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Say goodbye to the Samsung Cloud and hello to One Drive

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It’s official Samsung Cloud is shutting down.

That means all those photos from those holidays long-past, downloaded files you’ve forgotten about or music you haven’t played in a while that you backed up from your Samsung smartphone or tablet will be deleted from the 1st July 2021.

This will include data stored via their apps Gallery Sync, Samsung Cloud Drive and Premium Storage.

If you don’t move it, you’ll lose it

The process is underway and you may have already received a notification prompting the migration of your data to the One Drive. If you missed the notification or didn’t receive it you’ll have until the 30th June 2021 to download your Samsung Cloud data to your smartphone, tablet or computer.

Samsung will be pressing the big red button as of the 1st July and all photos and files on the Samsung Cloud will be deleted. They won’t be able to be recovered.

If you are paying for the premium storage subscription this has already been cancelled (as of 1st April 2021) and there are reports that users of this service will be refunded.

So what is One Drive?

OneDrive is a free cloud storage solution or file hosting service (to be technical), provided by Microsoft.

If you signed up today with Microsoft direct you’d receive 5GB of free storage, but anyone migrating from Samsung will receive 15GB, to match what Samsung originally provided to their customers. But there’s a small catch, the 10GB extra will be charged for in a year’s time from your migration date, so just a heads up.

How do I migrate my data?

Get it ticked off your list, transfer your data today. It’s easy to do and it’s better to be safe than sorry and lose photos or music you’d actually like to keep. You can always trawl through it later and delete what you no longer need.

So how do you do it? Open the Samsung Cloud App on your Samsung phone or tablet. Through settings you’ll be able to link with One Drive and start setting up your account. It’ll only take a few minutes while your coffee cools.

Is One Drive any good?

There are many file hosting services out there, but One Drive has to be one of the best.

It is very handy if you work with a Windows PC, laptop or tablet as you can sync all that data to it too and it also offers an auto-sync function so your documents, files and photos are never at risk of being lost. There is also a One Drive app in the Apple world so they cover all platforms.

Going forward it means your files and photos will be backed up, protected, synced and accessible on all devices to quote the Microsoft website.

What happens if I don’t migrate my Samsung data?

It’ll be gone and it will not be recoverable.

If you’re not sure what files are backed up to your Samsung Cloud, why not click on the app on your device and take a look. Many new devices are set to auto backup so you may have stuff stored in there that you didn’t even know about.

If there is nothing you really want to keep then you can leave it to be deleted by Samsung.

If there are photos and/or files you want then get that migration started or arrange an alternative back up solution before it’s too late.

That’s The Last Patch!

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Mac Users Lose Support for Microsoft Office 2010 and 2016 today

Windows PCs and laptops will also lose support for Microsoft Office 2010.

This will affect all programs under the Microsoft Office umbrella including OneNote, Powerpoint, Publisher, Access, Excel and Word.

The latest and last patch will be installed today (Tuesday, 13th October 2020), after that point there will be no further security updates, bug fixes or technical support provided for these products.

Don’t panic! The products will still work. They will however increase your chance of being hacked in the future and there will be no support if anything goes wrong with the software.

What to do next

Is it time to upgrade?

There’s never been a better opportunity to upgrade to a newer version of Office and there are two options available. These are :

  • Purchase an Office 2019 license (one-off purchase)
  • Opt for Microsoft 365 Apps (subscription-based)

A one-off Office 2019 license will set you back £249.99 (from the Microsoft store), subscription options are available from £7.90 per month per user.

Microsoft 365 Apps is a cloud-based solution, meaning you can access it anywhere on different devices.

A one-off license will be tied to a specific device.

But is my computer up to it?

As with any software you’ll need to check your specs before making a purchase or subscribing to the Microsoft 365 Apps service.

If you plan to purchase an Office 2019 license visit the Microsoft website for the minimum component requirements. We’ve included a link here.

Going cloud-based? Check the Microsoft Apps 365 requirements by clicking on this link.

What about Office 2013?

Support for Office 2013 is set to terminate in April 2023 with Office 2016 (Windows support) not due to end until October 2025.

You can see a full list of Microsoft products and their intended lifespan by using the Product and Services Lifecycle Information online facility from Microsoft. A link is provided here

Are you a business still running Microsoft Office 2010? We can help.

We’ve successfully migrated many of our clients to the cloud so they can work from home, from the office or on the go.

