Streets2Homes Website GOES LIVE – READ MORE!

We’ve recently launched a new website for the charity Streets 2 Homes in Harlow, with all the expected quality functionality you would expect. The new ‘mobile-friendly’ website includes the ability to donate online and for them to publish their own news items and updates.

Please visit the website https://www.streets2homes.co.uk

Screen shoot of the Website 39 Degress Services Created for Streets 2 Homes Harlow.

We look forward to continuing to donate our time and offer free web hosting to to this Local Charity in Harlow.

Why Cyber Security Is So Important For Your Business

Why Cyber Security Is So Important For Your Business

The increasing transfer of data (from old-fashioned paper filing systems to digital formats) in recent years has allowed business efficiency to increase in leaps and bounds. No more bulging filing cabinets or heavy document boxes to contend with, now information is literally at your fingertips and can be accessed within seconds. While this has inarguably made things a lot easier for most businesses, albeit with the proviso that a few new skill sets have needed to be acquired, it also comes with its own risks and dangers. No longer does someone intent on sabotage need to actually get into the building to do you serious harm. This is why Cyber Security is important for your business.

it security for your firm

Remember the infamous Ashley Madison hack a few years ago? The information you hold on people doesn’t need to be as compromising or embarrassing as theirs was, but that doesn’t make it any less important. You have a responsibility not only to your business but also to your clients and suppliers to protect their data. According to a study by the DCMS, the Information Commissioner’s Office, the National Cyber Security Centre and Margot James MP earlier this year, over 40 percent of all businesses in the UK suffered some form of cyber attack in the previous twelve months. Fraudulent emails were the most common form of attack, with organisations being impersonated online coming a close second.

Simple steps to avoid social engineering attacks can be taken, and it’s vital that everyone in the organisation knows what to look out for and what steps to take to avoid being duped. But there are some attacks the avoidance of which need more than basic frontline training.

cyber security services essex herts

At Ghost Services, we can offer help with both. Not only will we make your data 100 percent secure, we will also help you improve your organisation’s cyber security awareness culture, offering you protection from all kinds of attacks both social and digital. In addition we will also make sure you are totally compliant with data protection legislation to help you avoid inadvertently becoming the bad guy yourself.

Remember, your data these days is as important as your balance sheet, and it’s a dangerous world out there. But we’re here to help 24 hours a day. Contact us now for more information.

Call us today to discuss your business IT requirements, and we’ll take the tech strain and let you get back to worrying about your bottom line. Call 01279 800039, or fill in our online contact form on our contact form page.

IT Advice For A Start-Up Business

IT Advice For A Start-Up Business

When anyone creates a Start-Up Business, they do so in the full knowledge that there’s a gamble involved. The unpleasant truth is that a half of businesses fail in their first year of trading. So it’s wise to make sure you concentrate on not failing among their number. But this shouldn’t let you lose sight of your prize, or take your eye off the route there. Planning for success can be even more important than planning for failure, and you need to make sure your start-up business is as future-proof as possible.

it advice for start-up businesses

Nowhere is this more relevant than in the technology you choose to use. Buying cheap and out-dated equipment might save you a few pounds at the beginning, but the headaches, both logistical and financial, of having to transfer everything to a new system a couple of years down the line could be extremely punishing.

tech support for start-ups

Look at the timescales involved – if your PCs are running Windows, have a look at how long Microsoft supports each system. Microsoft usually offers about ten years of support for each version of Windows – support for Windows 7, for example, will end in 2020. If the OS you want is in mid-cycle and you think upgrading your entire range of computers is going to prove too costly (which it may well do), then it’s worth spending a little extra for machines which are more powerful than they need to be. Try to avoid minimum specifications- if your machines will only just run the latest OS, then they’ll have no chance when it becomes out-dated. Ten years is about the time a current top-of-the-range machine will stay a viable option for, so if you jump on an OS as early into its lifecycle as possible then you will maximise the use you get from it.

future-proofing computer systems

And try upgrading your hardware gradually – a CPU here, a RAM upgrade there – so as to avoid the shock of having to do everything at once, which will not only be a major hit to your finances but also cause massive disruptions to your workflow.

Don’t fear the future – embrace it, and if you are starting out on your business journey contact us for advice – we’re here to help.

Call us today to discuss your business IT requirements, and we’ll take the tech strain and let you get back to worrying about your bottom line. Call 01279 800039, or fill in our online contact form on our contact us page.

