Hacker in deep mind solutions to destroy web

Modern businesses in Santa Ana are almost universally reliant on their internal computer networks to be productive. No matter how large or small your company may be, network failures, server crashes, or service downtimes can threaten a business’s livelihood and cut into the bottom line. This means that network monitoring services that can identify and avoid these pitfalls are incredibly important. When properly used, monitoring services can detect slow and failing components, such as monitors, routers, firewalls, servers, and software. If you’re not sure that you can independently handle network monitoring for your business, C3 Tech’s IT monitoring services can handle these issues on your behalf. Here are just a few of the reasons why proper network monitoring is so critical for a business’s success. But what does this service do for you?

Security

Network monitoring adds another layer of cybersecurity to your business, preventing intrusions from unfamiliar devices that attempt to connect to the network. It can also help prevent your employees from accessing potentially harmful websites that can infect your network with malware. Network visibility is critical to creating a “map” of your business’s devices and network nodes, so you can know what is happening where. 

Maintaining Productivity

Network outages mean a heavy hit to a business’s bottom line, whether you’re a small business or a major enterprise. With network monitoring, you can anticipate or avert network outages and address problems proactively rather than reactively. This can help reduce overall risks to your business as well as reduce the workload on your IT team or IT service provider. 

Network Monitoring woman at computer

Troubleshooting

Network monitoring can help drastically reduce the amount of time it takes to troubleshoot any problems. With network monitoring, you should have a set of benchmark data for your network’s normal performance parameters, such as data upload and download speeds, server lag, and more. If you detect any abnormalities with your network, monitoring can enable you to trace them back to their root cause more quickly and effectively. 

Planning For The Future

With proper network monitoring, you can detect if a particular piece of hardware is behind multiple network failures and identify it for future replacement. Proper network monitoring also enables you to add new devices seamlessly as your business expands, rather than having to go through the trouble of integrating them in different ways every single time. 

Monitoring Usage Trends

With network monitoring, you can also determine which parts of your system are being overused and which are being underused. If your business is dependent on a web portal for customer service, for instance, you can identify the peaks and valleys of usage and allocate resources to give your users a better experience. You can also track how specific applications are used and identify what is popular with different groups or locations. 

If you are looking for trustworthy monitoring or IT outsourcing service in Santa Ana, you can put your faith in C3 Tech. Our managed IT services, network security, data recovery, and more all ensure that your business’s network will be healthy and reliable no matter how much you use it. With network monitoring from C3 Tech, you’ll be able to focus on your business’s core competencies rather than having to worry about your IT needs. Call us today at (714) 689-1700, and we can discuss your Santa Ana company’s IT requirements. To learn more, visit our network security page!

Login into account in email envelope and fishing hook. Phishing scam, hacker attack and web security concept. online scam and steal. vector illustration in flat design

There are many IT services and softwares that you can utilize to help improve your company’s cybersecurity. However, no matter how many precautions you take, human error can undo everything and allow malicious forces into your company’s system. If you want to protect your Irvine business and stay safe online, use these tips to help you avoid phishing emails and other scams.

Think Before You Click

Phishing emails have become very sophisticated and are designed to fool even the most tech-savvy among us. They almost perfectly replicate emails from trusted names, using a fake but similar email address to deceive you. Although these emails may look like they came from a person or brand that you trust, you should always double-check the sender’s email address if you’re not sure. Phishing emails often most obviously fail in replicating the tone of the sender. If you think the content or tone of the message is different than what you’d expect to receive, contact that person directly and verify that they’ve emailed you. If it’s a brand, make sure that the email address matches their corporate website. Always do your due diligence and take a second to analyze the email before clicking any links in order to avoid potential cybersecurity dangers.

