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Updating Your IT - Part 3 - Security

Posted on July 12th, 2013 by Emily

 

In the final instalment this week, we’ll look at how keeping your IT updated affects your security.

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Viruses, Worms, Trojans, Malware, Phishing – all different kinds of cyber-attacks, all out to steal valuable information or cause destruction or inconvenience in one way or another, and you could be putting your information at increased risk from these if your IT is outdated. You may have antivirus software on your computer, and assume that you’re protected. But when was it last updated? What year is it from? Do you tell Windows to shut down without installing its updates, or have Windows Update turned off? Are your machines, servers or network too slow to run up to date security software effectively? These are all things that could compromise your security.

While there are methods of making your hardware more secure, most of the real threats to security come from out of date software interacting with the internet. Slower hardware may struggle to run some of the security software available and necessary for businesses today, and if that’s the case, you may need to consider some hardware upgrades as well.

So what can you do? Well, there are some steps you can take right now:

  • Make sure Windows Update is turned on if you’re running a PC, or MacUpdate if you’re running a Mac.
  • Make sure you have up-to-date antivirus software.
  • Set your passwords to something that’s not easy to guess. A combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols is best.
  • Check that you have the most recent version of your chosen browser.
  • Check that all of your important software is up to date.

Out-of-date software can leave serious security holes open to potential hackers, (not to mention a variety of bugs,) so always use the tools provided by the vendor to update your software whenever an update is available.

Often, in larger organisations,  things like updating software and virus definitions is something that is also done by a network administrator or IT support technician, but with standalone machines or some small business networks, this may not be the case.

Unless you understand your IT fully, things like updating firmware for routers and checking network settings are something that’s best left to the professionals, and something that should be included in your IT support package.

Recently in the news, large companies like Sony have come under fire for not fixing security holes in their systems, or not having strict enough policies and allowing details to get out. No one wants this to happen, especially with very sensitive data that some businesses store, and one of the first steps you can take toward security is to keep everything up to date.

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Geek Guru take network and data security very seriously.

If you’re interested in how we could help you to keep your IT updated and secure, give us a call on 0845 234 0580 or drop us an email at info@geek-guru.co.uk

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

Updating Your IT - Part 2 - Productivity

Posted on July 10th, 2013 by Emily

 

Most of us know how it feels to sit in front of a computer and wait what seems like eons for it to boot up, or to do what we want it to. This is a common symptom of out-of-date IT.

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Recently, it was revealed that Civil Servants in Whitehall waste 3 days a year waiting for their PCs to start up. Unfortunately, though, for most government departments, funding is scarce and getting new machines isn’t at the top of their list, especially when they’re frequently being overcharged for products and services, and even charged for hardware that ends up gathering dust in a cupboard somewhere – but that’s something you shouldn’t have to worry about as private business owner, and at Geek Guru, we do our best to make sure of that. We’ll never sell you something you don’t need, nor will we overcharge you for things we do supply, so you can rest assured that using our services for upgrading will be as cost effective as possible, while maintaining the best possible quality and service.

Faster desktop machines and servers, along with newer software and better networking, often mean less time taken to complete normal everyday tasks, meaning you and your employees can devote less time to waiting for your IT to work and more time to actually being productive. Cutting down the wait time for files to open or save, or the time it takes for applications to open, can really have a dramatic impact on your workflow, especially when it comes to tasks such as emailing or opening webpages.

So what do you need to upgrade? Well, in an ideal world we’d upgrade everything at once, but we realise that sometimes this isn’t possible. In most cases, we will have a look at all of your machines, your network and servers, see what would provide the best performance increase, and advise accordingly. You may not even need to update all of your hardware – a lot of businesses are more limited by their servers than they realise, and simply upgrading the server hardware for your business can be a massive performance and productivity increase. Alternatively, we may recommend you make the switch to cloud computing, which is something we’ll be covering in later blog posts. Even if your company has large databases or custom software, it’s nothing we can’t handle. We’ll help you find the best solution for your company, implement it and then provide the best possible support afterward.

It’s not all in the hardware though. Updating your operating system (for example from Windows XP to Windows 8) or your other software (Office, Adobe Creative Suite, etc,) can make a huge difference because of all the optimisations and improvements that are constantly being made by their developers. This is something we can help with too, and again, we’ll take a look at your requirements and come up with a plan to suit you and your needs, rather than selling you something you don’t need.

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If you’re worried or have any questions, or would like to get a quote for upgrading your systems, don’t hesitate to get in contact with us!

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

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