Community Defibrillator

ITVET purchases a defibrillator for the wider community

At ITVET, we have invested in a defibrillator for our local community. This will be attached to the outside wall of our Bishop’s Stortford office. Our company was founded with the intention to provide consistent customer satisfaction and to bring a positive impact to our local community. We do this in many ways, from our laptops for schools campaign, our charity work, our client communications, and now with our defibrillator investment. This defibrillator contributes to our objective to provide a positive impact on our wider community.   

What is a defibrillator?

A defibrillator is a life-saving device when a person enters cardiac arrest. Before the arrival of an ambulance, a defibrillator is used to monitor the heart’s rhythm, issuing shocks if needed. The sooner you attach the defibrillator the higher the survival rate. 

Cardiac arrest   

Cardiac arrests can happen to anyone, at any time. Unfortunately, cardiac arrests happen without warning. Preparation is vital for survival. There are over 30,000 cardiac arrests a year in the UK that take place out of hospital.   

A cardiac arrest is when your heart suddenly stops pumping blood. It’s triggered by an electrical malfunction in the heart that causes an irregular heartbeat. Oxygen can’t be transported to the vital organs including the lungs and brain which causes a person to fall unconscious and stop breathing. Immediate treatment is needed in this scenario.  

In the first instance, 999 must be called immediately. Whilst one person performs CPR another should fetch the defibrillator and carefully follows its instructions. The operator on the emergency call will talk you through what to do. 

cardiac arrest vs heart attack

How a defibrillator helps 

 The defibrillator assesses the heart rhythm and tells you when to shock the person if they require it. The purpose of a shock is to reset the electrical system in the heart to help it beat normally again. The shock is a brief electrical current that is sent through the heart. This allows the body’s natural pacemaker to re-establish its rhythm.   

In the UK, less than  2% of cardiac arrest victims have a defibrillator deployed before the ambulance arrives. More defibrillators are desperately required in public places and workspaces to help more people survive.   

Laura McNab, a registered nurse, and the Clinical Educator for Resuscitation Training informs us “providing defibrillation within the first 3-5 minutes of a collapse can produce survival rates of 50-70%. For each minute a person is without access to a defibrillator, chances of survival are greatly reduced.”

It is because of this extremely short time frame that defibrillators need to be sited on a very localised basis. Having to travel far reduces the patient’s chance of survival. Any area with a significant population density will benefit from having a defibrillator. This is why they are sited at schools, libraries, public buildings and health care centres around the UK.  

The defibrillator at ITVET’s head office ensures that if any of our staff or a local member of the community experience a cardiac arrest, they can get help quickly. We want to increase their chance of survival by getting it to them as soon as possible.  

Who can use a defibrillator?

What makes a defibrillator so useful is that it doesn’t need any official training to use. There are clear instructions on how to attach the defibrillator pads. The device tells you through visual and vocal prompts when to deliver a shock if it is needed. This guidance ensures you can’t do any harm to the person in cardiac arrest.

When should you use a defibrillator? 

when to use a defibrillator

These are the main signs of a cardiac arrest that must be acted on immediately. At this point, their heart is no longer pumping blood to their brain and they are in a critical condition.  

A stark reminder of how important defibrillators are 

The world recently watched on in horror as Danish Striker Christian Eriksen collapsed in the middle of a football match with a cardiac arrest. In his Doctor’s words “He was gone.” Having near immediate access to a defibrillator and full medical team undoubtedly saved his life. Since this event, campaigners have renewed their calls for more access to defibrillators.  

The defibrillator is now situated on the outside wall of our central office in Bishop’s Stortford. This investment is part of our corporate responsibility to the wider community of Bishop’s Stortford.  

ITVET's defibrillator located on the office wall


Windows 7 End of Life

Haven’t got time to read now? Download a copy to read later.

You may have heard or seen online about Windows 7 becoming ‘End of Life’. But what does that actually mean for your business? We have put together this article to give you a bit more information around what will happen on January 14th 2020, and what you can do to ensure your business is protected.


What Does “End of Life” Mean?

End of Life means that Microsoft are no longer providing support, updates, bug fixes or security patches for Windows 7. This allows Microsoft to focus on the newer software they have released, as Windows 7 is now over 10 years old.