Verify the Site’s Security

Entering sensitive financial information online can always make you feel a bit wary, and with good reason. Especially around the holidays, attackers target and replicate e-commerce sites with the goal of collecting and using your credit card information. If you want to make sure that your purchases are safe, always check that the website’s URL begins with “https” rather than just “http”. There should be a closed padlock icon to the left of the web address to indicate that you are on a secured website. If you are on an unsecured site, never download any files or enter any personal information. Even if you were directed from a search engine, you may end up on a phishing webpage controlled by cybercriminals.

Install Anti-Phishing & Antivirus Tools

When it comes to avoiding scams, you don’t need to look out for them all on your own. Software and extensions such as anti-phishing browser toolbars are there to help you filter out unsafe sites and keep you a bit more secure online. Virtually all Internet browsers can be outfitted with simple anti-phishing toolbars which will run quick checks on the sites you visit and compare them to a database of known phishing sites. If you come across an unsecured or potentially dangerous site, the toolbar or extension will alert you. Utilizing antivirus software will protect you in a variety of ways, including by guarding you against phishing scams. It will scan all of your downloads and block any potentially harmful material that comes through the Internet to your computer.

There is no single fool-proof way to avoid phishing scams, but staying diligent and following these steps will help you identify and avoid as many phishing attacks as possible. C3 Tech Solutions offers cybersecurity training for Irvine employees so you can make sure that everyone at your company is up-to-date on all of the latest cybersecurity and safe internet browsing measures. Keeping your employees well-informed will not only benefit them, but it will keep your company’s information safe as well. To find out more about our services and get started with a custom package, give us a call today at (714) 689-1700. 

Purchasing thing online

The Christmas season is fast approaching, and with that comes a plethora of holiday shopping to be done. Unfortunately, scammers use this frantic shopping season to take advantage of Santa Ana consumers. From credit card fraud to computer malware, there are dozens of tactics that hackers use to gain access to your financial information. In order to stay safe this holiday season, follow these 12 rules of safe online shopping.

  1. Beware of malware

‘Tis the season for malware, so you should always take care before you click. When shopping for a specific item, visit the company’s website directly rather than searching for the item via a search engine. Phony sites created to look like the popular brand’s website can fool even the savviest of shoppers and lead you to download malware that can harm your computer or steal its data.

  1. Look for the padlock

Always make sure that you are browsing on a secure website! The website should have an ‘s’ in https:// and will have a padlock next to the web address. If you don’t notice either of these details, don’t shop! Never enter financial information into an unsecured site. 

  1. Comparison shop different websites

One of the biggest advantages of online shopping is that you can almost instantaneously compare the prices and reputations of several different sellers offering the same item. If you’re looking at one product in particular, compare different websites and choose the one that has the most reviews, most positive reviews, and the most reasonable price.

  1. Use familiar websites

It’s always best to use websites you’re familiar with in order to reduce your chances of credit card fraud or other malicious tactics. Department stores and other big-box retailers are a great place to get a variety of products for every member of your family while minimizing your risk for deception.

  1. Beware of phishing

Phishing is a rampant issue during the holiday shopping season. Emails promising unbelievable savings are filling your inbox from every retailer under the sun. However, among these great deals are also duplicate spam emails that replicate the appearance of your favorite retailer’s marketing emails in order to get you to click on their embedded links. Beware these phishing scams, as they can steal your sensitive information in a matter of seconds. Always double-check the sender’s email address before clicking any links, or visit the retailer’s website directly.

  1. Check your billing statements often

Even if you’ve been extremely cautious in your online shopping tactics, fraud can still happen to anyone. Make sure that you are checking your bank statements very regularly during this time of year, and immediately report any unfamiliar credit card activity to your bank. 

online shopping safety - C3 Tech

online shopping safety – C3 Tech

  1. Be wary of deceptively good deals

There are plenty of doorbuster deals happening in the run-up to Christmas, but some discounts are just too good to be true. If you notice a deal that’s too incredible to pass up, take a second to assess its legitimacy. You may have been led to an unsecured website, a fake website, or you may receive an inferior or defective product.

