We are operating normally – COVID-19 Update
During the global crisis, our first priority is to maintain public health and safety in-line with Government advice that protects our staff while continuing to deliver the level of service that we provide to support our customers and their businesses.
Demand for our services, in partucular helping people to work from home, has significantly increased, and our support team is running at full strength. We are manning our HelpDesk as normal, and we intend to do so for as long as possible and as long as we are needed.
We will continually monitor the most recent advice and guidance and have activated our business continuity plan to enable the majority of our staff to remotely work from home.
To help us deal with everyone and to make sure you do not get missed we ask that you, if possible, contact us only by email to our shared mailbox email@example.com which we all have access to, there will always be someone to see your message and respond accordingly. At this time please do not use our personal email addresses or mobiles for support requests.
We are maintaining a presence in our offices and Workshop however we will be strictly prioritising repairs and Site Visits to those most essential, to minimise social contact. Lead times may well be longer than you would normally be used.
Thank you for your cooperation in this difficult time. Stay Safe
Work from home!
Working from home has become alot easier. All you need is a broadband connection and laptop and a little help from our team here at Amanet. And now we are being encouraged to do it for real … so let’s do IT. The benefits will last a lot longer than the current crisis.
There are many options available from remotely accessing all the resources on your computer at work, as if you were sitting at right at your desk, to accessing your team resources and you should be able to do this without feeling remote from your workplace!
Speak to us about the best opton for your organisation …
Set up your workspace
Find a space in your home where you can concentrate. If you’re somewhere with background distractions, use background blur in Microsoft Teams to keep teammates focused.
Communicate, communicate, communicate
Your rhythm with online work from home might look different than it does in the office. For example, you may be balancing work and childcare at the same time. Communicate your schedule to your coworkers so that they know when to reach out to you.
Maintain healthy boundaries
Without the normal workday signals, like a commute, it can be harder to unplug. Make sure to take breaks, stay hydrated, and give yourself opportunities to “clock out” from remote work at the end of the day.
Person sitting at a desk in their home office using two large desktop monitors. A dog sleeps on the floor next to the desk.
Embrace online meetings
Make sure all meetings include an online “join” option so that team members can join from wherever they are working. Turn video on so your team can interact face to face and feel more connected.
Be mindful and inclusive
A crowded conference call can make it difficult for people to share their opinions. Pause frequently to allow time for questions and remind attendees that they can use the chat window to share their thoughts.
Record your meetings
When you start a meeting, hit “record.” Team members who aren’t able to join can watch later or search the automatically generated transcript for important information. That way, people can easily review anything they missed or need repeated. A person sitting on a couch smiling and using a laptop.
Make up for missing hallway talk
The quick chat at the water cooler is what many people miss the most when working remotely. Instead, be deliberate about and connecting with your coworkers. Think about chat messages as your virtual watercooler and set yourself a reminder to check in with people regularly.
Bring the team together
Working remotely can feel a bit isolating. It’s important to create opportunities for the whole team to virtually get together, whether it’s large brainstorms with the Whiteboard or daily check-ins over a virtual coffee.
Macs now twice as likely to get infected by adware than PCs …
Macs now twice as likely to get infected by adware than PCs … according to research
A Malwarebytes report says threats to Mac computers “increased exponentially” over the last year compared to Windows PCs.
There was a time when Mac computers were virtually invulnerable to malware. That safety has long been one of the major talking points for Macs over Windows PCs. But as time has gone on and malware detection on PCs has gotten much better, and Windows has gotten more secure, you’re just as safe today using a PC over a Mac—and perhaps safer from certain kinds of malware.
As Macs have taken a larger piece of the computer market pie, they’ve become a juicier target for cybercriminals cranking out adware and what Malwarebytes calls “potentially unwanted programs” (or PUPs).
“While these threats are not considered as dangerous as traditional malware, they are becoming a much larger and more noticeable nuisance for Mac users, who can no longer say that their beloved systems are immune from malware,” Malwarebytes Labs said in its recent report.
When calculated in threats per system, Mac-targeted threats outpaced Windows by nearly 2:1 in 2019.
The full report details an over 400 percent rise in overall Mac-related threats, for consumers and businesses, in 2019, and a significant rise in detections per system, from 4.8 in 2018 to 11.0 in 2019. That’s double the detections on Windows PCs, which was 5.8 in 2019. Cybercriminals have been able to target Macs more aggressively because Apple’s built-in security has not cracked down on “adware and PUPs to the same degree that they have malware,” making it easier for malicious software to infiltrate computers with Mac operating systems.
