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Windows 10X: Everything you need to know

ZAC BOWDEN 16 Dec 2020 160

Windows 10x Mock Laptop Close

Windows 10X is a new version of Windows that has been built from the ground up for new PCs, and will begin shipping on hardware in 2021. It’s built on top of a new modern version of Windows called ‘Windows Core OS’ that guts legacy components and features in favor of contemporary user experiences and enhanced security.

This means everything from the Windows Shell to the underlying OS has been rebuilt with modern technologies. As a result, Windows 10X does not support legacy Win32 applications at launch. Windows 10X PCs in 2021 will be able to run Microsoft Edge, UWP, and web apps.

Legacy Win32 application support will arrive at a later date, however. When it does, Win32 applications will run in a secure container by default, meaning those legacy applications cannot affect system performance and battery life when closed. Windows 10X is a much more secure and stable OS as a result of this, as there’s no opportunity for legacy apps to cause bitrot.

A new user experience

Windows 10X

Source: Microsoft

Windows 10X features a new shell — the user interface — that has been built with modern technologies. It’s an adaptive user experience that can adjust depending on the “posture” of your device. For example, with a foldable PC, the user might want to use it in several different ways; as a laptop, or tablet, or in tent mode for movies. Because of this, the user interface must adapt to provide the best experience no matter which way your device is being used.

This also means that legacy shell elements, such as the Control Panel, File Explorer, and error dialogs and icons are gone on Windows 10X. As Microsoft has rebuilt the entire shell, it doesn’t include any of the legacy things that makes Windows 10 so inconsistent when it comes to UI. The Windows Shell on Windows 10X should be much more consistent.

At launch, Windows 10X will only be available on traditional clamshell PCs aimed primarily at the education and enterprise markets. The platform will eventually ship on new device form factors such as foldable PCs, but that won’t be happening in 2021.

A new Start menu

Windows 10X Start

Source: Windows Central

Microsoft is redesigning the Start menu experience on Windows 10X with a focus on productivity. It features a system-wide search bar along the top that can also search the web, and a grid of installed apps below that in place of live tiles.

It also has a “recent activities” area that dynamically updates with things the user might want to jump straight into, such as recent Office documents and visited websites. The apps list can be customized, with the ability for users to rearrange which apps show up in the first few rows.

A new Taskbar

10x Taskbar Preview

Source: Windows Central

Windows 10X also has a new adaptive Taskbar that features a centered design. The Start and Task View buttons appear in the center, with running and pinned apps appearing between the two. When you open an app, the Start and Task View buttons gently spread apart, giving the Taskbar a much more fluid appearance.

There are some new animations; the Start and Task View buttons have their own animations when clicked on, and there’s a subtle bounce to app icons when you minimize running apps to the Taskbar. In addition to the new design, there’s also up to three different Taskbar sizes: Small, medium and large. Large is great for tablets, while medium and small mimic the usual sizes we already have today on Windows 10.

On tablets, users can now swipe up anywhere on the Taskbar to access the Start menu, making it easier for touch users to access their apps list. You no longer have to hit the specific Start button to access your Start menu.

A new Action Center

Windows 10X Ac

Source: Windows Central

In addition to the new Start and Taskbar experiences, there’s also a new Action Center to compliment them. This new Action Center puts more emphasis on quick actions, with the ability to jump into specific quick actions for further control without leaving the Action Center at all.

It’s also designed in such a way that mimics a control center, with notifications housed above it in a separate box. This new Action Center includes things like volume controls, power options, and battery percentage. There’s also a new music control UI that appears in the Action Center when music is playing from a supported app.

A new set up experience

Windows 10x Oobe

Source: Windows Central

Since every part of Windows 10X has been redesigned, the out of box experience has too been updated with a modern look and feel. It still walks you through the Windows setup process, selecting your language, signing-in with a Microsoft Account, and agreeing to terms and conditions, but Cortana is no longer present throughout the set up process. It’s a more traditional setup experience, that’s been beautified on 10X.

The new File Explorer

File Explorer 10X

Source: Windows Central

Since Windows 10X has a modern core, legacy components such as the classic File Explorer are no longer present. This means Microsoft has built a new File Explorer specific to Windows 10X, and it’s built around OneDrive. Windows 10X is a web-first OS, and that includes how you store and manage files on your Windows 10X PC. By default, all your files are synced with your OneDrive account in the cloud while also being available locally on the device.

Improved Windows Update

Windows Update

Source: Windows Central

Microsoft is also improving Windows Update in a way that makes it much faster on Windows 10X. Feature updates will not take as long to install as they do on Windows 10 as those feature updates are now installed in the background without requiring a reboot until the update is done. So, just like on Android and Chrome OS, when the update is ready to restart your PC, it’ll just restart like normal, and won’t take 15 minutes to finish installing before you’re back up and running.

This should result in updates that take less than 90 seconds to reboot. Internal testing suggests it’s even faster than that. This is a huge improvement over how Windows 10 does updates today, which can take anywhere between 5 minutes and 20 minutes to reboot, depending on the device.

Secure by default

10x Windows Defender

Source: Windows Central

Unlike Windows 10, Windows 10X features something called “state separation” which is how the OS lays itself out on a drive. Windows 10 today installs everything into a single partition, which means the user can access system files, as can apps and potential attackers. On Windows 10X, everything goes into its own read-only partition. So OS files are locked away, as are app files, as are drivers, and the registry. The only thing the user and applications can access are the user partition.

This means that malware or viruses can’t get in and affect the system, because those programs are only able to operate in a single partition, and that assumes they’re able to get outside of the app container system Microsoft has built. All apps on Windows 10X run in a container, and need explicit permissions to access things that are outside that container. This is already how UWP apps work on Windows 10, and Microsoft will be extending that to Win32 apps on Windows 10X when support for Win32 apps arrives.

Dynamic wallpapers

Live Wallpaper

Source: Windows Central

I understand that Windows 10X features dynamic wallpapers that change content depending on different factors. For example, internal Windows 10X builds feature a mountain-view wallpaper that has morning, afternoon, evening, and night variants that appear based on your device’s actual time. This wallpaper also seemingly has dynamic clouds and birds that appear every so often.

I don’t know how many of these dynamic wallpapers will be present on Windows 10X, and I don’t know how complex they can be either. It’s nice to see more customization options for users, however.

Coming Spring 2021

Windows 10X will launch this spring first for commercial markets. Commercial markets include education and enterprise industries looking for sub-$600 PCs for students in the classroom or first line workers. Windows 10X won’t be launching on consumer PCs in 2021, meaning you won’t find it on a flagship Dell or HP device. It’s also only for clamshell PCs, with foldables, tablets, and other form factor support coming in 2022 and beyond.

