Stuart, born in Cambridge, has over 24 years experience in IT and started Cambridge Helpdesk in 2006.


​99% uptime - that's gotta be good right!

However, did you know that 99% uptime equates to nearly 15 minutes downtime per day or 7 hours a month. Doesn't look so good now, does it.

When looking for reliability, the holy grail in IT is 'Five Nines'. That's 99.999% - which equates to just under 1 second downtime per day or just 5 minutes a year.

Don't confuse Uptime with Durability either. Some companies such as Dropbox and Amazon AWS talk about their 11 nines durability. This is great but is only linked to how safe and secure the files are, that reside on their systems.

If you want to know more about Uptime's you can use this really useful tool ->

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Cyber Essentials Accreditation


Our commitment to preventing and resisting cyber attacks has been recognised this month with a 'Cyber Essentials' accreditation.

The accreditation process, backed by the Government's National Cyber Security Centre, assesses an organisation's resilience to common threats, including hacking, phishing and password guessing.

Cyber Essentials is an excellent way for a company to check it is using all the main techniques to thwart cyber criminals, covering everything from firewalls to protection from malware. It includes managing the risks of common practices, such as allowing employees to bring their own device (BYOD) to work.

To meet the standard, companies must demonstrate their ability to protect data – their own and their clients' – stored on devices which connect to the internet. As such, applying for the accreditation is one good way to prepare for the imminent tougher rules under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Cyber Essentials Accreditation

Cambridge Helpdesk achieve accreditation, April 2018

The scheme is backed by industry including the Federation of Small Businesses, the CBI and a number of insurance organisations. It is available at two levels:

  • Cyber Essentials - an independently verified self assessment. Organisations assess themselves against five basic security controls and a qualified assessor verifies the information provided.
  • Cyber Essentials PLUS – a higher level of assurance. A qualified and independent assessor examines the same five controls, testing that they work in practice by simulating basic hacking and phishing attacks.

Find out more here

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Clever Gmail Phishing Scam

A scam has been recently detected where users are being duped into helping the hackers change their Gmail password.

How the scam works.

You (aka: 'The Victim') receive a text message asking if you've asked to reset your Gmail password. If you haven't then you should reply 'STOP' to block the password reset request. You're then asked to send the 6 digit code to cancel the password reset request. Of course, if you do this, the hackers will have everything they need to reset your password and gain full access to your Gmail account.

What to do?

  • Inform friends and colleagues about this recent scam
  • Don't reply to text messages regarding email accounts
  • Contact Cambridge Helpdesk if you're still unsure about anything
  • Consider using Multi Factor Authentication (if you don't know what this is, just drop us a line and we'll explain)
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Java plugin to be retired

Oracle recently announced that the Java Plugin (criticized by many) will be retired this year after nearly 20 years.


Oracle is finally killing the Java browser plug-in | ExtremeTech

Java's unloved browser plug-in is finally being phased out. With Flash also headed for the dustbin, user security should significantly ...
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Broadband speed test

Netflix recently launched a new website called '' to help check the speed of your broadband connection.

It's clean and simple and doesn't require flash like many other speed test sites.

As Netflix requires a fairly decent connection this is a good way for them to enure your broadband is ok before you complain that Netflix isn't working.
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Where's that short URL going to take me...?

We've all received a short URL at some point or other. You know, the ones that start with something like or

The thing is, we don't know where this little link is going to take us without clicking on it. If we do that, we could end up on a dodgy website somewhere.

So, can we check where the link will end up without clicking on it?  Yes, we can and there are several websites that'll help you do this safely.

Our favorite is unFurlr ​provided by MailChimp (a very well known email marketing company)

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Are Microsoft tricking users into upgrading to Windows 10?

Microsoft have been accused of tricking users into upgrading to Windows 10.

You can find out more from the article on Yahoo below:-


Microsoft accused of dirty tricks after customers who click on red cross get Windows 10 upgrade

Bill Gates's Microsoft has been accused of dirty tricks after apparently fooling users into upgrading to Windows 10 by changing a setting on a pop up so people who click on a red cross in the corner — which usually closes a window - are instead deemed to have accepted an upgrade. The change came
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