The Gang Gives Blood

Posted by Michael Trimblett on 28 July 2016
The Gang Gives Blood

Hot on the heels of Naomi's effort in giving blood back in April, Naomi has inspired both Michaels to accompany her in giving blood in July.

Not ones to say no to a challenge especially when it is helping the community, it was however met with some trepidation due to the size of the needles involved.  With Naomi taking the lead, both Michael's manned up enough to shake off their enetophobia, roll up the sleeve and squeeze out some life-giving elixir all for the betterment of other people.  Yes, I might be overstating it a little but, for anyone who has given blood for the first time, these are the thoughts that go racing through your mind.  Sitting in the chair, rolling up the sleeve and grasping the squeezy toy designed to improve blood flow, and mumbling the mantra of "this won't hurt", "it's for a good cause" and "we're saving lives", when suddenly the blood gathering machine starts beeping... and it's over.  Was that all?  Did the needle go in?  I don't even feel light headed!  Leaving the chair and walking in slow motion like the end of an action movie, I spy the recovery area with any number of complimentary sugary treats.  Big cookies, milkshakes, juices and lollies amongst other delicious snacks.  We all gathered in the recovery room where we recuperated satisfied in the knowledge we have just saved 9 lives.

Mick-Blood-July-16MT-Blood-July-16Naomi-Blood-July-16

In October, we will roll up the sleeve and give blood again, hopefully with more Loyal I.T. volunteers in tow.  Follow Loyal I.T.'s progress here.

 

 

Posted in: Misc  

How to tell a fake email from real

Posted by Michael Trimblett on 1 July 2016
How to tell a fake email from real

How to tell a fake email from real

With Cryptolocker and its clones still infecting businesses, the best way to thwart hackers and scammers is to be aware and alert.  Email used to be a relative safehaven but with the advent of these ransomware products, email has turned into a hostile environment.  So how do you tell what is a legitimate email and what isn't?  Here are 4 tips to help you prevent getting infected:

1. Always be suspicious of unsolicited email.

The internet is a hostile place and scammers are looking to take advantage of people's trusting nature.  Expecting your antivirus and/or antispam product to remove all malicious email is a fools paradise.  Your antispam or antivirus product is probably removing most infected email so the fact something made it through lulls you into a false sense of securtiy.  Always have your shields up and trust no one.

 

2. Check that email address is from a legitimate source.

For example, the a recent AGL bill email I received had what appeared to be the AGL Energy billing department as the sender.  You would expect AGL to have the website agl.com.au or something similar, but if you look at the email address from which I received the bill, it actually came from an Italian company, not AGL!

AGL Email Address

 

3. If you are invited to click on a link within the email, make sure it is from a legitimate source.

If you hover your mouse over the link you will see the address it will take you to.  If it is an unexpected address, do not click on the link.  In this case shown below, I would expect to see the link go to agl.com.au, instead it will send me to alterfiction.com.  What is alterfiction.com?  Probably a crypto ransomware.  Hackers can be very crafty when it comes to disguising their links within email often changing a single letter in the domain name.  For example, amazon.com could become amezon.com and you may not even notice the difference until it's too late.  The rule of thumb is NEVER click a link or open an attachment in an unsolicited email.  And I mean NEVER!!  If you have a bill due for payment and you received this information via an email, do not click the link or open the attachment.  Instead visit the website manually to check the status of your bill/account.  Going to the website and checking manually is a pain but it is far less painful than having to recover from a crytpo ransomware attack.

AGL Link

4. If in doubt, chuck it out.  Press the delete key and avoid being hacked!

We hope these simple tips help you manage your email better and allow you to make the correct decision when deciding whether to click on a link in an email.

Posted in: Security  

Zoo and Snooze 2016

Posted by Michael Trimblett on 16 June 2016
Zoo and Snooze 2016

It's that time of year again.  On Friday August 5th, select members of the Loyal I.T. team are giving up their bed for the night and sleeping on the cold hard ground all to raise funds for Coast Shelter.  Coast Shelter is a not-for-profit charity based on the NSW Central Coast which provides accommodation and support programs for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

Held every year in the middle of Winter up at the Reptile Park at Somersby, it has 2 main aims. They are to raise funds and to raise awareness through the business community, of the issues surrounding homelessness on the Central Coast of NSW.  Due to overwhelming support in the past few years, this year Coast Shelter has raised the bar and aims to raise over $100,000.

We're not asking you to give up your bed, all we are asking for is a small donation.  Please give to the team here.  The team members on Team Loyal are Michael Goodwin, Michael Trimblett, Raewyn Carter, Naomi McCahon and former team member Brendan Cairns.  You can choose to give individually or to the team.

We thank you for your support.

 

Posted in: Coast Shelter Zoo & Snooze Funrdraiser  

VIRUS ALERT: Cryptolocker outbreak

Posted by Michael Trimblett on 2 June 2016
VIRUS ALERT: Cryptolocker outbreak

We have had an alarming number of business reporting to us that a new variant of Cryptolocker is doing the rounds.  This variant is masquerading as an AGL energy bill inviting you to click on the links to "View your Bill" or click for "More details".  If you receive this email, delete it immediately.  The email will look similar to the image at the top of this blog.

Please circulate this link to all of your employees, friends and family.  If you are an AGL customer, please contact their customer support centre if you have any queries about the legitimacy of the email you receive branded with the AGL logo.

If you require assistance or have further questions about Cryptolocker, please don't hesitate to contact the Loyal I.T. Helpdesk on 02 4337 0700.

Posted in: Security  

Preventing the automatic update to Windows 10

Posted by Michael Trimblett on 21 April 2016
Preventing the automatic update to Windows 10

If you are on Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 8.1, you may be sick and tired of Windows constantly hounding you to upgrade to Windows 10.  Whilst Windows 10 is a solid product, upgrading is often fraught with danger.  Incompatibilities with hardware and software are the biggest reason not to upgrade.  The hours required to fix a system after a failed upgrade is the next biggest reason to never upgrade to Windows 10.

Now there is something you can do about it.  Never10 is a product developed and written by world renown network security researcher Steve Gibson of Gibson Research Corporation.  Steve, like many of our clients, is not wanting to move to Windows 10 because of the aforementioned reasons.  To further complicate things, Microsoft has recently moved the Windows 10 update on Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 from the "optional" section to the "recommended" section.  The default setting for Windows Updates is to automatically install all "recommended" updates.  This means one day you are happily using Windows 7, 8 or 8.1 and after rebooting your computer you could be using Windows 10.  This poses a lot of problems on business networks as there are often software products in use that are not compatible with Windows 10.

Steve decided to do something about this.  Never10 is a freeware product provided by the Gibson Research Corporation.  Never10 does as it says, it permanently turns off the Windows 10 upgrade notification and disables Windows ability to upgrade to Windows 10 at a click of a button; potentially saving you many hours of frustration and expense.  Since its release at the beginning on April 2016, at time of writing it has attracted almost 250,000 downloads!  Given these figures, there are plenty of people not wanting to upgrade to Windows 10.

If you are sick of the constant reminders to upgrade to Windows 10, download and run Never10.  If you would like assistance, please give our helpdesk a call on 02 4337 0700 or email help@loyalit.com.au and one of our friendly consultants will be able to assist you.

Read more about Never10 here.

*Note: Loyal I.T. Solutions is not affiliated with Gibson Research Corporation and the use of Never10 is at your own risk.
 

Posted in: News Windows  

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