Fake Online Reviews

Amazon deletes 20,00 fake online reviews after users profit from five-star ratings. An investigation from the Financial Times alleged that many users were profiting from posting thousands of five star reviews. One reviewer posted a five-star review on average once every four hours. They reviewed over £15,000 worth of products.

Products manufactured by small Chinese brands has many of these reviews to help boost sales. Reviewers would then go on and sell them on eBay. It appears that one reviewer made nearly £20,000 since June. Selling items including vacuum cleaners, laptops, dolls houses and selfie lights.

When contacted by the Financial Times, one reviewer denied posting paid-for reviews. They then deleted their review history from their Amazon page.

Can you trust online reviews?

Items posted were described as “unused” and “unopened” on the reviewer’s eBay page. These were apparently duplicates, they claimed.

In the descriptions for the products on eBay, the reviewer described an electric scooter. This was the same brand that they had reviewed on Amazon – as “hands down my favourite toy”. they went on to claim, they “purchased a second one for my fiancée”.

Two of the ten other top-ranked Amazon reviewers also deleted their history. Another removed their name and reviews, changing their profile picture to an image which read “please go away”.

The Financial Times suggests that nine of the UK’s ten reviewers were engaged in “suspicious behaviour”. “We want Amazon customers to shop with confidence knowing that the reviews they read are authentic and relevant,” Amazon said. It added that it would suspend, ban, and sue people who violate its policies.

Amazon’s community guidelines state that reviewers cannot post content in exchange for compensation of any kind.  This includes free or discounted products or on behalf of anyone else.

Fake Online Reviews

The UK Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) has launched an investigation into fake and misleading reviews. Unscrupulous sellers are using a range of tactics to evade detection on Amazon to mislead shoppers with fake reviews.

Amazon’s murky world of fake online one-star reviews

Amazon’s marketplace is being abused by independent sellers using fake online one-star reviews to harm rivals, the BBC has been told.

Newsnight spoke to a number of those affected who believe their sales have suffered as a consequence.

A consumer rights champion now wants a UK watchdog to investigate further, as part of a probe into fake reviews that is already under way. Amazon claims to be “relentless” in tackling review manipulation. Even so, some of those targeted believe it cannot eradicate the problem. Third-party vendors have sold more physical goods on Amazon’s site than the US tech giant itself every year since 2015, according to its own figures.

Honest advice from the experts

We are proud to say we are celebrating our 25th year in business. We pride ourselves on delivering nothing but the very best customer service and solutions to our customers whatever the situation may be.

Contact the LIS Help Desk for honest advice for your company’s IT requirements. We won’t advise you to have a repair or upgrade done if it’s not the best solution. Rest assured that using us for your IT support, you will enjoy the latest advice, services, technology and developments in the industry.

 LIS – SECURING YOU DIGITAL WORLD

#technews #amazon #Reviews #ITSupport

 

Google Chrome Warning!

Be careful when updating your browser. Google Chrome Warning!

A fake Google Chrome update hit the Internet this Summer. Hackers tried to gain control over systems using an old technique. The fake update installs the banking Trojan Zeus and remote-control software. This allows hackers access to your PC, online banking and anything else that takes their fancy. TechRader  take a look at the Google Chrome warning!

Whilst peoples focus is on pandemic issues, hackers are taking advantage of their lack of attention to maximise their returns. Maybe their furlough payments are coming to an end 🙂 .

Using several different methods of attack, hackers are highly sophisticated. The initial attack examines your geographical location, computer and other factors. They then decide whether you are their victim of choice. It then tailors the next phase to any perceived weakness you may have.

Users are fooled into thinking to run the Google Chrome update. In reality they are installing a Trojan and remote-control system by the Google Chrome warning scam.

Google Chrome Warning

Google Chrome users are being warned against a convincing and dangerous new online scam. The fake “Google Chrome update” scam gives hackers total control over your device.

Hackers come up with a fake Google Chrome update

Google Chrome is undoubtedly amongst the leading browser software worldwide. Billions of people use Google Chrome making this an easy target for this sort of attack. Security conscious users know that updating apps is important to keep the bad guys at bay. Taking advantage of this, the scam uses a fake Google Chrome update page, to hook its victims.

If you click on the “Update Chrome” button, the dodgy website will download a hacked file. This then installs malware on your computer. The cyber-experts at ProofPoint, identified that one of the programmes used in this this attack is the banking Trojans Zeus. This program is designed to liberate money from the users’ accounts.

It gets worse

ProofPoint also noted similar attacks for Internet Explorer. Probably at the time of writing any other browsers you care to name. Remember, that also included in the attack is full commercial remote-control software. This opens your PC to full remote access from anywhere in the world. This will include access to online accounts, social media and good old-fashioned email.

