News

Charitable Cause

Computer Culture Admin - Thursday, May 17, 2018
Devices for Underprivileged Families

Hacked Since 2016, Computer Culture has worked in conjunction with the McPhail Foundation Charitable Trust to provide computers and laptops to low decile schools and underprivileged families in the canterbury region.

The Trust was registered in 2003 and over the past 15 years has donated hundreds of computers to students and schools.


Typically, the recipient will be a child under the age of 18 who currently does not have access to a computer and whose education will benefit from this exposure.

The suitable family must meet the below criteria:
• The family must have a child at the school
• The selected child will not currently have access to a computer at home
• The child will benefit from having access to this technology
• The family will look after the computer
• The family will undertake not to sell the system for personal gain

Due to the changing needs the Trust is moving to provide laptops and tablets in preference to desktop computers.

The Trust relies on donated hardware; however it funds the purchase of hardware to upgrade the device to ensure it has a decent size hard drive, enough memory and a good battery.

As a consequence, the trust is always looking for kind souls to make a small donation so that this good work can continue. If you are interested in donating to this cause you can do so or find out more through the following ways:

Household Battery Recycling

Computer Culture Admin - Wednesday, May 16, 2018
HP
Help keep our environment clean. Recycle your old household batteries.

Piko Wholefoods offer a collection bin to send your old batteries away to a suitable country for recycling. There is a small charge per battery to cover the costs of shipping these overseas.

Costs are as follow:
80 cents for D batteries
40 cents for C batteries
30 cents for 9 volt batteries
20 cents for AA batteries
10 cents for AAA batteries
10 cents for button batteries

You can also recycle your old cellphone batteries too. There is no charge for these.

Piko Wholefoods is located at:
229 Kilmore Street Christchurch
corner Kilmore / Barbadoes Streets

Apple, Xero and Go Via Scams

Computer Culture Admin - Thursday, April 19, 2018
Hacked
Last month Apple, Xero and Go Via were among the companies whose brands were hijacked by scammers, with phishing email campaigns using the businesses’ brands to dupe local recipients.

On 19 March, email filtering and security company, MailGuard, said in a blog post that it had spotted a phishing scam using Apple branding and employing a “well made” fake Apple login screen.

According to MailGuard, the fake Apple website is hosted at www.appleid.apple(dot)com(dot)appsupportmail(dot)com, with the design of the page quite convincing.

If the recipient of the dodgy fake Apple email clicked on the link in the message, they are taken to the fake login page where their credential data would be harvested. MailGuard said its analysis of the phishing campaign suggests that the messages were sent from the email domain ‘@applemail(dot)email’ which is hosted with Google mail, meaning it can pass certain authentication tests and, as such, is likely to penetrate multiple inboxes.

On 22 March, MailGuard revealed it had spotted another wave of dodgy emails exploiting the brand of cloud accounting provider, Xero. MailGuard flagged an earlier wave of Xero-branded phishing emails as recently as February. The latest wave of fake Xero-branded emails are meant to look like invoice notifications sent through the Xero accounting platform, MailGuard said in a blog post. “The criminals who are operating this scam appear to have registered four new domains: xerocentral[dot]com, xero-fx[dot]com, xerogroup[dot]org and xeromobile[dot]net with a Chinese registrar on 21 March,” MailGuard said in its blog post.

MailGuard warned that the individual messages sent out in the latest phishing campaign bear real business names, with the names used in the ‘subject’ fields of the email messages. The objective of this email is to get the recipient to click on a link that will direct them to a hidden JavaScript malware file.

Just a day earlier, MailGuard said it had detected an email scam impersonating Queensland eToll operator Go Via involving messages designed to look like a real Go Via statement notification, with logo branding. “This scam is being sent from multiple email accounts,” MailGuard said in a blog post. “The message contains malicious links that point to compromised websites intended to harvest the personal data of victims.”

The phishing campaigns picked up by MailGuard in the past week came as Consumer Affairs Victoria warned that it had received a number of reports of a possible hacking scam targeting certain industries, including real estate agents and builders. “In most instances, a client received an email from the business they were dealing with, which included details of an account to make a payment to,” Consumer Affairs Victoria said in a statement. “Shortly afterwards, they received a second communication from the same email address, telling them that the business had just updated their account details, and to pay into a new account,” it said.

Power Cord Recall - Microsoft Surface Pro

Computer Culture Admin - Thursday, April 19, 2018
REMINDER: AC Power Cord Recall for Microsoft Surface Pro (original), Microsoft Surface Pro 2, and certain Microsoft Surface Pro 3 Devices

In January 2016, Microsoft initiated a voluntary recall for the original AC power cords sold with the original Surface Pro, Surface Pro 2, and any Microsoft Pro 3 devices purchased prior to March 15, 2015. This recall was done in cooperation with various government regulatory agencies.

If the original AC power cord is repeatedly wound too tightly, twisted, or pinched over an extended period of time, it may become damaged. Damaged AC power cords can overheat, posing a potential fire or shock hazard.

ACTION REQUIRED:

- Check to see if the AC power cord you are currently using looks like the one pictured on the left below. If it does, we recommend that you STOP using that AC power cord and order a replacement AC power cord from Microsoft. Microsoft will provide a replacement AC power cord at no cost to you through the website below.