Windows 10X will launch without an in-box Mail and Calendar app. It’s been removed from the first version of Windows 10X because the platform is aimed at commercial markets who will likely use Outlook Web or stream Outlook via Windows Virtual Desktop. Users can opt to reinstall the Mail and Calendar apps from the Microsoft Store if they wish.

Windows 10X for mainstream markets won’t happen until 2022, when Win32 app support among other features come to the OS as part of the Windows 10 “Nickel” release scheduled for the first half of 2022.

Because Windows 10X is a new operating system, it will not be released as an update for existing Windows 10 PCs. Users won’t be able to install Windows 10X on a device that didn’t come with Windows 10X to begin with. There won’t be any official ISO media and you won’t be able to buy Windows 10X on its own to install on your existing device. It’s for new PCs only.

Check back later

We’ll continue to update this post with new information as it becomes available. In the meantime, what are you most looking forward to with Windows 10X? Let us know in the comments.

Staying a Step Ahead of the Hack

by Steven Jurczak

Hackers, never at a loss for creative deception, have engineered new tactics for exploiting the weakest links in the cybersecurity chain: ourselves! Social engineering and business email compromise (BEC) are two related cyberattack vectors that rely on human error to bypass the technology defenses businesses deploy to deter malware.

Social Engineering

Social Engineering is when hackers impersonate trusted associates or acquaintances to manipulate people into giving up their passwords, banking information, date of birth or anything else that could be used for identity theft. As it turns out, it’s easier to hack our trust than our computers. Social engineering covers a range of tactics:

  • Email from a friend or family member – A hacker gets access to the email password of someone you know. From there, they can send you a malicious link in an email that you’re more likely to click on because it came from someone you trust.
  • Compelling story (pretexting) – This includes urgently asking for help. This can read like, “Your friend is in danger and they need your help immediately – please send me money right away so they can get treatment!”
  • Standard phishing tactics – Phishing techniques include website spoofing emails appearing to come from an official source asking you to reset your password or confirm personal data. After clicking the link and entering the info, your security is compromised.
  • “You’re a winner” notifications ­– Whether a lottery prize or a free trip to Cancun, this tactic catches many off guard. It’s known as “greed phishing” and it takes advantage our fondness for pleasure or weakness for the word “free.”

Business Email Compromise

Business email compromise is a targeted attack against corporate personnel, usually someone with the authority to request or fulfill a financial transaction. Victims execute seemingly routine wire transfers to criminals impersonating legitimate business associates or vendors.

This form of fraud relies on a contrived pretext to request a payment or purchase be made on the attacker’s behalf. According to the FBI, BEC attacks resulted in more than $26 billion (you read that right) between June 2016 and July 2019. Here are a few tips for protecting users and businesses from BEC attacks:

Slow down – BEC attacks combine context and familiarity (an email from your boss) with a sense of urgency (I need this done now!). This causes victims to lose their critical thinking capabilities.

Don’t trust, verify – Never use the same channel, in this case email, to verify the identity of the requester. Pick up the phone and call, or use video chat.

Prepare for the inevitable – Use all the technology at your disposal to ensure a BEC attack doesn’t succeed. Machine learning-enabled endpoint security solutions can help identify malicious sites.

Address the weakest link – Train users to spot BEC attacks. Webroot testing shows that phishing simulations can improve users’ abilities to spot attacks.

Perfecting Your Posture

Webroot Security Intelligence Director, Grayson Milbourne, offers several suggestions that companies can do to increase their security posture. First, he says, “Whenever money is going to be sent somewhere, you should have a two-factor verification process to ensure you’re sending the money to the right person and the right accounts.”

Milbourne is also a big advocate of security awareness training. “You can really understand the security topology of your business with respect to your users’ risk factors,” he says. “So, the engineering team might score one way and the IT department might score another way. This gives you better visibility into which groups within your company are more susceptible to clicking on links in emails that they shouldn’t be clicking.”

With the increase in scams related to the global COVID-19 pandemic, timely and relevant user education is especially critical. “COVID obviously has been a hot topic so far this year, and in the last quarter we added close to 20 new templates from different COVID-related scams we see out in the wild,” Milbourne says.

“When we look at first-time deployment of security awareness training, north of 40% of people are clicking on links,” Milbourne says. “Then, after going through security awareness training a couple of times, we see that number dip below 10%.”

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

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We like to thank our clients for the continued Support and wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Safe new year.

Below are our Christmas Hours:

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Sleeping Tabs in Microsoft Edge: Delivering better browser performance

Written By Microsoft Edge Team published December 9, 2020

Note: We’re in the process of deploying this feature starting with today’s release of Beta 88, so it might be a little while before you see it in your channel and buildNew to sleeping tabs? Read more in our previous blog post.

The Microsoft Edge team is on a mission to create a browser that keeps up with you and never slows you down. To us, delivering world-class performance means better speed and responsiveness, all while using fewer system resources. To improve the memory and CPU usage of the browser, we’ve launched ‘sleeping tabs’. Just like a good night’s sleep allows you to stay focused and productive the next day, sleeping tabs helps optimize your browser’s performance by freeing up resources for the tabs you’re really using.

Using sleeping tabs on Microsoft Edge typically reduces memory usage by 32% on average. It also increases your battery life as a sleeping tab uses 37% less CPU on average than a non-sleeping tab. Although individual device performance varies depending on configuration and usage, we’ve heard from users that this decrease in resource and battery usage has improved their browsing experience. Thank you to all the Insiders who’ve sent us feedback and shared their experiences with sleeping tabs!

Thanks to your feedback, we’ve updated the feature, and we’re now ready to release to the Beta Channel. Recent updates include:

  • Added an option to put tabs to sleep after 5 minutes of inactivity
  • Group policies to manage sleeping tabs (for IT admins)
  • Improved visual treatment to clearly show which tabs are sleeping without distracting from the task at hand
Chart showing 1675.29MB average memory for normal background tabs and 1146.12 average memory for sleeping tabs
Average memory usage of Microsoft Edge, based on experimentation in Microsoft Edge Canary and Dev channels, aggregated across ~40,000 devices
Chart showing 1.22% average CPU for normal background tabs and 0.77% average CPU for sleeping tabs
Average CPU usage of Microsoft Edge, based on experimentation in Microsoft Edge Canary and Dev channels, aggregated, across ~40,000 devices

When using sleeping tabs, it’s possible that some sites might not work as expected after they go to sleep. To keep you in your flow, we’ve built heuristics to detect these scenarios and prevent those tabs from going to sleep. We’re eager to get your feedback on sleeping tabs. If a tab doesn’t wake up like you expected, please refresh the page and let us know through Microsoft Edge by pressing Alt+Shift +I on Windows or by going to Settings and more  > Help and feedback > Send feedback.

