Why We Recommend BullGuard Internet Security

BullGuard Internet Security

 

We always recommend BullGuard Internet Security to our clients, which inevitably means they ask why.

That’s why we decided to write this post so we could give you the low down on why we think it’s the best product on the market.

For starters, in January this year UK consumer champion Which? endorsed BullGuard Internet Security 2016 with a Which? ‘Best Buy’.

BullGuard Security

On top of that, it also offers you all of this:

It’s simple to install and easy to use.

BullGuard installs in minutes. Its intuitive layout makes it simple for you to run a quick scan, adjust protection levels, back up your files, customise your settings and more. Everything is just one click from the main BullGuard home screen.

Malware and Spyware Protection

The latest version of Antivirus includes Behavioural Detection, which spots new viruses by how they act on your computer. Together with Signature-based Detection, which deals with known malware, they make up a multi-layered defence system for PC that’s virtually impenetrable.

Safe Browsing

Some websites have malicious code hidden in them. Or they are used to launch phishing attacks. The BullGuard protection software checks the websites that come up in your searches and lets you know which ones are safe.

Stop unwanted applications take control

Some programmes contain adware, they install toolbars and modify your system settings. They’re not malicious like trojans or worms but they can change your browser settings, alter your home page and direct you to another search engine by default. BullGuard’s unwanted app tool flags up these programmes and stops them from changing your settings.

Advanced Backup

There is a whopping 5GB of FREE online storage included so you can keep your important data, photos, music and more safe. You can choose what you want to back up and how often, or just set the feature to auto backup. You can even back up content directly from folders with one click. Plus your back-up data is easily accessible whenever you want to view it or restore it to another computer or even your smart phone.

Firewall

This is your first line of defence against unwanted hackers and identity thieves. The firewall protects you against network attacks and prevents cyber crooks from entering your system.

Spam filter

BullGuard Spamfilter keeps out junk mail and email scams, like phishing attempts, virus spreading and foreign language spam. You can also customize filters to block emails you don’t want to receive.

PC Tune Up

You’ll never have to wait again to get your computer up and running. BullGuard’s PC Tune Up removes unnecessary files and frees up memory so your computer runs faster

Vulnerability Scanner

Checks your computer for out-dated software that hackers and viruses can exploit to gain access to your system, damage it or steal personal information. Once this software is flagged up it can then be removed.

Free 24/7 support

The BullGuard support team is there for you 24/7, providing expert advice and quick answers to your questions.

 

As you can see, it’s a pretty comprehensive internet security package. If you want to learn more give us a call. 

MPM Computer Consultancy provides IT Services, Support and Training to sole traders and small businesses in Ipswich. Bury St Edmunds and surrounding villages.

Source: BullGuard

Why Did You Give a Stranger Access to Your Computer?

don't give a stranger access to your computer

 

Every now and then the scam phone calls start.

They come out of the blue to catch you unawares.

As you go about your business, someone informs you there’s a problem with your computer – what do you do?

Before I answer that take a look at these questions:

  • Would you give a total stranger the keys to your house?
  • Would you give a total stranger the keys to your car?
  • Would you tell a total stranger how to access your financial banking system?

I’m guessing you answered no to all of those, how come so many people give a total stranger access to their computers?

On the strength of one unsolicited call people are allowing remote access to their computers – and that means their files, photos and everything else they hold dear.

Yes, the caller is probably very polite, they will even try to make you believe they are doing you a favour and have called just in the nick of time.

But answer me this – how do they know what’s on your computer? There is no way they can possibly tell what software you’re running, programmes or anything else for that matter, so there is no way they’ll know whether you have a virus on your machine or not.

No one from a multinational billion dollar turnover company (i.e. Microsoft) is going to phone a residential customer to resolve an issue on their PC or laptop.

When you get one of these bogus calls – and you will – do yourself a favour and hang up on them. If you want, call a trusted local company, like MPM IT and get them to check over your PC for you for your peace of mind.

