Worries about the latest cyberattack?
There are some simple things you can do to protect yourself from this and other future threats
1) Make sure Windows computers have all the latest updates. An up to date computer is safe from this current threat
2) Install anti virus software and keep it up to date
3) Back up everything to an external drive which is not connected to your computer all the time. This is because encryption malware can work on connected cloud drives such as dropbox so have your backup backed up.
4) If you feel comfortable doing it and want even more protection, install the vaccine.
You can find more information here https://www.google.com.au/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/technology/2017/jun/27/petya-ransomware-cyber-attack-who-what-why-how

Don’t worry, this is not a political post. Where and when Daylight Saving should happen is a seperate topic.
Parts of Australia changed to daylight saving today. Not all electronic devices kept up with the change. If your device swapped when it should not or didn’t swap when it should, here is what to do.
For an Apple device Click here for Apple support article.
For an Android device, go to Settings – Date and time
Go to Select time zone and ensure that the time zone is correct for your area.
Don’t trust the Automatic select if you are in Queensland as it may not cope with the time remaining the same.
Andrpid phone settings

Picture this! It’s a warm winter afternoon near the beach. I am showing an adult student how to turn wifi on and off on her smart phone. We are in a lovely cafe near the water and health and safety/security officer Jazzy Doodie is under the table. She’s just sent a scrub turkey on his way and is watching a gaggle of school girls in uniform arrive. The photo shows her at a different time. The wifi network is open, so I have some misgivings. Being a dog, Jazzy Doodie isn’t very interested in  technology so she doesn’t comment. I tell the student not to do anything private such as banking and we go ahead. She opens her email. Jazzy Doodie gives a tiny growl at the kids who are staring at a phone and loudly giggling. Neither of us humans take much notice.  That’s what kids do. I wonder what bothered her as she’s a very friendly dog who rarely growls at anyone human. We finish the session . However the next day tbe student discovers her email has been hacked and a very obnoxious email sent in her name without her knowledge.  It appears the kids or someone else in tbe local area snooped out her password and took control of her email. The moral of the story – never use wifi networks that are completely open without a password. Be cautious on all publuc networks. And listen to your dog, they pick up on things we ignore. If you want to find out more about wifi security,  have a look here.  http://www.pcworld.com/article/2043095/heres-what-an-eavesdropper-sees-when-you-use-an-unsecured-wi-fi-hotspot.htmlShoodle asleep on the floor

I’ve finally given in! So sick of trying to manage passwords myself. The last straw was that my ICloud backups hadn’t been working and when I lost my IPad, some files went with it. Its a very old IPad which was about to give up the ghost. Fortunately nothing critical was on it. However, I did have an encrypted file of password hints and now I can’t remember some of them. After struggling on for a few weeks, I have decided to let a password manager look after it all for me. I just installed Dashlane on my PC and will sync it with all my other devices. I’ll post further updates here as I go along. I’m happy so far, logging in on the PC is just so easy. Will be testing out other devices as time goes on.

Android device users need to take care as there are some nasty viruses and Trojans out there. Avoid installing software other than from the Play store or granting Administrator rights to an app unless you know exactly what you are allowing and why. Install security software on your device. Don’t open email or text message attachments from unknown sources. We will be publishing an animated info graphic on the subject soon.

I’d like to share some tips on finalising it. Firstly, some useful links on risk analysis.
First a useful analysis on the use of risk matrices…

Second, a very helpful guide for small businesses produced by the West Australian Government.


There’s heaps more examples and discussion around, so if you want more go back to Google. Beware though, as there is a risk of procrastination while reading up thoroughly on risk management 🙂

Ok so now you know your risks? What’s next? Look for low hanging fruit, simple ways of reducing the likelihood or impact of the risk. For example, we don’t have control of the likelihood of storms and power failure but we can reduce their impact. Simple steps like having torches, battery operated radios and external phone and tablet chargers may be enough for some businesses. Others may need a generator. Think of the last time you went camping? What did you take and use?
The likelihood of other risks may be reduced, for example slipping on a wet floor is less likely if spills are immediately cleaned up and cleaners put out warning notices on areas of wet floor. What low hanging fruit can you pick?

