Check your Cloud Storage

Increasingly I am seeing customers that are paying for several types of cloud storage, but really only need purchase one of them. Over a period of time, they just built up (the common reason I am told). Every provider seems to want to sell you their storage system, and they always offer a small amount of storage “for free” before asking you to pay for the full version! It’s so easy to click yes, rather than lose data!

Most people are now buying Office 365 Personal, Family or Business subscriptions (annually or monthly). We love to setup the Business 365 systems here at BCS. These allow you to install and run a local copy of Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Access). Did you know that Office 365 also comes with 1024Gb of OneDrive?

OneDrive can backup your desktop, documents and pictures folders automatically. Anything you save into the OneDrive folders can be uploaded and therefore available on the cloud.

If have Office 365, and you want to save money, install OneDrive, log it in, and use it to store the bulk of your data. You can keep the other systems, but don’t pay for them. Put it on your phone, and with the correct options, it can synch your photos too.

So if you are paying for more than one cloud storage, think about reshuffling and questioning whether you should. Always make sure you export the data out to a computer, and upload to the service you want to pay for, before cancelling the old one! Don’t lose data (contact us for support if you need help).

DropBox – one the most popular, great for sharing family photos. There is a business version too. Can be used to synch photos from your phone to your DropBox.

iCloud – sold to many clients who had an Apple device at some point. It used to be handy at synching photos, calendar and contacts. If you use gmail,, hotmail then those systems can keep everything. Maybe to don’t need this anymore.

Google Drive – Google’s version, allows editing to be done in the cloud.

Matthew Clark
07966 497090

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Office 365 Blocking Sending my Newsletters

Microsoft have upped their restrictions on how you can send emails using their Office 365 system. They won’t document them, in case the Spammers use the rules to their advantage.

We used to be able to use the Office mail servers to send out newsletters, either using a simple mail merge, or using a tool like a CRM, or database. We’ve got clients using Encore (Estate Agents) and SFD or Exact (Dental Practices), who are now tripping the security systems and getting their accounts blocked.

All of these clients were also sending out mail notifications, for appointments mainly. No longer – Office 365 is detecting the email account you are using, and blocking it from sending or receiving. Your admin has to go to Security, and run the wizard each time to unblock the account.

The answer – from the Microsoft website – use a different service!

We’ve done just that for our clients. For a very low fee, we’ve set up a separate email service, where Encore/Exact/SFD can send the newsletters and notifications. This service is highly secure, and specialises in allowing this kind of email.

If needed, we can generate reports of success/failure of email delivery, statistics of when the emails were sent and so on.

If you need this assistance, please contact me below:

Matthew Clark
07966 497090

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Don’t Give Information Away

Be careful of all kinds of social media asking for various bits of information!  They seem innocent, but are they really?  Give nothing away.  Call the company direct, using their actual phone number, if you wish to discuss anything.

We’ve all seen these posts, often from your friends and colleagues who have already responded. What is your favourite food?  What was you first car?  What sort of pet did you have growing up?  Who is your football team?  Looks like your answers to the classic “security questions” setup on your accounts don’t you think?

Who do you think might be gathering all this information?  Everyone bad on the internet is looking for this information.

When mixed with what they can already gleam from your systems, and phone calls, they can put it all together and start to build quite extensive picture of your security.

Phone call.  “Good morning Sir, this is your bank calling”….”What Barclays?”……”Yes sir, it’s Barclays” and what ever other scam they do.

Email “Your password will expire, please change it here, or your xxxx will cease to work”

The classic, is the phone call with “Hi we are (name any company you might use), we have a wonderful offer, but before we continue can I ask you some security questions..DATE OF BIRTH, FULL NAME, FULL ADDRESS WITH POSTCODE, MOTHERS MAIDEN NAME.

Surprisingly, we can all give bits of this information away.  We might be expecting a call from our bank, or our phone provider, based on an outstanding issue.  The hacker phishing for information sometimes just gets lucky and emails/rings at the right time.

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Seagate Green Drives and Slow Dell PCs

Are you living with a computer with terrible performance issues? I have had a spate of such problems with fairly new PCs. Various Dell PCs have been sold to clients with the main (and only) boot drive as the Seagate Barracuda Green drive. The advice I have read is:

“Don’t use ‘green’ drives as your OS drive. They’re designed for slow long-term storage, not to act as your primary drive. In particular with the WD Green drives, they have a very short head parking timeout, which will cause stutters and micro-freezes if you use it as the OS drive.”

This is exactly what is happening my the Dell PCs (and others). At Bristol Computer Support, we have quickly duplicated the image of the Green Drive onto a Solid State Drive. The end performance is far increased. We’ve got special tools and software that will change sizes of partitions, and allow us transfer the exact image of your slow drive to a rapid Solid State Drive.

I also have left over a stack of barely used Green 1Tb drives!

