Click Networks - IT Support Glasgow

Click Networks - IT Support Glasgow
Click Networks - IT Support Glasgow

Monday, 28 October 2013

Precautions against CyptoLocker and other malware attacks!

What can you do to prevent cybercriminals locking all your personal files and demanding money to free them?
A few sensible precautions will help minimise the chances of a CrytoLocker attack. So what are our top tips?

Back up your files. If you use an external hard drive, don't leave it connected to your PC unless you are backing up. Alternatively, pay for an online back-up service – but bear in mind you may still be vulnerable if your backed-up files are mapped as a network drive. Check with your provider if you are unsure.

Create files in the Cloud and upload photos to online accounts like Flickr or Picasa.

Switch to a spam- and virus-filtered email service. Google Mail, for example, does not allow you to receive or send executable files (that can install viruses) as email attachments, even if they are hidden in zip files. (It also does not allow you to send them).

Don't go to online porn sites, which are often the source of malware downloads. Take care when clicking on adverts; never open Twitter links and attachments from people you don't know or trust.

Make sure your operating system is up-to-date with the latest security.

Install the latest versions of your internet browsers and update add-ons such as Java and Adobe Flash.

Get reputable anti-virus software and ensure you update it frequently.

On Windows 7, double-check that you have set up System Restore points or, if you are using Windows 8, configure it to keep the "file history".

Act quickly. If you do accidentally download a dodgy attachment, bear in mind it is likely to take some time for the encryption to take place. If you immediately download and run an anti-virus programme, such as the free anti-virus toolkit available from Sophos, it could destroy the CryptoLocker before all your files have been encrypted – however, you will permanently lose affected files.

Encrypt the files you particularly want to keep private, such as documents containing your passwords or personal information, to prevent criminals from reading what's in them. Read this useful "Ask Jack" post on the Guardian technology blog to find out more about encrypting your files.

For more information on Malware attacks or anything you have read in this article please contact the IT Support Experts at Click Networks. Vist our website: or call us on 0141 530 9116 

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Social Media: How Much Do You Really Need to Invest?

Everywhere we look these days, companies are proudly touting their social media presence. Restaurants, car dealerships, ecommerce stores, even paid parking lots – they all want you to “Like” them, and are conceivably spending significant dollars to entice followers. But does social media make sense for every business? Can anyone afford to not be in the game?

The answer is mixed. Yes, everyone needs some social media presence, for reasons we’ll explore, but not every business should be required to spend a great deal of time or effort.

There are key aspects to the social landscape that all businesses need to be mindful of, or risk embarrassment or failure. Yet it seems most business owners think it’s an all or nothing cause. This attitude can waste precious marketing dollars, so read on to see where your business falls in the mix.

 Why Totally Ignoring Social Media is Dangerous

It’s obvious why many business owners would want to shut out the social stratosphere – it’s often filled with high-maintenance customers that only want to complain or score a discount or freebie. Yelp is a particular thorn in the side for many local entrepreneurs, but ignoring the complaints of the masses unfortunately does not make it all go away. Just the opposite, it sounds the alarm.

Let’s put it this way – if the internet has even a small smattering of complaints about your business that have gone unanswered, you’re in big trouble. Negative reviews can live in infamy for many, many years; like it or not, you need to have a staff member that is dealing with customer feedback. Don’t let the web engage in conversations about your company if you’re MIA. Be there, keep the record straight, make good on complaints, and be proactive about staying connected to your audience.

Need more incentive? If you don’t maintain a social media presence for your brand, someone else might do it for you, with highly damaging results. Just ask Exxon. When some clever hackers created a fake Twitter account called “Exxon Cares” this year, their lack of due diligence in watching their brand’s social presence resulted in a major PR coup. The hackers sent a gaggle of sarcastic tweets as a result of the Exxon Pegasus pipeline rupture. Because Exxon took eons to notice, the hackers had a field day, garnering hundreds of followers, retweets, and comments. It’s impossible to gauge how much this hurt Exxon’s image, or what it cost as they attempted to undo the damage, but you know it wasn’t cheap.

Finally, for the sheer sake of SEO rankings, you need to have basic contact and business information on sites like Facebook and Google+. Search engines are giving more and more credibility to social signals, and failing to have at least a minimal appearance can wreak havoc on your search results.
You know who would love it, however, if you did ignore the social space? Your competitors. If they’re working hard to build an audience of loyal customers, they would be honored and thrilled to steal your potential fan base.

