Alarming trend on facebook – hackers paradise (DossierNominate)

Published on August 27, 2015 in ITnews


A new and alarming trend on facebook in which people share some of their most personal information, post it online and nominate 5 friends to do the same.

I just witnessed one of the biggest mistakes I have ever seen on social media, an alarming trend that needs to stop, if not a hackers paradise awaits.

During my usual Vanilla infused Latte this morning I was scrolling through my facebook feed when I came across one of my friends sharing all sorts of personal information which would be a treasure trove for anyone wanting to steal her identity – a hackers paradise.  Here is an example of the information, the actual information has been changed to protect the person who made this unbelievable DossierNominate mistake.

A hackers paradise

hackers paradise DossierNominate


Michelle Mistake

10 hrs – Melbourne


Been arrested ? :no
Fav Food :Indian
Height ? :152
Been Depressed :no
Current Mood :happy
Relationship Status :married
Like Someone :yes
Fav Song :Thunder struck
Love Someone :yes
Have a Boyfriend Or Girlfriend? :husband
Want a Boyfriend Or Girlfriend? :no have a husband
Future Kids ‍‍‍ :got 3 so no
Kids Names  :Sam, Julie & Kylie
Fav Color :blue
Birthday ? :7/7/77
Zodiac Sign :scorpio
Have Tattoos :yes
Have Piercings :yes
Fav Artist :Robbie Williams
Last Person You Texted :Sandra
Battery Percentage ? :19%
NickName ? :Wally
Last Hug :today
Last kiss :Jai boy
Siblings ‍‍‍ :sis jessica , Damien , Luke James Sean
Fav Movie :bridesmaid
Winter❄ or Summer :summer
Fav Animal :none
Get Married :yes

I Nominate 5:Sarah Smith, Bob Jones, Rebecca Aaron, Carol Archer, John Doe. msg A Clean Copy In The Comments?

facebook like




If posting this information wasn’t bad enough, she has now nominated 5 other friends to do the same.

Is this really a problem, as she is only sharing this with her friends?  I hear you ask.

Lets run some numbers on how much of a problem this could be:
– Lets assume that only 2 out of 5 people are silly enough or have a lapse of judgement.
– Lets assume that each iteration happens every hour for the next 24 hours (lets face it, we know it will last longer than that)

After 24 hours there would be 16,777,216 sets of private information that would make it so so much easier for someone to steal your identify.

If you set your facebook settings to only share with your friends and not friends of friends this will at least limit your own exposure. – true

– What if one of your friends shares your post?
– Do you really know and trust all your friends that well?
– What if one of those friends has their facebook account compromised?

Your information will be out there, and it is really hard to take back.

I am hoping that this will help people make better choices when it comes to sharing their personal information.

P.S. There is sharing and then there is sharing too much.
I mentioned at the beginning of this post that I was drinking my Vanilla infused Latte, while this is personal to me neither Vanilla or Latte can be used to steal my identify, unless my secret questions happen to be:
– What is your favourite morning beverage?
– Or What is your favourite flavour?

Stay safe.

David – NOVA iT

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Apple IOS 8.3 Update

Published on April 9, 2015 in ITnews

The iOS 8.3 release includes improved performance, bug fixes and a redesigned Emoji keyboard. Changes include:

Improved performance for:
• App launch
• App responsiveness
• Messages
• Wi-Fi
• Control Centre
• Safari tabs
• 3rd-party keyboards
• Keyboard shortcuts
• Simplified Chinese keyboard

Wi-Fi and Bluetooth fixes
• Fixes an issue where you could be continuously prompted for login credentials
• Addresses an issue where some devices disconnect intermittently from Wi-Fi networks
• Fixes an issue where hands-free phone calls could become disconnected
• Fixes an issue where audio playback could stop working with some bluetooth speakers

Orientation and rotation fixes
• Addresses an issue that sometimes prevented rotating back to portrait after having rotated to landscape
• Improves performance and stability issues that occurred when rotating the device between portrait and landscape
• Fixes an issue where device orientation appeared upside down after pulling the iPhone 6 Plus from your pocket
• Resolves an issue that sometimes prevented apps from rotating to correct orientation after switching apps in multitasking

Messages fixes
• Addresses issues that caused group messages to sometimes split
• Fixes an issue that sometimes removed the ability to forward or delete individual messages
• Resolves an issue that sometimes prevented a preview from appearing when taking a photo in Messages
• Adds the ability to report junk messages directly from the Messages app
• Adds the ability to filter out iMessages that are not sent by your contacts

