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Update 12/10/2015: We are delighted confirm that, not only did we win the title of Best SME, we also claimed the title of this year’s Best Business overall.
It has been confirmed that Online Support have been shortlisted for Best SME in the Hounslow Business Awards for the second year running.
We won the title last year, but there’s even more up for grabs this year. We’ve been listed as finalists for three other categories too. This highlights just how far we’ve come since winning the award last time around.
Online Support has been nominated for the following categories:
• Best Business for Training and Development
• Best SME
• Best Business for Marketing and Social Media
• Best Business for Customer Service
When we broke the news about being a finalist last year, we spoke about how it was testament to the care we give to our customers. We also spoke about our humble beginnings, and how we’ve come so far in such a short space of time.
We haven’t rested on our laurels and we’ve carried on looking for new ways to improve both ourselves and the level of service we provide.
When it comes down to customer service, our clients have long since been speaking about our high levels of support.
On the Hounslow Business awards, Stephen Fry, chief executive of Hounslow Chamber of Commerce said: “Since we launched the awards in 2013, we have been hugely impressed not only with the quality of businesses who have put themselves forward, but also by the enthusiasm and passion for these awards.
Business owners and managers have had to work very hard over the past few years to keep ahead of their competition, and the peer to peer endorsement that comes from winning one of our awards really can make the difference when it comes to securing new customers and winning new business.”
The winners will be announced on Friday the 9th October – make sure you’re keeping a look out to see if we can reclaim our title and maybe even claim a few new ones!
Last Update: 9th December 2015 – Kaspersky is Windows 10 Compatibile!
Office-based businesses using Kaspersky will be wanting to know when they can upgrade to Windows 10, and with limited information available online, we’d like to offer some clarity on the situation.
As per a statement from Kaspersky, they have been ‘cooperating closely with Microsoft’ to ensure customers are able to use their products, whatever operating system they are using.
All links to software downloads have been listed in their respective updates below.
Final Update – 09/12/2015: Kaspersky have announced the Commercial Release of Kaspersky Endpoint Security 10 SP1 MR2 for Windows (10.2.4.674)
The release notes include confirmation that support of Windows 10 has indeed been added.
All the new features and FAQs are listed in more detail on the Kaspersky website.
If you require protection and would like us to manage the process for you, please contact us.
Kaspesky Windows 10 Compatibility Details
Online Support has been informed that the solutions listed below will only support Windows 10 by the specified times:
• Kaspersky Security Center 10 will be compatible with Windows 10 in December 2015.
• Kaspersky Small Office Security 4 is compatible with Windows 10, but functionality is restricted. The product will be fully compatible by December 2015.
• Kaspersky Endpoint Security 10 for Windows is going to be fully compatible with Windows 10 in December 2015
UPDATE 02/12/2015: It’s live! Beta testing is now closed and the below download links are inactive.
Here’s how to get Kaspersky for Windows 10:
Firstly Back up Security Centre and ensure you’re updated to version 10.2.434 (see what version you’re using by going to Help > About Kaspersky Security Centre).
You then need to install Patch D for Security Center otherwise you will not be able to manage the Windows 10 Clients.
You will then need to have KES 10 for Windows SP1 MR2 – however it is not yet publicly released. We do have access to this, however.
If you are a business customer looking to use Kaspersky for Windows 10, please get in contact with us and we can manage this process for you.
UPDATE 09/11/2015: Kaspersky has now released a second beta for Kaspersky Endpoint Security. This is available here. As with the last beta, we are testing this internally for Windows 10 Compatibility, so contact us if you have any queries.
UPDATE 08/09/2015: Kaspersky has released a beta version for Kaspersky Endpoint Security compatible with Windows 10. There are details and links listed in the Kaspersky forum. We are currently testing this internally for Windows 10 Compatibility, so for any queries you can contact us.
If the beta goes as planned, it is expected that the commercial release will be available before December for both Kaspersky Endpoint Security and Security Center Windows 10 compatibility.
Kaspersky Windows 10 Compatibility
Meanwhile, we know that Kaspersky Security for Virtualization is expected to include Windows 10 on its list of supported platforms in its next release of Light Agent, which is scheduled for Q1 of 2016.
If your business wants to upgrade to Windows 10 but wants to remain secure, please contact us or call on 0208 232 1190. Likewise if your business is security conscious but does not currently have a robust IT infrastructure in place, you can contact us or call using the above number.