Can I carry on using Windows 7?

You can. However, we strongly advise against it. Not only does this leave your business vulnerable to cyber-attacks, if you continue to use Windows 7 after January 14th 2020, you may no longer be GDPR compliant.

Can I just upgrade to Windows 10 without buying new hardware?

The short answer is yes. However, this depends on the age and spec of the machine you’re currently working on. Older systems generally can’t cope with Windows 10, therefore upgrading is sometimes the only option. Workstations usually have a life cycle of around 3-4 years, as after this point they start to become slow and unresponsive. If you’re running Windows 7, it’s more than likely that your machine is due for an upgrade.

What if my staff can’t work out the new system?

Our 24/7 UK based service desk is on hand to answer any questions you or your staff may have about Windows 10. When our engineers are installing your new workstations, they will also be able to answer any questions or walk you through the basics.

Will this be a lot of hassle and downtime replacing the machines?

Not at all. Our engineers build your machines here at ITVET, ensuring all of your necessary software is installed. We then bring the machines to you and set them up in an empty office, room or clear space. Your staff can then remote into their new machine and check they are happy with how it has been set up. Our engineers then swap out the equipment, which takes about 10 minutes per person. Time for a cup of tea!

What about my files?

They will all still be there when you log back on. No disruption or data loss.

Will my 3rd party software still be compatible?

Upgrading your operating system may mean you have to update some of your 3rd party software too. There is the chance that if you stay on Windows 7, your software provider may withdraw support due to the insecurities of the operating system.

Will this cost a lot?

It depends on how many machines you have that are running Windows 7. Our prices are competitive, and we will never sell you something you don’t need. We have finance options available, so you can spread the cost evenly. If your team regularly struggle with slow or unresponsive machines, it may actually be more cost effective for your business to refresh your hardware.


If you are currently using Windows 7 and would like to discuss your options for upgrading, please get in touch. We will help you find the most suitable and budget friendly solution for your business. Give our team a call on 01279 464470 or fill out our contact form here.


Not what you were looking for? Head back to our homepage to see our full range of services.

Are you a business based in London? Head over to our dedicated page for IT Support London to find out we can provide exceptional services to your business, here.


We are a Real Living Wage Employer!

The Living Wage Foundation is pleased to announce that ITVET has accredited as a Real Living Wage Employer. 

Their Real Living Wage commitment will see everyone working at ITVET, regardless of whether they are direct employees or third-party contracted staff; receive a minimum hourly wage of £9.30 in the UK or £10.75 in London. Both rates are significantly higher than the statutory minimum for over 25s of £8.21 per hour. The Real Living Wage is an hourly rate set independently and updated annually and is calculated according to the real costs of living. Employers choose to pay the Real Living Wage on a voluntary basis. The Real Living Wage enjoys cross-party political support.

Katherine Chapman, Director, Living Wage Foundation said: “We welcome ITVET to the Real Living Wage movement as an accredited employer. Responsible businesses across the UK are voluntarily signing up to pay the Real Living Wage now. The Real Living Wage rate is annually calculated to reflect the real costs of living. We are a movement of over 3700 UK employers who together want to go further than the government minimum to make sure all their staff earn enough to live on. We have lots of small businesses as well as big household names like; IKEA, Aviva, Chelsea and Everton Football Clubs and many more. These businesses recognise that the Real Living Wage accreditation is the mark of a responsible employer and they, like ITVET join us, because they too believe that a hard day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay.”

About the Living Wage Foundation

The Real Living Wage is an hourly rate set independently and updated annually. The Real Living Wage is calculated according to the basic cost of living in the UK. Employers choose to pay this wage on a voluntary basis. The Real Living Wage enjoys cross-party support. The UK Real Living Wage is currently £9.00 per hour. The London Living Wage is currently £10.55 per hour. This figure covers all boroughs in Greater London. These figures are calculated annually by the Resolution Foundation and overseen by the Living Wage Commission, based on the best available evidence on living standards in London and the UK. The Living Wage Foundation recognises and celebrates the leadership shown by Living Wage employers across the UK. There are currently over 3700 accredited employers. We are an initiative of Citizens UK. We believe that a hard day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay. We support responsible employers to voluntarily go further than the government minimum and pay the real Living Wage, to all their staff, so they can earn enough to meet the cost of living. We receive guidance and advice from the Living Wage Advisory Council. The Foundation is supported by our principal partners: Aviva; IKEA; Joseph Rowntree Foundation; KPMG; Linklaters; Nationwide; Nestle; Resolution Foundation; Oxfam; Trust for London; and Queen Mary University of London.

