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Don’t shoot your computer …

 

Have you been binge-watching boxsets over lockdown?  What’s your favourite?  Have you got a guilty pleasure?

We’ve belatedly discovered NCIS, with the dynamic investigation team led by Special Agent Jethro Gibbs.  It features stories, more often than not involving the mysterious death of a marine, in which NCIS (the Naval Criminal Investigative Service) are called in to investigate.

Imagine our surprise, then, when an episode strayed into the realm of cybercrime and hackers!  Gibbs has clearly never listened to a Computer Troubleshooters BNI 60 seconds, as his solution for stopping a computer from launching a deadly hacking attack on the Pentagon is to shoot it.  To be fair, he did try turning if off (but not on again) first!

If you are intrigued, you can see it for yourself – series 8 episode 16 Kill Screen.  Watch out though, you could find yourself hooked and there are 18 series of NCIS with plenty more spin-off episodes!

If you are faced with a hacker attack, don’t shoot your computers, call the Computer Troubleshooters!  You will need support and guidance to make sure that your business can recover from their crime.  Better still, consider implementing a plan to prevent the cyber criminals.  You can make sure that your systems are protected and your staff are trained to be on the lookout for suspicious emails.

And should you visit BNI, you can picture Gibbs’ solution to hacker attacks when you hear the Computer Troubleshooters’ catchphrase:

Don’t shoot your computers, call the Computer Troubleshooters!

The number’s 01732 300064.

Got a holiday booked? Watch out for dodgy emails!

 

You are bound to be keen to read some news that isn’t lockdown related, so today I am pleased to share with you the latest blog from our colleague Ian Bell at Computer Troubleshooters North Staffordshire.  Not good news, I’m afraid, but a timely remind to stay on our guard as the Summer season approaches.

Ian writes:

Want a distraction from concerns about coronavirus, remote working, furloughing and un-furloughing?

EasyJet have the answer. They just announced a massive data breach, impacting around 9 million users of its website. OK, that’s not the type of distraction you want, but it is a return to pre-coronavirus normality!

What does this mean for you?

First – find out if your email address has been included in a major breach and then become available for criminals to buy on the dark web. The Have I Been Pwned? site (yes that’s the right spelling) is the best resource to find this out. Click on the image below and enter your email address.

If you get some results back, your email address is affected. You should work out what password you used on the affected site and stop using that password. At all. Anywhere. You can also call Computer Troubleshooters for advice.

You cannot stop data breaches on sites you use, but you can limit the impact to you by using a unique, hard to guess password for each login. I’ve posted about passwords several times. I suggest you read How to Escape Password Hell and We need to talk about your passwords again! for some tips on how to make up a strong password you can remember. Both posts also recommend you use a password manager to help you deal with the hundreds of passwords we all have. We now prefer Roboform Business, but you may already know of Dashlane and LastPass. In reality, almost any reputable password manager is better than none.

If you are concerned about your cyber security, get in touch to arrange a free, no strings review. It can all be done remotely via video conferencing and remote support to maintain social distancing.

And there we are – back to mentioning coronavirus issues again.

For more excellent stories from Ian Bell, please visit his website.

Stay alert, control the virus, save lives!

Hacker attacks – think you’re safe? Think again!

Chief Miranda Bailey and her IT guy: Grey’s Anatomy

Ransomware at Grey Sloan Memorial: Grey’s Anatomy

Is it too late to wish you a Happy New Year?

As 2018 dawns, the time when GDPR comes into force gets ever closer.  You do know what GDPR is, of course. The General Data Protection Regulation will come into force across Europe on 25th May 2018, bringing with it stricter requirements for how personal information is handled.  You can learn more about it in our recent blog.

From the IT viewpoint, the primary concern is keeping client data safe.  We’ve just had a stark reminder of the fines that can be levied by the ICO in the case of data breaches with the announcement of the £400,000 penalty imposed on Carphone Warehouse – you can read more here.  Of course Carphone Warehouse are lucky that the GDPR-level fines were not imposed:  The maximum fines will rise to 4% of worldwide annual turnover, or 20 million Euros, whichever is greater.  

GDPR is not the only reason for keeping your systems safe.  Ransomware attacks are often in the news, and it is easy assume that only high-profile companies are vulnerable; in fact small businesses are just as likely to become victims to hackers.  The impact of losing access to all your company’s information can be devastating.  Just consider the number of transactions you make every day which depend upon being able to get hold of data held on your computer.

Until you realise the true scale of the disruption a cyber-attack could cause, it is easy to be complacent and give computer security a low priority on your to-do list.  This is why it sometimes takes a TV drama to hammer the message home.

In a recent episode of Grey’s Anatomy (Series 14 episode 8 “Out of Nowhere” in case you are interested in looking it up), Grey Sloane Memorial Hospital is brought to its knees by a hacker attackRead more