Is Your Data Safe?

Disaster backup recovery

Would your computer be safe in the event of a disaster?

Unexpected disasters are one of those things we often hear about but think might never happen to us, and as such, the majority of us are not prepared for the possibility of things taking a turn for the worse.

Sadly, we recently had a call from one of our loyal business customers whose office was burned to the ground in a fire that spread from another business two units away. Fortunately, no individuals were harmed in the event.

Prior to the disaster, our customer had taken out an off-site data backup solution meaning that no files were lost, even though the computer hardware and technology had been burnt. This allowed them to continue running the business remotely within less than two days, so no further losses were made. Imagine if you lost all your business data and records, and had no way to get them back, could you afford to continue your business?

Many businesses do not have this kind of recovery system in place in case of the event of a disaster, which could strike any moment. By putting safety plans in place now, you are protected long into the future.

We offer a number of solutions which can protect your data, including off-site dual backup solutions, and cloud backup solutions. Prices available on request.

If you would like us to check your setup, please give us a call.


How to uninstall Skype for business

Step 1: How to Stop Skype for Business from starting automatically

  1. Open Skype for Business,
  2. Go to the settings by clicking the Gear icon on the right-hand side of the window to automatically open the Options dialog box. Alternatively click and select Tools followed by Options.
  3. Chose Personal from the left-hand panel.
  4. Head to the My Account section and un-select Automatically start Skype for Business when I log on to Windows and Start the app in the foreground.
  5. Click Ok.

Notes: Skype for Business is still on your computer at this stage, but you’ll no longer see it. Some people will choose to stop here because they’re happy with just not having Skype for Business start up automatically.

Step 2: How to Remove Skype for Business from your computer

  1. Open Control Panel then click Programmes, followed by Programmes and Features.
  2. Click Uninstall or change a programme
  3. Choose Skype for Business and click Uninstall.

Notes: You may see a dialogue box at this stage which says “We’re removing Office from your computer now”. Don’t panic – it’s only removing Skype for Business, not any other Office applications you may have installed on your computer.

However, If you do have other Office applications open, such as Word, Excel or Outlook etc., you’ll need to close them in order to continue.
This is because Skype for Business is integrated with other Office applications so the installer needs to update them to remove all Skype for Business features. This can take several minutes to work.


How to tell the difference between real emails & spam

How to tell the difference between real and spam emails

Today, spammers are more sophisticated than ever before. They are constantly finding new ways to trick people and cause damage. Many users are able to spot spam from a mile off, but many are not. Here are five things to check, when sorting through your emails to avoid falling for a scam and becoming another victim.

Check the junk / spam folder

Most email programmes are pretty savvy these days, and have built in filters which will sort the spam from the legitimate emails. The majority of emails you actually want to receive will therefore end up in your inbox, and the dodgy ones in your spam or junk folder. Deal with all emails on a case-by-case basis to decide whether or not they are safe.

Check the sender address

Emails from authentic companies will be sent through their website’s server (for example: A string of numbers or nonsensical letters before or after the @ symbol should serve as a warning that the email is probably not real.

Check how it greets you

Genuine emails will address you using your real name (or username you signed up with). Fake, spammy emails will usually call you a “valued customer” or member, or something along these lines – file those straight into the bin.

Check what it’s asking for

Most companies will not ask for your personal information by email – they already have it, from when you signed up to receive those emails. You should never send your personal information over email, so ignore any emails which ask for it.

Check the content

Most spam emails will be riddled with spelling mistakes and grammatical errors, and the copy won’t really make proper sense. A really dodgy email will usually include strange links and messages telling you to do something urgently, or face a consequence. These are spam emails, so refrain from acting on them.

If you have any concerns about email safety, please contact us today, we are here to help you.


Microsoft Edge Shortcuts

Want the Edge when using Microsoft Edge? Check out our sweet shortcuts for using this browser.

Navigating pages

  1. Use the search bar

No need to click into the URL bar, simply press Ctrl + E and your cursor will automatically jump there and be ready to move pages.