What about the Government’s national living wage?

In July 2015 the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced that the UK Government would introduce a compulsory ‘national living wage’. This new government rate is a new minimum wage rate for staff over 25 years old. It was introduced in April 2016 and the rate is £8.21 per hour. The rate is separate to the Real Living Wage rate calculated by the Living Wage Foundation.  The government rate is based on median earnings while the Living Wage Foundation rate is calculated according to the cost of living.


disaster recovery from ITVET

Let’s talk about the elephant in the room…

Ensuring you have a solid disaster recovery and business continuity plan in place should be of the highest priority for your business.

Disaster can strike from anywhere at any time, so being prepared is a must. Whether it be flood, fire, or worse, it is imperative you have a tested business continuity plan in place so you have minimal down time in the event of a disaster.

If your software and services are hosted, you can access them regardless of any hardware damage and you will be able to restore your services in very little time and maintain a sense of business continuity. Alongside this, without a backup system in place, you could lose all your data entirely. If you only have paper versions of your records and data, these will almost certainly not survive smoke, fire or water damage, which could potentially lead to you being held liable for loss of records.

Another thing to plan for is remote working. Ensuring your employees can continue working either from home or a temporary location in the event of a disaster is imperative, as if your employees are not able to work this could impact your business reputation and you also run the risk of losing your employees.

If disaster does strike your business, you will need to contact your employees to warn them of the disaster. Alongside this, your clients will still need to be able to contact you, so having a phone system that can be diverted to an alternative location means that in an emergency you will be able to contact your clients, suppliers and employees.

Ensuring business continuity is important, however the most crucial element of a disaster is ensuring no one is harmed, which is why a suitable evacuation plan and being able to track where your employees are on site is essential.

Contact the ITVET team today to discuss your options and ensure you are protected, should disaster strike.

Is your business based in London? Head over to our dedicated page on IT Support London to see how we can provide you with exceptional levels of service.


Important HP Battery Recall Notice

Important Update: Safety Announcement, 2017

Expansion of the HP Notebook Computer Battery Safety Recall and Replacement Program of June 2016 – Additional Batteries Affected

HP urges customers to recheck all potentially affected products

In cooperation with various government regulatory agencies HP has announced an expansion of its ongoing worldwide voluntary safety recall and replacement program for certain notebook batteries, which was announced in June 2016. The program has been expanded to include additional batteries that were shipped with the same notebook products.

The affected batteries were shipped with specific HP, Compaq, HP ProBook, HP ENVY, Compaq Presario, and HP Pavilion Notebook Computers, sold worldwide from March 2013 through October 2016, and/or were sold as accessories or spares, or provided as replacements through Support.

The batteries have the potential to overheat, posing a fire and burn hazard to customers. HP’s primary concern is for your safety. Because affected batteries pose a fire and burn hazard, it is extremely important to check whether your battery is affected.

It is essential to recheck your battery, even if you did so previously and were informed that it was not affected. Note: if you have already received a replacement battery, you are not affected by this expansion.

Please go immediately to the HP Battery Recall website to check if your battery is affected by this expanded recall program. If the validation process indicates that your battery is affected, cease use of the battery immediately and remove it from the notebook. HP will provide a replacement battery for each verified, affected battery at no cost. You may continue to use your notebook without the battery installed by connecting the notebook to external power. To order a free replacement battery if eligible, go to the HP Battery Recall website.

Note: Not all batteries in all HP, Compaq, HP ProBook, HP ENVY, Compaq Presario, and HP Pavilion Notebook Computers are affected. The validation process may show that your battery is not affected by this expanded recall program, in which case you may continue to use the battery in your possession, and a replacement is not necessary.

If you have questions on the HP Notebook Battery Safety Recall and Replacement program please see their website for more information. Alternatively, for more information, contact the ITVET Service Desk team on 01279 464 470 or email [email protected]


Infographic: Is Your Business Prepared For Disaster?

