Trusted Tips and Resources

Trusted Tips & Resources

Burnt Orange Trusted Saskatoon IT Experts Talk About Mac's and Hacks

The Trusted team at Burnt Orange Solutions are located in the Computers & Web Design Category.

Honesty and respect are important factors in the daily communication at Burnt Orange. Gareth and the team at Burnt Orange Solutions are YOUR Saskatoon IT stress solution. Burnt Orange Solutions are your Trusted Saskatoon IT Experts


Burnt Orange Solutions Provides Advice About Hacks and Mac's



Locked Out of Your Mac?

If you’ve purchased a Mac expecting to never have to be concerned with malware or hacking, think again!  A recent exploit is targeting Mac users.  The good news?  It’s preventable. Mac users have long touted the fact that Apple computers are much less likely than computers running Microsoft Windows to be hacked, but that era may be coming to an end.  With four times as many Windows 10 computers currently in the marketplace than Macs, it’s not surprising that hackers choose to attack the system that is much more prevalent in the marketplace overall.  A recent ransomware attack may be cause for Mac users to stop their taunts of the platform being hacker-proof, however.  The good news is that by taking a few simple precautionary steps, you may be able to stop cybercriminals from locking you out of your expensive Mac.


Are Apple Products 'Hacker' Proof?



For more than a decade, there’s been a rumor that Apple products are hacker proof, but the reality is that no operating system or data structure is completely airtight.  Historically speaking, there are fewer viruses and malware that are targeted to Macs than to PCs, but that doesn’t mean that any Apple OS is immune from threats.  There have been more attacks in recent years as ransomware has leaked to the dark web.  While Android and Windows will likely always receive a higher percentage of malware than Apple devices, the threats continue to multiply as Apple becomes ever more popular in the marketplace.  It’s only a matter of time until specific devices are targeted with browser-specific hacks that bypass some of the security that is baked into OS X.


Mac Attacks


Phishing emails and third-party exploits of software such as Java or Adobe are also some of the current crops of attacks against Macs, but they’re not the only ones.  Macs have been plagued by adware and bloatware — whether malicious or just annoying — that can float pop-up ads on your system to tempt users to download non-essential software tools.  These problem spots can slow down the system overall or spawn additional pop-ups, and generally aren’t dangerous. Malicious iOS apps are another form of malware that is likely to be found on a Mac.  It’s important to stick with only downloading apps from the official App Store, as others could potentially include subsets of code that can steal user information or infect the device in a much more widespread fashion.  While buying from within the App Store helps combat nearly all malicious software, the ever-diligent app reviewers don’t catch everything.  In the last 24 months, XcodeGhost was able to introduce a framework into legitimate apps that hijacked back-end servers and ultimately infecting the third-party advertising network.


Rise of Ransomware


Hackers are always looking for new ways to hold your device hostage, essentially locking you out of your device until you pay a ransom which is generally requested in nearly-untraceable Bitcoin currency.  With ransomware up nearly 250 percent in 2017, cybercriminals have discovered that there is significant money to be made in locking down computers both for individuals and for businesses.  Ransomware has often targeted PCs in the past, but mobile devices and Macs are a growing part of the threat landscape.  The U.S. has been hit particularly hard, most likely due to the high number of available computers and relatively high per capita income — which translates into funds available to pay for ransom demands.  Ransomware often completely disables the boot-up process for your computer, a crippling effect on any system.


Find My Mac


This recent risk is related to the Find My Mac application, or FMM, which is being targeted by hackers who then request Bitcoin payments in order to provide renewed access to the system. This particular app makes it simple to pinpoint the current location of your device and is helpful in the case of a lost phone or stolen Mac computer.  Apparently, hackers have illegally obtained a large quantity of iCloud passwords and usernames, and are leveraging these assets to lock people out of their Macs and mobile devices.  The good news is that there’s a relatively easy fix that doesn’t involve paying the ransom, but only if you’re willing to lose all of the data on your device by doing a hard reset.  This can also be accomplished by bringing your Mac to an Apple store and verifying your identity.


