End of life IT Hardware – 5 Points you should know

Did you know 20 to 50 million metric tons of e-waste are disposed of worldwide every year?

With businesses typically upgrading their IT hardware every 3 years this number is slowly going up. 39D as a responsible provider always ensure any items we collect are disposed of securely and in an enviormentally sustainable way.

Here are our 5 points you should know before you throw your items in the bin

  1. In the UK we produce 24.9kg of e-waste per person. This works out to nearly 25 bags of 1KG sugar. This is statistic is higher than the European Union (EU) average by 10KG
  2. When disposing of computer equipment a hard drive can still be recovered if the device has simply been factory reset.
  3. Some computer equipment can actually be upgraded to give you an extra amount of usage. There are items such as memory / hard drives that can be upgraded.
  4. Modern smartphones can be traded into shops to be resold. This can give you a little bit of cashback on the device.
  5. You can be liable if your items are not disposed of correctly. If an item can be traced back to your business is found dumped by the side of the road you could be subject to a fine.

Why use 39D for your IT disposal

39D where possible aims to extend the life of devices that are close to their end of life. Some devices we are able to upgrade the memory and swap the hard drive to a solid-state drive (SSD) which can help improve the function of a computer. However, if the device has completed its full life cycle we can arrange for it to be disposed of in a secure and safe method. This means your data will be safe even if the device has failed. When items are collected we will give you a certificate of destruction to show it has been disposed of. If we are disposing of the item via one of our partners, this means their business has been verified and we have checked their processes match current EU laws.

Why not give the team a call today on 01279 800 039

Hang on… you’re STILL not prepared for The 2020 Problem?

From 14th January, Windows 7 is dead. So is Office 2010. And a set of popular server software.

Microsoft has killed them off, because they’re no longer fit for purpose.

And if you have just one machine in your business still running this dead software, you’re at risk.

We believe that hackers who’ve discovered vulnerabilities over the last year or so, have been sitting quietly, biding their time. And now they will start to exploit those vulnerabilities. Because there’s no-one to patch the software and stop them.

There’s also the matter of GDPR. End of life software is technically in breach of GDPR rules.

We believe thousands of business owners and managers in Essex and Herts don’t know they are relying on dead tech.

It’s nothing to be embarrassed about. Most people are the same – they don’t know what they’re running their business on. And to a certain extent, they don’t care.

We can help you quickly and painlessly. We’ve written a new guide to The 2020 Problem. Explaining why you must take urgent action now.

Fill in your details here to get this new guide emailed to you instantly.

In January, Microsoft is withdrawing support for some of its most popular old business software. This creates a huge problem for organisations everywhere, because when it inevitably fails, it can’t be fixed.

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39D Networking Event January


39D and our partners are pleased to invite you to our networking event at The Loughton Club on the 14th January 2020. At this event you will learn about Cyber Security, how to protect private wealth / digital assets, how to improve your social media presence online, and firsthand experience about the work the Essex and Herts Air Ambulance carries out every day to help save lives.


14th January 2020 – 6pm – 9pm


Loughton Club – 8 Station Rd, Loughton IG10 4NX

Talk times


Welcome and introduction – Matthew Southgate Founder of 39D


Cyber Security by 39D  learn more about how to protect your computer. – Presented by Matthew Southgate with over 15 years background in Cyber Security and hosted services. – Matthew Southgate Founder of 39D


Strategy for Social Media by 24 Fingers – A chance to learn more about how to improve your social media for your business – Emma Goode – Managing Director


Private Wealth and how to protect it, and digital assets – Lesley Anne and Gina Berry – Attwaters Jameson Hill Solicitor


Simon Stevens a firsthand experience of Essex And Hearts Air Ambulance. Including a charity update.

7.15pm A chance to network with fellow professionals and raffle draw.


Thank you to the Loughton Club. It is a magnificent resource in the center of Loughton providing the community with 3 separate bars, a function hall and a members only snooker hall.  We host a whole variety of community groups as well as social areas to meet with your friends; relatives and work colleagues. We also have Sky and BT to view all ranges of sports and have some terrific tribute bands planned for 2020.

Find out more at https://39d.co.uk or call us on 01279 800 039

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Your email is your greatest tool. And biggest threat

Your email is your greatest tool. And biggest threat Because we rely on email so much to run our businesses, it’s our greatest tool (no matter how much you might sigh when you see how many unread emails you have). But because there’s so much activity in there. And you can receive emails from anyone, it’s the most common way to try to breach your business. Hackers are targeting every business, every day.

