hybrid cloud Geelong technology group

What is Hybrid Cloud? Uses and benefits of Hybrid Cloud computing

Just when we’ve gotten used to cloud computing, along comes a change in the weather, blowing us toward a hybrid cloud model. 

But what is hybrid cloud? The term refers to a computing environment that combines both public and private cloud infrastructure. In this model, a business may store some of its data and applications in a public cloud – such as Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure or Amazon Web Services (AWS) – while keeping other information in a private cloud or on-premises data centre (or both). 

 Note that there is no one-size-fits-all model for cloud architecture – every hybrid cloud environment will be different to meet the needs and goals of the organisation or business in question. The key, though, is ensuring that your business’ hybrid cloud infrastructure allows workloads to move seamlessly between the interconnected environments. 

Benefits of Hybrid Cloud for small businesses 

  1. Cost savings

One of the most significant benefits of hybrid cloud computing is cost savings. A hybrid cloud infrastructure enables SMBs to choose the most cost-effective platform for each of their applications. Allowing them to optimise their IT spending. For example, a business can store non-sensitive data in a public cloud, which is less expensive than hosting it on a private cloud. 

  1. Scalability & agility

It provides small businesses with the flexibility to scale their infrastructure up or down based on their ongoing needs. When a company experiences a spike in traffic, it can easily scale up its computing resources to ensure that its applications remain available and responsive to users. Conversely, when traffic returns to normal levels, the company can scale down its resources to reduce costs. The hybrid cloud model also allows SMBs to quickly pivot direction. This allows for business innovation and to quickly meet changing market conditions. 

  1. Security

Security is a top priority for small businesses, and a hybrid cloud infrastructure can offer enhanced cybersecurity. Companies can store sensitive data in their private cloud, which is more secure than a public cloud. Additionally, the hybrid cloud allows businesses to implement granular access controls (granting different levels of access to particular users) and to monitor data in real time, ensuring that systems are protected from unauthorised entry. 

  1. Increased productivity

By moving their applications to the cloud, SMBs can reduce the amount of time spent on infrastructure maintenance. This then allows them to instead focus on core business functions. With a hybrid cloud infrastructure, businesses can choose to outsource some IT functions to the public cloud, such as email or file sharing, while keeping critical applications in-house, such as customer relationship management (CRM) or financial software. 

  1. Disaster recovery

Hybrid infrastructure provides small businesses with an effective disaster recovery solution. By replicating critical data and applications across multiple platforms, companies can ensure that their operations remain uninterrupted in the event of an outage. If one platform is compromised or fails, the other can take over, providing business continuity (and peace of mind). 

Disadvantages of Hybrid Cloud for small businesses 

This infrastructure offers numerous benefits for SMBs, but it is not without its challenges. Its structure may be complex to manage and must be properly configured and maintained, particularly when it comes to data integration. Businesses may need to invest in specialised software or tools to enable data to move seamlessly between their public and private clouds. Furthermore, while this infrastructure can enhance security, it can also introduce new security risks. Companies need to ensure that their cloud environment is properly secured and monitored to protect against data breaches. 

Contact Geelong’s cloud computing specialists 

Not everything belongs in a public cloud, which is why so many forward-thinking companies are choosing a hybrid mixture of services. Getting the mix right, though, is key, which is where Geelong Technology Group can help. Our IT professionals can assist businesses in Geelong and surrounds to move from an on-premises configuration to a hybrid cloud. Ensuring you avoid the possible disadvantages of the hybrid model in the process. 

For more information on moving your business IT infrastructure to a hybrid cloud model or for a free technology audit consultation, contact us online or give Geelong’s best business IT support company a call on ️1300 GET GTG (1300 438 484). 

safe travel and device protection

Top tech tips for safe travel

Overseas travel on the cards? Lucky you! (Can we come?!) Seriously though, if you’re heading overseas, or even just interstate, now is the time to think about the safe travel and security of your devices and data. Now. Not when you have a spare five minutes in the café at the airport. And definitely not when you’re opening your suitcase at the hotel, hoping you packed the right charger.

