Microsoft Office 2013

10 October 2012

Later this year, Microsoft are releasing office 2013. They have yet to announce a release date, but here are some links with further information about it:

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VIRUS BY EMAIL

12 July 2012

HERE IS AN EXAMPLE OF A VIRUS INFECTED EMAIL – PLEASE DELETE IT IF YOU GET SOMETHING LIKE IT!

 

Apple Malware

11 July 2012

Here is an interesting story that recently came out:

http://www.pcadvisor.co.uk/news/apple/3368591/apple-app-store-gets-first-malware-app/?cmpid=HTML-N090712&olo=newsletter

Something that smart phone users need to become more aware of!

Unlock your GMAIL account

11 July 2012

If you change your GMAIL password, it might stop working on external email clients and devices (even if you put in the new password).

In this case you need to unlock your GMAIL account.

Check out this link for the relevant instructions: http://support.google.com/groups/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=2461835

Dropbox is doubling in size!!!

11 July 2012

GREAT NEWS FOR EXISTING DROPBOX USERS!

Dropbox is doubling its capacities without increasing its prices!

Here are two articles about this:

http://blog.dropbox.com/index.php/new-dropbox-pro-plans/

http://www.latimes.com/business/technology/la-fi-tn-dropbox-doubles-storage-20120710,0,5777535.story

Destroy your old hard disk drive

4 July 2012

Many of us have old desktops lying around in the house (perhaps it has been unused for years or you have just upgraded!).

We are nervous to give the machine away (quite frankly the old ones are almost worthless) because of all the precious data on there – AND RIGHTLY SO!

Even if you think you have deleted your data, the chances are that it can be restored unless the data is securely deleted with a utility like CCLEANER

One easy and quick option is to remove the hard disk from your desktop and keeping it in a draw for safe keeping. You can then dispose of the desktop (or recycle) without risk of your data falling into other peoples’ hands. Also, keeping the hard disk, acts as a backup of your data from the day you last used the computer.

We always recommend labelling a hard disk e.g. “Desktop July 2012″ with a permanent marker and once you are satisfied that you no longer need the data as a backup, you can destroy the hard disk.

Here are some useful YouTube videos on how to remove a hard disk from a desktop:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5lVnFlFrqhE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XUveWh-Qgqg

and to remove a hard disk from a laptop: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jrSEH2jMxbk

When you are completely sure that you no longer need a hard disk you can destroy it!

This can be done by knocking a nail through the drive or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNZadd6rbXU&feature=fvst

We find this video really informative at the start: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PdBNJags1K8 

Windows 8

3 July 2012

 

Windows 8 is due in October 2012.

Today they have announced a breakthrough price of around £25 for existing Windows users.

This is an incredible move by Microsoft where previously operating systems and upgrades were generally over the £100 mark.

For more information see: http://www.pcadvisor.co.uk/new-product/windows/3367608/windows-8-cost-39-for-xp-vista-windows-7-users/

The team at Friedman IT Solutions are excited by the news. It will mean far more affordable upgrades and we look forward to supporting our clients with this new operating system later in 2012.

Watch your data allowance!

13 June 2012

Most of has have been there.

The mobile phone bill arrives, you open it up and MAJOR SHOCK!
“how on earth! That can’t be right!”
“but I don’t use my phone that much just for emails?”

Sadly, data allowances tend to be low in the UK and charges for going above your allowance are ridiculously high.

Only recently, mobile phone companies are starting to give customers some help with special bundles like Orange’s “out of bundle bundle” and Three’s “goodbye out of bundle data charges”.

The reason we do not appreciate how much data we use is that there are all kinds of apps running in the background that are using data but they do not indicate how much! For example: weather (updating regularly without you realising), share prices, Twitter, WhatApp, Internet browsing, email (always checking in background), YouTube, online games etc.

Unlike a telephone call which can be identified by a date, duration of call and number that was called, data downloaded cannot be identified and reports on data usage from mobile phone providers are baffling.

There are three solutions to tackle this problem:

1. Contact your mobile phone provider.
Ask them if they can text you when you reach your data allowance limit. If not, ask them if they have any bundles to protect you when you go over your data allowance.

2. Keep your phone connected to wifi – it uses more battery life but as long as you are connected to a wifi connection you will have faster download speeds and your data allowance will not be used.

3. Use an APP to monitor your data allowance usage – we recommend Onavo which is an excellent tool and very easy to use.

 

Raising money for charity

If you found this blog useful, please help me raise funds for Norwood by sponsoring me. In October 2012 I will be cycling 400KM in Sri Lanka for Norwood. Every day, they provide vital support to thousands of people with learning disabilities, and children and families in need, helping them to improve the quality of their lives and achieve their goals.

