Archive for Business IT Support News – Page 4

When is the right time to refresh your computer fleet?

Some companies tend to replace the whole PC fleet on regular intervals while other companies lean towards the “replacement as needed” scenario. This decision should be based on the needs of the business, but generally speaking the latter one could cause unpredictable side-effects and higher costs in the long run. In case of sudden system failure you may need to act quickly to keep business running smoothly, leaving little time to find an optimal and cost-effective solution. Recommended refreshment period is 3-5 years, in other words it is advised to replace 20-33% of your workstations every year.

What is the cost of not refreshing? Longer refresh cycle saves money, but what is the cost of employees working on sluggish machines? They would be more productive working on fast and responsive PCs, so refresh cost and productivity should be examined together.

What about the support cost? Computers usually cost more to support in their declining years. Hardware components tend to fail after a few years and multiple versions of operating systems and software requires more testing, more work from your IT team.

Are the specs of your PCs still good enough? Sometimes the new versions of software has higher system requirement to run smooth. As new technologies emerge companies must use them in order to keep pace with their competitors — many of these new technologies often require high-end machines.

Many staff get frustrated and disgruntled when technology fails or starts to run slow.One significant advantage to refreshing your computer fleet is happier staff and increased productivity. Employess usually feel valued if they can work with current systems and new technologies.

How to protect your computers and networks against ransomware.

  1. Don’t trust any links or attachments in email – this remains the most common way that ransomware takes hold. If you weren’t expecting the email, do not open it. If unsure, always seek a second opinion from a tech savvy friend – or just delete the email.
  2. Keep your software and operating system updated.
  3. Uninstall unused or notoriously vulnerable applications – for example, if you don’t need Adobe Flash Player, remove it and any other applications you’re not using. Stick to the minimum.
  4. Use the latest protection software. AVG Internet Security is great choice because it offers multiple layers of protection – it takes the ransomware threat very seriously, and is capable of detecting wide range of ransomware families.
  5. Backup, backup, backup your files regularly. Keep your backup media disconnected from your PC. Otherwise, your backups might get encrypted as well. Look into cloud storage e.g. Soonr, Dropbox to safe guard your files offsite.

What if it’s too late, and your files are already being held to ransom?

  1. If your files have already been encrypted by ransomware, the most important thing is to stay calm.
  2. You should immediately contact technical support (e.g. your IT department, your AV vendor) for further assistance. You need to seek expert advice as early as possible.
  3. We strongly advise against paying the ransom. You’ve got no guarantee from the criminals that your files will be restored. And, if every ransomware victim refused to pay the ransom, this type of crime would quickly reduce in occurrence.
  4. It is quite possible that the decryption key is still located in the computer. Many ransomware families contain weaknesses in their encryption algorithm, which may lead to decrypting your files even without paying the ransom! It may take some time to spot and exploit such weaknesses, but in the meantime don’t delete your encrypted files, there may still be hope.