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PeaCe of mind

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Support services are offered all makes of PC. If you have a network of PCs you would like supported and there is a Apple Mac or a Unix box also on the network, we can also offer limited support for the Mac or Unix, but the expertise on offer is PC expertise. And while we can offer some support for PCs running Linux, the expertise on offer is primarily on the Windows operating system.

Here are a few of the ways in which we can help.

If you're not sure if we can help, give us a call. We're quite happy to have a five-minute chat about whether or not we could help.

Internet connectivity and broadband

Although help might be needed to set up any kind of internet connectivity, broadband brings its own challenges. Almost none of the providers see fit to mention that within less than a minute of going online you will almost certainly receive the unwelcome attention of a port-scanner.

The answer is reasonably straightforward. Firstly, ensure that you chosen your modem wisely: USB modems might be cheaper, but there are alternatives that are much more secure. We can help you choose. Secondly, ensure you have a firewall, and a firewall that is working properly, before you go online. There are excellent free, third-party firewalls available; although it's important to choose well because some poor firewalls only stop incoming threats and don't guard against unwelcome outgoing traffic. If you're happy to go with what's built in to Windows XP, then we can help you set things up properly; otherwise we can help you choose and install a third-party firewall.

LANs and wireless

If you have more than one PC in your office or house, we can help with getting them networked or with getting the network working. We can discuss your needs, and determine whether a wireless network would suit your needs (typically it would for most homes), or whether you would be better off with a wired network.

Virus precautions

We can teach you how to avoid viruses, worms, trojans, etc. in five minutes. In all honesty, however, if more than one person is using a PC (Macs aren't quite so prone), one day someone will open an email attachment and let in a virus. We can discuss and install the appropriate scanner and show you how to stay up-to-date.

A typical broadband story
The local cable provider turned up on the appointed day, albeit a little later than promised. The cable was brought in from the street, the modem installed and the modem connected to the customer's laptop.

The customer was delighted to have got a high-speed connection to the internet so easily. When we came along later, however, we were not delighted and were unsurprised that the cable engineer hadn't even asked what version of the operating system was being used, let alone advised on security precautions. We installed a simple (and free) firewall. The customer was horrified to watch the firewall preventing several hackers' port scans of the little laptop during the next ten minutes.

How to become a hacker without realising
If you don't have a working firewall for your broadband connection, it doesn't necessarily mean that you will be hacked; after all, most of the thousands of broadband users who don't take precautions can survive for quite a long time.

What it does mean is that your computer could be enlisted to help in an attack on some corporation or organization without you're even being aware of it. (Distributed Denial of Service attacks).

So to avoid the unwelcome attention of MI5, the Special Branch or the CIA, make sure you have a firewall between you and the internet .

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