  1.  Search for the text you’ve copied

Tapping Ctrl + Shift + L will instantly produce a Bing search of whatever text you have copied to your clipboard.

  1. Find that term

Ctrl + F will bring up a search bar which you can type any keyword or phrase into to highlight and navigate all occurrences of that term. Press Enter to move to the next one, and Shift + Enter to go back to the previous one.

  1. Zoom in and out

You may need to zoom in and out to read smaller fonts from time to time. Simply hit Ctrl + = to zoom in, and Ctrl + – to come back out again. To default you need to press Ctrl + 0.

  1. Time to go home?

No matter where you’ve ended up on the web, a simple tap of Alt + Home will get you right back to where you started from.

Navigating tabs

  1. Jump between tabs

Ctrl + tab will put you one place right, while not Ctrl + Shift + Tab will put you one place left.

  1. Duplicate a tab

Some things need a double view. Click Ctrl + K to open another copy of the same tab.

  1. See the side bar

The Edge sidebar, or Microsoft Hub stores all your favourites, reading lists, downloads, and history. To see all of this, use the following commands:

Ctrl + I – Favorites
Ctrl + M – Reading List
Ctrl + J – Downloads
Ctrl + H – History
Esc – closes sidebar

  1. Secret surfing
    Press Ctrl + Shift + P to browse in a private window.
  2. Close / reopen tabs

When you’re done with a tab, just tap Ctrl + W to close it down. If you then remember that you still need it, tap Ctrl + Shift + T to bring it straight back up.


Charity Sky Dive

ColchesterIT Charity Skydive

Extreme thrill and adrenaline rush was on the cards for ColchesterIT owner, Nigel, last week as he braved jumping out of an aircraft and plunging down to earth at speeds of more than 120 mph for a great cause.

This immense breathtaking experience was a skydive at 13,000 feet (just over three miles!) in aid of raising funds for the The Isobel Parmenter Memorial Fund, a charity close to the hearts of many. Nigel’s jump took place in Lowestoft with UK Parachuting, and raised a stonking total of more than £750!

You can watch his exhilarating experience on YouTube here:

Well done, Nigel!

Nigel’s skydive was in aid of an extremely worthwhile cause – The Isobel Parmenter Memorial Fund at CCLG. A small person inspiring people to do BIG things! This is funding essential research into the causes, diagnosis, and treatment of histiocytosis – a rare cancer group of diseases caused by an increase of white blood cells in the blood and tissue. It is hoped that one day a cure will be found.

To find out more about this amazing charity, and how you can give your support and get involved, please visit:



How to safeguard your email account

Email has become an integral part of our everyday lives. There are very few of us who are not using it in one way or another each day. Most people have a free email account from Gmail or Hotmail, and they will use this for all aspects of their lives – business use and personal use. It connects them to colleagues and friends, it logs them into websites, banks, and shops, and identifies them for social media.

So you’re using your email for all of these purposes, but are you safeguarding it properly?

  1. Use strong passwords

You won’t get far on the internet these days without giving out your email address to one website or another. While your email address is not private information, it is only protected by a single password. If your password is weak and easily guessed by a hacker, they will have full control over everything in your email account. Always use strong passwords with a mixed selection of numbers, letters, and symbols. Gmail recommends the following:

  • Use a unique password for each account
  • Use a long password
  • Use phrases that are personal to you
  • Change passwords every 6-12 months
  1. Be careful in public places

Checking your emails with public computers, such as in the library or internet cafe, puts your emails at risk. Never let these computers “remember” or store your details, and always log out of everything as you go.

  1. Lock away your information

Every time you step away from your desk, even for a short period of time, make sure you close down your emails and lock your desktop. You can do this on Windows systems by holding the Windows key and pressing the L key. Leaving your machine unlocked leaves it open to being hacked, even by fellow colleagues.

  1. Encrypt those emails

Sending sensitive information by email requires extra safety measures. Save your data as a document as this will add a layer of encryption to it. Then store the file as an encrypted ZIP document. You can then issue the recipient with a separate password that allows them to access the file. If you need to send lots of encrypted emails, it’s worth investing in a special encryption programme, talk to us today and we’ll help you with this.

