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How to save money and be more efficient with your IT

How to save money and be more efficient with your IT

Saving Money and Increasing Efficiency in IT

With the uncertainty generated by BREXIT, the economy generally being a bit slow to pickup during the first half of 2016, and with the price of oil seeming to creep back up, the future seems uncertain and everyone is looking at how to save a bit of money. The question is can you save money and be more efficient at the same time?


The short answer is yes but you have to be willing to change, and those changes in the short term will cost money and/or time which is recouped in the medium to long term. Trying to be frugal on the following solutions and do it yourself can, unless very well managed, cost you a great deal more time. After all, you get what you pay for.

 

An example of change and efficiency working hand in hand to increase revenue: A UK technology provider is forging their own path to growth by diversifying their business and using their hard won efficiencies to nurture a new business arm. Fidelity-Group have traditionally been in the leased line and telecoms market but are now heavily promoting their energy savings arm. Their rationale is that the systems and processes needed to manage quoting and billing are very similar. In this way they are using their strengths to build a new market for far less upfront cost than say a new company would experience.

 

As we are from the IT world though we wanted to give you our top ten tips on saving money on IT whilst increasing efficiency, and none of them involve firing anyone.

  1. Get rid of your server and its maintenance. Whilst this isn’t suited to a company doing in house software development there are still thousands of small companies out there running Microsoft Small Business Server for nothing but email, calendars, contacts and file sharing/backup. Often the way these have been setup is haphazard and leaves gaping security loopholes but that is another story. The point is if this sounds like you then you need to consider moving to Office 365. Let Microsoft look after ‘your’ server in their massive, purpose built server farms. Let them deal with updates and maintenance. Not only is it virtually guaranteed to save you money and time but with a correct implementation and the appropriate training you can become more efficient too.
  2. Get a better hardware supplier. Do you ever find yourself walking in to PC World to pick up a new computer? Oh dear, not only are they expensive but the tendency is to, with the best intentions, buy something with all the bells and whistles that you just don’t need. The same goes for many small computer supply shops. The problem is being able to trust that what you will get is fit for purpose without trying it first. To be honest though, should you be making that decision? Your IT guys should know what applications you need and buy the PC that is fit for purpose. Get a standard workstation from an industry supplier, and have it delivered to site the next day. No need to think about it, no need to drive/walk anywhere.
  3. For that matter get a better software supplier. Some hardware suppliers will also do software so long as it relates to the systems they sell. For example a large distributor of Dell will probably also do Kaspersky licenses for a fraction of the price you would pay from the Kaspersky site.
  4. A minor point, but something you can implement right away. Did you know that ~85 per cent of UK landline phone numbers are registered with the Telephone Preference Service, but only 3 per cent of mobiles are signed up to the service (which is mostly free)? Whilst this won’t save you money directly it will save you time from answering those pesky sales calls. Just text “TPS” to 78070.
  5. Hire an accounting expert, perhaps just as an advisor or on a temporary contract. They should be able to help you make cuts which don’t just get shifted on to another business unit. You may also be able to tap legal resources to review existing supplier contracts.
  6. Take control of “unmanaged” costs such as power consumption, or printing. Ensure you can measure these costs accurately so you can see where you can make further savings.
  7. Get rid of useless software. We all have that subscription somewhere that eats away at our bank account until we notice one day and wonder why we ever bought it in the first place, or in some cases IF we even bought it! It could be the anti-virus software you used to use, or even the current software which can often be bought cheaper through a different supplier. Is it strictly necessary? Does anyone use it? Isnt there an open source version you could use?
  8. Switch to VoIP telephony. Typical savings are in the 40% region. You will need a good internet connection to do this but even the Virgin home broadband upwards of 100mbps is good enough for a dozen people (though not if you run a call centre).
  9. An obvious one – review your marketing plans often. Are you getting a return on any of your expenditure? Are you spending enough in the right places or just throwing money at a marketing spread where its impossible to tell what is working and what isn’t? For example if sending a branded Filofax to a highly targeted prospect costs £200 but they become a high value customer for life is that not better than sending 10,000 emails to fairly random people?
  10. Rationalise your systems. Emails, websites and failover services are high on the list for this. If youre a bit worried about touching it (using the “if it isn’t broken” rule!) get in a consultant to help make it more efficient moving forwards. So much can be done on the cloud today, and often it presents a much more economical option.

 

Conclusion

You are not expected to know everything. Equally though when was the last time your IT company came to you and said “hey, we have this great idea that will improve your business/an aspect of your business, and it is really easy to implement”? And then it happened, it was easy/cost effective, and it made a difference?

Do we practise what we preach? To some extent yes we do, we invest back in ourselves in new learning, certifications, and IT equipment and software to do our jobs better. We have embraced the cloud and learned to use the tools it gives us to be more efficient. We have also just refurbished our office which now looks respectable enough to not be embarrassed about bringing clients to. So why not come and visit us for a coffee if you are ever in Oxfordshire?

 

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Top 10 Gotchas for Cyber Security

Top 10 Gotchas for Cyber Security

The internet has revolutionised how many businesses operate, and how we live our lives. With over 2 billion users it is also a battleground for cyber security experts and hackers. Protecting key information is often critical to the survivability and competitiveness of businesses today.


Cyber security is also a hot topic at the moment with the government pitching in with adverts to warn us about using stronger passwords; but there are also some very common mistakes we see IT technicians making all the time. Here’s our list of the top 10 security gotchas.....

1. Port forward 3389.

Are you able to remotely login to your server using this method? Restricting access at the Firewall by IP address is not good enough as IP addresses can be spoofed and your details could be “sniffed”. This is called a man in the middle attack. This is such a common issue seen all the time, poor practise creates loopholes!

2. Sharing passwords across clients.

The chances are that the companies which do this will also proudly list some of their clients on their website. Therefore an enterprising person could gain access to all or some of said companies’ clients. The worst culprits seem to be website "designers"

3. Installing 3rd party browsers (like Chrome or Firefox) on to a server, and/or disabling Internet Explorers’ protected mode.

Why would an admin do this? Because it’s difficult to browse from a server otherwise. IT technicians should instead connect to a workstation, browse from there and if needed download files to a shared folder.

4. Poor physical security.

If I can touch your server I can take everything you have. This is quite a remote possibility for most people, but for businesses in highly competitive markets and with valuable Intellectual Property it can be an all too easy mistake to make. For example we have noted that it is usually very easy to get in to a “secure” premises by saying “I’m here to fix the computers”, people tend to just trust you!