Imagine the worst case scenario – late Sunday evening you are alerted that an electrical fault has caused a fire at your office. The first floor has been completely destroyed and the remaining floors have suffered smoke and water damage. Your computers, servers and other hardware are unusable. Could your business continue?

Property damage, repairs, furniture and hardware aren’t the only costs to your business. The time your business is out of action affects not only your profits but also your reputation. The longer your downtime, the greater the damage to the future of your business. Up to 40% of businesses affected by a disaster never reopen.

A business continuity plan could be the difference between the survival of your company and permanent closure. IT can allow your employees to continue working and supplying your customers with the best service possible.

business continuity infographic

Hosted services vs on premises services

Does your company rely on services that are location specific? If your software and services are hosted, then you are able to access them regardless of hardware damage. You will be able to restore your services in very little time and maintain a sense of business continuity.

Offsite Data Backup Vs desktop saving/Paper archives

Without an onsite backup you could lose all of your data entirely. By losing your property and data, a disaster could be fatal. If you have only paper versions of your data without any kind of digital backup these will almost certainly not survive. Client records destroyed? Will you be liable for any loss of records? With smoke, fire and water damage any paper in your office is unlikely to survive. Of companies that suffer total data loss: 43% never reopen and 51% close within two years

Remote working

Could your employees continue working as normal? If your business has remote working prepared, your employees are able to work from home or an alternative temporary location. If your employees are unable to work your business reputation would undoubtedly suffer and you could risk losing your employees too.

Phone system and contact plans

How will you contact your clients to warn them of the disaster? How will you contact your employees to notify them? And will your clients still be able to contact you? You may overlook your phone system, but in a disaster communication will be an important factor in restoring business continuity. Ensure your phone system can be diverted to an alternative location and that in an emergency you will be able to contact your clients, suppliers and employees.

Evacuation plan

While business continuity is important; the most crucial element of a disaster is ensuring no one is harmed. Do you have a suitable evacuation plan and are you able to track where your employees are on site? Property is repairable, but losing your employees or colleagues would be a greater disaster.

If you would like to discuss your business continuity or disaster recovery plans please contact us on 01279 464 470 or email [email protected]


5 hardware upgrades for an efficient 2017

 

Purchasing new hardware may feel like an excessive cost to your business, especially if your machines seem to be working. However, by investing in your IT systems you will see the benefits dramatically outweigh initial purchase costs. A faster network and more efficient hardware will boost productivity allowing you to focus on growing your business. These are the top five pieces of hardware you should consider updating or upgrading in 2017.

PC icon

 

 

1. PCs and laptops

Have you been avoiding purchasing a new PC? Old machines are prone to faults and slow machines mean wasted time. For each PC or laptop older than 3 years your business is losing around £4,805 a year. See our recent blog post for the full breakdown.

Older machines are also less compatible with new software, making them even slower as they try to run the latest operating systems. It also means that once your hardware is unsupportable, your machines and network are vulnerable to viruses.

Server icon

2. Server

If your business doesn’t already have a server…
Are you using an old PC as a server? PCs are not designed to be running constantly and have the potential to stop working. This leaves you vulnerable to losing all your data and the costly downtime whilst your makeshift server is being replaced. A server is more reliable, it is designed to manage, store and process data 24/7, 365 days a year. By implementing a network in your company, you will benefit from:

  • Increased security and data recovery
  • Ability to update all machines from central point
  • Virtual working
  • Shared resources
  • Larger capacity on faster workstations

Why not consider moving to the cloud…
By moving your network to a virtual server you will no longer need physical hardware that needs to be maintained or updated. Instead, for a monthly subscription your network, files, and data will be hosted online. The benefits are:

  • Flexibility – easily scale your business up or down when needed
  • Higher level of security
  • Less risk of downtime
  • Efficient data recovery
  • Business continuity in case of disaster

SSD icon

3. SSD (Solid State Drive)

If you do not want to upgrade your hardware, installing an SSD is a good alternative. You can see a detailed list of the benefits in our previous post Supercharge your PC: 5 reasons why you need an SSD. Some of these include:

  • Breathe new life into an old machine
  • Energy efficiency – a longer battery life on your laptop and less energy needed to power your PC
  • Durability

Switch icon

4. Switches

Network switches are a critical part of the connectivity structure between your end-user devices (PCs, Laptops & Phones etc) and your servers and internet connection. Outdated switches could be reducing your potential network speed by 10%. 100Mb switches are a common cause of a slow network and internet access, disrupting your employees from loading files, running database software, viewing websites and downloading emails. Replacing outdated switches with standard 1Gb versions will deliver the best end-user experience and speed up your working potential.