Proofpoint’s Sherrod Degrippo in a statement explained that this technique is not new. However, it is still effective because it exploits the intended recipient’s desire to practise good security hygiene. He further mentioned that “keeping software updated is a common piece of security advice. As a result of this, hackers use that to their advantage”. Businesses have been targeted worldwide, including ProofPoint.

Security you never have to think about

You shouldn’t have to be a security expert to feel safe on the web. Chrome is easy to use and built to be secure. Contact the LIS Help Desk today to discuss your online security strategy.

LIS protects you from a range of deceptive and dangerous sites. Downloads may might steal passwords or infect your machine. We use the latest anti-spam and anti-virus software. Take advantage of our Office 365 Security package. As well as other cloud-based solutions. We’ll give you a clear understanding of your current exposure and of the impact such an attack would have on your business.

LIS – SECURING YOUR DIGITAL WORLD

#GoogleChromeUpdate #ScamWarning #MalwareScam

Secure passwords

Smart devices will require secure passwords by 2021

Internet-connected gadgets will have to come pre-set with a unique password, or require the owner to set one before use, as part of plans for a UK cyber-security law.
Manufacturers could face being forced to recall non-compliant products and could also be fined. The government is now seeking feedback from consumer groups and industry experts to shape its final legislation. One expert said the new rules would need “strong enforcement”.
The “call for views” is the latest step to introduce a cyber-security bill, which was first outlined in May 2019. Other proposals include a requirement that manufacturers state the minimum amount of time they will continue to provide security updates for a product after purchase.
Digital infrastructure minister Matt Warman said that until the law was passed, households should ensure they had changed all internet-linked devices’ default passwords to “protect themselves from cyber-criminals”.

Davey Winder, a Senior Contributor for Forbes takes a closer look about making sure your devices have secure passwords.

These devices include:

  • Smart speakers
  • Voice assistants
  • Smartwatches for dementia patients
  • Smart lightbulbs
  • Security smart systems
  • Smart TVs
Secure passwords

Smart home devices can pose a security risk if their vendors do not take adequate care in securing them.

Do you have secure passwords?

IT-savvy users are likely to change the password and update the firmware upon acquiring it. Worse yet, hacking one’s way through a device with an unmodified default password does not take much effort. Once compromised, a cyber criminal will steal your data. Setting up botnets or performing distributed denial-of-service attacks will also cause harm to your devices.

In an effort to protect consumers, the UK has proposed a law that would make universal passwords for IoT devices illegal.

Stay protected

In conclusion, we recommend our clients use passwords that are secure. Keep all of your passwords private and make sure no one knows them. Are you using a password manager or post it notes?

Contact the LIS Help Desk to review your security and to have peace of mind.

LIS – SECURING YOUR DIGITAL WORLD

#BadPassword #ReallyReallyBad #IllegalPasswords

Work from anywhere

Technology started allowing us to work from anywhere remotely in the early 2000s. Laptops, VPN and increased Internet bandwidth set this trend in motion, allowing people to connect to corporate networks from home to access email, servers or other systems. Employees depended on this way of working to perform their daily duties.

What it didn’t address at the time was the human element. People’s desire to work on their own terms, anytime, anywhere and on any device. In the early 2000’s technology didn’t readily support this paradigm of “remote work”. Most workers didn’t even know what they were missing in terms of flexibility or convenience.

Work from anywhere, any device and any time

More and more large companies are realizing the benefits about working from home. Why stress your employees out with the expense and commute in to the office. Business Insider explores some of out largest companies working from home.

We’ve put together a brand new guide to show you the most important things to consider with a permanent flexible working arrangement for your people.

Work From Anywhere

The future is now… YOUR desktop, anytime, anywhere, any device! IT does not need to be complicated. Business owners need to concentrate on what they do best, running their business.

Top technical desires

Working 0nline or offline: Back in the late 90’s, for those old enough to remember, Lotus Notes pioneered this concept. Notes had the ability to replicate databases locally between servers and users’ local desktops. Today many technologies do this seamlessly to access emails, files or other corporate systems.

Instant gratification: Today users want access to information immediately and from any device. A mere 15 years ago expectations were very different. Employees had to be logged into a PC at the office to gain access to data. Expectations have taken a monumental shift thanks to new technology. Now smartphones, tablets, broadband, WiFi, and 4/5G all make information accessible at our fingertips.

Advanced communication: Recent advances in infrastructure and hardware have enabled new ways to communicate and collaborate. The use of these new platforms differs based on age, culture and social boundaries. There are so many choices available that employees can communicate via more channels than ever before. Document sharing, enterprise social media, gamification, instant messaging, phone, text, email, video, video or voice chat, screen sharing.