5. Creating/not noticing SQL injection vulnerabilities.

These are unfortunately all too common given that they can be easily avoided. One of the most notable cases was the SQL Slammer worm of 2003 which infected ~75,000 machines successfully within 10 minutes of deployment. An amusing yet simple example of SQL injection is the tale of Little Bobby Tables. His mother being the caring sort we all know and love decided to Christen her son “Robert’); DROP TABLE Students;” which when typed in to the school database (as part of standard data entry probably done by an unwitting intern) erased a years’ worth of student data. Obviously they should have sanitised their database inputs! XKCD.

Primary Defences:

  1. Use of Prepared Statements (Parameterized Queries)
  2. Use of Stored Procedures
  3. Escaping all User Supplied Input – Probably the best method!

6. SSL Issues

SSL certificate expiry happens to the best of us, well not us, but some very big companies like Google in the case of their Gmail service. It can be very embarrassing when clients can’t access your website/their email, and potentially damaging to your reputation when they are told it is not a trusted domain. To ensure it doesn’t happen make sure you get the email reminders from your certificate issuer, and that these go to a shared inbox where designated people can action it.

7. Automated Patches

Windows Server Update Services (WSUS). If not configured properly the WSUS will use Http not the encrypted HTTPS delivery. Hackers could use low-privileged access rights to set up fake updates. These updates could download a Trojan or other kind of Malware allowing the hacker some access to your server.

8. Sensitive data exposure

A good developer should be very aware of security, sadly many developers are not. We had a situation like this when we took on a charity who had a lot of work done for them pro bono. We always say that you get what you pay for, and in this case that really rang true. The (very) sensitive data was not encrypted, nor was the access to the data. Anyone working at the web hosting company had access to the data, we had access to the data, the data could have been sniffed etc. and whilst we can be trusted we shouldn’t have access, and Joe Blogs is definitely a security threat.

9. Not applying fixes/updates

In a lot of SME’s they tend to look after their own IT until it becomes too complicated (out of necessity) for them to manage. I can’t count the amount of times I have gone in to scope out a system and found a bazillion updates needed doing. When asking why they have not applied the update the answer is usually “oh that’s what that thing is flashing at me for”. In larger companies updates should be scheduled and run from the server (to save on bandwidth mostly, and in some cases to be able to control which updates should be installed), remote devices should be able to be locked and wiped as a bare minimum requirement if they can’t be fully controlled. We have seen instances where this is not happening correctly and have suggested using a tool like Intune.

10. Poor practise

If it is not broken don’t go looking for issues, mentality. What with all of the above to deal with one would assume that an IT technician needs to keep on the lookout for vulnerabilities, but you know what they say about assumptions.

 

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Bongo IT’s Top 10 Gotchas on Office 365

Bongo IT’s Top 10 Gotchas on Office 365

Bongo IT’s Top 10 Gotchas on Office 365

Of course you don’t want to make a hash of it, and you want a good ROI, but many businesses make a total mess of their migration to Office 365. It should be simple, and if you’ve only got a few users and a small volume of data it can be. But most migrations fail to deliver the promised benefits.


Independent research suggests that 72% of Office 365 migrations of over 200 users fail to deliver significant benefits whereas those “properly” migrated save significant cost and dramatically increase efficiency. With this background, here are 10 confusing pitfalls of Office 365 you should be aware of before migrating to the cloud:

1. Microsoft Account vs O365 Organisation Account

 

As you will know there are a lot of different versions of Office 365; for home, for Business, for Enterprises, for Not-for-Profit organisations...and even some free versions for consumers requiring a different MS account type not to be confused with your organisational account. If you have both account types (which could even use the same email address) Microsoft will be holding your credentials within two different databases...thing is they sometimes "cross streams", and as we all know you don't want to do that. I'll try to explain the two account types:

Organisational

I have This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. as my Office 365 username. This is my organisational account (for Bongo IT) and allows me to access my organisations' apps and data when logged in to the portal. This account is used for logging in to all Office 365 features, for example:

  • Office 365 Exchange mailbox
  • Office 365 SharePoint
  • Skype for Business

Microsoft Account

I also have This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. which I have linked as a Microsoft Account (https://signup.live.com). I can use this account type to access the consumer version of OneDrive, and a few other apps. Anyone can have a Microsoft Account like This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and if you want free personal email and storage it’s not a bad idea to get one. In my case as I already had Gmail and didn’t want another email address to remember I just linked that up as my MS account. This account is used for:

  • Log in to Windows 8+
  • Log in to Skype / Xbox
  • Log in to OneDrive (onedrive.live.com)
  • Log in to free MS Office (www.office.com)
  • Log in to Windows Phone 8+
  • My free MS Account apps

With Microsoft things are never simple when it comes to licensing but the key thing is to remember that these account types are stored in separate databases that are not aware of each other. Each allows you access to different things, for example Skype Vs Skype for Business. If using both systems at the same time it is useful to use 2 browsers (one for each) to avoid any logging in issues, and to avoid a great deal of confusion. A password manager won't go amiss either. You may also come a cropper to a few inconsistencies. For example you can link Office 365 Home, or Student, to Skype. You can’t link Office 365 for Business to Skype.

2. Sharing Documents Externally

This used to be quite tricky but Microsoft have worked out some of the bugs since 2013, which has made this a lot more user friendly. There are various ways to share documents/folders/sites with external users but you need to be aware that SharePoint has a different security setup to OneDrive (paid subscription). OneDrive is ready to go when it comes to sharing externally, SharePoint Online (SPO) may require some settings updating and security groups creating. If you decide to allow internal users to be able to share a Site in SharePoint be extremely cautious.

Before you start you will need to turn on External Sharing in your Admin Centre, from the SharePoint dropdown menu item. NB: You can only share documents etc. with a Microsoft Account or Organisational Account holder. These are the things to be aware of: Sharing by email address: if you opt for this and uncheck "Require sign-in" the user will be emailed a Guest link. They could email this on to anyone (with a MS Account) who would then be able to access the data. Make sure you set an expiry date to the link. Sharing by "Get a Link"; again you will see options where no sign in is required. Remember to set an expiry if that is an option you choose.

3. Failing to factor in the Cost of Add-ons

As a Microsoft cloud partner it’s almost easy to forget that we have access to almost everything as part of our partnership benefits. Gloating aside here are some of the Add-ons you might want; Dynamics CRM Online, Yammer for Enterprise, Project Pro for Office 365, Visio Pro for Office 365.