MPM Computer Consultancy provides IT Services, Support and Training to sole traders and small businesses in Ipswich. Bury St Edmunds and surrounding villages.

How to Protect Yourself Against Cryptowall 4.0

Crypto wall 4.0

 

Crytpowall 4.0 is the newest version of Cryptowall ransomware – one of the most destructive computer viruses of all time.

It can be spread by malicious emails. Once on your machine, it scans the entire system to find your personal files, and locks them using an encryption algorithm that’s almost impossible to crack.

Then it leaves ransom notes on several folders informing you what needs to be done in order to recover the encrypted data.

Not very nice.

Prevention is always better and we found this comment on a thread on the Spiceworks.com community forum about the security measures you should take to avoid such attacks.

In no particular order of importance, do ALL of them…

  • Make some real firewall rules – DON’T just leave the default allow-any-outbound rules – ONLY allow traffic outbound on ports that you actually use/need – Example for DCs: 53,80,123,443,3544  Example for End-Users: 80,443,1935,3544
  • CryptoPrevent: https://www.foolishit.com/cryptoprevent-malware-prevention/ or some other Group Policy based software run restrictions – don’t let any executable run from a temp location.
  • An end-user should never be a local admin.  Admit it, you did this once-upon-a-time only cause you were tired/lazy and didn’t take the time to set the permissions right on something.
  • Automatically remove all shares if/when the encryption starts to happen: http://jpelectron.com/sample/Info%20and%20Documents/Stop%20crypto%20badware%20before%20it%20ruins%20… This can also be setup to email you the moment it happens, the filename, and the user who did it.
  • Use an Internet filter to block all the ccTLD’s and IDN’s your company doesn’t really need – also block the known bad/malware domains – better yet also block advertisements (the source of much badware) – we use DNS Redirector: http://dnsredirector.com it’s great and it doesn’t cost a fortune.
  • Prevent access to any URL with an IP in it – only bad guys do links like http://93.184.216.34 – everything else should be a DNS name like http://example.com and therefore a DNS lookup (which is filtered) before getting out to the Internet.
  • User training: re-enforce that users should not click on things that look phishy, are spelled wrong, or they were not expecting – even if the email looks like it’s someone they know.  
  • Implement spam/email message filtering, if your users can’t get to a bad link, then they can’t click on a bad link.
  • Do backups, check that they are actually working.  Make a “compliance game” if someone else (in your IT department) can delete a file (they should make their own backup first) and you can’t restore it – then you owe them lunch.  Shit get’s solved real fast.
  • Try executable whitelisting, the idea being only software you know about can run, I think this is extreme and haven’t resorted to doing it myself.

Another comment provided a 20 Step Security Defence in Depth Strategy:

  1. Two anti-malware email filters (separate services).
  2. Anti-malware at perimeter and at endpoints (separate services).
  3. Firewall at perimeter and endpoints blocking inbound and outbound (separate services).
  4. Content filtering at endpoints and perimeter (separate services).
  5. Geo-IP filtering at perimeter.
  6. End-user security training.
  7. Quarterly phishing tests.
  8. Block malicious attachments (bat, scr, exe, etc).
  9. Require admin review of all ZIP attachments.
  10. Software restriction policy white listing.
  11. Windows shadow copies.
  12. Block-level snapshot’s of shared drives.
  13. Daily backups that are secured from end users.
  14. Offsite replication of critical storage and backups.
  15. Regular patching of apps and operating systems.
  16. Firmware updates of firewalls, storage and servers.
  17. Restricted admin rights.
  18. Restrict RDP and VPN access using AD permissions and IP blocking by valid login attempts.
  19. Strict password policies.
  20. Test, test and re-test.

The most important thing is to always remain vigilant, never open a suspicious email and be wary about the websites you visit.

Hopefully these user tips will prove useful to you. If you have any other tips you’d like to share, please leave a comment below.