Family Sharing fixes
• Fixes a bug where certain apps would not launch or update on family members’ devices
• Fixes a bug that prevented family members from downloading certain free apps
• Increased reliability for Ask to Buy notifications

CarPlay fixes
• Fixes an issue where Maps could come up as a black screen
• Fixes an issue where the UI could be incorrectly rotated
• Fixes an issue where the keyboard could appear on the CarPlay screen when it shouldn’t

Enterprise fixes
• Improves reliability of installing and updating enterprise apps
• Corrects the time zone of Calendar events created in IBM Notes
• Fixes a problem that could cause web clip icons to become generic after restarting
• Improves reliability of saving the password for a web proxy
• Exchange out-of-office message can now be edited separately for external replies
• Improves recovery of Exchange accounts from temporary connection problems
• Improves compatibility of VPN and web proxy solutions
• Allows use of physical keyboards to log into Safari web sheets, such as for joining a public Wi-Fi network
• Fixes an issue that caused Exchange meetings with long notes to be truncated

Accessibility fixes
• Fixes an issue where using the back button in Safari causes VoiceOver gestures to not respond
• Fixes an issue where VoiceOver focus becomes unreliable in draft Mail messages
• Fixes an issue where Braille Screen Input cannot be used to type text in forms on webpages
• Fixes an issue where toggling Quick Nav on a Braille Display announces that Quick Nav is off
• Fixes an issue keeping app icons from being moveable on home screen when VoiceOver is enabled
• Fixes an issue in Speak Screen where speech will not start again after pausing

Other improvements and bug fixes
• Introduces a redesigned Emoji keyboard with over 300 new characters
• iCloud Photo Library has been optimised to work with the new Photos app on OS X 10.10.3 and is now out of beta
• Improves the pronunciation of street names during turn-by-turn navigation in Maps
• Includes support for Baum VarioUltra 20 and VarioUltra 40 braille displays
• Improves the display of Spotlight results when Reduce Transparency is turned on
• Adds Italic and Underline format options for iPhone 6 Plus landscape keyboard
• Adds the ability to remove shipping and billing addresses used with Apple Pay
• Additional language and country support for Siri: English (India, New Zealand), Danish (Denmark), Dutch (Netherlands), Portuguese (Brazil), Russian (Russia), Swedish (Sweden), Thai (Thailand), Turkish (Turkey)
• Additional dictation languages: Arabic (Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates) and Hebrew (Israel)
• Improves stability for Phone, Mail, Bluetooth connectivity, Photos, Safari tabs, Settings, Weather and Genius Playlists in Music
• Addresses an issue where Slide to Unlock could fail to work on certain devices
• Addresses an issue that sometimes prevented swiping to answer a phone call on the Lock screen
• Addresses an issue that prevented opening links in Safari PDFs
• Fixes an issue where selecting Clear History and Website Data in Safari Settings did not clear all data
• Fixes an issue that prevented autocorrecting “FYI”
• Addresses an issue where contextual predictions did not appear in Quick Reply
• Fixes an issue where Maps did not enter night mode from hybrid mode
• Resolves an issue that prevented initiating FaceTime calls from a browser or 3rd-party app using FaceTime URLs
• Fixes an issue that sometimes prevented photos from properly exporting to Digital Camera Image folders on Windows
• Fixes an issue that sometimes prevented an iPad backup from completing with iTunes
• Fixes an issue that could cause Podcast downloads to stall when switching from Wi-Fi to mobile networks
• Fixes an issue where remaining time on timer would sometimes incorrectly display as 00:00 on Lock screen
• Fixes an issue that sometimes prevented adjusting call volume
• Fixes an issue that caused the status bar to sometimes appear when it shouldn’t

For information on the security content of this update, please visit this website:

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New Metadata laws – a brief recap

Published on April 1, 2015 in ITnews

NOVAiT Logo 184x184Phone and Internet providers to store two years of users metadata after the Abbott government’s controversial data retention laws passed parliament.

How this will affect internet users monthly bills is still unclear, it is estimated the scheme will cost about $3.98 per customer each year if no tax payer funding is provided.

The latest suite of national security legislation passed the upper house on Thursday evening with bipartisan support.

Metadata includes the identity of a subscriber and the source, destination, date, time, duration and type of communication.  It excludes the content of a message, phone call or email and web-browsing history.

