Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some answers to frequently asked questions. Please use our contact us page to ask any IT, Computer, Laptop, Telephone or Internet-related questions.
How do I get back into my computer without the password?
Lost passwords are a common problem for many different reasons. As an IT company, we often have to access unattended machines like phone systems or computers that have not been used for some time, and no one knows the password. The good news is we have commercial software which will allow us to log in to most Windows computers without the password. This software won’t damage the machine in any way.
On one occasion, we were able to access a computer for a family whose relative had died. We reset the password and the family where very happy to get all the family photos back
What do I do when I get an email about renewing my domain from a company I don't know?
If you have never heard of the company, its probable fraud. The dates of domain expiry are freely available. There are many fraudulent companies you will invoice for domain renewals which they don’t control. They have no intension of renewing the domain and know that if they send thousands of renewal invoices some of them will get paid. They are usually overseas and there is no prospect of getting a refund when you discover the fraud.
How do I get data from and old or faulty disk drive?
People often have old or faulty drives lying around and can’t get the data. If the drive is working then connecting it to a suitable interface will give access to the data. We can either help you do this yourself or we can do it for you. If the drive is faulty then we would need the drive and can recover data from it in many cases.
What should I do with my old or faulty computer equipment?
Before disposing of old computers, owners must ensure data is securely erased, so it does not fall into the wrong hands. Deleting the data is not good enough as deleted data can quickly be recovered.
Some people choose physical destruction of the hard drive and if that is your choice we have a 10-tonne hydraulic press which will do the job.
We favour running secure erase software which completely erases the data. We are happy to erase machines for you and will provide a certificate to prove we have done it. We then recycle machines ethically.
Why is my PC so slow?
Computers become slower with use. This has many causes but most of them can be fixed without the need to replace your computer. Some of the main causes are lack of memory, malware and virus infection, disk fragmentation and bad programmes. Read our article on fixing slow computers for further information.
Can you stop SPAM from reaching my inbox?
SPAM is a big problem for must of us. It is annoying and wastes time and often results in machine problems caused by viruses. It is also the starting point for many frauds. There are several ways of addressing the problem including using your Softwares inbuilt features, adding a third party program and using a pre-filtering service. We will advise on the best solution for your needs.
Atomik.biz provides a commercial solution for prefiltering email before it reaches your inbox. This blocks SPAM and virus’s from reaching you.
I have received an email saying I have been pawned. Do I need to panic?
Have I been pawned is a service which records major data breaches. These are where customer data has been stolen and is probably being misused by criminals on the Internet. There is nothing you can do about the data that has been stolen but what you need to do is change any passwords for the compromised services. If you visit the have I been pawned website you can enter your email address and see how many companies have been careless with your personal data.
How do I stop my Antivirus provider from charging me automatic renewals while maintaining protection?
Software providers want to tie users into them for as long as possible. One technique they rely on is auto-renewal. They know that many people will forget to cancel and as long as the user’s credit card is valid they will just keep charging them. The user then get a notification that they have been charged and is tied in for another year. The answer is to log in to their online account and disable auto-renewal. The product will continue to work and will remind the user when it is due to expire. The user is then free to renew if they want to or investigate alternatives.
My internet is slow and my Internet Service Provider says I can’t get high speed Internet. Can you help?
There are several things we can do. Firstly we can test your setup to make sure you are getting the best performance available. Sometimes speeds have been artificially reduced by the ISP.
We can also ensure the bandwidth you have is being used efficiently.
Another option we have used in these situations is using 4G (LTE). Depending on your location 4G can be really fast, in some cases even faster than high speed wired Internet. However for it to work well you can’t just plug in a dongle from BT and expect the best performance.
Best performance requires a quality 4G router and a properly situated external antenna.
A good 4G installation requires careful design but will give excellent speed. When combined with an existing Internet connection on the same router you will get performance and reliability.
Can I get a new broadband connection during lockdown?
BT Openreach have made further updates on their policy when visiting customer sites to complete installs.
Previously, Openreach would enter the customer premises for a short duration to complete the installation of analogue lines or an FTTP service however not for Fibre Ethernet (unless the business was deemed as a CNI business (Critical network Infrastructure)) due to the time required on-site to complete the install. Openreach have now said that for Fibre Ethernet installations they will assess whether a business is open and safe to enter in order to complete the job. If they are satisfied, the job will be completed end to end, If not then they will delay the completion of the job until restrictions are lifted further.
This now means we are able to progress orders for all connectivity services through to their completion. Please note Openreach still have a backlog of orders to work through so lead times may be extended. Lead times will also be subject to engineer availability.
Here is a reminder of Openreach engineer site visit procedures:
- On the day of the visit our Openreach engineer will contact you asking a number of screening questions which will allow us to identify if any circumstances have changed.
- If an engineer needs to enter the premises, please be aware that they may put on a mask and/or gloves.
- Please keep 2 metres social distancing from the engineer and if possible move to a different room.
- Once the engineer has finished working on the premises they will wipe down any surface they have touched before leaving.
What is slamming?
Slamming is where unscrupulous companies transfer internet connection services either without permission or by tricking the customer into agreeing to do so. The reason they do it is to gain the monthly subscription payments. The victim will probably find out about this when they get a message from their current provider saying “we are sorry you are leaving”. In a worst-case scenario the customer only finds out when the service stops working. When they call their provider they are told that the service is no longer provided by them. If this happens to you, call your previous provider who will be able to reverse the change but there will probably be several days of downtime. If you have been a victim report the incident to Ofcom.
Do I still need to backup data in cloud storage?
Data loss can happen for many reasons. Most cloud providers have reliable systems which are unlikely to fail. Those providers usually have clauses in their contracts which absolve them for any responsibility for customer data. Data in the cloud is usually only protected by a login and a password which means it is more likely to be hacked than on-premise systems. The customer might be deliberately locked out of their systems by the cloud provider for either a breach of contract or more usually non-payment. We have seen a case where the customer accidentally cancelled an online account and lost data. For all these reasons we recommend running backups of all cloud data with an independent service.
What should I do if I get a fraudlent email or other online fraud?
Online fraud is everywhere. The first rule is don’t trust anyone. People usually say “but it looked genuine” to which I always say “if it didn’t nobody would fall for it? Just because an email appears to come from someone you know, don’t just assume it is, especially if it is asking for payment or personal details. If you receive a fraudulent email or are a victim of online fraud, you should report it to Action Fraud. The police are unlikely to take any action unless you have lost money but reports help them build a body of evidence to highlight common scams.