Windows 10: How to check for updates

Click Windows flag in bottom left corner of screen then click on the cog
Click on Update & Security
Click the Check for updates button

Hackers are targeting your business right now

This is 100% true because they are targeting all businesses, all of the time.

Whereas once hacking was something done for the challenge and the bragging rights, these days it’s a form of organised crime.

Hackers use automated tools that are constantly looking for vulnerabilities they can exploit.

This is why it takes just one click on a dodgy email to let someone into your entire network.

To know what you’re up against, download our brand new guide: The 9 cyber threats you need to know about now.

We’re TKNOWIT LIMITED, looking after businesses in Malton, Ryedale and beyond. And we’re on a mission to educate thousands more businesses around here about how to keep themselves safe from hackers.

Cyber crime is the fastest growing crime to affect businesses. When you see what you’re up against, you’ll be better prepared.

Contact Us discuss in more detail.

Time to check your Apple is up to date

We are all familiar with having to run software updates on our Windows products regularly to remove vulnerabilities.

Apple’s Mac and iPhone/iPad and TV range are no different but many people have not been made aware or, in some cases, have been told they don’t have vulnerabilities or can’t get hacked. There have always been vulnerabilities but when it comes to hackers it’s often down to the analogy of shooting fish in a barrel. The barrel containing Windows fish is large and well stocked; until recently the Apple barrel wasn’t that well stocked – but now it is – for many reasons which this post is not focused on.

This week some vulnerabilities in the Apple range have started to hit the mainstream press and TV.

If you haven’t seen any of the news then here are a couple of links

SC Magazine https://www.scmagazineuk.com/apple-issues-supplemental-security-updates/article/1595054?fbclid=IwAR2-ReRzBjCNpCLErrNzLFtAiGgOtoKFjc6DNy2wuq7YwvIX7Yw_e4D4Hxo

BBC https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-49520355

The important thing to take from the publicity is that you should be regularly checking your devices for updates – even if the device is automatically set to apply updates. It can be several days between scheduled checks and your device is vulnerable during that window between the update been made available and your device applying it.

5 terrifying password stats

Are poor password practices putting your business at risk?

Our brand new guide tells you the shocking passwords statistics you need to know about, right now.

Read it here

Merry Christmas from tKnowIT

Seasons Greeting to one and all,

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all.

Remember to have fun if you can and avoid clicking on those phishing links and opening those ‘too good to be true’ emails.

Our services will be running over the holiday period and, depending upon which one’s you have, monitoring, protecting and maintaining your systems and alerting us to any problems.

Let’s make it a Happy New Year and not a Hacky New Year

Hope to see you all in the New Year

Cheers


Nick

the 2020 problem

Do you use Windows 7? Office 2010? Exchange 2010?

Millennium Bug, GDPR and now the 2020 Problem.

A number of Microsoft titles are going ‘end of life’ in 2020. Previously many people didn’t care about these things until the computer needed replacing and then buying the new version of Office, Windows, etc but, for businesses, GDPR now has to be considered and using unsupported software is frowned upon.

If you’re on an earlier version of window 7 and it’s the 32 bit edition you may need to spend longer making sure any programs you run are 64 bit compatible.

Office and Exchange can be replaced by Office 365 cloud version in most cases without too many problems

 

We’ve written a guide for you to download please check out our Make Sense of IT section on the website .

 

tKnowIT Padlock Dog

WannaCry – the public now know what ransomware can do

Disruption from Friday afternoon and over the weekend has been ‘unprecedented’. In the UK the big impact appears to have been felt by the NHS and this has brought it into the public domain with all of the associated press coverage. Ransomware should now be something that most people are aware of and hopefully they can look at ways to protect their computers.

The attack was not specifically targeted at the NHS and as the weekend rolled on and turned into Monday it became apparent that the attack was worldwide and included a number of US, European and Russian organisations and businesses.

Many commentators are suggesting the person(s) who launched the attack was an amateur but my response would be that this should be of great concern to us all if an amateur can get an attack to spread so rapidly and impact on so many machines. Also some are suggesting that the code of how to launch this attack was stolen from a US security agency (still think its an amateur?) and this agency had known about the security weakness in Microsoft Windows for some time but not reported it to Microsoft.