Without this police and security agency investigations are not as effective.

A great many Senators had differing opinions.

The suggestion of a warrant for each and every request was made however this would be impractical, given last year there were 340,000 such requests.

So how does it affect you, in most cases if you are a law abiding citizen then you have nothing to worry about.  If you are worried about your privacy and need help, please give us a call for assistance.

A documentary titled “Terms and Conditions May Apply” will give you an insight into what can happen if this information is abused and not vetted correctly.

There was one case in the US in which a user was searching for ways to kill his wife, the authorities raided his home and brought him in for questioning, as it turned out this poor chap was a writer on the TV series Cold Case, his web searches were for research.

Lets hope that the authorities use this information effectively and with the proper oversight.


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Soonr – What can it do in more detail

Published on March 18, 2015 in ITnews

Soonr – Secure File Storage and Collaboration

If you are familiar with DropBox and OneDrive then using Soonr will be simple to use.  However there are many features that can benefit a small to medium size business. Obviously like all software solutions it can be deployed and configured to solve many more problems than is apparent at first glance. Here are some of the benefits as I see them.

  • There is a Windows and MAC desktop application.
  • IOS and Android applications are also available so you can access and edit your files on the go.
  • Scribbler which allows you to draw on a file and then save it as another copy, or send it to someone directly.
  • Web configuration tools to allow you access to your files and also create new projects and manage access permissions, plus lots more.
  • Policy Management which allows you to decide how things are accessed and what happens if a device is lost or stolen (data can be remotely wiped)
  • Files can be locked to ensure no one else can make changes (Office file types can be set to automatically lock)
  • Public Links can be shared with anyone to allow access to specific files or projects.
  • Remotely access other online computers.

Windows Soonr Agent Software


Dashboard The dashboard shows many pieces of critical information, such as:

  • Favourites
  • Recent Changes (as seen below)
  • Locked Files – File locking can be managed here if users have not unlocked their files.
  • Public Links – Any shared file and folder links are shown here and can be managed (know who is accessing your information and revoke access to contractors if required)
  • Space Usage – This allocation graph shows what is using the space Projects or Computer backups.
  • Connected Devices List
  • Recent Project Activity

Soonr Main Dashboard Soonr Dashboard Bottom


  • Projects view allows you to check the status, number of recipients, owner and storage usage.
  • Create and share new Project folders.

Soonr Projects


  • Allows you to view and manage all your connected devices, computers, servers and mobile devices.

Soonr Device List


  • Add and remove Team Members.
  • Create Team Groups to allow for easy permission allocation on Projects.
  • Allocate different storage amounts.

Soonr Manage Team Members

Manage Devices

  • Project Status – Check on the status of projects as they relate to individual devices.
  • Backup Status – File based backup of your home computer or laptop (MyDocuments, Music, Pictures, any important files)
  • Folder Restore – Ability to restore folders and files.
  • Previous Versions – Allows you to review and access older copies of files.
  • Remote Access – Connect to any computer that has the Soonr agent installed.
  • Also get access to files that are not synced as long as the computer is online.

Soonr Manage Devices    

iPad Initial Screenshots

Soonr iPad Welcome Soonr iPad Edit Create Soonr iPad Powerful Projects Soonr iPad Take Action Soonr iPad Start Working

iPad Actual Screenshots

Soonr iPad Projects Soonr iPad Devices Soonr iPad Settings

iPad Scribbler 

  • Allows you to edit files and save a copy of the whole document or just the pages you scribbled on.

Soonr iPad Scribbler 1 Soonr iPad Scribbler 2


What happens if I accidentally delete a file or it becomes corrupted?

Every time a file that is sync’d or backed up via Soonr, a “version” is created and any changes are saved. This allows you to revert to previous versions of these files, should unwanted changes be saved.

Versioning works in the following way:

  • A new version is created each time a file is saved.
  • All versions for the last hour are saved.
  • The last version from each hour for the last day is saved.
  • The last version from each day for the last week is saved.
  • The last version from each week for the last month is saved.
  • The last version from each month is saved for the last 6 months.
  • After 6 months, the version is permanently deleted.


Syncing does not equal backup

There are many scenarios were an offsite backup can save your business. Such as:

  • The sync provider experiences a catastrophic failure (e.g. floods, fire, earthquake)
  • Sync providers business fails
  • Sync provider decides it is no longer a viable business and changes direction (we have seen this in the US some months ago)

For this reason we recommend partnering any syncing solution with NOVA Backup.

