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Safe Internet Browsing Tactics to Teach Employees

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.

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 web site 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.

What You Need to Know About Windows 7 End of Life

 

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 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 complimentary 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 Windows 7 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.

Why Data Backup and Recovery are Important for Your Business

The single thing most important to your company’s function is its data. Without data, only a minuscule fraction of companies have what they need to complete their day’s work. Especially in the case of companies who keep private customer or client data on file, data loss can be devastating. A comprehensive data backup and recovery plan are imperative for ensuring that your company is protected. Without one, your company can experience permanent data loss, extensive employee downtime, and unanticipated expenses. Here are just a few of the many reasons why data backup and recovery are crucial for your business.

  1. Cyberattacks Are Always Evolving

In 2017, the average small business affected by ransomware lost more than $100,000 due to downtime. Odds are, if you’re a small business, this amount is not something you can easily spare. Although there are a number of ways to try and protect yourself from cyberattacks, these processes are not always successful, and any company can be susceptible to malware or other malicious attacks. Technology is always evolving, but this means that cyberattacks are always evolving and becoming more advanced as well. If one attack slips through the cracks of your preventative measures, data recovery plans can make sure that the damage is minimal and your downtime is virtually nonexistent. 

  1. Mistakes Happen

Many people think that data loss is typically a result of natural disasters or cyberattacks, and therefore it’s extremely rare or easy to prevent. However, the reality is that over half of all data loss incidents are the result of unanticipated human error or hardware malfunctions. Whether it’s coffee spilled on a hard drive, lost laptops, or accidentally pressing the delete key, mistakes happen. Ensuring that you have a data backup and recovery solution in place will help you get back up and running in no time, thereby saving you time, money, and stress.

 

  1. Your Reputation is Invaluable

More than 20 percent of businesses that experience data loss will lose customers as a result. Of those companies, 40 percent lose more than ⅕ of their customers. Is this a loss that you’re able or willing to take? Losing a client’s trust means losing their business. Make sure that you always have client data fully backed up and easily recoverable with a comprehensive recovery plan from C3. 

  1. Lost Time is Lost Money

29 percent of businesses that are victims of cyber attacks lose revenue, and 40 percent of those companies lose more than 20 percent of their total revenues. In business, time is money, and therefore extensive downtime will inevitably result in lost profits. By having access to a backup of all of your data, you can eliminate significant downtime caused by a data loss incident and get right back to work.

If you want to ensure that your data is safe and always recoverable, call C3 Tech to discuss a data backup and recovery plan. We can customize your plan to perfectly suit your business’s needs, no matter how big or small your company is. We provide you more than basic IT services; we provide complete peace of mind. Give us a call today at (714) 689-1700 to speak to a team member and get started. 

Is Your Multifunction Printer Right for Your Business?

One of the most essential office technologies for a business of any size is a multifunction printer. Whether you’re a small startup or a multinational corporation, no company is too big or too small to need a printer. While you may think that all business printers are virtually the same, choosing the wrong all-in-one printer for your business can cause you to waste money, break your machine, or encounter more problems than it’s worth. Here at C3 Tech, we’ll assess your business’s needs and recommend a multifunction printer that is efficient and well-suited to your company’s printing demands. 

Functionality

There are many aspects to a printer’s functionality that need to be considered in order to find your perfect match. Do you frequently need to print color graphics, or would you benefit most from an exclusively black and white printer? How many paper sizes do you need to print on? Do you require additional features like automatic two-sided printing, automatic stapling, multipurpose trays, or USB and card readers? While you may be led to believe that more is better, that’s certainly not always the case. Having too many unnecessary functionalities on your commercial printer can cost you a lot of time and money that could be better allocated elsewhere. 

Connectivity

Another factor you’ll need to consider is connectivity options. Many modern multifunction printers now come with features like Wi-Fi and mobile connectivity. If your printer can connect wirelessly, your employees will be able to more easily print and scan documents from anywhere in the office. This convenience not only keeps employees happier, but it will increase your company’s efficiency. However, wired connections are typically faster, more reliable, and more secure. Considering the nature of your business and the size of your office will help you decide which connectivity option is ideal for your company. If you’re not sure which option is better suited to your needs now or in the future, let an office technology specialist such as C3 Tech guide you in choosing.

Affordability

The biggest concern for almost every company when choosing a printer is the end cost. Businesses must consider not just the initial cost of buying the machine, but also the operational cost of using it. The price of consumables, as well as maintenance and repair costs, can be astronomical even if the printer itself was extremely cheap. Including the price of these items in your assessment when debating which multifunction printer to buy will help you choose the most affordable option overall for long-term savings. Another way to increase your printer’s affordability is to lease it rather than purchase it outright. Technology is always changing, and so too are your business needs. As your company grows and as technology updates, you’ll find yourself needing different functionality from your all-in-one printer than you did in previous years. Leasing a multifunction printer allows you to update your machine as needed, so you can save money both on the machine itself as well as on consumables and repair fees. 

