Wednesday, 16 July 2014 09:49

Identity Theft - Protect Yourself!

Written by RS Smith

I just spoke to an industry colleague today, who reports a close acquaintance has basically had their online identity stolen. I am not going to go into too much detail about how this was done (tip: It is very disturbing...), but rather how to make it as difficult as possible for this to happen to you.

Firstly: AV software. Keep it up to date, and make sure regular scans are occurring, please. This cannot be overstated. Make sure you know that Windows updates are occurring too, at a regular schedule.

Secondly: DON'T open that attachment that your are even a little unsure of. E-Mailed links and attachments are still the primary way for malware to be distributed.

The above advice should be taken as a given really, and are not the real subjects of this post. I wanted to discuss 2 way verification, or 2 factor authentication. You may be familiar with this already, certain internet banking systems will ask for a secondary piece of information, after you have entered in your password. 2 Factor Authentication is designed to prevent keyloggers (bits of software that monitor your keyboard presses, and capture your passwords) being able to access your accounts, as you need more than just a password to access them.

I wanted to link to two of the most popular social media services, so you can enable this for yourself, FaceBook and Gmail. I have done this personally, and it is not too much trouble - please do not think this is overkill - this is a necessity now.



Or this blog post that covers both, and more:

I hope that helps - please feel free to comment on how the process went for you!


Friday, 28 February 2014 12:25

Bitcoin - fad or the future?

Written by RS Smith

Lot of news in the mainstream media about bitcoin recently. Mostly from industry pundits, economists and commentators who are involved in the current financial industry, and the comments are often quite negative.

I have had a passing interest in Bitcoin for a while now - I started mining the currency a few years ago, as it piqued my tech interest - and now as a more "mature" (- ahem!) business owner, I quite like the business and economic side of crypto currency in general.

For those who don't know, bitcoin is a cryptographic currency, as it uses cryptography (mathematical algorythims) to control the creation and transfer of currency. This is built on a distributed network, where every "node" contains a copy of the complete transfer leger. This means it is a completely de-centralised system, no banks and no government involved.

Some of the other benefits to using the currency, is that minute amounts, or massive amounts of money can be transferred around the world, for little to no fees. There are no charge backs and the transfers are nearly instantaneous.

In terms of the invention - some have likened it to the similarity of email and the internet - where the internet is the foundation of the network for Bitcoin, and the currency is simply an application that runs on it, much like email. 

The focus is obviously on the currency, and the volatility it has experienced recently. I am more interested in the invention, and development of the technology behind bitcoin, because I think it can have a massive effect on society in much the same way the internet has for us today.

So while the price of bitcoin might rise and fall like a yoyo - I think we should be looking past that to see the big picture. The Bitcoin network is a staggering invention that  has the ability to reach billions of people. It is a currency built for the internet age, and I believe something that will have a massive effect on our lives in the future.





Thursday, 12 July 2012 09:05


Written by RS Smith
Please welcome our latest tech gadget to our office... Is it a brand new iPad, or a multi gigflop computer with High Definition 3D screen..? No, it is the tech device that for a lot of us 80's kids in the industry, is where it all began. I can't imagine the number of hours spent in Arcades as a young kid - probably wearing a denim jacket, with a pocket full of change. I can still hear the sounds of the whole place, and now again in our office! It is a home made system, running a 10 year old PC and screen. So not the latest tech by any stretch - but certainly a nostalgic time machine - great for resetting the mind for a few minutes in the day, and keeping everyone focused. Anyway, time for a Street Fighter lesson for the Techs... :)
Friday, 06 July 2012 12:10

QR Codes Security Concern

Written by RS Smith
QR codes have sprung up everywhere in the last couple of years. They are a way for people to convert a barcode into a Web site link using a camera app on their smartphone. It’s fast, convenient and dangerous. Spammers are already using it to promote black-market pharmaceuticals and malware authors have used it to install a trojan on Android phones. In combination with link shortening, it can be very hard for users to tell in advance if a given QR code is safe or not, so consider a QR reader that can check a Web site’s reputation before visiting it. Once the bait has been taken the victim must be reeled in. The next step in these attacks fools the user into taking an action to propagate the threat, for example installing an app, downloading ‘update’ to your video software or clicking on a button to prove you’re human. The attackers persuade their victims to infect themselves and spread the bait to everyone in their social circles. It must be stated that this is not just a Facebook issue; variations of these threats run on all social media platforms. The number of threats on each of these platforms is directly proportional to the number of users on these sites. It is not indication of the “security” or safety of a site.
Friday, 27 January 2012 14:33

