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Your IT needs a spring clean

Much like spring cleaning a home, COLIN THORNTON, Managing Director of Turrito Networks and Dial a Nerd, believes that companies need to ’spring clean’ their IT infrastructure to reduce the chance of security breaches and vulnerabilities in old apps.

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With the carefree promise of spring, many of us are turning our attention towards cleaning out those overfull wardrobes and cluttered rooms. While this is all well and good, the place that probably requires our most dedicated spring cleaning strategy is the office – and not because it’s almost buried in paperwork. Old files, irrelevant backups, out-of-date permissions and apps and excess data bog down many IT networks. These could represent security risks at worst, and at best are slowing your IT down and hampering your efficiency. Time for a reboot!

1 – Assess Your Connectivity Solution

You may have had enough bandwidth to meet your requirements one year ago, but business needs change quickly – particularly as our use of Cloud services increases. Fibre is very widely available and has dropped in pricing enormously.  Certain highly useful (or even critical) applications like Cloud backup or VoIP require fast connections.  If you’re still on ADSL it’s definitely time to switch.  

2 – Remove old accounts and permissions

This is a common problem when IT isn’t managed regularly. Employees come and go but their accounts remain.  It’s possible you have ex-employees still accessing their mail or even worse, your network.  Even if they aren’t they might have had simple passwords and someone else can.  Do an assessment of user accounts and clean them up.  Sometimes temporary accounts are created for office automation devices like printer/scanners and these are very common entry points for hackers.  

3 – Rethink Your Security

With ransomware and other cyber threats now a daily reality, it’s time to take security very seriously. For a start, make sure that you have strong passwords, with different passwords across platforms. Also, use multi-factor authentication for key applications such as your banking. Always be aware of suspicious emails/communications and never open links within unwanted emails.  Firewalls and top-quality anti-virus programs used to be nice-to-have and they’re now have-to-have.  Don’t cut corners here – make sure you have industry leading hardware and software and make sure it stays up to date.

4 – Implement Critical Updates and Patches

Again, given the high risk of cyber-attacks and malware today, updates and patches are equally important to your overall security plan. More than one-half of all breaches occur because the organisation/user failed to patch a known security vulnerability.

5 – Be Ruthless with Network Traffic

One good way to ensure that your network is not cluttered with junk traffic, which will slow it down, is to filter with firewalls or specialized software.  Certain firewalls do this automatically and others need to be configured.  

6 – Check your backups

It goes without saying that you have backups in place but have you checked them lately?  Are they backing up the correct data?  Have you performed a restore?  Do you have backups of your backups?

The price of good backup software and Cloud backups has dropped substantially and if you’re still not doing it properly this should arguably be the first Spring clean task you undertake.

Welcome to a new dawn of more efficient computing (and working!). 

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Nintendo announces Stranger Things 3 game

The Netflix Original show is set to launch a retro-style game on the Nintendo Switch.

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In collaboration with Netflix, developer BonusXP has created Stranger Things 3: The Game. It is the official companion game to Season 3 of the hit original series. The game and latest season are expected to launch on US Independence Day, the 4th of July, a date that will, of course, stick in American gamers’ memories.

This adventure game blends a distinctively retro 16-bit art style, reminiscent of games from the time when the series was set. It is claimed to have modern gameplay mechanics to deliver nostalgic fun with a fresh new twist. Players will be able to experience their favourite show through a mix of exploration, puzzles, and combat.

Just ad in the show, teamwork is at the heart of Stranger Things 3: The Game. Players can team up in a two-player local co-operative, or in single player mode alongside an AI partner. Players can choose to play as one of twelve characters from the show, each with different abilities and attributes. Together, they’ll play through familiar events from the series, while also uncovering never-before-seen Stranger Things secrets, ensuring a fun experience for those new to the world of Stranger Things as well as for those familiar with the series.

Key Features:

  • Experience the show in a new way, exploring the eerie world of Hawkins to uncover new mysteries beyond what’s seen in Season 3.
  • Jump right into the action of this pick-up-and-play adventure: gameplay mechanics that allow players from beginner to advanced skill levels to get in on the fun.
  • Take your game to a higher level by trying out different character combinations and collecting all the secrets the expansive world of Hawkins has to offer.
  • Team up with a friend, leveraging drop-in/drop-out local co-op to take on the mysterious monsters of Hawkins together. While playing solo, use a collection of “buddy commands” to control both characters and still experience all the fun.
  • Choose from 12 playable characters, each with their own unique talents and stats.

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New AirPods and iMac in iStore this weekend

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iStore has announced availability of the new second generation AirPods and iMac, unveiled this week, in store this weekend.

The AirPods are priced from R2 899 and the new iMac from R23 499. Customers can also order these new products from iStore’s website.

“AirPods revolutionised the wireless audio experience with a breakthrough design and the new AirPods build on the magical experience customers love,” said iStore in its announcement. “The new Apple-designed H1 chip, developed specifically for headphones, delivers performance efficiencies, faster connect times, more talk time and the convenience of hands-free ‘Hey Siri’.”

AirPods come with either a standard charging case or a new wireless charging case that works with Qi standard chargers. The wireless charging case can be ordered for R3 699. The case can be used with the first or second generation AirPods.

The iMac line now has up to 8-core Intel 9th-generation processors and powerful Vega graphics options, delivering dramatic increases in both compute and graphics performance. The new iMac is faster for everyday tasks, up to demanding pro workloads. It includes retina display, all-in-one design, quiet operation, fast storage and memory, modern connectivity and macOS Mojave.

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