Ask CyberGuru: Should I run more than one internet security software on my computer at once?

Ask CyberGuru: Should I run more than one internet security software on my computer at once?

In the latest in our Ask CyberGuru series of articles, we have been asked, “I am concerned about viruses infecting my computer. I am running both Norton 360 and AVG software to ensure I protect my computer. I am wondering though if this is helping or hindering my computer more than just having one software installed?”

Some years ago, it was seen to be worthwhile to have at least two antivirus software installed on a computer to protect a computer from viruses. This was because updates weren’t regular (often only weekly or monthly) and no software was of sufficient strength or quality.

Having two internet security software packages installed often will slow the computer as it is competing for the same memory. If it finds a virus, they will often not be able to remove it as whilst is scan it one will quarantine. It can also cause conflicts and system crashes, as I have seen with the case of some internet security protection.

Whilst some protection is better than none at all, two does not seem add any further benefit unless the product is solely performing one purpose (such as antivirus and another internet firewall). However, these days, one installation of a single internet security software package such as Norton 360 will be generally sufficient to provide adequate protection. Most internet security these integrate a number of features, including these, as well as identity/privacy and backup.

We hope this answers your question!

If you have a question you would like to ask CyberGuru, or we can be any assistance in any way, please contact us.

Three tools for troubleshooting troublesome internet connections

Three tools for troubleshooting troublesome internet connections

Has your internet speed reduced to pace of a snail? Can’t seem to access your favourite website? Perhaps you just don’t know what has happened but nothing seem to be working for you. Due to the way of the “internet traffic” operates, it can be frustrating not to be able to see a website that is usually works, whether it be unavailable, slow or just not being able to get to access resources. Never fear – there are some ways to get around the difficulties, here are three websites that may help diagnose and help you find and solve the issue at hand.

Is the website “down” (unavailable)?

The Down for Everyone (link opens in new window) website provides you with the ability to check whether a website is unavailable for the internet or just you. It checks by sending a request to a server located elsewhere and lets you know whether the website is unavailable for everyone or just where you are. You may be able to confirm it is down by also checking with other person (preferably using a different network) to see whether the issue.

Is your internet speed slow?

Speedtest.net (link opens in new window) is a website which will perform a series of tests to review your internet performance, provided with a rating along with comparing with other users. It will check your download, upload and “ping”. This is useful to perform at times when you find your internet is slowing to a crawl, such as peak times (just after school finishes!). Another test you can check without contacting your internet provider is Oz Broadband Speed Test (link opens in new window).

 

What is my IP address?

Further troubleshooting sometimes may be required if all the above two websites are unsuccessful in diagnosing the issue. It can worthwhile checking your public internet protocol (IP) address. You can check your IP address by using the website What is my IP (link opens in new window). The IP address can provide details to your technical support (such as internet service provider) to determine if it has been blacklisted or somehow blocked from accessing resources. Generally, IP addresses provided by are internet service provider are leased with their clients, so by rebooting your modem you may be provided a different one.

Rather than tangling yourself in network cables, if we can be of any assistance in supporting you in getting these or other difficulties resolved, please contact us to enlist our Support solution.

The three monkeys: SurveyMonkey, MailChimp and EventBrite

The three monkeys: SurveyMonkey, MailChimp and EventBrite

There are many cloud-based services available for small businesses and not-for-profit organisations these days to enable features on their existing websites or use them as standalone through their independent websites.

Three particular services that we suggest to many of our clients and prospective clients are SurveyMonkey, MailChimp and EventBrite. In this article, we thought it would be worthwhile discussing these services, some of the available plans and information that may be of interest.

  • SurveyMonkey: SurveyMonkey, as the name suggests, enables organisations to create surveys to send out for their respondents to complete. Here at CyberGuru, we recently used SurveyMonkey for our Client Survey. There are several plans available. The Basic plan provides 10 questions with up to 100 responses along with standard email support at no cost. However, additional plans, including Select, Gold and Platinum extend the number of responses and questions and provides additional features including survey builders, customisation and branding.