You can try sleeping tabs starting in Microsoft Edge Beta 88. If you see the sleeping tabs feature while browsing, please join us on the Microsoft Edge Insider forums or Twitter to discuss your experience, or send us your feedback through the browser. If you have any questions, see our FAQ or reach out to us. We hope you enjoy this exciting new feature and look forward to hearing from you!

– Eleanor Huynh, Senior Program Manager, Microsoft Edge

How Microsoft Edge and other applications manage memory

Written By Microsoft Edge Team published November 11, 2020

With much of your to-do list now online, you expect your browser to be fast and reliable every day. Your browser is the tool you rely on to get things done. Online productivity now depends on how fast your browser is, so that to-do list can disappear. So, don’t you hate it when your browser slows down and you don’t know why? Suddenly, pages are slow to load, scrolling isn’t smooth and typing takes forever. What you’re seeing is your browser accommodating your tasks, while taking steps to optimize your memory.

For Microsoft Edge, performance is about delivering better speed and responsiveness while reducing the amount of memory your browser uses. This is one of our top priorities – solving this means increasing your productivity so you have more time for the things you enjoy. This paper will walk through how your computer manages memory and what Microsoft Edge is doing to make it better.

How your computer manages memory

Computers have many different types of storage, today we are going to focus on are Random Access Memory, aka RAM, and your hard drive.

RAM is essentially your computer’s short-term memory storage. It temporarily stores data that it’s likely to need again soon. For web browsers, that could be web pages or other resources used by extensions. The main usage of RAM by the browser is to make web pages load faster and to create a smoother browsing experience.

Hard drive is your computer’s long-term memory storage. It can store data permanently. When you power off your device, data stored in your hard drive remains while data in your RAM is erased.

RAMHard Drive
Short term memory storageLong term memory storage
Stores data temporarilyStores data permanently
Data will erase when device is powered offData will remain when device is powered off
FasterSlower

So how do RAM and hard drives’ memory stores get used while you’re browsing the internet?

Let’s say you’ve restarted your computer and the first thing you do is open a shopping site in Microsoft Edge. The data for that site will initially be stored in RAM. If at some point you were to switch tabs and come back to that site or you were to switch applications and come back to the browser, the data on the shopping site can swiftly be recalled from RAM, and the page will load quicker.

Every web page, web app, and extension uses memory and the more complex the web page, web app, or extension, the more memory it will use. That means that with every tab that you open, or extension that you enable, the closer you get to reaching your computer’s max capacity of RAM. When your computer is low in RAM, your computer will move data that you aren’t using from RAM to your hard drive to make space on RAM. Depending on your computer, your hard drive may be an SSD (Solid State Drive) or an HDD (Hard Disk Drive). Retrieving data from either hard drive is often much slower than retrieving data from RAM. However, if we were to compare the two hard drives, retrieving data from an SSD may be tens or hundreds of times faster than an HDD, as an SSD has no moving parts.

Constantly swapping data to and from the hard drive can have a considerable performance impact on the browser and other programs you have open on your device. So, if your system uses your RAM instead – even at nearly 100% usage – this is not a bad thing. This means that you are utilizing nearly all your available RAM to make for a smoother and faster browsing experience.

Looking at memory management through an evening of dinner preparation

It’s a tricky topic, so let’s look at this concept through another lens.

Let’s say, it’s evening and you’re preparing dinner. Tonight, salad is on the menu. Each time you need an ingredient, you open your fridge, grab an ingredient, and add it to your bowl. Adding the ingredient to your salad is easy and can be done quickly because your fridge is easily accessible. This is like data being stored in RAM. When data is stored in RAM, if you return to a webpage, the page can swiftly be recalled, and the page will load quicker.

Let’s say you’re preparing multiple dishes for dinner. After returning from the grocery store, you realize everything doesn’t fit into your fridge. To solve this problem, you decide to move unneeded items from your fridge to your friend’s fridge across town. As you prepare the dishes, you realize that you need an item stored in your friend’s fridge. To make room in your fridge, you grab an item you aren’t using, drive across town to your friend’s, and grab the item you need from their fridge while leaving the item you brought. You then return home and put the retrieved item in your own fridge to use. You continue cooking but later realize you need another item that is at your friend’s house. Once again, you drive over with another item from your fridge to swap. As you can see, it takes longer for the items that are not in your fridge to be retrieved and used. Running out of fridge space is like running out of RAM. When you run out of RAM, data that’s not being used gets stored in your hard drive and retrieving data from the hard drive is often much slower.

Finally, let’s revisit the previous example but this time your fridge is double the size. Double the size, means that you can store all the ingredients in your fridge (and not rely on your friend’s fridge). Similar, to the first example, in this scenario all the ingredients are easily accessible and can be quickly added to the dish. This is comparable to you having double the RAM. All the data can be stored in RAM and accessed quickly when necessary.

Using RAM is a good thing because it creates a fast and smooth browsing experience. However, when your RAM reaches capacity and you start reading data from your hard drive, that’s when your browsing experience is likely to change. We are aware that this can lead to a negative browsing experience, so Microsoft Edge tries to keep you from reaching that max capacity.

To start, Microsoft Edge is actively taking steps to reduce the browser’s overall resource usage. To keep your system using RAM when it is running low, and before things are moved to disk, Microsoft Edge will discard tabs that haven’t been used in a while. Discarding a tab’s resources frees up RAM on your computer for other things, like the tab you’re currently using and other applications or processes running on your device. You can still see discarded tabs in the tab strip even though all resources are released and processes killed. When you return to the tab, the processes will be recreated, the tab will reload, and page elements such as scroll position and form content will be restored but the overall experience may be slower than normal. Tab discard is implemented because it is sometimes faster for a discarded tab to be reloaded than trying to fetch individual pieces of data from the hard drive, similar to how it would be faster to go to the grocery store nearby for a new ingredient, than to drive across the city to your friend’s house to retrieve the ingredient.

Listening to your feedback

We want browsing the web to be effortless. We continue to look for ways to improve the experience around browser resource usage. You can find more information on the improvements currently available here. We also recently released a new feature to the Canary and Dev channels called sleeping tabs, which puts inactive tabs to sleep after 2 hours of inactivity to free up resources for other areas, such as active tabs, new tabs, and other applications on your device. A sleeping tab resumes automatically when clicked, which is different than discarded tabs, which require the page to fully be reloaded.

If you experience an issue with Microsoft Edge, send us feedback with as much detail as possible. Please include information such as steps to reproduce the issue, the URL of the page you visited, diagnostic data, a screenshot, and your email address, so we can email you for more information. This will help us address your feedback.

Stay tuned for an upcoming blog post where we’ll learn how to investigate Microsoft Edge’s memory usage.