Microsoft did release a patch in March to resolve this but obviously not everyone had applied this to their systems. Security patches are important to apply as soon as possible but as with all patches they need to be tested before they are rolled out across all machines. Some people will still recall the days when patches often caused the Blue Screen of Death  (BSOD) making it more important to test every single patch but this is less of an issue nowadays.

tKnowIT Padlock DogThere are several things that can be done to minimise the exposure to attacks and the impact of them should they get through (and also reduce the impact of BSODs).

  1. Have a good Internet Security product. A managed one is preferable because then you can leave the settings, monitoring, etc to experts
  2. If it’s not part of the internet security suite then have a next generation ransomware layer of protection
  3. Automated patching of 3rd party applications such as Adobe Reader, Java, Firefox, Chrome, etc. To update them all manually or when prompted is too time consuming. Some 3rd party applications are essential for day to day tasks but they are the most commonly used point of entry for attacks.
  4. Patch Windows (and other operating systems) regularly. Check at least once a week, even if the device is set to automatically apply updates. Some updates require manually intervention, a bit of a push or several attempts.
  5. Have a backup or three. Make sure your data is backed up off the computer and/ or server. Ransomware can lock locally connected USB flash drives and hard drives making them useless to recover from so both local and cloud (offsite) copies of the data is recommended. If you can create an image of your entire computer then this also helps should your operating system be damaged by a virus, ransomware or one of those bad patches that results in a BSOD.

If you would like to discuss security, patching or backups then give us a on 01653 908069.

 

Be Safe

 

Nick Teasdale

 

 

tKnowIT Kangoo

Look out for the tKnowIT Renault Kangoo van in your area.

If you ever saw the Toyota Hilux a few years ago you’ll know we like to make the livery eye-catching. This time Gemma and Nick at Big Boolies have done the honours. After a chat about what the message should be they very quickly came up with a mock-up that showed that they had listened, understood and done their research and knew all about the wow factor.

The end for Windows XP

On 8th April 2014 Microsoft will end support for both Windows XP and Office 2003. Anyone running their business network with Windows Server 2003 servers should be already planning for end of support for this in 2015.

Windows XPWindows XP has been around for a long time and has been so popular that many users have stuck with it rather than moving to newer operating systems, probably because it was much more reliable than Windows 95, 98, Me (who remembers that one) and 2000 but also better received than its successor, MS Vista. Designed with internet and email access built-in, Windows XP connected with ease to printers, cameras and other peripherals and brought in new security measures for PCs.

If for no other reason, security should be why you replace your machine before April 2014. You will be familiar with the weekly updates your machine receives from Microsoft and many of these updates are to resolve security ‘holes’ found in the operating system. If you are running some internet security software this is unlikely to offer protection for Windows XP from April 2014 or shortly afterwards. This makes online banking and purchasing a very unsafe thing to be doing on a Windows XP machine.

Since the very unpopular MS Vista, and after listening to customers, Microsoft’s Windows 7 software worked with a much wider range of hardware, peripherals and software. Now Windows 7 has been superseded by Windows 8, designed to be easy to use on touch screens. This has not always gone down well with laptop and desktop users who have found it ‘long-winded’ to shut-down and some are annoyed by the ’tiles’.

Over the years Microsoft have released service packs to Windows operating systems which are typically a collection of bug and security fixes. Microsoft has recently released Windows 8.1 which could be taken as the first service pack for Windows 8 and reintroduced the Start button to make it easier to showdown desktops and laptops. Windows 8 also introduces and integrates more ‘cloud’ services.

So if you’re a Windows XP user where should you go next?

Jump ship from Microsoft-based PCs to Apple-based Macs.

Typically at the high-end of the price range of computers but users typically complain less about problems. You can also still get a version of MS Office for Macs if you need to create documents, spreadsheets and prefer MS Outlook as the email client.

Move to a Linux machine.

More difficult to source and more typically built by someone who is familiar with PCs and operating systems. They can work out to be fast and cheap.

Move to a Chrome machine.

Typically you will store everything in the cloud and rely upon a decent internet connection at all times.

Purchase a new Windows 8 PC.

Most computers in the high-street stores and online stores are still Windows based machines. Many of your programs can be reinstalled but also your data (documents, photographs, etc.) will be easy to transfer.

 

What if you’re an Office 2003 user?

You can upgrade to MS Office 2013 or one of the new MS Office subscription options.
Alternatively consider the free LibreOffice/OpenOffice Suites if you’re not bothered about Outlook for email and don’t need all the MS Office features but still need to edit Word/ Excel documents.

If you are a business user then feel free to try out one of the Microsoft Office365 options on a free 30 day trial or call tKnowIT to assist you.