Jacaranda tree with purple flowers

Jacaranda tree in flower

What do jacaranda trees mean for you? As a student, they struck fear into my heart as they meant exams were approaching rapidly. Now they mean, Spring, hot weather , and hopefully the beach and lots of swimming to come! They also signal the start of the storm season for South East Queensland. Are you ready? Maybe it is time to revisit the risks to your business.
I’ve talked before about technology and storms. How would you cope with a power interruption? What can you do to protect yourself? There are a few other things to consider. Storms can can have caused flash flooding and short term distruptions to rail, air and road transport. Could you cope if you were stuck away from your business location or at work and unable to get home? What if staff are stranded at work or can’t get to work? Are you responsible for the care of any animals? What do you need to do for them in the event of a storm?
Over the next few weeks we will talk about how to do a full risk analysis plan and make sure your business is prepared for storms and other extremes of an Australian summer.
Meanwhile, try to identify what disasters could impact your business and how likely and severe they are e.g storm, flood, epidemic, fire, traffic incident, earthquake, criminal act. Do not forget Telecommunications interruptions, which can be caused by a natural disaster or simple equipment failure!
For those in Brisbane, I’d guess storms, power related and other telco issues as well as traffic or criminal incidents including minor thefts, are the most likely.

Array of laptops on sale
It is school holidays and Christmas items are appearing in the shops!
Kids are everywhere and maybe you are already being prompted about technology gifts for Santa. Are you ready?

Here are some hints to help you cope.
1) Use the holidays to find out what the young people in your life expect from technology and what their caregivers want for them. For example, Miss Five might want an IPhone but mum might feel she isn’t ready. Don’t buy anything for a child still living at home unless the family are happy with it. If you are a parent, discuss is with your partner.
Non humans can also enjoy technology. Did you know there is an app for dogs to draw on IPad?
2) If youngsters are old enough, ask them to help with your technology questions and teach you games and activities they enjoy.
3) Have non technology related fun with them too. The weather is too nice to be indoors all the time!
3) Before purchasing anything, do your research on Google. This should include the nightmare test that I often talk about. Google the product name and the word nightmare. Also try problem to be extra sure . For example “Galaxy s6 nightmare ” or “IPhone 6 nightmare”

Do you use a public transport card (called a Go card in my city)? Have any credit card or building entry pass with embedded electronics?
Beware of physical damage to this card. I recently noticed a tiny hairline crack on my public transport card and ignored it. Not a good move. It suddenly stopped working and I had to replace it urgently as I was about to travel on public transport again. All is well that ends well but it would have been much easier if I had done the replacement in a planned manner before the catastrophic failure. Check your cards or a sad story might ensue. (Photo is of a children’s story game)
Story cube game

Here are a number of things which can interfere with your Windows 10 upgrade, which have happened to me.
1) hardware issue – video card loose in its slot. I would like to blame the earthquakes but more likely I didn’t push down hard enough when I installed it.
I never said hardware was my thing.
2) WiMo internet switch device may be interfering with home Wifi. This was a timer ehich I use to contol lights over the net.
3) Windows install from USB does not like you to have a DVD in your drive at the same time, it confuses it.
4) (warning geek speak) Bios settings were a bit strange. These are the settings your device uses to start up and load windows. For some reason, default settings were set up for a networked environment with central control of operating system updates. I have one PC.
5) as a result of previous failed attempt to install, Windows 7 install was a recovery install which seemed to have some issues. Explorer kept crashing, but this may have been due to the DVD in the drive.
6) original usb stick I was using to create install media was too small and Windows did not correctly report this. My error message just said “Something happened” which wasn’t really a helpful troubleshooter.
7) “If anything can go wrong it will” – Murphy’s Law. Murphy must have been a computer tech.
8) Never believe you are silly to ask for help. Always feel free to talk to someone. I am a geek (but not a hardware expert). I love technology. It would have taken me forever to identify all these issues alone though. I had a friend with me while sorting this out and two heads were definitely better than one! Also if anything seems unusual, google it! It nay have happened to someone else.

All now under control and I am a happy user of Win 10. I’ve not done any formal speed tests but it feels much faster. Maybe I’m crazy but am going to do the old laptop. Don’t let me scare you. Many friends have not encountered any issues at all and even if you do, it is worth it in the end. Just back up your files and settings first. I didn’t lose any data, despite the rocky road I travelled but there’s never any promises.

2014-01-08 14.50.49

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