Remote IT Support – How we do it

Remote support is a great tool which we use all of the time in supporting our customers.  It is important though that you know how we do it and that it is safe, since bogus remote support can be used by scammers to rip you off.

Here is how we do it safely:

We only use RealVNC VNCviewer.  We pay an annual subscription and this makes available to us their “instant support” tool.

We call you ask you to visit their website and download a “one-time” application.

You run the apllication, nothing is installed on your device.

The application asks you to suppply a nine digit code – we supply that from our end, via the phone.

You see a privacy warning – we are accessing your machine so please close down anything you don’t wish us to see.

In a moment we have access to your machine.  We can move the cursor around, open applications and files but we can’t change anything – another step is required for that and we will not ask for that unless it is required.

At any time, either side can shut down the session and nothing is left on your device besides the inbitial download which, of course, you can delete but is often pays to keep it for future use.

We will never ask you for passwords or financial details, and you should never divulge them to anyone.

I trust this helps you understand the process of remote support, and how we make it safe for you.

Free IT audits

Not often something is free but worthwhile.  We buck the trend with our free IT audits.  We are able to assess your IT system, generally remotely, and provide you with a free report on its security, integrity, and general suitability for your business.

It really is free, there is no obligation on you to follow our advice, although of course we would welcome that, and if we then do some business together then we will be delighted.

Call us now on 0798452670, or email to get started

What makes us different?

First of all, we are local – really, not just another firm including your local town in their keywords.  We relish the opportuniy to establish a long term business relationship with you.

Next we are experienced, for more than 20 years, helping businesses and individuals with their IT needs.  During those 20 years we have covered a lot of ground, from databases, programming, server setups, mail servers, business continuity planning, disaster recover planning, fault finding, networking, wireless connectivity, domain management, hardware supply, website design and creation, the list goes on!

Our moral compass:  We are seeking to establish a business relationship.  We’d like you to become a customer who sees us as the “go to guys”.  We aim to do this by acting with integrity and honesty.  We will only recommend solutions and work which benefits you and will not overcharge for them.  We will respond in a timely manner and if we can’t do something we will say so.  We will tell you about our charges first before doing the work.

We don’t aim to be super speedy, rather we will consider things properly and come up with the best solution.

How can we help you?

ESET Secure Authentication

ESET products are all excellent, today I’m giving a shout to ESA – a system which provides two factor authentication (2FA) for a whole number of applications, including windows logins and remote desktops.  From a server console one can administer a network, for example, such that users can only login in with a second factor in addition to their passwords.  The second factor is sent to to the user in a number of possible ways, we use mobile phone push approvals and this works well.

A note on usage, it is easy to disable the 2FA on a device, for example of someone goes on holiday and getting push approvals on their mobile would then be  a pain.  Look in the portal, under components, select the device and change the setting to “disable 2FA”.  Don’t forget to change it back upon the person’s return!

Windows server keeps restarting for no apparent reason?

This can cause all kinds of problems and is sure to ruin your day.  Here are a few of the possible causes:

Windows is not activated.

Did you fire up a trial version and then forget it was a trial?  Maybe 180 days ago?  You either have to get a licence or rearm the server but if you do nothing your server will restart like clockwork every hour, until you do!

Bad Microsoft update.

Is there a good one?  Sorry Microsoft, that’s uncalled for for an outfit that takes such great care in testing its patches!!

Very recently, like yesterday, I had two windows 2012 R2 servers restarting endlessly every ten minutes.  Not conducive to chilling.  turns out dear old Ms screwed up on one of their updates again:

In case that page ever goes, it was KB5009624.

The above article tells you how to fix this, basically take away the offending update.  There is a patch seemingly but I’m waiting for the next patch Tuesday.  Sigh!

Software incompatibility.

You can get some doozies under this heading and they can be a bear to sort out.  Maybe your antivirus doesn’t like playing with another system on there.  Maybe an app is not designed to run on that server version.  sure you can fix it yourself, but I’d say “better call that bounder the flounder!”

Perhaps you can think of more, but that’s all from this flounder right now.

Secure it with SSL

Obtaining and applying secure certificates for your website or server can be a bit of a faff.  There are  alot of choices as to the type of certificate to go for and how it is then applied is then a bit of a mine field.  I have found the help provided by some of the larger providers to be a bit lacking, so if you are struggling with your new cert then why not contact us and we will take the strain for you!

To Purge or not to Purge…

That, for Princes of Denmark, and everyone else  is, of course, the question:
Whether ’tis Nobler in the mind to suffer
The Slings and Arrows of outrageously large Outlook profiles,
Or to take Arms against a Sea of emails,
And by opposing end them.

To what do we owe this hideous mangling of the bard’s words?  I seek to enlighten users of Outlook on this vexatious topic.  Purging here refers to the final deletion of emails that you have already placed in the deleted folder.  To use current terms it is “hard” deletion rather than “soft” deletion.  Once you have purged the emails they are gone for good – the only way back is to find them from a backup – if you have one.

So why would you purge?  The idea is to minimise the size of your Outlook .pst file, or profile.  Over time the profile grows and performance becomes sluggish.  You may experience instances of the dreaded “Outlook is not responding”.  Purging makes it all better.

You can purge manually or automatically: Microsoft tells you how.



Why does Word screw up URLs?

I’ve been using Word for a long time – more than 20 years!  I recently stumbled upon a “feature” which has caused me a bit of grief over the years and how to turn it off!

This is described in a Microsoft article, on using absolute hyperlinks.

The thing is that the option to use an automatic relative hyperlink is selected by default.  So unless you un-select it those lovingly crafted absolute links of yours along the lines of http://mydomain/webthingy/index.html will get turned to files:///c:users/dopeyworduser/appdata/webthingy/index.html when you save!

Perhaps someone could point out to me the benefit of having this defaulting to “on”?  I ask this as a long time “Dopey word User” who now knows better.

What are my email settings?

Mail settings you might need when we are your email provider


Name of setting      Setting Description
Full Name Choose your sender name as you would like it to appear in messages that you send. Example: Eric Flounder
Email Address Your email address for this account, such as
Incoming mail server settings – use the bold settings
These settings are for downloading messages (receiving email) from your email provider’s mail server.
Account Type Choose IMAP*, POP  IMAP
Description Choose the name that Mail will use for your account, such as Job or Home
Incoming Mail Server (host name) The host name of the incoming mail server, such as
User Name Your user name is the same as your full email address as your user name.
Password The email password you use to sign in to your account. as supplied by us
Port The port number used by the incoming mail server. Common port numbers for incoming mail are 143 and 993 for IMAP accounts, and 110 and 995 for POP accounts. Port 993
Authentication Choose Password, MD5, NTLM, Kerberos, or None, as directed by your email provider. Password or MD5
Use SSL? Does the incoming mail server support SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) or TLS (Transport Layer Security) encryption? STARTTLS
Outgoing mail server (SMTP) settings – use the bold settings
These settings are for uploading messages (sending email) to your email provider’s mail server.
Outgoing mail server (SMTP) The host name of the outgoing SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) server, such as
Port The port number used by the outgoing mail server. Common port numbers for outgoing mail are 25, 465, and 587.Port 587
Use SSL? Does the outgoing mail server support SSL or TLS encryption? STARTTLS
Authentication Choose Password, MD5, NTLM, Kerberos, or None, as directed by your email provider. If None, you may need the additional settings below to send email when you’re on a different network, such as from a Wi-Fi hotspot or Internet cafe.  Password or MD5
 We are here, and happy to help if you get stuck!