Getting ready for safe travel

Make savvy device decisions

The more devices you have with you, the greater the possibility that something will get lost, stolen or maliciously accessed. If, for instance, you know you’ll mostly just be checking your emails, opt to do so on your phone and leave your laptop securely at home.

Protect your devices

Device protection comes in many guises, both virtual and physical:

  • Ensure your devices are locked with a pin number or fingerprint ID.
  • Install antivirus and anti-malware protections – or ensure your current protections are fully up to date. The same goes for a VPN. And make sure your operating system is up to date while you’re at it.
  • Before you travel, change all of the passwords you regularly use and, where possible, enable two-factor or multi-factor authentication.
  • Make sure your ‘Find My iPhone’ (Apple) or ‘Find my Device’ (Android) application is toggled on and ready for action – should it be needed!
  • If your tech is particularly precious, consider purchasing an anti-theft bag – there are various options now available that are not only RFID safe, but also have slash-proof materials that guard against cut-and-run thieves. Some even come with built-in power banks to keep you charged on the go.

Check your power

Speaking of power banks – make sure you have one! Read on to find out why, but in the meantime, also ensure you’ve got the cords you need, and consider purchasing a multi-charger for charging various devices at one time.

When you’re on the road

Charge your device securely

Be mindful that USB chargers at airports, hotels and other public places cannot be trusted. Hackers can use these potential ‘juice-jacking’ ports to steal your data when you plug in. This is where your trusty power bank comes in (see above) – to keep you charged until you can access a direct-power (AC) outlet.

Lock your device

Yes – it may seem simple, but make sure to always lock your device when you are not using it. That way if you do accidentally leave it in a café, you won’t come back to discover the barista inverting your colours or toggling your animation settings.

Avoid public wi-fi usage

Logging on via an unsecured network can be an invitation to cyber criminals to access your data. It is best practice to turn off automatic wi-fi and Bluetooth connections so your device will not automatically connect to (or send your data over) unsecured networks. And if you don’t have a choice but to log in publicly, make sure your VPN is up and running and keep your sensitive data as safe as possible.

Scan your device

Regularly scan your devices for viruses or malware while you’re travelling. If something has inadvertently slipped through your security net, the quicker you get onto the issue, the better.

Contact the Geelong technology experts

If you have any questions about ensuring safe travel with your tech, need antivirus advice or support, or just need a better laptop, tablet or phone to take with you – give Geelong Technology Group a call. Our experienced technicians and retail staff are here to help, with advice and support for Geelong and Bellarine Peninsula homes and businesses. 


️ 1300 GET GTG (1300 438 484)

📧 support@geelongtechnology.com.au

📍 166 Francis St, Belmont

scrolling on phone that has a mobile malware attack

5 ways to protect your phone from mobile malware attacks

We know that you know not to click that email link from the Arabian prince. Or to give your personal details to the bank that you don’t actually bank with. But what about that quick text message link on your mobile phone about a missing package – just when you’re expecting a delivery? Or downloading that app that you haven’t fully read up on? With mobile malware attacks surging, we all need to be more vigilant when it comes to mobile security. But what does that mean on a day-to-day basis?

Phone security to prevent mobile malware attacks

When it comes to the security of our smartphones, avoiding complacency is key. For some reason, we assume that the tiny computer in our pocket is somehow safer from malware than the big computer on our desk. Not true!

Use a VPN when on public wi-fi

With a good data plan, using public wi-fi should not be necessary. Public wi-fi is dangerous. Public wi-fi is a swimming pool full of sharks – avoid splashing around in it! But if you do have to jump in, use a VPN application. VPNs are a barrier between your device and the internet. They route your data through a secure server, keeping your information away from public wi-fi sharks (and pirates!)

Only use trusted sources to download apps

One of the most common methods hackers use to spread malware is via apps and downloads. When it comes to application downloads, third parties or untrusted sources are to be avoided. If you’re on an iPhone, you don’t have much choice – the Apple App Store is your one-stop shop. If you’re an Android user, trusted app stores include Google Play, the Microsoft Store and Amazon Appstore.

