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Computer Support in Swansea

Category : services

If you’re looking for computer support in Swansea, look no further!

Our experienced friendly staff are eager to assist you with your software or hardware issues. We supply, install, maintain and repair all computer equipment – laptops, desktops, servers and data storage devices. If there is a problem that can’t be fixed on site, we bring the machine back to our well-equipped workshop.

We can advise on upgrading your system when you require, and to suit your budget.

We are very aware of how business-critical your IT systems are and how best to secure them from viruses and malware. Talk to us about your options for backing up vital data to your own personal cloud.

Business packages include telephone support, remote support and a number of site visits that can take place  as and when you need them.

Our staff have many years’ experience in providing computer support to businesses and educational establishments. Please feel free to contact us on any computer -related issues you are having.

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Swansea Computer Repair

Do you have a broken desktop or laptop computer? Are you in need of an “MOT” to improve the performance of your PC? Come to Giakonda IT for all your Swansea computer repair requirements.

We have a fully equipped workshop where our experienced staff  will solve most problems in a couple of days. If you need a new part, we will always tell you the cost before hand and confirm with you that you want to go ahead. Even if your computer is beyond repair, we can sometimes recover your data for you to an external device such as a USB memory stick or external hard drive.

Laptop repair has a flat labour charge of  £40 which also includes installation of free anti-virus and clean-up software to keep your computer more secure. We can also advise you how to get the best out of your computer.

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Wannacry ransomware

Category : News , security

Wannacry ransomware is just the latest in a series of increasingly sophisticated attacks.
In view of the major cyber attacks on NHS and many other institutions in hundreds of countries worldwide, we cannot emphasise enough the importance of being vigilant whenever you use the internet.

DON’T open email attachments from people you don’t know.
If an email is from one of your contacts but doesn’t look quite right, use the telephone and check out if they really sent it to you.
Keep your systems updated with the relevant patches.
Use anti-virus and anti-malware software
Back up your vital information so that you can at least restore an earlier version if you are hacked.

For advice on all security issues, call us on 01792422616 or email info@giakonda.com


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Security Hints & Tips

Category : Hints and Tips , security

Things to think about

These security hints and tips will help you keep safer on your network and online.

  • Protect your computer against power surges and brief outages.
    Most modern Laptops and PCs are pretty resilient against the odd surge in power but if you live in a more remote area this can be a problem. Anti surge multi blocks can offer some protection against power surges and provide outlets to plug in your peripherals. Power strips (Multi-blocks) alone will not protect you from power outages- this protection comes with an uninterruptible power supply (UPS). During a lightning storm or construction work that increases the odds of power surges, consider shutting your computer down and unplugging it from all power sources. Also consider unplugging your network cable!
  • Back up all of your data.
    A backup is always a good idea especially when it comes to stuff you cherish or is important for your work / business. Automating the Backup of your computer is an important task so we have written a Hints and Tips especially for that. (Coming soon)
  • Use and maintain anti-virus software and a firewall.
    Viruses and
    malware may steal or modify the data on your own computer and leave you vulnerable. Protect yourself by using anti-virus software (eg Sophos) and a firewall. Make sure to keep your virus definitions up to date.
  • Regularly scan your computer for spyware.
    Spyware or adware hidden in software programs may affect the performance of your computer and give attackers access to your data. Use a legitimate anti-spyware program
    (eg Malwarebytes) to scan your computer and remove any of these files. Many anti-virus products have incorporated spyware detection.
  • Keep software up to date.
    Install software updates (also called patches) so that attackers cannot take advantage of known problems or vulnerabilities. Many operating systems offer automatic updates. If this option is available, you should turn it on.
  • Evaluate your software’s settings.
    This can get a bit technical. If it does, please feel free to contact us for help. The default settings of most software enable all available functionality, often not all needed. Unfortunately, attackers may be able to take advantage of this functionality to access your computer. It is especially important to check the settings for software that connects to the internet (browsers, email clients, etc.). Apply the highest level of security available that still gives you the functionality you need.
  • Avoid unused software programs.
    Do not clutter your computer with unnecessary software programs. If you have programs on your computer that you do not use, consider uninstalling them. In addition to consuming system resources, these programs may contain vulnerabilities that, if not fixed with the latest version, may allow an attacker to access your computer. Think before you download programs on a whim.
    Laptop makers and the Windows operating system are guilty of planting software that you don’t need on your computer to help their profits. Speak to us before you buy your laptop in order to avoid this.
  • Consider creating separate user accounts.
    Again this may seem a bit geeky. We are here to help if it does. If there are other people using your computer, you may be worried that someone else may accidentally access, modify, and/or delete your files. Most operating systems (including Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux) give you the option of creating a different user account for each user, and you can set the amount of access and privileges for each account. You may also choose to have separate accounts for your work and personal purposes. While this approach will not completely isolate each area, it does offer some additional protection. However, it will not protect your computer against vulnerabilities that give an attacker administrative privileges. Ideally, you will have separate computers for work and personal use; this will offer a different type of protection. It is not a good idea to give yourself Administrative Privileges.
  • Establish guidelines for computer use.
    If there are multiple people using your computer or computer network, make sure they understand the risks and how to use the computer and internet safely. Setting boundaries and guidelines will help to protect your data. Help your staff stay safe by giving them some basic training. We can help with this too.
  • Use passwords and encrypt sensitive files.
    Passwords and other security features add more layers of protection if used appropriately. By encrypting files, you ensure that unauthorized people can’t view data even if they can physically access it. You may also want to consider options for full disk encryption, which prevents a thief from even starting your laptop without a pass-phrase. (Note: When you use encryption, it is important to remember your passwords and pass-phrases; if you forget or lose them, you may lose your data.)
  • Follow corporate policies for handling and storing work-related information.
    If you use your computer for work-related purposes, be sure to follow any corporate policies for handling and storing information. These policies were likely established to protect proprietary information and customer data, as well as to protect you and the company from liability. Even if it is not explicitly stated in your corporate policy, you should avoid allowing other people, including family members, to use a computer that contains corporate data.
  • Dispose of sensitive information properly.
    Simply deleting a file does not completely erase it. To ensure that an attacker cannot access these files, make sure that you adequately erase sensitive files. US Dept. Of Defence Level 7 is recommended for important stuff.
  • Follow good security habits.
    Review our other security tips for ways to protect yourself and your data.
  • Follow good Business Continuity habits.
    Review our other business continuity tips for ways to ensure your data always stays safe.
  • Please feel free to distribute these notes.
  • GiaKonda IT Ltd can be contacted on 01792422616