Reducing the Risk of Loss


Fortunately, there are a few ways that you can reduce the risk of being hit by these cybercriminals.  Creating a password that is highly secure is the first step, as is turning off the Find My Mac or Find My iPhone in your device’s Settings.  Turn on two-factor authentication on your Apple account to ensure your password cannot be reset without your knowledge, and consider utilizing a password vault app that provides additional levels of security.  

If your IT admins are struggling to keep security under control, let the professionals at Burnt Orange support your Saskatoon organization.  They work to ensure that all risks are addressed in a timely manner throughout your fleet of devices and computers.




Contact Burnt Orange today for more information or to take advantage of your FREE initial consultation. View them on Facebook here. They are your Trusted Saskatoon IT Experts!

Trusted Brags About Burnt Orange- Your Trusted Saskatoon IT Experts!

The Trusted Saskatoon Directory team is ecstatic to announce our latest Trusted Saskatoon partner in the  Computers & Web Design Category.

Burnt Orange Solutions are your Trusted Saskatoon IT Experts

"IT Support You Can Trust and Understand"

At Trusted Saskatoon we have personal experience with dealing with Gareth and his team from Burnt Orange Solutions. We have used them for our Saskatoon IT Support 'GoTo Team' for years and are ecstatic to now be able to promote them on Trusted Saskatoon. Our wonderful Administration Pro, Victoria speaks with Gareth on a regular basis and this was what she had to say:

"Gareth and Burnt Orange have been amazing to work with, he keeps all our office computer running smoothly. Gareth and his team are just a phone call away whenever our system has an issue-  big or small. When we had a lemon of a computer, Gareth and his team spent hours on the phone with me, working between billing cycles to try all things possible to find a solution.It was very much appreciated "- Victoria (Trusted Saskatoon- Admin Assistant)

Gareth and his team also believe in supporting the community and currently provide IT support to The Lighthouse Supported Living. At The Lighthouse they provide emergency shelter, supported living, and affordable housing to those in need.

"We help them 24/7 with security, phone systems, camera systems, backup disaster recovery systems, MS Office environment and of support of the PCs and Servers. We are also currently in discussion about setting up a classroom for them there where people staying there can work on resumes and other computer skills to help them find employment." - Gareth (Owner, Burnt Orange Solutions) 

Gareth and his team come highly recommended from all of their clients! One thing that really sets them apart is their 1 hour or less response time and the fact you get to speak to a person not just send an email or leave a voicemail not knowing when you will get a response. Here is another happy client testimonial:

"I would like to thank you and your team for their amazing efforts over the past few months. We are going through a major upgrade to our whole system which is of course taking time, but it is always reassuring to know that at each stage we have qualified engineers on hand to guide us in the right direction. Also, please pass on my thanks to your support team who are always available at a moment's notice when things aren't working quite as they should be. Their direction to finishing the job and reassuring level of knowledge always allows my staff to relax knowing things will be put right. Long may this great relationship continue."- Tim (Broker- Tim Hammond Realty)

Burnt Orange Solutions offers everything from strategic consulting, Cloud services, VOIP phone systems, managed IT solutions and more! 



Trusted Saskatoon give's the THUMBS UP to Gareth and his team  Burnt Orange Solutions are your Trusted Saskatoon IT Experts



Trusted Saskatoon IT & Computer Systems Experts share a tip on The 10 Disaster Planning Essentials For A Small Business Network

The 10 Disaster Planning Essentials For A Small Business Network:

If your data is important to your business and you cannot afford to have your operations halted for days – even weeks – due to data loss or corruption, then you need to read this report and act on the information shared. A disaster can happen at any time on any day and is likely to occur at the most inconvenient time. If you aren’t already prepared, you run the risk of having the disaster coming before you have in place a plan to handle it. This report will outline 10 things you should have in place to make sure your business could be back up and running again in the event of a disaster.

