TCI Technologies is a full-service IT consulting and services firm.

Category : IT Support

Home/Archive by Category "IT Support"

Apple Releases OS X Patches for Shellshock Bug

Security experts across the globe have been working around the clock to create patches for the Shellshock bug that uncovered 20 years of server vulnerability on systems using Bash. It’s beginning to appear that despite the longstanding claim that Apple products are less susceptible to viruses than PCs, internal bugs are just as easily exploited by hackers, and it’s happening more and more every day.

It’s apparent that hackers are most interested in exploiting the Shellshock bug to gain access to web servers, but there are plenty of home computers and embedded devices that are also vulnerable to attacks. Apple stated publicly that they’d be providing a patch for “experienced UNIX users,” despite the fact most Mac users would likely remain unaffected by the exposure.

Shellshock Bug Patches Available for OS X

The updates are now available for OS X Mavericks, Lion, and Mountain Lion, but nothing has been released for the OS X Yosemite beta. Users will not be prompted to install these updates via the Mac App Store, but can access them directly through Apple by using those links. Speculation is that the next beta version of Yosemite to be released, which should be next week, will have a patch for the bug included in it.

The initial Shellshock bug discovery was logged in the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures database as CVE-2014-6271. However, shortly thereafter, new attack methods were discovered to bypass the patch created to repair that exposure, and the new vulnerability has been logged as CVE-2014-7169. The notes released with Apple’s OS X Bash Update indicate that it protects against both CVE-2014-6271 and CVE-2014-7169, but there have been several additional CVEs added to the Shellshock list in the past few days.

Users whose Macs function as web servers or localhosts are especially encouraged to install the update to apply the patch. Utilizing any patch that’s available, whether it’s fully complete or not, is better than having no protection at all.

If you have questions about the security of your computer, or anything else about the Shellshock bug and patches, ask us on Facebook or give the experienced techs at TCI Technologies a call at (516) 484-5151.

20 Years of Server Vulnerability Uncovered by Shellshock

If you thought that Heartbleed was bad, brace yourselves for the server vulnerability that we’re up against now. Last week, a 20-year-old bug was discovered that affects almost all Linux and Mac OS X deployments. You heard that correctly: malware that’s not confined to PCs. The new bug is called Shellshock, and it affects Bash, the Unix shell that is used as a default shell on both Linux and Mac OS X.

For those of us who aren’t terribly techie, a Unix shell is a command-line interpreter, which is a program that allows a user to instruct the computer to perform the actions that the user wants by entering in text commands. The Bash shell is widely popular because it is free software that replaced the Bourne shell, which was one of the first Unix shells to ever be used.

Continue Reading

How to Clear Your Search Engine History

So now that you know what’s stored in your web browser history, let’s work on how to clear your search engine history. There could be plenty of reasons you’d want to erase your search history—you’re on a public computer, you share your computer with other people, you don’t want your previous search history to influence new searches—the list goes on for ages. Depending on which browser you use, there are different steps you’ll need to complete to clear your search engine history. Let’s get started!

Continue Reading

How to Recall a Sent Message in Outlook

Have you ever started writing an email to a colleague, and before you were ready to send it, you wound up accidentally hitting “send” somehow? As soon as it happened, you probably muttered some expletive, maybe pounded a fist on your desk, and then hastily sent a follow-up email to correct the error. Don’t worry—everybody’s been there.

Continue Reading

How to Set the Default Browser to Chrome, Firefox, or IE

Whether you’ve set it or not, your computer has a default browser, which is the program that will open anytime you click on something linked to the Internet, such as a link in an email or a desktop shortcut to a website. If you open a new browser, it will often ask if you would like to make that your default browser, and if you click “accept” or “ok,” some users have a difficult time resetting their browser to the one they prefer. Although this can be extremely frustrating for users who appear to be stuck using a browser they don’t like, don’t worry! We have the answers to help you set the default browser to whichever one you like best.

Continue Reading

How Does Active Directory Work?

