Computer Support for Northumberland
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Read All About IT! Jan 2020

Posted on: 16th January, 2020

Welcome to Read All About IT!, the newsletter from Northumberland Computer Support.

This informative bulletin will be published monthly, (or less), with the aim of keeping you up to date with the world of computers.

You can, of course, unsubscribe at any time that you wish, but I hope that you enjoy reading it, and that you forward a copy to your friends.

Add us to your Safe Senders list, to be sure that this important email doesn’t end up in Spam!

Christmas is coming!

Happy New Year!

As this Blog has mentioned before, Microsoft are withdrawing support for Windows 7 next week. And, as we expected, many IT Support companies are trying to get their clients to panic buy upgraded PCs. But, this isn’t at all necessary. 

Yes, Microsoft will no longer be producing security patches for Windows 7, but, quite frankly, any vulnerabilities in Windows 7 are likely to have been found, exploited and patched long ago.

This isn’t to say that you should be complacent about your Windows 7 PCs. The very fact that a PC is running Windows 7, or even Windows 8, gives away its age. And it’s too old to be running efficiently or cost-effectively any more.

So what to do? With only 350 shopping days until Christmas, you’d best start planning now! And here’s an idea for you. Budget to replace your oldest PCs this year, with the aim of upgrading all PCs that are over 5 years old, or not running Windows 10, by the end of 2020. Then you can put in place a rolling replacement programme to plan for 20% of all of your computers to be upgraded each year, giving you a 5 year cycle.

Modern, business grade, computers run efficiently for about 5 years, (laptops about 4 years). Upgrading them before their 5th birthday is good business sense. Old, slow computers are a huge cost to your business. Even a solid, robust, business computer will only cost around the £600 mark, equivalent to £120 a year, or £10 a month. The reduction in stress & frustration of fighting an old machine is worth way more than that!

Call us for free advice and a free audit of your existing computers.

Windows 7 support ends on 14th Jan 2020

Travelex held to Ransomware

It has been reported that Travelex – the global currency exchange company – is being held to a ransom of some £4.6 million by hackers who have infiltrated their servers and encrypted swathes of data. (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-51017852)

Ransomware viruses are used to quietly, but efficiently, encrypt all data on a computer. Only once all data has been encrypted does the Ransomware reveal itself, usually with an on-screen message informing you of the issue, along with details of how to pay the ransom, in return for the decryption keys required to recover your data.

Not only global organisations are targets of ransomware. We have had clients with anywhere from 1 to 25 computers who have been affected.

The answer is not to pay the ransom! How do you know the encryption keys will be provided? 

Prevention, as always, is better than the cure.

Not clicking links in emails is a great place to start! Most ransomware comes via rogue links in an email. If you see a link in an email that reads https://trust.me how do you know where it will take you? Try clicking that link now and see what happens.

Please tell me that you didn’t just click that link! Never click a link unless you know where you will be taken to! Even if it does appear to be from a trusted source.

Clients that we have rescued from ransomware in the past have had good, tested, backups in place. The answer is to shut down the network and to rebuild each affected computer, to clean them of the virus. Only once the PC or Server is safely and cleanly rebuilt can it be allowed back on the network. Data from the last backup is tested, then restored to the computers.

Do you have a robust backup procedure in place? We test our clients backups regularly, to be sure that we could recover from a disastrous virus attack, or even just from an accidentally deleted file.

Call us to discuss putting in place a backup process, or to test your existing methods. Or simply reply to this email.

Have you tested your backups?

Northumberland Computer Support offers computer support to Northumberland.

We offer a better level of computer support to businesses, schools, charities and home users throughout the county.
We don’t tell you what the problem is. We just give you the solution.

Call us today on 01670 432 324
 https://computer-support.uk

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