July Newsletter 2021
July Newsletter 2021Posted By: Hayley Friday 30th July 2021 Tags: cyber aware, cyber essentials, Cyber Security
Be Cyber Aware – Improve Your Online Security Today
While the global pandemic has disrupted the working lives of many people over the last eighteen months, the work of cyber criminals continues to grow. HP reports that cyber attacks are up 400%, and the UK banking sector says that people are now twice as likely to be the target of an impersonation scam.
LaneSystems regularly promotes the need for robust digital security practices in both your personal and business life, and, since Coronavirus has meant that people are spending much more time online this year, we take any excuse to reiterate how to stay safe.
More time spent online means more chances of you and your business being the victim of a cyber attack. Common online attacks involve malicious emails and scam websites dropping malware onto the machines of unsuspecting users, and if a hacker gains access to your device they could read all your files and personal/business information, access your accounts, lock, change or delete your files, or simply damage/destroy your equipment.
The NCSC (National Cyber Security Centre) have launched a Cyber Aware campaign to help the public tackle and protect themselves from the growing cyber threats we see reported on a daily basis. Included in this is a new suspicious email reporting service, helping the public to fight back against phishing.
Cyber Aware offers these 6 most essential protective behaviours to improve your cyber security Click on each option for detailed tips on the NCSC website:
- Use a strong and separate password for your email
- Create strong passwords using 3 random words
- Save your passwords in your browser
- Turn on two-factor authentication (2FA)
- Update your devices
- Back up your data
To find out more about Cyber Aware, visit their website: https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/cyberaware
More Than One – Supporting Local Charities
Here at LaneSystems, we support many local charities. Our “More than One” policy sees us donating computer equipment on a regular basis, often working with our current partners to find their old equipment a new home when they upgrade their own.
Here we briefly showcase two charities that LaneSystems has been happy to support recently.
Free the way
Free the way is a family run charity that was formed when parents and careers needed to get help and support for their children, partners, and family.
The charity opened its doors as a drop-in centre in 2004, offering food, showers, and a change of clothing for those who had nowhere to turn.
It became clear that drug and alcohol misuse would become a primary focus for charity. In 2012 they became ‘quasi residential’. The charity serves the area around Seaham, where they are based, along with areas further afield in County Durham.
Free The Way provides refuge for those struggling with addiction. The charity has built up strong bonds with local institutions over the years and using a twelve-step treatment philosophy. Free The Way offers those most in need, a path away from dependence to freedom.
To find out more about Free The Way, visit their website.
Community First Support Network
Founded in 2007 with the help of some funding from the Cleveland Fire Brigade, Community First Support Network has morphed over the years. Starting as a charity who’s funding, and purpose, were largely linked to the fire brigade, today, CFSN is a very different entity.
CFSN are based at the Sutton Centre in Middlesbrough and have a strong relationship with the local Clarion Housing Group. The services provided are diverse and numerous. Services include a local a handyperson service to help people to stay safe in their homes and the running an Eco Shop. CFSN are currently developing new partnerships (Middlesbrough Environment City, Beverley School) and new uses for the Sutton Centre (Boxing & Marine Cadets). Going forward, Community First Support Network will serve the community’s changing needs.
For more CFSN information, visit their website.
To find out more about the LaneSystems More Than One policy, check out our website.
Ethics and Artificial Intelligence
You may already know about the emergence of ‘deepfake’ videos, where Artificial Intelligence is used to learn the common facial features of two people and then face swap the results to create pretty realistic video footage of a person doing and saying something they never actually did.
Recently, a filmmaker called Morgan Neville produced a documentary about the late food and travel writer, Anthony Bourdain, called Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain. In his film, Neville caused a bit of a stir by using AI audio to synthesise a computer-generated recreation of Bourdain’s voice which was used to narrate emails and other writing from Bourdain.
The Guardian reports on an interview by Neville, and says that “There were a total of three lines of dialogue that Neville wanted Bourdain to narrate, the film-maker explained in his interview. However, because he was unable to find previous audio, he contacted a software company instead and provided about a dozen hours of recordings, in turn creating an AI model of Bourdain’s voice.”
Neville also said in the interview: “If you watch the film… you probably don’t know what the other lines are that were spoken by the AI, and you’re not going to know.” and it’s this comment which is the cause for concern. A feeling of deception by the filmmaker for hearing words never actually spoken out loud by Bourdain, without it being made explicitly clear that he never actually said them.
We’ve long had actors putting words into people’s mouths on film, but this use of AI to learn and recreate the speech patterns of Bourdain has created debate on the ethics of such acts.
This audio cloning of Bourdain may just be seen as a fun, storytelling technique, but the potential future of realistic AI video footage mixed with accurate AI audio cloning being abused is very real. At what point do we no longer believe our eyes or ears when some ‘recording’ is reported on the news? We’ve not seen, or heard, the end of this technology.
Why the Anthony Bourdain voice cloning creeps people out – The Associated Press
LaneSystems took advantage of a relaxing of the Covid restrictions, and some lovely hot weather, to enjoy a Summer barbecue for the team, family and friends at Michel’s house.
Tina baked a wonderful, tasty, James Martin-inspired, cake and everybody made the most of some wonderful weather.
If you’re looking for some new gadgets to wow your post-lockdown guests at parties and get-togethers, why not check out Wired’s kit recommendations.
Local Interest in Tokyo
It’s been a packed summer of sport, with major events finally played after being delayed from 2020. England’s men’s football team had their most successful European Championships, with Washington-born goalkeeper, Jordan Pickford, contributing five clean sheets from seven games during an impressive run to the final.
Now the focus has moved onto Tokyo for the Summer Olympics, and there are several North East members of TeamGB to keep an eye out for.
Amongst the ‘locals’, Middlesbrough’s Richard Kilty is pencilled in for the 4×100 relay, with further ‘Boro representation in the swimming, as Aimee Willmott takes part in the 400m Individual Medley. Northallerton provides interest in the shape of Marc Scott (5,000 & 10,000m) and Scott Lincoln (Shot Putt). Boxing features the McCormack brothers, from Washington, with Luke fighting Lightweight and Pat in the Welterweight division. Ripon’s Dan Laugher competes in the 3m synchronised and 3m springboard diving events. The North East of England is well represented by several top players in the Women’s GB football team, such as Sunderland’s Jill Scott and South Shields’ Demi Stokes. They’ll be hoping to outdo the England Men and win something.
Good luck to all of TeamGB, but we’ve an extra eye on our local competitors. Remember, if you’re into a bit of online sports betting, or just downloading and using apps to watch sport on your computer, tablet or phone, always use reputable sources for your apps and software and stay safe online.
Who remembers Clippy, the ‘helpful’ little mascot who would pop up to offer advice in Microsoft Office during the late 90s early 00s?
Well, Microsoft says it will be bringing back the Clippy paperclip design, for its modern Office products — not as a helper but as part of the revamp of their emojis set.
After the update, whenever a user types the paperclip emoji, in Microsoft products, it will appear as Clippy. It will remain as the regular paperclip in other devices (Apple or Google smartphones, etc).
Lanesystems are commited to providing professional reliable IT Solutions which includes the implementation and maintenance of an Office365 environment where appropriate. Email Chris@lanesystems.co.uk for further information.