Monthly Roundup – Tell Me About IT – April 2016



Missed it? Tell Me About IT – April 2016

Tech News And Thoughts From The Somerbys IT Team

Hi, how are you?

It’s feeling rather spring-like in the air as we welcome in April. We had a great first quarter of 2016 (yes we’re 25% of the way through the year already) and we’re looking forward to helping loads more people in the coming months.

Talking of April, did you fall for any April Fools? Did you pull any pranks? We hope that if you did, then you didn’t get into too much trouble… like Google did.

Google had to pull their April Fools after people failed job applications and got rather upset with the Google ‘Mic Drop’ April Fool which sent a Minion gif attached to every email… without their knowledge! Too far?

Aside from fools we had some interesting work to do too.

As always we found some great tips, advice and hacks for your IT world. Let’s share them, shall we?

Here’s The Best Of The News To Keep You Up-to-date With IT

Was George Orwell Right?

It’s a scary time in the tech and security world. Last month we shared the news that Apple were denying access to their servers to the FBI. The Bureau needed access to an iPhone 5c to gather information on a criminal but Apple refused to give up information as it would have been a precedent.

Tim Cook’s open letter was a stark denial of access to the FBI but also a stark reminder to us about 1984…

This article points to a few more places that we should be aware of. Far from Apple HQ, right here in the UK, there are threats to our personal information from big brother. 

Was George Right? Is Big Brother About To Make His Next Move?

The Beeb, The Hackers, And The Ransomware

Think you’re invincible online? Think again. You have to be vigilant and you have to be even more vigilant on sites where you’d expect to be fine. The BBC for example. Over 290 Million viewers per month visit the site and probably thought they were safe from attack… until now.

The BBC site was attacked by hackers who managed to send some visitors to places with ransomware installed and demanded money to release them. The popular hacking virus can happen to almost anyone, and the BBC is obviously such a huge target considering the traffic to the site.

Here’s a list of all the other sites that were also attacked. As always, if you need help, just shout.

Malicious Attacks – Be Safe Online

Citizen Advice – Avoid Hackers!

Talking of hacking and ransomware, here’s some very simple advice for you from Citizen’s Advice.

It’s a really short and sweet set of rules that you might want to read or pass onto a relative or friend who may not know enough.

Research shows that the older generation are more likely to become a victim of cyber crime so it might be worth passing this onto granny or your elderly neighbours. (Print it for them if they don’t use their email much!)

Tips To Avoid Online Scams

How Safe Is Public WiFi? (Not Very Safe Here)

Free WiFi is something we almost expect now, isn’t it? It’s a given that a coffee shop or airport would have free WiFi. But how safe is it?

A recent test in Barcelona airport set to show how un-safe it could be by creating fake hotspots and allowing people to use them. Over 2,000 people used the hotspots in just a few hours and the company behind it were able to source mountains of data that they then deleted.

This was just a test to highlight the issue, but the fact is – it could easily happen!

Be very careful what you connect to and of course make sure you have the correct anti-virus installed (ours is just £2 per month) on your machines.

Surfing Around The Sharks

Apple’s New Night Nurse

Blue screens are all around us. The tint of blue from laptops and smartphones can be very bad for our eyes though, and can have a detrimental effect on our sleeping patterns. Apple have a fix for your iPhone in the new iOS 9 update.

Night Shift takes the blue light away as the day goes on (if you set to automatic) and helps you to steer away from the blue light before bed.

If you’re an Apple in bed kinda person then this will interest you (and help you sleep better!). Have you tried it? Does it help? Let us know.

Apple Helps You DO The Night Shift

Someone’s Been Phishing For Toys At Mattel

Mattel have been through a few changes recently. Their CEO was fired and new man was hired to steer the toy giant in the right direction.

Unfortunately for them this news triggered the attention of a scammer who sent a perfectly timed phishing email supposidly from Sinclair to the Los Angeles-based firm requesting $3 Million.

They very nearly got away with it too… if it wasn’t for Bank Holiday (and those pesky kids!).

Phishing – Child’s Play For Mattel Scammers

SIT Hacks: We Test IT So You Don’t Have To 

Each month we share some simple tips to make your life better. Well… your digital life anyway! Here’s what the SIT staff found this time round…

What Happens When You Reply To Spam Emails

This month we wanted to share with you something that really made us chuckle. We’ve all had spam emails and we’ve all wondered who the people are behind them.

This Ted Talk from James Veitch is brilliant and well worth the 15 minutes to view it.

This Is What Happens When You Reply To Spam Emails

Getting Social With IT 

Hey, did we mention that we love social media?

We’re tweeting and posting tips and interesting things about our world, and we thought you might like to check us out.

You can find us on TwitterFacebookLinkedIn and Google+ so if you’re on those platforms please do connect, follow, like, or circle Somerbys IT, won’t you?

And That’s IT!

To recap:

  • George Orwell… he might be right
  • Even the BBC can get hacked
  • Public WiFi might not be so secure
  • Apple have a cure for ol’ red eye
  • And you must watch that James Veitch too…

All the best, and stay safe out there.

The Team at Somerbys IT.