The new normal

Work anywhere you have an internet connection and often where you do not. There are many closed based back up solutions. We would recommend OneDrive.

With the ability to synchronise your OneDrive and your machine, you can now save your documents to a local folder. They will synchronise to the cloud in the background! Start a document at work and save it. The file will fly off gently to the cloud without human intervention. You can then pick up where you left off in a coffee shop or at home, working locally or in your browser. It does not matter which browser either, it works in Edge, IE11, Safari, Chrome or Firefox.

Work anytime

Well you can work anywhere, on any device so it follows that you can also work at any time. Now you may see this as a blessing or a curse. A blessing because you are not tied to your office and the opening times of the building. Which means you can get that report finished no matter where you are or what time it is. However, that is also a curse because you could work all night if you wanted to or even if you do not. Great for night owls!

As we adopt a more mobile workforce and many professions now run their business from a home, the office or even a coffee shop. We would recommend using Office 365 and take advantage of our Office 365 Security Package. It is easy to use and collaboration with clients and colleagues is now much easier.

Review your IT infrastructure. Enable your team to work from anywhere

Moving to Office 365 has huge benefits for productivity and collaboration. Because Office 365 has many security features built in it can be achieved safely. The extensive compliance manager gives controlled access to your data. You can remain in control and as an added benefit you quickly achieve full GDPR compliance. Have you moved to Office 365 yet and has it transformed your working life? Is your IT system set up and ready for your workforce to work from anywhere, any device and any time?

Contact the LIS Help Desk to speak to one of our experienced IT technicians. We carry out an IT audit to enable us to what recommend the best hardware and software solutions. Find out how we can make your workplace mor efficient and productive.

LIS – SECURING YOUR DIGITAL WORLD

#FreeGuide #NewWorkingPatterns #PreparedForTheNewNormal

Happy Birthday Windows 95

On 24 August 2020 Windows 95 celebrated its 25th Birthday. We often think about the evolution of the PC in terms of hardware. Spare a moment for the software. Many of the things we take for granted today – such as the Start menu or not having to reboot your PC every single time you wanted to play a game – started with Windows 95. Happy Birthday Windows 95!

Windows 95 was not the best operating system Microsoft ever released. Many people would apply that designation to Windows XP. However, it was certainly one of the most important iterations. In addition to introducing the Start menu, Windows 95 also made things easier by supporting long file names. Up to 250 characters, versus 11 characters previously. It also implemented plug and play functionality before fetching custom-tuned drivers from the manufacturer.

It was also the first Microsoft OS to really encourage gaming directly from within the operating system as opposed to going through DOS. There was a whole lot of resistance to it at the time, partly because it often made games run worse as the OS still stole some of your precious memory and CPU cycles, but also because it was a buggy mess at the start.

Happy Birthday Windows 95

Windows 95 is twenty today. It’s hard to imagine it now, but the launch was greeted with
the sort of hype that only Apple generates today. (Image credit: Microsoft)

Look where we are now

One of the greatest things about PC gaming is the sheer amount of hardware options to choose from. This is why plug and play was, and still is, such an important feature. It allows your PC to detect a peripheral or gadget and offer at least some basic functionality.

Other innovations included the task bar and recycle bin, both introduced with Windows 95, and later the addition of DirectX to the mix. According to Microsoft, Windows 95 sold 7 million copies during its first five weeks. That was quite a bit for the era it debuted in.

The launch event was a spectacle, which undoubtedly helped move some copies. Former late-night television host Jay Leno introduced Bill Gates at the Windows 95 launch event. Microsoft also paid The Rolling Stones $3 million to use its “Start Me Up” as the soundtrack for the festivities and subsequent ad campaign. And of course Steve Ballmer was bouncing up and down on stage and throwing fist pumps.

If you’re feeling nostalgic, you can kick the tires on Windows 95, right inside Windows 10, using an app uploaded to GitHub by Slack developer Felix Rieseberg. It’s a little less than a 300MB download.

Are you up to date?

Funnily enough LIS are also 25 years old this year. So, happy birthday Windows 95 and LIS. We have been around and seen it all. From the launch of Windows 95 through to Windows 10. We even helped clients resolve issues with Windows 8 and ME (we won’t talk about these versions 🙂 ).

Are your systems running slow? Do you have out dated hardware? What office package are you using? If your software is out of date, then you have security risks? Contact the LIS Help Desk to discuss your options.

LIS – SECURING YOUR DIGITAL WORLD

#win95 #HappyBirthday #ITSupport #Upgrades