Get A Quote

[contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"]

Tag Archives: tricks

Geek Guru Shield

Geek Guru Software Support

Posted on September 30th, 2013 by Emily

 

If you’re interested in a new software package or suite, or are looking for some software to suit a specific task and don’t really know where to begin, we’re here to help!

Divider

With our recent posts on Office 2013 and Office 365, we hope we’ve been able to provide some useful information on how to choose the best package for you,

At Geek Guru we pride ourselves on our friendly customer service. Anything that you’d like to know about any IT related subject, we’re here to help – including advice about software for different purposes.

Sometimes you may feel like it would be good if you had some software that could automate tasks, software that’s more suitable for your business or just something that can help you be more productive – in any such case, feel free to get in contact with us and we’ll do some looking around for you, and endeavour to find the most suitable software for your needs.

As part of our support packages, we can also help you to purchase and install your software if necessary. This means you’ll have nothing to worry about as we’ll do it all for you, and make sure it’s all set up and working correctly. If you purchase your software through us, we’ll make sure you have the correct amount or type of licenses required for your company or organisation, so you don’t waste some of your budget by purchasing more than you may need.

If you’ve recently purchased some software and need some advice about its functions, general usage, or how to get it to perform specific tasks, we may also be able to help. From assisting you ourselves with our wide range of experience and knowledge, to finding free online resources or paid training courses for you and your team, just let us know and we’ll do what we can to help out.

Divider

If you’d like any further information on any kind of software, hardware or anything else IT-related at all, get in touch with us, the Geek Gurus are always on hand and happy to help!

Call us on 0845 234 0580 or email us at info@geek-guru.co.uk

facebookicon twittericon

Divider

Posted in: Tips n Tricks Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Geek Guru Shield

Stopping Malware Attacks - Updates and Exploits

Posted on August 14th, 2013 by Emily

 

Following our blog last week on Anti-Malware software and support, this week we continue to take a look at some steps you can take to help secure your PC or network from online threats.

Divider

Did you know that as well as protecting your computer or network with software and hardware, you can protect it by updating frequently?

It may come as a surprise to hear that most malware out there right now works on the theory that people don’t update key software on their systems as much as they should, or turn off or ignore prompts to update.

Most of us have been guilty of this at some point. A box pops up telling you an update is available, but you’re working on something important, so you click “later”, “postpone” or “remind me at restart”. Next time might be the same. Eventually you end up with out of date software and several updates to apply at once.

It used to be that unpatched copies of Windows would be at the greatest risk, but with things like automatic updates and integrated security features, this is becoming one of the lesser favoured avenues of attack for malware.

Windows and Internet Explorer accounted for only 3% of total exploits in 2012, while Java was by far the most vulnerable, with a whopping 50%; Acrobat Reader came in at 28%; Adobe Flash came in at 2%. Java and Acrobat Reader have been up there on the list for a several years now. But this doesn’t mean that the software is bad – of course the vendor must always take some responsibility for the security of their products, but the fact is there are simply more attempts made to exploit holes in Oracle’s Java because so many computers around the world use it. Acrobat Reader and Flash are similar cases, although Adobe has focused on making the latest iterations of their popular software more secure.

Most often, as soon as a piece of malware is discovered, the security hole it exploits is patched by the software vendor if this is possible. If a security hole is discovered before any malware is released to exploit it, a patch is also released as soon as possible. The problem is that people do not download these updates when they should.

Essentially, if you want to keep your network or computer at its most secure, make sure you check regularly that all regularly used software is up to date, especially Java, which is used by most web browsers.

If you’d like to read in more depth about the most common exploits used, head on over to this article on the Kaspersky website.

Divider

At Geek Guru we’re interested in helping our customers and their data to stay as secure as possible online and offline. We are here to provide advice and support to our customers whenever they need it, and we explain things without jargon.

If you’d like to get in touch, you can call us on 0845 234 0580 or email us at info@geek-guru.co.uk

Divider

 

Posted in: It 4 business, IT Security Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Surge Protection

Posted on July 29th, 2013 by Emily

 

No matter where you are in the world, electricity surges and spikes can be a real threat to sensitive equipment.

Divider

There are two main kinds of devices on the market designed to protect against electrical overloads. One is an RCD or “Circuit Breaker”, which protects users from electrical shocks from equipment, such as lawnmowers or other power tools. The other is a surge protection device, designed to protect sensitive equipment from electrical spikes or surges.

Power surges are very brief (around 1/20th of a second) increases in the voltage that can be incredibly destructive. Spikes are even shorter, lasting only one or two nanoseconds – but can be equally as destructive. Most IT equipment has some built-in safety functions, but these are not always successful in preventing damage to equipment. Power surges and spikes can occur at any time, but they can be especially prevalent at times of peak usage when electricity grids are pushed close to their maximum capacity, and before or after a power outage.

If you have a lot of IT equipment – you’ll want to protect it against these potentially destructive surges and spikes, since it can completely destroy equipment in its path if it is severe enough.

