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Users of Windows need to be notified ASAP of a new ransomware strain and take immediate measures to patch.

Specifically, on May 12, 2017 a new strain of the Ransom.CryptXXX (WannaCry) strain of ransomware began spreading widely impacting a large number of organizations, particularly in Europe.

Wcry is demanding a ransom of $300 to $600 in Bitcoin to be paid by May 15, or, in the event that deadline is missed, a higher fee by May 19. The messages left on the screen say files will remain encrypted. It's not yet clear if there are flaws in the encryption scheme that might allow the victims to restore the files without paying the ransom.

If you have yet to install the Microsoft fix—MS17-010— you should do so immediately. You should also be extremely suspicious of all e-mails you receive, particularly those that ask the recipient to open attached documents or click on Web links.

If you have seen nonstandard activity and believe your customers’ information may have been exposed, please contact support.

Today I thought I would update you on all the services we offer. Often people are surprised at just what we can do and outsourcing jobs to us is often a way to get things done more efficiently and cheaper. I have also included some Office 365 news as usual.

Outsource Your Tech Today

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We have been in business here in Australia for 20 years. Some of our staff have more than 25 years’ experience in computing and business. We have been active in the web since 1995. As a result, we have a significant skill set that you can take advantage of.

First some reasons why.

Can your business afford?

  • Missed sales and opportunities
  • Negative feedback – people talk about your business in social media
  • Wasted money

Common Mistakes of DIY

  • Buying unsuitable equipment on “special”
  • Incorrect licensing of software
  • Making the assumption the cloud is free
  • Untested backups, DR and BCP
  • Leaving it to untrained Gen Y staff
  • Inappropriate use of social media for business

Some of the products and services we can offer you

  • Advice – we employ professionals in these areas:
    • Business Architecture and Digital Strategy
    • Web Development and Design
    • SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
    • SEM (Search Engine Marketing)
    • SMM (Social Media Management)
    • Reputation and Brand Management
    • Photography and Graphic Design
    • Sys Admins and Database Experts
    • Office Productivity Gurus
    • Writing and Content Development
  • Hardware:
    • Computer sales, repairs and upgrades – from basic business PCs to high end graphic design and gaming PCs
    • Mobile devices (phones, tablets) – sales, upgrades and connection
    • Internet connection – ADSL, NBN and Mobile Broadband
    • Wired and Wireless Networks – design, installation and security– design, sales, installation and configuration, racks and data storage
  • Software
    • Office 365 connection, setup and installation
    • Data migration – office accounting systems into the cloud, data storage into cloud
    • Website development, new sites, upgrades, ecommerce platforms, integration to store
    • Social Media - policy, setup and account management
    • Excel VBA development – spreadsheet design, automation, reporting tools and budgets
  • Training
    • Microsoft Office training – productivity and efficiency gains guaranteed
    • Website management
    • Social Media Use and Management

Talk to us about significant advantages to your business by OUTSOURCING YOUR TECH

Office 365 News

Using Skype for Business? If not why? Either way here are 8 features you didn’t know you needed for online meetings.

New Feature: Filtering common malicious attachment types in Email. Learn more about creating organisation wide settings to limit attachments of malicious file types. Ask us if you want this feature enabled.

Upgraded feature: The People Profile experience is being updated in Office 365. We are already using the new profile pages and it is a definite improvement when working with Delve. Ask us about how to improve your organisations information usage and sharing.

New feature: Integrate Dropbox into your Office 365 online experience. Ask us to talk through and plan this upgrade if you are heavy users of Dropbox.

Office 365 is changing all the time, schedule your free 6 monthly audit with us to see how you can take advantage of the tools that are available in your subscription

Follow Us On Social Media

As always Jethro is your web, cloud and technology specialists. I am constantly learning new things and spending time researching, playing and testing new systems and reading about other people in the IT world doing the same thing. If you want to follow along with what I share in various spaces, then connect with me:

Christmas is almost here – and that brings great opportunities in business. People are shopping, using your business services and hopefully hitting your website and social media. Do you have a plan to engage and attract customers in this holiday season? Are you sure your website is secure? And if you are shopping yourself are you sure your personal data is secure? We would love to help with any of these things.

Can you be sure your personal data is secure?

The Veda 2015 Cyber Fraud Report published in October has some alarming statistics.