Don’t put up with the slowness, get in contact and we can help.
07966 497090

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Still Using Office 2013 of Office 2016?

Microsoft announced in 2017 that it would no longer support Office 2013. All critical updates for 2013 products ended April 10, 2018. 

Please upgrade to the newer versions of Office. Bristol Computer Support recommend going for Office 365 Standard, where you will consistantly be upgraded to the versions as they are released.

Office 2013 client applications and language packs are no longer available from the Office 365 self-service portal and Admin Centre.

Microsoft no longer release feature updates for Office 2013.

You need to upgrade to Office 365 or 2019 right now.

Microsoft Office 2016 still gets upgrades however doesn’t work with Microsoft Exchange Servers 2007 or earlier.

The support for Office 2016 ends in October 2020.

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Password Manager

Why not use a password manager such as Dashlane. A really good tool, it helps keep your passwords strong, different and protected while allowing you easy access to the systems you need. It will even let you know if your passwords/systems have been compromised and recommend changing them. Bristol Computer Support Limited#cybersecurity #datasecurity #security

Dashlane Password Manager

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Really Annoyed – Scammer has targeted my client!

One of my clients, based in Bristol, is in his 80s. He was having some issues with TalkTalk – the line wasn’t so good or something. About the same time, a call came in, claiming to be from TalkTalk. They were offering to help, and they convinced my client to type a few things into his PC. It turns out, it was TeamViewer being installed.

They got him to reveal the codes and passwords, and quickly remoted in. While they were in, and this is another clever bit, they had my client writing down several long numbers and letters – made up – just to distract him from what they were attempting to do.

Part way through, luckily, he became suspicious and turned his PC off. They were not happy. They tried everything to get him to switch it back, sometimes becoming angry and aggressive on the phone.

We’re not sure which country the call centre was from, my client thought they sounded from India or Bangladesh, but that could be from many different countries.

Is enough being done to stop this? I don’t think so. If anything it’s getting worse.

I advise my clients to trust no-one who calls. Wait several days, and then if you think there is an issue or a need, call the company direct. By then you will have really thought about that call, and what was said. You will realise it was a scam, or will call the correct number and get to the bottom of it. The same can also be said about emails that come.

We’re forced to have quite a cagey/guarded mindset on the phone, and with email. It is because there are so many scams going on. They prey on the older generation who tend to want to be polite and are not used to this happening.

Once, on my mobile, O2 “called me”.
“Hello Mr Clark.”
“Hello”, I said.
“So we can confirm it is you Mr Clark, what is your date of birth?”
“My date of birth, I said, you have to be joking. You called me, I know who I am….who are you?”
“O2”, they said.
“Well how to do I know?”, said I.
I asked them what it was about, and they could not tell my until I gave my DOB.
At this point I ended the call.

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Shredding data before you give your PC away…

Your old PC was full of your data.  Maybe you had all your family photos, a copy of your passport that you scanned in when you bought your flat?  You might have an excel file with your pension details?  List goes on.

So when it comes round to getting a new laptop or desktop, you might want to give your old one away.  A family member/friend or perhaps a charity could benefit.  You delete all your files – OR HAVE YOU?  There are many methods of reading a drive and recovering the data.  Only the criminals are really interested – but with some key information, they could make your life very complicated.  It might even cost you some money.

One service we offer is to move you from one PC to another.  When you are happy that you have all your data – we can SHRED the remaining drive/space so that nothing can be got back.  If they scan your system – nothing, it’s been written over.

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Sony Bravia TV

Helped a client recently with a TV issue.

The Sony Bravia was setup using WiFi, but the iPlayer was forever pausing and stuttering on playback.  The router was close, just one wall away.  First thing, we hard wired the TV with an Ethernet lead and reset the network wizard.  Tested, got the same “infinity circle” between sporadic video playback.

Then we downloaded an uptodate firmware.  The automatic download said it was “uptodate” but there was a newer version on the internet.  We downloaded it and copied over to an USB stick.

Once we had upgraded it, and iPlayer still did exactly the same.  Back to the shop for a replacement!!

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Office365 SMTP Settings

Office365 SMTP Settings

My company uses Office 365 for many things, but mainly email.  We, and many clients use other software, such as Encore for Estate Agents, accounts packages, marketing databases etc.  I use QuickFile for accounts.  We want to send out email using our normal business email addresses, but it always gets marked as spam.

The way round this is to use Microsoft’s Office 365 smtp servers to send your email, using your Office 365 username (email address) and password.  That way your email is sent using the correct SMTP servers. Email sending

To send emails using Office365 server enter these details:

SMTP Host:
SMTP Port: 587
SSL Protocol: OFF
TLS Protocol: ON
SMTP Username: (your Office365 username)
SMTP Password: (your Office365 password)

For WordPress look to tools like this one…

Post SMTP Mailer/Email Log

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