  1. Set up account recovery

Most email providers allow you to add an extra layer of security to your email account, which will prevent hackers getting in. This could include adding a two step verification in case you forget your password, such as;

  • Mobile phone: Add your phone number so you can get a special code sent to you that helps you, and only you, log into your account.
  • Email address: An alternative, recovery email address can be sent a special password reset link.
  • Security questions: Special questions which only you know the answer to will help verify that you are the owner of the account.

How to avoid getting scammed

How to avoid getting scammed!

Scams are ten a penny at the moment. Trouble is, they’re also getting more sophisticated and more dangerous. Sadly, all too many people still find themselves falling victim to them. This handy guide will help you avoid getting scammed. Read it and share with your friends and family. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Email scams

Phishing email scams are quite simply trying to fish for your personal information such as bank details. They typically mimick legitimate businesses like PayPal or Ebay to try and make you believe they are from genuine sources.

Some of these emails are easy to spot thanks to poor English sentence structures and / or spelling mistakes. It really pays to be vigilant as many scam emails look real at first sight due to the seemingly genuine logo or branding. Always be wary and double check everything over in the first instance.

Signs of scam emails typically include:

  • Unrecognisable sender
  • Lack of personalisation
  • A request for personal or financial information
  • Threatening language and frightening consequenses
  • Strange links or attachments

If emails of these nature find their way into your inbox. Don’t interact with them just delete immediately. You’re better off safe than sorry.

Malware scams

You may stumble across popups and adverts offering you total system security or free virus scans. This could be malware, and clicking on the advert will most likely ask you to part with your hard earned cash in return for bug fixes. This will only infect your PC!

Phone scams

Calls and texts from unknown numbers should always ring alarm bells. Yes some are genuine but read on to find out how things do sometimes go wrong so you can avoid being the next victim. Chances are, if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is!

If you aren’t sure that a call is genuine, then you’re best off asking for the person’s name, hanging up the phone and calling the company back on their official company telephone number. Many techy companies such as antivirus software providers etc will never ever call you first, so remain alert at all times.

Do not ever give your sensitive data to unknown callers. Your bank details etc should be kept private and to yourself at all times. If you are unsure as to why a company would want your personal details over the phone then ask for them  to send you written information or alternative means  of payment. If they can’t do that, then it’s probably a scam (even those charities that say your money is going to save all little puppies).

Also, avoid interacting with pre recorded calls and messages. Just hang up. As soon as you start pressing numbers and buttons, you open yourself up to a bunch more scams. Just hang up!

Remember to remain suspicious of unknown callers and emailers at all times. It’s just not worth it. If something is truly legitimate, they will contact you via other means. If you’re really unsure, do the legwork and contact them yourself.



7 of the best Google Chrome extensions

Google Chrome is the most popular internet browser in the world thanks to its neat user-friendly interface, high power performance and easy mobile sync-up. But it gets better – with Chrome extensions you can personalise your experience for free – just head over to the store and check them out.

Here are seven of our favourite Google Chrome extensions…


If you love to shop til you drop, Honey is the Chrome extension for you. This sweet tool automatically sources and tests hundreds of coupon and discount codes from hundreds of online retailers to make sure you never have to pay full price again. Simply browse and shop as usual and then click ‘find savings’ when you checkout to apply any offers – saving you time and money!

Adblock Plus

When you’ve got lots of stuff to be getting on with, adverts can be time consuming, distracting, and quite frankly annoying! Adblock Pro magically removes (nearly) all of them, making ABP an ideal addition to your toolkit. There’s loads of settings to play around with so you can find what works best for you.

Google Dictionary
Double click on any word on the web and Google dictionary gives you its definition instantly. What’s more, it works as a translation tool for foreign languages too.

No need to spend time digging out that desktop calculator or your smartphone when you need a maths answer pronto, the calculator app is here for you now. This app is so useful, you’ll wonder how you lived without it so long!

