  2. SSD is faster than HDD: An SSD is about 25 to 100 times faster than an HDD. This in effect results to faster boot time, faster file transfer, greater bandwidth for enterprise computing, faster processing speed and launch among other benefits. 
  3. An SSD is much more compact than an HDD: They are also more durable than HDD as well as charge less maintenance because they don’t have moving parts.
  4. It is noise-free: SSD have no rotating metal disk, so no sound is made while it is functional. HDD’s are quite renowned for the humming sound that they make due to the rotation of the magnetic disk.
  5. An SSD is much more durable than HDD: Since it has no movable parts it is resistant to drops and shudders which will most definitely affect an HDD because it has movable parts.
  6. SSD are not susceptible to fragmentation: What’s fragmentation? When large files become scattered in the drive because it is becoming filled up with data, it’s known as fragmentation which can make you frustrated and confused. Thus, SSD helps you keep your PC or laptop clean and organised.

However, when it comes to price and storage space the traditional hard drives have the advantage. You can rarely find an SSD with 4TB storage at the moment also SSDs are more expensive compared to HDDs currently.

Benefits of Upgrading to SSD vs. Buying a New Computer

Buying a new computer system is not always the best option out there when there are hardware and software components to upgrade your system.  You can make your computer new again by simply upgrading it.

When you decide whether you should upgrade your drive to SSD or buy a new system, we suggest you consider the following benefits of an upgrade:

  • It is a cheaper option to get your system up and running optimally than to get a new computer. It definitely costs less to get an SSD than it is to get a new computer system. Besides new computer systems are made every now and then with different and better features, how often would you keep buying new computer systems?
  • You have more options when it comes to upgrading to SSD than buying a new system. Upgrading to an SSD gives you the option of choosing the amount of space you would need. Buying a new system limits that option. With a new computer, you get what is pre-installed.

The price of SSDs have recently decreased significantly due to a worldwide shortage of memory. The reduction has led to an increased demand for solid state drive with retailers complaining of not being able to meet demands for SSD.

 

Should I upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10?

Should I upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10?

Microsoft’s announcement of discontinuing support for its 9 years old desktop OS Windows 7 in 2020 has left its users concerned and apprehensive. But you can easily upgrade to Windows 10 now and forego its Start menu tile appearance too.

Read on to find out how.

Windows 7 without any doubt was an iconic update after Windows XP. Its popularity was proved by the large market it had gained.

As shown in the data collected by the California based internet data analytics firm, Net Applications, Windows 7 still continues to be heavily used around the world. It was still running on 50% of all PC’s four years after the launch of Windows 8.1. Its love, admiration and acceptance were characterised by its new features, compatibility, easiness-to-use and affordability.

But we cannot neglect the growing cyber threats and technological frauds occurring all over the globe. In the light of this Markus Nitschke, Head of Windows at Microsoft Germany passed on a statement quoting “Windows 7 is slowly advancing in years. Already, it neither fits the requirements of the users of modern technologies nor meets the high-security requirements of IT departments. As earlier with Windows XP, we recommend that companies should take early steps to avoid future risks or costs.”

Hence, the need to upgrade to the powerful Windows 10 operating system software, which is the deep-dive approach by Microsoft to counter all the limitations of previous versions. Keeping in mind all the needs, wants and feedback surveys, Windows 10 is a power-packed system for its users.

To easily list down the 10 core values incorporated in Windows 10, here’s the list of major advancements –

  • Free new feature updates of Windows 10
  • The new Windows assistant, Cortana
  • Ensuring compatibility to Tablet mode through Continuum
  • A lucid way of listing Notifications in the Action Center
  • Snap View for higher productivity
  • Greater security on log-in via Windows Hello
  • Compatibility with Xbox One game streaming
  • Simple ways for Storage Management
  • Settings App having both the features of Settings as well as Control Panel
  • The new Microsoft Edge web browser which is much more efficient than the older Microsoft Explorer browser

Last but not the least, the Start menu which had a bumpy ride in the Windows 8.1 update is totally revamped. The modified version of the Start Menu is a combination of the style of Windows 7 on the left side with options like Settings, Most Used Apps, Most Recent Apps and Power options.

Whereas, on the right side there are the Live Tiles from Windows 8.1 which can be resized, bringing best of both the worlds.

For some who still find the new Start Menu of Windows 10 a hassle, there are customised third-party solutions to help you with your customisation.

Classic Shell’ is one such software which helps improve productivity through customisation of the Start menu. It can be completely personalised to suit your requirement with multiple style and skins. Moreover, it provides a quick access to key productivity enhancers finding documents, files, and folders to the frequently used and pinned programs.

If you are a gamer or tech-savvy individual, upgrading to Windows 10 will also give you access to some amazing graphics technology and other features. Transition to Windows 10 has already exceeded 53 million PC installs already, with less than a year and a half until Windows 7 becomes end of life.

Are you ready to join them?

Tips, Windows 10