Call us on 01626 360011 to chat informally about your current software.

Do you know your risky apps from the safe ones?

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Downloading an app comes as second nature to many of us

There are apps for everything but are they safe to use? And how much research do you do before clicking the ‘install’ button?

What is an app?

Did you know there is an average of 60 to 90 apps on the average smartphone?

Apps are computer programs, changing large packets of data into user-friendly chunks. They make a large website usable on a smaller screen.

What is fleeceware?

You’ve heard of malware, adware and spyware, but what about fleeceware?

Fleeceware are apps that come with hefty subscription fees.

They are legal and they contain no malicious code.

They often have 5 star reviews and thousands of downloads. But all might not be as it seems.

Not intimidated by the subscription costs?

What you want to pay for an app is down to you and the value you think you are getting from your purchase.

Fleeceware companies use tactics to ensure they can keep taking the money from your account.

They won’t remind you when a free trial is due to end, they won’t make it easy to cancel your subscription and they won’t be clear in their pricing.

Many of these services offer weekly or monthly subscription fees to keep the perceived cost relatively small so you won’t even notice it.

How do I view my subscriptions?

Trying to remember every service or product you’ve ever subscribed to is impossible. But that’s ok, you can check your current (and not current) subscriptions fairly easily.

View your Google Play subscriptions by clicking on the hamburger menu (top left) in the Play Store and clicking on ‘subscriptions’. Here you will find all of your active and inactive app subscriptions.

If you’ve taken a bite out of an apple device search for ‘see or cancel your subscriptions’. This provides instructions of how to see all of your subscriptions whether it’s an iPod, iPhone, iPad, Mac etc.

Avoid falling victim to fleeceware

The good news is that things are changing.

Google, Apple and Amazon want the app-store user experience to be a positive one, they don’t want you to feel cheated or fleeced.

There are new guidelines on app transparency. These ensure app-developers make subscription details, free trials and introductory offers clearer. They want you to feel fully-informed before making an app-purchase.

On the downside, did you know Apple and Google receive 30% of an app’s revenue in the first year? The more the fleeceware developers earn, the more Google and Apple gain.

Our tips to help you avoid fleeceware

  • Look at what apps your phone already has, it may already have an app that can do what you want
  • Download apps from well-known businesses/companies you know of
  • Check for apps made by your phone’s manufacturer, simply search ‘Samsung’ for example
  • Checks all reviews, good, bad and the ugly
  • Scroll down to ‘Similar apps’ to see if there are any free alternatives
  • Read ‘About this app’ so you are fully informed of what it is, what is does, who made it, how much in-app purchases are and even app permissions.

Keeping Safe Online During Covid-19

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It may feel our lives are on hold right now but online fraud is as prevalent as ever. Whether it’s through emails, texts, calls or those exploiting others online seeking to buy hand sanitisers or face masks, you need to be alert. By using the Take Five initiative from the Government ( you can be one step ahead of the fraudsters.

Online fraudsters will try anything and everything to get your personal details, debit or credit card details or access to your bank. Let’s look at the ways you may be exploited within knowing it.

Text scams also known as the cute and cuddly term, smishing. Smishing is fraud, they are texts claiming to be from the good guys, the reputable companies, but they are not. They will ask you to click on a link or call a premium telephone number, a prompt that gives them the opportunity to take information from you or take your money. A good example is a recent text received from O2 claiming a bill hadn’t been paid, it looked 100% genuine, only by logging in to the account itself did we confirm that it was in fact fraudulent. The text contained a link and had we entered bank details who knows what would have happened, so keep an eye out and think before clicking the link.

Whether it’s business or personal, email phishing affects everyone. Did you know over 3 billion phishing emails are sent every day? These are like smishing but longer, more elaborate and if the fraudster has done their homework, they will contain personal information or details you can relate to. They are designed to get you to click on a URL contained within that email or download a file which can be attached in any form, including Word, Excel or PDF. As a business we receive several pertaining to unpaid invoices, some look genuine from real companies and others are simply trying their luck. Clicking on links or downloading files can be a sure-fire way to give fraudsters access to your details and the potential of being hacked. If it is an email you feel you need to follow up with, use known websites or customer service contact details to confirm whether it is genuine or not.