  1. Protect with security patch updates

Make sure that you are staying up-to-date with your devices’ latest security updates in order to best protect your data. Failing to update on time can leave you vulnerable to hackers, malware, and other cybersecurity threats. 

  1. Double-check links before clicking

Before you click on any link, whether it’s in an email or online, double-check where the link will direct you and who the sender is. If you don’t recognize the sender or if the link is on an unsecured, unfamiliar website, don’t click! Taking an extra second to be cautious could save you precious hours recovering your identity and financial information later.

  1. Use credit, not debit

When purchasing online, it’s always wiser to use a credit card rather than a debit card. Credit cards offer better fraud protection, so if someone does use your information, it will be much easier for you to get that money back.

  1. Beware public Wi-Fi

Never enter your credit card number or other sensitive information while using public WiFi. If you must use public WiFi, stick to trusted retail sources like Starbucks or Barnes & Noble. Never use an unrecognized public WiFi network for browsing, as it leaves you susceptible to password and bank fraud.

  1. Check out return policies

Before purchasing from an unfamiliar site, double-check their return policies. Any reputable e-commerce site will accept returns or exchanges for their items, especially around the holiday season. If they don’t accept returns of any kind, even in the instance of a damaged product, proceed with caution. 

If you’re going to be online shopping this holiday season, follow these essential steps to keep yourself safe. If you’re browsing from a work computer, as many of us do, data protection is even more crucial. Keep your employees and your Santa Ana company safe with valuable IT services such as cybersecurity training, data backup, and Dark Web services from C3 Tech Solutions. To find out more about our services and office technology, give us a call today at (714) 689-1700. We would be happy to assist you with whatever IT services your company needs. 

adblock popup web banner concept. isolated vector

Did you know that human error is involved in 95% of all security breaches? No matter how much money you spend on firewalls, encryption, and secure access devices for your company, employees can still welcome security breaches into your network through carelessness or ignorance. From phishing emails to stolen laptops, there are countless ways that cybersecurity threats are posed to your business. However, by thoroughly training your employees on their cyber habits you can effectively avoid difficult and costly situations for your company and your team.

Establish Clear Protocols

The first step to training employees on cybersecurity is not to teach them how to avoid a threat, but what to do if one occurs. No matter how well trained they are in the matter, accidents happen and threats can slip through. To minimize the amount of damage done to your company, ensure that all employees are well versed in the security protocols they should follow in case of a breach. Should employees immediately shut down their computers? Should they try to manage the problem on their own or step away from the device immediately? Who should they report a breach to first, and how should they go about this? Teaching employees how to protect themselves and what to do in case of an emergency will help manage the problem and minimize the potential damage done to your company’s system and valuable information. When it comes to cybersecurity threats, time is of the essence.

Teach Good Password Practices

It may seem obvious, but having a secure password is an essential way of protecting your personal and corporate information. However, the most common password used online is “password”. You may assume that employees know good password practices, but fewer than you expect will apply them without proper training. Teach employees to change their passwords periodically, always choosing strong passcodes that have at least 8 characters with a mix of different cases, numbers, and special characters. Employees should also use different passwords for their work accounts than they use for their personal accounts. If their personal information is hacked or stolen, the last thing you want is for the hacker to gain access to corporate files as well. Always encourage them to utilize two-factor authentication where possible, and promote the use of password managers over keeping physical notes of passwords. Training employees to follow these steps will help keep work computers safe and information inaccessible to hackers.

IT Company meeting

IT Company meeting

Think Before You Click

From Phishing emails to fake URLs, there are hundreds of malicious tactics that are utilized by hackers to access your system. Emphasize the importance of thoroughly assessing links, email addresses, and attachments before clicking in order to minimize your risk of a security breach. Employees may receive phishing emails from phony addresses containing harmful links or attachments. Before clicking or downloading anything, train employees to always double-check the email address itself. Hackers often use a familiar email address with one letter or number altered in order to fool employees who aren’t paying close attention. Employees should also be trained to be extremely wary of links or buttons in pop-up windows. If employees are ever unsure, they should visit the official website by manually typing in the address themselves. Taking extra precautions when opening or downloading anything on a work computer will help keep company information private and systems clean.

