Tis’ the season to make sure you are helping rather than hindering your business when it comes to IT. Why? Because we had a word with our Technical Team and they might put you on their naughty list if they find out you could be saving valuable time or cash on your IT. A spot on our naughty list has bad implications for you in 2019. But don’t fear – it also means that there are things you could be doing to make sure you make it to the nice list instead.

Read over this list and check it twice, because you will know if you’re being naughty or nice…

1. Your password is password

If your password is password or features the word welcome in it then you are top of the naughty list this year. Cyber criminals are super smart now and will trawl your social media for clues. So never use the following personal details for your password: Current partner’s name, Child’s name, Other family members’ name, Pet’s name, Place of birth, Favourite holiday, something related to your favourite sports team.

How to get on the nice list again:

Change your password right now if it doesn’t include Capital letters, numbers and other characters OR if you have the same password as a colleague.

Where available use two-factor authentication. Two-factor authentication provides an extra layer of security, as it means your account can only be accessed on a device that you have already registered. Speak to one of our team about this as it is fairly straight forward to set up.

 

2. You have switched off Windows Updates

Many users will switch off Windows Automatic updates if they can which means your business is exposed to greater risks online. A common complaint from users is that doing windows updates or upgrading their PC takes too long. For this reason, many IT breaches go unnoticed until it’s too late.

How to get on the nice list again:

Ensure that all PCs are set to download and install updates automatically. Windows 10 is pretty good at doing this if you forget. Doing all your software updates regularly reduces known software or network vulnerabilities that cyber criminals exploit.

 

3. You are still using Windows 7 or 8

Old and unsupported Operating Systems like Windows 7 and 8 can cause many issues including security risks, poor performance or “slow” machines as well as compatibility issues with other software.

How to get on the nice list again:

Ensure all PC’s are updated regularly with the latest software. The current Windows operating system is Windows 10 Pro so if you aren’t using this in your business then 2019 is the time to upgrade.

Think about having a list of approved software for your organisation. Then you can blacklist denied applications, so they can’t run (we can help you with this). Combine this with regular software updates and you will have the best chance of being protected against the software vulnerabilities that are already known to major software companies like Microsoft, Apple, Adobe etc.

 

4. You are using Microsoft Office 2013 or older

Microsoft ended support for Office 2013 in April 2018. This means they are no longer releasing updates for reliability and security. If you have this version, you may experience issues with performance as well as compatibility issues with more recent versions of Office.
Please also be aware that Office 2016 is no longer available to purchase from our suppliers so be careful as there may be many fake versions for sale online now. If you currently have Microsoft Office 2016. Support for Office 2016 will be available until 2020.

How to get on the nice list again:

The latest version of Office is 2019. We recommend upgrading to Office 365 instead, as this is a subscription service that always provides the latest Office versions and security updates. Microsoft subscriptions can be paid monthly or annually.

 

5. Your PC is running slowly

If your PC is over 4 years old and has an out of date Operating System and out of date version of Office, then it is most definitely on the naughty list! Cyber criminals love these PCs and it will probably be more cost effective to replace it.

How to get on the nice list again:

A typical business PC has a useful working life of around 4 years. We recommend either upgrading the hardware and software after 3 years or it may be more cost-effective budget to replace them every 4 years. There is also “tech as a service “options available so you can spread the cost more evenly.

Find out more about our services.
Have you been naughty or nice?