Active Directory is a system that allows an entire computer network to be controlled from a single, central location by a network administrator. Through the use of Group Policy Objects, the administrator of your network can control the way that daily tasks are done throughout your company, permitting or restricting access to specific elements as necessary.

Continue Reading

How to Control Your Network with Group Policy Objects

So we’ve shed some light on the myriad of benefits of Group Policy, but what else can you do with it on your Local Area Network (LAN)? Most importantly, you can use it to keep your network safe, but there are a whole slew of other helpful ways that Group Policy Objects (GPOs) can streamline your network maintenance.

Continue Reading

The Benefits of Group Policy

Once you’ve put Active Directory in play in your office, how does it all come together? Group Policy is a system within Active Directory that gives the network administrators the ability to define user, security, and organization-wide policies throughout the network. Interested in learning the benefits of Group Policy? We’re here to help you out!

Continue Reading

Active Directory Basics: What is Active Directory?

Remember when you started college and they gave you a username and password to use on the school’s computer network? With your username and password, you were able to log onto any computer that was on the network, and upon startup you would have access to all of the files and drives to which your account was granted permission. All of your personal settings would be enabled, and it was as though any computer on the network that you logged onto became your personal computer for the moment. That’s the easiest way to put Active Directory into perspective.

Continue Reading

Top 5 Benefits of a Local Exchange Server

When you’re deciding what type of exchange server will best suit your company, there are a number of factors that you have to take into consideration. The most important factor is the size of your business. Do you have more than 50 employees? If the answer is ‘yes,’ then local is, without question, the way to go. The cost of providing access to a hosted exchange server for a large number of users will be significantly higher than purchasing an in-house server. Additionally, if you employ more than 50 people, chances are you’ll have plenty of space for an in-house server.

Continue Reading

What is IT Support and Why You Need IT Support Services on Long Island

We’ve put out a lot of blogs about IT news, some of the services we provide and ways to improve your small businesses cyber security just to name a few. But, what we haven’t covered much is what IT is. It’s a pretty large field filled with a plethora of subfields which means, at least for the average consumer, finding the right IT support can be as difficult as driving down the highway backwards with no mirrors (pretty hard). In this blog we’ll break down what IT support is, who needs it and how to get it.

Continue Reading

Android Malware Infection Has Spread to Almost 10 Million Users

If you are a Russian-speaking Android user you could be in trouble (and if you don’t speak Russian you might be in trouble too). A piece of malware has been causing some serious havoc for Russian users around the world. It’s called “Android/Samsapo.A” and it has developed a habit for abusing people’s contacts and infecting the devices of those contacts. Unfortunately, this is not the first time Android has been afflicted by such malware prompting Android users to look for ways to defend themselves from hackers and viruses. Here are a few precautions you can take to better protect yourself.

Continue Reading

IT Support on Long Island – Three Reasons Why Local IT Support should be your Only Support

Jobs, jobs, jobs. That’s been the major focus of politics and politician’s for the past couple years (and probably ever since politics was invented (thank you Greece)… I think?). It used to be easy to debate about jobs in America. Where do we want jobs? America! Great, case closed (not much of a debate). But in today’s globalized world that question has a much more convoluted answer as businesses try to find ways to cut costs and boost their profits which often means that they outsource jobs from America to some other country. That’s why when you have a problem with your laptop, PC, desktop, smartphone or tablet you typically get one of two things; one being that droning, monotonous digital voice that sounds like Siri after she took too much Benadryl and two being the at-times-hard-to-understand accent of a foreign call center employee. Either way, you can find yourself frustrated and left with more questions than answers. Here at TCI we’re here to find those answers, alleviate your IT concerns and help you focus on the more important stuff. Plus we’re local! Listed below are three reasons why we believe you should focus on getting your IT support locally.

Continue Reading

Fantastic Computer Viruses and How to Beat Them

In our last blog we discussed how to diagnose whether your computer has been infected by a virus or malware (or any other kind of insert-prefix-here ware). It’s important to be able to diagnose the problem. But a diagnosis without a plan of action to fix your computer’s affliction is about as useful as going to the doctor, finding out you have strep throat and just going back home (not very useful). Typically, the doctor would take you through some tests, tell you what’s wrong and then write you a prescription. That’s fine for most people, but drugs can sometimes be more trouble than their worth (just listen to the side effects attributed to Nasonex) in which case people might opt for a more grassroots approach, like homeopathy. Which approach is better? We can’t say but we do know that just as there are a variety of ways to recover from an ailment yourself there are also multiple options to help your computer recover from a virus.