Remember: a dangerous app downloaded to your phone can infect it with malware. And once infected, simply removing the app is unlikely to also root out the malware.

Use mobile anti-malware

Yes – antivirus and anti-malware solutions are now available for mobile devices. Install one from a trusted source (see above!) and run it regularly to ensure your device is secure. Also – seriously – look out for malware disguised as virus protection. Cybercriminals are sneaky. And hiding malware in an app that’s supposed to make you more secure is sneaky 101.

Again: ONLY download legitimate apps from trusted sources.

Keep your device updated

Keeping your device updated includes removing old apps you no longer use. When was the app last updated by the developer? Old apps can become security liabilities – if you’re not using it, get rid of it! And speaking of updates, make sure you keep your device’s operating system updated. Sometimes those update requests are easy to ignore, but doing so may leave your device vulnerable to security breaches. Keep on top of updates – and automate them if possible.

Beware of SMS phishing

We’ve written a whole article on the perils and pitfalls of smishing, but essentially this cyberattack is launched via text message. Just as you do on your computer, look at any communication from unknown sources with a very wary eye. If it seems fishy, it’s likely not legitimate. Err on the side of caution and don’t click on links in text messages. And if you think it might be valid, go directly to the source – look up the company’s official business webpage or phone number, making sure to locate the details independently of the text message.

Avoid mobile security threats: contact the Geelong cybersecurity experts

Don’t wait until your phone is infected with malware to secure it. And if you’re a business owner, ensure smartphone security is included in your information security planning.

If you need more information or help with automated solutions to protect your devices and data, give Geelong Technology Group a call. Our experienced IT professionals are here to assist you with mobile phone security. Helping individuals and businesses in Geelong, the Bellarine Peninsula, the Surf Coast, and surrounding regions with their information security is our top priority, so give us a call today on 1300 GET GTG (1300 438 484) or drop into our showroom at 166 Francis Street, Belmont.

BYOD (bring your own device) to work

How to avoid common BYOD pitfalls

Remember the image of the corporate golfer with two phones clipped to his or her belt – one for business, one personal? Mercifully we don’t see this crime against fashion too often anymore… thanks partly to company BYOD policies.

The BYOD (bring your own device) movement has transformed the workplace, allowing employees to use their own devices for work purposes. Employees working in a BYOD-friendly company use their own smartphones, laptops or tablets to do their work, rather than using a company-issued device. BYOD can increase productivity and collaboration in the workplace, as individuals are already familiar with their own devices and can customise their use to their own needs. No learning curves with unfamiliar tech. No more playing ‘snake’ on the company Blackberry because that is the only program you can figure out!

It all sounds quite idyllic, but there are certainly challenges for businesses to overcome and pitfalls to avoid.

Common BYOD risks and challenges

The freedom and flexibility of BYOD for employees can come at a cost. Some of the biggest pitfalls when individuals start using their own devices at work include:

  • Security vulnerabilities – especially when we consider that the user is often the weakest link in endpoint security. One well-timed malware attack on one user device could instantly threaten the confidentiality of all of your sensitive business data.
  • Reduced privacy for both the employer and the employee.
  • Issues with data removal and retrieval – particularly when an employee leaves the company.
  • Compatibility and support concerns – will company systems and software work across various devices? And who will help if individuals have issues with their phones or tablets?

Avoid BYOD pitfalls with a strong BYOD policy.

If your business already has a BYOD program – without having an actual policy – or you’re looking to implement BYOD soon – read on.