In general, most Mac threats are different forms of adware and PUPs, and Malwarebytes notes in its report that a pair of Mac threats appeared at the top of its ranking of the most widespread malware—for the first time ever—coming in at second and third place. One of those, PCVARK, a generic name for “system optimizers” or “junk-cleaners” that claim to make your system faster, was only 31 on the list in 2018. PCVARK accounted for around 25M malware attacks on Macs last year. At the top was Adware.NewTab, which accounted for nearly 30M attacks in 2019.
The top threat for Windows PCs, in contrast, was Adware.MindSpark, which rose 497 percent from 2018 to 2019, but only accounted for 2M infected consumer PCs. Adware.Yontoo accounted for just over 3M infected business PCs. And while Trojans and other more serious forms of malware dominate the PC landscape, adware attacks are the fastest growing malware attack in both the PC and Mac sectors. The only difference is that Windows PCs are much better at catching those threats.
But if you’re still worried about the health of your PC, we have some good antivirus software recommendations.
Goodbye Windows 7 – but why are people still using it?
If you are one of the 27% of Windows users still running Windows 7 be advised that Microsoft officially began the Windows 7 end of life phase on 14th January 2020.
Windows 7 has been, and still is a very reliable and stable operating system. Many users have been loathed to replace what is not broken and possibly introduce new problems! Your Pc will not just stop working in January, however Microsoft will stop supporting it on that day. This means no more feature updates and no more security patches.
Microsoft has traditionally launched new versions of Windows every few years, retiring old code and software architecture in favour of newer, safer methods. Now, more than a decade after launching Windows 7, they are retiring the operating system. They have pledged that Windows 10 is ‘the last version of Windows’, there won’t be any new versions. All you have to do is keep your computer patched with the latest updates and you won’t ever have to move to ‘Windows 11’ or ‘Windows 12’. Windows 10 has improved considerably in recent years so there are many benefits. We therefore strongly advise that you consider upgrading to Windows 10. We would also suggest upgrading if you are still on any of the other legacy Windows Operating systems such as Vista or Windows 8.
You do not have to replace your PC, as it is possible that your existing computer will handle Windows 10. This depends on its age and the version of Operating system that is installed. Microsoft did allow a free upgrade for a certain period which unfortunately expired on July 29th 2016, however in some cases we are still able to get the software upgrade licence free of charge. The upgrade generally involves reinstalling the operating system and programs from scratch.
If you want to upgrade or replace your PC contact us on 01572 770653
Our commitment to protecting your data & GDPR
This policy will make it easier to understand the data that we hold about our customers, private individuals, businesses, suppliers and contractors.
- How we collect information and what type of information we collect
- How the information is used
- How you can see and update the information
- How long we keep the information and how we protect it
- How a private individual can request information to be erased, your right to be forgotten
Data protection laws state that we are only able to hold personal data if we have valid reasons to do so. The basis for us holding personal and sensitive data includes, but is not limited to, performance of our contractual obligations and contact for customer service purposes for example, where we have supplied you with goods or services, or to fulfil an obligation under an employee contract or you have given your consent.
How do we collect your information?
- We receive information about you from you when you use our website, complete forms on our website, if you contact us by phone, email, live-chat or otherwise in respect of any of our products and services or during the purchasing of any such product.
- Information we hold about you has been provided voluntarily by you or your organisation at the point of service provision and during the course of fulfilling our contract with you.
What type of data do we hold?
- Personal data we collect includes your name, address, email address, phone numbers
- Although we do not ask for your date of birth, sometimes we know it and use it only for the traditional purposes of wishing you happy birthday!
- We collect information relating to your orders for products and services, help desk enquiries recording your support requests, workshop & visit reports, which can contain technical details and setup details such as user names and passwords.
- We also retain records of your correspondence, phone calls, letters and emails.
How is information used?
Information is only used for the purposes of providing you with continuous, efficient and reliable support within the scope of our activities with you. For this purpose we may need to contact you by means of phone call, letter and email for the following reasons;
- To process orders that you have submitted to us and provide you with products and services
- To carry out our contractual obligations we have with you
- To help us identify you and any accounts you hold with us
- To enable us to review, develop and improve products and services
- To provide customer care, including responding to your requests if you contact us
- To administer accounts, process payments and keep track of billing and payments
- To notify you about changes to our website and services
- To provide you with information, prices and changes about products or services
- To provide you with support, advice & recommendations, security bulletins & newsletters, invoices & statements for accounting purposes
- We may contact you for marketing purposes where we feel you may benefit from a particular improvement, product or service
We will never pass any information we hold to third parties unless; you ask us to reveal the information, or we have your permission to do so, we are required to do so by law, it is required by law enforcement or fraud prevention.
