It’s time to update your Google Chrome browser!

It’s time to update your Google Chrome browser!

It’s time to update your Google Chrome browser!On Friday 1 March, Google announced it had discovered a Zero-Day Vulnerability “CVE-2019-5786” in its Google Chrome browser. It’s time to update your Google Chrome browser!

Whilst only limited details have been published on the Chrome Releases blog, it is strongly suggested that you update Google Chrome if you are using this as your browser.

It is important to check you are running the latest version of Chrome, which at the time of writing is 72.0.3626.121.

To check for and install updates in Google Chrome on the PC or Mac:

  1. Click on the three vertical dots on the right-hand side near the address bar.
  2. Point to Help and click About Google Chrome.
  3. This should then check and install updates, which may take a few minutes depending on your computer and internet speed.
  4. If it has performed an update, you may need to relaunch Google Chrome to finish updating. If it says “Google Chrome is up to date”, you are good to go.

If you are running Google Chrome on your mobile phone or tablet, you should do this as well. Go to the Google Play Store or iTunes Store to download and install the required update.

This is a good reminder to always keep your computer’s software and devices’ apps up-to-date with the latest security updates. If you are looking for assistance with this, CyberGuru provides a computer maintenance service where provide scheduled proactive review and upkeep of your ICT environment and keep it up-to-date on your behalf. We can do this both face-to-face and remotely depending on your requirements. Please contact us for more information.

How can I protect my website from being hacked?

How can I protect my website from being hacked?

Image of text reading "www."

Having a website is like having a virtual shop front to your business and provides the ability for your visitors to come and browse you and identify possible products and services they may like to buy. However, like a physical shop front, you should ensure you have security measures in place to protect the information that is stored on your website.

1.      Perform regular backups of your website.

Having a regular backup of your website providing you with the ability to have a copy of your website to restore if required. Whilst website hosting providers will often perform nightly backups, there is often a cost to restore these. We suggest at least taking a backup once a month to ensure you have a copy of it at a point in time to restore to if required.

2.      Remove any users no longer required and change passwords.

Depending on how your website was designed, you may have had a previous designer or developer or staff who have had access to your website to maintain it on your behalf. If these users no longer require access to do this, we suggest you remove or change the level of access to not allow them to make changes. Similarly, change your passwords on a regular basis. Passwords that have not been changed for some time may be likely to be compromised especially if they are simple.

3.      Install updates on a regular basis.

Most of the common website content management systems, including WordPress, Joomla and Drupal, all require regular updates, along with any associated third-party plugins, themes and translations. These improve the features, performance and security of the website.

4.      Disable or remove unnecessary plugins.

You may have plugins for your website that you are not using. If you have upgraded your website in the past, you may have plugins installed that were from your older website, or are no longer in use. If you are not sure if you are using them, you may decide to disable these until you determine that they are not needed. However, if you are certain you are not using them, then you could remove these.

5.      Install a security plugin to report security issues.

There are various security plugins available that can notify you when an administrator logs on to your website, users have been blocked (through incorrect passwords when attempting to login or malicious attacks), when files are modified, and when updates are needed.

6.      Consider a website maintenance service.

You may wish to consider a website maintenance service, such as CyberGuru’s to perform the review and maintenance for you, including backups, updates and test your website on a monthly basis. For further details, please see the Website Mainternance Service page on the CyberGuru website.

If you would like to know more how you can protect your website from being hacked, please contact us today.

Ask CyberGuru: Do I need to update my modem router’s firmware?

Ask CyberGuru: Do I need to update my modem router’s firmware?

Ask CyberGuru

CyberGuru was recently asked, “I saw in magazine recently that it suggested that you should ‘update your [modem] router’s firmware to fix security defects as well as provide optimum speed and performance’. Is this the case and how do you do this?”

Yes, it is important to be looking to update your modem router, along with your computer’s operating system, hardware and software on a regular basis. As you have noted, it is important for security updates and ensuring your devices are running at the most optimal level.

Generally, if you have bought the modem router yourself, you can do this by accessing your modem router’s firmware or settings and choosing the appropriate link to update, which can take between 5-10 minutes to do. If you are unsure how to access the settings, details can be found by reviewing your modem router’s user guide. If you can’t find this, please consult your modem router manufacturers’ website.

However, in the case that your the modem router that has been provided by your internet service provider as part of your plan, you may not be able to install updates are these are likely to be managed by them. They will often release the updates on their own schedule to ensure support and compatibility with the devices on their end. Again, if you are unsure, please consult your internet service provider who can advise you accordingly.

Depending on the device, we also suggest that you perform backup of any contents, and settings prior to installing any updates. Should the updates cause any issues, the settings and contents can be restored easily.