4. Using Exchange Server Deployment Assistant

The Exchange Server Deployment Assistant will help you build a step-by-step checklist that will greatly assist you in the deployment of Exchange Server for different scenarios. It is a web based tool, and can be found here. If you don’t use the tool, then you are risking looking like one.

5. Get the prerequisites right for Office 365 when going hybrid

If you have large files which need super fast access (e.g. architects, designers, engineers), or you have offices in multiple countries you are probably considering going for a hybrid deployment. Number one is to be aware that if you have older software you need to upgrade it to support Exchange 2007 and later. However if you are using 07 and 10 you still need a 2013 CAS&MB server. We would recommend upgrading your entire on premise organisation to 2013. With Exchange 2016 around the corner it makes a lot of sense to get on the upgrade path now before you get left woefully behind, lacking in various bit of new functionality.

6. OneDrive for Business 5000 limit…and why you shouldn’t use it, yet.

Whilst you may have carefully planned your libraries, data migration and access rights you may not know about the 5000 limit which will scupper your good intentions at the final stage. You can only sync 5000 items (files + folders) per library using the OneDrive for Business app for PC and Mac. It's only a limit of the app, not SharePoint Online. So the answer is either to not sync libraries, or to ensure they only have a limited number of items in them. You can cheat by using Zips but that's not desirable for eDiscovery, or generally for access. We will say this though: currently we do not recommend using OneDrive for Business as it can be (but not always) unstable.

There is a new next gen sync client based on the more reliable consumer version out now but it only works with OneDrive (business not consumer), not SharePoint which is what we need. A little bird a Microsoft has said that it will be released in July 2016 though. Currently OneDrive for Business is unreliable, and whilst “easy” to fix it can be a bit of a time waster. There is a way round it though that gives you just about the same functionality. You can view SharePoint Online via the Explorer window so long as you are using Internet Explorer and select that option in the library settings pane. You can eliminate issues with the local cached copies of files by going old school and mapping a drive to a folder or library.

7. Calculating time to upload - EWS 400GB limit, and bandwidth requirements.

An oft forgotten issue when you are bogged down with the technical details. If you have a slow upload rate then you need to think carefully about how you are going to move all your company data to the cloud. You might even consider moving some data to another site to increase the upload speed. Exchange Web Services (EWS) also has a 400Gb transfer limit per day set as well. If you are uploading this much data the chances are you will be doing the migration in stages over multiple days, but it is still something to be aware of.

8. Data Retention: 14 day retention limit for deleted items.

As an Administrator you will be able to reinstate files which the user may have accidentally (or deliberately!) deleted from their Exchange Online inbox or from SharePoint Online. However the default setting is that files will only be retained for 14 days which doesn’t give the business much time to react in the case where something has gone missing.

9. Being aware that Lync Online does not provide full VoIP telephony…yet

If you thought that Office 365 (in the UK) was a full Unified Communications platform you would be wrong. Yes you can host Skype for Business (Lync), or use a hosted service but this requires significant investment. In its virgin state you can't use Skype for Business to dial out, which is a shame. Microsoft look like they will be releasing full PTSN integration at some point in the near future though, this feature is available now on a trial basis depending on your location and account type. We are trialing it right now!

10. Spam filtering – do I hear a rewind!

You may have spent years tuning your spam filter so that you barely get any spam at all but, like unlike Viking Gold, you can't take it with you. You will need to learn about Exchange Online Protection (EOP). There is so much material out there on EOP that there is little I could add so try reading up on it here... more details NB: If you have a Hybrid deployment or just plain old Exchange or even a non-Microsoft email server (heaven forbid) you can still get EOP to protect your mailboxes!

  • For both Exchange Online and SharePoint Online you need to be aware of the legal retention framework which your business operates under. Solicitors and accountants will have a completely different set of rules to play by than a builders. The general principal is the same though, retain data only for as long as you legally need to. This reduces your “legal risk”.
  • For Exchange Online you can now edit this limit by creating a new MRM policy; here's how MS Blog You may also wish to use the Exchange Admin Centre or PowerShell Technet
  • For information on how the SharePoint Online Documentation Deletion Policy Centre works try this very helpful article Technet

 

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Hacking and Hackers 2016 - Defend Yourself Against Ransomware

Hacking and Hackers 2016 - Defend Yourself Against Ransomware

Global Threats to I.T Security

Security Threats 2016 - - Defend Yourself Against Ransomware

Security is always a front runner in IT but new thinking from the fraudsters and hackers requires new, or at least updated, defences.

This year we have seen some really big stories in the news about hacking and security, and there have been some very nasty viruses released on to the internet. So, can we afford to continue in the same way as we always have? If we do it may cost us dearly. This is not scaremongering, these are the facts. Who's Been Hacked In The Past Two Years?


Experian, Premera Blue Cross, UCLA Health System, JP Morgan customers, Ashley Madison, US Government employees (including overseas spies!), Sony employees, Home Depot shoppers, EBay users... The list goes on but the above are the most notable. It's not just big companies that get hacked though, everyone is at risk and personally I have seen 3 instances of Ransomware attack in the past year (all data was recovered).

Most Notable Threats In The News:

Locky and other Ransomware - in our opinion the most prevalent and worrying viruses around at this time are those dubbed as "Ransomware". Have you or your staff received a slightly odd yet real looking email with a Word document attached? Or for that matter a PDF or Excel file? If you have and you opened it then your system is probably infected. Ransomware can come in all sorts of guises so it is difficult to pinpoint a tactical defense mechanism.

MazarBOT - A nasty virus affecting Android phone users that is capable of displaying false pages at the top of banking apps to try and trick you into handing over your financial credentials.

Linux Mint - if you happen to have downloaded this very popular version of Linux on or around February the 20th you may have been infected. Hackers had redirected the link to the ISO file to their own servers handing out an infected distro.

"Won't my Anti-Virus and Malware protection software stop Ransomware?" I hear you say...

The truth is that any very new virus won't be picked up by any AV software because it is not yet in their database.

Once infected Ransomware will start to encrypt your files so you can no longer access them. Then, at some point (and this could be several weeks later after all your backups are infected too) you will get a popup asking for a variable but not inconsiderable sum of money for the privilege of accessing your now hijacked data. Locky Ransomware is spreading at the rate of 4000 new infections per hour, which means ~100,000 new infections per day.

So are we all up the creek?

Well in a way, yes, we all have to be very careful. We all have to remain vigilant and be very aware that these attacks are out there, even to the point of training your staff so they know what to look for, and what NOT to do.

