Monday 7 April 2014

VoIP UK Short Dial Codes and Emergency Services

In an update to our VoIP platform late last week, I am pleased to advise our VoIP customers will now be able to call the following short code numbers.

a. 101 - This is the police none emergency number and replaces the "reception desk" number previously used to contact your local police station. Calls are handled by a semi-automated system and you are asked for the name or area of the local police force upon calling it and are then transferred.

b. 111 - This is the NHS "none emergency" number. The NHS quote "You can call 111 when you need medical help fast but it’s not a 999 emergency. NHS 111 is a fast and easy way to get the right help, whatever the time" Once again there is a semi-automated call directing service when you call.

c. 116xxx - This is a relatively new number range, six digits long, commencing 116, an example being 116111 (NSPCC) and is typically helplines. Ofcom has some further detail and examples here:

d. 999 - This of course is the traditional UK emergency services number. Calls are handled by various call centres around the country and you should expect to be asked for your full address when you call as VoIP calls are of course not necessarily in a a fixed location, despite what the address details recorded against the number may imply. All calls to 999 are specifically tagged as location agnostic to ensure the location is requested in the call.

Despite the fact 101 calls are chargeable (to us by the terminating telco) we at C.C.S. deem all emergency services calls are important and therefore will not be charging for connection or time spent on the phone for any of these numbers. They are all completely free of charge.

Thursday 3 April 2014

Virus Warning - CryptoLocker Again

Good morning.

A particularly nasty Ransom-ware Trojan called CryptoLocker which first surfaced in September 2013 has become a serious threat once again.

The ransom-ware is entering peoples email inbox's appearing to be a scanned fax. The attachment is a zipped folder and if opened it will cause serious and potentially unrecoverable damage to your IT system and data.

The email is entering inbox's with subject headers such as:
• New Fax – 3 
• Scanned Fax 
• Fax@your domain

The safest option is that if you receive any emails contain the word FAX in the subject header with a zip file attached please do NOT open it.

The ransom-ware is activated by the user when they click to open the attachment and in some flavour a countdown timer or Red X will appear on the screen with a message saying your data is being encrypted. You will then be presented with the option to pay a ransom to get your data back; even if you pay the ransom your data will not be decrypted!

This ransom-ware is a real threat and if your system becomes infected there is no way to decrypt your files and you will lose everything unless a backup has been made!

As the ransom-ware is arriving by email we strongly urge you to be aware of your emails and be careful when opening attachments if they are not from a source you regularly receiving emails with attachments from.

We urge all users to be incredibly vigilant when opening all attachments and if your Anti-Virus protection says that an email or the attachment may include malicious items giving you the option to open it or not please do not open it!

Wednesday 2 April 2014

Introducing Direct Debit

Here at C.C.S. we are about to introduce Direct Debit as an accepted method of payment. After endless requests from our customers, we are almost ready to start offering the most reliable and trusted instant payment method in the UK. 

The advantages of Direct Debits are, quite possibly, unprecedented and unmatched. Firstly, they are guaranteed, which provides huge peace of mind and reassurance. Your money is protected by some very reliable safe guards, including an immediate money back guarantee from your bank in the event of an error.

Of course, Before your Direct Debit is taken from your account, you will receive a customized invoice, listing all of your products/services, and noting a payment date for the Direct Debit collection. You will also receive an email, three days before the Direct Debit is collected, as a reminder of the collection date.

Direct Debits are also the fastest and most effective way to pay. You can ensure that your payments are made, in full and on time, without any of the hassle that comes with cheques or bank transfers. Even better than that, late payment charges can't possibly be incurred as the payments are automatic! Anything which means payments can't be forgotten or delayed will, undoubtedly, make any life easier.  

Finally, Direct Debits can also save you heaps of time. Here at C.C.S., we understand that all of our customers lives are, more than likely, busy and hectic enough. Direct Debits take away the inconvenience of having to waste time, logging onto your Online Banking or setting up a BAC's transfer.

We hope that our new Direct Debit option can provide our customers with plenty of saved time and peace of mind.