How Secure is your data?
I spoke to my friend this morning, her Facebook account has been hacked. She is experiencing strange statuses being posted on her account. My instructions to her – change your password asap. She doesn’t know her password it is stored on her devices so whenever she wants to go on to her social media she just loads the page or app. However someone out there knows her password. I asked if this was the same password for her email account, online shopping accounts and anything else. Her response – probably!! I could not stress enough to her to get on line as soon as she went home to get it all changed, and don’t save passwords on devices.
You may think well it’s only social media they can get into – that’s just the start. We are becoming increasingly aware of the number of people and business that are being hacked. Here at MPR IT we have been made aware through speaking to contacts within the industry and also our customers that more and more people are being hacked. I personally have read an article that in parts of the world there are crime organisations that employ computer experts solely with the intention to hack accounts. It starts with just £1 being taken from a bank account with amounts increasing. The bank sees that you have paid the recipient previously so aren’t concerned. Then sometime later you notice a considerable amount missing from your account and its too late. The money cannot be retrieved. We have previously written a blog about Ransonware such as Crypto locker, it is reported that over the last year over £1.5 Billion was made through this software.
My dad is forever calling me with “I got an email today from a bank that I have never had an account with saying I need to reconfirm my details”. Every time I say the same thing, ”Dad, don’t even bother opening these emails, delete them immediately”. Yet he still questions it time and again. These people that hack our computers and accounts are relentless. They will bombard thousands of people with these type of emails. If they get one person that responds it is still a result for them.
If you get such an email and you think it could be from an account you have such as Paypal or Itunes, please disregard the email. The chances are it is not from Paypal or itunes. These companies will never ask you to reconfirm any information. If you do happen to click on the link you will be taken to a website that looks identical to the true page. If you are in doubt the best thing is to close down your browser completely and then open a new one, go to the true site and check your details.
We have come across incidents where hackers have accessed the network and monitor the goings on within your internal emails or emails to customers. They use the information of how you work and replicate this. One example we have come across is that a company has emailed Joe Bloggs a customer the bank details to pay an invoice. 5 minutes later Joe Bloggs got an email saying sorry I gave you the wrong account. Please make payment to this account. That second email did not come from you but Joe thinks it did. 2 months later you are chasing him for payment and he is adamant he paid. He did – to the hackers. Now both companies have lost a considerable amount of money – never to be seen again. The banks and Police are powerless as this money has been spread across multiple accounts throughout the world.
We recommend that you follow our simple rules and change some small ways in which you work – follow up emails concerning payments or bank transfers with a quick call. Did you get my email? If anything changes I will call you. Any time you think your PC is behaving weirdly – close everything down, disconnect the internet, turn your router & switch off. It won’t just be your PC but the whole office affected. Then contact MPR immediately to get assistance. The longer you leave the network connected the more damage can be done. Not only will they steal money but to hide any trace of the hack they will wipe everything and I mean wipe everything from your systems, we have seen blank laptops with not even an operating system left. This is more money lost as it will be costly and time consuming to rectify and keep your business running. Another rule is to make a regular back up of your data daily. This means only 1 day of work is lost and not an entire business.
Please also see http://www.nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk/crime-threats/cyber-crime/online-threats-to-consumers for any further information.
The Password Rules
The hackers are becoming more sophisticated – we have heard many stories, whether you think they are urban myths or not they need to be taken seriously. We cannot stress strongly enough the following rules:
Never write down or store a note on your PC with your passwords.
Make sure every password is different for each log in you have.
Change your passwords regularly, and randomly not – on the first of every month.
Choose a password that is not obvious – your birthday or PASSWORD is not & never will be secure
Never ever open an email from unknown address
Never ever open attachments from an unknown address.
Back up your systems daily
Ensure you have a reliable anti-virus and malware system in place this will help to slow them down
Any sign of anything untoward shut down PC, and Internet Router and switch
Call MPR IT for immediate assistance.Read more
During my working life I, (like many of you out there,) have felt the need to throw the computer across the room. There are moments when it just doesn’t appreciate that you are working to a deadline. Constantly crashing is not helping the stress levels to get that all important report of the year to date Sales figures to your Director, for a major board meeting. (Normally when you have only been given an hour’s notice). Or you have had a last minute order come through at 16.45 to be delivered before 9am the next day. How does your business cope in these highly stressed occasions? Do you have IT Support that you can contact? Are you safe in the knowledge that the person on the end of the phone cares or that is listening to the fact you are about to have a breakdown and slowly reaching the end of a truly bad day?