Using clever automated tools. In this new video we show you some of the common cyber crimes that start in emails. And how to protect your business. We’re 39d, looking after businesses in Essex and Herts. And we’re very much on your side. Let’s work together to keep the hackers out.

Find out more at https://39d.co.uk or call us on 01279 800 039

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How to face The 2020 Problem like a hero

Christmas is nearly here, and along with all the family get togethers, office parties and mountains of brussels sprouts there’s one thing you can always count on – there will be loads of action movies on the TV.

In January, Microsoft is withdrawing support for some of its most popular old business software. This creates a huge problem for organisations everywhere, because when it inevitably fails, it can’t be fixed.

Check out guide to help you understand the signs to look for and steps you can take.

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Don’t play Russian Roulette with your Windows software in 2020!!

Did you know that many of Microsoft’s much used software will reach ‘end of life’ in January 2020?

“What can I do about it?  I don’t want to become a target for hackers and leave my business exposed to viruses and none compliance!!”

Sounds scary, particularly as half of businesses in Essex, Herts & Cambs could be affected by the big changes by Microsoft in 2020, but there is a simple answer, but you do need to act now. 

The good news is that you still have time to remove the potential risks and not play Russian Roulette with your systems in 2020.  To explain, we have written an easy guide, a short book addressing the issues and solutions available.

January 2020 is only around the corner, so to safeguard your technology, act now.  Please enter your details below to receive your free book.

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Why do organisations need a security culture? Isn’t software enough?

How many times have you heard people making excuses about “computer errors”? It’s the go-to response when payments are missed, astronomical bank charges are requested and files mysteriously go bump in the night. But the reality is, computers don’t make mistakes – they do exactly what we tell them to do. Humans, on the other hand? We’re always the weakest link – too much stress, a few drinks after hours and rushing to make it out the door by 5pm can all make people scatty.

According to a 2019 survey conducted by Censuswide, 89% of surveyed organisations in the UK said they had suffered some kind of security breach – of which a staggering 63% had been down to user error.

That’s why the phrase “you’re only human” exists. We’re not super infallible beings; we slip up from time to time. And when we do, the consequences can be dire. Embedding security culture into your organisation is all about minimising those mistakes and providing humans with a framework that helps them make good decisions.

Creating a culture of security

All cultures need time to grow. It’s not something that’s going to happen overnight, but if you invest in the right tools and lead by example, you’ll soon be able to transform your organisation and create a secure, panic free environment.

1. Willingness to change

Successful organisations understand the importance of responding to what’s going on in the world and aren’t afraid of new technology.

2. Strong leadership

If staff see their managers sharing passwords, the message is that it’s ok to be lax about security. A solid security culture starts at the top and should be embedded in everything you do.

3. Celebrating success

For people to invest their time and effort, they need to see that it’s worthwhile. Good cyber security companies will be able to provide you with reports about suspicious activity and potential breaches. Sharing these with staff will help them understand they’re making a difference.

4. Return on investment

Cyber security services are all about lowering vulnerabilities and protecting data, but not all offerings are created equal. Selecting the right provider will enable you to show stakeholders you’re spending money wisely.

5 steps to creating a sustainable security culture

Even if you’ve never given cyber crime more than a passing thought, the fact that you’re reading this right now means you’re on the way to creating a culture of security. Even small changes, like ensuring your team do some basic training on how to recognise a phishing email, can go a really long way towards making your business more secure. It’s going to take time for it all to filter through and become second nature, but with the right procedures and attitudes in place, you’ll get there.

1. Instill a sense of ownership

It’s common for people to think that cyber security is someone else’s problem: “Nah, it’s not up to me, it’s the IT guy’s job!” While it’s true that your IT provider should be taking overall responsibility for security tech and monitoring your system for suspicious behavior, that doesn’t mean the buck stops with them. A security culture is for everyone and adhering to the rules should be non-negotiable.

2. Provide the right training

As a general rule, people want to do the right thing – the vast majority of in-house data breaches have nothing to do with malicious intent, but lack of education. Simply sticking posters up around the office isn’t enough – they’ll become part of the furniture and get ignored. It’s important to assess everyone’s awareness of internet security and start with the very basics if necessary

3. Use mistakes as an opportunity to grow

Even the most organised organisations have their off days. Instead of trying to brush things under the carpet, use slip ups as a learning opportunity and build them into your risk assessment. No need to name and shame the individuals involved, but things like lost mobiles and accidental link clicks can become great teaching moments.