Choose from Pro or Enterprise versions depending on your needs.

To organise a Live Demonstration or a trial please contact us.

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Buying from an IT Professional can protect your business

Published on March 12, 2015 in ITnews

How can buying your computers from an IT Professional protect your business?

Gone as the days when all you needed to deal with was Microsoft reloading applications on your system to entice you to use other feature or products from the Microsoft suite.

For years computer manufacturers have been pre-loading third party software on the systems you buy as a way of making some extra revenue or in some cases allowing them to compete on price and just make a profit, this is especially true for consumer grade systems.

This practice has earned names such as “Bloatware” and “crapware”, Software developers have found this a lucrative way to get their products in front of end-users, with the end goal of having them extend  trial offer.  OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) are paid to load this software on to their computers.

The latest fiasco is from Lenovo which has elevated contempt and ridicule for this crapware to outrage.  Superfish Visual Discovery, a pre-loaded adware program billed as an image search tool that would “help customers potentially discover interesting products while shipping” was actually a security threat.

Lenovo reported in a statement last Thursday “We have thoroughly investigated this technology and do not find any evidence to substantiate security concerns,” and subsequently dropped that line.

By the end of the Lenovo had backtracked, with its CTO, Peter Hortensius, admitting to IDG News Service that the company had “messed up badly.”

Hortensius said that Lenovo wasn’t aware of Superfish’s vulnerability to abuse by cyber criminals until it was publicly disclosed by security researchers.  Google security engineer Chris Palmer launched a vigorous Twitter discussion on Wednesday after buying a new Lenovo laptop, and Robert Graham, CTO of Errata Security, outline how he cracked the certificate’s password in a Thursday blog post.

So how bad is it?  It allows the adware to hijack all Secure HTTPS connections on all affected computers.  If you have it installed do not use it for banking or other sites which have sensitive information.

Superfish has been installed on a large range of Lenovo consumer-grade systems from September through December 2014.  The number of affected computers is not known, but the model numbers include those in the E, G, S, U, Y and Z series, as well as ones in the Flex, MIIX and Yoga lines.

Lenovo stopped installing Superfish on its hardware last month, and disabled the software on all the devices it had in stock, however that still leaves lots of affected computers.

Lenovo had published manual instructions on how to remove Superfish, since then Microsoft and McAfee have also come to the party by updating their security products and the built in Microsoft Windows Defender to detect and remove this threat.

The way to protect yourself and your business is to buy your computer systems from a reputable IT Professional who recognizes these threats and cleans up the computer before delivering it to you.

If you own a Lenovo and are not sure if this affects you then please contact us we are here to help.

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Electric shock fears – NetComm have recalled some wireless products

Published on March 3, 2015 in ITnews

NetComm – Recall notices have been issued by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) for two NetComm wireless products due to electric shock fears.

NetcComm NP204NetComm np204

The affected products are Netcomm’s NP 204 and NP504 adapters which allow your existing mains electrical wiring to be converted into a high speed network, these units suffer from a “deformed” connection to the earth pin.

“In some circumstances, the fault could result in electric shock,” according to the ACCC notice.

David Stewart from NetComm Wireless has called it a “preventative recall.”

Stewart said they were reaching out to customers by placing advertisements in select newspapers throughout Australia and New Zealand.  Thank-fully other forms of media have picked up the story to help get the word out.  “There’s a quantity of units that may have some faults with them.  The maximum number of 2,329 pairs.  The good news is there hasn’t been a reported incident.”

They are sending affected customers a reply-paid satchel for the faulty product to be sent back and will issue them with replacements.

NetComm NP504NetComm NP504

The NP204 was on sale between June 2013 and December 2013.  Products with serial numbers between 1502131800001 and 1502131801329 are affected.

The NP504 has been on sale between January and December 2013.  Those with serial numbers reading from 0518125000001 to 0518125001000 have been affected.

Customers with these affected units should contact NetComm Wireless to arrange a replacement by either calling 1800 110 168 or emailing

Here are some relevant links:


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Power Protection – Is it all the same?

Published on August 29, 2014 in ITnews

Many people assume that any UPS (Uninterruptable Power Supply) will protect their tech gear. This is not the case, not all UPS’s are the same.

This information is accurate for CyberPower products, other manufacturers types may vary.