If you want to remain up to date with the latest in tech security, read our Cyber Security Blog.
There’s been a overwhelming sense of discontent in Londoners who want to use the tube this summer, and with Tube strikes more likely than ever in the near future, we’re here to guide you through the best apps to help you deal with the tube strike.
Top 3 Travel Apps
We’d recommend using a this as a maximum – there’s no point in trying to use more than three travel apps at once to get around.
Switching between them would get confusing and trying to understand them all would take a big chunk out of your journey time.
One of my favourite travel apps is Citymapper. It’s so useful, even if you’re not using it during a strike.
You set your start point and destination, then Citymapper tells you all of possible routes.
It will also tell you how much each route will cost, how many calories you’ll burn and what weather you’ll hit on your journey. Citymapper even has a “Strike Safe” section so you can avoid the disrupted routes.
The most well known of travel apps, pre-loaded onto android phones, Google Maps can allow you to alter your routes via certain locations or to exclude certain types of travel (such as the tube).
This is an efficient way of avoiding areas affected by the strike, as well as giving you a real time SatNav experience.
Uber would be the obvious smartphone app for those wanting to use cabs ase a tube alternative, however, this could prove to be quite costly during times of high demand such as a tube strike and as with Uber you can track your car’s location and then pay within the app.
An alternative to conventional travel apps.
Is there anything else you can do during the tube strike?
If your business is affected by the tube strike and you need a remote desktop solution for your staff, you should consider contacting us or calling 0208 232 1190.
Microsoft released Windows 10 last Wednesday, July 29th, and users on Windows 7 or 8 can upgrade to the new operating system. The new version of Windows is supposed to be sleeker and better than the previous version, with a more polished design and the glossier, quicker Edge browser to replace Internet Explorer (check out our blog on the best internet browsers here).
What is the Windows 10 Upgrade Virus?
The problem is that those waiting to install their upgrade can be easily caught out by an official-looking email with an attachment containing what they are told is the free upgrade. The email address is spoofed to show a domain name of microsoft.com, to trick people into reading on. As soon as you download the attachment (which comes in a Zip file), extract it and run the .exe file inside, your PC will be infected with ransomware known as CTB-Locker. Like CryptoWall and CryptoLocker, this is a malicious virus which will encrypt any files on your PC and any connected servers.
It will then instruct to you to pay money (often via BitCoin) for a decryption key in order to recover your files. We don’t recommend you pay the culprits – there is no guarantee that you will get your files back and if you are made to pay in BitCoins, not only will you not get your money back, but the payment is not traceable so those responsible will remain anonymous.
What can you do to prevent the Windows 10 Upgrade Virus?
Ransomware will likely to continue cropping up until scammers can find a new way to trick people out of their money. That is why we recommend you follow our guide of what to look out for in our article about CryptoWall and that you are regularly backing your data up, off site. If you require email scanning or backup services for your business you can contact us or call us on 0208 232 1190.
Ransomware affects businesses daily – to make sure you’re safe from this and other viruses damaging your IT infrastructure, read our Cyber Security blog.
Online Support specialise in protecting our users from any viruses or threats that may put your data at risk. To find out more about what we have to offer visit our Online Backup page or give us a call on 0208 232 1190.
Whether you’re a keen amateur shooter or an experienced professional; the question we all ask in the beginning is ‘Are DSLR’s really worth the money?’
But before we get to that, maybe we should find out what exactly a DSLR is.
What is a DSLR?
DSLR stands for Digital Single-Lens Reflex which in simple terms means that the camera body contains a reflex mirror which allows live viewing through the interchangeable lenses when taking a photograph. This mirror is what allows you to see the image you’re about to take through the view-finder, and is also how the image is captured as the mirror flips in order for this to happen.
Now, Are DSLR Cameras Worth The Money?
Like any product on the market, DSLR’s have their pros and cons.
Let’s start with the positives:
- Photograph Quality – Because of the larger image sensors found in DSLR’s this allows for larger pixel sizes – ridding your images of the dreaded tessellated effect that can ruin photographs. The fact that they are also able to be used at a much faster ISO leads to faster shutter speeds and less grain within photos.
- Ability to Adapt – Because a DSLR is essentially just a camera body (without a lens) you have an immense range of lenses to chose from. 3 professionals in different fields, shooting very different things, could use the same DSLR but would be able to capture exactly what the individual wanted depending on what lenses they chose for their needs.