 

GRU Cyber Attack Allegations – Protecting Your Business from Cybercrime

Last week, the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) discovered and exposed several cyber-attacks that were conducted by the Russian military intelligence service, the GRU. Britain – along with its allies Australia and New Zealand, have accused the GRU of being responsible for many attacks over the past couple of years.

Even with the latest installments in cyber security, large Government agencies are becoming victims of cybercrime. Any organisation can be victimised by cybercrime, making it vital for your business to maximise its Cyber Security capabilities, and to help prevent an attack from occurring.

Here are four ways you can protect your business from Cybercrime

Install the latest anti-virus and anti-malware software

Installing anti-virus and anti-malware solutions on your devices will minimise the risk of an attack and will protect your business against the latest threats, including ransomware, malware, hackers and so on.

Download the latest updates on OS and applications

As well as installing the latest anti-virus software for your PCs, it is important that you download the latest updates for your operating system, and for every application you use, as soon as they come available. With the end of Windows 7 OS just around the corner, you will need to migrate to the latest Windows OS, as security will no longer be released, making you more vulnerable to newly developed malware.

Ensure That Your Passwords Are Secure

Whilst this may seem like an obvious way to prevent a breach, it is one of easiest ways for hackers to access your data. Passwords provide the first line of defence to your PC and if a password is simple enough, hackers will take a guess and most likely gain access and control of your data.

It is vital that your employees all have strong and secure passwords, to ensure that hackers cannot intrude your devices. As a simple rule, ensure that your employees have at least 12 characters in their password, 1 capital letter, 1 number and 1 symbol.

Undertake Staff Awareness Training

It’s highly important that your staff are aware of cyber security, and their responsibilities in preventing cybercrime. By carrying out cyber security awareness training, you will ensure that your team are fully aware of cybercrime and understand the consequences of their actions. This will reduce the chance of a cyber-attack and will mean they follow the correct procedures.

We are Cyber Essential Certified, and provide training and awareness programs to businesses that want to educate their team and make them aware of cybercrime. This program will provide your team with the tools and knowledge to prevent a cyber-attack from happening.

Ghost provides a comprehensive range of Cyber Security services that will help avoid the possibility of a cyber-attack. We’ll ensure that your data is 100% secure and that you are compliant with the latest regulatory requirements, including GDPR and ISO27001.

If you need to protect your business from cybercrime, get in touch with 39 Degress today on 01279 800039 and speak directly with one of our experts.

Protecting Your IT System

Protecting Your IT System

Back when computer technology was in its infancy, most people believed automation and computerisation would revolutionise the way we work and do business. And it did, but not in the way a lot of us expected. Computers were supposed to be able to take over a lot of the work, and leave us with either increased leisure time or an exponential increase in unemployment, depending on whether you were looking at it as a ‘glass half full’ or a ‘glass half empty’ person. Of course, for the most part this hasn’t been the case- we still have as much to do as before, we just do it more efficiently, and the arrival of computation provided a thriving job market in IT services.

it support services

These days it’s almost impossible for a business to entirely eschew the allure of computer technology, and any business that tried would find severe problems communicating with customers, suppliers and other businesses.

cloud storage for small businesses

Of course, this means that everyone now needs to make sure they have good IT support, whether on- or off-site. But there are certain common sense rules for best practice, which can help you avoid problems yourself before you have to get them involved.

it support essex

There are two pieces of advice in particular which are utterly invaluable – and they apply as much to the home user as the business user. First of all, and this shouldn’t even really need to be said in this day and age – always back everything up. An off-site cloud solution can be the best way to do this, because even if your whole system goes down your data is still safe. Which awful possibility brings us to the second, and perhaps most important – allow for redundancies in your system in order to avoid creating a single point of failure. Something will always go wrong, and it’s vital to make sure the rest of your system can pick up the slack when it does.

For everything else, and even for help with these, there is Ghost. Whether you want a fully-managed IT support service or a pay-as-you-go ad hoc model, we can help with all your IT needs. Cloud storage, security, ensuring compliance with regulation- whatever you need, Ghost can do it for you.

Contact us today to discuss your business IT requirements, and we’ll take the tech strain and let you get back to worrying about your bottom line. Call 01279 800039, or fill in our online contact form.

Are You Prepared for Windows 7 End Of Life? Have You Made The Leap To Windows 10 Yet?

In just under 16 months, Microsoft will no longer be supporting their Windows 7 operating system, which will present implications to the many businesses that still run Windows 7 on their devices.

