Category Archives: IT

Anything relating to Information Technology, most likely aimed at and of interest to home users of computers and the internet.

Gigaclear Ultrafast Broadband

Philip Gander writes:

Ultrafast Broadband

I spotted this in my latest ComputerActive magazine. If there is
enough interest in an area they will start building the new 
fibre-to-the-home network. It appears to be free. A chap in a village
in Hertfordshire went from 1.5Mbps to 53Mbps. You can find more 
information and register interest with no obligation at 
www.gigaclear.com and they will keep you updated.

Might be worth circulating it to the membership.

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Ransomware Computer problems – what you should do!

Ransomware Computer problems – what you should do to protect yourself!

As a computer user, you will be aware of the recent “Wannacry Ransomware” problem.  Much publicity was given to NHS and other institutions.  But it affects you too. Here is some help.

As a priority, check that you have anti virus software on your computer and that all updates are in place.  If you are not running any anti-virus software,  enable Windows Defender which is free.

You should also consider installing an Anti-Virus/ Security Program to protect your system. There are many of them around, the ones you pay for will offer better protection than those that are free.

Here is a checklist of what you should do.

Continue reading Ransomware Computer problems – what you should do!

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Cold Calling Scammers

Prestwood Resident Brenda writes:

“Today I had a BT scam, sounded very plausible, caller gives an identity no. ,and says he needs to fix your internet connection because of hacking. Asks you to dial a no. 0203290898. I checked with BT help on 08007835378, who said BT engineer would never give his identity no.”

If you get a call….

There are a couple of scams that I am aware of, one targets mostly retired people where you get a telephone call advising you that there is a problem with your computer and you need to dial a number to get it sorted out. This happened when I was at my mother’s house one day. I took the call (I was aware of the scam at the time)…..   They will ask you to dial a number or go to a website and download and install something. They stay on the phone and talk you through what to do, the ultimate goal is to get you to pay for something.  Continue reading Cold Calling Scammers

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Phishing Trojan

What is it?

We have all read about phishing trojans, but many of you probably do not know what they are or how they work. I came across one over the weekend while backing up a client’s website. My anti virus system prevented me from downloading the backup to my computer and warned me that one was present. As I was concerned about the security of this particular website I took it apart to find out where it was, and what it was doing.

Phishing

Phishing refers to a form of identity theft, it is where credentials like a user name and password are compromised, often without your knowledge. Other than reading about them, I had not come across one before. This one relates to stealing the credentials to access someones email address and email password.

I turned off my anti-virus (not recommended if you do not know the risks) and downloaded the zipped folder containing the files into a special area on my computer and then inspected the files. Two files contained code, one was a web page. Only one of the files was being flagged as the one containing the Phishing Trojan, the file contents were very simple, they packaged up the information and sent out an email to two recipients.  Continue reading Phishing Trojan

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Please take part in Cyber-crime survey

TVP header

Please help us in our continuing work to tackle cyber crime by taking part in a short online survey.

Hosted by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Surrey, with the assistance of the South East Regional Organised Crime Unit (SEROCU), the survey is being conducted to help our Force and partner agencies gain a better understanding of the effects of cyber crime.

It should only take a few minutes to complete, is open to anyone over the age of 18 whether or not you have been a victim of cyber crime, and one lucky participant will win £100 of Amazon vouchers.  Continue reading Please take part in Cyber-crime survey

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Action Fraud Message

Action Fraud

From (Action Fraud, Administrator, National)

Fraudsters have set up a high specification website template advertising various electrical goods and domestic appliances. These goods are below market value and do not exist. The fraudsters will request your card details via the website; however the purchaser will then receive an email stating the payment failed and they must pay via bank transfer.

The fraudsters entice the purchaser and reassure them it is a legitimate purchase by using the widely recognised Trusted Shop Trustmark. The fraudsters are using the Trustmark fraudulently and have not been certified by Trusted Shops and therefore the purchaser is not covered by the Trusted Shop money-back guarantee.