UPS icon

5. UPS

A UPS (Uninterruptible power supply) is installed between the electrical mains and your IT equipment to protect your hardware from power surges and failures. This gives you enough time to save documents and to let systems shut down correctly, avoiding hardware damage from unexpected power surges and data loss.

At ITVET we design a perfect solution for your requirements. To discuss your hardware or your company’s IT efficiency contact us on 01279 464 470 or email [email protected]


Microsoft Office 2007 No Longer Supported From Oct 2017

 

As a part of a process to increase security and help users to keep up to date with the latest software editions, Microsoft have announced that on October 31st 2017, Office 365 users will no longer have support for the Microsoft Office 2007 application. If you currently use Office 2007, and more specifically Outlook 2007, then you will no longer be able to continue to use this software to access your email from this date.

Why is this happening?

Microsoft, as with all software vendors, are under increasing pressure to combat cyber security threats. As a result, Microsoft is keen to ensure users are working from the most up to date software. As software products reach 10 years old they are now retired from support and will no longer receive patches/updates and will become more vulnerable to security threats. The same process was recently undertaken with Windows XP and Server 2003.

What happens on this date?

Users with Office 2007 will no longer be able to use their Office 365 email accounts in Outlook 2007. Users may also suffer incompatibility and synchronisation issues if they use Microsoft SharePoint Online or Microsoft OneDrive with Office 365.

How can I get up to date and avoid this issue?

Please speak to us to look at the upgrade path available to you. There are a number of options available to upgrade to the latest Office platforms, via one-off purchase, recurring annual, or monthly licensing.

Read the full Microsoft’s full announcement here.

If you would like to discuss your IT, please contact us at [email protected] or call 01279 464 470. You can find out more about our IT solutions here


Top Five Tips for Using Technology to have an eco-friendly Christmas

Christmas festivities have an alarming impact on our environment due to wasted food, unnecessary packaging and extra travelling.

83 square km of wrapping paper and 6 million roles of sellotape are sold every year leading up to Christmas, while 4.2 million Christmas dinners are wasted across the UK. Small changes can be made to our Christmas routine such as ensuring our festive feasts are bought locally or buying a sustainable tree. However, technology can help decrease your carbon footprint beyond the holiday season. Surely, the environment is for life, not just for Christmas!

Christmas waste statistics infographic

LED lights

We are guilty of leaving our Christmas tree lights on for 10 hours a day over the 12 days of Christmas. This produces enough CO2 to inflate 12 balloons. Switching to LEDs (Light Emitting Diode) is a quick and simple way to dramatically reduce your Christmas impact. LEDs use up to 95% less energy than traditional bulbs and can last up to 100,000 hours when used indoors, before being replaced. Plus, their low energy means that their running costs are minimal.

Smarten up your home

With the extra time spent at home watching Christmas movies, it is a good time to consider the smart technology. Smart tech can reduce your footprints and your energy bills for Christmas and beyond. From remotely controlled bulbs to smart thermostats, there are a variety of ways that you can connect your home and be more smart about energy usage. Smart switches, for example, allow you to control your appliances automatically from your smartphone. With smart thermostat like Hive or Nest, you can manage your heating schedule, while GPS can detect when you’re on your way home.

Go online

It is debatable whether online shopping is a more environmentally friendly alternative to visiting a shopping centre. Once the extra pollution and traffic congestion caused by returns or rush delivery are factored in, online shopping may not be as green as we think. Scientists calculated Santa would have to visit 822 homes a second to deliver all his presents, travelling at 650 miles a second! Rushed shipping may be causing more carbon emissions than if presents had been when running errands or bought locally.