On January 14th 2020, Microsoft will be ending their extended support period for Windows 7, an operating system (OS) that was first released back in 2009.

All of Microsoft’s operating systems have two period of support – mainstream support and extended support. Windows 7 operated their mainstream support from when the OS began, until the 13th January 2015. During this period, Windows released several new features and patches that kept the operating system safe and secure.

 

How will Windows 7 End-Of-Life affect your business?

If you run or work for an organisation that still operates on Windows 7, you need to be prepared for its EOL and be ready to migrate to Windows 10. It’s said to have taken companies between 3 to 5 years to make the transition to Windows 7, when extended support for Windows XP ended in April 2014.

There are still almost 50% of PCs running on Windows 7, meaning the effect of Windows 7 End-Of-Life on businesses is huge.

When Microsoft conclude their extended support at the start of 2020, they will no longer release security updates that help protect your PC from viruses, spyware and data breaches. If you continue to operate on Windows 7, you are more vulnerable to security breaches and data loss, which is caused by new malware which is constantly being developed.

There are still tons of businesses that are not aware of the Windows 7 End-Of-Life, which means they are also unaware of the threats that the EOL phase poses to their business.

 

Why are Microsoft ending Windows 7 support?

Unfortunately, all good things come to an end, and this is the case with Microsoft’s Windows 7 OS. Although it is still widely used by businesses around the world, Microsoft wants to end their extended support to start focusing on their newer, more modern products.

 

How can I prepare for Windows 7 End-Of-Life and make the leap to Windows 10?

Migrating to Windows 10 comes at a cost, and this could be a problem to businesses with many devices.

Windows 10 OS can cost anywhere from £100 to £220 per device, depending on which version of the operating system you require. The problem you could face is that your PC may not run the OS efficiently, and this all depends on the age of your PC. Migrating to Windows 10 on an older PC means you may not receive all the features that you would on a brand-new device.

Upgrading to Windows 10 will also require an IT technician to install the OS to each device, with their time also coming at a cost.

To solve this problem completely, it may be easier to purchase brand-new devices for your business. Computers purchased in the last 3 years will run on Windows 10 as standard, which will mean you don’t have to pay for the licence key to Windows 10. Whilst it may seem expensive to purchase new devices for your business, you will be avoiding the cost of upgrading to Windows 10 and saving money in the long run.

 

How Ghost can help!

Here at 39 Degress Services, we provide easy and affordable access to the latest IT technology with our Computer Leasing services. Leasing is 100% tax-allowable and comes with no upfront charges, and flexible credit options for both new and established businesses.

Ghost is also a Registered Dell Partner, and we are positioned to resell the latest Dell PCs that will operate on Windows 10. You can purchase Dell PCs directly from 39 Degress Services, which will settle all problems relating to the Windows 7 End-Of-Life.

If you need help preparing for the end of Windows 7 and becoming ready for the leap to Windows 10, get in touch with Ghost today on 01279 800039 and speak directly with an IT expert that can help you migrate to Windows 10.

Royal Mail Post Box Limit

Random facts of the day, you can only get 15 letters thought the slot in a #royalmail post box,

Capacity of a post box is 300 celebrations bbq invites.

If we missed you out get your invite online

Book online

Come and join our 10 years celebrations on the 23rd September.

300 invites in a Royal Mail post box.

You can only got 300 invites in a Royal Mail post box.

Did You Know We’re Based On A Former RAF Airbase?

In 2017 we outgrew our previous office based in Harlow and relocated to our current workplace in North Weald Bassett in the Epping district of Essex which is located in the industrial area of North Weald Airfield.

North Weald Airfield was formerly known as RAF North Weald, and is most famously recognised for its service during the Battle of Britain in WW1. The airfield was first opened in the summer of 1916 – later becoming Royal Air Force North Weald Airfield in 1918. As well as its duties in WW1, the airbase also played an important role in the air defence strategy of the UK in WW2. This century-old airfield is no longer the fighter station it used to be – but is still active for both aviation and non-aviation activities.

Now being owned and operated by the Epping Forest District Council, North Weald Airfield is now the place of operation for the Essex Emergency Services and the Essex & Herts Air Ambulance. Visitors of the airfield may also witness classic aircrafts such as the Spitfire, Invader and Mustang – as they land and take-off of the runway.

Aside from the loud and emphatic planes, the airfield hosts a range of sporting and leisure activities, including cycling, archery, model aircraft flying and various motorsports, as well as the North Weald Market – that is in fact the largest open-air market in the country. The market occurs every Saturday and Bank Holiday Monday of the year, and entry is free.