We wouldn't be surprised if cyber security even became part of the curriculum in the near future. There are some defences and practices we can adopt to minimise our risk though.

The Main Defenses

 

  1. Use a modern browser that is updated consistently, for example Chrome.
  2. Use a popup blocker extension with the browser, for example AdBlock Pro.
  3. Make sure your Anti-Virus software is up to date, we recommend Kaspersky as it is Russian; the majority of hackers are Russian thus it should have the most up to date protection available.
  4. Consider using Anti-Malware like MalwareBytes
  5. Don't open "dodgy" looking emails.
  6. Train your staff on what to look out for.
  7. Protect your data! Create a backup system which is designed to resist this type of threat. Most are only designed with mechanical failure in mind.

Other Hacking Vulnerabilities For Your Delectation

Do you have a wireless mouse/keyboard? For example the signal between your mouse and the computers receiver (usually a USB dongle) may be unencrypted, thus the receiver will accept any seemingly correct command, this is known as Mousejacking. The same goes for some wireless keyboards.

"With the use of around $15-$30 long-range radio dongle and a few lines of code, the attack could allow a malicious hacker within 100 meters range of your computer to intercept the radio signal between the dongle plugged into your computer and your mouse". Ref: thehackernews.com

Poor Passwords: We see this all the time! An example of a poor password is Dave12 since it is too short and could be guessed fairly easily. Strong memorable passwords are difficult to generate so use a free web service like SafePassword.

They should include a mixture of numbers, letters and symbols and be at least 10 characters long. NB: An 11 character password is not able to be hacked by brute force by any computer in the world.

 

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Local Businesses Working Together Chippy2Win #GBHighstreet Awards

Local Businesses Working Together Chippy2Win #GBHighstreet Awards

Testing Our New Mimosa B5 Lites in Chipping Norton

It was sunny day in the Cotswolds, looking back on it probably the last sunny (and warm) day of the summer, and we had a job to do… Make The Internet Work! This project all started when a local social media management business owner contacted me on Facebook. He is one of the crowd we have often met at various networking events, and lives in my home town of Chipping Norton.

 


“Hi mate I need your Bongo skills We've just taken over the old Post Office building as our new ECN HQ for the next 6 weeks and we need to sort out internet connectivity so we can get folks voting on the High St competition”

After a few questions about the location and the surrounding buildings I suggest that if he knows someone that has line of sight (LOS) to the post office we could look at using a radio to get the connection in. As it happens Shaun had just had a similar sort of conversation with the Deli opposite and knows that he has fast fibre there so with a bit of ringing around we organise a day to go and do a survey. Good thing I live down the road from this one! With the survey complete and a plan in place we book an installation day.

The install goes well and we get the cabling run in record time. We then get the brand new Mimosa B5 Lites up on the brackets high above the street traffic to ensure LOS is kept. Positioning these radio is very easy, there is a tool that allows you to scan for the best signal strength and we simply move them around until we get the best signal. After a bit of tuning the radios go live very happily. The whole install takes us about 4 hours and at the post office end we put in a switch to ensure that 3 laptops can connect to the internet to enable the voting for the #GBHighSt Awards.

If you would like Chipping Norton to win please vote now Vote Now

“Thank you to the incredible Bongo IT for setting up high speed internet connectivity in our HQ. And of course, thanks to Delicacy Deli & Coffee Shop for letting us share their connection in the first place. A perfect example of local businesses and organisations working together for the greater community benefit”. Experience Chipping Norton

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New Skype for Business Changes Coming... Soon?

What We Want is Unified Comms in Office 365, When Do We Want it?

Microsoft launched Skype for Business mid 2015. At that time there was a lot of talk about the new voice and meeting capabilities, and there was the chance to see a technical preview if you lived in the US. The new capabilities will enhance the current Skype for Business experience and allow IT Service, and Telecoms providers to offer a complete enterprise grade communications soultion as part of Office 365, or the unified comms solution of the future as we see it.


Update 07.02.2017 - Skype For Business outbound/inbound calling is now available to users. 

When we visited the UCEXPO in London during the summer "UCEXPO" this was the holy grail that everyone was reaching for. Unified communications isn't just about telecoms and conferencing it is about having all your data and colleagues connected in a way which is useful for your business, and being able to access the data from a central "control system" e.g. Outlook. As soon as someone invents an advanced algorithm for text to speech during meetings (that works well!) this type of system will be even more powerful. This company seems to be on the right track, CloudPipes however after requesting a demo I am #47,852 on the backlist...Well at least I don't feel like a Guinea pig

New Skype for Business Features Here and Coming...at Some Point

PSTN Conferencing - only available to preview in the U.S. This feature uses the traditional public switched telephone network to allow users who have been invited to a Skype for Business meeting set up in Office 365 to join the meeting by dialing in using a mobile or landline. This is a basic traditional dial-in capability one might expect of a conferencing system. It is in addition to, single touch join options on PC's, smartphones and browsers. So if your technical director is on holiday in Spain again and can't connect to the internet he can still join by phone, ah the joy of technology. Using PSTN Conferencing in Office 365 you will be able to dial out from the system to add other people to the call too, which is neat.

THE DADDY! Cloud PBX with PSTN Calling - only available for preview to Office 365 users in the U.S of A currently. This is the feature set we are most interested in. We want to use Skype for Business to make all our calls, and have the address book linked to Outlook. Everything finally would be in one place, integrated. Unified one could say! And don't worry, when this feature comes out you will still be able to use existing on-premises phone lines for outbound and inbound calls.

Skype Meeting Broadcast Preview (available to eligible Office 365 customers worldwide) - You can use this to publish your Skype for Business meetings on the public internet making it easy for "Joe Blogs" type users to join. The system claims to support up to 10,000 people though we have never had the privilage of testing that! This makes it very easy to host huge virtual meetings like that of a volunteers meeting, town hall, or even a demonstration. This preview includes the use of Bing Pulse, for real-time polling and sentiment tracking, and Yammer.

These previews are delivered by Microsoft strategic partners such as: BT, Level 3 Communications, Orange Business Services, Verizon and Vodafone.

Additionally Microsoft will be delivering a feature enabling direct connections to Office 365's Skype for Business customers using Azure ExpressRoute for Office 365. ExpressRoute helps customers easily create private connections between their premises and Microsoft enabled datacentres. This gives you more predictable network performance (predictable latency). This is a great resource for anyone looking for a manageable network with dedicated connectivity, reliability and additional data security. Then again seeing how easy it is to tap fibre we would still be concerned about how that is monitored.