Your BYOD policy should:

  • Explicitly define your BYOD expectations. This will include your device criteria, including compatibilities and maximum age; expectations around updates and security requirements; passcode guidelines and management; and a comprehensive privacy approach that considers both your company and your employees.
  • Be evergreen. Not updating your policy as your business and/or external factors change over time is as problematic as not having a policy at all. Review your policy regularly and keep it up to date.
  • Include data and cybersecurity training for all employees. Head over here to read up on how often cybersecurity awareness training should occur in the workplace.
  • Consider VoIP apps for business calls. Avoid the issue of giving customers access to employees’ personal numbers by using a business VoIP phone system. VoIP mobile apps allow employees to make and receive calls through a business number and include a range of other useful features.
  • Incorporate onboarding and offboarding processes. Outline what security measures must occur when an individual starts with your BYOD program. And ensure your exit procedures include specific details about data retrieval and removal.

Contact your Geelong IT experts if you need advice, devices or VoIP technology.

The team at Geelong Technology Group are big fans of BYOD programs – if they’re well implemented! We can help you explore solutions to ensure a secure BYOD policy and recommend tech tools to manage BYOD challenges. We can also assist with a tailored business-ready communications package that includes up-to-the-minute VoIP technology.


Oh, and if you’d prefer your company sticks with its HYOD (here’s your own device) program, we can assist with bulk-buy technology purchases too.


Give us a call or drop by our specialised service centre and showroom to chat in person:

☎️ 1300 GET GTG (1300 438 484)

📧 support@geelongtechnology.com.au

📍 166 Francis St, Belmont

new year new IT infrastructure

Assessing your IT infrastructure

New Year’s Resolutions: get fit, get healthy, and complete a Business IT infrastructure review!

A comprehensive review of your IT systems involves a strategic look at the effectiveness of your current technologies. It’s a chance to look for areas of optimization, streamline operations and to root out redundancies or inefficiencies. An IT infrastructure assessment can also scrutinize your business cybersecurity measures and identify possible security flaws.

The IT infrastructure assessment lowdown

An IT assessment will help your business:

  • ensure you have the right hardware, software and user access levels
  • stay on top of security – analysing your policies, technological safeguards, and employee training and behaviour.
  • Create a roadmap towards more agile and proactive operations.

Checklist to consider when reviewing your technology

Now that you’re aware of the benefits of a new-year IT infrastructure review let’s look at the areas you’ll need to assess.

Current state assessment

What is the state of your system right now? Are your employees working productively with what they have or experiencing a lot of downtime? Are your customer-facing systems up to scratch? Do your IT approaches match your company priorities? Are you meeting your regulation and compliance responsibilities? Do your technology policies reflect new conditions (working from home, for instance)?

Answering these questions will give you a baseline of what you want and need to accomplish. Don’t skimp on this step! Identifying your current processes, policies, and pain points will help you identify improvement opportunities.

Software and hardware assets inventory

This is where you get to the nitty-gritty. Take a detailed inventory of all the software and hardware in your business. Tally up hardware assets (desktop computers, laptops, mobile phones, printers, servers, routers etc.) and software assets (operating systems and versions, business solutions, antivirus software etc.) to see what may need to be replaced, upgraded or removed.

Remember: outdated systems and applications can create holes in your technology security. The last thing you want is to skimp on upgrades, and then suffer a costly cyberattack down the line.

Data storage and disaster recovery plans

Your new-year IT infrastructure assessment should also consider your data storage and recovery practices. You should assess where and how you store critical data and how it is backed up. Audit your storage infrastructure to ensure the correct data is being stored on-site, off-site and/or in the cloud, and identify any changes that may need to be made.

Disaster recovery precautions and processes should also fall under this assessment. If disaster strikes (whether it be a cyber breach or a flooded office), do you have procedures at hand to deal with it?

User access and experience

Assessing user experience covers both internal and external parties. Survey your employees on their current technology use and satisfaction. What apps are kicking goals? What improvements would they like to see? Are there workflow inefficiencies that could be improved with technology? This assessment is also a chance to look at your onboarding practices, ongoing IT training, and where your staff are with their security knowledge. We don’t want to see anyone using the password, ‘pa$$w0rd’!

Don’t forget to look at the customer experience of your tech infrastructure, also. Is website navigation a problem? Are there wait times on your phone lines? Identifying these types of issues is the first step to solving customer-facing technology issues.