UPS Systems are available in three different types:
•    Standby
•    Line-Interactive
•    Double-Conversion (aka Online)

CyberPower UPS Topology

CyberPower UPS Topology

Standby Topology

Standby is the most basic UPS technology. When there is a brown/blackout, the UPS simply resorts to the internal battery to provide electricity to the equipment. These UPS systems are designed for consumer electronics, PCs, POS/security systems, and other basic equipment.

CyberPower models Standby Series and Ecologic Series.

Line-Interactive Topology

Line-Interactive systems incorporate technology that allows the UPS to correct minor power fluctuations (brownouts, over voltages, etc.) without switching to battery. This extends the life of the battery and is an essential feature in areas where power fluctuations occur on a regular basis. Typical applications are consumer electronics, PCs, and mid-range servers.

CyberPower models AVR Series, PFC Sinewave Series, Intelligent LCD Series, Smart App Sinewave, Smart App LCD.

Double-Conversion Topology

Online systems provide consistent, clean, and near perfect 240V power regardless of the condition of the incoming power. These systems operate on isolated battery supplied power 100% of the time and have a zero transfer time because they never have to “switch” to battery. Online UPS systems are designed for high-end system components, corporate servers, lab equipment, and other sensitive electronic equipment.

CyberPower models Online UPS.

NOVA iT can help you determine which UPS solution is right for your needs, please give us a call contact us.

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Risks of unauthorised software use

Published on July 28, 2014 in ITnews

Melbourne settlement highlights risks of unauthorised software use

BSA | The Software Alliance (BSA) has settled a copyright breach claim with a Melbourne based recruitment firm for the use of illegal software programs owned by BSA member Microsoft.

Under the settlement, the firm paid $11,190 in damages for the unlicensed use of software product Microsoft Office 2007 Enterprise.
In addition to paying $11,190 in damages, the recruitment firm is now required to purchase legitimate software licenses to legalise its ongoing software deployments.

BSA Australia Committee Chair, Clayton Noble, said, “This recent settlement highlights the financial risks businesses take if they use unlicensed, non-genuine software. As well as exposing themselves to potential financial penalties, businesses using unlicensed, non-genuine software are also at greater risk of security threats from malware, leaving their systems and data open to threat.”

Noble continued, “The recent BSA Global Software Study revealed ‘security threats’, including access by hackers and loss of data, are the chief reasons computer users around the world cite for avoiding using unlicensed, non-genuine software. At BSA, we are committed to helping businesses understand these real risks, and to implement simple software asset management (SAM) steps to ensure they use software legally and minimise security risks.”

reference: BSA

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NOVA MediConnect

Published on July 17, 2014 in ITnews

NOVA iT’s MediConnect is an internet connection and remote access service designed to suit the internet requirements of medical practices.

  • Fast speeds up to 100Mbps
  • Highly reliable technologies with a guaranteed 99.95% uptime
  • Peace of mind with our industry grade Service Level Agreement (SLA)
  • Static IP addresses
  • Dedicated Account Manager
  • Professional 24 x 7 Australian based help desk
  • Fast and easy roaming access for mobile doctors and staff

To discover how MediConnect can work in your practice contact NOVA iT now.

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Not all domain name registrars are equal

Published on July 29, 2013 in ITnews

When you’re looking to register a domain name, you’ll soon find there a lot of  different deals on offer. There are a large number of domain name registrars available to you world wide, each capable of registering your chosen domain for a fee. These fees vary greatly for a

So why do domain name registrars vary so much, and how can you choose the best domain name deal? The registration fee for the actual domain name forms only part of the final fee charged to you by the registrar. The registrar adds their own fees for service on top to create the final price. It is hear that the price differences come in.
Here are some things you might ask…

  • Sometimes it is not the best idea to have your hosting with your registrar.
  • What level and style of additional services will you need? DNS redirection, Email only, Website hosting – what are their costs?
  • What type of hosting do you require; Windows or Linux?
  • What is their procedure if you need help? Do they offer phone support?
  • If the domain name is initially free, what is the fee when the free period runs out – remember very little is truly free!
  • Does the company have a good on-line reputation? Do some research on the .au Domain Administration (auDA) website.
  • Read about a recent example of action taken by auDA re Crazy Domains Pty Ltd’s breach of Registrar Agreement.

… or if that sounds like it’s  just too hard or confusing, ask us at the  NOVA iT Group.

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