Here at C3 Tech, we take time to assess each company’s unique printing demands so that we can pair you with a commercial printer that will save you money and increase efficiency. Our managed print services will help you gain control of habits that result in waste, improve tracking and reporting to optimize your fleet of devices, and continually provide solutions that will grow with your company. If you want not just an office technology specialist, but a long-term business partner committed to your success, look no further than C3 Tech. To get started and speak to one of our friendly and knowledgeable team members, give us a call today at (714) 689-1700. We would be happy to assist you in any way we can.

The Advantages of Leasing an Office Copy Machine

Every business needs a printer and copier. It’s an essential piece of office technology that’s virtually impossible to live without if you want your company running efficiently at all times. However, commercial copiers are a hefty investment that can cost thousands of dollars in capital. If you want the latest technology available to you at an affordable monthly rate with managed print services, consider leasing your commercial copier from C3 Technology Solutions.

Initial Cost & Budgeting

There are many reasons why your business may prefer to lease a copy machine or multifunction printer rather than purchase one outright. Perhaps the biggest factor is cost. If you’re a small or midsize business, you likely have limited financial resources that are best saved for exploring business opportunities and aiding revenue growth. Investing in office technology that immediately depreciates in value is not a wise way to spend that many thousands of dollars. With a leased commercial copier, you can establish a set schedule of smaller payments. Being able to budget in this way is hugely beneficial to a growing company that will inevitably find its copier needs changing in a few years anyway.

Tax Benefits

Leasing a copier also has notable tax benefits over purchasing a copier. When you buy a copier in full, you can deduct only the value of the machine’s depreciation, which is typically 40 percent of the retail price in the first year after purchasing and 25 percent every year after. However, if you choose to lease your copy machine, you can deduct your entire payment value from your taxes. This is because the lease payment is considered a pre-tax business expense.

Technology Updates

Another reason to lease your commercial copier rather than buying it is due to the inevitable obsolescence of office technology. Technology and the demands of your business are constantly evolving, and the copier you buy today may not be the copier you need tomorrow. With a multifunction printer lease, you are not committed to the device for years at a time. By leasing, you can upgrade your equipment and keep up to date with the latest technology, thereby keeping your business operating at peak efficiency.

Hassle-Free Maintenance & Repairs

If you don’t have a large in-house IT department to help service your office technology equipment, leased commercial copiers are a great option. Most leased copiers also have managed print services available to utilize, so maintenance and repairs are a breeze. With managed print services, you can order compatible toner cartridges in a matter of seconds and report any issues to a team of reliable and responsible technicians. All maintenance and repairs are performed in an extremely timely manner, so you can keep business running smoothly. When you purchase a copier, you also accept the upkeep that goes along with it. With leased commercial copiers, you can allow C3 to take care of the maintenance for you.

C3 Tech will work with your team to study your printing, scanning, and document management needs. We’ll help you find the best office technology equipment for your business at the lowest possible cost. Enjoy all the benefits of leasing a commercial copy machine and enlist our managed print services for hassle-free maintenance and repairs. To find out more about the equipment and services we can provide, give us a call today at (714) 689-1700.

Why Managed IT Services Are Better Than In-House

Every business, no matter what size, must make a decision between in-house IT and managed IT services. There are pros and cons to both, but many small- and medium-sized businesses often find that managed services are more advantageous when it comes to both cost and quality of service. Which choice is best for you will be dependant on what kind of support your business requires, but here are a few things to consider when deciding on a managed IT service provider.

Stay on Budget

One of the most common misconceptions about managed IT services is that it costs more than hiring in-house support. The truth is, hiring in-house IT is usually ultimately more expensive for small businesses, and it’s much less reliable and consistent in costs. In California, the average salary for a systems administrator is $75k. In addition to the employee salary, benefits, training costs, and taxes, you also will be responsible for paying for hardware, software, and other tools needed to sustain your operation. With managed IT services, you are paying a fixed monthly rate that covers the cost of technicians, supplies, software, and any unanticipated malfunctions. With in-house IT, you can end up paying more than expected to fix unexpected problems, or you may end up wasting money by hiring an employee that sits idly at times while your systems are running perfectly. Managed IT services guarantee that you are spending exactly what you expect to spend each month while receiving quality and consistent IT service. 

Allows Room for Growth

The goal of every company is to grow and expand its operations. As your company grows, so will the demands put on your IT department. You will need to add more servers, purchase more hardware, and hire more employees. This will exponentially increase your spending and limit the rate at which you can grow. It can take months on end to expand your in-house IT department to the point to which you need it. With managed IT services, however, you can expand your operation overnight. We have the storage space, depth of knowledge, and manpower to accommodate your company’s growing needs instantaneously. Managed IT services encourage growth rather than inhibiting it like in-house IT often can. All you need to do is contact us here at C3, and we can provide you with everything your company needs, big or small.

Always Available

Managed IT service providers are here for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In-house IT can be beneficial since your IT administrator will be on-site when a problem occurs. But what happens when your expert is on vacation, sick, or at home after hours? Managed IT technicians are always accessible, and they can diagnose your problems just as quickly as in-house technicians. No matter what issue occurs or what time it occurs, managed IT service providers like C3 Tech will be there to take care of you.

