NEED NEW HARDWARE OR SOFTWARE?

Need New Hardware or Software?

Do you need any new hardware or software for your business? If so, Tech180 can help you out.

 

If you are in the need for any new hardware for your business, such as new computers, laptops, hard drives, monitors, etc, or require any new software licenses, such as Microsoft Office, Office 365, or Windows Server, then you have come to the right place. For the past few months now we have been offering hardware and software purchases to our clients at great prices.

 

Not only can we purchase the hardware and software for you, but we can also help with the installations and setups too. If your office is in need of any major upgrades, then we can even put together a complete upgrade plan for you, getting you on the latest equipment and software at a minimal impact and cost to your business. From one off purchases to major roll-outs, Tech180 has you covered.

 

So if you need any new equipment or software for your business, get in contact with us today at info@tech180.com.au, and we will be able to provide you with a great price for anything that you may need.

CONNECTING LAPTOPS UP TO A BOARDROOM SCREEN

Connecting Laptops Up To a Boardroom Screen

Most businesses these days have their own projectors or TV’s for displaying presentations in their Boardrooms, but find it difficult or messy connecting laptops up to the screen using a cable. What you may not know is that there is a cheap and effective way to wirelessly display your laptops screen on a larger display without a cable.

 

As we all know connecting our laptops up to big screens for a presentation can be a hassle. You may have sit in an obscure spot in the Boardroom to run the presentation, or sometimes the cable may be too short or even not compatible with your laptop. To get over these issues, we have found that a Chromecast can be a cheap and effective way to wirelessly share your laptop’s screen with a TV or projector.

 

A Chromecast is a media streaming device developed by Google that plugs into any HDMI port on a TV or projector. It retails for $59, so can be a very cost effective device for your Boardroom. To get your presentations displaying wirelessly from your laptop to your Boardroom screen, all you need is the Chromecast device, the Chrome Web Browser along with Google Cast extension installed on the laptop, and both devices to be connected to the same Wireless network. Once you have all of these setup, using the Google Cast extension within your Chrome Web Browser, you can cast the entire screen from your laptop to the Chromecast, which will then display it on your Boardroom TV or projector. This can be done from any seat within the Boardroom, so you no longer have to worry about where you will be sitting, the length of the cable from the screen to your laptop, or even if you have the right output on your laptop to connect up to the display.

 

Chromecasts can be purchased online or in-store from a number of different electronics retailers. If you want to find out more information on the Chromecast, please see the below link:
https://www.google.com/chromecast

 

You can also download the Google Cast extension for Chrome using the following link:
https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/google-cast/boadgeojelhgndaghljhdicfkmllpafd?hl=en

 

If you have any questions or need advice on setting up your Boardroom IT infrastructure, then get in contact with us today at info@tech180.com.au.

HAS YOUR ACCOUNT BEEN HACKED?

Has Your Account Been Hacked?

It was just announced last week that some of the top email services had been hacked and that millions of usernames and passwords had been stolen and leaked to the internet. Some of you may be thinking, “How can I find out if my account was hacked?”

 

Last week Russian hackers stole millions of user’s information, including usernames and passwords, from the following email services:

  • Mail.ru (a Russian email service): 57 million accounts hacked
  • Yahoo Mail: 40 million accounts hacked
  • Microsoft Hotmail: 33 million accounts hacked
  • Gmail: 24 million accounts hacked

 

If you use one of these email providers, or even if you are just curious to see if your details have been compromised in the past (due to other large profile hacks), then check out the below site:

https://haveibeenpwned.com/
 

Whenever there is a data breach from a company were the usernames and passwords of members have been leaked to the internet, haveibeenpwned.com obtains the hacked usernames (it does not store or reveal any passwords though) and compiles them all in the one place so a user can search to find out if any of their accounts have been compromised.

 

All you need to do us put in your email address, and it will tell you if your details have been leaked, and from what sites, so you can go and change your passwords straight away. It is also very useful for businesses too, where you can search for a particular domain name and it will display all the compromised email addresses associated with that domain. Before you can perform a domain search though, you will need to verify that you control the domain you’re searching, but this is easy process and makes it more secure too.

 

If any of your accounts have compromised by the latest data leak, then we recommend you change your passwords straight away.

