Frequently Asked Questions

We are often asked for advice on how to fix computers by people over the phone. The classic answer is literally to turn the machine off, wait 30 seconds and turn it back on again. Modern computers have complex self-repair systems built in and simply restarting the machine will fix most of peoples 'perceived' problems. If after trying this standard procedure for solving issues your computer still has issues, please call us and we can arrange for either a technician to remotely access your machine, or for an on site visit.

Other common questions we get asked include

Common Questions

  • How can I protect my business against cyber criminals without spending a fortune?

    Basic Cyber Security


    Preamble


    Cyber security threats are continually evolving. Viruses, worms, trojan horses, spyware, phishing, adware and scareware have all been around for a long time. Lately one particular form of malware known as ransomware has been creating havoc with businesses and organisations world-wide.

    Ransomware when detonated works by locking up your files using encryption. You are then asked to pay a ransom to get the code that allows you to unlock your files. Lately some cyber criminals don’t even add value to this “service” they offer. They just take your ransom and don’t give you the code.

    Many customers we see during our daily work (and rescues) don’t even have the most basic cyber security measures in place. This article is intended for the non-technical amongst us to assist and educate about the need to protect computer users against these ever-evolving cyber threats.

    Ransomware


    In every case we have seen so far, the ransomware package has been physically detonated by a human using the endpoint. Ransomware mostly arrives in email as either an attachment or as a link to a malicious or compromised website. It can also be spread from software downloads, websites and advertising delivered over online ad networks.

    What can you do?



    Educating yourself and your employees is the #1 defence against cyber criminals.

    Three years ago, in the olden days, we used to say don’t open an email or attachment from some-one you don’t know. These days that rule still applies, however we have seen cases of ransomware being “redistributed” to everybody in the victim’s email address book, so it’s not just people you don’t know that you can’t trust.

    Think about that attachment or link you are about to open. Common sense applies. Were you really expecting an invoice from your mother? Were you really expecting that traffic ticket from the police? (Think – how did the Police ever get your email address?)

    If in doubt about an email then phone the person up and ask if they just sent you that attachment. Better to be safe than sorry.

    The most basic cyber security needed on your computers and network.



    Every endpoint in your network (Cell-phones, Laptops, Desktops, Servers etc.) must have up to date and functional business grade Anti-Virus software.

    Apply Operating System patches. Manufacturers like Apple, Microsoft and others regularly release patches and updates to fix vulnerabilities that have been discovered (mostly by cyber criminals) in their operating systems.

    Apply application patches. Products like Office, Adobe, Chrome to name but a few, all have vulnerabilities and exploits. As these exploits get discovered patches are released by the manufacturers to remedy the situation.

    Always use the latest version of the operating system available. Whilst Microsoft’s Windows 7 is still around and a good operating system, Windows 10 is inherently much more secure.

    Restrict administrative privileges. Only log in as the administrator to perform administrative functions. Your regular login (and your employees) should only have standard user rights. Why? This makes it harder for malware to be installed, as installation usually requires administrative privileges.

    Backup your data daily. This needs to be business grade and not to a shared drive on the network. Why? Most ransomware will spread to every “share” it can find – too bad if that is your backup. With regards to ransomware the phrase “Backup or Pay up” springs to mind.

    Beyond basic - The next level of cyber security measures.



    Once the basics are covered off, we can then talk topics like firewalls, VPS, cloud virus and spam pre-filtering of emails, changing settings in software, 2 factor authentications, and an application that detects and stops unauthorised encryption etc. These will give a much more comprehensive solution beyond basic however “comprehensive” is probably beyond the scope of this document titled “Basic Cyber Security” and would make it rather long and too technical.

    How can CT Business Solutions?



    Businesses without their own IT resource will often need assistance in implementing these basic cyber security measures. As an IT department for the small and medium sized businesses CT Business Solutions can be your IT resource.

    We are able to deploy a management system to your computer(s) and network that keeps a track of your Anti-Virus, Patching and Backups etc. This system reports to our service desk when things are going awray.

    We are able to assist with your staff training, with a presentation and booklets etc.

    Technical Stuff/Further Reading



    NZ Government Communications Security Bureau – NZ Information Security

    https://www.gcsb.govt.nz/publications/the-nz-information-security-manual/


    (😊 3 parts to download and it’s a bit of a read – part 1 is 361 pages alone!)

    Australian Government – Australian Cyber Security Centre – Essential 8 Explained

    https://asd.gov.au/publications/protect/Essential_Eight_Explained.pdf


    (A much better read as only 2 pages - more concise and more understandable for business owners than that of our NZ govt’s effort)

  • Do you fix home computers?
    No, we don't. We are not a 'break fix' computer shop who do quick repairs to domestic computers. We provide ongoing needed support to businesses to keep them running at optimal efficiency.
  • Can you visit my office to fix my computer?
    Yes, we have a team of technicians who visit customers to fix and maintain their computer systems. Often, we can 'remote in' to computers to fix them both more quickly than waiting for a site visit and at an often lower cost.
  • Do you fix Windows XP machines?
    We do know that there are still companies that have XP machines running due to software needs or peripherals that only work with XP, so for these customers we do offer a service to support them. If you are simply running XP to have money, then you probably aren't. With a modern, fast pc running Windows 10 your business will see an improvement in efficiency. We are not in the business to simply sell people 'boxes' but an old computer is like a blunt worn out saw, it needs to be replaced literally for one that will cut things better.
  • Why wont my computer work?
    This might seem like a dumb question, but we do get people who call us up and without giving us any further information ask us why their computer isn't working. When you do call us up we will ask you a series of questions that will help us to understand the situation, similar to going to a doctor for a pain in your side. Once we understand the situation we will be better poised to offer help and advice.
  • Do you fix printers?
    We do offer a service to reinstall the software that makes printers work and in some cases we can fix the physical machines. However, in most cases the printer will need to be returned to the manufacturers repair centre to ensure it is fixed effectively. We can coordinate this for you, helping to reinstall the printer when it is returned.
  • What about Tablets?
    As the technology used in business grows we have adapted our services to include all systems a company might be using in their offices. This includes computers, peripherals, printers, tablets, phone systems and any number of other integrated items.