Need help? Contact Geelong’s IT assessment specialists.

An IT assessment is a robust way to improve the efficiency of your infrastructure. After all, if you make technology and upgrade decisions on the hop, they may not result in the best outcomes for your business in the longer term. Planning ahead allows you to budget for technology requirements and avoid unplanned expenses.


Of course, detailed technology and security assessments take time, and you may already be juggling multiple competing business demands. Don’t leave your new year’s technology review resolution by the wayside – we’re here to help!


The experienced team at Geelong Technology Group can thoroughly review your technology environment to give your business a roadmap for the new year. We service Geelong, the Bellarine Peninsula, the Surf Coast, Golden Plains, Colac, Warrnambool and beyond, so get in contact today!

Microsoft 365 on Laptop

Five Incredible Microsoft 365 Tips and Tricks

So, you’re just making the leap to Microsoft 365 from Office 2013? Or you’ve been using the 365 suite for a while now but know you’re not getting everything out of it that you could? Let’s take a look at some handy hints to help you get the most out of your subscription:

1. Access free stock images in Microsoft 365

Yes! You read that right – free! In Word, Excel and PowerPoint, you can access a veritable treasure trove of images (along with stickers, cartoon people, illustrations and icons) at the click of a button (or two!). Simply head to Insert > Pictures > Stock Images and use the tabs to click through the media options.

2. Use ‘search’ to find functions instantly

Skip the menu bar and discover the function or command you need by typing a few letters into the ‘magnifying glass’ search box. For instance, start typing ‘wor’ in Word and your ‘Best Action’ will be Word Count. But just in case you were looking for ‘Insert WordArt’ – that will be an option, too. In Excel, start typing ‘fil’ and you’ll be able to instantly add or remove filters. Keep going to ‘fill’ and you’ll have fill colours available. Every function you need is there at your fingertips!

3. Speed up your standard-text emails with Quick Parts

If you find yourself typing the same text into every second email, you’ll love this one! To create a ‘Quick Part’, highlight the text in an email you want to use next time (and the time after that!) and then, via the Insert menu, click ‘Quick Parts’ and ‘Save Quick Part’. The next time you want to add that saved text, just use the same menu and insert your saved Quick Part. No more typing out directions to the office 20 times a day!

4. Freak out less with a ‘Focused Inbox’ 

Streamline your email handling by making full use of Outlook’s ‘Focused’ and ‘Other’ folders. Keep actionable items at the top of your to-do list in your Focused folder, while backburner messages are easily accessible in ‘Other’, without cluttering up a busy day. And if something in ‘Other’ suddenly becomes a top priority? Just right-click the message and select ‘Move to Focused’ (or vice versa back to ‘Other’).

5. Leverage the power of OneNote

OneNote is a digital note-taking application. It allows you to store links, save photos and drawings, brainstorm with colleagues and, if you’re using a device with touch capability, write or draw directly onto your note pages. Furthermore, because it automatically syncs your notes to the cloud, you can use it on any device, anywhere. Essentially, imagine a bookcase full of notebooks, all of them with unlimited (and endlessly customisable) pages that you can instantly access and that you can also allow others to access wherever they happen to be in the world. Possibilities galore!

Take your IT support to the next level

Geelong Technology Group has got great tips and hints for all sorts of tech – from upgrading your software to buying new hardware to business server and networking solutions. Whatever your IT requirements, we’re here to help.

Contact us on 1300 GET GTG (1300 438 484) for more information, or drop by 166 Francis St, Belmont, to view our range of Windows and Apple products and to chat with our friendly team. 


Setting up your small business computer network

When it comes to setting up a small business, there are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of decisions to make. One of the most important is what your computer network will look like, and how it will operate. Functionality and simplicity should be key drivers in all of your networking decisions – whether you are just starting out or looking to update your existing network to meet the growth requirements of your business.