If you have any questions you would like to ask CyberGuru, please contact us.

Preparing for Windows 10 Anniversary Update

Preparing for Windows 10 Anniversary Update

Windows 10 Anniversary Update

Over the past few weeks, we have been working with clients to prepare them for the recent release of the Windows 10 Anniversary Update and assisting them when issues arise. This update, which is progressively being delivered will occur automatically on computers over the coming months.

The update, as mentioned in a previous CyberGuru Blog article, provides a range of new features and enhancements, but also brings with it a number of new issues. As a result, some users have experienced issues, including the reset their existing setup (to the point where even their region has reverted to the default!) as well as changes to the underlying configuration, causing some devices to be unusable until they are re-setup.

Whilst these issues cannot be prevented in some cases, it underlies the importance of a good ICT maintenance strategy to ensure backups are in place, up-to-date internet security software installed and that your computers are serviced prior to the upgrade. We strongly suggest regular backups that are reviewed and tested, as you never know when they may be needed!

If you are running Windows 10 Home, these updates will likely automatically. However, in Windows 10 Pro there is an option to defer updates. This is an important consideration for businesses who rely on their devices on a daily basis. We often recommend Windows Updates’ default option to download and install updates automatically, however in the case of mission critical computers such as servers, we can enable these updates to be postponed for several months.

It is important to note that the update will take approximately two hours to complete, so we strongly suggest that you set a time to do this. If you wait for it to happen automatically, then you may find one day your computer will upgrade in front of your eyes! Importantly, you only have 10 days to revert should you identify your installation be unsuccessful or present issues, otherwise you may need to restore from that backup.

If we may help in any way in getting you upgraded to Windows 10 Anniversary Update, please contact us. If you have been upgraded, we also would like to hear of any issues you have identified.

Microsoft releases Windows 10 Anniversary Update

Microsoft releases Windows 10 Anniversary Update

Windows 10 Anniversary Update

It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since Microsoft launched Windows 10. Windows 10 was announced being the “last version of Windows” with future updates all forming part of what is known as Windows as a Service which will provide regular updates to users of the service.

Since Windows 10 was launched, Microsoft have since provided two major updates, one which was in November 2015 and in August 2016 the Anniversary Update. These updates are provided at no cost to existing Windows 10 users to provide new features, enhancements along with other changes.

The top five improvements with Windows 10 we feel require calling out are the enhanced performance, the adjusted user interface, Edge, Cortana and the new Windows Ink Workspace.

We have noticed advances in the performance of the operating system. Whilst we have conducted no formal test, it feels more responsive on our own devices, both in terms of starting up programs and the general operations of using various features.

From the user interface perspective, the Start menu has been adjusted with access to the “All items” now on the left hand side. In addition, the Action Centre icon has moved to the bottom right-hand corner of the screen, with an indicator of the number of messages waiting for your attention.

Windows 10 Anniversary Update - Desktop with Start Menu
Windows 10 Anniversary Update – Desktop with Start Menu – click to enlarge screenshot

Within Edge, Microsoft’s replacement for Internet Explorer web browser, the most noticeable change is the introduction of extensions which add to the built-in capabilities of the browser. Some examples of the extensions currently available include Adblock Plus, LastPass and Mouse Gestures. Edge it has also brought improvements to the browsing engine allowing for better battery life and the ability to automatically pause Flash content.

Windows 10 Anniversary Update - Microsoft Edge Extensions
Windows 10 Anniversary Update – Microsoft Edge Extensions – click to enlarge screenshot

Perhaps still currently under-utilised by many is Cortana, the digital assistant similar to Siri and Google Now included with Windows 10. Australia is fortunate to be one of the first countries in the world to have access to this, and her capabilities have increased along with integration with a range of Microsoft and third-party apps that are “better with Cortana” allowing for Cortana to be used across a range of programs.

Windows 10 Anniversary Update - Better with Cortana
Windows 10 Anniversary Update – Better with Cortana – click to enlarge screenshot

 

Windows 10 Anniversary Update - Cortana
Windows 10 Anniversary Update – Cortana – click to enlarge screenshot

For touch-based devices, the new Windows Ink Workspace allows access to a range of touch-based apps including Sticky Notes, Sketchpad and Screen sketch. These capabilities will be especially useful on tablets that have previously only supported handwriting through OneNote and other apps.

Windows 10 Anniversary Update - Windows Ink Workspace
Windows 10 Anniversary Update – Windows Ink Workspace – click to enlarge screenshot

We believe it is an advantageous to upgrade to Windows 10 Anniversary Update as soon as available. If you require any assistance or further advice, please feel free to contact us.