Also based on the airfield is a high-performance driver training company, which is considered the most exciting attraction on the airfield. Every day we hear and experience the action of several high-performance supercars as they speed around the circuit. As the airfield is not a public road, there are no speed restrictions. However, the airfield does have a maximum noise limit of 105db.

Many of the hangars on the airfield are used for non-aviation purposes, with some owned and used by local businesses. One aircraft hangar was by Channel 4 as the studio to film series 2 to 6 of The Crystal Maze – back in late 1990. Part of the airfield was also used as the music video set for Will Young’s single ‘Joy’ in 2015.

As you can imagine, the airfield is a busy place – and there are many different things all going on at once. Whilst the airfield may come across noisy and inconvenient, we believe the location of the Ghost office is what makes us unique.

The team here at Ghost are growing and we feel that the airfield is the perfect place for our development. We have recently appointed two Digital Marketers, an Office Manager and a further Technician who have become part of the fundamental team that are committed to meeting the IT needs of your business. You can expect to see some new faces and hear some new voices over the next few months. You can see the members of the Ghost team on our Meet The Team page.

You have the opportunity to meet the 39 Degress team on Sunday 23rd September 2018, when we host our Summer BBQ at our office in Runway House. We will have food and beverages available, courtesy of the airfields Double Decker Bus Bar, and there will even be an ice-cream van. Tickets are FREE and you can register your interest on our Facebook and Eventbrite pages.

10 Keyboard Shortcuts That Are Absolutely Essential

 

A shortcut is defined as an alternative, more direct route to achieving something, and is identical to the keyboard shortcut that we use in computing. Very much like the regular term, a keyboard shortcut provides quick access to something, and in this case is a function within a computer program.

To use a keyboard shortcut, you have to press a series of keys at the same time, with this leading to a quicker result. These keyboard combinations are very handy for working seamlessly, without being interrupted or losing focus.

Implementing keyboard shortcuts into your IT operations will reduce the number of times you use the mouse and will save time, allowing you to stay focused on your work. Keyboard shortcuts differ depending on the computing program you’re using and whether you’re using a Windows PC or Mac, with Mac having a different style of keyboard.

With a Windows keyboard, there are various shortcuts that will provide instant access to various functions within Microsoft Office and web browsers including Chrome, Edge, Internet Explorer and Firefox. We have narrowed these keyboard shortcuts down and have chosen the 10 Keyboard Shortcuts That Are Absolutely Essential for the day-to-day activities on your PC. These keyboard shortcuts are compatible with Windows, Microsoft Office and most Internet browsers, and are not compatible with all programs.

 

Copy – Ctrl + C

The Ctrl + C keyboard shortcut is very useful and is one that you may already know; with it being one of the most commonly used commands available. This shortcut is activated when both the Ctrl and C keys are pressed, and will trigger the Copy function on Windows. This will copy the selection and store it in the clipboard. You will find this shortcut handy when copying text or an object from a particular place, and then pasting it somewhere else, and this is something we’ll come onto next.

 

Paste – Ctrl + V

Paste is a keyboard shortcut that will more than likely be used after the Ctrl + C shortcut is completed, with the combination of Ctrl + V retrieving the copied selection from the clipboard and placing it in another location. This keyboard shortcut will be most convenient for when you need to quickly move a piece of text or an image from one place to another, rather than using the mouse to right-click the Copy and Paste functions.

 

Cut – Ctrl + X

Ctrl + X is a shortcut that can also be used when copying and pasting text, as when you press the Ctrl + X keys together, it will remove the selected text or image, and will move it to the clipboard. This is very similar to the Ctrl + C shortcut, but rather than just copying the text, it will remove the selection from the text.

 

Text Selection – SHIFT + ←, ↑, ↓, → 

Once you have applied this keyboard shortcut when working with Microsoft Office, it will almost eliminate the need to use the mouse at all and will let you maintain focus throughout the day. When pressing SHIFT and the navigational arrow keys, you can select words, sentences or whole paragraphs at a time, without having to touch the mouse. This means that you can select pieces of a document, Copy or Cut them, and then Paste them somewhere else, using the keyboard shortcuts we mentioned before.