Part 1: Assess your requirements (now and into the future)

So, at the moment there’s just the three of you (or five, or 10) – and you know you need a network to share access to the internet and company printers, and to files from one another’s computers. If you add staff in the next six or 12 or 18 months, will your office and your proposed network have the space to accommodate them? Thinking and planning ahead may save a lot of time, effort and money down the track.

Part 2: Decide on your networking needs

When it comes to networking, the main choices are wired, wireless or hybrid:

Wired networks have great advantages in terms of reliability, speed and security, but installation can be tricky depending on the physical layout of your office – ethernet cables will need to be installed, and once they’re in place the location of your devices is (relatively) set in stone. Understanding your business floor plan and mapping out your hardware and equipment is incredibly important if you’re going to go with wired technology.

Wireless networks are the option of choice for many businesses because of their greater flexibility. No cables mean you are free to wander the office with your laptop – working from the couch or the lunchroom table as you please. No cables also means lower installation costs. Wireless technology, however, is often slower than wired tech, and can be affected by physical interference (walls, pipes etc).

Hybrid networks, using a combination of wired and wireless connections, give the best of both worlds – speed and security via ethernet if required or the freedom to roam using wireless access if your team members need a breather on the couch!

Part 3: Talk to the Geelong computer network specialists and put it all together

Remember that there are security and data protection risks when it comes to networking, and we highly recommend that you speak to an expert before you start purchasing and installing your modem/router/adapter/firewall/switch/cable/access point etc. (not to mention your computers and printers!).

At Geelong Technology Group we can work with you to understand your networking needs and then build the best IT network solution for your unique situation – whether you’re just starting out or you need a scalable overhaul. Our technicians have decades of experience assisting businesses of all sizes to create the computer networks that work for them. We can also help out with data back-up solutions, security setup and maintenance, and remote access for those employees working from home.

Don’t put up with wi-fi dropouts, snail-paced buffering or redundant technology – give us a call and overhaul your productivity today! Servicing Geelong, the Bellarine Peninsula, the Surf Coast and surrounding regions, GTG are your business IT solution specialists. Contact our experienced IT technicians on 1300 GET GTG (1300 438 484) or email support@geelongtechnology.com.au


Ready, Set, Game: Setting up your PC for gaming

Setting up for gaming on a PC is one of those ‘how long is a piece of string’ exercises – you could cobble together what you need from what you have, or you could head towards the stratosphere and join international gamer/YouTube phenomenons who allegedly spend upwards of $100,000…

We kind of hope you sit somewhere closer to the former option (because let’s face it, that kind of spend is a bit crazy), but we also acknowledge that the PC remains the best platform for gaming, so let’s explore what you might need:


Whatever your budget, the ultimate gaming setup still needs to address the issues that concern any PC user – namely an ergonomic workstation setup. Indeed, when you consider how easy it is to get involved in a game and for hours to pass in the blink of an eye, having the right setup for your body’s health is even more important.

Start your setup with a desk that you can comfortably fit your legs under and onto which you’ll be able to rest your forearms easily (with your elbows at a 90-degree angle and your wrists in a straight-line position). Next, and possibly most importantly, is your chair: if you’re going to be spending a lot of time gaming, an investment in a gaming chair is also an investment in your posture and spinal health. A great gaming chair has a high-back design to cradle your whole body, height-adjustable armrests, and height-adjustable head and lumbar cushions. Other game-chair features may include memory-foam construction, deep-recline functionality, and breathable materials.

Hardware for gaming

Unlike consoles, games released for PCs (and we’re talking hundreds of thousands of titles) have different tech requirements, with some far more demanding than others. If you’re investing in a new setup, it’s a great idea to do a little research first – considering your processor, graphics card, RAM, and storage requirements against the types of games you’re planning to play.

The processor is the heart of your setup, determining performance, while the GPU (graphics processing unit) creates the beautiful face to your games, with high-end graphics cards allowing high frame rates, thus making higher resolutions playable without any lag. There are plenty of pre-built PC options available that will allow a great gaming experience, or you can pick and choose your individual requirements and go for a custom-built gaming PC.