PC Madness Christmas Catalogue 2020

Christmas time is fast approaching and we have some great deals for you. If you run a business why not make use of the Australian Governments up to $150K tax write off for small businesses. This has been extended again to help our economy grow.

For all our Residential and Business clients please download our October – December 2020 Catalogue and see our great specials.

If you have any questions or specific requirements don’t hesitate to send an inquiry via our
website / email or phone. Our team are ready to help you!

Thanks

PCMadness Team
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Tel: 9250 4554

How search engines work and what to do about it (do SEO)

Written by Benjamin Denis

Search engines including Google, but also including search engines on sites such as Amazon, Netflix or YouTube and search on your computer or email software – work to the same principles:

  • The content you want to search is indexed first
  • A user enters a search query as words
  • The search engine returns results from the index that best match the query
  • The results are ranked with the intention of putting the most relevant results at the top of the results

If you are a WordPress site editor in almost any country of the World, your main interest in search engines – and for reading this article – is ranking on Google. Always remember, though, that other search engines exist, and that Google may not always be the most popular search engine.

By learning how search engine work, you can optimize your site for better ranking and more traffic!

Unique marketing opportunity

Visibility in a search engine can generate traffic, but it is also a unique marketing opportunity: being visible in the very moment that a person is interested in finding you, your product or your content. If you have an Indian restaurant in Seattle, for example, then being visible in Google when people in Seattle search “Indian restaurant” is an amazingly effective way of earning a new client. With most alternative marketing tools – such as handing out flyers on a street-corner – you are pushing messages out to people who have not asked for this information and there is much less chance of converting them to clients. There is even the possibility you may annoy one of them and lose a potential client!

Google does not search the web

From early search solutions used to find files on a computer, it became obvious that opening and reading each file on the computer, one after the other, was not an efficient way to find matching results. As the storage capacity of computers increased searching directly through all the files on a disk was too slow and it also increased the risk of damaging fragile disk-drives.

Did you know? Because search was not an option, early computer users were encouraged to organize files in directories and sub-directories. Applied to the web, this led to the creation of Internet directories such as Yahoo or DMOZ whose purpose was to organize the World’s websites in a directory structure. In the 1990s these sites were much more popular tools than search engines. DMOZ was even integrated into Google as Google Directory from 2000 to 2011.

Search engine software uses data stored in indexes to help it find results more efficiently. An index is part of a database that stores information in a format that makes it quicker to search. For example, rather than searching in multiple files for a word, an index will organize data by word: Listing all the files that contain a specific word in one index.

Google created and maintains its index by crawling the web. When it discovers a new page, it indexes the content of that page. It then regularly goes back to check to see if that page has changed – and if so, it indexes it again. When you search on Google you are searching Google’s index and not on the web itself. It is therefore possible that Google proposes a link to content that is no longer online, or that it omits content that is online but has not yet being indexed.

Pause for a moment and think of how big Google’s index is and how big a job it has keeping it up to date. Google says it crawls and indexes hundreds of billions of web pages (and as reported by Kinsta, WordPress powers 37% of all the websites on the Internet which is a cool thought). The index is well over 100,000,000 gigabytes in size and requires large industrial buildings to house the hardware that store the data. Crawlers, which are computer programs, are regularly re-visiting and re-indexing millions of web pages every day.

One of Google’s data centers (Dublin, Ireland)
One of Google’s data centers (Dublin, Ireland)

Keyword queries

Searches are performed using queries that are expressed in words. You can type these words into the Google search bar or use voice recognition instead of typing.

Different people have different methods for searching Google. For example, a person in Seattle looking for a restaurant may just type “restaurant” into Google (knowing that it will provide only local, relevant results), some may type “Seattle restaurant”, others “restaurants in Seattle” and so on. Someone, somewhere, may type – or say –  something like “please can you suggest a nice indian restaurant for me in downtown Seattle please, thank you very much” and they all get quick, relevant results (which proves that it pays to be polite!).

Google Search

Google is quick at returning the results. We can therefore deduce that it is not searching through all the pages it found on the web to find pages that match the keywords you typed. It is possible that it has indexes for popular searches (this means maintaining a list of URLs that correspond to exact multi-word queries). This is certainly the case for “Restaurants in Seattle”. When a user types this query, Google already has a list of relevant pages that answer that question.

However the query ““please can you suggest a nice indian restaurant for me in downtown Seattle please, thank you very much” has probably never been searched before and it is unlikely that Google has a pre-prepared a list of relevant pages for this query. This is not a rare occurrence, Google indicates that every day, 15% of searches are for queries that have never been searched before.

In this case Google breaks down the query to the most relevant words and expressions to match it to its different indexes. Over the years, Google has got better at interpreting these more complex queries and currently does it better for other search engines in most languages.

Algorithms to rank results

It is believed that for any query, Google first creates a list of only 1000 pages and then ranks these from 1 to 1000, eliminating some results along the way. There is an algorithm for finding the best 1000 pages and another for ranking these 1000 results from 1 to 1000.

SEO expert Jason Barnard has a theory that Google has many algorithms that calculate different ranks for each page based on different signals (topicality, quality, page speed, etc). It then multiplies them together to calculate a bid. The page with the highest bid is ranked highest. He also points out that because scores are multiplied, a very low score for any factor can significantly reduce a bid and the page’s rank.

Illustration from Jason Bernard’s article “How Google Search Ranking Works” in the Search Engine Journal
Illustration from Jason Bernard’s article “How Google Search Ranking Works” in the Search Engine Journal

This is only educated guess-work though. The details of how Google works exactly are a closely guarded secret and Google remind us that they change and improve the algorithm every day.

The main factors, though, are certainly the use of words in individual pages on your site and the links that those pages receive from other pages on the web (whether they may be links from your own site or links from pages on other sites). Minor factors, but potentially with a big impact for some keywords, may be linked to user experience, page speed, social networks, and online reputation.

After ranking the pages, Google may also decide to filter out some results. This could simply be to reduce the number of results from one site, but it could also be filters against spam or adult content.

Usually less than a second after sending your query, you get results back from Google.

Also bear in mind that search results are also personalized to your geographic location and your search history. These factors can make a big difference on search from one computer to another.

SERPs and snippets

For each query, Google returns results as a SERP (Search Engine Results Page). It is very rare that Google finds no results for a query.

As well as results from the web search, Google may add advertising from Google Ads and results from other Google search engines such as Google News, Google My Business, Google Images, …

The results from web search are typically listed as 10 results per page. Each result has a link to as web page and a short description. This result is called a Snippet. The Snippet may also be enriched with the websites’ logo, reviews, images, prices and other useful information.

