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New virus warning – take a backup today! WannaCrypt has arrived…

May 15, 2017   //   by The IT Guy   //   Antivirus, Business IT support, IT Support  //  No Comments

Another day, another virus. The latest one doing the rounds is the WannaCrypt Ransomware which is very similar to Cryptolocker that did the rounds a while back. For those of you that don’t know, these come in the form of attachments via an email and once opened spread like wildfire encrypting files on your machine and anything attached to it – it can even encrypt files on an external drive, NAS drive, cloud storage or server that your machine is connected to. Once encrypted it is practically impossible to recover the data without paying a ‘ransom’ fee and even then it’s not guaranteed to work.

What can I do to stop this?
Not a lot. But there are measures to prevent it. If you think you have opened an attachment disconnect the machine from the internet straight away. Make sure you have a decent antivirus product in place and not a free one. A good antivirus product will update itself several times a day to keep your machine protected. We know that Eset and a few others are capturing these but sometimes they can get through. Be extra careful when opening an attachment – double check, and triple check that the attachment is legit and if in doubt call your IT support.  Make sure you have an off-site backup. View our antivirus here

What backup measures should I have in place?
You need to remember that anything attached to the network or the machine infected can potentially be encrypted therefore can potentially be lost or corrupted. We recommend that you have at least one backup stored off site on an external hard drive and rotate this at least once a week. Cloud solutions are good but remember if the files on your machine change so will your files in the cloud. Some cloud storage providers will keep a previous version of your documents but this shouldn’t be relied on.

Backups have never been so important, so please check what you are doing and if in doubt give us a call on 01249 470 070

Anthony Pepe completely sold on our IT support

Apr 20, 2017   //   by The IT Guy   //   Business IT support  //  No Comments

Anthony Pepe Estate Agents are our focus this month. We started supporting them back in 2011 when Charlie the MD, found us through our social media! Upon asking for recommendations on Twitter people soon started pointing him in our direction and the rest is history. Based in London they have 3 branches with another 2 opening in the next year.

Problems
Anthony Pepe Estate Agents were using an end of life server for their sales and lettings software and it was starting to fail and let them down impacting on their day to day work. Their current IT support was a one-man band and was hard to get hold of sometimes which was frustrating them especially when their server went down. They also had local email on the server so their communications to customers and sales were starting to suffer.

The cost to replace the server would be around 4-5k plus ongoing support costs. Anthony Pepe had 2 branches at the time, with plans to open more as they grew and developed.

Solution
Even back then we could see the potential of cloud computing and its benefits, and we were huge advocates of it. We put a plan into place which would enable Anthony Pepe to operate across multiple branches with ease whilst massively reducing upfront and ongoing IT support costs.

We did this in 3 simple stages:

• Moved their emails off the server and onto a Hosted Exchange platform

• Migrated the in-house sales and lettings software to a web based provider

• Used a cloud based product for file sharing/storage

The solutions we put in place provided Anthony Pepe Estate Agents with a reliable, robust and scalable system which would allow their infrastructure to grow as their company grows.

“Since 2011, The IT Guy have supported us and all our branches. They have helped us introduce modern technology and cloud solutions to the business, which have enabled us to grow and open new branches with ease. They are always on the end of the phone if we need them and quick to respond. We look forward to continue working with The IT guy in the future, and with their help, expand and grow even further.”

So why not give us a call today and see how we could help your business build, grow and develop.

How to keep your business IT simple

Oct 27, 2016   //   by The IT Guy   //   Business IT support, Cloud computing, Computer support, IT Support  //  No Comments

Those 3 words are key for any business right now. Especially now in this golden age of technology we are currently living in. Over complicated systems and processes have only one net result – risk. We strongly believe in those 3 words, so much in fact that we have built The IT Guy’s strap line on it ‘We make IT simple’.
Are you a small business? Then it’s great for you guys as you could probably get away with no server and use cloud computing to your advantage. Hosted Exchange for email and Dropbox for your docs is perfect. Combine this with a robust backup solution and you really are keeping IT simple.

Are you a bigger business? Then you may need a server, but that’s ok. You can still use Hosted Exchange for your email reducing the workload that your server is put through. This will also aid your Disaster Recovery plan. Try using web based applications for any software that you may need to use. This means essentially that your server then becomes just a device for file sharing. Congratulations, you are also keeping your IT simple.

Of course there will be instances when you can’t keep IT simple, every business is different and the above are basic examples, but have you asked the question… Can we make our IT simple? It’s worth a shot and if you can simplify the systems you are using, you will benefit hugely.

New virus warning – take a backup today! Zepto has arrived…

Aug 9, 2016   //   by The IT Guy   //   Antivirus, Business IT support, IT Support  //  No Comments

Another day, another virus. The latest one doing the rounds is the Zepto Ransomware which is very similar to Cryptolocker that did the rounds a while back. For those of you that don’t know, these come in the form of attachments via an email and once opened spread like wildfire encrypting files on your machine and anything attached to it – it can even encrypt files on an external drive, NAS drive, cloud storage or server that your machine is connected to. Once encrypted it is practically impossible to recover the data without paying a ‘ransom’ fee and even then it’s not guaranteed to work.

What can I do to stop this?
Not a lot. But there are measures to prevent it. If you think you have opened an attachment disconnect the machine from the internet straight away. Make sure you have a decent antivirus product in place and not a free one. A good antivirus product will update itself several times a day to keep your machine protected. We know that Eset and a few others are capturing these but sometimes they can get through. Be extra careful when opening an attachment – double check, and triple check that the attachment is legit and if in doubt call your IT support.  Make sure you have an off-site backup. View our antivirus here

What backup measures should I have in place?
You need to remember that anything attached to the network or the machine infected can potentially be encrypted therefore can potentially be lost or corrupted. We recommend that you have at least one backup stored off site on an external hard drive and rotate this at least once a week. Cloud solutions are good but remember if the files on your machine change so will your files in the cloud. Some cloud storage providers will keep a previous version of your documents but this shouldn’t be relied on.

Backups have never been so important, so please check what you are doing and if in doubt give us a call on 01249 470 070

An update from The IT Guy

Aug 3, 2016   //   by The IT Guy   //   Business IT support, IT Support  //  No Comments

Hello everyone, we have been very busy here at The IT Guy and a few changes have been made which we are excited to share. In the last 6 months we have moved offices into Chippenham town centre which has been great – especially as it’s near a cake shop!

We have however, already outgrown this office and are looking to move again within the same location but to bigger premises with more room for expansion.

We are continuing to increase our product range with the latest being VoIP phone systems – these are proving popular and if you have fibre broadband it’s a must for any business.

We have also taken on another full time IT technician and a part-time worker. Ben will soon be answering your support calls and also coming around to visit various sites so he can meet you and see how you operate day to day. He brings a different skill set to The IT Guy meaning we can now repair PC’s and laptops as well as some models of tablets and phones (view our repair here).

There is also one more change to note, which is the most important one – all support calls now need to be directed through our main number 01249 470 070. We cannot guarantee that calls to any other number will be answered anymore so please, please, please use this number…

01249 470 070

Case study: John Williams Heating Services Ltd

May 19, 2016   //   by The IT Guy   //   Business IT support, Email Hosting, IT Support  //  No Comments

John Williams Heating Services are our chosen case study this month. We have been supporting them for over 2 years now and put many improvements into their system to enable them to work more efficiently and reduce the risk of downtime.

Problems
John Williams Heating Services were using a BT Connect email address and a POP3 email account to collect it. This provided a number of issues:

• The email address didn’t look professional
• Emails were not getting backed up
• Their emails were not synchronised so nobody knew which emails had been dealt with
• When there was a problem they had to call BT which meant being on hold for a very long time

They were also using a single PC to share documents across their network. With different types of machines and operating systems on the network, this proved problematic and connectivity would often drop out leaving them frustrated and not being able to access their data.

The antivirus John Williams used had different licences, this meant that different machines would run out at different times and was difficult to manage.

Solution
We bought them a company domain name of jwheating.co.uk and advised them to upgrade their website. We then moved their email onto our Hosted Exchange platform and made sure they were all using Microsoft Outlook. John Williams Heating Services really adapted to the new system very well, as they use one email address for all the admin/office functions. They came up with their own system of flagging emails that had been dealt with and prioritising emails, and because everything was in sync they could see what had been dealt with.

Sharing documents was an easy solution to fix. We simply installed Dropbox for them and moved all documents from the one PC into Dropbox. This resolved the problem of accessing data as Dropbox uses the internet to synchronise data across all the PC’s.

With their antivirus we moved them onto Eset Endpoint Antivirus. This is centrally managed by us and needs only 1 licence for all machines. It’s now much easier to keep track of when it expires and renewing every year is just a simple click of a button.

“We are extremely pleased with the support we receive from the team and also their quick response times when things occasionally go wrong. We wouldn’t hesitate recommending The IT Guy for peace of mind”
John Williams Heating Services

John Williams Heating Services have provided exceptional heating and boiler services for over 25 years and are well known as domestic, landlord and letting agency heating and plumbing specialists.

Rain, rain, go away – actually, maybe YOU should go away…

May 11, 2016   //   by The IT Guy   //   Business IT support, Cloud computing, IT Support  //  No Comments

Cloud computing IT support

Let’s face it the British weather isn’t the best in the world. One week of sunshine and that’s classed as a summer. So, if the rain is getting you down and you are sat at your desk dreaming of sunny beaches and cocktails don’t despair.

With the technology available today it’s easier than ever to work from pretty much anywhere in the world and not lose touch with your customers. In fact around 90% of business owners openly admit they do some form of work when they go on holiday whether it’s just checking email or catching up on admin. The internet has us all connected wherever we are making the world a much smaller place.

If your company is using cloud technology then it makes going on holiday that little bit less stressful. Take a look at our checklist to see if your company benefits from these simple features that cloud technology can offer:

• Mobile email: If you are using Hosted Exchange then you will have all your email wherever you go whether it’s on your smartphone, tablet or simply logging onto a PC.

• Out of office: Probably the most important one, let people know you are away and when they can expect you back. This is a standard feature with Hosted Exchange.

• Access to documents: There are a wide range of applications out there that will enable you to view and edit a document whilst you are travelling. Products like Dropbox will have their own apps, with others you can simply log into them via a browser.

• Remote access: Software such as TeamViewer or LogMeIn will enable you to access your desktop at home or office from any laptop, phone or tablet.

All of the above are simple solutions designed to make your life… well… simple. So book that holiday, you deserve it, and please get in touch if we can help you enjoy it that little bit more – call us now on 01249 470 070

Email: why you should be using a Hosted Exchange solution

Apr 19, 2016   //   by The IT Guy   //   Business IT support, Email Hosting  //  No Comments

We all use it, and let’s admit it, we all have a marmite relationship with it… We either love it or hate it.

Most people probably hate it, yet we still use it all day every day and it’s still the most widely used form of communication for businesses. Problem is, most businesses take it for granted and don’t invest in one of the most important tools in the company.

Most businesses could not survive a day without email, it’s a scary thought and one that needs to be taken seriously. There is a simple solution however…

The solution is to use Hosted Exchange. For those of you that already use a Hosted Email solution, pat yourself on the back – you can stop reading and make a cuppa. For those of you that don’t…tut tut.

There are so many benefits to using Hosted Exchange, almost too many to mention so we will touch on the most important ones here:

Backed-up data – No need to worry about Outlook crashes, corrupt data files or even a hard disk meltdown! Simply set up your account again or grab a new PC and hey presto… ALL of your emails will appear again.

Out of office – Such a simple feature yet one that is not available with POP or IMAP accounts. Set up an auto reply in minutes and share with the world that you are on holiday!!

Get access anywhere – Because Hosted Exchange is cloud-based it can be accessed from anywhere, through Outlook on your desktop, web browser or mobile. And unlike POP or IMAP accounts, all your contacts and calendar entries will be there as well.

Huge mailbox sizes – With POP and IMAP there will be a limit on how many emails you can actually store. With Hosted Exchange that is a thing of the past. With our product you can even have up to 125GB of storage!!

Reduce installation costs – If you have an in-house server just for email, then you could save money by reducing the need for expensive hardware installations and ongoing maintenance.
There are a load of other features as well, but the bottom line is if you are using a POP or IMAP system for email you really should consider using Hosted Exchange. You and your business would benefit hugely from it and that’s the most important thing to remember.

So give us a call today on 01249 470 070 or an email hello@iamtheitguy.co.uk

Don’t just give your office a spring clean – give your technology a spring clean too!

Apr 5, 2016   //   by The IT Guy   //   Business IT support, Computer support, IT Support  //  No Comments

Well that’s Easter over with. On a personal level you may be left with an Easter hangover of over-indulging but on a business level? It’s a funny time of year, as staff make the most of the bank holidays and have extended breaks. Everything seems to slow down a bit, so what better time than to have a good old spring clean! But we’re not talking about hoovering the office and flicking a duster about – no, we are talking technology here.

It’s a great time of year to give your IT a health check and also to take stock of what you have and what you are using. Maybe you could consolidate your equipment and ditch that old ‘spare’ pc which still has Windows XP on it and serves as no other purpose than a dust collector. Giving your PC’s a health check is a quick and simple process with massive gains. You can free up quite a bit of disk space, improve system performance and help prolong the life of your equipment.

It would also be a good idea to have an audit of what you have and plan for the year ahead. Any ageing PC’s you may have could be replaced during the year, and building that into your budget and yearly plan would help you implement this. Be ruthless – still have some Windows XP or Vista machines? You really shouldn’t! Still using Microsoft Office 2007? It needs to go by 2017.

If you need any help or guidance on how to do this please get in touch, we would be glad to help in any way we can – give us a call on 01249 470 070

So why not say hello...

01249 470 070   I  hello@iamtheitguy.co.uk

we don't bite!