IS YOUR IT SECURITY UP TO SCRATCH?

Is Your IT Security Up To Scratch?

You may have heard recently about the influx of new ransomware viruses that are affecting business all around the world, or that a companies leaked data has cost them thousands of dollars in damages. No matter your business size, you could be affected if you have not taken the necessary precautions to make sure your business and its data is secure.

 

Simple questions, such as some of the ones listed below, can mean the difference between having a secure environment or being prone to issues.

  • Are all my User passwords complex, and not written down or stored anywhere?
  • Who knows the Administrator password, and is it unique?
  • Do all my Machines and Servers run an up to date Anti-Virus software?
  • Are all my Servers backed up, and can I restore some data from a backup?
  • Are all my Users educated to not open attachments from unknown sources?

 

If you are unsure about how to protect your network and data, then let us help you. We can come into your business and conduct a security audit of your systems, providing you with a list of potential issues that need to be resolved. We can then work with you, to make sure these issues are fixed up, and you’re network secure.

 

In today’s market, IT security is more important than ever, so don’t get caught out because you’re systems are not protected as best they can be. Get in contact with us today.

NEED HELP WITH MAILCHIMP?

Need Help with Mailchimp?

Is your company using Mailchimp to send out emails to a user base, but you’re finding that some tasks are taking up a lot of your time, or that you wish something could be automated? Well then you’re in luck. Using the Mailchimp API, we can create you a Custom application that hooks directly into your Mailchimp database, to automate tasks or make it easier to perform certain functions.

 

MailChimp is a cost effective email marketing platform which gives you a number of easy options for designing and sending emails to a user base. We have worked with the Mailchimp API a few times in the past now to create custom applications for clients who use this as their email platform. If you are unsure what Mailchimp can do for you, then click on this link to find out more.

 

For one of these projects, our client wanted their Mailchimp database to be updated when new members singed up to their loyalty program, or when a members details were changed in their loyalty database. To achieve this, we had their loyalty program export a list of new and updated members daily. We then created a custom application that read in this data, and uploaded it directly into their Mailchimp database. We then had this application run on a schedule from their server, so no user input was required to have their Mailchimp database sync with their loyalty database.

 

Another project we completed was that our client wanted to make it easier for them to delete Members from their Mailchimp database. To do this we created the client a custom application were they could either enter in one email address, or upload a file containing a number of email addresses into the program. The application would then check if that email address was in their Mailchimp database, and if it was it would then delete it. This program ended up saving the client a lot of time and effort as it was an easier process then trying to delete Members from the Mailchimp portal.

 

If you or anyone you know uses Mailchimp, and would find it useful to have certain tasks automated or made easier, then get in contact with us today to see what we can do for you. If you are not using Mailchimp, but have other systems or programs that might benefit from a similar custom application, then get in touch with us to see what is possible.

QUICKTIME FOR WINDOWS IS NO LONGER SAFE TO USE

QuickTime For Windows Is No Longer Safe To Use

If you are a Windows user and have QuickTime installed on your PC, you should uninstall it now. Last week IT Security Company Trend Micro found bugs in the QuickTime software that could leave a user’s PC vulnerable to viruses and remote attacks.

 

QuickTime is an application developed by Apple to play multimedia content on a user’s computer. It was announced recently by Apple that they would stop releasing updates for QuickTime on Windows, which means that these bugs found by Trend Micro will never be corrected.

 

Trend Micro are urging everyone to follow Apple’s guidance and uninstall QuickTime for Windows as soon as possible. They released the following statement saying “Apple is deprecating QuickTime for Microsoft Windows. They will no longer be issuing security updates for the product on the Windows Platform and recommend users uninstall it.” The full security alert by Trend Micro can be found here.

 

The US Department of Homeland Security has also released their own statement from their Computer Emergency Readiness Team. Their statement can be found here, but goes on to say the “unsupported software may increase the risks from viruses and other security threats. Potential negative consequences include loss of confidentiality, integrity, or availability of data, as well as damage to system resources or business assets. The only mitigation available is to uninstall QuickTime for Windows.”