Simple snippet from desktop SERP
Simple snippet from desktop SERP
Enriched snippet from mobile SERP
Enriched snippet from mobile SERP

The information for the snippet can be provided by the website itself using specific tags such as KEYWORD, META DESCRIPTION or Schema.org structured data. The quality of this information may influence Google in ranking your page, but it is also important in influencing the users who are looking at the results to click on your snippet and generate traffic. You may only rank third but have a very eye-catching snippet that means that most searchers will click on your link rather than the first two results.

In 2013, Dr Peter J. Meyers did a mock-up of 24 different SERP features. Although it is a bit old now, it is still a good introduction to the variety of results possible in Google.

Serp Features
Serp Features

What is SEO?

SEO is an acronym for Search Engine Optimization. This is the work you do to optimize your website for search engines – so that you can get listed (for free) in Google when there is a relevant search for your site.

From better understanding how search engines work, you can see that the main tasks in SEO are:

  • Make sure that Google can index your site correctly, can find all your content and links between pages. Providing a sitemap is a good idea here,
  • Understand what queries your target audience use on search engines and make sure that you have pages or posts that use the keywords of those searches and answer the question the search engine was asking. Most SEO plugins give you tools to analyze pages for keywords,
  • Ensure that tags important for SEO are correctly completed. Most importantly TITLE and META Description tags. You will need a SEO plugin to do this,
  • Where relevant, provide Schema.org structured data to describe your site or the content of your pages to obtain rich snippets. Again, using a SEO plugin that allows you to add relevant Schema to your posts and pages to gain rich snippets,
  • Develop external links from other web sites,
  • Analyze your ranking in search engines and the traffic you receive from them.

SEO is also used in another definition to mean Search Engine Optimizer, i.e. the person who is going to do the work above.  If this person is you, then continue reading our articles to learn more about getting better visibility and more traffic for your WordPress site!

Written by Benjamin Denis

Latest Google Updates Q3 2020

Written by Benjamin Denis

Summer passed and Google did not release a major update of their algorithm as we have learned to expect. Then, in the last week of the Quarter (officially in Fall though) SEOs reported major fluctuations in search results and claimed to have spotted a major update! This turned out to be a bug in Google’s index and is still being corrected as we write this post.

In fact, Google had 3 indexing problems in the last week of September that may have affected your site’s visibility and traffic. We will have a look at these first and then go through the other news from Google from July to September 2020.

Canonical Indexing Bug

Reports of major changes in ranking started around September 23rd with, in parallel, reports of users seeing odd values for canonical URLs in Google Search Console. Canonical URLs are Google’s way of treating duplicate content: when many pages have the same content, Google choses one page as the canon (i.e. original version) and will show that in search results rather than its copies. You can also specify your own canonical URL in the HTML code of pages. See Google’s guide on consolidating duplicate URLs.

The index of canonical URLs got mixed up around September 22nd and it appears that completely random URLs were being used as the canonical versions for pages in the same site for a part of the index. The bug was being slowly corrected by October 6th. It affected ranking for thousands of sites.

It seems rare to have this sort of massive error in Google, but something similar also happened in April 2019.

Google News Indexing Bug

From 6:45pm to 8:45pm ET on September 28th Google News did not index any news stories – although obviously many news sites did publish new stories during these hours. The bug was revealed on the Google Search Liaison account on Twitter @searchliaison.

Google SearchLiaison Tweet
Google SearchLiaison Tweet

This is an interesting account to follow for information on Google updates and, now, bug reports.

Mobile-Indexing Bug

In parallel to the canonical indexing bug, Google also reported problems with indexing mobile versions of pages. Through the Google Search Liaison twitter account again, they communicated on October 2nd: “The mobile-indexing issue impacted roughly about 0.2% of our index, beginning in early September but really spiking from around the middle of this week through late yesterday. We’ve since restored about 1/4 of those URLs & keep reprocessing more”.

In March, Google announced that it would be moving to mobile-first indexing in September 2020, but this deadline was pushed forward to March 21st.

Ranking on Google Discover: New Guidelines from Google

In July Google published new guidelines on how to feature in their popular Google Discover service used mainly on smartphones through the Google Search application. Any website can be listed on Google Discover, there is no need to be approved for Google News, but it will mainly index fresh posts with a clear publication date, and information about the publisher and author (similar to Google EAT recommendations) and will filter-out click-bait titles. Having high-quality images, at least 1200 px wide is very important, and you should enable the max-image-preview:large setting (this is enabled by default in SEOPress).

Read the full Guidelines from Google

New Guidelines From Google
New Guidelines From Google

Virtual Webmaster Unconference WordPress session

Still unable to organize physical events Google’s Aurora Morales & Martin Splitt (pictured below) organized an online unconference for webmasters on August 26th. Unconference, not because it was online, but because it was organized around interactive sessions with webmasters rather than presentations by Google staff as seen in previous Webmaster Conferences. One of the 17 sessions concerned Google’s plugin Site Kit for WordPress, the roundup from Google simply stated that this “showed that users were confused about data discrepancies they see between Analytics and Search console in the plugin”.

The succinct roundup of all 17 sessions can be found here.

Aurora Morales & Martin Splitt working hard to organize
Aurora Morales & Martin Splitt working hard to organize the Unconference

Googlebot will work over HTTP/2

In September Google announced that its crawling robot, Googlebot, will use HTTP/2 to connect to websites where this is possible and when it deems it useful to do so. HTTP/2 is useful for Google because it increases the speed at which pages are downloaded. Whereas this may help some sites get indexed quicker and more often, having HTTP/2 is not considered as a ranking factor.

Although HTTP/2 was adopted by most browsers as early as 2015, a lot of webservers still do not use it. You can test if your site “speaks” HTTP/2 by using KeyCNDs HTTP/2 Test.

It is generally advised that you should upgrade to HTTP/2 for SEO because it should improve page speed as experienced by users on Chrome – information that Google does use as a ranking factor. Changing from HTTP/1.1 to HTTP/2 is a change to the server software, done by your hosting provider. No changes are needed to your website.

The news here is more the surprise that Googlebot did not use HTTP/2 before 2020. John Mueller, Google Webmaster Trends Analyst, had already stated in a Webmasters Hangout in November 2015 that he expected it to be ready by the end of that year, or early 2016.

Local Ranking Factors 2020

Whitespark have taken over the mantle from David Mihm and Moz in producing the Local Ranking Factors survey. By asking a series of questions to several Local SEO experts, the survey gives interesting insights into how Google’s local ranking algorithms work – specifically for two types of results: the Local Pack (supplied by Google Maps) and the organic results.

Results published in september show an increased importance for Google My Business for ranking in the Local Pack, but less importance for ranking for localized organic search.

BrightLocal published a long review of the 2020 results: Local Search Ranking Factors 2020: What Affects Local Rankings?

