If you run a business, the most likely way for a virus to make its way onto your systems is through human error – that means your employees. You can never reduce the risk of your computers catching a virus to zero, but there are a few rules you can implement to make it less likely:

1) No memory sticks, SD cards or external hard drives that haven’t been pre-approved

You can’t control what your employees do at home – and what they do might include accidentally downloading viruses. Make sure that they don’t spread to office computers by banning any devices holding files apart from those which have been pre-approved – it might seem inflexible, but it’s the best way to keep computers safe.

2) Use a firewall to block illegal download sites

There are few places you’re more likely to pick up a virus than an illegal torrenting website. Films, TV shows, music and books available to download are liberally sprinkled with nasty viruses hidden in their midst, so make sure your firewall is up-to-date and protects against all the main offenders, then ensure your employees know there will be strict penalties if anyone is found torrenting at work.

3) Install an antivirus program

Prevention is better than cure, but if you can’t cure it, at least you can make sure you spot it quickly. A good security system will find and remove viruses fast, and you don’t even have to pay for it. Avast and several other reputable open-source programs are available to download for free.

4) Make sure employees know what phishing looks like

It might sound self-explanatory, but make sure your employees know what a phishing email looks like and more importantly, that they know never to click on it!

There you go. Four very basic first rules to avoid viruses and to keep your computer network protected and clean.

 

Computer support in London

If your business needs IT support to help keep it safe and secure from viruses, as well as up-to-date and running smoothly, give us a call to find out about our business IT support packages.

 

Apple products are some of the most sought after tech in the world – and rightly so, offering as they do a clean and intuitive operating system, beautifully simple design and some of the most powerful home computing on the market today.

They’re the machine of choice for everyone from families to students and even professional graphic designers, but with so many products on the market, which one is right for your needs?

We’ve picked out the key features of some of Apple’s top selling products, so take a look and see which one is best for you.

Apple iPad

Apple iPad Air 2

If the main use you’d get out of a computer is surfing the net, watching catch up TV and the odd bit of word processing, skip a desktop or laptop computer and go straight for an iPad.

They’re incredibly light and portable, have vibrant screens and offer excellent responsiveness. If you buy a bluetooth keyboard, it has almost as much functionality as a laptop or MacBook.

This option is perfect for families – even very young kids can use it with ease – or people who don’t need to do a lot of home computing but like to have something they can take out and about with them.

Apple MacBook

apple-macbook-2015

The Apple MacBook range is a big step up from the iPad, offering an array of features suitable for professional audio, picture or video editing, on top of the ability to carry out all the regular functions of a laptop like spreadsheets, word processing and gaming.

It’s a great option for an amateur design buff or a student in a digital media field.

There are plenty of choices of size from the 11.6 inch Apple MacBook Air to the 15.4 inch Apple MacBook Pro Retina, even more choice in specification with prices starting at £649 all the way up to £2549 and even a choice of colours.

Apple iMac

imac2

Buying a desktop Mac is probably only necessary if you need a lot of speed and power but will sacrifice portability to get it. Check out this option if you need some serious computing power – and you’re willing to spend a bit more to get it!

A choice of 21.5 inch to 27 inch models with choice of extremely high resolution screens.

Other Apple Choices

Apple Mac Mini

Apple Mac Mini

A lot of technology in an extremely tiny device. Simply plugin your monitor and you have a complete computer. With an HDMI output even your TV will suffice as its screen, and with builtin Bluetooth you can control it from the comfort of your couch. The cheapest way to buy a new Apple Mac with prices starting at only £399.

Apple Mac Pro

Apple Mac Pro

The professional choice. Extremely fast, upgrade able, plenty of connections and did I mention extremely fast. with up to 12 cores of processing power, the new compact Apple Mac Pro is the best choice for professionals looking for a large supply of horsepower.

Buying a refurbished Apple Mac, iPad or MacBook can be an economical way to get your hands on some top-notch technology, so take a look at our online shop today.

 

It’s estimated that 32% of computers worldwide are infected with some sort of malware and 74,000 new viruses are created every day. So, it’s obviously important to keep yourself safe when you’re online. Here are five of the most common ways that computers pick up viruses.

1. Email attachments containing malicious code

Even emails from trusted friends and colleagues could contain malware within attachments. It’s essential to be cautious about any attachment you open via email, particularly if you weren’t expecting the email or if the message seems strange for any reason.

