4 Reasons to Use Managed IT Business Services

As a business owner, we know that you have other things to do besides worry about information technology support and services. You may even wonder what’s the proper way to go about managed IT business services. But as our dependence on technology increases, so must the way we approach IT-related issues. Read more

How Remote Support Services Can Help Your Business

How many times has an employee or coworker struggled with a computer issue that renders them unable to do their work productively? When a file takes forever to open or when the wireless keeps disconnecting, work can become nearly impossible. The way business is done these days relies heavily on technology working well and sometimes a computer problem strikes when it is least convenient. Leaving the office to have a problem with a desktop or laptop can throw off your entire schedule, not to mention cut into your productive time at the office. Read more

Ransomware: How Safe are You?

Cyber security hit the headlines again this week with several high-profile victims including the NHS having their data held to ransom with a demand to pay up £230 to get the affected files decrypted.  You can learn more about this attack here.

The National Cyber Security Centre is involved in the investigation of this case, but what are the implications for you?  What is ransomware and what measures should you take to protect yourself? Read more

What is Mobile Device Management?

How Can It Impact My Business?

Many questions arise when it comes to mobile device management. What happens if an employee loses their device or leaves the company? Is your company’s information safe, secure and backed up? Can employees work from anywhere at any time using this service? According to www.webopedia.com, mobile device management is a type of security software used to monitor, manage and secure employees’ mobile devices that are utilised across multiple mobile service providers and operating systems. With mobile device management there are so many opportunities to take your business to the next level. You have the ability to oversee company-issued devices and control how devices are used within your office. Take a look at the benefits of mobile device management and the reasons why your company needs it now. Read more

How to Maximise Cyber Security for Your Business

2016 saw the largest data breach in history. According to IdentityForce.com, Yahoo discovered a breach from 2013 that may have put as many as one billion Yahoo accounts at risk. With such big league companies falling victim to cyber security attacks, how do you begin protecting yourself? Though security software is always growing stronger and more protective, hackers are developing new strategies at a rapid pace, too. The best way to avoid a security breach is to plan ahead, and these tips for cyber security for your business are a great way to start building up your defence. Read more

Amazon Fire Sideloading

The Amazon Fire is a decent sub £100 tablet for many. But it’s limited by the Amazon Store.

A lot of users have bricked their Fire tablet (and warranty) trying to root it. But this is unnecessary as apps can be easily sideloaded onto the device.


First enable developer options on your Fire.

Settings > Device Options and then scroll down to Serial Number. Tap the serial number until “Developer Options” show up underneath.

Now open Developer Options and under Debugging turn on Enable ADB to allow installing the ADB USB Driver.

To perform ADB debugging on Windows, you’ll need to install the Amazon Fire 5th Gen SuperTool

Download and unpack the file to a folder, and then run 1-Amazon-Fire-5h-gen.bat

Select option 1 in the first and then the second screen. Hit any key to proceed with the install.

The Windows Device Manager will open automatically. You will find the Fire under Universal Serial Bus devices, right-click and select Update Driver Software. Choose “Browse my computer for driver software” and browse to the unpacked folder. Select the android_winusb.inf file, and click Open, then OK.

After this, return to the SuperTool and press any key to continue, followed by ENTER to return to the initial menu.

At the menu, select to install the Google Play Store and remove lock screen ads, press 2 and hit ENTER, followed by any key to confirm the conditions.

The program will go through four installation stages before your device is ready to be used.


How has your experience been with the Amazon Fire?

Android Phone Malware Removal

Computers and mobiles are always susceptible to malware and virus attacks.  However it’s not always necessary to wipe and start again.

You can use AV scanners like ESET to help prevent infections in the first place. But you can also set your device into safe mode to check what apps might be culprits – and uninstall them.

To boot into safe mode:

Press and hold the power button till you get the “Off / Reboot” screen.
Tap and hold “Power Off” till you get a prompt to “Reboot to Safe Mode”.

Tap “OK”.

Wait for the phone or tablet to reboot.  You should see “safe mode” in a corner of the screen to tell you it’s successful.

Now all you need do is head over to Settings > Apps > Downloaded to see what you have that should not be there.

If you identity the app(s), and on the next screen tap “uninstall” to remove. Simply reboot once done.

If the app still is not removed, then it likely has Device Administrator Access. In this case, go to Settings > Security > Device Administrators.

Locate the app and tap the checkmark next to it.

Tap “Deactivate” when prompted.

Now you can go back to Settings > Apps > Downloaded and uninstall the app.


If the device is beyond scan and manual repair then you can backup your data using applications like MyPhoneExplorer and do a full reset on the device.

Detect Hidden Cameras

Hidden camera’s can be a nuisance or necessary security measure depending on your view.

However, there is no law against being aware of them. Rather than buy an RF detector, you can use an Android phone and a couple of apps instead

The first app is the aptly named Hidden Camera Detector. It works by detecting electromagnetic fields.

The second app is Glint Detector. It works by detecting light reflecting from a lens.

Both apps are relatively straight forward to use.

Do you feel unauthorized surveillance is a topic up for debate?

Easy ways to reuse your old smartphone

As A Camcorder

Ok not exactly for your cheap smartphone. But you’d be surprise at the quality some medium to high end old phones can give when used as a camcorder. You may need to root with a custom ROM and install the Powerdirector app. But it can be better than leaving it collecting dust in a drawer.

As A Compact Camera

Smart phones can offer better battery life than most low end compact cameras. If you’re an avid Instagram type then this can be a a good way to save battery on your main use device.

In Car System

Now we’re getting into something far out. As using apps like Car Home  you can turn your old phone into a sat nav and more. You could also monitor you cars internal systems or as a dashcam using Car0 Pro.

In-car Entertainment System. 

Fitting out and ICE system can be costly. But using an old smartphone as a media server is a viable option if you’re not looking to fully pimp your ride.

Portable Recording Studio.

Not for all phones of course, but there are custom ROM’s and apps that will let you make and edit music on the go without carrying your DJ kit along with you.

Dictaphone/Pod caster.

If you’re into pod casting or even demoing your tracks then Soundcloud and Evernote can turn your old phone into an essential piece of kit.

Cloud/Digital Photo Frame.

Have a whole host of photo’s you’d like to put into a photo frame? Rather than buy another photo frame you can re purpose an old phone.   Apps like Cloud digital photo frame make the process easy.

Kodi Media Server.

If you have a medium to high end device, then you can install Kodi on the phone to use it as a full blown media server. Thanks to OTG cables, you could even turn it into a rudimentary NAS drive to stream movies across your network.

 Chromecast/Universal Remote.

The most common use for old phones is as media remote controls for Pi, XBMC systems and TV’s. Just download the universal remote app.  The IR equipped phone will be the most customisable remote you ever owned.

VR Headset

Can’t wait for the HTC Hive or the Occulus Rift to try VR? Then your old smartphone and Google Cardboard could be the answer.


Have your own creative uses? Share them!

Badlock: a chance to close the stable door before the horse bolts



As the Grand National weekend draws near, I expected to be drawing analogies between national hunt racing and IT managed services along the lines of planning, preparation and making sure your team is ready to overcome the hurdles and arrive successfully at the finishing post.

However we now find that we are bracing ourselves in anticipation of a new cyber threat Badlock.  We are in the unusual position of being aware both of a vulnerability and of the fix becoming available on the same day – Tuesday 12th April. Read more