MPM Computer Consultancy provides IT Services, Support and Training to sole traders and small businesses in Ipswich. Bury St Edmunds and surrounding villages.

Which Free Antivirus Software is Right For You?

Virus protection

 

Antivirus (AV) software is a must for every PC owner.

You’d be daft to use one without it.

But with so many to choose from, how can you be sure you find the right one for you?

Plus, should you be paying for it, or is one of the free ones just as good?

Like you, we love to get something for nothing and so were pleased to stumble across a post in alpha.com that looks at the best free AV available right now.

Here are their 4 top AV packages.

1. Avast

Avast anti virus

 

 

 

 

 

Simple to use, Avast delivers an effective virus protection in a lightweight, but well-equipped package.

2. AVG

AVG Anti virus

 

 

 

 

 

AVG offers loads of features. It also has protection scores that are pretty damn close to those boasted by Avast. In our eyes, this one is a better bet than the next one on our list – Microsoft Security Essentials.

3. Microsoft Security Essentials 2015

Microsoft security essentials

 

 

 

 

 

This one only covers the basics of malware protection. Although it has improved in its internet protection ratings, it still lets through a significantly higher percentage of attacks than third party security software.

4. Panda Free Antivirus

Panda Free Antivirus

 

 

 

 

This is a slight improvement on Microsoft’s offering, but it can’t match the performance of either Avast or AVG. Panda’s malware protection score is a respectable 90%, but it’s closest rival, AVG, performs better.

To sum up, if you want safety and security for your PC, go for either Avast or AVG.

MPM Computer Consultancy provides IT Services, Support and Training to sole traders and small businesses in Ipswich. Bury St Edmunds and surrounding villages.

Watch Out For “Freak”

protect against freak attack

According to a recent story in from the BBC, Microsoft has issued a security warning about a bug that could let attackers spy on supposedly secure communications. Although initially, it was thought to only affect Android and Blackberry phones and Apple’s Safari browser, it believes millions more may be at risk of losing data.

The Freak flaw allows attackers to force data travelling between a vulnerable site and a visitor to use weak encryption, making it easier to crack open the data and steal sensitive information. Research has suggested that 9.5% of the web’s top one million websites are susceptible.

How to get protected

Apple is expected to produce a patch for the flaw imminently and Google has updated its version of Chrome for Mac. Android have yet to say what action it is taking.

Microsoft has issued advice about how ti remove the vulnerability from some of its software. but said applying these fixes could cause “serious problems” with other programs/ It’s currently working on a separate security update to remove the vulnerability.

If you’re concerned about your computer, an online tool has been produced to help you check if you’re using a browser that’s vulnerable to the flaw.

MPM Computer Consultancy provides IT Services, Support and Training to sole traders and small businesses in Ipswich. Bury St Edmunds and surrounding villages.

 

What do You Know About BlackShades Malware?

A recent report by the BBC announced that 16 men have been arrested in the UK as part of a worldwide crackdown on a malicious computer program.

The BlackShades malware remotely controls computers and webcams and is though to have infected more than 500,000 computers since 2010.

The operation, coordinated by the FBI, discovered that about 200,000 usernames and passwords of victims across the world may have been taken by UK users of BlackShades.

What does BlackShades do?

The software infects computers when people click on external links on social networking sites and in emails that pretend to lead to pictures, videos or other items of interest.

Once installed, criminals can use the software to capture personal information, or take photographs of computer users, which may be used to blackmail them.

It also allows users to take control of a computer secretly and encrypt its data, which is only released on payment of a ransom.

In a press release from Preet Bharara, US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, BlackShades was described as:

…A frightening form of cybercrime…with capabilities that are sophisticated and its invasiveness breathtaking…[It] has enables anyone anywhere in the world to instantly become a dangerous cyber-criminal able to steel your property and invade your privacy.

For more information about this, you can read the full story here.

