cbrody.com technology solutions

PC & Mac support and training

With over fourteen years' experience supporting networked Windows and Macintosh users cbrody.com is one of the most knowledgable names in the business. Many hardware, software and networking issues can be resolved for the cost of a single, very reasonable call-out fee. For specific areas, click the headings below.

Virus, spyware and spam prevention

Viruses and spyware

Have you been hit by a virus, or believe that your system has been compromised in some way? Malicious software can seriously degrade and/or corrupt your system and network, and needs to be rooted out before causing even more damage. Spyware, software that tracks your keystrokes, can capture sensitive information, such as login details, and send it across the internet. Adware that continually pops up with unwanted advertisements while you're surfing can be more of annoyance than a real threat, but can also be a serious productivity reducer.

With the ever-increasing amount of viruses, worms, trojan horses and spyware in circulation it's vital that systems are protected against malicious threats. Antivirus software should be installed on all machines and updated on a regular basis. Updates can be administered centrally from a networked server, or requested via the internet on a periodic basis by individual PCs. We can recommend and install a solution which requires a minimum of maintenance on your part.

Security issues, particularly with Windows systems, mean that your system can be hacked remotely and without your opening suspect email attachments or visiting compromised websites. With recent reports suggesting that a large proportion of home and business users' computers may unwittingly be used to host malicious attacks on other systems, it's vital to install the latest operating system patches and scan regularly for infection. Depending on your setup and the perceived threat to your organisation, solutions to reduce network vulnerability include configuring Personal Firewall settings, introducing packet filtering at the router level and/or the installation of a dedicated firewall.

If you believe that your systems are infected, or want to be confident that you are protected from future attacks, give us a call.

Spam prevention

There seems to be no end to the ways that unscrupulous merchants are able to gather and abuse email addresses, flooding them with unsolicited commercial email. Spam can be a major headache, but there are a number of ways to minimse the effect that it can have on productivity. Depending on the size of your organisation and your exisiting email setup, the best solution may be a centralised or decentralised one.

At the most basic level, static, rule-based filters can be set up in the majority of email clients. A more sophisticated approach is one which learns from the user which emails are considered "good" and which are "spam" (Bayesian filter). At the enterprise level, products such as MIMEsweeper operate with your organisation's internal mail server and avoid the need for individual PCs to manage the influx of junk mail. Such server-based products usually include anti-virus protection.

Mail-filtering functions can also be outsourced to an external application service provider, and cbrody.com would be happy to talk to you about the available options.

Software support

We offer support for a wide range of Windows and MacOS application software and can assist with product selection, purchasing, installation and configuration. If there is a task you wish to perform but don't have the necessary software, or if you need assistance or training in using software you already own, we can help.

Perhaps your computer has been slowing down recently, or you just need general "housekeeping" done on your system(s). A spring-clean, including virus and spyware detection and removal, backup of your important files and preventative maintenance, can dramatically improve your system's performance, thereby increasing your productivity.

Many problems with application software can be solved simply by reinstalling the product or by downloading the latest patches from the vendor. When that fails give us a call or email support@cbrody.com and we will do our utmost to resolve the problem quickly. See the section on software upgrades for additional information.

Our charges are very competitive, and many problems can be solved in a short site visit, or even over the telephone. Our support services can include an element of training, making future call-outs less likely to be needed.

Support contracts

If you have a requirement for ongoing support, we offer a range of contracts to give you the level of service you require. If your need is only occasional, a per-incident policy can be arranged.

Hardware support

Problems that appear to be hardware-based are often in fact caused by malfuntioning or outdated drivers. By making sure you have the latest drivers for your peripheral components you might be able to avoid a visit from an engineer. In the case of hardware failure not due to faulty drivers, most standard components can be replaced for relatively small sums.

Power supply and hard disk problems tend to be the most common types of failure. Both of these are relatively easy to detect, without a preliminary site visit. In the case of hard drive failure, we offer a data-recovery service, which in the majority of cases can restore most if not all of your lost data.

Call us if you have a suspected hardware problem and we may be able to give an estimate over the phone. In some cases, a site visit may be necessary to determine the cause of the problem.

See the section on hardware upgrades if you are looking to increase your system's performance at minimal cost.

Networking and connectivity support

Having trouble with your internet connection? Networked printer won't work? Computers won't talk to each other? Call us and we'll sort out your problem, often within a few hours.

For more information on the networking services we offer, see the computer networking page.

Backup and security

Having proper security and backup procedures in place can help to avoid a catastrophe of compromised sensitive information or lost data. Depending on your system configuration and amount of data to be backed up, a range of solutions is available. We can help you devise a policy that is right for your office, home office or domestic setup.

Software training

We can help you achieve maximum productivity with your IT system. Our expertise covers the following areas:

  • Microsoft Office, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook
  • Web design including HTML and CSS
  • Personal file management using Windows Explorer and Macintosh Finder

Talk to us about your requirements and we will devise a training course that takes you where you want to be. There's no need to make a huge commitment, as sessions may be booked in one-hour increments.

Purchasing advice

Need a new system? Want to upgrade to a broadband internet connection? Need help selecting an ISP? Looking for a good deal on a laptop? We can help you cut through the maze of offers and focus on what it is you really need from your information technology.

With a wealth of experience in purchasing equipment and services, we can deal with the suppliers direct, leaving you to purchase with confidence from a sole supplier, without the hassle of negotiating with multiple merchants.

Support contracts
If you have a requirement for ongoing support, we offer a range of contracts to give you the level of service you require. If your need is only occasional, a per-incident policy can be arranged. Contact us for a quotation.
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