Microsoft say they are "enabling people to connect with one another across all forms of human expression; verbal, written, visual and emotional".

Well fair enough, great if you can get on a trial but for us mere mortals we have been waiting patiently for the PTSN calling and cloud PBX for years. We want it now please, thank you!

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Got That Syncing Feeling? - OneDrive for Business Improvements

Got That Syncing Feeling? - OneDrive for Business Improvements

OneDrive for Business Sync Improvements

Microsoft have announced that they are reviewing a new client for OneDrive for Business, your storage and sync medium to Office 365. There have been "a lot" of complaints (we complained at least 50 times, so god only knows how many complaints they actually received, 10's of 1000's we imagine).


What Is OneDrive for Business?

If you are not familiar with OneDrive for Business it is a very handy way to get your files in to the cloud, and to access those files quickly from your computer. It's a lot like Dropbox or Google Drive. The more clever side to it being that you can for example get on a flight/train/bus to a business meeting and access the files stored in OneDrive for Business locally on our computer without having to connect to the internet.

When you then reconnect to the internet the updates to the files are loaded to the cloud. If there are any changes made by colleagues during the time you were not connected to the cloud you will be notified and given a choice to merge, or keep a copy of your work. A very handy tool, especially for remote working.

So Where Does it Fall Down?

Reliability, in a word. The current client is based on Microsoft's Office Groove and has been for some time. It is prone to bugging out when you move files around, if for example you are having a bit of a "spring clean" of your old customer files and decide to drang and drop a lot of files in to a new "archive" folder. When I did this recently, my files were fine but my colleagues OneDrive for Business folders all had errors that could not be resloved.

So time to repair...but that didn't work...so time to clean the cache and start again (whilst noticing that 16gb of our harddrives' storage is taken up by the cache, aaaahhhh!!!). Frustratingly there is also a 5000 item limit which most people are unaware of (this is files + folders) for any one library, though you can have multiple libraries of course. Whilst generally all that is needed is some file structure planning it is a seemingly pointless limitation. Plus if you do accidentially go over that 5000 items limit...it can be a bit of a pain to sort out.

Our annoyance is that Dropbox can happily sync thousands of files without an issue, even OneDrive (the consumer version) is good as it uses a different technology, so why not Microsofts' business application?!

So whilst this does give us techies something to do and makes us look good when we fix it that's not really the sort of credit we are after. What we all want is a reliable sync system which flexes with the business needs. And preferably one that you don't need a degree in computer psychology to suss out.

What Are Microsoft Doing About IT?

Reuben Krippner, director, OneDrive for Business, introducing the new client in a video said:

“We heard your feedback on the sync experience loud and clear,” said “We’re delivering the next-gen sync client for both PC and Mac, and it’s based on the proven OneDrive consumer sync client.”

The new client is now in limited preview and adds OneDrive for Business Support to the existing (working) consumer client version. This should dramatically improve it's reliability. The new client will also support files of sizes up to 10Gb. Let's hope you have a fast upload to your broadband connection if you are thinking of storing those sizes of files in the cloud.

Mobile Clients

There are a number of OneDrive for Business mobile clients, many of which will be getting some new features. The Android app for example will allow individual files to not be kept from syncing. As for the rest we are unclear as to what features are going where.

The Crystal Ball

The only question is, will this be "rock solid" as promised? Well we expect a few bugs, but at least it looks like it is moving in the right direction. 

Update

07.02.2017 - We are now trialing the release candidate for the new next gen sync client. So far so good but still a way to go in our opinion. It has been pegged for release in March 2017 but we shall see.

 

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Microsoft Office 2016 New Features

MS Office 2016 New Features to Delight, and Beguile

Real Time Co-Authoring

Up until now the co-authoring functions have had a bit of a choppy time and Microsoft had settled on allowing co-authoring only in the browser IE when both users are logged in to the portal, which makes sense but was a bit disappointing given that we were allowed to see it in its full glory briefly.


However the 2016 update will allow for co-authoring when editing documents in OneDrive For Business which to be frank is the most likely place you would want to do it anyway, certainly for our clients (Network Managers/IT Directors) who are often in the office, at their desk working with colleagues. I have seen and "played" with the co-authoring function which seems to work well giving you real-time updates of what your colleague is doing to your document...and of course for a while we simply typed silly sentences at each other, marvelling at the misuse of technology. We did however speculate where this might be the most useful (other thanthe obvious use I have already mentioned) and we postulated this may be during meetings where a lot of notes need to be taken, seen by all and referred to. It could also be quite useful during scoping, and project management calls for projects too, providing everyone has the tech of course.

Link Sharing - Not Document Attachments

The default behaviour will be to share a link instead of attaching a document. Okay so this is a great idea and has been a long time coming, you can already get a link from SharePoint and share it but this is not the default behaviour for the system, or for most users. Exchange is already extremely clever about how it stores document attachments (heck it must be as I am awful at sending links!) but this new change will make email quicker, both to send and to search through, and ultimately save on disk space in Exchange. One possible problem that has been noted is that by default the link is set to "anyone can edit", however that is basically the same as sending the attached file without password protecting it, so not a biggy. What we are wondering is how this will affect older email, will the attachments still be available because I'm sure we have moved files/folders around in SharePoint a couple of times?!

Outlook Groups

Office 365 users will now be able to create a new type of group which will have a shared calendar, simple mailing list (group), library (document store) and some messaging tools via Skype for Business.

Clutter Update

Do you use clutter? This is a question I am asked daily. The answer is yes, but I also check it! Many users are not too keen to miss an important email so have turned clutter off straight away without testing it for a bit. Okay, fair enough, nobody likes change (or Microsoft "experiments") but if you are going to embrace the cloud, you might as well start using the apps that are built to make you more productive. The clutter function does hark back to the zero inbox method which I have come across. Basically this entails organising your email into several folders: Urgent, Important Not Urgent, Not Important...and thus cleaning up your very messy inbox. This allows you to concentrate on the most important things and potentially shift some of the other Not Important things on to another business function as you will probably find they are not super relevant to your job role. Streamlining is fun! So what is new? - You can manage it from within Outlook, not just online.

What Else?

That's basically it from us. Microsoft have just shown me their published changes which can be found at this URL here . Excel is going to have some new chart types but that's only of interest if you are a hardcore Excel user, most of us are not. So are you looking forward to 2016?

