Scams, Cons and Spam

  1. Scammers use email (spam), web pages, texts and phone calls
    1. Never trust anything that anyone sends or tells you over the phone
    2. Contact the company direct using contact details “not from the potential scammer”
    3. Login direct to the service in question – often that is how the likes of “Amazon/Ebay for example” will let you know of any issues
  1. Crypto virus’s
    1. Caught by clicking on hacker’s website links or from an email/spam
    2. They encrypt vital files or the whole PC
    3. NEVER pay the ransom – they want you credit card details
    4. Backup to cloud and/or hard drive
  1. Ebay – Selling
    1. Never just ship goods to an address “sent by Ebay email” often these can be counterfeit
    2. Login to PayPal – confirm payment and ship goods to the address listed by the client account.
    3. Never ship without payment first arriving
  1. Malware
    1. Sinister malware may well allow a hacker to see what you are typing or remote control to your unattended PC
    2. Some will divert your searches to their websites
    3. Most malware tracks what you do, slows down your PC and causes pop ups
  1. Fighting Scams/Cons/Spam
    1. Backup all data often, both to drive and cloud
    2. Buy a decent security package for all your hardware, make sure it updates and keep it renewed.
    3. Keep all your software up-to-date, apply all the Microsoft and Apple updates
    4. Sign up to a spam killing service
    5. Computer usage policy for work
    6. Website blocking (free for home use)
    7. Strong passwords, different ones for each service
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Did you upgrade to Windows 10?

Many of my clients took advantage of the free upgrade to Windows 10.  The problem is no-one seems to have created any “backup” media to help reinstall the PC if/when the hard drive fails or Windows needs to be reinstalled.  Let’s be honest, quite a few issues result in Windows being wiped and installed.

Image result for windows 10

I’m going around my clients with memory sticks, creating the media, and attaching it to the PC case or placing it in the laptop bag.  Otherwise – when it comes to re-installation, you’ll probably end up going back to your old operating system.  You may even end up paying for a new Windows 10 copy.

Matt Clark, Bristol Computer Support 07966 497090

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Why not have Two Screens Setup?

Why not let Bristol Computer Support set you up with 2 screens?  Most PCs already have the capability, and even if your PC does not – a cheap addon graphics card will resolve that problem!

(1)  It’s low cost, a typical screen is £80, plus a graphics card £35 and some labour to install.

(2)  Twice the desktop size – you can be reading information on one screen, while editing or designing on the other.

(3)  It’ll save you money – no need to keep printing information out.  It’s less expensive than buying one large monitor.

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Cyrus Lyric Music Player

The dreaded salesman strikes.

Just been on a call where I’m told the WiFi doesn’t reach a room.  I arrive on site, and that is not the issue at all…

There is a wonderful looking device called “a Cyrus Lyric 9″.  I connect the unit to the WiFi using the power-line connectors the client has already bought, and I prove the unit is now on the internet – it plays all the wonderful Internet Radio channels.

That’s not what the client was interested in.  He wants to play his iTunes and Spotify through this device – with no wires!  The manual advises you to copy all your files to a NAS drive or a USB drive – great in theory.  Normally iTunes has encrypted them because they are purchased through iTunes!

To play any music from his iMac, we have to download and install a 3rd party bit of software that makes the iMac into an uPnP server.  It still won’t play Spotify unless an iPad is plugged into it.  £1500 and the system does not do what my client needs it to do.

For lest than £50, I recommended a solution for the client to connect in a simple Bluetooth music device into his existing excellent Hi-Fi system, and from there he can play whatever his iPad plays.  He’s got to have his Spotify app installed, and his music on his iPad, but he can hold the iPad and choose his music without getting up!

If you want good common sense computer support, that can save you money in the long run, Bristol Computer Support Ltd.

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Spam email from someone I know…

A client just called me to say she had received an email from her husband, and was wandering how that was possible…he’s been dead for over 3 years.

Spammer systems are programs or “robots” as they call them.  These programs are able to “pretend” to be an email address, and they cleverly send the email to associated emails.  Have you or one of your contacts ever forwarded one of the those emails ending with “send to 100 of your friends, or have 7 years bad luck” etc?  These are just the kind of emails a spammer is looking for – perfect for this kind of scam.

So it’s probably not personal, it’s a clever computer program trying to trap you into clicking on a link or an attachment.  Not a lot you can really do about it, as this kind of attack tends to go through the spam protection systems, which is why the spammers do it.

Matt, BCS Engineer.

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Office 365

If you’re sick of deleting the same email on your phone, tablet and PC, then have a look at Office 365. I’ve signed up 10 small businesses over the last year, for as little as £3.10 per mailbox per month.

It’s a simple process. (1) I send you an email with a link to sign up with Microsoft. (2) I work with your website company to make some changes. (3) I help you upload your mailbox.

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Windows 10 – Evaluation

We’re just installing the new Windows 10 evaluation.  It was an easy download from Microsoft.  We chose the ISO image option, which we simply burnt to a DVD blank disk.

It looks pretty good.  The key thing is the start button, back in the bottom left hand corner, brings up a menu – a cross between a tile interface and the good old All Programs screen! Very good overall.

The graphics look even sharper.  We’ll add a few things and see how we go.  More info later.

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Islander Kayak

Many thanks to Bob Slee.  I just had a great tour of the factory that makes the Islander Kayaks. Based in Clevedon, Palm Equipment International create all kinds of kayaks, on site in a large factory.  ”Bob the Builder” Bob Slee made the ovens himself to create the kayaks from moulds also created.  Plus the clothing, buoyancy aids, paddles.

I’m now a proud owner of one of their Kayaks and can’t wait to get out and use it.  Thanks to Bob, who donated the prize to a raffle for the muscular dystrophy “Indian Banquet Night” held last week in @ Bristol.  I was the lucky winner!

I’ll aim to paddle below, but I suspect it will be drifting around near a beach for me this summer!

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External WiFI – weatherproof / waterproof antenna and access point.

BCS also specialise in outdoor solutions for WiFi.  One of our clients, a property developer, owns a group of properties situated around a main campus.  One of the buildings is a holiday cottage across the road from a main building.

We’ve developed a solution to give that building low cost WiFi.  We are going to connect an external WiFi antenna/access point to give the cottage access to the WiFi network, without having to pay for a monthly phone line or an ADSL connection.

The cable is weather proof, being external Cat5, and the access point is a sealed Power Over Ethernet device, so is powered from the main office.

If you need this kind of solution, please call to discuss….Matt Clark 07966 497090.

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Microsoft Quotes – can’t see where to get a quote going?

If you’re struggling to find your login to generate a partner quote or to carry out general admin on your account, then the URL below take you there.

https://portal.office.com/Partner/Default.aspx

Login with you first account, the xxxx@xxxx.onmicrosoft.com account.

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