13 May 2017: NHS Cyber Attack


As you will all know from the news this weekend there has been a massive cyber attack which has hit the NHS and many other companies around the world

It is expected that these attacks will continue on Monday so please be aware and be very careful in relation to opening emails you don't recognize, clicking on any links or installing any software

As long as your computer is fully updated with all Windows patches and you have adequate virus protection then you will be protected from any known exploits related to Friday's incident - for all customers who I have performed health checks for or visited recently I always make sure all updates are installed and that automatic updates are enabled

For all my AVG Internet Security customers you are fully protected against any currently known malware including the one used to attack the NHS on Friday

10 April 2017: Windows Vista


As from 11 April Windows Vista will no longer receive any security updates from Microsoft and has reached the end of its life - in all honesty it has been obsolete and insecure for quite a while now with the latest secure versions of Internet Explorer and Google Chrome not supporting Windows Vista

If you still have an old computer running Windows Vista then now is the time to replace it especially if you use your computer for shopping, banking etc as you are no longer safe

Advice and recommendations on the best new devices to purchase can be found in my buyers guide here

28 March 2017: Newsletter


The Spring 2017 edition of the PC Assist Newsletter is now available - click here to view

27 March 2017: Windows 10 "Creators Update"


On April 11th Microsoft will be releasing the next major update to Windows 10 which is being referred to as the "Creators Update”

This update will be free for all Windows 10 users and will automatically download and install – it is being released in waves so not everyone will receive it immediately but you will eventually get it in the days/weeks/months after release

This updated version contains lots of fixes, improvements and new features to make Windows 10 even better and has been developed and tested over the last few months based on feedback and reports from customers and testers

An overview of the changes in this version as well as the install/update process can be found on my website here, over the coming weeks I will update all the Windows 10 guides on my website to include all the changes and new features

12 February 2017: Pop-Up Message Scam


PLEASE BE AWARE OF THIS SCAM

This is very similar to the telephone scam mentioned below - but this time instead of a phone call it starts with a pop-up message appearing on a webpage you are visiting

These fake pop-up message often appear to look like some sort of warning or alert message indicating you have a problem with your computer

The pop-up message usually asks you to call a phone number to receive free support, once you call this number you are often connected to an expensive premium rate number. They will then use the same tricks as below to make you think you have a problem which they will then offer to fix, once they have fixed an error that never existed they will demand credit card details. If you refuse to pay they then lock your system, or infect it with viruses

DO NOT ALLOW ANYONE YOU DON'T KNOW TO CONNECT TO YOUR COMPUTER OR GIVE OUT BANK/CREDIT CARD DETAILS - THIS IS A SCAM

12 February 2017: Telephone Scam


PLEASE BE AWARE OF THIS SCAM

You receive a phone call normally from an international or withheld phone number, but occasionally this can appear as if it is from a local number

They use various different names to identify themselves (such as Microsoft Windows Support, Windows Technical Department, Windows Helpdesk, Microsoft Tech Support or Windows Service Centre) and usually say that they are working on behalf of Microsoft or sometimes other companies such as BT or TalkTalk

My customers have encountered several different variations of this scam:-

1) They ask you to open a program on your computer called Event Viewer and then try to tell you that the errors and warnings that appear means your computer is unprotected or has a serious problem that needs fixing. What they tell you is incorrect, even a fully working computer has some errors and warnings shown here and this is quite normal and does NOT indicate you have a problem

2) They state that there is a problem with some software on your computer

3) They tell you that Microsoft will cancel your Windows licence as your computer has been used by other people for illegal activity, they then proceed to give you a very long number which they say is your new Microsoft licence

4) They offer to help you upgrade your computer to Windows 10 or fix problems with Windows 10

With nearly all the variations of the scam they then ask to connect to your computer saying they will fix the problems for you - at this point they can access any personal information you have on your computer such as bank details, infect your system with viruses and lock your system so you cannot gain access - they then demand money to unlock your computer and to fix the problems

They are very persistent and several customers have reported getting multiple calls from them

DO NOT ALLOW ANYONE YOU DON'T KNOW TO CONNECT TO YOUR COMPUTER OR GIVE OUT BANK/CREDIT CARD DETAILS - THIS IS A SCAM

More information from Microsoft on this scam can be found here

If you get targeted by these criminals you can report it to ActionFraud by clicking here