- Depth of Field – This focuses and blurs areas of your image depending on how and where you are pointing and focusing your camera. Whilst digital cameras are getting better with this feature, it still isn’t quite up to the beautiful standards that of a DSLR holds.
Now onto the less positives features:
- Price – Whilst they have come down massively in price, DSLR’s are generally more expensive than your average digital camera – especially if you’re opting for more of a professional-standard DSLR. Not to mention the fact that lenses will need to be purchased separately and if they are of good quality, will be of a similar price-range.
- Weight/Size – This, for me personally, is arguably the greatest downfall of DSLR’s. For short periods of time they can be alright to carry round but if you plan on doing a shoot which takes up the whole day and you’re also carrying round additional lenses and equipment it can be extremely impractical.
- Complexity – For a beginner, being handed a DSLR for the first time can be completely overwhelming with the amount of settings and features you’re offered. Although you do of course get used to the complications eventually.
- Noise – If you plan on shooting in an area that needs to remain silent, i.e. where there are animals, young children or you generally just need to be a bit sneaky about what you’re taking photos of, DSLR’s aren’t really ideal. Because of the way they actually capture images, DSLR’s are bound to create a clunky shutter noise so this may be something to consider if you need to be shooting with as little noise as possible.
- Maintenance – Every photographer’s worst nightmare is a dust-filled image sensor. Every time you remove a lens in order to change it, you risk letting dust run a riot inside your camera. Over time this can cause images to have a blotchy effect. Unless you’re fully-trained I definitely wouldn’t recommend cleaning your own image sensor as it would be best done by a professional. However, as new models are produced, more and more DSLR’s are being released with self-cleaning sensors.
Overall if you plan on making the most out of your camera then a DSLR is well worth the money. They are able to improve the quality of your photos as well as creating a unique and refreshing user-experience.
If you enjoyed this blog why not take a look at our previous blogs, including ‘Is Social Media A Fad?‘
If your small to medium sized business is looking for Office 365 for business or other cloud services, take a look at what we have to offer or drop us a call and talk to a member of our friendly London-based team!
Popcorn time is a BitTorrent client like uTorrent, LimeWire or kTorrent – with a difference. Instead of having to wait to download the files before viewing, Popcorn Time has an integrated media player so users can stream their content.
Its ease of use and variety of content led to a huge surge in popularity – with some comparing it to Netflix – the benefit of using Popcorn time over Netflix being that it is completely free. After this surge in popularity, the original creators were forced to shut the site down after questions over the legality of the project began popping up. The creators claim it was entirely legal, and the fact Popcorn Time is still going today suggest that this may be the case.
Available for AirPlay, Chromecast, Android, iOS, Mac, PC and on Smart TVs (TVs that are internet enabled), this could be a good solution for those that want more recent content than is available on Netflix, or those who don’t want to pay the monthly fee.
The two versions of Popcorn time that are still available are popcorntime.io and popcorn-time.se. Although there were reports in November 2014 that downloads of the latter included adware – backed up by on the popular site reddit.
The adware issue has supposedly been resolved, although I’d steer away. For those wanting to risk it, this version now includes a free integrated VPN option, allowing users to hide their IP-addresses from the public. This means those put-off by the risk of being fined for the use of pirate software can watch safely.
Is Popcorn Time illegal?
The platform is not actually illegal. It’s a BitTorrent client, like LimeWire and uTorrent, and they don’t host any unlicensed content. It is actually the users that are infringing on copyright, and there is no way of identifying these users if they are using the integrated VPN service.
However, Popcorn Time does potentially infringe on ‘inducement laws’ – as the sites’ purpose is to encourage people to illegally upload and download copyrighted movies.
There is a continued legal battle going on, with Netflix not enjoying the competition – “If they know that they’re actually facilitating the downloading or streaming of copyrighted movies and they continue to do it, they’re in trouble,” stated the University of Richmond intellectual property law professor Jim Gibson.
Whilst I personally don’t encourage downloading Popcorn Time, users shouldn’t worry. The files you download when using Popcorn Time are stored — but only temporarily. Copyright-holders and law enforcement would never waste time going after private users – they’d look to simply block the source, Gibson explained.
“As a long-term client of Online Support, GBM have nothing but the highest praise for their assistance in managing our IT systems.” – IT Manager, GBM.
“Online Support provides us with remote and on site IT support with a responsive and friendly service which is tailored to our particular needs.” – Director UK Sales, Union Square Music.