 

  • MailChimp: MailChimp provides the ability for organisations to send email newsletters. CyberGuru uses MailChimp to distribute our monthly CyberGuru Newsletter. Along with sending reports and tracking, the Entrepreneur plan toup to 12,000 emails to 2,000 subscribers per month for free. Other plans include Growing business plan which allows up to 50,000 subscribers and the High volume sender plan is for more than 50,000 subscribers.

 

  • EventBrite: EventBrite enables organisations to create free events enables event registration and ticket distribution available at no cost. Whilst CyberGuru does not use this service currently, we have clients successfully using this for their functions and events. EventBrite charges 2.5% of the ticket value plus $0.99 per ticket in $US.

SurveyMonkey, MailChimp and EventBrite don’t require too much technical ability and can be set up easily, and these services can easily integrate with many payment gateways and other cloud-based services as well. If we can be of any assistance in implementing these for your small business and not-for-profit organisation, please feel free to contact us.

* EventBrite isn’t a kind of chimp or monkey but we had to think of a title!

Ask CyberGuru: Is it safe to open these emails – are they are real or spam?

Ask CyberGuru: Is it safe to open these emails – are they are real or spam?

In the latest update to Ask CyberGuru, Christine asks, “I have received some emails where I don’t recognise the sender, are these safe to open? I am concerned that if they are real and I don’t open them, I may miss out on important information but at the same time don’t want to be exposing my computer to a virus if they are not.”

We appreciate Christine’s concern in relation to such emails you have received and I am glad you have asked the question of us prior to doing taking any action!

Whilst you should be relatively safe to open the emails, it is good to take some caution, especially if you don’t recognise the name and the subject lines are unusual. However, looking at supplied sample, it is unlikely that the emails you have received are malicious, but more likely to be spam.

However, I would not allow Outlook to open any other special content (such as images), if it suggests this. Furthermore, like any such email if the identity is unknown, I would not recommend clicking on any links or opening any attachments (although I note these ones you mention don’t have such icons). Also, I would strongly suggest don’t share any personal information or respond to them in any way unless you can confirm their identity.

Generally, spam filtering within your internet service provider’s email system along with the protection provided by your email client as well as in your internet security software would usually prevent such email from arriving, but depending on your protection and security levels, along with changes in how spammers present the emails may result in some small amounts of spam to still get through.

If you have a question you would like to ask CyberGuru, or we can be any assistance in any way, please contact us.

Using the Time Zones feature of Microsoft Outlook for interstate meetings during daylight savings time

Using the Time Zones feature of Microsoft Outlook for interstate meetings during daylight savings time

On the first Sunday in October each year, Daylight Saving Time commences at 2:00am with clocks brought forward one hour. Whilst this applies to New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania, it is not observed in Queensland, Western Australia or Northern Territory.

When organising meetings between business partners and colleagues interstate, participants can be often confused as to which time zone applies. The Time Zone button in Microsoft Outlook can assist with this.

  1. Create a new appointment in Outlook in your usual way by entering your subject, location and other descriptive information about your appointment as required.
  2. Click the Time Zones button located in the Options group of the Appointment window.
  3. The Time Zones next to the Start and end time will allow you to select the appropriate time zone, as shown in the screenshot below:
Using the Time Zones feature of Microsoft Outlook for interstate meetings during daylight savings time
Microsoft Outlook Time Zones feature – click to enlarge screenshot

In this example of the Melbourne Cup, entering the start time of 3:00pm and selecting the time zone (in this case, Canberra, Sydney and Melbourne) will automatically change to 2:00pm for a participant in Brisbane, but leave it at 3:00pm for a participant in Sydney or Canberra. As it is a public holiday in Melbourne, they may not accept the appointment!

 

By using the Time Zones button within your appointment window of Microsoft Outlook, you can ensure which time zone is applied correctly and participants will attend the meeting at the correct time. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us to enquire about our Training solution today.