I have worked at various businesses over the years, ranging from a small company of just 5 members of staff and no IT support, to large global corporate organisations that have an in-house help desk. I have experience on both ends of the scale. I am now a homeworker and my desk is in my spare room in Berkshire, whilst my office and colleagues are based in Ashford, Kent. I think it’s safe to say I am quite knowledgeable on how important it is to have IT Support I can rely on. Without having access to support I simply cannot get my work done when things go wrong. Yes I do now work for an IT Support company so you might think – well what does she have to worry about? I can assure you that when you are 2 hour’s drive from the office it can be stressful as you have no access to any other PC to get that report or order completed. The team at MPR IT are dedicated to solving the issue no differently for me than they would for a paying customer. Just last week I spoke to the help desk as my laptop was not syncing with my Office 365 account and I was concerned if the laptop went up in flames all my work would be lost. Queue moment of panic and fear – how would I explain to the team I couldn’t create a report or carry out my marketing tasks. Within 30 minutes, with the use of Remote log in the issue was resolved and my stress levels returned to normal.
IT systems in businesses are crucial to today’s working environment and when they stop working, crash or fall behind with technology, business productivity is the first to suffer. Without having a team of in house IT professionals where do you turn for your IT Support?
IT Support from MPR IT could not be simpler – with a straight forward and clear choice of fixed priced support contracts and computer services to businesses in Kent, London and the South east. Simple pricing plans – no need to make it complicated. You as the customer want to know exactly what you are getting for your money and by keeping it simple MPR IT is offering you the best support it can offer, without you needing to worry about your IT Support and budget for the year
The benefits of outsourcing IT of course are variable, dependent upon the nature and situation of the business. However, the following is a list of common reasons why our customers use MPR IT:
- Control of budget – fixed prices on 2 simple pricing plans
- Lower costs as need to employee a full time IT person
- Your In-House staff have the ability to concentrate on core functions
- Higher quality service due to focus of MPR IT being solely IT
- Less dependency upon internal resources – we have a team of 10 on hand to support you
- You do not need to worry about the lack of internal expertise
- Increase flexibility to meet changing business conditions – we can support you 24/7
- Purchase of industry best practice – we review technology changes regularly
- Improve risk management – 24/7 monitoring of your systems if required
- Acquire innovative ideas – we have the knowledge and experience to problem solve IT
Our team of 10 dedicated and experienced Technical Helpdesk personnel, are fully trained and are constantly looking at innovative ways to support our customers. Technology is constantly changing and improving, with the secure knowledge that you are getting the best and most up to date support. MPR IT offers the flexibility for your business to have support and ability to contact us when you need assistance. The team care about the people they are supporting and having a good relationship with all our customers. Many of our new customers are down to word of mouth and recommendations from existing clients. After each support call is closed we send out a survey to evaluate how we are doing. Over the last 6 months we can confidently say that we are doing a good job, as shown in the results of these surveys, we average a response of 4.83 out of 5 . When MPR IT was born in 2008 the aim of the Directors Alex, Andy & Richard was to create a company providing IT Support for local business without compromising Customer Service. This is still our aim today and we strive to continue working with our customers. By listening and understanding the concerns, as well as guiding our customers to the best solution for their needs.
Our most popular IT support package offers you monthly support for a fixed price based on the number of users – no hidden extras. We can provide your business IT support with 97% of issues fixed within an hour of initial contact. Offering both remote and when necessary on-site support you can be confident that MPR IT are the business to support your needs.
Alternatively for the smaller business we can support you as and when you need us, we charge a set rate per hour, again with remote and on-site support you can be assured that MPR IT will on hand to resolve your issues without the concern of a tied in contract.
For more information on the IT Support we can offer your business please contact us for a consultation.Read more