New Year, New Changes

Written by RS Smith

Well this year has really started off with a bang - lets hope the rest of 2012 continues in the same vein. We have multiple client projects on the go, it's as if we were still in December!

So on that note, we are very proud to announce we have moved into our very own office, in a beautiful loft style character building; Achilles House, in Commerce Street ( It is actually the next door building from before, so any previous visitors will recognise Achilles House being right next door to the Citigroup Centre.

We are also growing in staff, we have one new staff member signing on next month, and possibly another!

We all wish you are very prosperous 2012.




Tuesday, 21 June 2011 13:28

Official welcome to Cameron

Written by RS Smith

I thought it pertinent to introduce our new member of staff to the Rytech engineering team - Cameron Kay. Cam has been assisting with the transition after we (sadly) had to say goodbye to Ryan Ivison. Cam is already an invaluable addition to the team, and while he is based on the remote support team initially, you are bound to see him onsite at some point!

Welcome to the team Cam.

What makes a password strong is the combination of different alphanumeric, special characters, and capitalization that you use, and of course the length of the password.

I don't know about you, but I don't want to remember and type an epistle when I fill out a password field. And, ideally, I don't want to use the same password on many sites, because if one is compromised then my entire life is unlocked.

I want to show you here how to choose very strong passwords for every website that you use, that are different for each website, and are each only 9 characters in length max.

A study found that an 8-character password that's constructed in the manner I'm going to show you has 7.2 quadrillion different combinations, and will take 83.5 days to crack if the hacker can try 1 billion different passwords per second.
Thursday, 04 November 2010 06:43

Will You Find A Silver Lining In Your Cloud?

Written by RS Smith

Cloud computing is one of the largest growing areas in the IT industry. The concept of “Cloud Computing” refers to the hosting of a server or an application by a third party in an offsite location accessed via the Internet. The premise is that the vendor will not only provide the client with a reliable experience, but one that will be resistant to downtime and data loss.

Personally, I know that the Insurance industry has been enjoying the benefits of cloud computing for many years. But what are the caveats and recent concerns garnered by those enrolled in these online services?

Thursday, 04 November 2010 06:39

Quick Tech Productivity Pointers

Written by RS Smith

Multitasking has become one of the buzzwords of the twenty-first century. Did you know that your browser lets you multitask, too? Most modern browsers (IE8, Firefox, and Safari) provide the user with a rich interface that allows for multiple windows to be open in the same browser at once. “How is this miracle performed?” you may ask. If you look at the tab shown in the image above, you will see on its right side is a smaller tab. If you place your mouse over it, you will see the option to open a new tab. Click on this tab and a new window will open within the current browser. By clicking on the tabs or pressing the TAB key while depressing the CTRL key, you may cycle through the existing opened windows in your browser. Do you want even more tricks? Once you have multiple windows opened in the browser, you may then notice a new icon to the left of the tabs with a down arrow. This button’s down arrow allows you to open any one window that you want without using the “cycle-thru” method. Click on the button itself and you will see your tabbed windows displayed all together on one screen. In that screen, you may close or activate any of the windows using your mouse. If you prefer to see your tabs in a particular order, you may drag them in order to rearrange them. Having multiple tabs may enhance your day. You can do the same with multiple Home Pages, but that may slow down the initial response of your browser.

Thursday, 04 November 2010 06:32

Refining the Spamming Process For More Hits

Written by RS Smith

Remember the vignette performed by Monty Python’s Flying Circus in which two diners float down into a dive filled with Vikings for a breakfast that doesn’t have much SPAM® in it? Back in the 1970’s, the word “spam” had a much different meaning than it does today

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