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Happy New Year

For some reason (and believe me, I am not complaining) business has been brisker than usual over December. It seems to be that it is a time when people start thinking about the New Year and new beginnings. So, just before Christmas, a friend of mine set me a challenge. “I have a bit of a blog on blogspot.co.uk (Blogger) and I would like it on my new WordPress website.”

http://saintlaika.comChallenge 1 was the more than 6000 posts. (He and his community has really used his blog.) Now, I could see how to import the items, using WordPress’s import facility but then he said, Challenge 2 ‘…and I need the old blog forwarded to the new one.’

I did say that I would have to look into it. That is not necessarily what I was thinking, but…

Fortunately, there is a BRILLIANT plug-in for that from rtcamp.com.

Not only did this allow the forwarding of his old blog to the new website, but it mapped all the articles on the old site to the new one!

So, if you were to click on:

http://revjph.blogspot.com/2013/12/the-renativity-of-saint-laika.html

You would end up at:

http://saintlaika.com/2013/12/24/the-renativity-of-saint-laika/

The exact right article on the new blog.

So do not fear that you are trapped into your old Blogspot account – it can easily be moved to a shiny new WordPress website. I even managed to import 6000+ posts and 40,000+ comments. (His site has had over 3,000,000 hits!)

What did you do over Christmas?

Whatever you did, have a Happy New Year.

NB Sequences explained in this article do take longer in real life 😉

CryptoLocker – the most dangerous malware yet?

Imagine losing all of your files… and all of your backups… and not being able to do a thing to get them back unless you pay a ransom.

That is what CryptoLocker does. You may pick it up from an email attachment or from a spurious ‘downloading’ site. It hides on your computer encrypting everything… but letting you access it seamlessly. Finally, it completes encrypting everything and it tells you that you have 72 hours to pay up.

If you do not pay up in time, the decryption key will be deleted and your files will be irretrievable.

Better than that, while your backups were connected it did the same thing to them… and your Dropbox account… and any new files you try to save.

72 hours to pay up or your business goes fizzle.

It doesn’t need you to be logged in as administrator.

It cannot be detected by anti-malware software.

Time for some good practices – no downloading from ‘download’ sites. No opening of email attachments unless you are sure of the identity of the sender. (You may want to institute digital signatures for your email, to guarantee that you are getting emails from who you think you are. We can assist you with that, but really we wanted you to know of this SERIOUS threat.)

Read more about it at:

http://www.zdnet.com/cryptolockers-crimewave-a-trail-of-millions-in-laundered-bitcoin-7000024579/

I was terrified. You should be too.

Who are you dealing with? Salesforce Certification Verification

It’s a big, bad world out there. There are people who would claim to be things that they were not! (And I don’t mean claims like Sir Bruce Forsythe being entertaining on Strictly Come Dancing.) With Salesforce, until now, you had no way to find out if your Salesforce consultant was qualified or not.

Shock! Horror!

Salesforce has now brought in Certificate Verification. You can find it at:

http://certification.salesforce.com/verification

Of course, I am quite proud to have held my certification since 2011. The details are here:

http://certification.salesforce.com/verification?&fullname=John%20Dray

You can check up anyone, using either their full name, or their email address.

This should help you avoid dealing with people who are other than they claim to be.

Wishing you safe IT,

John

Google Apps is History

I am a patient man… for an IT professional. I have been using Google Apps for over two years. I had found it to be reliable and easy to use.

Recently I upgraded my Mac to Mavericks. (For Microsofties, Mavericks is the latest version of the operating system for Macs.) There are lots of features that I love about Mavericks, but it really broke Google Apps email. I keep getting errors, unread mail counts are wrong, email retrieval is erratic – the lot. In the end this comes down to the Google email (IMAP) protocol being non-standard. That’s OK, the old Apple Mail used to work around it, but I do not use the ‘additional functionality’ that Google has plastered onto the standard. And it is the extras that are breaking my email. (For a similar tale of woe, look at how Google broke its synchronisation with Outlook last year.) Apple have delivered a fix, but it does not fix everything and it seems as if Google have reduced the number of concurrent connections allowed, so I keep getting errors. Lots of them. It is driving me nuts!

So, what do I do?

Do I ditch the Macs that I love or the Google Apps that I tolerate and have more than a suspicion are using my emails to make bigger profits? I could just access Google Mail from the web interface, but I am a road warrior – I like to have my emails downloaded for when there is no internet. I could upgrade to Google Apps for business but, with 10 accounts that would cost Cloud Genius £33 pcm + VAT (£792 + VAT over 2 years). Or I could use my own hosting webhost.cloud-genius.com. That will give me proper IMAP compliant email (and it will work with all those mobile devices, too – even Androids). It will allow me to carry over the cloud-genius.com domain, and it comes with free calendars, unlimited email space and storage space. (Actually, as I purchased my domain through webhost.cloud-genius.com it sorts all that out for me.) If I want to use it, there is even a web interface. All this for £39.36+VAT for 10 accounts for 2 years which works out at 16.4p per account per month! The equivalent from Google would cost £792 (that’s £33 x 24 months). That makes Google Apps 20x the price.

It did take half an hour to switch over the accounts. The emails are flowing in nicely, even emails sent from other Google Apps accounts. I now have to decide what to do with my historic emails… import them or archive them. Decisions.

As a bonus, I know that Google will not be reading my emails any more. Calm has returned to the Cloud Genius office. (The webhost.cloud-genius.com email servers use proper SSL encrypted connections, have proper spam filtering and have no affiliation with Google. It also has proper 24×7 phone support on 020 3027 4996 and 99.9% uptime. They also work with Windows, Linux anything – because they stick to the IMAP standard. You can even use POP3, if you really want to.)

Any questions? Drop us a line!