However, going online for other aspects of your Christmas routine cuts out unnecessary production of products. More than a billion cards are delivered every year- that’s enough to stretch around the world five times. While Christmas cards are considered an unbreakable tradition, the environmental impact is an unnecessary use of resources and postal mileage. With the ability to add video and interactivity, e-cards can be as exciting as a handwritten greeting. In a recent survey, a third of young people chose to send virtual messages over a card. A fifth of people admitted they won’t send a Christmas card this year at all. 47% of young professionals will simply send a text to their friends and family, while 38% would choose Social Media. Although some may consider this the end of a tradition, online greetings is a big step towards an eco-friendly Christmas.

Rechargeable batteries

How many batteries will you need this year to feed new toys and gadgets? The toxic chemicals used are bad for the environment and harmful to humans and wildlife. Rechargeable batteries not only conserve resources but also can save money despite their initial costs. USBCELL batteries can be charged using a USB stick and the powerslayer USB charger only delivers energy when needed preventing overcharging and wasted energy.

Green gadgets

Promote sustainability amongst your friends and family by giving a fun green gadget. The port solar charger charges your phone while attached to a window, converting natural daylight into power for your devices. The Water Pebble is a gadget that helps reduce the amount of water wasted by taking long showers. It monitors the amount of water used and displays different lights to help you to shorten your shower. Alternatively find hand powered alternatives of gadgets that won’t require batteries, such as the Sun & Cloud Camera, a digital camera that is solar powered or wound by hand.

At ITVET we are keen to promote sustainability. Technology doesn’t only help maintain our environment but it also makes good business sense.

Read our previous blog post for information about how sustainability can boost productivity. If you would like to discuss how to improve your company’s footprint email [email protected] or call 01279 464 470.


Business Email Crime scam is on the rise – 400 businesses hit every day

 

Imagine: You return from holiday to discover that your accounts team have wired hundreds of thousands of pounds of company funds to a stranger. What’s more shocking is that it was supposedly by your request. This email scam is trending – CEO fraud or Business Email Compromise (BEC). Over $3 billion have been lost over the past three years with over 22,000 victims across the globe.

How the scam works

Attackers spoof the email address of CEOs or directors. They then send messages to the company’s finance department posing as the CEO, tricking them into wiring money. The fraud usually begins with phishing emails to gain access to inboxes, and also to check whether an out of office reply is received. Scammers use Out of office replies and social media to determine whether their target is absent. Each attack is well-researched and targeted specifically to that company, so it is important to be aware that this scam is around and gaining momentum.

Who is targeted

Small and medium sized business are most targeted by scammers. However, while nearly 40% of victims identify as small to medium businesses, larger corporations have equally been affected. Earlier this year the CEO of an Austrian aerospace parts manufacturer was fired after the company lost 42 million euros to a BEC attack. The fraudsters posed as the CEO in order to transfer money to an account for a fake ‘acquisition’. Scammers often focus on companies that work with international suppliers where transferring or wiring money to international accounts is not out of the ordinary.

For many companies such a request may not seem unusual, which is one reason BEC scammers have had so much success. Likewise, throughout a busy workday an emailed request may be plausible enough to fly under the radar. Scammers follow a working day sending emails when you would expect to receive them – during business hours and avoiding lunch time. It is important to be wary, even in the daily commotion of the office where urgent tasks and distractions may cause security to be lax.

How to stay safe

Hackers cleverly disguise their scams so it is important to be aware of common signs of phishing emails. However, these are a few telling signs to look out for and advice on how to safeguard your company. You can also click here for our blog post with ITVET’s tips for spotting phishing emails.

BEC scam statistics

1. The subject line
‘Request’ is the most commonly used subject line or other single-words such as payment, urgent or transfer. These are hard to filter as the simple mundane subject lines do not arouse suspicion.

2. The email address
Occasionally, the scammer’s email address may on first glance appear to be from your director. On closer inspection you might notice that the domain may be off by one letter e.g. [email protected] Scammers are aware that during a busy day such small, sly changes could go unnoticed.

3. Education
Make sure your accounts team are aware of this thriving scam and to reinforce the importance of acting cautiously around financial transactions.

4. Communication
When it comes to protecting your company from a scam, communication is key. Cross-checking financial requests or two-factor authentication is important, ideally through multiple modes of communication. Verify significant transactions verbally or in person, especially if the request seems out of the ordinary.

To discuss your email security contact our team on 01279 464 470 or email [email protected]