You are eligible to get a tax refund of £1,234 GBP, click here to access your funds. Look familiar? HRMC scams come in the phishing and smishing form, along with phone calls and WhatsApp messages. You may have received an email which looks very real, it has the banner, the official icons, the text looks right and it asks you to click on the link to claim your rebate or tax refund. Don’t. It will take you to what looks like a genuine web page to enter your details but it isn’t real. Where you were hoping for some extra cash, it will end up costing you. There are currently two known SMS scam texts allegedly from the HRMC, one is offering a Goodwill payment, ‘click here to apply’ and the £250 fine text, which claims you have left your house more than once during lockdown. This scam provides an 0800 to call. If you are unsure about any communication you have received from the HRMC visit their website for help (

Shopping online. During lockdown online grocery sales have increased by a quarter, it is no surprise if we can’t go out, we shop online, whether it’s for food, clothes, electronics or face masks. There are millions of websites that want to sell to you but how do know if they are safe to shop with? If you are using Chrome they provide some protection against dodgy websites, a big red webpage will arrive when you click on a link with a warning such as ‘this website may contain malware’ or ‘deceptive site ahead’. Also look for the padlock symbol alongside the website’s URL in your browser; you can click on the padlock to see the site’s information including the site’s SSL certificate, cookies and the site settings. There are more obvious signs such as bad English, spelling mistakes or grammatical errors; try looking for a telephone number, company number or head office address. If they’ve passed those tests, Google the website name and see what comes up. This is usually a good indicator if they are worth spending your money with. Always be wary when purchasing medicine online and always look at reviews, the good, bad and ugly as many can be fake.

The promise of sun, sea and sangria. It is safe to say the pandemic has disrupted everyday life across the world. Weddings, festivals and holidays were all cancelled and the promise of some summer sun in a foreign country later in the year can be very tempting right now but is it legit? There are many online scams which offer the dream villa for a week or two, the price is unbelievably low and they warn you that this deal won’t be around for long, all you need to do is make the bank transfer and your booking will be secured. This is a scam. They will take your money and seemingly disappear, seeking their next victim. Always use reputable travel companies, those who are ABTA protected and those with a track record. This will ensure you are financially protected and your autumn/winter escape is secured.

How Scam-Savvy are you? Take the Take Five Stop Fraud online quiz

Instagram Accounts Left Open To Hacking

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In June 2018, Instagram had amassed one billion monthly active users worldwide with the USA being the largest user group and the UK 8th on the demographics chart with a total of 23 million users.

Facebook purchased Instagram in 2012 and combined they are the two most popular social media networks used worldwide.

What happened?

In July of this year a critical vulnerability was discovered in Instagrams’s 2-step authentication password recovery feature allowing hackers to compromise any Instagram account in only ten minutes without the account holder being aware.

2-step or two factor authentication is an additional layer of security added to websites, including Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Twitter, to mention a few, to make it harder for hackers and fraudsters to access your online accounts. There are various types of two factor authentication however mobile text verification is still the most widely used and it is the type of authentication used by Instagram.

How was the vulnerability identified?

The flaw in Instagram’s recovery system was found by Laxman Muthiyah, a bug bounty hunter.

He investigated the password recovery feature that allows users to regain access to their account after forgetting their password. This involves a user receiving a six-digit passcode to their smartphone for authentication.

He knew that the use of 6 digits meant there could be a total of 1 million possible combinations that could be text to account holders.  To be able to access an account all 1 million codes would need to be tried within the 10 minute window between receiving the code and the code expiring.

Although this seems impossible, it can be done with mass brute-force campaigns using an automated script and a cloud service account.

“In a real attack scenario, the attacker needs 5,000 IP [addresses] to hack an account,” he said. “It sounds big but that’s actually easy if you use a cloud service provider like Amazon or Google. It would cost around 150 dollars to perform the complete attack of one million codes.”

Log-in attempts from one specific IP are restricted by Instagram, however Muthiyah discovered that they didn’t blacklist the IP addresses that had exceeded the number of allowed attempts for a certain time period which meant he could he switch between IP addresses in order to perform a continuous attack.

“I found two things that allowed me to bypass their rate-limiting mechanism: Race hazard and IP rotation,” he said. “Sending concurrent requests using multiple IPs allowed me to send a large number of requests without getting limited. The number of requests we can send is dependent on concurrency of requests and the number of IPs we use. Also, I realized that the code expires in 10 minutes, it makes the attack even harder, therefore we need thousands of IPs to perform the attack.”

