Ask CyberGuru: What computer do you suggest I buy?

Ask CyberGuru: What computer do you suggest I buy?

In the next instalment in our Ask CyberGuru series of articles, we have been asked, “Along with my work commitments, I am starting at university next year and about to buy a new computer and not sure what type of computer to get. I would need it for my work, word processing, as well as access the internet for multimedia resources as well undertake my studies online. What do you suggest I buy?”

There are many different brands and types of computers available. Depending on the tasks you are likely to performing, along with your budget we can often shortlist a few computers that would be suited to your needs and requirements. The new computers we source available through retailers, wholesalers. We can also source second-hand computers through ex-government auctions.

Once you have determined your needs and budget, we can accurately assess what would suit your requirements. Generally, for typical brand-name computers available you can expect to pay anywhere from around $500 to $1500 depending on type of computer. When budgeting, there are also other considerations such as a monitor, extra peripherals as well as software such as internet security such as Norton 360, productivity applications such as Microsoft Office. You may also consider an extended warranty or other support provided by the store.

We also suggest Windows 7 or Windows 8 to ensure compatibility with majority of programs available today. Some software requires updating if you have previously had Windows XP. Some computers provide the ability to “downgrade” to Windows 7 if it does come with Windows 8 pre-installed.

We have recently been Santa for a few clients whereby we undertake the hard work for you by shopping and sourcing computers that meet your wishes. We can then are able to install and configure as well as provide any necessary training as required. If we can be of any assistance, please feel free to contact us.

 

Think before you click – the increase of ransomware

Think before you click – the increase of ransomware

We have recently become aware of a few unfortunate cases of ransomware, where users’ data is taken at ransom due simply by clicking a link and opening a malicious attachment from an unsuspecting website. Whilst it shares some similarities to some types of malware including trojan horses and phishing, it requires the individual or organisation pays money to overseas organisations to release the information, often with limited or no success.

Unfortunately, due to the complicated nature of this software, it is very difficult and expensive to recover the information as it is encrypted using various technologies available to most organisations.

Australia has taken up some ways to assist in addressing cybercrime, with the Australian Government recently announcing Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network (ACORN) (link opens in new window) which allows you to securely report cybercrime incidents which may be in breach of Australian law.

Further, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has developed an online portal known as the Australian Internet Security Initiative (AISI) (link opens in new window) by addressing compromised computers by working with internet service providers.

To ensure you remain protected, we recommend that you:

  • Do not open files from people that you do not identify with or not expecting files from.
  • Maintain adequate internet security software and ensure updates are applied.
  • Perform regular backups of your critical information, and store copies offsite on portable hard disk drives.
  • Be wary of those who contact you, especially from organisations that you do not purchase from.
  • Create a secondary email address that is provided to those who you are unfamiliar with (such as sales and advertising organisations).

If we can assist you in any way, please feel free to contact us to engage CyberGuru’s computer solutions to assist in the implementation of the above recommendations. We can also provide security awareness training to staff to become aware of what constitutes a malicious email and to prevent instances of ransom ware in your organisation.

Critical WordPress updates are required on your website – upgrade to the latest version!

Critical WordPress updates are required on your website – upgrade to the latest version!

We are in the process of contacting all of our website design clients for whom we developed your websites for. Most websites that we have developed in recently years are maintained in a content management system known as WordPress.

WordPress has recently released version 4.0, and more recently, version 4.0.1 Security Release which is a critical security release.

As noted on the WordPress Blog (link opens in new window) on 20 November 2014 by Andrew Nacin: “WordPress 4.0.1 is now available. This is a critical security release for all previous versions and we strongly encourage you to update your sites immediately.

Sites that support automatic background updates will be updated to WordPress 4.0.1 within the next few hours. If you are still on WordPress 3.9.2, 3.8.4, or 3.7.4, you will be updated to 3.9.3, 3.8.5, or 3.7.5 to keep everything secure. (We don’t support older versions, so please update to 4.0.1 for the latest and greatest.)

WordPress versions 3.9.2 and earlier are affected by a critical cross-site scripting vulnerability, which could enable anonymous users to compromise a site.”

For ongoing availability of your website, it is very important to ensure that WordPress and its associated plugins are updated to the latest versions as they become available. Whilst WordPress will apply some updates automatically, for the best protection, applying these updates manually on a regular basis will optimise the visitor experience of your website and reduce the likelihood of malicious hackers causing issues.

We are offering to upgrade your website to the WordPress 4.0.1 from your existing versions for just $135 for orders placed before next Friday 12 December 2014.

We would also like to remind you of our Website Maintenance Service whereby we can continue to maintain the WordPress on a monthly basis. We also apply updates for plugins and create an offline backup of your website in case it is required.

To proceed with this limited time offer, please contact us and we will make arrangements to do this for you.

If you have any questions or would like any further information, please feel free to contact us. Please also make contact if you wish to find out more about the Website Maintenance Service.

Wishing you a peaceful Christmas and a prosperous New Year

Wishing you a peaceful Christmas and a prosperous New Year

CyberGuru wishes you a peaceful Christmas and a prosperous New Year. Following another successful year, we thank you for your support and custom.

As we have done for a number of years, we are continuing our long-standing tradition of donating Christmas hampers to the St Vincent De Paul Society to those who need the support especially at this time of year.

We look forward to serving you again in 2015.