Extortion Scam

Online criminals are attempting to blackmail unsuspecting victims by claiming to have used the victims’ password to install spying malware on the victims’ computer. The criminals claim they’ve recorded videos of the victim watching adult material by activating their webcam when they visit these websites. What makes this scam so convincing is that the email usually includes a genuine password the victim has used for one of their online accounts. We believe criminals obtain the passwords from data breaches.

What should you do if you get one of these emails?

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What’s in a domain name?

Stop anyone in the street and ask them what a domain name is and, once you’ve overcome the awkward exchange that usually follows when you accost a stranger in the street, they will most likely tell you it’s the url that identifies your website. In fact, your domain name is much more than that. It’s the signpost for any traffic, web or email, that’s looking for your servers and, for the sake of your business, it’s essential that it points that traffic in the right direction.

Most business owners know their way around domain registration these days. There are numerous vendors online who make it very easy for you to look up and buy a domain for your business and the cost is pleasingly low. But if you want your domain to really work for your business, you need to think carefully about the domain name you choose (for reasons I’ll go into later) and you need to look after it properly.

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Don’t be a victim: Common Internet scams and how to avoid them

Con men are nothing new. They’ve been nicking the tiles of our roofs since, well, since we started putting tiles on roofs. No matter how many people there are in the world, it seems to be a biological fact that a proportion of them will be inveterate scammers. But the Internet has given them the power and sophistication to pull the wool over people’s eyes in ever more dastardly ways.

Over three million scams succeed each year in the UK alone, costing an estimated £3.3billion. If this makes you feel vulnerable, fear not. There’s plenty you can do to protect yourself, as I’ll illustrate with the following long-established yet still common scams.

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In light of GDPR, is your data really secure?

You’ve updated your privacy policy, cleaned your database, maybe even appointed a Data Protection Officer. Great. That’s your GDPR compliance taken care of then.

But is it?

The real thrust of the GDPR is not so much how you go about collecting personal data but how you look after it. In view of this, a revised privacy policy is not worth the paper it’s written on if you don’t keep your data secure.

So how secure is your data?

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GDPR and your business: a quick guide to the essentials

Four letters that have been on everyone’s lips in recent months are GDPR, standing for General Data Protection Regulation – the EU’s new set of rules for protecting personal information, which comes into force on 25 May 2018. After that date, if you run a business or organisation that collects, controls or processes personal data, you will be required to abide by a significantly more stringent set of controls than the ones that have been in force since the last EU regulation two decades ago. And with penalties of up to €20m (or 4% of turnover, whichever is the highest), it’s not the sort of thing you want to ignore.

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Back up, update, secure… the Holy trinity of tech resolutions

What are your New Year’s resolutions? Improve your work-life balance? Worry less? Relax more? Good plan. So you want to make sure you’re not spending the year worrying about your IT. You can achieve that peace of mind by making sure you’re observing the three golden rules of IT: back up, update and secure. Make this your New Year’s resolution and it’ll be good for your business and good for you.

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Website Backups

In the past few months we’ve seen a marked increase in the number of companies contacting us about their website being hacked, often causing it to be taken offline by their web host or blacklisted by Google. These sites typically have some sort of content management system, such as WordPress or Joomla, which are far more complex in their structure and are not simply a number of pages sitting on a web server. This makes repairing the website or removing the threat considerably more difficult, and so the best and fastest resolution is to restore from a recent backup of the website.

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Windows 10 Installs Automatically

Windows 10 Installs Automatically for Windows 7, Windows 8

Happy using Windows 7 or Windows 8? You might not be happy much longer, because Microsoft has started installing Windows 10 automatically on Windows 7 and Windows 8 PCs. They have changed the status of Windows 10 to a “Recommended” upgrade in Windows Update, meaning for those of you who have Windows Update set to it’s default settings, Windows 10 will start installing by itself. To prevent it you would need to change your Windows Update settings.

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10 Things You Should Know About Windows 10

Windows 10 will launch on 29th July 2015

We’ve been reviewing it and, so far, we’ve liked what we’ve seen. We’ve been asked lots of questions about Microsoft’s upcoming release, so we’ve put together 10 Things You Should Know About Windows 10.

1. It’s Free!

Microsoft have announced that Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users will be able to to upgrade to Windows 10 for free within the first year.

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Beware the Crypto Virus

We’ve seen an increase in the number of crypto virus attacks recently. The crypto virus is ransomware: malicious software which holds your files to ransome. When a Windows computer is infected, it encrypts all your files and then posts a message asking for payment to decrypt them, threatening to destroy them if it doesn’t get paid.

Often these attacks come in the form of an infected email attachment which can get past the security suites (the antivirus signatures are typically updated a few times per day but the virus can adapt regularly so as to avoid detection).

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