2. Using pirated content

Music, video or computer programs downloaded illegally often have nasty little surprises inside their code and there are often viruses contained within the files downloaded using file sharing software. Illegal downloads may make it seem like you’re getting something for free, but it could cost you dearly.

3. Not having anti-virus software

Having anti-virus software is like going to the dentist, we know we should do it but don’t always get round to it. Any time your computer is connected to the internet it’s potentially at risk, so you need to be running anti-virus software to keep yourself safe.

4. Clicking on pop-ups without reading them

When messages appear on your screen it’s easy to just click to get rid of them. If you’ve stumbled onto a malicious website then you could be clicking to download unwanted software to your system. Exercise caution whenever you get a pop-up message that seems strange, particularly if you’re on a website you don’t trust.

5. Running old versions of software

The major software developers and the hackers fight a cat and mouse game. A virus exploits a hole in software and then the software developer patches up the hole with their latest update. If you’re not keeping up to date then there’s a possibility you’re vulnerable to attack.

Protecting your business IT systems is a big job and it’s a good idea to get experts to help keep your IT systems safe. Bits and PCs can provide IT support for London businesses, helping keep your computers up to date and protected from viruses. Visit our business section [http://www.bapcs.co.uk/managed-it-support/] for more information about computer support in London.

In a first for the company, Apple has made the latest beta versions of its operating systems, iOS 9 and OS X ‘El Capitan’ available to the general user base, via its early access site (https://beta.apple.com/sp/betaprogram/). There’s nothing like a few million extra hands, helping spot bugs and finding features that don’t quite work as advertised, to help speed the testing process along.

iOS 9 brings Proactive to users, a similar feature to Google Now, that provides you with the right information when you need it, based on time, location, situation or other criteria. Simplistic examples include, ‘you’re leaving for work, its raining now but will be scorching later, so take your umbrella and sun cream.’ Or ‘there’s heavy traffic, go this way to work – oh, and you usually buy more milk today.’

As more of a subtle upgrade to iOS 8, there’s few “wow” features to play with, but if you like being on the cutting edge, this is the way to go. Apple is finally bringing proper split-screen multitasking to newer iPads, so you can drag data between apps, work on multiple related documents or manage multiple social media apps.

OS X El Capitan also brings easier-to-manage multiple windows to the desktop. It has improved Spotlight that’s becoming more like the iOS version and a host of performance improvements to get more battery life from your MacBook or to make software fly faster. Both betas come with a Feedback App, so you can inform Apple of bugs and features you dislike. It will provide all the technical details, letting you get on with trying out the new systems.

Naturally, these operating systems are aimed at the latest generations of Apple hardware. If you’re tempted to join in the fun, with the very minor risk of wiping your iPhone, iPad or Mac (don’t try it on your main device is the general rule) then you might also be considering a hardware upgrade or a newer device to play with. We have a great range of refurbished Apple Mac systems, MacBooks or upgrades for your current system. We sell and buy hardware nationally, and offer computer support and Apple repairs in London.

There are outlets for second hand computers, smartphones and tablets cropping up all over the place at the moment – and often they’re offering expensive technology at a really substantial discount. It might seem like the perfect way to get the latest gadgets without paying top dollar, but are you really getting your money’s worth?

If a gadget or computer costs half the price but lasts for half as long, it really isn’t the bargain it seems at first – and there are plenty of shoddy second hand computers around on the market today.

The good news is that if you choose a reputable supplier who has carried out all the necessary checks, buying second hand is an excellent way to bag a serious bargain. You could pay half or quarter of the price you would to buy a Mac new and still get almost all the functionality that a new machine would offer.

There isn’t an industry-wide definition of what the words refurbished, re-manufactured, reconditioned or pre-owned mean in the context of second hand computers. Buy from the wrong supplier and you could find yourself with a machine that’s had botched repair jobs.

Most reconditioned computers should as a bare minimum have had hard drives wiped clean and a new operating system freshly installed from scratch, then checks performed to ensure that everything is running as it should.

That’s why it’s important to buy from a reputable supplier like Bits & PCs, where our experts have performed a battery of checks to make sure our technology is in tip top condition before we sell it on. You’ll also be able to see exactly what you’re getting with our detailed descriptions and specifications, plus info about any aesthetic damage like scratches and chips.

You’ll find an extensive selection of refurbished Apple Mac computers alongside refurbished PCs and second-hand iPads and monitors. Buying second-hand is the perfect way to keep costs down. Of course, if your current machine is still serviceable, you can talk to us about repairs and improvements.