Are you confused about the various software packages that are available? Our consultants can advise you on the solutions that will help your business and not hinder it. We have seen many examples of companies trying to work with a package that is unsuitable for what they want , but they can’t afford to change it.
With Sycamore’s help you can –
Although we are not a software house (i.e. programmers – we failed the application process as we had a sense of humour!) we have worked on a large variety of systems including CRM Packages, Accounts Software, CAD/CAM, Security, Databases (all the way up to SQL Databases) and Software Integration.
It is estimated that an unprotected or poorly protected computer will be virussed in under 5 minutes when connected to the Internet. This can and will affect virtually every computer system in the world.
The only solution is to take the best precautions you can and we recommend Eset Smart Security together with software like Spybot and Malwarebytes for all round protection. You can have superb cover from as little as £40.00 for the first year.
Internet Security, Viruses and Spyware
Have you noticed that your computer may be running slower than usual or funny things seem to happen at odd moments – then you could have picked up a virus or be infected by some type of spyware, including Trojans, Hijackers and many more. Contact us for more information we can help with :-
- Norton or McAfee issues which can slow down your computer if not configured correctly
- Help provide proactive and reactive solutions to the problem
- Ensure that your protection is as up to date as possible
- Install and configure Protection Products
- Clean your existing systems – normally without any loss of data – the current record for cleaning a machine is one that had over 11,500 infections, whilst using a proprietary brand of Anti-Virus Software
Internet Identity Theft
The internet has become an increasing popular and convenient way for millions of people world-wide to run their lives. With online shopping, credit card use, banking etc on the increase criminals have tapped into this to commit identity theft crimes by stealing these details and using them for their own gain.
There are a variety of methods used by criminals ranging from using specialist spyware software that people unknowingly install on their PCs, e-mail ‘phising’ scams where people are conned into revealing personal information (especially banking information) and password stealing by using special computer software to guess a persons password. Much of these risks can be reduced by knowing what to look for, using the correct and up to date software and picking hard to crack passwords.
Phishing is when an email is sent by a criminal that looks like a genuine message from a bank, online trader or other legitimate organisation. The email says that you need to update your information and provides a link to do this. However the link, although often looking genuine, goes to a website run by the criminals who then steal you personal information such as bank details, passwords etc.
The best defence against phishing is common sense. Most reputable institutions do not ask for personal information via email so if you get an email from a bank etc. asking for personal information it is likely to be fraudulent. Often the emails are sent to people who do not have an account with that company.
The emails themselves are often superficially convincing but on closer inspection contain spelling errors or bad grammar. Likewise although the link provided may appear genuine it is actually to a similar sounding domain to the real company or uses redirection to take the victim to a different website.
Spyware is a type of software that gathers and reports information about a computer user without the user’s knowledge or consent. These can perform a range of different functions, such as causing unwanted pop-up advertising, tracking a users internet usage, logging keyboard strokes, steal password information and other private information, installing secret premium rate phone diallers etc.
To avoid spyware don’t install unnecessary software, especially from the internet as many apparently legitimate programmes contain spyware.
Always keep your anti-virus, firewall, web-browser and operating systems up to date with the latest patches.
Many spyware programmes specifically target Internet Explorer so switching to an alternative web browser such as Firefox can help.
There are software programs that can remove or protect against Spyware although no single application provides complete protection. Well established free removal tools include Ad-Aware, Spybot Search & Destroy and HijackThis.
AutoComplete is a feature of many software programs, including web browsers, that guesses the rest of the information being typed by the user, often based on previous entries. It can also remember passwords and other information.
There are also separate software applications, such as RoboForm, which remember personal information and automate typing it. Whilst this is obviously convenient and can save time there are associated risks, this is particularly true if you share a computer with others such as in an internet café or at work as other users can have access to your information ‘helpfully’ remembered by AutoComplete. In such environments ideally no personal information should be entered but if it is then either turn off the feature or clear the data, typically from a web browsers ‘Options’ menu.
Computer passwords are commonly used for email accounts, online banking, online shopping accounts etc. If an unauthorised person gains access to your password they can potentially gain access and use of all these resources.
Many software application have a default password when installed. Make sure you change these as lists of default passwords are easily obtainable by criminals.
Passwords can be guessed by specialist software so to make this much harder:
- Pick longer passwords, preferably 7 characters or more.
- Do not use obvious personal information such as mothers maiden name, birthdays etc.
- Avoid just using normal words, as computer programs used to break passwords commonly use a computer dictionary.
- Ideally use a mixture of letters and numbers in a password, preferably with both upper and lower case characters.
- Passwords should be changed regularly.