The Blog

CA_entrance_angleOver the years, we receive the same questions from customers, and sometimes its difficult to communicate a complete answer in shop.  We decided to start this blog to help provide in depth answers to those questions.

What sort of computer do I need?

How should I backup?  

Should I upgrade to Windows 10?

How can I protect myself against viruses? 

Do we really need a $1000 video card so Little Johnny can do his homework? (err, good one Little Johnny.  No.) 

We will add new articles answering these questions, and more.  If there are any particular guides or questions you would like us to address, please leave us a note on Facebook or as comments in this post and I’ll see what we can do!

GST to be Charged on Overseas Purchases from 2017

GSTAn agreement between all state and federal governments to remove a GST exclusion will see GST apply to all overseas purchases by mid 2017.

Today, purchases of up to $1000 from overseas retailers do not incur GST, meaning the same item can be discounted by up to $100 if sold through an overseas store, an unfair advantage that benefits overseas business relative to local stores.

Rather than open every box moving through customs, the proposal is based around charging GST at sale time with agreement from major international retailers to collect the tax.  It will be interesting to see how this will be enforced with smaller retailers.

I personally have no problem with international competition where that competition forces down local prices kept artificially high by international manufacturers (the “Australia Tax”).  In terms of most computer hardware, that issue is uncommon, with local prices quite competitive when adjusted for exchange rates and tax.

IT retail tends to be very competitive with markups often under 10%, so the lack of GST can artificially result in overseas purchases coming in cheaper than the same item from local stores.  This change will help keep local IT retail companies viable.

Fake Windows 10 Upgrade Email Installs Ransomware

We have noted a particularly nasty piece of Malware making the rounds.

An email, apparently from Microsoft, asks the user to open an attached executable, which will promptly encrypt your files.  The malware then tries to ransom the files.

For anyone without current and offline backups, take this warning as a reminder to review you backups, and ensure one set of backups offline. Malware like this can potentially see any attached backups such as on a external HDD, and encrypt those as well!

If you are not familiar with Ransomware, you may want to check out our article:

When your Digital Life is Held to Ransom