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Ransomware

Category : Hints and Tips , security

Introduction

Businesses both large and small are under threat from increasingly aggressive and brutal ransomware attacks. Loss of access to critical files, followed by a demand for payment can cause massive disruption to an organization’s productivity.

But what does a typical attack look like? And what security solutions should be in place to give you the best possible defence?

This note examines commonly used techniques to deliver ransomware, looks at why attacks are succeeding and gives nine security recommendations to help you stay secure. It also highlights the critical security technologies that every IT setup should include.

Ransomware

Ransomware is one of the most widespread and damaging threats that internet users face. Since the infamous CryptoLocker first appeared in 2013, we’ve seen a new era of file-encrypting ransomware variants delivered through spam messages and Exploit Kits, extorting money from home users and businesses alike.

The current wave of ransomware families trace their roots  back to the early days of Fake AV, through “Locker” variants and finally to the file-encrypting variants that are prevalent today. Each distinct category of malware has shared a common goal to extort money from victims through social engineering and outright intimidation. The demands for money grow more forceful with each iteration.

The financial consequences can be severe. The Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center reportedly paid 40 Bitcoins ($17,000) to regain access to its files, while the Kansas Heart Hospital despite paying an undisclosed sum, was faced with a second ransom demand and not given access to all of its files.

Ransomware attacks start in two main ways. A booby-trapped email with a malicious attachment or via a compromised website; which then work their way down to your endpoints and servers.

To stop these attacks, it’s critical that you have advanced protection technology in place at each stage of the attack and combine this protection with good user security practices.

Nine best security practices to apply now

Good IT security practices, including regular training for employees, are essential components of every single security setup. Make sure you’re following these nine best practices:

1. Backup regularly and keep a recent backup copy off-line and off-site

Offline and off-site means ransomware can’t get to it. With recent backups data loss can be minimized.

2. Enable file extensions

Enabling extensions makes it much easier to spot file types that wouldn’t commonly be sent to you and your users, such as JavaScript.

3. Open JavaScript (.JS) files in Notepad

Opening a JavaScript file in Notepad blocks it from running any malicious scripts and allows you to examine the file contents.

4. Don’t enable macros in document attachments received via email

A lot of infections rely on persuading you to turn macros on, so don’t do it!

5. Be cautious about unsolicited attachments

If you aren’t sure don’t open it. Check with the sender if possible.

6. Don’t have more login power than you need

Admin rights could mean a local infection becomes a network disaster.

7. Consider installing the Microsoft Office viewers

These viewer applications let you see what documents look like without opening them in Word or Excel.

8. Always keep your software up to date

If possible make sure automatic security updates are enabled on your software. This reduces the risk of being exploited by ransomware.

9. Stay up-to-date with new security features in your business applications

For example Office 2016 now includes a control called “Block macros from running in Office files from the internet”

Please feel free to distribute these notes.

 


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