Continue Reading

A How to Guide on Battling Computer Viruses One PC at a Time

What is a Computer Virus?

Viruses, spyware, adware, malware, scareware, ransomware, worms (yay! one that doesn’t have ‘ware’ at the end), rootkits, bots and droppers (gross) are all potential problems for your PC. Problems that could expose you to things like identity theft and corporate espionage. But many of them are largely ignored or brought to professionals who won’t explain exactly what’s wrong with your computer. It’s like going to the doctor and having them talk about your illness in medical-speak which is great (unless you’re like most of us and don’t have medical training) in which case it’s a little annoying because you leave the place with more questions than answers. So, to break down some obstacles and build some bridges we thought it might be a good idea to make a cheat sheet. One that you can reference at any time and one that will give you a basic understanding of what’s going on inside your computer (kind of like WebMD created by IT professionals or an always accessible Genius Bar).

Continue Reading

How Google Drive Stacks Up Against Office Online

Microsoft Office has been the go-to office suite for businesses around the world since its introduction in November of 1990. With very few viable alternatives to choose from, small businesses have had to rely on the tech-giant’s applications for the better part of the last 24 years. The price of running the programs can cost small businesses a small fortune (Office Professional 2013 costs $399.99 per computer) that they could be spending elsewhere. But no other suitor existed, businesses were forced to pay for the software, and there were troubling times in the kingdom as the people waited for a champion.

Continue Reading

How to Protect Yourself from Hackers and Heartbleed

Two weeks ago, the Heartbleed Bug rocked the world (literally). Some are calling it the greatest security threat the Internet has ever seen, while others are less certain of the damage inflicted by the virus. The truth is, as of right now, we don’t know a whole lot about it, and sometimes not knowing how to protect yourself from hackers can be much more frightening than understanding the gravity of the situation.

Continue Reading

How Ancient Software Affects Your Bottom Line — Upgrade Windows XP

Upgrading all of the hardware in your workplace can be a bit scary. The common fears are a hefty, upfront cost, potentially losing data, and that any combination of the two could result in a loss of revenue for your company. For some Windows XP users, the thought of having to attempt such an overhaul may seem unappealing, but the long term benefits when you upgrade Windows XP to either Windows 7 Professional or Windows 8 Pro will be a financial coup for your business.

Continue Reading

Windows XP Security under Threat from Cyber-Criminals

The last few grains of sand in Windows XP’s hourglass are beginning to run out, and one group in particular sits eagerly awaiting the discontinuation of the old operating system. Eventually, the OS will stop receiving security updates; updates that keep you and your system safe from cybercriminals and hackers. On April 8th, those defenses will be gone and 500 million PCs that run everything from ATMs to your business will be exposed.

Continue Reading

IT Support Long Island: The Importance of Being Local

IT Support Long Island: We’ve Got Your Back

Search the web for IT support and there will be thousands of companies at your disposal.  They might be able to offer similar services as TCI does, but how many of these companies offer immediate service and response for your business?  With respect to IT Support in Long Island, being local is of the utmost importance and this is where TCI differs from the competition.  TCI services well over a hundred business in Long Island, NYC, and Connecticut.  We make sure your company is always connected by offering same day service for all your IT needs.

Continue Reading

End of Life for Windows XP and Office 2003

Keeping your IT infrastructure operational and up-to-date is an important part of running a successful business.  Failing to keep your computer network properly optimized leaves it prone to cyber-attacks, hardware failure, and malware.  That is why here, at TCI Techs, we recommend yearly maintenance and upgrades for each network we support.  As computers get faster, and technology changes, the need for more secure operating systems increases.  That is why our specialized IT firm suggests updating to Windows 7 in the near future.

Continue Reading