The idea behind a surge protector (sometimes also called “surge suppressors”) is that if/when a destructive surge or spike is sent down the power lines, the protector acts as a buffer and grounds the surge or spike instead of letting it hit your valuable equipment. Surge protectors let through a specific voltage, and are designed to keep your equipment running with the correct voltages despite being hit by surges and spikes. In particularly severe cases, such as a lightning strike, this can lead to the surge protector being destroyed – this is just a confirmation that your equipment was protected and the surge protector did its job.

You may be wondering “what spikes and surges can do to my equipment? How can they be so destructive?” Allow us to explain that one! Computers and other IT equipment are actually very sensitive to voltage changes. Too much or too little voltage can cause them to fail, and using too much for too long can cause components to melt or pop. Heat is a common enemy of all IT equipment (as we discussed last week in our blog on overheating) and surges can cause very rapid overheating of components, which leads to device failure and potentially thousands of pounds of broken equipment. Even if the equipment doesn’t fail because of one surge, repeated exposure to surges and spikes can leave lasting damage that will eventually cause it to fail.

We think of surge protection as a kind of insurance for IT equipment. It’s far cheaper to replace a few surge protectors than it is to replace a whole office full of roasted IT equipment! They’re fairly cheap to buy and we certainly wouldn’t operate our equipment without them. If you’re looking to buy some for your equipment, make sure you look for safety and production standards on them, and beware of buying too cheaply, they may not provide enough protection for your equipment.

Divider

If you’d like some advice or recommendations on protecting your IT equipment from surges and spikes, or you’d like to ask us about anything IT-related, we’re here to help!

Give us a call on 0845 234 0580 or send us an email at info@geek-guru.co.uk

Divider

 

Posted in: It 4 business Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,
sunshine

IT Tips - Avoiding Overheating Issues

Posted on July 17th, 2013 by Emily

 

At the moment we seem to be going through something of a heatwave, and while there’s many different opinions about how great or awful it is for us, excess heat always spells trouble for IT equipment.

Divider

The symptoms of overheating IT are many, and sometimes confused with other problems. It can happen if there’s poor ventilation around the unit, or if the vents become clogged, or even if a device is left in direct sunlight.

Even one of our engineers had problems recently when his iPhone popped up an error message telling him he could not operate the unit until it’d cooled down. Needless to say, he switched it off and put it in a cool place and it was soon working again, but in a world where technology is ever decreasing in size, heat becomes more of a problem. It’s also something that very few people will consider when they’re experiencing problems with IT. Overheating can cause machines to slow to a crawl, cause problems with monitors, or even cause equipment to break completely or temporarily stop functioning. Most IT equipment available has inbuilt safety mechanisms to turn off the device or machine if it becomes too hot, and will most often not turn on again until it reaches a safe temperature or until a certain amount of time has passed.

If you want to prevent your IT equipment from being damaged by heat, here’s a few important things to remember:

  •  Leave space around any IT equipment. This allows air to circulate more freely.
  • Clean off any dust or dirt that accumulates around the outside. This is best done with a dry cloth, or with specially designed computer-friendly wipes. DO NOT blow directly into the equipment, or do anything to allow moisture to enter the unit.
  • Keep IT equipment out of direct sunlight. This is especially important for smartphones, tablets and laptops.
  • Have your equipment serviced regularly. Just like other machinery, it gathers dust and dirt and needs to be cleaned to function correctly.
  • Don’t put IT in an area where there’s lots of dust or debris generated. Special equipment is required for working under these conditions.
  • Don’t put IT equipment near to heat sources (eg. heaters or radiators).
  • Don’t block any ventilation holes on your devices or equipment.
  • Get a special server cabinet for your servers. These also help to keep things organised, secure and reduce noise levels.
  • Ensure equipment is turned off when it is not needed.
  • Use any provided software tools to monitor temperatures.

 

If you suspect a device is overheating, the best thing to do (unless it’s a server!) is to turn it off and leave it to cool down. If you’re in any doubt, get in contact with an IT professional.

Divider

Geek Guru provide all-round IT advice and support. If you’re worried about heat problems, have questions or need anything else IT – related, be sure to get in contact with us and we’ll do what we can to help you. Our support is second to none!

Call us on 0845 234 0580 or email us at info@geek-guru.co.uk and one of our engineers will be happy to help.

Divider

 

Posted in: It 4 business, Tips n Tricks Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Tip - Windows 8 - Lock Screen

Posted on November 05th, 2012 by Emily

Unlike other Windows lock screens, the Windows 8 one doesn’t give you any hints or info about what you should do. And when you first launch into Windows 8, the lock screen is all you’re confronted with.
Just press the spacebar or scroll the mouse wheel, or swipe the screen upward as you would to unlock a smartphone if you’re using a tablet pc or touchscreen. This will prompt you to enter the details you chose during installation, and allow you to log in to Windows.

Posted in: Tips n Tricks Tagged , , , , , ,