 

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40,000 UK businesses have their broadband boosted

40,000 UK businesses have their broadband boosted

Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey urges businesses to apply for £3000 broadband grants before it’s too late

More than 40,000 small and medium businesses (SMEs) across the UK have now benefitted from the Government’s Broadband Connection voucher scheme, latest figures published today show. The scheme, which helps SMEs get connected to superfast broadband has seen a huge surge in demand in recent months, but time is running out for businesses to take advantage of the initiative.


The Government made £40m available in 2015/16 for the scheme, and the vouchers are being issued on a “first come, first served” basis. Funds have not been ring fenced for individual cities, and with more than 1000 applications now being received each week, Government is encouraging all eligible businesses to apply before the available funds are exhausted.

The scheme allows businesses to apply for grants of up to £3,000 each to cover the costs of installing faster and better broadband. So far, more than 40,000 businesses in the 50 cities across the UK participating in the scheme have had grants approved. The scheme has helped a huge variety of businesses to date, including architects, estate agents, mechanics, events coordinators cafes, graphic designers and caterers.

Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey said: “Our offer to small businesses has been a tremendous success and is proving incredibly popular. More than 40,000 UK businesses have already taken up our offer which is aimed at boosting both their broadband speeds as well as their bottom line. Businesses need to act now to ensure they don’t miss out on this fantastic offer and I’m urging all eligible businesses to apply now before it’s too late.”

Too late!? Surely not a great message for the future....(sorry had to be said)

The grant, in the form of a voucher, is part of the government’s transformation of the UK’s digital landscape, helping cities to create and attract new jobs and investment, and making the UK the best place in the world to do business. Vouchers issued as at 25 August 2015:

 

  • Scotland - 2087
  • Wales - 2042
  • Northern Ireland - 1867
  • North West - 6344
  • North East - 1291
  • Yorks and Humber - 5734
  • Midlands - 5179
  • London - 11664
  • East of England - 1407
  • South East - 1592
  • South West – 1734

(Please see notes to Editors for a city-by-city breakdown of vouchers issued)

Benefits small businesses are seeing as a result of a faster connection include:

  • Growing and accessing new markets through better communication with customers and suppliers •
  • Increasing security through fast secure back-up of data •
  • Increasing productivity and improving customer service through faster upload and download speeds

Businesses can find out if they are eligible and get more details on the broadband connection voucher scheme at www.connectionvouchers.co.uk

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A Cost Effective Alternative To Lead Forensics

A Cost Effective Alternative To Lead Forensics

Do you want to know who is looking at your website?

of course you do! Lead generation is really important to you!

We have made this really easy to do with the help of the free analytics package PIWIK and a little plugin we made.


What is PIWIK?

PIWIK is an open analytics platform (like Google Analytics) currently used by individuals, companies and governments all around the globe. With Piwik, your data will always be yours unlike Google's version where they own your data. And should you wish to purchase your historical data it can cost a lot of money. Whether your site has a a lot of visitors or just a few, Piwik will help you collect and analyze information about your users. Track Key Performance Indicators such as visits, goal conversion rates (once set up correctly), downloads, keywords and a whole lot more.

How Do You Know Who Is Visiting The Website?

We have built a plugin that works with PIWIK to look up the IP address of visitors against a WHOIS record. This will give you varying amounts of data on the company. The bigger the company the more data you will likely get. Often you will get the telephone number, company name, company address, and maybe an email address too. This data can then be fed into your marketing activities as a new lead.

Sounds Amazing! How Much Does It Cost?

We just charge a flat fee of £50 pcm. This covers all the setup, support and training you need to get the most out of the plugin. So contact us to get it set up today for a 2 week no obligation free trial. 01865988217, option 2.

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12 tips on getting your blogs noticed

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Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

12 tips on getting your blogs noticed

By Jenny Haken, Copywriter

Writing blogs should be fun, enjoyable and entertaining. Or at least educating in some way. But whether they’re used as a marketing tool or a means to provide useful information, blogs must read well and include key words (you know, those words that describe what you do, to hook your customer in!), and also keep the reader engaged. Tricky, huh?


Well, no! I was recently asked to create some blog writing tips specifically for a healthcare client, which I was delighted to do. So I’ve generalised them to share here with you. I can’t promise they will make your blogs go viral, but you never know! So here goes:

Make sure your heading includes key words and is formatted to H1. This is necessary for Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) purposes. Search engines like H1 headings and it will help your blog to be ‘found’ on the internet more easily.

Your first paragraph should always be treated as an introduction. Try to include key words as much as possible, but don’t get too hung up on them – Google is quite smart at picking out the right words. It’s more important that the copy flows nicely, gives a taster - a teaser, if you like - of the information they’re about to read, and captures the reader’s attention.

Now you can get down to the real writing. Just write your heart out! Put down everything you want to say and keep it interesting and friendly. Don’t try to be too clever. Add a bit of humour if you can. The important thing is to then go back and edit, hone, cut and cut some more until it’s clear and succinct – one of the best ways to do this is to get rid of superfluous words.

Keep it simple! This is important for all businesses and organisations. Try to put yourself in your prospective customers’ heads, especially in that all-important opening paragraph, or introduction. This is true of all marketing and advertising copy – simplicity is best! I often cringe at beautiful looking websites, brochures and leaflets when I read copy that’s too technical for their target audience. On the other hand, try not to fall into the trap of oversimplifying information so much that it sounds like you think your customers don’t have an iota of intelligence!

Make it personal. In other words, use ‘you’ and ‘your’. Try to relate to the individual. Write it as if you’re writing a letter to a friend.

Sub-headings are helpful. And bullet points. They break up the text a bit, drawing your readers’ eyes to a new point that they may find particularly useful.

Check for mistakes. Blogs, or any marketing material, that have a typo, spelling mistake or, heaven forbid, an apostrophe missing or in the wrong place (my particular bugbear!) will immediately make the more astute reader question as to how efficient and trustworthy that organisation is. Ideally, ask someone who you know as a bit of a grammar nazi to read through for mistakes. A fresh pair of eyes always helps, but if that’s not possible and time allows, leave it and read it again later.

Links to other authoritative articles can help. If you can provide links to websites, articles or studies that back up what you’re saying, that not only helps to improve your credibility but also helps for SEO purposes, too.

Use pictures! That’s often a great way to initially attract your target audience, especially if you’re trying to sell a product or service. But make sure they’re relevant and that you have the right to use them. There are many online photo agencies and resources where you can pay or, in some cases, get free photos to use in your blogs. Just remember to credit the photographer and/or the agency in your caption.