MPM Computer Consultancy provides IT Services, Support and Training to sole traders and small businesses in Ipswich. Bury St Edmunds and surrounding villages.

What Are Gameover Zeus and Cryptolocker?

Padlock
You may have read about the Gameover Zeus and Cryptolocker malware variants recently. Back in June, the NCA announced than an international operation had temporarily weakened the global network of infected computers giving a 2 week opportunity for the public to rid themselves of that malware and prevent future infections.

What are Gameover Zeus and Cryptolocker?

Gameover Zeus is used by cyber criminals to intercept transactions during online banking sessions, whilst Cryptolocker is a type of ransomware that works by encrypting files on the victim’s hard drive. Payment is then demanded for the key to decrypt.

How you can protect yourself

There are a few things you can do to protect yourself from these threats:

  • If you receive an email with an attachment, do not open it unless you are expecting it
  • Do not click on website links to download files unless you have requested them
  • Make sure your security software is updated to the latest version
  • Run regular full scans of your computers and backup your files
  • Make sure you use strong passwords

None of that is new, so the best advice is to remain vigilant at all times.

MPM Computer Consultancy provides IT Services, Support and Training to sole traders and small businesses in Ipswich. Bury St Edmunds and surrounding villages.

Beware the Bogus Flash Player Download

Installing software should be a simple and risk-free activity, but you know that’s not the case. If it were, you wouldn’t be reading this.

A lot of software installers include various options making it confusing as to what you need and don’t need. My best advice is to always go for the custom installation option so you can deselect anything that’s not familiar to you. Of course, hopefully it goes without saying that you should never install software you don’t fully trust.

Anyway, getting back to the point – have you seen a prompt recently that tells you to “Please install Flash Player Update (Recommended)”? They look like this:

Bogus Flash Player

 

It doesn’t matter which web browser you use, these little suckers will still pop up if you land on a website that’s either malicious, or legitimate but compromised. If you do see one, there’s a chance your computer may be infected with adware or other potentially unwanted programmes.

What does it do?

Well, their sole purpose it to make money. They generate web traffic and collect sales leads for other dodgy sites by displaying advertisements and sponsored links in your web browser.

If you click on the download link or install button, rather than installing an update you’re agreeing to download an adware or malicious programme into your computer. This could leave you with unwanted things like toolbars (e.g. Sweet-Page, AwesomeHP), adware (e.g. EnhanceTronic, Feven 1.8, CouponBuddy) or other forms of malware.

So remember,

  • Only download software you trust
  • Always go for the custom installation
  • If in doubt don’t click!
MPM Computer Consultancy provides IT Services, Support and Training to sole traders and small businesses in Ipswich. Bury St Edmunds and surrounding villages.

Online Crime Costs SMEs £800m Every Year

Wow! That’s a lot of money. Preventing cyber crime

According to the latest research by the Federation of Small Businesses, SMEs are losing around £785 million a year through fraud and cyber crime.

The following stats offer some sobering reading:

  • 41% of companies have fallen victim to online crime in the past year
  • The average cost per business is estimated at £4000
  • Of FSB members that have been affected (30%), 13% was committed by a customer or client and 10% by ‘card not present’ fraud
  • 20% of those surveyed said they’d been hit by viruses
  • 8% have had their systems hacked
  • 5% have fallen victim to security breaches

The FSB believe that the cost may be even higher when looking at the wider economy. This is because many SMEs aren’t selling online because the current security framework available to them isn’t stringent enough.

Mind you, they also report that almost a fifth of SMEs in the UK haven’t implemented measures for online protection.

Given this research, it is clear that all businesses must maintain their systems by regularly installing security patches as they become available  and keep their virus protection up to date if they want to reduce the risk of falling prey to cyber crime.

How protected are you?

MPM Computer Consultancy provides IT Services, Support and Training to sole traders and small businesses in Ipswich. Bury St Edmunds and surrounding villages.
Image Courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos