Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Blackberry Instant Message Client Roundup

Blackberry Cool has a wonderful article on Blackberry (BB) Instant Message (IM) client software. What most I.T. consultants forget is you need to make the BB relevant for the user and make it a part of their day-to-day life. Adding applications that provide a business advantage is the best way to increase adoption of the BB. As many users/businesses use IM technology to communicate with clients and friends, this is a killer application that will make the BB more accepted b the end user.

Almost half of net users are at risk because their browsers have not been updated

This article on the BBC's website reminds me why it is so important that users are protected from "themselves". Don't get me wrong, I believe in choice and open discussion but when it comes to security, "it's better to be safe than sorry".

I've spend half of my life working in I.T. Since the birth of the consumer Internet age, I've seen computer use increase year-on-year and thought it was a good thing, but now with the rise and rise of computer fraud and electronic theft I am left with the opinion that the Internet is the "Wild West" of our age and to survive it you need to have the biggest Gun!

TechCentre provide a low cost security auditing service and maintenance service in which we can make sure your systems are secure and patched but for those who would like to do it for them selves where is my Internet security 101.

Some Rules of Thumb when using the Internet:
  1. Have Quality up-to-date Anti-Virus installed and check it weekly. AVG is better than nothing but it is no way better than a paid for service such as Symantec AntiVirus. I've used Symantec and Sophos for years and never had a problem, I do see a lot of issues with AVG which maybe an exception to the rule, but it still happened. Have a Zero Day Antivirus software that covers SPYWARE/MALWARE and make sure you dont turn off the alerts.
  2. Use more than one firewall. If you believe that you are safe just because you have a Netgear firewall/router, you are crazy. Don't rely on one piece of security to protect you, use the overlapping security model where you have 2 or more pieces of software doing the same job so if one fails (and it will) you will be protected by the other. I hate it when I.T. guys turn off the Windows Firewall saying it's ineffective and then don't replace it with anything else! It's better to have a poor firewall than none!
  3. If it's too good to be true, it's not! Just because the email says you've won £1000 on the Nigerian lottery, doesn't mean you have, and just because someone calls you up and says they're from the bank doesn't me they are. Trust nobody with your private details and if necessary, call them back/visit them to verify who they are.
  4. Install the Windows/Mac Security updates: It's simple this one, when the computer says, there are updates to install, click "install them"! Most hacks are conducted on computers that have not been updated. The exploits used by Hackers are well known and in most cases have been "Patched" months/years ago but if you do not install these security updates, it's like leaving the keys to the car in the ignition, you may be safe for a while but eventually someone will make use of your property.

Thursday, 3 July 2008

Microsoft have now pulled the plug on Millions of online email accounts

Mark, one of our I.T. Engineers was working on a problem for a client who couldn't send email from Outlook 2003 through Hotmail. It transpired that Microsoft had changed the rules without telling anyone so millions of people can no longer use Outlook / Outlook Express to email their friends without first subscribing to a paid service.

Seems a bit unfair doesn't it.

Here is Marks email outlining what needs to be done to resolve the situation. Cheers Mark.

Hi Guys
I’ve recently had a problem with a user not being able to access their hotmail account through outlook or outlook express. The reason. Microsoft have now pulled the plug on 90% of the online accounts – UNLESS the user has paid the additional costs to allow this service.
Because I validated MY email address (which has been around for years and seems to get every service known to man). I managed to download the tool required to allow the connection between outlook and the hotmail servers.

Outlook connector – The following is the link to the MS Outlook Connector setup

IF you have a problem with the above and you know a thing or two about Linux commands. There is a third-party option.