Extract from the Local Ranking Factors report
Extract from the Local Ranking Factors report

Unfortunately, no question in the survey deals specifically with the question of Schema.org structured data as a ranking factor. But On-page factors are important. In a separate article on How to Optimize for Local Search, Brightlocal do cite “Use Local Business, Organization, Product and Service Schema” as one of the 4 things you need to do on-page to optimize for local search.

If you haven’t added structured data to your WordPress site yet, read our articles on How to add schema markup to WordPress using the SEOPress plugin.

Google launch Web Creators and a new WordPress plugin

In September Google launched an interesting initiative that they say is “A community for web creators to grow and get inspired”. A web creator is anyone who creates content for the web and that includes bloggers.

Google has launched Web Creators as a blog and also dedicated accounts on TwitterInstagram and YouTube.

One of the first announcements on this new platform was the official release of the Google Web Stories WordPress Plugin. This has been shortly followed by the news that Google Discover now features a Web Stories carousel.

One of the first announcements on this new platform was the official release of the Google Web Stories WordPress Plugin. This has been shortly followed by the news that Google Discover now features a Web Stories carousel.Video Player

Webroot: (NEW) Privacy and Security with DNS over HTTPS (DoH)

Webroot
NEW: Privacy and Security with DNS over HTTPS (DoH)

DNS has been around since 1983 and has worked brilliantly at resolving all internet domain requests for both IPv4 and the newer IPv6 address spaces. However, DNS was not built with privacy or security in mind, as it communicates all requests in clear text.

To make DNS more secure for users, the new DNS over HTTPS (DoH) protocol encrypts the requests using the same HTTPS encryption used when connecting to a secure website. All the major web browsers are beginning to support DoH, but this incredible privacy enhancement can also bring some security drawbacks.

What exactly is DNS over HTTPS (DoH)?

DoH is an initiative to prevent eavesdropping and manipulation of DNS request data by third parties, whether for malicious purposes, governmental control, or commercial reasons. DoH adds encryption to these requests, thereby hiding them from prying eyes and ensuring the privacy and security of the overall connection.
 

Why is DoH a problem for IT security?

Adding privacy can come at a cost. From a security perspective, the rapid adoption and usage of DoH could blindside security administrators and prevent them from extracting useful cybersecurity information by monitoring and analyzing their DNS request traffic logs.

Additionally, some applications can be configured to use DoH directly. As this bypasses the system’s configured DNS server, it presents issues with filtering and accuracy of the DNS requests.

How does Webroot DNS Protection handle DoH?

If all DNS requests are encrypted, then admins can lose considerable visibility and control in terms of web filtering security. When applications are capable of making DNS requests independently, it defeats the value of web filtering by circumventing the in-place protections. To correctly leverage the advantages of DoH, every DNS request on a must be passed via DoH, applications must be prevented from making rogue DNS requests, and filtering and logging must be maintained.

With our latest enhancements, Webroot DNS Protection now combines the privacy benefits of DoH with the security benefits of DNS-layer protection powered by Webroot BrightCloud®️ Web Classification intelligence. Our service leverages the advantages of DoH by encrypting and managing the DNS requests for the entire system, and then securely relaying these requests via DoH to the Webroot resolvers. This way, admins retain control of DNS and are able to filter and log, while the user and business benefit from the additional privacy and security.

Where can I learn more?

Check out our new DoH resources for more info:

Written by freydrew – Community and Advocacy Manager of webroot

PCMadness Tax Return Deals

PCMadness Tax Return Deals

Make use of the Australian Governments up to $150K tax write off for small businesses. This has been extended until Dec 2020.

Please download our July – September 2020 Catalogue and see our great specials.

If you have any questions or specific requirements don’t hesitate to send an inquiry via our
website / email or phone. Our team are ready to help you!

Thanks

PCMadness Team
2c Stafford Street Midland, WA 6056
Tel: 9250 4554

EOFY SALE: $150,000 Tax Write-Off!!

Yes it that time of the Year! Tax time! Govt has extended $150,000 Tax Write-Off for all business so why not take advantage of this and update your computer and laptops equipment’s.
PC Madness can provide a whole range of computers, laptops and parts for any residential and business clients. Below is our Brochure that you can download and view.

If you have any questions or specific requirements don’t hesitate to send an inquiry via our website / email or phone. Our team are ready to help you!

Thanks

PCMadness Team
2c Stafford Street Midland, WA 6056
Tel: 9250 4554

Microsoft Edge: Protect against potentially unwanted applications (PUAs)

Overview

Potentially unwanted applications aren’t considered to be viruses or malware, but these apps might perform actions on endpoints that adversely affect endpoint performance or use. For example, Evasion software actively tries to evade detection by security products. This kind of software can increase the risk of your network being infected with actual malware. PUA can also refer to applications that are considered to have poor reputation.

Protect against PUA with Microsoft Edge

Microsoft Edge (version 80.0.361.50 or later) blocks PUA downloads and associated resource URLs.

You can set up protection by enabling the Block potentially unwanted apps feature in Microsoft Edge.

To enable PUA protection:

  1. Open Settings in the browser.
  2. Select Privacy and services.
  3. In the Services section, check to see that Microsoft Defender SmartScreen is turned on. If not, then turn on Microsoft Defender SmartScreen. The example in the following screenshot shows the browser is managed by the organization and that Microsoft Defender SmartScreen is turned on.
  4. In the Services section, use the toggle shown in the preceding screenshot to turn on Block potentially unwanted apps.
security-pua-setup
Edge security-PUA-setup

block against PUA-associated URLs

After you turn on PUA protection in Microsoft Edge, Windows Defender SmartScreen will protect you from PUA-associated URLs.

There are several ways admins can configure how Microsoft Edge and Windows Defender SmartScreen work together to protect users from PUA-associated URLs. For more information, see:

Admins can also customize the Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection (Microsoft Defender ATP) block list. They can use the Microsoft Defender ATP portal to create and manage indicators for IPs and URLs.

Protect against PUA with Windows Defender Antivirus

The Detect and block potentially unwanted applications article also describes how you can configure Windows Defender Antivirus to enable PUA protection. You can configure protection using any of the following options:

When Windows Defender detects a PUA file on an endpoint it quarantines the file and notifies the user (unless notifications are disabled) in the same format as a normal threat detection (prefaced with “PUA:”.) Detected threats also appear in the quarantine list in the Windows Security app.

PUA notifications and events

There are several ways an admin can see PUA events:

  • In the Windows Event Viewer, but not in Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager or Intune.
  • In an email if email notifications for PUA detections is turned on.
  • In Windows Defender Antivirus event logs, where a PUA event is recorded under event ID 1116 with the message: “The antimalware platform detected malware or other potentially unwanted software.”