- Please go to www.surface.com/powercord to order a free replacement AC power cord. Proof of purchase or device serial numbers will be required. Please recycle or dispose of your original AC power cord in accordance with local requirements.

Microsoft Outlook Shortcuts

Computer Culture Admin - Wednesday, April 18, 2018
HP Many users find that using an external keyboard with keyboard shortcuts for Outlook on Windows helps them work more efficiently. For users with mobility or vision disabilities, keyboard shortcuts can be easier than using the touchscreen and are an essential alternative to using a mouse.

Below are some frequently used shortcuts.

 

 To Do This   Press
 Close  Escape or Enter
 Go to Home tab  Alt + H
 New Message  Ctrl + Shift + M
 Send  Alt + S
 Insert file  Alt +N, A, F
 New task  Ctrl + Shift + K
 Delete  Delete (when a message, task, or meeting is selected)
 Search  Ctrl+E, Alt + H, R, P
 Reply  Alt + H, R, P
 Forward  Alt + H, F, W
 Reply All   Alt + H, R, A
 Copy  Ctrl + C or Ctrl + Insert
 Send/Recieve  Alt + S, S
 Go to calendar  Ctrl + 2
 Create Appointment  Ctrl+Shift+A
 Move to folder  Alt + H, M, V, select folder from list
 Attachment Save As  Alt + 1A, A, S

Strategies to Deal with Your Email

Computer Culture Admin - Tuesday, March 27, 2018
Hacked
With the demise of postal mail and fax machines, electronic mail usage has skyrocketed.

Many of us become overwhelmed with the onslaught of correspondence, orders, newsletters, etc and we struggle to stay on top of our inbox.  The speed of modern communications means senders are expecting an instant response which adds further pressure.

Here are some tips that could help you.

1) Use “Rules’ for filter you incoming mail. Ie, electronic newsletters automatically go to folders labelled “Newsletters”.
2) Don’t check your mail so frequently.
3) Reply in a timely manner, but not immediately.  Some companies have a rule where important emails need to be responded to within 2 hours
4) Unsubscribe to unwanted mail
5) Set a goal to keep your in-box under a certain volume.
6) Mark (with flags) email that needs to be dealt with in a certain timeframe

Security Watch

Computer Culture Admin - Tuesday, March 27, 2018
HP Email is a business’s lifeblood. Unfortunately, this reliance makes email an effective tool for cyber criminals.

  • 66% of malware is delivered via email attachments
  • 50% of SMEs have experienced some form of cyber breach
  • 85% of organisations have been targets of a phishing attack
  • 91% of successful cyberattacks start with a phishing email
  • 30% of those phishing emails are opened by someone in the organisation
Hackers are becoming more and more sophisticated with their attacks.
A large portion of these hacks include Ransomware
The cost of downtime for such attacks is increasing

So how do you protect your company?

1) Use multiple layers of security

2) Provide user awareness training

3) Talk to your IT company about how better to protect your business

Watch Out for WannaMine

Computer Culture Admin - Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Hacked
The name “WannaMine” is a coined term that refers to a malware family that uses the network spreading capabilities of WannaCry to deliver cryptomining malware rather than ransomware.

Cryptomining is when crooks secretly get your computer to do the calculations needed to generate cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin and then keep any cryptocoin proceeds for themselves.

To make money with cryptomining it requires a lot of electricity to deliver the heavy processing power on lots of computers. By illegally installing cryptominers inside your network, the badguys steal your resources to do their work.

If malware like WannaMine can penetrate your network, you are at serious risk of other malware at the same time, including ransomware. Don’t ignore WannaMine infections if they show up – where one crooks goes, others will surely follow.

OneDrive and SharePoint

Computer Culture Admin - Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Hacked
Over this past year OneDrive and SharePoint have become one of the favoured cloud storage solutions.

As part of this migration to the cloud we set up users with a SharePoint team site.

A SharePoint team site connects you and your team to the content, information, and apps you rely on every day. For example, you can use a team site to store and collaborate on files or to create and manage lists of information. On a team site home page, you can view links to important team files, apps, and web pages and see recent site activity in the activity feed.

We then use a third-party backup application to carry out a cloud to cloud backup to protect the data.

Please call our sales team if you would like to find out if this technology is suitable for you?

5 Likely Technology Trends for 2018

Computer Culture Admin - Wednesday, February 21, 2018
HP

1. Cryptocurrencies

Over this past year, Bitcoin has had a marked impact in the financial world, but there are dozens of other cryptocurrencies out there which are still evolving. There are several impediments to Bitcoins increased acceptance, partially caused by the volitivity in its trading price.  It only needs major financial institutions to recognise these currencies to change the landscape.

2. Blockchain

Blockchain is a digital ledger in which transactions made in bitcoin or another cryptocurrency are recorded chronologically and publicly. This technology will soon find its way into credit card companies and other industries where high security is required.

3. Social Media

Many expect that the impact of social media on our lives and news dissemination will only increase.


4. Augmented Reality

Already Apple and Samsung phones are capable of high end AR and recently there are new releases of advanced AR headsets.  Some are predicting the release of another app which will have a greater impact than Pokémon.

5. Virtual Assistants

Virtual assistants are in the market place in phones, however expect to see these built in to other devices such as your television in the near future.  Watch out for Samsung’s Bixby technology.

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