1. Have a written plan. As simple as it may sound, just thinking through in ADVANCE what needs to happen if your server has a meltdown or a natural disaster wipes out your office, will go a long way in getting it back fast. At a minimum, the plan should contain details on what disaster could happen and a step-by-step process of what to do, who should do it and how. Also include contact information for various providers and username and password information for various key web sites. Writing this plan will also allow you to think about what you need to budget for backup, maintenance and disaster recovery. If you can’t afford to have your network down for more than a few hours, then you need a plan that can get you back up and running within that time frame. You may want the ability to virtualize your server, allowing the office to run off of the virtualized server while the real server is repaired. If you can afford to be down for a couple of days, there are cheaper solutions. Once written, print out a copy and store it in a fireproof safe, an offsite copy (at your home) and a copy with your IT consultant.

2. Hire a trusted professional to help you. Trying to recover your data after a disaster without professional help is business suicide; one misstep during the recovery process can result in forever losing your data or result in weeks of downtime. Make sure you work with someone who has experience in both setting up business contingency plans (so you have a good framework from which you CAN restore your network) and experience in data recovery.

3. Have a communications plan. If something should happen where employees couldn’t access your office, e-mail or use the phones, how should they communicate with you? Make sure your plan includes this information including MULTIPLE communications methods.

4. Automate your backups. If backing up your data depends on a human being doing something, it’s flawed. The #1 cause of data loss is human error (people not swapping out tapes properly, someone not setting up the backup to run properly, etc.). ALWAYS automate your backups so they run like clockwork.

5. Have an offsite backup of your data. Always, always, always maintain a recent copy of your data off site, on a different server, or on a storage device. Onsite backups are good, but they won’t help you if they get stolen, flooded, burned or hacked along with your server.

6. Have remote access and management of your network. Not only will this allow you and your staff to keep working if you can’t go into your office, but you’ll love the convenience it offers. Plus, your IT staff or an IT consultant should be able to access your network remotely in the event of an emergency or for routine maintenance. Make sure they can.

7. Image your server. Having a copy of your data offsite is good, but keep in mind that all that information has to be RESTORED someplace to be of any use. If you don’t have all the software disks and licenses, it could take days to reinstate your applications (like Microsoft Office, your database, accounting software, etc.) even though your data may be readily available. Imaging your server is similar to making an exact replica; that replica can then be directly copied to another server saving an enormous amount of time and money in getting your network back. Best of all, you don’t have to worry about losing your preferences, configurations or favorites. To find out more about this type of backup, ask your IT professional.

8. Network documentation. Network documentation is simply a blueprint of the software, data, systems and hardware you have in your company’s network. Your IT manager or IT consultant should put this together for you. This will make the job of restoring your network faster, easier AND cheaper. It also speeds up the process of everyday repairs on your network since the technicians don’t have to spend time figuring out where things are located and how they are configured. And finally, should disaster strike, you have documentation for insurance claims of exactly what you lost. Again, have your IT professional document this and keep a printed copy with your disaster recovery plan.

9. Maintain Your System. One of the most important ways to avoid disaster is by maintaining the security of your network. While fires, floods, theft and natural disasters are certainly a threat, you are much more likely to experience downtime and data loss due to a virus, worm or hacker attack. That’s why it’s critical to keep your network patched, secure and up-to-date. Additionally, monitor hardware for deterioration and software for corruption. This is another overlooked threat that can wipe you out. Make sure you replace or repair aging software or hardware to avoid this problem.

10. Test, test, test! A study conducted in October 2007 by Forrester Research and the Disaster Recovery Journal found that 50 percent of companies test their disaster recovery plan just once a year, while 14 percent never test. If you are going to go through the trouble of setting up a plan, then at least hire an IT pro to run a test once a month to make sure your backups are working and your system is secure. After all, the worst time to test your parachute is AFTER you’ve jumped out of the plane.

 

Trusted Saskatoon IT & Computer Systems Experts share a tip on Is the profit in your business slipping through the cracks?

Trusted Saskatoon Computer and Website Systems Expert!

 

Or, how the ageing PC affects your bottom line.

All business owners know that for a business to survive it must have more money coming in than going out. What great business owner know is where to look and find the hidden costs of running their business to achieve greater profit.

One of the easiest places to look is the IT infrastructure. Many businesses see computers as an expense and not an asset, and this is never more apparent when the time arrives to buy a new PC to replace the ageing ones.

 So… here are a few facts and figures to remove the lump in the throat which exists when spending on IT.