4. Implement a Secure Development Lifecycle (SDL)

An SDL is a set of processes and activities that organisations need to perform to keep their data and systems safe. It includes risk assessments and threat modelling, security patches, password management, upgrades and ongoing monitoring. If this all sounds like just another onerous task, the good news is that a reliable IT service provider will be more than happy to talk you through it.

5. Reward good behavior

It’s great if you’re in a position to offer perks for doing cyber security training and following good practice, but that’s not always possible. A simple thank you never goes amiss. And employees who go above and beyond to make cyber security a priority can perhaps be given roles like “security ambassador” or be featured in your company newsletter. Creating a culture of cyber security is good for everyone. It provides team members with opportunities to grow and learn. And gives both employees and customers peace of mind that their valuable data is being taken care of.

Discover Whether You’ve Had Your Information Stolen In A Data Breach With Firefox Monitor

Are you concerned that your information may have been stolen or leaked in a cyber-attack?

With the rise in the number of data breaches in 2018, it is understandable that you may be worried about whether your personal data has been compromised or leaked. Large organisations such as Facebook and British Airways have been victims of such breaches over the past year, with millions of customers having their information stolen.


managed cyber security solution


Mozilla has launched a new notification service for their Firefox Quantum browser – Firefox Monitor, which was introduced in September 2018. This breach notification website will detect threats against your online email accounts and will alert you of any breaches you have been involved in.

Firefox Monitor enables you to check whether your data was compromised in a cyber-attack by running a search against your email address. This will allow you to see exactly which breach you were involved in, when the attack occurred, and which data was taken. Firefox also provides information on how you can stay ahead of these hackers, with useful tips on creating stronger passwords for your online accounts.

As part of this notification system, Firefox will also notify you when your online account details are connected to any new website breach that occurs.

Firefox will even alert you when you visit a website that has recently suffered a data breach and had personal information stolen from their site. This way, you can browse the internet knowing which websites have and have not been a victim of a cyber-attack.

Using Firefox Monitor is just one way that you can protect your details from being compromised in an attack, as there are many ways you can protect yourself from cybercrime.

Almost 75% of people use duplicate passwords for a variety of their online accounts, many of which have not been changed in the past 5 years or so. Changing your passwords regularly is one way that you can protect your personal data, and we suggest that you always have different passwords for your accounts.

If you run a business that manages personal data, it’s vital that your customer’s information is 100% secure and that you are not a victim of cybercrime. For more information on how to protect yourself against cybercrime, whether you’re an individual or a business, get in touch with 39 Degress on 01279 800039.

Eurostar Resets All Customers’ Passwords After Attempted Security Data Breach

Eurostar has reset the passwords to some of their customers’ online accounts after discovering an attempted data breach. The attempted attack, which occurred between the 15th and 19th of October, has made Eurostar take “precautionary measures” to ensure that any compromised accounts are now secure.

The accounts that were targeted by the hackers have had their passwords reset, with other customers being told that their accounts are blocked and that they need to change their password.



The company has however confirmed that the credit card information and payment details of these accounts were not compromised, as Eurostar “deliberately never store any bank card information, so there is no possibility of compromise to credit card or payment details.”

If you’re a Eurostar customer, it will be difficult to know whether you have been directly affected by the attack. Some customers have been contacted via email and informed that their account was logged into during this period, and that if it was the account holder didn’t log in between these dates, then there’s a chance that their account was accessed by “unauthorised attempt.”

This isn’t the first time that a cyber-attack has been carried out on a travel company in recent weeks, as Airline Company British Airways was also the victim of a cyber-attack which saw the information of over 380,000 customers compromised. In November, British Airways also discovered that the information of an additional 185,000 customers was also stolen. You can find out more about the British Airways attack in our article here.

One security tip that the experts here at 39 Degress would suggest is that you change your passwords occasionally. Most of all cyber security attacks involve a weak or stolen password, and changing your passwords regularly can help avoid the possibility of a breach. If a hacker was to gain access to one of your passwords, chances are, they will have access to multiple accounts.

Changing your passwords is just one of the ways that you can improve your cyber security capabilities, and here at Ghost, we provide a diverse range of Cyber Security Services to businesses that want to help maintain and ensure GDPR compliance.

We’ll ensure that your business complies with the latest regulatory requirements and we’ll even improve the Cyber awareness culture throughout your organisation, with certified staff awareness training. This will teach your staff about the importance of cyber security and their responsibilities in following security procedures.

For more information on cyber security and how you can improve the culture throughout your business, get in touch with 39 Degress on 01279 800039 and discuss your current security processes with one of our cyber experts. Alternatively, you can find out more about our cyber services on our Cyber Security page here.