Social Media has taken the 21st century by storm. The first known social media platform was SixDegrees.com (1997.) SixDegrees enabled users to make lists of their friends and to connect with people they knew. Since then social networking sites have become a part of everyday modern life as we know it. But will its success last? Or is social media a fad?
What is social media? And what’s so good about it?
According to the ever-trustworthy Google, social media is defined as “websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking.”
Onepoll.com states that there are ten main reasons as to why people use social media. Arguably the most important reasons are social interaction, information seeking, time passing and entertainment purposes. Naturally, human beings crave interaction with others. However, it isn’t always convenient to physically go out and meet someone. So, with the help of an internet-capable device and some decent WiFi coverage, social media allows you access to anyone, anywhere at anytime. Sounds amazing, right? Probably because it is.
This is incorporated into the idea of information seeking. What if you needed a person’s opinion on something and you didn’t personally know anyone who could give you the information you needed? Many social media platforms offer an option to search for the topic, company, service or person that you are looking for. Your search term can be as specific as needs be and there is seemingly always someone who has asked for the same thing. YouTube is a great example of this. Sometimes the information you need just can’t be put into words – so you watch a video! YouTube has over 1 billion users who create over 4 billion views on videos a day. Understandably, it’s now almost impossible to find a video of something that isn’t on YouTube.
As well as using social media to find useful things, these platforms are also equally as efficient at finding useless things. Social media gives you access to extraordinary photos, videos, articles, people and more that you never knew you needed in your life. Because of the vast amount of information that’s actually out there, it’s extremely easy to stumble upon new things. Because of this, people are gaining knowledge that otherwise would have been kept a secret.
But does social media have any negative effects?
Unfortunately, for every positive point about social networking there is a downside. The social interactions that we experience online can sometimes be seen as a false sense of connection. It is becoming more and more difficult for people to distinguish between the meaningful relationships that are created in the real world, and the numerous, more casual relationships which are formed through social media.
And while spending your spare time watching videos of cats is extremely fun, it’s easy to admit that social media decreases genuine productivity. That’s why in most schools, colleges and even many workplaces, the use of social media on the computers or other devices owned by the organisation are banned. Despite this, it is becoming increasingly common for companies to use social media sites to find and communicate with clients, supporters and colleagues.
Social media also encourages people to be more public about their personal lives. In many instances you can take a look at a person’s Facebook page and instantly know what they look like, their date of birth, where they went to school, where they work, who their friends are, what they ate for dinner, what film they saw last Saturday and so on! The difference between what is acceptable and what is best kept private on the web is becoming increasingly blurred. Fortunately, a lot of social media platforms offer the choice between what can be seen by the public, what can be seen by friends and what can be only be seen by yourself.
So, is social media a fad?
To summarise, social media is massive. And since the beginning of its existence it has not stopped growing and the general opinion is that it will never stop.
Social media is an immense breakthrough in communications technology and to prove its power to the people view the below video for the latest stats and facts on the Social Media Revolution 2015.
If you enjoyed this blog on ‘Is Social Media a Fad?’ please take a look at some of of our other blogs.
A new virus threat that you need to warn your staff about – “Cryptowall”
Like other viruses, it’s spread by email and is mutating everyday so there is no guarantee that your anti-virus software will detect it. There’s actually no way of telling that it’s a virus from the email itself, so you shouldn’t open any attachments unless you can confirm with the sender that it is valid. So what is the Cryptowall virus?
In particular you should look out for:
- Any emails with attachments which looks like an invoice, complaint or purchase order or from an address you don’t recognise. Always verify with the sender that this is a genuine email before you decide to open the attachment.
- Any emails with .ZIP attachments. This is how the Cryptowall attachments are usually displayed. Check it with the sender to verify it.
- Any emails with .exe attachments. These will almost definitely be a virus – never open. Usually they will hide a .exe file within a zip file. You can check the file extension to make sure.
- Personal email accounts – If using web-based email accounts like gmail, hotmail, Yahoo!, etc. – any email needs to be checked meticulously as these will not have the same level of protection as company email accounts. If you need to check your personal emails, we would recommend using your mobile phone.
So what is the Cryptowall virus?
Similar to ‘Cryptolocker’, it’s an very malicious type of virus called Ransomware that will encrypt all of the data on your servers which means you won’t be able to access it. We know how to fix the issue, but there is no easy solution. For a more detailed look, read this.
These would be our guidlines but if you have any other queries or would be interested in taking a look at any of our services, you can contact us or call us on 0208 232 1190.
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