Protect yourself:  Continue reading Action Fraud Message

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New site template

We have been running this website since 2013 and it is time to bring it up to date.  The content is pretty much the same, but the wrapper it is presented in is quite different. 

Responsive website

The main difference is that the site is now mobile friendly. When you use a device to access the website it checks with the device to establish what the screen size is and presents the site differently.

The menu may be collapsed into an icon with three white lines across a black square, the sidebars will move under the site rather than to the side if your screen is too narrow.

What this all means is it is easier to access content on the site with a smart phone or tablet.

What has changed

At the time of publishing the site we are currently reviewing the site structure and navigation, and removing some redundant pages. This will take a couple of months to complete.  So changes will continue as we refine the site. Continue reading New site template

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Talk Talk Users – Please note

I assume that this applies not only to Talk Talk customers, but also those with accounts with companies that were at some time in the past acquired by Talk Talk (for example Pipex). 

The following is from a Thames Valley Police Alert.

(Start message)

Message sent by
Action Fraud (Action Fraud, Administrator, National)

Cyber Attack
Talk Talk, the phone and broadband provider, has been the victim of a cyber attack on their website commonly referred to as DDoS – distributed denial of service attack. This has led to hackers accessing Talk Talks servers and stealing personal data, which could affect over four million customers. It is currently unknown exactly what data has been stolen but Talk Talk has stated that there is a chance that some of the following data could have been accessed: Continue reading Talk Talk Users – Please note

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BT Infinity users

I had BT Infinity 1 installed a couple of years ago to replace my O2 ADSL 2+ broadband connection. I had a number of problems with it which I wrote about in this article (How Fast is your Broadband?). I observed at the time that while the upload and download speeds were much faster in terms of raw bandwidth, moving from site to site was not.

I raised a support query on this which was eventually escalated up a couple of levels in BT. I had monitoring equipment installed, however no solution was found to the problem. Continue reading BT Infinity users

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TorrentLocker Ransomware Scam

Thames Valley Police report a scam email currently being sent to victims fraudulently claiming to be from British Gas or The Ministry of Justice. The attached document or link leads to the TorrentLocker ransomware.

This malware encrypts files on the victim’s system and requests a ransom be paid in order for the files to be decrypted; one reported amount has been £330 worth of Bitcoins.

It has been reported that some anti-virus vendors are detecting this and stopping the pages and or documents from being opened.  Continue reading TorrentLocker Ransomware Scam

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9.41% of Britain’s computers are sick

ESET, a company that specialises in anti-virus software and security, reports on their website that around 9.41% of Britain’s computers are infected by viruses and malware. America by contrast is 4.59% which is a little surprising.

This page shows a virus map for the world and the infection rates on a country basis.

It also refers to several prevalent types of attack: Spearphishing, DDoS, Zero-day, Phishing and Zombie or Bot. Continue reading 9.41% of Britain’s computers are sick

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Looking for information?

Can't find what you are looking for?

This site has 353 news items on it and 53 pages (Jan 2015). It has been running for almost 2 years now. While you may not be aware of it, there are several ways you can search this site to locate something.

Using the Site Search facility

search this siteThe first is to use the search box in the sidebar. Simply enter what you are looking for, this will search the whole site and return items that may be relevant. For example one of our most frequent requests is about booking the village hall. Prestwood Village Association has nothing to do with the village hall which is managed by a different group. However we can connect you. Simply enter “Prestwood Village Hall” in the search box and then press Enter. Continue reading Looking for information?

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About your password sir

Much of what we do online is taken for granted these days. Many institutions are placing us under pressure to handle more and more transactions online, many if not most of them that require us to do something, need a password. Many of them are also linked to financial information held on your behalf, such as credit or debit card details.

Ooops, we have been hacked

So what happens when you get an email like the one I received below. With great irony, I got a version of this email at 4am in the morning just prior to catching a plane to Italy for a long weekend. Timing is everything! Continue reading About your password sir

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