Have a 'Call To Action' at the end. This is another important marketing tool – all marketing blogs should finish with a CTA. Even if it's simply ‘Contact us now for further information’. But if you have a special offer, promotion or something you want the reader to do, repeat it at the end with clear instructions as to what to do next to benefit from this wonderful opportunity!

Keep it short! Ideally, a blog should be around 500 words to keep the reader interested. However, there are times when a longer article is necessary. I’ve seen (and sometimes been interested enough to keep reading!) blogs and articles of 1,000 words, 2,000 words or more.

And if you can’t be bothered to do any of this, ask me! I’m always happy to help.

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0808/0800 Inbound Cost Changes & SIP Channels

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0808/0800 Inbound Cost Changes & SIP Channels

From 1st July, calls to 0808/0800 will be free of charge from mobiles as they currently are with landline. To offset this new cost, the mobile carriers have passed onto fixed carriers a Mobile Levy Fee of around £0.016ppm when a call to 0800/0808 originates from a Mobile. This charge is then added to the standard Inbound Service termination cost.


We expect a 65% cost increase for businesses using 0800/0808 numbers, which will more than likely cause large bill shock. As the networks have been slow to react and to advise customers. In order to remedy this cost hike we are proposing that 03 numbers are used as a replacement.

There has also been some recent talk about Openreach’s ISDN network becoming obsolete by 2020, as much of their network already runs on SIP. With greater broadband speeds and options available now, we are providing our customer with SIP channels over an Assured broadband connection 9 times out of 10. SIP channels provide resilience and disaster recovery options, multi site and free phone number solutions, fraud detection/prevention and all inclusive call charges to UK Landlines (01/02/03) and UK Mobiles for £12.50 per line per month.

Cost control and future technology! How does that compare with your ISDN line package?

Craig Jones Telecom and WiFi Consultant

GHM Communications Ltd M: 07787578971

 

GHM Communications

 

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Why you should be planning your digital legacy after death

Digital Legacy is the online presence you leave behind when you pass away. This includes any social media profiles and accounts such as Facebook, Instagram, digital music or photos to name a few. Digital Legacy is just as important as leaving a Will of physical assets for your family members. Research from Saga Legal Services has revealed that only 13% of accounts users have planned their Digital Legacy. 


 

In the US Facebook accounts can be memorialized, but Facebook also allows users to choose a “legacy contact,” who will have the opportunity to guard the profile after the user has deceased. This process can be done on the Facebook’s setting and a message will be sent with specific details to the chosen individual. The legacy contact can be changed at any point and proof of the death must be given. There are limitations to this as Facebook allows the legacy contact to write a post for the profile to share news of a memorial service, respond to new friend requests, update pictures. Facebooks does not allow the legacy contact to log into the account to delete any old content nor read the deceased private messages.

 

Apple have a different policy about iTunes. They have the right to freeze an account if the user has died. This is because Apple’s policy is that any files that are bought do not belong to the user, they are just loaned to the user, thus, they cannot be passed down the generations like physical assets. But surely, this is the same as buying a CD and passing them onto your children? You have paid the money for it and you should be entitled to pass it down if you wish. Either way it is something to think about as more and more people have online access to their music, social media accounts and profiles, we need to develop a way to protect our digital legacy after death.

 
 
 
 
 
 

 

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Southern Oxfordshire New Business Competition Bongo IT Finalist

Southern Oxfordshire New Business Competition in Conjunction with Jennings.

 

We are extremely happy to say that Bongo IT have been shortlisted to win the Southern Oxfordshire New Business Competition


This means we are one of 8 new businesses (under 2 years old) in this region to be selected. We all feel very special right now just to have got this far. The winner of the competition gets a free office for a year with the fabulous Jennings.

 

If you are a new business we highly recommend you apply next year. All you have to do is describe in 100 words or less what you have learnt and achieved in your first two years of business. And/Or check out Oxford Business Mentors if your business is over the 1 year mark, they offer great 1 to 1 support for free.

 

Thanks to everyone who has helped us get this far. We look forward to continuing to move forwards with you all.

 

Andrew Elder

Bongo IT

Director of Sales & Marketing 

 

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Do I Need SEO For My Website? I don't understand SEO!

SEO FAQ Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

 

is a confusing subject for many business owners. These might be some of the questions going through your head: What the heck is it?! Why do I need it? Why does one person tell me one thing, another says something else? Don’t I already have it? Can I trust a so called “SEO expert”. Hopefully I will be able to answer these questions for you.


 

What is SEO?

 

SEO in its simplest form could be described as internet marketing, it usually starts with understanding who your customers are, what messages you are trying to get across and what key words/phrases are most appropriate to use. This leads to key words/phrases being used holistically across your digital marketing channels. These are used in content for your website, micro-sites, adverts/adwords, social media, some directories, and specific/relevant places on the web which help the search engines to understand what you do, and subsequently present that information to the right people.

 

Get it wrong and your message could be being seen by loads of people, just not the right ones, or no one at all of course.

 

“Think of your website like a window to a store on a busy high street. The street is the internet with all its data and users zooming past. What can be done to get people to stop at your shop? Nice displays in the window, maybe a sign, maybe several signs. SEO is the window dressing and the signs which help a person (or search engine) understand why they need to stop at your shop, what services you offer, and what makes you different”.

 

Why do I need it?

 

If you want your website to come up in Google for multiple search terms then you will need to think about using SEO in some way. If you are already well listed in Google (possibly due to getting a new website) then as your content ages other sites become more relevant and you go down in the search results.

 

Why does one person tell me one thing, another says something else?

 

Whilst I can’t give a definitive answer why this occurs we have found that SEO companies tend to focus on what they know how to do well, there are two usual schools of thought.

 

1. SEO is all about creating quality backlinks to your website.

2. SEO is all about creating great quality content on a regular basis.

 

It is true that both of the above are required to get a perfect “SEO score” although one should really say that

 

"if you are creating great quality content on a regular basis you will naturally get good, relevant links back to your website given time". 

 

When I talk about SEO I do always talk about the content side of it!

 

Don’t I already have it?

 

Not necessarily. Some website developers will include a basic level of on-site (website) SEO when they build your website, this is usually in the form of metadata which is included in your websites and contents HTML structure, some won’t offer this although your website will probably still appear in Google, somewhere, at some point… The good ones however will offer it as part of a long term strategy which was defined before/during the website build. SEO shouldn’t be an afterthought.

 

Can I trust a so called “SEO expert”.

 

One would hope so but just in case what can you do to check them out?

 

1. Ensure that they take a holistic approach to SEO. If they are doing link building do they create good content with it? Are the links relevant to your and are they from reputable websites? Where are some examples? Bad link practise will do more harm than good.

