Off-the-shelf communications devices (eg home wifi routers) often come with a default password setting. Some are as simple as “0000” or “Password,” and easy to guess. Since most hardware manufacturers post their user guides online, these passwords are easily accessible to hackers.
Small businesses are a cybercrime sweet spot—in fact, they’re the target of 58% of cyber attacks by cybercriminals. And a serious security breach can be fatal: Cybercrime costs small businesses 4.2 times more per employee than it does larger businesses, and 60% of small companies that experience a cyber-attack close their doors for good. Read the complete article from Hewlett Packard here, and please talk to us about the inexpensive measures we can deploy to help protect your business.
Yes they do – in fact they matter whether or not you are working from home.
Most home modem/routers are provided free of charge by your internet provider. This means they are usually very basic. Furthermore, the administrative credentials for accessing them are typically not very secure – Admin/Admin is quite typical of a username and password. (NB these are not to be confused with the password that your provider provides for WIFI access). There is a huge amount of information available online about router/modem models and how to ‘hack’ them.
For this reason you should ensure your router/modem administrative credentials are made secure. If you are working from home regularly it is worth considering upgrading to a professional grade router for additional security.
- Ensure best practice could be shared across our Group companies
- First-class IT management requires the same expertise, training and knowledge no matter where you operate
- They allow technicians on either side of the Atlantic to be able to provide support to customers no matter where they (the customers) are located
- They allow us to have a proactive-support model that minimises client IT issues
If you would like to check whether your email address (or addresses) have been released in a data breach, you can do so online with the free website ‘Have I been pwned’. It’s free to use and will quickly let you know. Here’s the link: https://haveibeenpwned.com/.
Do you work from home occasionally? Are you frustrated with access to your systems? Perhaps you need some guidance on latest practice on how to do this? We recommend a VPN (Virtual Private Network). A VPN is secure and provides the best approach for home working. Please contact us for more information on VPNs.
How can I prevent all this spam email?
Apart from being annoying, unwanted email (‘spam’) presents a real and present security risk to both you as an individual, and your company.
Hackers send millions of emails every day with links that can cause all kinds of problems. Invariably they’re trying to get information out of you to allow them to gain access to your systems, accounts, banks etc. It’s still the most successful means that hackers have for gaining unauthorised access to your email and other systems.
Reducing the amount of these emails that get through to your inbox is the first line of defence. Less spam emails, less chance of clicking a bad-link. Plus you only have to deal with ‘real’ emails.
Anti-spam software is inexpensive and achieves these dual benefits of improving your cybersecurity and reducing the amount of spam in your inbox. It’s important to choose a good, professional anti-spam solution. We can help you with that, just let us know what you’re looking for.
How do I connect my website to my management systems? You can integrate your website with office systems, including CRM systems, accountancy systems databases and other software. This requires website design and build expertise, we will be pleased to address your specific requirement, please contact us for a no-obligation discussion.
How do I protect my systems 24/7?
Easy one! With Continuous Protective Monitoring software. Borderpoint does precisely that. Borderpoint cybersecurity responds to attacks as they happen, and before any lasting damage can be wrought; 4-hour alert time; a monthly report of all threats is also provided.
Large data breaches happen regularly, with emails and passwords being made available on the dark web or just free to hackers. Why is this a problem? Very simply because people often reuse their passwords for different online accounts. This leaves those accounts vulnerable to access by hackers. Tip: Don’t reuse passwords! I realise this can be easier said than done, but it’s the best way of minimizing your exposure in the event that an online service you use is breached.
To safely complete an online form, here are a few tips and considerations to help you decide whether it’s safe to submit your data.
- Always check the website address – is it the real/correct address? Cybercriminals will direct you to a look-a-like website, and often only a couple of characters are different in the address
- Is the website secure? Look for the padlock icon in the top left of the browser window
- Use Incognito mode in your browser
I want a new website – what are the key considerations? Well, in practical terms we advise all our clients to think of their website as a continuous work-in-progress. As long as you’re building and adapting your business to the needs of the market, so you need to adapt your website.
It means you need a website that’s quick and easy to update – either yourself, or by staff, or by us. Please ensure you talk to us about your website content management.
It means you need a website that people will find. This means Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Search Engine Management (SEM). Again, please talk to us.
It means you need to know how well your website is performing. This means regularly analysing your website visitors, demographics and behaviour, and amending your website accordingly. Talk to us about Google Analytics!
Should I buy a Server or Nas box? Well, as with so many things in IT (and life), it depends! There are several considerations, here is a useful breakdown:
- Servers are more powerful than NAS, as they offer more functionality
- Application servers allow you to install third-party software.
- With a NAS, you are limited to applications you can download on the NAS operating system. For example, to make a Synology NAS into a mail server, you’ll need to download the Synology Mail Server app.
Servers are more capable and offer more advanced controls over your network services and applications, but also require more management. The NAS offers less advanced functionality, but will not require as much maintenance or configuration.
It’s all the rage so why not? Well, when considering if you should get a cloud server, it needs careful deliberation of how you operate your business. You need to consider:
- Speed and reliability of your internet connection. Bandwidth too – if a lot of people are accessing the Cloud server simultaneously, productivity will be dramatically impacted
- Organisations – How will your files and folders be organised, who will have access etc
- Cyber Security – In the event of a cyber attack, a physical server on your premises can be
unplugged from the internet. A Cloud server cannot
- Cost – A physical server has a one-off cost and needs to be replaced every few years;
what are your comparable cloud server costs over the same period?
We have a vast range of hardware recommendations for our equally diverse range of clients. See our specific recommendations below:
- For servers it depends on your requirements, we find that Dell and HP have excellent solutions that meet the majority of business needs.