Beyond the box, the next most important piece of gaming hardware is your monitor (or, in many cases, monitors). After all, how better to appreciate the detailed graphics of your favourite games than on a high-resolution monitor? As well as resolution (and the actual screen size), other things to consider when purchasing a gaming monitor include refresh rate, response time, colour accuracy, and available ports (and cost!).

Accessories for gaming

Okay, so this is where you can really start to have a little fun with your PC gaming setup. Accessories to consider include:

  • a gaming headset (look for comfort, durability, true stereo sound or simulated surround sound, and a microphone for team-based games; options include wired or wireless)
  • a gaming keyboard (comfort, responsiveness, and reliability should come first here, but decisions will need to be made regarding switch types, full-sized or tenkeyless (TKL), backlit or no, and wired or wireless)
  • a gaming mouse (with options including wired or wireless, various hand grips, RGB lighting, programmable buttons, and even weights you can add or remove to improve your gaming accuracy)

You can also go above and beyond with additional speakers (for true surround sound), a webcam (if you plan to stream your gameplay), customisable lighting to attach beneath your desk or behind or above your monitor, a cable management tray or box, and blue light reduction glasses (to reduce eyestrain and to avoid messing with your sleep patterns too much).

Contact the Geelong PC gaming specialists

From a pre-built PC on a budget to a high-end, liquid-cooled custom-build, the team at Geelong Technology Group can help with all of your PC gaming needs. After all, we have staff members who enjoy their gaming as much as you do (if not more!) and we have the experience and knowledge to put together the perfect setup for the games you want to play.

Call us today for the best gaming system setups in Geelong and surrounding areas, including Ocean Grove, Barwon Heads, Torquay, the Bellarine Peninsula, the Surf Coast, Golden Plains, Colac, and Warrnambool. 

1300 GET GTG (1300 438 484)

📍 166 Francis St, Belmont


HTTP cookies, web cookies, internet cookies, browser cookies: What are computer cookies?

They don’t involve raisins or chocolate chips, but they are bite-sized: the computer version of cookies might not be as tempting as the IRL version, but can certainly come in handy. Essentially, computer cookies are small slices of information that enable convenient and personalised web browsing. These small packets of data are generated by a web server and sent to a web browser that stores the cookies for a predetermined period of time. 

What are computer cookies used for?

Generally, cookies are there for web-browsing benefits (although they do also free up storage space on servers). They are used for:

  • Session management to ‘remember’ individual login information and user actions or preferences.
  • Personalisation to customise a user’s experience, often through targeted advertising.
  • Tracking within shopping sites to track items that users view (or have viewed previously) and to record items in a shopping cart while a user browses further. Without these cookies, every time you visited a new page within a site, your shopping cart would revert to ‘empty’.

Different types of HTTP cookies 

Get to know your main two types of cyber-world cookies:

Session Cookies

These computer cookies are short-lived. They last just for the period of time that you are navigating a website – once you exit a site, the session cookie is deleted. These particular cookies are only ever stored in Random Access Memory, never written to the hard drive.

Persistent Cookies

Rather than expiring when a website is exited or a browser closed, longer-lasting cookies – or persistent cookies – expire only after a specified length of time or after a specified date. These cookies are used for two main purposes – authentication and tracking.

  • Authentication cookies help manage user sessions by tracking when a user logs in and under what name. They can also ensure that the correct user information is delivered to the correct user.
  • Tracking cookies log multiple visits to a site over time – building up a picture of a user based on what they browse when they return to a site. This information can be used for targeted advertising, but can also help users by retaining details such as log-in credentials.

Managing your computer cookies (and any cookie concerns)

Computer cookies consist of information that is sent out and back without being changed. This unaltered data cannot infect your computer with viruses or malware. Unfortunately, some internet nasties may be disguised as cookies (known as ‘super cookies’ – which many browsers will be able to block). Some cyberattacks can hijack cookies, enabling access to a user’s browsing sessions.