2. Make sure they create a plan with you and that they truly understand what content you need creating.

3. Ask them a question like “what do you think about Googles continued initiatives to lessen the effectiveness of backlinking companies?”. Hopefully you will hear them say that creating high quality content is more useful in the long run anyway.

4. Ask them “what is the quickest way to get backlinks? If they are very eager to tell you all the ways to easily get links using methods you will start to realise must be illegitimate you will have caught them out. There is no quick way to do it, though you can legitimately list your business in online directories yourself quite quickly this doesn’t usually provide much benefit.

5. Ask them what their tactics are and how they measure their success. ROI can take a long time to see but you should always be moving in the right direction, taking measurements along the way. In summary try to do some online research into content marketing and content strategy, not just SEO. This will help you understand about the type of activities you should take part in online.

 

For more information please get in touch with us at www.bongoit.co.uk/contact

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Content Strategy Planning

Bongo IT Can Help You Understand How To Market Yourself Online

 

Here at Bongo IT we take online marketing very seriously. Before you invest in a website or promoting yourself online you should be thinking about your content strategy.

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What Is An Internet Troll? And Can I Deal With Them?

Simply put an internet troll is a person who butts into your conversation looking for an argument or reaction by making an (often) offensive comment.   You may be familiar with this type of person from your own real life (or "RL" as us internet types tend to say) experiences. I know I have certainly met a few. 

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Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) Oxford Just Got Better

Bongo IT's SEO team are teaming up with Jen Haken, an experienced Oxford based copywriter.

 

SEO isn't a standalone activity. To create a good plan for SEO you need to look at the overall Content Strategy.

 

Here at Bongo IT we have become accustomed to taking a holistic approach to our clients approaches to digital marketing.


 

How have we helped clients?

 

  • We have broadened the horizons of many of our clients by teaching them about the plethora of ways to promote themselves online. This in turn has provided them with better, more magnetic sales experiences, more sales, more engaged clients and more brand awareness. 
  • increased Amazon sales by using the tools available in the Marketplace like fulfilment and bundles.
  • helped with Adwords campaigns get more clicks and visibility by making the website landing pages more effective, doing keyword research and by using a few little tricks we know of.
  • helped create traction with bloggers by using Twitter more effectively, this in turn creates content, backlinks to your website and boosts your SEO score. 
  • created content which attracts the search engines attention and gets your blog or website pages more views.
  • re-architechted websites to be more SEO friendly.
  • helped clients with their Direct Mailing (DM) campaigns both in terms of creating a "sign up magnet" on their website, driving clients to sign up, and creating the email campaign itself including the email templates.
  • got all our clients websites better indexed by Google (and other major search providers) making them more visible in the Search Engine Results Pages.

 

So get in touch now and see how we can help you.

 

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7 Things You (probably) Didn't Know About Computers

Here are some "fun" facts which you probably didn't know about computers

 

1. Your PC has a battery in it...how else does it know the time after being unplugged? You can take the battery out too, but we wouldn't reccommend it unless you know what you are doing!

2. You can turn off your PC if it freezes by holding the power button down for 4 (or more) seconds.


3. Everything you see and hear off the internet is technically coming from your computer. This is because the file has to create a locl copy of itself on your computer before it can play, thats what "buffering" is.

4. An Intel Core i7 3.4Ghz processor can do about 150,000,000,000 floating point operations per second, thats so much maths I can't even count....

5. The first computer (that resembles todays computers) was invented by British mathematician Charles Babbage around 1833.

6. Silicon is the most likely substance of which Alien life is created (does that mean machines will take over and destroy us?! The irony!)

7. The Russians made a computer that ran on water in 1936. I tried running on water but I sank...

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Why Should I Use Longer Passwords??!! ...Security!!!!

 

Why you really, really should use stronger passwords

 

This blog post was created from a conversation we had with one of our clients since they sent us this link with a subject line of "interesting?" Advice From A Real Hacker which is worth reading first.


There are many thoughts on this. The suggestion is that we as IT companies should stop forcing password changes so often. Users simply make every new password simpler than the last which is counter productive. Don’t forget, Password1 is a 9 character password containing uppercase, lowercase and numbers!

 

It has been suggested that we enforce a policy of not using dictionary words, this is not a good argument in reality. It forces passwords to get shorted and shorted, as jumbled characters are hard to remember. How about a (misquoted!!) phrase: ItWasTheWorstOfTimesItWasTheBestOfTimes No matter how many dictionary lists you are using, you will still have to run them all 12*12 times to spot a 12 word phrase.

 

If “it doesn't take me very long to test every … word combination in the dictionary” then use a word combination that is not in the dictionary, or indeed in any book anywhere...

 

Where passwords are concerned we will allow:

Never Use Just Numbers

Use All of the Allowable Character Types

 

Please note he suggests using munging, even tho Wikipedia has a munging lookup table: Munging

 

Our conclusion? A few steps:

 

Step 1: Use the same password on all the sites you don’t care about. The forum you registered on just to say “lol” on a post? Pasword1. The site you had to register on to download some shareware? Password1. The city council site you have to register on to receive SMS alert about your dustbins? Password1. Who cares if they get cracked, and it makes your life easier.

 

Step 2: Use a password manager. For the (few) sites that you actually care about, generate a unique, strong (20 random characters, with all of the Allowable Character Types) password. You will need a password manager, as there is no way you can remember one of these, let alone a few of them for important sites. I define important as “I could lose money if this was hacked”. That loss can take place via simple theft (i.e PayPal) or via complicated ID fraud (i.e. UK Govt. Website). I like KeePass, and LastPass is a strong offering too. They will generate the password, store it encrypted, and when you need it auto fill it onto the web page. Now, you only have to remember 1 password. How about:

“ASingleManInPossessionOfAGoodFortuneMustBeInWantOfAPasswordManager”

(with apologies to Jane Austen).

 

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  • FREE IT STRATEGY SESSION

  • At Bongo IT, we know that technology is increasingly dominant and crucial to maintaining business performance and productivity.

    Organisations should make sure they are making the right IT decisions for their current needs, whilst also planning for the future with flexible and scalable solutions.

  • As a special offer, we are offering a FREE one hour consultation to address your current IT setup and recommend an effective strategy for your future requirements.

    Addressing issues such as computer hardware, broadband, data security, file sharing, compliance and more, we’ll help you build a plan and ensure you deploy the most cost-effective IT strategy for your company’s needs.

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