 

Find – Ctrl + F

Find is a keyboard shortcut that you probably have never heard of before, but one that you will instantly find helpful and use daily. When pressing the combination of both Ctrl + F, it will access the Find navigational bar. This will allow you to search the displayed text for particular words or phrases you type in. This shortcut can be used on Microsoft Office, when finding sections of a document, and an Internet browser, to find information on a webpage. By using the Find function, you no longer have to scroll down the document with your mouse and scan the text for information, but use search instead.

 

Save – Ctrl + S

The Ctrl + S shortcut is an easy one to remember and is essential for the security of your documents. This will provide faster access to the Save function within Microsoft Office, and will quickly save the document that is currently open. Using the Save shortcut will not just save you time but will mean the document is updated regularly, just in case the program crashes. It’s also handy for when you get called away from your desk or step out for a break, as you may forget to save your work beforehand.

 

Undo – Ctrl + Z

The keyboard shortcut of Ctrl + Z will mostly be needed for when mistakes are made, whether it’s a minor spelling mistake or you’ve deleted the entire body of a document. You should already know where the Undo button is on Microsoft Office, however, with the Ctrl + Z shortcut, you can quickly undo your mistake without reaching for your mouse and losing your concentration.

 

Redo – Ctrl + Y

The Redo command of Ctrl + Y is one you will use with the Undo shortcut, with this shortcut commanding the computer to reverse the previous Undo. This keyboard shortcut might not be used very often, but is needed for when you press the Undo shortcut too many times.

 

New – Ctrl + N

Ctrl + N can be used on Microsoft Office as well as Edge, Internet Explorer, Chrome and Firefox, although it will result in a different outcome. When using a web browser, the Ctrl + N combination will open up a new tab, but with Office, the same combination will instead open up a new document. Again with this keyboard shortcut, it will get rid of the need to use the mouse, as you can use the shortcut to open a new tab or document.

 

Lock Device – Windows Key + L

The tenth and final keyboard shortcut that we believe is essential is the Lock command, which is activated when hitting the Windows key and the L key. This keyboard shortcut is vital for the security of your data, as it will immediately lock the PC and require the password for it be unlocked again. You may find this convenient for when you need to step away from your desk to speak to a colleague, pop to the restroom or head out for lunch, as you can come back knowing that your tabs remain the same and that no one has messed around with anything.

 

We hope that you have found these keyboard shortcuts of use and will start to implement them into the daily activities on your PC, whether it’s at work or at home. If you have found this post rewarding and would like to be reminded of these shortcuts, you can print off our PDF Keyboard Shortcut Hand-Out in A5 and leave it on your desk for future reference. This will help you memorise the commands and you can always refer back to them if you forget!

If you’re interested in checking out our other posts, why not head over to our blog? Ghost is an IT company that offer IT support in Essex and surrounding areas of Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire, and if you want further information on our services, you can call us on 01279 800039 or email [email protected].

5 Security Tips for Your Business to Implement

Technology has become a convention of everyday life for many. But with an increased use of desktops, laptops and mobile devices, security awareness and implementation is crucial. There is no excuse for leaving the security of your business to chance, just follow these five security tips from the experts here at 39 Degress Services.

1 Implement Strong Passwords

Strong passwords are a quick and easy fix to improve the security of your devices.

To ensure that your password is secure avoid using any personal data like birthdates. Also, steer away from sequences of numbers that are close together. A combination of capital and lower case letters with numbers and symbols will make your password harder to crack.

2 Back-up Your Devices

Backing-up your services weekly onto an external hard drive or the cloud will ensure that your data is stored and cannot be lost. Incremental back-ups each night will provide a security copy that contains the files which have been altered since the last full backup. 39 Degress Services are experts on cloud services so your devices will be in safe hands.

3 Install Anti-Virus

An essential for online security, anti-virus software works as a line of defence against any attempts on attacking your network. You can rely on 39 Degress services to efficiently install and update anti-virus software for your work devices.

4 Put Up a Firewall

Whatever the size of your network, corporate or small, both have the same security issues. A software firewall will block and protect any unauthorized attempts on entering your network. The typical understanding of a firewall is that it works as a complete block, however it is more of a filter that is controlled by an access control list.

5 Inform Employees

Informing employees of the security measures that will be introduced and encouraging safe online habits can work as a further prevention method for any threats on your network. Just ask the experts of 39 Degress for any more information on security tips.

Are you interested in following these tips in the future?

At Ghost Services IT Solutions Essex, we take pride in the services that we provide. We work closely with businesses to provide the highest quality services.

How We Can Help

If you would like more information on how Ghost can help you. Call us on 01279 800039.