 How Much Should You Spend? That Depends On Your Industry.

OK, so it’s clear that the head-in-the-sand approach isn’t beneficial regarding social media. This does not mean everyone should hire a full-time social media expert and go crazy on every single platform. In order to wisely spend your resources, it’s imperative you consider what kind of company you run, and the relevance of social media to your operation.

Let’s talk about some examples. Local businesses like coffee shops, restaurants, mechanics, dry cleaners – just about anyone who offers goods or services that customers regularly need or want, those folks all need a strong social presence. Non-profits are no-brainers too, as is any ecommerce site or fully digital business.

Who doesn’t need to go crazy in the social space? Folks that own niche businesses that customers only reach out to in isolated cases. Like paid parking lots, for example. Likewise, businesses that deal with the darker parts of life. Divorce lawyers. Government agencies. Funeral homes. Have you seen some of these funeral home pages on Facebook? One of them even posted a “business happy hour” (that has since been removed.) Seriously, do they actually think this will entice folks to choose their funeral services during a time of need? It’s bizarre, and frankly, more than a little distasteful.

Again, all of these businesses should absolutely have a basic social presence. The question is whether or not to invest hours and hours a month in creative campaigns and audience engagement. Divorce lawyers need testimonials, they need to be found on search engines – but they do not need to run social contests, to poll their fans, or to post content daily.

Social media is not, despite popular belief, free advertising. Creating a truly engaged and loyal fan base is expensive and time consuming. If it makes sense for your business, you’ll get lost in the media dust if you don’t jump in with full force. But be wise about your words and reputation, or your efforts may produce the opposite effect.

What kind of social media presence have you found works for your business? Have you opted for a “less is more” approach, gone all-in, or ignored it all together?

For more information on anything you have read in this article please call teh IT support experts Click Networks on 0141 530 9116 or visit our website here: http:/

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Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Windows XP support cut-off dealine looms!

Support for Windows XP will end six months from today as Microsoft tries to draw a line under its ancient operating system. However, firms of all shapes and sizes are still ignoring this looming issue despite the huge risks it will cause.

From 8 April 2014, Microsoft is ending all support for the platform, which will mean no more security patches or software upgrades unless firms pay for custom support. This has the potential to leave businesses open to attack on out-of-date and unmonitored systems.

However many firms have shown unwillingness to address the issue. Research back in April, to mark the one-year countdown to the deadline, revealed that over half of UK firms had done nothing to prepare for a migration to Windows 7 or Windows 8.

Microsoft said last month that it is finally starting to see businesses move away from Windows XP, but given that there is now only six months until the deadline it may be too late.
Adrian Foxall, the chief executive of application and software migration firm Camwood, which commissioned the research published in April, said any firm that has left it too late could face serious issues.

“Some of the really large enterprises are not going to be off XP in time and this will cause risks in terms of security and compliance, so they are going to have to get some sort of custom support," he told V3.

"However, that is not something Microsoft is really going to want to encourage or offer for all but the largest firms, so I do think we will see an acceleration in the next six months, but firms could still be left exposed for a while."

He added that given the short time frame it will be hard for firms to move their entire systems, so a focus on the most mission-critical apps is required. He also said it was unlikely that Microsoft will extend the deadline, especially as it has already done so before.

The issue of XP migration has also caused debate among V3 readers, with some saying they are still to move from the platform and are dubious that all organisations will be able to migrate.
"Still stuck on XP at work. Many modern programmes don't work with it, I think. No sign of Windows 8 on the horizon here either, only 7. Why?" said one. "The NHS is still using XP because the majority of medical software is old and won't work on 7 or 8," said another.

The huge user base for XP also means many in emerging markets are on the platform and will almost certainly not be able – or willing – to upgrade, which could also cause issues.

"XP has a real hold in India and I do not see those users giving up XP anytime soon. The reason is simple. XP runs on the lowest-powered PCs and laptops, and it is not broken, so do not fix it. Except MSFT [Microsoft Corporation] is now breaking it by not supporting it soon. The horns of a real dilemma."

Others have said, though, that firms only have themselves to blame if they have not taken the necessary action by now to move to a new operating system.

“XP is 12 years old. There have been three operating systems released since then. I have no pity for anyone still using XP. They have had plenty of time to plan for a migration to a more modern operating system,” wrote one.

“I moved from XP to 7, 10 months ago. It was an easy move,” said another.

If you would help advice on switching from XP to Windows 7 call the IT Support Experts at Click Networks on 0141 530 9116 today or email us at

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