Sydney, Australia: Wednesday, 7 October 2015 – Australians’ love of online commerce and sharing on social media is making us unwitting pawns in the global fraud marketplace. A new fraud report released today reveals that fraudulent credit applications involving identity takeovers in Australia rose 59% in the past two years – and 17% in the past 12 months.

It shows that the online playground for hackers is getting serious, with 50% of credit application fraud in Australia now occurring online – an increase of 33% compared to the previous financial year. This compares with a 23% fall in credit application fraud incidents occurring at bank branches in 2014-15, compared to 2013-14.

Overall, credit application fraud rose almost 13% in 2014-15, across the four main types of fraud – falsifying personal details (accounting for 58% share), identity takeover (22% share), undisclosed debt (9%) and fabricated identity (8%).1

Of Australians who have suffered from fraud, 20% claimed their computer had been hacked – for example by malware – 18% stated that their mobile phone had been hacked and 18% claimed that one of their online accounts or their social media account had been hacked.2

The good news is that most Australians now use anti-virus software (90%) and PayPal for online payments (85%).

Following is a checklist to see if you or your business has exposure in any of the most obvious areas. Can you tick these items off?

Your Passwords are strong

  • Passwords should not be connected to your date of birth, middle name, children’s birth dates or names, or even your pets names. Rather they should be at least 9 (preferably 12) characters containing a mixture of upper and lower case letters numbers and punctuation symbols. Passphrases that include these may also work well. E.g. “I ate the dog’$ hoM3work”
  • Passwords should be changed regularly, and if you don’t have different ones you should at least have several levels – e.g. banking, email, online social medial accounts, and they should not be the same!
  • WiFi passwords are secure and your WiFi network is locked against casual users.
  • If you use someone else’s computer to conduct any banking use a private session and close the browser afterwards.

Physical devices should be reliable, secure and access restricted to authorised personnel.

  • Does your building or office have security, alarms or physical access restrictions (eg swipe cards)
  • Do you have a notification plan around lost or stolen data or devices with an escalation based on severity of the problem?
  • What is the time gap between a critical piece of infrastructure failing and its replacement allowing for continued business activity? Eg Router/modem, switch, server, PC, POS terminal etc.

The security of your business is important to us. We will assist you to work through the different threat levels, exposure and security risks and evaluate your current plans for failure points or missing pieces. Then we can help you plan and implement the missing pieces.

Act now BEFORE you experience a breach or loss. Contact us today for a security audit of your business and get yourself peace of mind.

Guides for Sharing Information Online

Recent research from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission found that phishing, hacking and ID theft was reported in over a quarter of all scams in 2014 and this is continuing to grow as more and more data is put online.

  • Be aware of what you (and your family) share online. Ensure your kids particularly aren’t giving away information that shouldn’t be kept private or could be used to compromise you.
  • Clear your cache regularly and use in private sessions when banking or doing other shopping.
  • Always check that the https:// protocol is in place when shopping. The S is the important bit.
  • Google your self occasionally – just to see what is out there

If you need help setting up or managing you or your families online profiles or devices, talk to us

Windows 10 update is available now

Microsoft just released a major Windows update to the world. This desktop update is packed with nearly 200 new capabilities, many of which were developed directly as a result of feedback from Insiders like you. Check out Terry Myerson's blog for more details.

With Windows 10 on now more than 110 million devices with 12 million of them business machines it is rapidly being installed everywhere.

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Talk to use about the significant advantages to your business about using Windows 10. We can upgrade you over the holiday period.

Follow Us On Social Media

As always Jethro is your web, cloud and technology specialists. I am constantly learning new things and spending time researching, playing and testing new systems and reading about other people in the IT world doing the same thing. If you want to follow along with what I share in various spaces, then connect with me:

All content © Tim Miller. Feel free to share or send these emails on. If you want to unsubscribe just reply with Unsubscribe in the subject.

Last week I promised to talk about viruses – but I ran out of time and space. I have included a section today for you. Hopefully you are protected against these serious threats to your business.

Also there are less than 2 weeks to our seminar with Richard Bowles. Please register your interest by return email so we can secure the right venue for the number of people coming. This will be a great day of working on your business and not just in it.

As always I am available to respond to your requests and queries and provide you with answers.