 Note

Users will see “*.exe has been blocked as a potentially unwanted app by Microsoft Defender SmartScreen”.

Allow-list an app

Like Microsoft Edge, Windows Defender Antivirus provides a way to allow files that are blocked by mistake or needed to complete a task. If this happens you can allow-list a file. For more information, see How to Configure Endpoint Protection in Configuration Manager to learn how to exclude specific files or folders.

PCMadness Recommends the New Microsoft Edge as the choice of browser to use.

NEW: Webroot Evasion Shield

Webroot Evasion Shield

It’s coming folks! We’re starting the rollout of the new Webroot® Evasion Shield. This critical security layer uses brand new, patented Webroot technology to detect, block, and quarantine evasive script attacks—including file-based, fileless, obfuscated, or encrypted threats—to help businesses become more resilient against advanced cyberattacks. The shield will also prevent malicious behaviors from executing in PowerShell, JavaScript, VBScript, and more, which are often used to launch evasive attacks. Get an overview of how it works in the video below.

Who’s going to get the new shield?

Every Webroot Business Endpoint Protection customer will benefit from the new shield. It doesn’t cost extra and you don’t have to install it separately. However, please make sure all your endpoints are using the 9.0.28.00 version of the Business Endpoint Protection agent or higher. Earlier agent versions will not fully support Evasion Shield malicious script protection.

Will the new shield start protecting me right away?

The shield is turned OFF by default. We designed it that way because many admins use legitimate custom scripts in their environments, and nobody likes a false positive. We recommend enabling the shield with the Detect and Report setting first, so you can see all the scripts that are currently running and whitelist any that you don’t want flagged. (See more on this in our FAQs, linked below.)

Written by Frey Drew Community and Advocacy Manager
 

2020 Webroot Threat Report

phising2020

2020 Webroot Threat Report: Phishing Attempts Grew by 640% Last Year

The annual Webroot Threat report was recently released, highlighting not only the agility and innovation of cybercriminals who continue to seek out new ways to evade defenses, but also their commitment to long-established attack methods. Most notably, Webroot observed a 640 percent increase in phishing attempts and a 125 percent increase in malware targeting Windows 7. The report is derived from metrics captured and analyzed by Webroot’s advanced, cloud-based machine learning architecture: the Webroot Platform.

“In the cybersecurity industry the only certainty is that there is no certainty, and there is no single silver bullet solution,” said Hal Lonas, Senior Vice President and CTO, SMB and Consumer, OpenText. “The findings from this year’s report underline why it’s critical that businesses and users of all sizes, ensure they’re not only protecting their data but also preparing for future attacks by taking simple steps toward cyber resilience through a defense-in-depth approach that addresses user behavior and the best protection for network and endpoints.”

Here are a few of the findings that I found pretty interesting:

Phishing URLs encountered grew by 640 percent in 2019.

  • 1 in 4 malicious URLs is hosted on an otherwise non-malicious domain.
  • 8.9 million URLs were found hosting a cryptojacking script.
  • The top sites impersonated by phishing sites or cybercriminals are Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, Google, PayPal and DropBox.
  • The top five kinds of websites impersonated by phishing sites are crypto exchanges (55%), gaming (50%), web email (40%), financial institutions (40%) and payment services (32%).

Malware targeting Windows 7® increased by 125 percent.

  • 93.6 percent of malware seen was unique to a single PC – the highest rate ever observed.
  • 85 percent of threats hide in one of four locations: %temp%, %appdata%, %cache%, and %windir%, with more than half of threats (54.4%) on business PCs hiding in %temp% folders. This risk can be easily mitigated by setting a Windows policy to disallow programs from running from the temp directory.
  • IP addresses associated with Windows exploits grew by 360 percent, with the majority of exploits targeting out-of-date operating systems.

Consumer PCs remain nearly twice as likely to get infected as business PCs.

  • The data reveals that regions most likely to be infected also have the highest rates of using older operating systems.
  • Of the infected consumer devices, more than 35 percent were infected more than three times, and nearly 10 percent encountered six or more infections.
  • The continued insecurity of consumer PCs underscore the risk companies face in allowing employees to connect to business networks from their personal devices.

Trojans and malware accounted for 91.8 percent of Android™ threats.

Download the full report.

Written By Freydrew by Webroot

Watch the New Microsoft 365. See what’s new

Microsoft 365

Office 365 is now Microsoft 365, and this official video from Microsoft can show you what’s new. By Dan thorp-Lancaster from windows central

What you need to know

  • Microsoft 365 for consumers is here, and Microsoft released a deep dive into what’s new.
  • The video covers Microsoft Editor, what’s new in Excel, and more.
  • Microsoft 365 Personal costs $99/year and Microsoft 365 Family costs $129 per year.

Microsoft 365 for consumers began its rollout this week, bringing not only a new name, but new features to the fore. To cover what’s new, Microsoft released a deep-dive briefing going over all of the fresh features that subscribers will eventually be able to check out, in addition to the current crop of Office apps.

The Microsoft 365 subscription carries forward the same Office apps and OneDrive storage that Office 365 subscribers already had access to, but adds in some extras that will continue to roll out to everyone in the coming weeks and months. Already, we’ve seen Microsoft release the Microsoft Editor extension for browsers. However, over time, Microsoft 365 consumer subscribers will get access to the consumer version of Microsoft Teams, Money in Excel, and more.

If you want some more info on what’s available with the new Microsoft 365 subscription, check out our break down of the subscription and see what is suited for you.

What Is Credential Stuffing? How to Protect Yourself.

cyber-security
A silhouette of a padlock in front of a Zoom logo.
Ink Drop/Shutterstock.com

A total of 500 million Zoom accounts are for sale on the dark web thanks to “credential stuffing.” It’s a common way for criminals to break into accounts online. Here’s what that term actually means and how you can protect yourself.

It Starts With Leaked Password Databases

Attacks against online services are common. Criminals often exploit security flaws in systems to acquire databases of usernames and passwords. Databases of stolen login credentials are often sold online on the dark web, with criminals paying in Bitcoin for the privilege of accessing the database.

Let’s say you had an account on the Avast forum, which was breached back in 2014. That account was breached, and criminals may have your username and password on the Avast forum. Avast contacted you and had you change your forum password, so what’s the problem?

Unfortunately, the problem is that many people reuse the same passwords on different websites. Let’s say your Avast forum login details were “[email protected]” and “AmazingPassword.” If you logged into other websites with the same username (your email address) and password, any criminal who acquires your leaked passwords can gain access to those other accounts.

Credential Stuffing in Action

“Credential stuffing” involves using these databases of leaked login details and trying to log in with them on other online services.