He provided the evidence to Facebook, they verified the issue and congratulated him, awarding him with a $30,000 bounty, whilst swiftly resolving the glitch.

“The Facebook security team was convinced after providing the above video of sending 200K valid requests,” Muthiyah said. “They were also quick in addressing and fixing the issue.”

Are other websites vulnerable to this threat?

There are many different forms of two-factor authentication, such as app-generated codes, physical authentication keys, email-based systems and app-generated authentication but many 2FA schemes still use mobile text verification involving six-digit, one-time passcodes that expire within a few minutes. So how many services are vulnerable to the same kind of attack?

Almost all well-known websites use some form of two-factor authentication and it is clearly more effective than just a username and password but 2FA attacks are on the rise and many of the systems for account recovery are susceptible to phishing. With the amount of websites using 2FA increasing, it is important these flaws are found and eliminated quickly.

We have to bear in mind when online that although 2FA provides additional security it is not completely watertight.

Last year, an Android Trojan was exposed taking money from PayPal accounts even when 2FA is active. Posing as a battery optimisation tool, the app asked for excessive accessibility permissions, allowing it to observe activity on other apps and waiting for someone to open PayPal and log in.

What you can do

Google and Microsoft both have Authenticator Apps you can use for an added layer of security, downloadable from the Microsoft Store and Google Play, however where there is an app or a website, there is always a hacker trying to break the code and access your details. Get tips on how to stay safe online at

More Hacking Victims Revealed After Another BA Website Hack

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Have you used the British Airways website recently?

Debit and credit card details may have been stolen from over 185,000 customers after the British Airways website was hacked yet again.

It is estimated 77,000 had their name, address, email address and detailed payment information taken and 108,000 people lost personal details.

This comes after a previous breach of its website earlier this year affecting 380,000 transactions, where passenger names and home addresses were compromised, as well as financial information, including debit and credit card numbers, expiry dates and CVV codes. In this instance, malicious code designed to ‘skim’ financial data was injected into the British Airways website without being detected.

All websites are based on code, it determines the functionality along with the overall design, but malicious code can be injected instead. It is common for websites to embed multiple pieces of code from other sources or third-party suppliers and hackers can exploit this vulnerability.

Both attacks were carried out by the same perpetrators.

British Airways will be contacting the customers affected by this to inform them if their details have been stolen.

Unfortunately British Airways are not the only company to experience this type of cyber attack and they are on the rise.

Once cyber criminals have personal data it can be used to access bank and credit card accounts to make fraudulent purchases. Stolen data may also be sold using the Dark Web.

Some security experts suggest that it’s likely the data stolen by the British Airways hackers is already available for sale on the dark web.

There will be an investigation by the UK’s National Crime Agency and the Information Commissioner’s Office.

You can check if your personal data has been compromised by data breaches by using

First Ever Apple Computer Reaches $375,000 At Auction

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Designed and hand built by Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple in 1976, the Apple 1 was a bare circuit board provided without power supply, monitor or keyboard. It could be used for playing games, running the BASIC operating system or developing programs.

As a Hewlett-Packard employee, Wozniak originally offered HP the rights to the Apple -1. It declined.

To fund the project Wozniak sold his HP-65 calculator for $500 (£318), while Jobs sold his VW Microbus. 200 units were created in total and 175 sold.

It went on sale in 1976 for $666.66 (around £545) and it was the world’s first low-cost, assembled computer.

With the release of the Apple 2, Jobs and Wozniak wanted to reclaim some of the original boards used in the Apple 1, so they offered trade-in discounts against the new model. The boards which were reclaimed were then destroyed explaining why this product is so rare.

There are approximately 60 Apple 1 computers remaining, with only eight working examples. The Apple Registry has a list of them all.

The auction took place in Boston, Massachusetts, on Tuesday and  the final bid was won by an anonymous businessman who placed his bid online.

The highest price ever paid for an Apple -1 was $905,000 (£575,900) by the Henry Ford museum complex in October 2014.

In May 2015 a box of electronic goods was dropped off at a tech recycling business in Silicon Valley. This box contained a 1976 Apple 1 which was subsequently sold at auction for $200,000. Before chucking out or recycling computers, laptops, mobile phones, software or hardware it’s worth doing a quick Google check to see if they are an older, rarer technology which may fetch you a pound or two.