Cookies are an optional part of your internet experience. However, banning all cookies may make some websites difficult to navigate. Different browsers store their cookies in different places, but all will allow you to remove cookies already stored. Plus, allow you to choose how future cookies are collected or stored. (Generally, the cookie section of a browser is found under Settings > Privacy.)

Choose Geelong’s IT experts for your internet security

Regardless of how you manage and govern cookies, it’s best to remain vigilant and clean up your cookies regularly. If you are concerned about your online security when it comes utilising cookies, or if you’re not 100% confident regarding the online security of your business, Geelong Technology Group is here to help.

With our extensive experience and comprehensive cybersecurity solutions, we can assess your current situation and recommend actions to ensure your business is safeguarded against cyber threats in the future, so get in contact today. 

1300 GET GTG (1300 438 484)

📍 166 Francis Street, Belmont


What is smishing? SMS phishing attacks and protection tips

When it comes to cybercrime, there’s always something new on the horizon, hoping to catch us unawares. One of the latest is ‘smishing’ or SMS phishing. It’s fast becoming an ever-increasing problem for both individuals and businesses.


Definition of smishing

SMS phishing is essentially a form of phishing attack undertaken through text or SMS messages. The messages often contain an urgent notification regarding banking or courier services or an offer for a free product. They aim to manipulate people into turning over sensitive data such as bank account details, credit card numbers, account passwords, or access to a business’ computer systems.


How does smishing work?

Smishing works much like email phishing. It uses social-engineering tactics to appeal to our desire to have things work smoothly (Oh no! There’s a problem with my bank account!), to help others (A message from a bushfire relief charity? Sure, I’ll help out!) or to help ourselves (Eighty percent off a new phone? Heck, yeah!). Unfortunately, because text messages seem more personal,  we may be more likely to click a link in an SMS than we would nowadays in an email.

Utilising trust (scammers pose as legitimate organisations), context (lots of people are expecting packages around Christmas, for instance), and emotion (we must act now!), cybercriminals write messages that will generate action. In this case, the clicking of a link within the text message. This malicious link may either trick you into downloading malware onto your phone that then masquerades as a legitimate app (into which you enter your personal details) or takes you to a fake site, again requesting your sensitive data. These apps and websites are often well disguised and look ‘legitimate’, tricking the unwary.


How can we avoid smishing attacks?

As more and more mobile phones are used for work, SMS phishing has become not only a consumer threat, but also a business threat. Avoiding smishing attacks is paramount. But how do we do this? First, we need to lose any false confidence we have in text message safety – smartphone security DOES have its limitations, and CAN be compromised. 

So, the best way to remain safe? Follow the golden rule and do nothing. That is, always err on the side of caution and don’t click on links in text messages.

Of course, sometimes we may have clicked a link in a hurry or in error, and some messages may include legitimate links, so how can we manage the risk?

  • If you have clicked on a link that you now believe may be suspect, DO NOT give any personal details.
  • If you believe it may be a legitimate message, but you’re not sure, navigate to the official business webpage via a separate browser or call the company using a number that you look up independently of the text message. (And remember, legitimate institutions are extremely unlikely to request login information or account updates via SMS.)
  • Don’t reply to messages that look suspect, even to text ‘Stop’ – this will indicate your number is active and may prompt further smishing attempts.
  • Only ever download apps from an official app store.
  • Utilise multi-factor authentication (MFA) wherever possible. A password inadvertently provided via a phishing attempt may still be useless to a cybercriminal if the second level of verification/authentication is required.
  • Report possible smishing attempts to the ACCC Scamwatch.


Need more information?

At Geelong Technology Group, our experienced IT professionals are here to help you avoid smishing messages, phishing emails, and other cyber-related scams or attacks. Helping homes and businesses in Geelong, the Bellarine Peninsula, the Surf Coast, and surrounding regions with their online security is what we love to do, so give us a call today on 1300 GET GTG (1300 438 484) or drop into our showroom at 166 Francis Street, Belmont.