Viruses are a Serious Business Threat

Jethro-Facebook-Virus-Protection

Have you ever been hit by a computer virus? If you have you will know just how annoying they can be. Even the “non-malicious” ones can suck away time by popping up ads, redirecting your browser or just slowing your computer down.

In this short summary I will identify the main types, causes and protection against malware and viruses.

Virus Types

First of all this is more than just viruses as a technical definition. I have included all the potential threats that can be injected into your computer against your will (either by someone else or by yourself accidentally). I have also summarised them by the threat result not the signature or type as defined by the security experts.

Browser Redirect

This is where your browser settings are hijacked and when you type in a web address your browser sends you somewhere else. It may also include pop ups and potentially the sites that you are sent to won’t let you leave without clicking through a number of dialog boxes. Typically these come from an extension or add in that often was not deliberately installed.

Malware / Adware

These are usually “harmless” in that they don’t attack your system or data, but they do popup ads constantly when browsing. These are similar to the browser redirect but often they came in via some software that was deliberately installed and included unknown and unrequested additional software.

Data Attacks

These attacks are malicious in that they can overwrite data, lock data against use with ransom requests, or even delete data. Typically they are introduced via an attachment in an email.

System Attacks

I have grouped together here all the attack types that damage your system, including boot sector viruses, file infectors, directory viruses and so on.

How they come

The two main ways that viruses are injected into your computer are via an attachment in email or from an infected website.

In order to protect against either a complex layer of threat protection must exist. Stopping attacks before they can even be clicked on is the best form of defence.

Unfortunately many people use a mish-mash approach to threat protection. While an individual pc at home is reasonably isolated and an infection can be cut out fairly easily with usually minimal loss and cost, the same is not true in an office of connected PCs. One user who clicks on a payload that installs and then replicates over your network can have devastating effects on employee downtime, loss of data, cost to remove and rebuild machines, and subsequent protection.

Many businesses also play the “lets buy every protection we can get” game with multiple software based solutions including firewalls, internet protection software and antivirus software and so on. This is actually a false protection in many instances because these overlapping technologies create gaps and cracks, often caused by the users themselves “allowing” threats through.

In addition users are often the worst threat to a business by losing computers and mobile devices that are insecure, providing the recipients of the unlocked devices with legitimate access to the businesses data and IT systems, and in using insecure email applications to access mail.

Best Practice Protection for your Business

Microsoft are the leading computer and software provider in this space. The combined hardware and software layered approach to threat protection includes the following aspects:

Hardware

Bit locker is available to encrypt hard drives. A lost device is no longer something to worry about.

UEFI Secure boot. Windows 10 has introduced the ability to lock the boot process to secure OS only, reducing the chance that a corrupt OS (loaded with malware or viruses) can even execute.

Better passwords. Multi factor authentication is removing passwords altogether.

Mobile Device Management. Online management of all your mobile devices including remote wipe is possible with Office 365.

Software

In front of the business. Forefront security is provided in Exchange for all those using Office 365. Spam and Malware threats are removed before they can even come to an email user.

In the business. Outlook has a sandboxed approach to allowing access to attachments reducing the chance that an infected file can be even opened let alone do anything once it is opened by a user who ignores all the warnings.

Windows Defender provides real time attack management identifying and quarantining malicious files downloaded from the internet.

Internet Explorer contains a Smart Screen filter and other browsing enhancements designed to recognise and stop potential website injected threats from being accessed or deployed.

Afterwards

If you are attacked, then there are some things you can do. First remove the machine from your network immediately. Disconnect the network cable, or turn off the Wi-Fi. Better yet turn the machine off and deliver it to someone like us to clean.

Ensure you have a data recovery clause in your insurance policy. Check with your broker, these clauses normally cost nothing to insert and can cover you for at least $5ooo to restore data after an insurance claim for damage.

Summary

Businesses cannot legitimately ignore the real threats that malicious software can pose on their business.

A multi layered protection is necessary and that includes training users.

Using numerous different protection systems is usually worse not better.

Microsoft’s layered approach using Windows 10 modern devices, Office 365, Windows Defender and Internet Explorer provides the best possible defence system. Mac users are also protected by using Office 365 from spam and malware, but they are still open to website based attacks.

Contact us now if you need to determine if your business is secure against these threats. We can have an obligation free chat about your specific scenario and what you can do about it.