Criminals take large databases of leaked username and password combinations—often millions of login credentials—and try to sign in with them on other websites. Some people reuse the same password on multiple websites, so some will match. This can generally be automated with software, quickly trying many login combinations.

For something so dangerous that sounds so technical, that’s all it is—trying already leaked credentials on other services and seeing what works. In other words, “hackers” stuff all those login credentials into the login form and see what happens. Some of them are sure to work.

This is one of the most common ways that attackers “hack” online accounts these days. In 2018 alone, the content delivery network Akamai logged nearly 30 billion credential-stuffing attacks.

How to Protect Yourself

Multiple keys next to an open padlock.
Ruslan Grumble/Shutterstock.com

Protecting yourself from credential stuffing is pretty simple and involves following the same password security practices security experts have been recommending for years. There’s no magic solution—just good password hygiene. Here’s the advice:

  • Avoid Reusing Passwords: Use a unique password for each account you use online. That way, even if your password leaks, it can’t be used to sign in to other websites. Attackers can try to stuff your credentials into other login forms, but they won’t work.
  • Use a Password Manager: Remembering strong unique passwords is a nearly impossible task if you have accounts on quite a few websites, and almost everyone does. We recommend using a password manager like 1Password (paid) or Bitwarden (free and open-source) to remember your passwords for you. It can even generate those strong passwords from scratch.
  • Enable Two-Factor Authentication: With two-step authentication, you have to provide something else—like a code generated by an app or sent to you via SMS—each time you log in to a website. Even if an attacker has your username and password, they won’t be able to sign in to your account if they don’t have that code.
  • Get Leaked Password Notifications: With a service like Have I Been Pwned?, you can get a notification when your credentials appear in a leak.

How Services Can Protect Against Credential Stuffing

While individuals need to take responsibility for securing their accounts, there are many ways for online services to protect against credential-stuffing attacks.

  • Scan Leaked Databases for User Passwords: Facebook and Netflix have scanned leaked databases for passwords, cross-referencing them against login credentials on their own services. If there’s a match, Facebook or Netflix can prompt their own user to change their password. This is a way of beating credential-stuffers to the punch.
  • Offer Two-Factor Authentication: Users should be able to enable two-factor authentication to secure their online accounts. Particularly sensitive services can make this mandatory. They can also have a user click a login verification link in an email to confirm the login request.
  • Require a CAPTCHA: If a login attempt looks strange, a service can require entering a CAPTCHA code displayed in an image or clicking through another form to verify a human—and not a bot—is attempting to sign in.
  • Limit Repeated Login Attempts: Services should attempt to block bots from attempting a large number of sign-in attempts in a short period of time. Modern sophisticated bots may attempt to sign in from multiple IP addresses at once to disguise their credential-stuffing attempts.

Poor password practices—and, to be fair, poorly secured online systems that are often too easy to compromise—make credential stuffing a serious danger to online account security. It’s no wonder many companies in the tech industry want to build a more secure world without passwords.

Article by Chris Hoffman from how to geek.

PC Madness New Website

PCMadness - Homepage blog

The team at PC Madness are proud to announce the launch of our New Look website.  This virtual shopping experience will allow our customers access to most of our services from the comfort of their own home.
We have remote assistance available, support requests and an online system builder where you can customise and order your new computer system packages online.

PCMadness-Services

Please Note: We are working hard to get the other Web Services online to bring a greater experience to our clients, such as prices and quotes. Below is a break down of our services on how PC Madness can help residential and business client to be more productive and stress free.

PCMadness Store

Highly skilled technicians are here to help you with all your computer needs. This includes the following;

  1. Computer servicing
  2. Computer Repairs & Upgrades
  3. New Computer & Components
  4. IT Support
  5. Help and Advice to get the best of your needs.

Cloud Services

PCMadness has being in the cloud game for over 7 yrs now helping our client benefit from working from any locations. Below are the range of Cloud services we offer;

  1. VPS Server (Virtual Private Server)
  2. Office 365 (home and business)
  3. Cloud Backup,
  4. Cloud Phone Systems
  5. Cloud Team file-sharing
  6. Cloud Cybersecurity and protection
  7. Cpanel Hosting Services for website hosting

Design Services

PC Madness has a dedicated Design & Print department. Our services includes the following;

  1. Business Startups
  2. Logos
  3. Flyers (A4, A5, A1 etc)
  4. Business Cards design and printing
  5. Letter heads
  6. Business Advertising / Ads

Web Services

Along with Domain name registration & hosting services, we also design modern & affordable websites. Client has the ability for purchasing an outright plan to monthly plan services to help business cash flow as another option / solution.

Support Ticket

We have a fully integrated ticket system on our site to help all our residential and business clients. Please send us a Support Ticket request on any issue you may be experiencing and one of our staff will be in contact to help you with your issue or needs.

Remote Help

PC Madness provides remote help to our residential and business clients. We can easily remote into your PC & fix minor issues that may arise and get the client back up and running.

Book a Tech

Unable to bring your PC down to us? Then we can come to you. Qualified technician will drive out to your home or office and attend to the issue you may be experiencing.
Click here to Book a tech online today.

System Builder

We have worked hard in providing PC packages to our client in which they can upgrade all the components and build their own custom computer. Build & Customise your own computer today! We will build it, test it & have it ready for you to collect.

Conclusion

PC Madness are here to help, please feel free to call us, or contact us online.

We are also still in operation and our shop will remain open during this COVID-19 outbreak. We are taking the necessary precautions with social distancing and maintaining clean work spaces. We have hand sanitiser on hand and mask when doing onsite services as we take this very seriously.

Thanks
PC Madness Team
2c Stafford Street Midland
Tel: 9250 4554

Customise and build your next PC

At PC Madness we have a selection of standard Computer system packages available, adapted for home, office or high-end use.
See the packages here for AMD and Intel.

With our Online System Builder you can customise and upgrade the base packages to further suit your individual needs. We have developed this system to give our customers the choice to create a system perfectly suited to them.

PCMadness System Builder
Screenshot of PCMadness System Builder

Try our Online System Builder today! For more information please visit our website. We have our brochures available online (AMD / INTEL) and if you would like a formal quote we can organise that too within the system builder.
For any questions you may have please feel free to contact us instore or online.

PCMadness Pty Ltd
2c Stafford Street Midland
www.pcmadness.com.au
Tel: 9250 4554

PC Madness Trading Hours​

Monday: 8:00am – 5:30pm

Tuesday: 8:00am – 5:30pm

Wednesday: 8:00am – 5:30pm

Thursday: 8:00am – 5:30pm

Friday: 8:00am – 5:30pm

Saturday: 9:00am – 1:00pm

Sunday: CLOSED

Public Holidays: CLOSED