If you’re unsure of how to go about teaching your employees proper cybersecurity, trust the experts at C3 to provide thorough lessons that will enhance your business’s safety. We provide baseline testing to assess the Phish-prone percentage of your employees, offer the world’s largest library of security awareness training content, and supply you with enterprise-strength reporting that includes a personal timeline for each user. Compromised cybersecurity can be devastating for companies, especially small businesses, which is why it’s always better to be safe than sorry. To take the first step toward reducing security risk related to human error, give C3 Tech a call today at (714) 689-1700 and find out more about our managed IT and network security services.

windows 7

Starting January 14, 2020, Microsoft will no longer provide security updates or support for PCs with Windows 7. As a result, companies still using Windows 7 will need to plan and implement a Windows 10 migration in order to keep their operating systems secure. Whether you want to upgrade to 10 using your existing hardware or purchase new hardware that already includes the OS, it’s highly recommended that all businesses switch to Windows 10 before the end of life date in order to stay safe and receive necessary security updates. 

What is Microsoft’s end of life?

Microsoft is unique in that it has a very specific lifecycle for all of its operating systems. An operating system’s life begins when it’s rolled out to the public, and it ends when it’s fully no longer supported. There are two phases to Microsoft’s end of support process: end of mainstream support and end of extended support. Windows 7’s mainstream support ended on January 13, 2015, meaning that this was the date when Microsoft stopped offering new features and complementary support for the program. However, Microsoft still provides bug fixes, patches, and other security updates until the end of extended support. That date is January 14, 2020, or Windows 7’s official end of life date. After this date, security updates will no longer be pushed through to Windows 7 and your computer becomes much more susceptible to security breaches and malfunctions. That’s why it’s highly advised that you switch all of your Windows devices to Windows 10, especially in a corporate environment where digital security is of the utmost importance.

What happens if you keep using Windows 7?

You can keep using Windows 7 after January 14, 2020, if desired. Your computer will power up and run using the old operating system. However, you will no longer receive any software updates or security updates from Microsoft. This means that continuing to use the old operating system will make your computer much more vulnerable to security breaches and viruses. Microsoft applications like Office 365 will also run less effectively since no further updates will be offered for that operating system. If you do run into any trouble using the platform, you also won’t be able to receive any Microsoft support after this date. Although it is possible to run Windows 7 after its end of life date, we highly advise against doing so if you want to adequately protect your company from security risks.

What should you do to upgrade?

There are two ways to upgrade to Windows 10: by upgrading your existing hardware’s operating system or by purchasing new hardware with Windows 10 already installed. If you wish to upgrade your hardware as well as your software, it’s fairly affordable to do so. The PCs of today are much less expensive compared to the computers that came freshly installed with Windows 7 eight years ago. They will also have additional security and functionality features that will enhance your company’s productivity, making it a worthwhile option to consider. If you don’t want to invest in all-new hardware, you can upgrade your existing computer’s operating system to Windows 10. When it comes to upgrading your Windows 7 enterprise and migrating your entire company’s operating system, it’s always best to seek the help of an IT professional. C3 Tech’s managed IT services and network security services are here for you to help you remain as efficient, productive, and secure as possible. 

If you’re preparing for Windows 7 end of life and need help migrating your office’s technology solutions to Windows 10, give us a call here at C3 Tech. We specialize in IT services and office technology solutions for Orange County businesses of all sizes, with custom packages that give you exactly what you need to succeed. If you’re ready to get started, give us a call today at (714) 689-1700 and speak to one of our friendly and knowledgeable team members about your options. Want to upgrade from 7 to 10 for free? Check out this CNET article.