- For computers, we recommend as a minimum 8GB memory, 2TB hard drive and i5 processor
- Routers: Appropriate model from Fortinet
- Displays: Dual monitor minimum
- NAS: Synology box appropriately sized and configured
- Uninterruptible Power Supplies: Eaton, no question
What is an SOP? Good question! An SOP is a Standard Operating Procedure. It originates from manufacturing environments where standardisation of processes and procedures is used as a key element of ensuring product quality and consistency.
In the same way, at Fresh Mango Technologies UK we have SOPs in place for the work we do for our clients. From something as straightforward as creating a new email account to configuring an entire server and network. SOPs are one of the many behind-the-scenes ways in which we ensure our customer service remains first-class. Contact Fresh Mango Technologies UK for more information.
What is email spoofing? Email spoofing is the creation of an email header to make the message appear to have originated from someone or somewhere other than the actual source. Email spoofing is used in email phishing and spam campaigns – you’re more likely to open an email when they think it has been sent by a legitimate source.
In other words, the email looks as if it’s from someone you know. So you open it and then click a link, or pay an invoice… Check out our video log on LinkedIn, describing how we helped a customer avoid a million-dollar fraud.
What is patching? Patching is another word for updating your operating systems on your server, PCs, Laptops and Macs. It even applies to your smartphone and tablets.
Microsoft and Apple regularly issue updates to their operating systems. These updates typically resolve bugs (errors in the system) and increasingly plug cybersecurity holes. Implementing these updates is called ‘Patching’.
Sometimes the updates include new or improved functionality in the operating system. These are generally referred to as upgrades, but hey typically include bug ad security fixes too.
What is SEO and why should I do it? SEO stands for ‘Search Engine Optimisation’. Very simply it applies to numerous techniques which can be applied to your website, web-pages and blog pieces to maximise the chances of high rankings in search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo. It is sometimes referred to as ‘Organic search’ to distinguish it from Paid online advertising.
Contact Fresh Mango Technologies UK to find out more and how we can help!
- We recommend a belt and brace approach. A local backup and a cloud backup. This applies to single-PC/laptop users and companies with servers and networks alike. Local backups protect you from internet accessibility failures (they do happen!) and cloud backup protects you from local failures, and is also an invaluable defence against Ransomware.
- Cloud storage is NOT Cloud backup. A professional cloud backup system has end-to-end encryption and provides for a complete system restore. Files in Cloud storage are fully susceptible to ransomware. Find out more here: https://neovault.net/
- Anyone who has access to company systems – whether an employee or not, whether local or remote – should be subject to the same IT and security policies as locally-based employees. If you don’t have any IT policies in place, strongly recommend that you do so.
- Anti-virus and anti-spam software should be professional, ie paid, versions
- Mobile devices carrying personal data – client, employee, supplier etc – are a GDPR risk and need to fall under the company IT policy umbrella.
- Encrypt the hard drives on your laptops
What kind of PC do I need for home? Well, there’s a huge variety of computers and specifications, and really the question comes down to your budget and what you plan to use it for.
If you need a simple PC for surfing the net, email, maybe use of Microsoft office documents, then a PC with 4GB RAM, 256GB hard drive will probably suffice.
At the opposite extreme, if you are big into gaming, you need a high-spec machine to ensure game speed and graphics aren’t compromised.
Other considerations include:
- Will your home PC be located in one place in the house, or would you like to move it around easily?
- How many monitors will you need? A lot of people have at least two these days, for easier multi-tasking
- Who will be using it – eg just you or the whole family?
- Will you be streaming media (eg Netflix) on it?
- Aesthetics – do you prefer something with modern/sleek design to fit with your home?
All of these factors – and many more – will help determine the best PC for your home computing needs.
Contact Fresh Mango Technologies UK and we’ll be pleased to talk through your requirements and advise accordingly!
The IT field is very fast moving and we keep up to date with it. Therefore there’s a good chance that when you read this our recommendations may have changed already! Right now we recommend this standard software for our clients:
We adopt and recommend a ‘belt and braces approach’. By which we mean both local and cloud backup combined. Local in case your internet connectivity fails; Cloud in case your hardware fails. Local backup drives can be provided for servers and PCs, and configured to automatically backup regularly (at least daily). Cloud Backup should be configured at the server level to backup every night. We recommend Neovault, a proven disaster recovery backup tool as the best way to back up your system. It doesn’t just backup files, but can ‘image’ elements of your system, such as the operating system for clean, quick and effective backups.
We recommend a ‘belt and brace’ approach and the best way to backup data, consisting of:
Does my server and network need regular checks? Yes, just as you have your car serviced and maintained, so your server, network equipment, and computers need to be maintained. The best way to do this is through regular (we recommend at least monthly) checks to ensure all is well, and to install any software updates. Remember that your equipment is connected to the internet, so regular checks and updates aren’t just required to maintain system efficiency, but also to keep up with the latest security updates.
Most people connect to the internet at home using wifi. This is fine of course, but if you have a VPN link to your server, you may find it regularly drops out. This is because your wifi connection often drops, albeit just for an instant. In the normal use of email and internet browsing this would usually not be noticeable. In the case of VPN access, the slightest drop in internet connectivity will cause the VPN to drop.
Therefore, if possible, it is worth connecting your home laptop/pc directly to your home modem/router with a network cable. This is exactly the same kind of cable you have for connection of your PC to your office network. A ‘hard-wired’ connection like this will improve your VPN connection significantly.
Can’t find the answer to your computer FAQ query?
No problem! Just contact us and we’ll be pleased to advise!