 

We at Tech180 urge users to uninstall QuickTime for Windows as soon as possible, if you have not done so already. If you are unsure how to do this, then you can follow these steps here. It should also be noted that these bugs are only affecting Windows users and that it does not apply to QuickTime on Mac OSX.

HOW TO KEEP TRACK OF YOUR RECEIPTS

How to Keep Track Of Your Receipts

With almost everyone owning a smart phone these days, it’s the ideal tool to capture our business expenses and file them off in a safe place come tax time. With our phone camera’s default resolutions always set as high as they can go, taking a photo of our receipts normally takes up unnecessary disk space on our devices, or make the receipts difficult to send via an email due to their large size. This is where a Document Scanner app comes in handy. You can use the app on your phone to take an image of your receipts, and convert them straight to a PDF. The best thing about these apps is the photo doesn’t need to be perfect, or even taken straight on; you can always crop, rotate and brighten the image afterwards.

 

We trailed a number of the best apps including Office Lens, Genius Scan and CamScanner, however the most user-friendly app we have come across is Google Drive. While most know of Google Drive as a cloud based storage solution similar to Dropbox or OneDrive, what a lot of users also don’t know is that it has a Document Scanner built right into the app. Not only will it take photos of your receipts, converting them directly to a PDF, but it will also store them on your Google Drive account which you can then access from any computer connect to the internet. Storing the PDFs on Google Drive not only makes them easier to transfer to your computer (here’s to reducing cables!), but will also save you space on your device. As for the other apps we tired, Office Lens kept crashing on us, and Genius Scan and CamScanner required the paid version to link to a cloud based storage. Google Drive was also the better of the 4 when it came to cropping and rotating the image.

 

Google Drive is available for free on both Google Play and the App Store.
Play Store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.docs&hl=en
App Store: https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/google-drive-free-online-storage/id507874739?mt=8

How to Limit Your Phones Data Usage

How to Limit Your Phones Data Usage

Do you have an Android phone and are constantly going over your monthly data limit, but are unsure how? Well follow these 5 simple steps to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

 

1 Check which apps are using the most data

To check which apps are using the most data go to Settings -> Data Usage. This screen will give you a detail rundown of how much data each app is using. As everyone’s mobile billing cycles are different, it also gives you an option to set your cycle date, so it will give you an accurate representation of which apps have caused you to go over your limit for the month. By reviewing this data, you can then investigate further with the apps that are using too much data, limit how much you use those apps, or uninstall them completely. It also gives you the option to check the previous month’s usage to see if one app is consistently high.

 

2 Set warning and limit levels for your data

In the Data Usage screen (Settings -> Data Usage), it also gives you the option to set warning and limit levels. To set the warning level, use the Grey warning slider and set it to a level close to you data limit (usually 500Mb or 1GB off your data limit). Once you phone has used up this amount of data during your cycle, it will alert you with a warning in your notification bar. To set a limit level, enable the “Set Mobile Data Limit” option, and use the Red limit slider to set your data limit. Once your phone reaches this data limit, it will turn off your mobile data so you won’t use up any more.

 

3 Restrict background data usage

If you find one app is using more data than it should, then it may be using a lot in the background. To limit this app by only using background data on Wi-Fi networks and not your mobile data, go into the Data Usage screen (Settings -> Data Usage), select the app, and enable the option “Restrict app background data”. This app will now only use background data on Wi-Fi networks, and will not chew up your mobile data. To restrict all apps to only use background data on Wi-Fi networks, from the Data Usage screen, press the three dot menu button in the top right corner of the screen, and select the “Restrict background data” option. All apps will now only use background data on Wi-Fi networks, and will not chew up your mobile data.

 

4 Prevent Google Play from automatically updating apps over mobile data

If you have Google Play setup to automatically update apps, then it can use up a lot of your mobile data if it’s not setup correctly. To make sure Google Play only automatically updates apps over Wi-Fi, open Google Play and select the three line menu button in the top left corner. Select “Settings” then the “Auto-update apps” option. Make sure this is set to “Auto-update apps over Wi-Fi only”.