How long do we keep your data?
- We will retain all data specific to you for as long as we need to refer to it to support you or until such time as you request it be removed
- We may keep your data for at least 7 years after you have cancelled your services with us
- We may not be able to delete your data before this time due to our legal and/or accountancy obligations
- We may also keep it for research or statistical purposes
- We assure you that your personal and sensitive data shall only be used for the purposes stated herein
- Requests for your personal data to be erased will be done so in a reasonable time
- We will do everything possible to erase your Personal Information if you withdraw your consent or request the right to be forgotten
- However, we will not be able to erase all of your Personal Information if it is technically impossible or for legal reasons
- All accounting data customer and supplier accounts and account activity and invoices is kept in accordance with the current financial and Tax legislation.
How is your data stored?
- Personal and sensitive data is held in our secure CMS (Contact Management System), Helpdesk and Accounting system
- Our staff access your contact details on Workstations in our office or portable devices for the purposes of contacting you while out of the office.
- Data is stored on our secured servers and protected by password
- Data is only accessible to authorised employees
- Hard copy information is kept in a restricted area in our offices in lockable cabinets
How do we protect you data?
- To protect your information against accidental or unlawful destruction, loss or alteration, we use technical and organizational security measures to prevent any unauthorized disclosure or access
- In the event of a data breach, we shall ensure that our obligations under applicable data protection laws are complied with where necessary
Business to Business Data (B2B)
Privacy Notice 25 May 2018
We may change this Policy from time to time so please check it on our website occasionally to ensure that you are happy with any changes. By using our services, you are agreeing to be bound by this Policy.
If you have specific questions or concerns about the use of your data, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
This Privacy Notice shall become effective as of 25 May 2018
Update your PC, Laptop, iPhone, iPad and Mac NOW!
According to Apple their Macs, iPhones, iPads and Apple TV are all hit by a flaw in chips that they use which could let attackers access sensitive information.
Design flaws in processors from leading chipmakers, Intel, AMD and ARM could effect most of your computer devices. One vulnerability, dubbed “Meltdown,” is known to affect Intel chips. The other, called “Spectre,” could affect chips from AMD and Arm as well.
What to do?
– You should apply the first available security updates from the companies who make the software on your devices, like Microsoft Windows, or Apple for iOS.
– Update to new versions of iOS and MacOS released today to protect iOS web browser
– Carry out Windows updates as they are released
– Only download software from trusted sources such as Apple App Store
– Since hackers would have to install malware on your computer, do your best to make that harder for them by keeping all your software up-to-date; run security software to make sure you don’t have any malicious software on your computer right now; look out for phishing emails, emails that trick you into clicking on a link and downloading malicious software are still the number one way for hackers to get on your computer.
… for further advice and help to update your device and carry out security scans please call our help desk 01572 770653
Human behaviour continues to be one of the weakest links in an organisation’s cyber security. Amanet Ltd are curently providing a planned penetration testing service for some of our high profile clients, whose staff have access to sensitive personal and financial information, and consider themselves vulnerable. Tests are taylored to the individual organisation and include a range of attacks designed to assess detection of spurious phone calls and email messages. The service evaluates how staff respond to social engineering attacks by mirroring real-world techniques such as phishing and vishing designed to trick them into disclosing sensitive information and performing malicious actions. The sole purpose is to improve employee cyber awareness.
If you are concerned or suspect that your organisation is vunerable please contact us for more information.
Project Borneo 2017
Help us support Freya in her latest community project!
Having had an amazing and successful trip to Ghana in 2014 where I worked with a group from my school in a small village community (helping with among other things, the construction of accommodation and a school), I’ve planned to do something similar in Borneo this July before results day, and if all goes well with those results starting at Medical School in September.
I will be taking part in a community project in a rural area of Borneo where the majority of people are living below the poverty line and don’t have access to proper housing, education facilities, medical treatment or even reliable clean drinking water.
The funds raised will go towards expedition costs and buying the resources needed to carry out the community work whilst I am out there.
I will try to post more information in the next few weeks with more details of the trip.
Thank you so much for reading this and any contribution will be much appreciated.