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13″ MacBook Pro Recall, possible loss of data

Apple are warning of possible loss of data from their SSD drives. This affects the 13 inch MBP sold between June 2017 – June 2018. Specifically, its the 2017 model with the 2 x Thunderbolt 3 ports. You can check your serial number at the recall page here
www.apple.com/uk/support/13-inch-macbook-pro-solid-state-drive-service-program/

13″ MacBook Pro

It looks like there is a firmware update to fix the issue. Its not an unusual problem. Similarly we see updates covering a range of computers and drives, eg. Dell, HP, Kingston, Crucial, etc. Take note that you will need a full backup, before the update is loaded.

Contact us if you want help with backups, checking updates and making sure your computers are running optimally. This isn’t a minor update, it could be a disaster if your drive fails, losing everything stored on it.

Favourite desktop wallpapers – Vladstudio

If you’re looking for some cool new desktop wallpapers for your computer background, we’ve got just the place for you. Very quirky, highly original. Some great characters, colorful, thoughtful, interesting, great seasonal options, but without being too intrusive.

Get yourself over to Vladstudio. We love the fact that he does multi screen wallpapers too.

Choose Totally Locally Chorley

Chorley Council have an excellent business support service running under the brand of Choose Chorley – Paul and Tony have been hugely supportive of www.letsdo.co.uk. This months business event was held at Shaw Hill Golf Club, with a theme of Totally Locally and the founder, Chris Sands, speaking. Excellent to hear first-hand how he created a free open-source marketing kit for towns to promote independent traders. A means for communities to gather around and support local businesses, keeping the money local. There’s been some notable success stories and you begin to realise how important it is to have a healthy local high street / market. Be great to see the effects of the scheme in TotallyLocallyChorley. So next time you want a coffee, head to a local independent store or cafe and spend your first £5 there.

Watch out for IOS11 problems, day one upgrades

It can be a brave decision to jump up to a major upgrade on the first day, regardless of device. Think twice, especially if it could affect your ability to work effectively – then wait for the first minor update to arrive with fixes. Do you want to be cutting-edge or bleeding-edge!

There are already reports of the Mail app on the new Apple IOS11 upgrade not working with Microsoft email services such as Office365, Outlook.com and Exchange 2016. This will be rectified soon enough, but Microsoft offer a quick workaround in the meantime by using the Outlook app instead.

Also watch out for old apps, in particular those that haven’t been updated since before June 2015 (mostly educational apps from what we’re hearing). They may have older 32 bit components that are no longer compatible with IOS11. More info in this BBC article – Apple’s iOS 11 kills old 32-bit iPhone and iPad apps

Outlook for Android new feature – Add Contact !

When I first switched to Android I couldn’t believe that the shiny Outlook app, which seemed pretty comprehensive and slick wasn’t actually able to add new contacts.  Seemed a crazy omission. To make matters worse the Huawei P9 wasn’t able to sync new contacts to the Office 365 account either. They appeared to save but didn’t actually appear in the list. So no new contacts from my phone, which is probably when you need that feature the most.

Anyway fast forward to 21 Aug 2017 and Outlook just updated to version 2.2.5 (221) mainline. I’ve never been so excited to see a little blue circular cross in the corner of the Contacts screen. My mobile life is transformed. New contacts, out and about, at last. Back to the future!

Here’s the link to the Outlook app.

PS Apple updated a short while ago with this feature

 

Subtle Gmail attack, look out for “data:text/html”

There’s a write-up at Wordfence about a subtle new type of attack via the Google Mail service. You receive an attachment that looks like its come from one of your contacts, possibly related to a shared interest or project. So your guard will be down.

 

 

At the top of your browser you can see https://accounts.google.com which sounds ok. However there’s a bit of extra info to the left, as you can see, saying “data:text/html”. That’s where the attack comes from and it triggers a sign-in page that looks like Google asking for your password again.

Delete the email, walk away!

Outlook junk filtering updates cease 1 Nov

junk-email-folderMicrosoft have announced that from 1 Nov 2016, the junk mail definitions used by Outlook and Exchange to filter spam messages will no longer be updated. Filtering will still happen, it will just become less effective as time passes and the definitions aren’t updated to match what we see coming in via the internet.

There’s a more detailed write-up at Slipstick but essentially, junk email campaigns are so short-lived now the definitions from Microsoft take too long to arrive at your computer or server (or you could be cynical and suggest MS are more interested in selling online accounts).

Fortunately we have a couple of very good solutions available to provide bolt-on email filtering to existing mailboxes and servers. Very little change is required to allow them to intercept your incoming email, filter the junk and then pass on to you, exactly as before (but without all the time-wasting spam).

no-spam-cloudThese cloud-based services are updated on-the-fly direct from the security teams, so are as reactive as possible. The advantage of an online system here is that it can see millions of email accounts and quickly spot spamming attempts, rapidly deploying blocks and cleaning up.

There are some useful additional services too – eg archiving, webmail, backup email service, etc. Please get in touch to discuss what we can help with. Costs are low, less than £1 a month – and can be a huge time-saver, as well as an additional security layer.

Has your email address been leaked ?

Mike recently presented at the Lets Do Business meeting, an independent not-for-profit business networking group. Probably the hottest topic in small business IT currently, is IT security. top breachesThis presentation was a slight twist on the usual review of what you should be doing and how to implement layers of security for best protection.

Instead, Mike took the group through some major data breaches, looking at what got hacked, how it happened and most importantly, what data leaked and what to do next if your email address appeared on the list.

Using the haveibeenpwned.com website came as a bit of surprise for some in the group, to discover their data was already out in the wild.

Read the write-up at the Lets Do Business blog. Don’t hesitate to call or email if you need help with these issues.

Windows 10 upgrade tips

Windows_10

With the Microsoft free upgrade offer for Windows 10 finishing in a few weeks, we’re seeing a lot of planned upgrade work for local businesses. Its better to plan the upgrade rather than rush straight in. Out list of tips will help ensure a more successful first-time upgrade.

  • Check your key applications don’t have any known problems with Windows 10, eg Sage, ACT
  • Upgrade to the latest drivers, especially for BIOS, video and network. We’ve seen plenty of old versions cause the upgrade to fail
  • Upgrade your antivirus to the latest version (not just the definitions). Run a Malwarebytes scan
  • Do a backup!
  • Don’t start the upgrade 10 minutes before a 9am conference (yes we did get that phone call !)
  • Once the upgrade has completed, check everything loads ok. Test your printers and scanners, we see quite a few that need a re-install.

Our favourite laptop mouse

our favourite laptop mouse

 

Sometimes having just the right bit of equipment can make all the difference, especially something you use all day every day. Our favourite laptop mouse is the Microsoft Wireless Mobile Mouse 4000.

 

 

 

our favourite laptop mouse

Little bit smaller than a standard desktop mouse, making it convenient for carrying. Compact wireless receiver which doesn’t get knocked off, if left in the laptop. Well placed ‘Back’ button, which is handy when researching on the internet. Standard AA battery which lasts ages. Good, smooth wheel, which doubles up as a third (middle) button. Make sure that middle button is configured to open a new tab when you click a link in your browser – that way you don’t lose the original page you’ve just come from.

Around £20 from Amazon http://amzn.to/24bdl8Q

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