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Living with Facebook

I recently got a notification from Facebook informing me I’ve been a member for 10 years. In typical Facebook fashion it was a cutesy video that played through some select highlights from the last decade. After watching it through and laughing at some forgotten photos it got me thinking just how big a part of […]

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The little Dutch boy

Many of you will be familiar with the story of the Dutch boy who plugged a tiny leak in the dyke with his finger. Passers by raised the alarm and help came in the form of those who could fix the hole and avoid a disaster. We can easily relate this to the recent, well-publicised […]

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Attention to detail……one person’s pedantry is another person’s saviour

My elder son had an English test at school yesterday. The comprehension section included a passage of text about a poisonous snake. Before answering the questions, he crossed through the word “poisonous” and above it wrote “venomous”. Yesterday was clearly the day for such scrutiny as I also had a client contact me with suspicions regarding […]

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Festive greetings from VCI

As we close in on the end of 2016 we can once again look forward to the Christmas break, perhaps more time with family and friends and, to the best of our abilities, away from the routine of our working lives. We can also take the chance to count our blessings and consider the challenges […]

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A Nightmare on Email Street….

Of all evenings for this to happen, Halloween….. The boss is supposed to be on holiday but now he’s mailing you to insist you get some urgent payments made.  What to do…?  The internet seems to be running slowly, the noise from the kettle boiling sounds just a little too loud and now a black […]

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“Lovely Spam, Wonderful Spam!”

As discussed in my previous article, there seems to be an increasing chance of genuine email getting quarantined by spam filtering tools as the battle to protect against unwanted or harmful content continues. When investigating a ‘lost’ outbound email we often arrive at the point where we can prove an email arrived to the recipient’s […]

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What is going on with my emails?

A quote often attributed to George Bernard Shaw observed that, “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” Scholars may disagree on the original author but the sentiment applies well in the modern world. Through the opening months of 2016 I think I have spent more time investigating errant […]

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There’s more bad news, some good news….and no change in topic.

2016 already looks to be the year of Ransomware. Scan any technical news publications over the last quarter and you will see councils, hospitals, at least one (US) police department and various other high profile establishments who have made the news having fallen victim to a ransomware attack. Browse back through recent articles on our […]

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Life on the Edge….or IE11 for W7 and W8 users

From 12th January 2016, Microsoft is no longer offering support for any versions of Internet Explorer other than the latest v11 (for Windows 7, 8 and 8.1) or Edge for Windows 10 (though IE11 remains an installed option). In Microsoft’s own words, “Internet Explorer 11 offers improved security, increased performance, better backward compatibility, and support […]

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Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas

…and happy new year. The festive period provides an opportunity to pause and reflect on the year gone by and the year ahead – perhaps to set ourselves new goals and challenges in our personal and working lives. It can also be a time to reflect upon the lives of those around us, colleagues, families, […]

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Another spoof email……

If you have read previous posts on our news section here you will be both familiar and wise to spoof emails but here is another quick reminder. A quick glance at the purported sender and hovering over the link to see the destination provides all the confirmation you need to make your next mouse click […]

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Windows 10….or WinDon’t just yet?

By now you are probably familiar with the Windows 10 free upgrade notification popping up in the task bar on a regular basis and may be wondering what to do. Having had the privilege of attending Microsoft’s official UK Launch event for Windows 10 I can confirm that there are some exciting times ahead for […]

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“May contain nuts!”…….. Ransomware v backup (backup wins)

Having written about the dangers of attachments and spoof emails on several occasions (most recently here), my attention was drawn to an article on the BBC technology pages today regarding the ‘business model’ behind Ransomware malware products. The full BBC article is available here. I was interested to read how, contrary to anecdotal evidence published […]

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“May contain nuts!”…….. In an email world of attachments, remain detached.

  Apologies if I am beginning to sound like a broken record but I find myself, once again, writing a short piece on bogus emails and the dangers that lie within.  It’s too big and common a problem to ignore. Below is an image of an email I have seen today. 1 – nothing too […]

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“May contain nuts!”…….. What is your Movie Star name?

You’ve probably seen or even played the game passed on through social media.  The title can be a little more, shall we say, ‘niche market’ compared with the generic “movie star” heading I’ve given but the game remains the same as does the risk it poses to your personal data. The game states that you take the […]

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New Year’s Resolutions…

Turkey sandwiches for packed lunch…..but only for a few more days.  No more chocolates, ease back on the wine, dig out and dust off the old gym membership card.  The new year brings with it the cathartic, slate-cleaning new year’s resolutions – a list full of good intentions, hope, and the promise of improvement. Might we […]

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“The lazy Phisherman”

I received the following email this afternoon (Friday 19th September….) From: Net Faxmashine [mailto:postmaster@docs-dig.com] Sent: 19 September 2014 13:53 To: Robert Creech Subject: You have received a new fax message You have received a new fax. This fax was received by Fax Server. The fax has been downloaded to dropbox service (Google Inc). To view […]

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“May contain nuts!”…….. Navigating the internet (or “When and how to search”)

“At the roundabout, take the first exit” “In two more clicks you have reached ‘a’ destination…..(it might not be yours, and it might not be safe)” Imagine if your car Sat Nav picked a destination with only a tenuous link to the address you first entered, ending in the sort of area where you would […]

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“We’re all doomed, doomed I tell ye”

Some of the recent media reporting of an imminent cyber attack on Blighty could have come straight from the mouth of Dad’s Army character Private Frazer, complete with rolling eyes. So what is all the excitement about?  Well, call me an old sceptic <pause>, but this could just be a case of sensational journalism or, […]

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The Heartbleed Bug – do you need to act?

The latest concern regarding the safety of a cyber world has come in the form of the Heartbleed bug, the potential compromise of a system intended, ironically, to safeguard user data. The BBC has a good article outlining the flaw and surrounding issues – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-26954540 The headline of “Heartbleed Bug: Tech firms urge password reset” […]

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“May contain nuts!”…….. Passwords 101 – part 3

If we’ve travelled the “Password 101” journey together this far then we are hopefully in agreement that network passwords are a good thing, and you have some ideas regarding how to create them. Now we need to consider how we manage and maintain all those other passwords required by the various devices we use, the […]

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“May contain nuts!”…….. Passwords 101 – part 2

In our previous visit to passwords we looked at the need for the password in the office environment. This article delves a little deeper and focuses on network password generation. There is a popular saying that your password should be like your toothbrush, “Change it every three months and don’t share it with anyone else!” […]

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“May contain nuts!”…….. Passwords 101 – part 1

Ah, the password…invaluable security tool, necessary evil, or simply the reason to have to call IT support before even starting the working day? The concept of a tool to help identify the individual is not new – we have placed our mark or signed documents for many a century – but the prevalence of passwords […]

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“May contain nuts!”……..If you believe that, I’ve got a bridge to sell you!

(“May contain nuts” – a series of short articles discussing familiar topics which we should all revisit once in a while) In the early 20th century two con-men, George C. Parker and William McCloundy, successfully ‘sold’ the Brooklyn Bridge to unwitting and, one assumes, wealthy tourists. There are other similar, perhaps apocryphal, stories and it […]

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“May contain nuts!”… Renewing your domain name

(“May contain nuts” – a series of short articles discussing familiar topics which we should all revisit once in a while) You have a website, and you have emails. You know enough to know that these are linked to the fact that you have a domain “yourcompany.co.uk” registered but, beyond that, it all works and […]

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