Thank you!

Protect your children with parental controls

12 June 2012

Google is NOT for kids!

As your child starts showing an interest in computers and typing there is a massive world out there that they may become exposed to. We see children as young as 2 using computers and tablets (like iPads).

Their exposure to the Internet really needs to be carefully monitored!

We believe that Google is completely unsuitable for children. A totally innocent search from a child could lead them down a completely different alley than the one they intended. For example a search for “toys for boys” will typically result in genuine children’s toys but may also end up sending your son to a sex toy shop!!!

And the risks do not stop at porn. The Internet is filled with violence, racism, terrorism, suicide sites, gambling, social network bullying, financial scams and so on.

Recently a 12-year-old boy from Liverpool borrowed his father’s credit card and lost £7000 of his father’s money on a poker site. http://www.parentdish.co.uk/2012/06/08/12-year-old-boy-loses-7-000-of-dads-money-playing-online-poker/

Having said all this, there is also a huge amount of positive material to be found online that your children can benefit from.

What can parents do about this?

First off, change the home page and search engine on your browser to something you trust. A parent recommended me http://kids.yahoo.com/ which looks like a great portal for children with properly filtered searches. Friedman IT clients can contact us for help you change your Internet Browser home page.

It is also very important to introduce parental controls to the computer. We currently recommend one excellent product to do the job effectively: K9 Web Protection which is totally free – please contact us for help in installing these types of parental controls.

What do Parental controls do exactly? – quite simply, they block inappropriate websites with sexual, violent, racist, gambling, drugs and other nasty categories. If you want to override the block, this is simple with a password that you set. You can then unlock restrictions for a time period e.g. 5 minutes or several hours.

Here are some claims from the cyberpatrol website:

• 72% of kids don’t tell their parents what they do online

• 61% admit using the Internet unsafely or inappropriately

• 55% have given out personal information to a stranger

• 12% met in person with someone they first met online

• Nearly 50% have been bullied online

Good luck keeping your children safe from the Internet! With the right tools, this should be simple.

Raising money for charity

If you found this blog useful, please help me raise funds for Norwood by sponsoring me. In October 2012 I will be cycling 400KM in Sri Lanka for Norwood. Every day, they provide vital support to thousands of people with learning disabilities, and children and families in need, helping them to improve the quality of their lives and achieve their goals.

Thank you!

Phishing emails

11 June 2012

Here is an example of an email I received in the last week from someone I know:

=============

Hi,

I really did not want to disturb you with this but I had no one else to turn to. I’m in Madrid, Spain to see my cousin (Alex) who is a missionary there, He was diagnosed with (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia) – a type of Blood Cancer in 2005 and had been undergoing treatment since. The chemotherapy treatment was going fine until last week when the doctor noticed that the disease has relapsed and the only way he can survive is by undergoing a BMT (Bone Marrow Transplantation). My sister whose marrow matched his has agreed to be the donor and he shall be undergoing the transplant soon at the USP Hospital San José de Madrid. The estimate for the transplant is $6000 and I have already spent approx. $3000 towards his treatment. Since the amount is huge, I request you to lend out a helping hand and support me. Any kind of help whatsoever will be deeply appreciated. Your help and support will give him a chance to live a normal life once again. There is nothing called a small help when the heart giving it is big. Any amount will be accepted with gratitude. If you can help, please let me know to provide you with the details to get the money to me.

Thanks,

NAME

==================

Looks a bit ominous doesn’t it?!

If you ever get an email from someone you care about asking for money, my first suggestion to phone the person in question rather than email them! In this case the email was sent by a fraudster who is waiting for a reply to that could eventually lead to a money transfer.

Very simply, the fraudster got access to the email account, changed the password to lock the genuine user out of his email account and then emailed all of the contacts saved in the address book.

You might ask: How did the fraudster get access to the email account? The answer is “through a phishing email”. In this specific case, the person had a hotmail account. A few hours before this email was sent out, he received a fake hotmail email asking him to login to his Hotmail account to verify some details. As soon as he clicked the link and logged in, the fraudster had the details! It is that simple! 

So please be cautious when you are asked to login to your online email account. Rather than click a link in an email, it is always safer to type hotmail.com directly into your web browser.

Keep safe and watch out for Phishing!

Raising money for charity

If you found this blog useful, please help me raise funds for Norwood by sponsoring me. In October 2012 I will be cycling 400KM in Sri Lanka for Norwood. Every day, they provide vital support to thousands of people with learning disabilities, and children and families in need, helping them to improve the quality of their lives and achieve their goals.

Thank you!