 

5 Restrict app usage over mobile data

If you noticed that some apps are using up a lot of data, then there are sometimes options within those apps to limit the data usage over mobile data, and sometimes block them complete to only run on Wi-Fi. This is usually the case with music and video streaming apps like Netflix and YouTube, and social media apps like Facebook and Instagram. All you need to do is open up the app and look through their settings to see if there are any options to limit the data usage on mobile networks.

VIRUS ALERT: KEEP YOUR SYSTEM PROTECTED

VIRUS ALERT: Keep Your System Protected

There is a new ransomware virus named “Locky” that has been quickly spreading around the past few weeks, infecting people’s computers all around the world.

 

For those who are unsure what a ransomware virus is, it is a specific type of malware that restricts access to a computer, usually in the form of encrypting files so they cannot be accessed. The virus then demands the user pay a “ransom” to the creators in order to remove the restrictions. What makes these virus’ really nasty is that there is no way to un-encrypt the infected files without a “key” from the creators, so people are forced to either recover their files from a backup, or pay the ransom to get their files back.

 

Locky is infecting computers through malicious email attachments. A user will receive an email, designed to look like it may be legitimate and from a reputable source (such as Australia Post), that contains a zip file or word document as an attachment. When this attachment is opened, this virus gets to work encrypting all the files on your computer so they cannot be accessed, and renames them with the extension “.locky”, which is where it gets its name from. After it has finished infecting the files, it then leaves the below note in the folder that contains the infected files, along with changing it to your desktop wallpaper. This note informs you what has happened to your files, and gives you instructions on how to access a hidden web site on the Tor Network to see how much your ransom is, and how to pay it. The ransom amount seem to vary between $300 – $600 AUD, but some large companies have been hit with ransom amounts ranging in the tens of thousands. As the payment needs to be made using Bitcoins, this makes it impossible to trace, and thus very difficult for law enforcement to shut down these scammers.

 

Locky's infected file note
Locky’s infected file note

 

To make sure your systems are protected against this new threat, just follow these simple guidelines:

  • Always make sure you have an up to date Anti-Virus software running on your computers
  • Always make sure your systems and programs are fully patched with the latest updates
  • Always make sure you regularly backup your system and all your important files
  • Frequently check your backups, to make sure you can recover files if needed
  • Don’t leave your backup disk connected to the computer, as these types of virus can also infect network folders and locally attached USB hard drives
  • Never open any email attachments from people/companies you do not know, or from emails you’re not expecting (especially if they are .zip, .exe or .doc files)
  • If you are suspicious about an email you received, call the person/company directly to see if it is legitimate
  • Notify everyone in your office and home about the dangers of this new virus

 

If you are worried that your companies systems are not 100% protected, then email to use today at info@tech180.com.au about our Anti-Virus, Patch Management and Backup Solutions that can suite your business needs.

REMOTE MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE – FREE 30 DAY TRIAL

Remote Management Software – Free 30 Day Trial

New to Tech180 is a cost effective, all in one Remote Management software package that is perfect for any business. Not only does it give you the ability to remotely manage your servers and workstations, it also includes an Anti-Virus and Web Protection solution to make sure your company is protected against viruses and malicious web sites.

 

This is an all in one product that, when installed on your servers or workstations, can provide the following functionality via its easy to use web interface:

  • Managed Anti-Virus solution, powered by Bitdefender
  • Web protection to block unsuitable web sites, protect against malware sites, and monitor your user’s bandwidth
  • Remote access so you can take control of your servers and workstations, powered by Team Viewer
  • Remote command line, process and service control for any machine
  • Daily and 24/7 checks to proactively show any issues with servers or workstations
  • Email alerts for any issues with your servers or workstations
  • Patch management control for Windows Update and 3rd party applications (e.g. Chrome, Adobe, etc.)
  • Detailed weekly and monthly reports for each server or workstation to delve into what is happening on your network
  • Asset and inventory tracking to see what software and hardware is installed on each server or workstation
  • Network discovery to see what hardware is running on your network
  • Automated maintenance and tasks, such as defrag and temp clean-up

 

Not only will this be a cost effective solution for your business, it will give you the peace of mind that your data safe and your machines are up to date and virus free, in order to minimise any potential network downtime for your company. Don’t get caught out when something goes wrong; get in contact with us today at info@tech180.com.au for a free 30 day trial, and keep your business running smoothly.