An Extremely Unique Opportunity By An Extreme Individual

20151003 rich bowles seminar invite 1Learn the latest strategies in mastering your own mind, so you can fully commit & engage in the goals that you have set for yourself.

Richard Bowles holds world records on pretty much every continent on the planet, running the world’s longest and most rugged mountain ranges spanning from 1000km to 5,500km in length. Running up to 95km a day for weeks at a time, while tackling some of the most hostile weather and demanding terrain that the world has to offer, while carry all that he needs on his back.

Crocodile infested waters, exploding volcano’s, angry farmers with shot guns and being in the centre of a middle eastern desert warzone under missile fire is all in a day’s work for Richard, all the time pushing through the mental and physical barriers to conquer his success.

Over the last five years he has worked with some of Australia’s leaders in psychology and human performance, unpacking his own huge achievements to explore what it takes to succeed at any goal that is set before you, no matter the challenges and adversity that will be faced.

As a commitment and engagement strategist Richard helps you understand what is vitally needed to gain the goals that you have set for yourself. From his in-depth research he helps you understand that, Goals guide us, they don’t drive us.

If you are looking at a plan that will see you bullet proof your commitment to what you set out to achieve, and have you working towards your goals with ease, dedication and without burnout, then this is a seminar not to be missed.

We are partnering with Richard Bowles in delivering this exclusive seminar here in Brisbane CBD on the 3rd October from 9AM to 1PM. The cost is $89 and we will have a venue and ticketing options available soon.

Contact us today if you want more information.

New Gen6 CPUs and Motherboards now available

As mentioned in a previous newsletter the Computer Resellers often attempt to offload old stock at discount prices to susceptible buyers. The Core i3, Core i5 and Core i7 range of Intel chips are now in their 6th generation. The starting number of the chip name indicates the Generation. E.g. an Intel Core i5 6400 is a 6th Gen chip. If you are planning on buying a new computer there is no reason to purchase old technology as it will run slower, use more power and generate more heat. As the manufacturers improve the chips in each successive generation to use power more efficiently and produce more results so the capability of your machine improves. Saving $100 now can lead to hours of lost time “waiting” for your computer to catch up. It is also economically better to purchase a new machine now that will last for 4-5 years than an older machine that will last 2-3.

Talk to us today if you are in the market for new or replacement computers. We can sell all computer equipment and also provide financing if needed.

Free Business Digital Skills Webinars

Yes Free!

I will be running some digital skills webinars for free to any of our customers who would like to learn more about how to get the most out of their digital technology.

Each webinar will be aprox 20 minutes long and can be joined using a weblink. They will be run every 2-3 weeks on a Wednesday at 2pm. They will also be recorded and made available online.

Subjects will include:

· Mastering Email – tips and tricks for a zero inbox, reducing time spent in email and other shortcuts

· Basic Spreadsheet design

· Using OneDrive and SharePoint

· Understanding Social Media

· And more

Email me back on tim@jethromanagement.biz if you want to be added to the invite list. There is no obligation or cost to attend. You will need an invite link to join the webinar. I’ll add you to the list I already have and we will start once we have enough.

Social Media for Business

facebook_logo-200Social media is constantly changing and it can be hard to keep up. There are always new features being added to the major social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest. Managing even 2 or 3 of these accounts for your business can make your life busy. And even if you have the “luxury” of delegating it to a staff member it can cause anxiety hoping they are doing it right.

Jethro has been active in managing social media accounts for many of our clients, from as little as creating the accounts and showing them how to use them to adding content and actively managing responses and engagement with customers. Just like you wouldn’t leave your phone ringing un-answered, so you should not leave comments and messages unanswered in Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

We can establish networks relevant to your products and services, assist you to create and implement a social media strategy, run a one off campaign to improve engagement or around a specific event or just provide training for you or your staff in how to use these networks correctly for your situation.

If you want to talk more feel free to give me a call and discuss how we can help.

Follow us on Social Media

As always Jethro is your web, cloud and technology specialists. I am constantly learning new things and spending time researching, playing and testing new systems and reading about other people in the IT world doing the same thing. If you want to follow along with what I share in various spaces then connect with me:

All content © Tim Miller. Feel free to share or send these emails on. If you want to unsubscribe just reply with Unsubscribe in the subject.

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What people say..

Tim has always been a pleasure to deal with, all my problems are sorted out with minimum fuss.

— Michelle - Salon Owner

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