 It is estimated that around 36% of small to medium business have complete infrastructures which are older than 4 years. This figure comes from a recent study conducted by Techaisle across 6 countries. The study exposes the true costs of maintaining older PCs, the frequency of repairs, hours lost along with an assessment of the most frequent types of applications and systems performance issues encountered by PCs that unbeknownst to many small businesses are chipping away at their cash flows and productive work hours.

The basic repair numbers. For a business of 50-99 users the cost of repairs to a PC older than 4 years is on average $521, this is 1.4 times the amount spent on a PC which is less than 4 years old. A hefty price as this can equal the price of a new PC which will be more productive than the older, slower PC being repaired.

 

Let me say that again, the repair cost therefore either equals or even exceeds the purchase price of some new PCs.

Upgrading also has hidden costs. With the average office worker now having up to eight applications open at any time the older PCs are struggling to keep pace. It is not surprising therefore to see that 25% of older PCs are upgraded each year, which is 1.7 times the amount of PCs that are less than 4 years old.

The highest cost to upgrade an older PC is among the 1-49 employee businesses. Upgrading an older PC here is 1.6 times that of upgrading a PC less than 4 years old. Combining the average upgrade costs with the average repair cost to a small business equals $561 per older PC. Again, the price of a replacement PC.

The study showed that 60% of business replace a PC when the repair costs are equal or greater than the price of a new one, looking at the figures above you can see that this point is hit at the 4 year mark. The study also revealed that on average a PC which is older than 4 years results in 42 hours of lost productivity per year. This results from actual down time during repairs or the ever increasing and constant reboots to get the PC ‘running faster’.

I don’t know what your office staff’s hourly rate is, but lets say it is $20ph, 42x$20= $840 per year. Is it time to replace the older PC?

 

Trusted Saskatoon IT & Computer Systems Experts share a tip on windows

 

The End is Nigh:

 

 

A date that everyone should put in to their diaries. A date that is sending a shiver down the spines of many business owners and home computer users alike. A date that many columnists are calling the next Y2K, (not that they are scare mongering at all!!)

April 8th, 2014.

This is the day that all support for Windows XP, Microsoft Office 2003 and Windows Server 2003 ends. There will be no more security updates, no more security fixes and no more support from Microsoft and is expected that all the 3rd party vendors will cease support soon after.  

 

 

OK, so the world is not quite coming to an end but this will leave any users who are still using XP without security updates for what is already the most insecure operating system. Windows XP/Server 2003 will not cease to function, but as Microsoft drops support so will the industry. Most of the software now produced is incompatible or untested with XP, new pieces of hardware fail to work with this ageing operating system and as time goes by there will be less and less available which will function on XP.

With 6 months to go, what is your plan? Initially, let’s find out if you do have XP/Server 2003.

On your computer click on the Start button – Right Click on ‘My Computer’ – select ‘Properties’ – on the window which appears it should say on the first few lines which operating system you are using. If it mentions XP or Server 2003, it is time to start the process of changing.

For Office 2003, open a Word document, click on Help and About, it will tell you here which version of Office you are using. If it is 2003 of any variant, time to change.

If you are a home user then hopefully not much of a plan is needed. Buy a Windows7/8 machine, move your data across to the new platform, and your life will improve immensely. You will have a secure operating system on a faster machine which will react when you want it to. Let’s be honest, any machines out there that are still running XP are somewhat slow anyway. My recommendation – do it now!! 

 

 

 

Business – time to get your skates on!! Microsoft do say that, depending on the size of network obviously, it can take up to 18 months to plan and rollout a desktop upgrade from XP to Windows 7/8. Most business don’t have the internal skills to complete a pain free transfer from XP, at this point your best plan is to pick up the phone and contact an IT support company…

 

Categories

Previous Posts

ADDRESS

S & E Trusted Online Directories Inc
TrustedSaskatoon.com
129 21st St E #400
Saskatoon, SK   S7K 0B2
Ph: 306.244.4150

GET THE APP

App Store Google Play
Follow us on Facebook Linked In Google+ YouTube RSS Feed
Abex
Abex
Stevies
Sabex
NEYA
Website hosting by Insight Hosting