Panic Button
Browsing Facebook at work and your boss walks in? Planning a surprise getaway for your wife and she suddenly appears in the room? We’ve all been there! With Panic Button you can quickly hide any activity and page views if someone walks in the room or a urgent or awkward situation comes up. A quick touch of the button restores everything back.

Ginger is a comprehensive spelling and grammar checker to make sure your writing is always well formed across all platforms including email and social media. It also helps you come up with creative alternatives to regular words and phrases to take your writing to the next level.

Sunrise Calendar
Sunrise calendar is not only very aesthetically pleasing, but it packs in a tonne of useful features way beyond the abilities of Google’s traditional desktop calendar. There’s a mobile app for iOS and Android too, so you can keep organised on the go.



Is the rise in contactless cards use killing off cash?

Is the rise in contactless cards use killing off cash?

The UK Card Association revealed that more than one billion contactless transactions were carried out in the UK last year. The research also shows that around one in thirteen purchases are made on contactless, but this massively increased to one in eight purchases throughout December.

It is currently estimated that more than half of the nation’s debit and credit cards are fitted with the contactless function which explains why the technology has seen a huge rise in popularity, with more money being spent via contactless last year than in the previous seven years combined.

One f the most common ways Brits like to use contactless technology is on the London underground where more than a million journeys are funded this way every single day. Transport for London (TFL) claim to be the first transport authority to introduce contactless ticketing.

About contactless

Shoppers can use contactless to pay for purchases of £30 or less by simply holding their card near a compatible sensor. No PIN is required, making it super quick, easy and convenient for retailer and consumer. So will contactless eventually replace the need for loose change? Will it gradually replace cash altogether? Let’s look at some facts about the UK’s current favourite payment method…

•The spend limit was set at £20 until September 2015, when it was increased by £10. We’re keen to see if the surge in contactless payments will encourage banks to increase it further.
•In France, the limit is €25 (£18), In Canada it is set to $100 (£48) and in Australia it is limited to $100 (£45).
•A similar technology makes it possible to pay with contactless for goods using connected smartphones, watches and keyfobs.
•£7.7billion was spent on contactless cards in the UK through 1.05 billion transactions last year.

Security issues with contactless

Recently, there have been an influx of security concerns with regard to contactless payments but the banking industry confirms that fraud committed through contactless payments is negligible.

Each contactless card has a built in security checker which requires manual PIN entry after multiple contactless purchases in order to verify the card user as genuine.

The consumer group, Which? recognise that although risks are low, a person could potentially fall victim to their card details being lifted if a fraudster stood in close enough proximity to commit this type of offence. Which? have advised consumers to protect their card details by wrapping the card in tin foil or placing it in a special foil-lined wallet.


Google testing superfast 5G powered by drones


Google testing superfast 5G powered by drones


Tech giant, Google, is in the process of developing superfast 5G networks, powered by drones. The project, dubbed SkyBender, is under trial in New Mexico at the Spaceport America centre. If successful, this could mean data speeds that run 40 times faster than the current maximum 4G speeds available on smartphones.

The new 5G network will operate via millimetre-wave radio transmissions, which deliver ultrafast speeds but this is at the expense of a very short distance range in comparison to 4G broadcast. Google is experimenting with complex and powerful technologies to boost the 5G range of its drones and will also work on the fact that bad weather is currently interferring with the signals.

The advantage of this technology would be access to a whole new blank canvas cellphone spectrum because the existing spectrum is overcrowded and will not allow for much more expansion.

Google is not the first organisation to test out the use of millimetre wave technology and drones. In 2014, the research department of the US military generated a fleet of drones which were able to provide one gigabit per second communications for their troops in remote areas.

The end goal of this SkyBender project is to deliver thousands of high altitude self-flying aircraft which will provide high speed internet across the globe.

Google have permission to continue tests in New Mexico until July, and are spending more than $1,000 dollars a day to rent out 15,000 square feet of hangar space.
It is not clear when the 5G drone powered network will be made available to public but Google certainly seem determined to make sure these solar powered, unmanned aerial vehicles will connect as much of the world to high speed internet as possible.