With managed IT services from C3 Tech, you can ensure you’re always running at peak efficiency with minimal disruption. Whenever anything goes wrong, you can trust that someone will be available to assist you, any day or time. To find out more about our range of IT services, including managed IT, give us a call today at (714) 689-1700.

How to Protect Your Identity on the Dark Web

Did you know that 1 in 15 people became victims of identity fraud in 2017 alone? Overall, 33 percent of Americans have experienced identity theft in some form, and 20 percent of victims have gone through it more than once. Having your personal information stolen, whether it’s a Netflix password or a Social Security number, leaves you feeling violated, unsafe, and helpless. It’s common to feel like there’s nothing you can do to prevent your information from being stolen, especially when it’s breached via a company that you trusted with your personal information. With dark web monitoring services from C3 Technologies, you’ll have a dedicated team constantly monitoring the dark web for your personal information, and you’ll be notified as soon as anything appears.

What is the Dark Web?

The dark web is a part of the Internet that isn’t indexed by search engines and can only be accessed via special software. Although there are legal information and services available on the dark web, such as medical records and government resources, it has a reputation for the illegal activity that occurs throughout it. The dark web is often used to post or sell people’s personal information – anything from social media profile passwords to Social Security and credit card numbers. When a person or company’s secure information is hacked and accessed, it is often sold on the dark web to the highest bidder.

How Can You Protect Yourself?

Most user information online isn’t secure because visitors use the same password across multiple websites and accounts, even if that single password is considered a strong one. In order to better protect yourself, it’s highly recommended that you use a different password for each of your online accounts. This way, users who gain access to your Netflix account can’t also gain access to your bank information or medical portal. Keeping a physical notebook with a list of passwords written down is a more secure way to remember each password rather than having it on a digital device or only having a couple of passwords across all accounts. The chance of a hostile stranger gaining access to physical password records is far less likely than an online hacker gaining access to your digital information. You should also go through and update any passwords that are weak or have been compromised previously. The best way to ensure that your passwords are secure, however, is to run a dark web scan and monitor your information. Dark web scanning and monitoring services can help you discover and protect stolen information that you wouldn’t otherwise realize has been stolen. Don’t wait until your bank account is emptied to take notice of your compromised information. Be notified as soon as the first breach occurs with C3’s dark web monitoring service.

Spotlight ID

Spotlight ID is a powerful platform that monitors the dark web for your information and immediately notifies you when it detects someone using or selling your compromised identity. Spotlight will monitor your personal identity information, social profiles, and credit profiles to make sure that the information hasn’t been accessed and exploited. In the case of identity theft, Spotlight’s US-based team will work tirelessly to help you recover and restore your identity. There are three flexible and affordable protection plans available, so you can choose the option that’s best for you. We even offer a family bundle that provides protection for two adults and up to 10 minors, so you can keep your entire family’s information secure.

Virtually everyone with an online presence has their identifying information made available on the dark web at some point in their life. Get notified as soon as it happens and stop identity theft in its tracks with the Spotlight ID platform courtesy of C3 Tech. Here at C3 Tech, we always make our customers our top priority, and we’ll work diligently to ensure that your company’s needs are always met as quickly as possible. If you’d like to find out more about our dark web monitoring or any of the other services we provide, give us a call at (714) 689-1700 today.

Introducing the New C3 Tech

C3 Technology Services, evolved from C3 Office Solutions, is a full-service IT and business technology company that is dedicated to providing you with the best technology services in the industry so that you’re always fully prepared and protected. We want our customers to experience the best value, the most advanced technology, and a solution that will grow with their business, which is why we conduct rigorous evaluations of office technologies on your behalf.

The world of technology is constantly evolving and improving, so it’s imperative that we evolve with it. We’ve undergone a full rebrand, complete with a new logo and website, in order to modernize our look and align more closely with our new mission and core values. We’ve merged our IT and business services into one website and improved the user experience across all devices. We’re always looking to expand and improve our business in any way we can, and this rebranding is just one example of how we plan to do so.

What’s New

Our rebranding has brought with it several obvious changes, the first of which is our new logo. The shield imagery is extremely important to us, as it represents the emphasis we place on cybersecurity and the evolution of our business toward IT services. The new color scheme and shield icon have flowed through into our new, enhanced website which now merges our IT and office technology services. With comprehensive explanations of all of our products and services, our website is a reliable resource for you to utilize at your leisure. Use the My C3 portal to monitor your supply levels and receive assistance with any office technology problems you may be experiencing. With an improved user experience across desktop, mobile, and tablets, the new C3 website makes IT happen.

Our IT Services

We care about the wellbeing and success of your business, which is why we offer a wide range of customized IT solutions to help you grow your company and keep it running smoothly. Our managed IT services will keep your company at peak operation with a team of experts here to assist you whenever needed. Data backup and recovery plans are also an extremely important service to utilize, as they’ll allow you to quickly and easily recover your system whenever unexpected issues arise. If hacking and cyberattacks are a major concern for you, we offer network security services, cybersecurity training, and dark web monitoring for you and all of your employees. Our hassle-free VoIP services also provide you with a phone solution that will grow with your business and ensure that you never miss a call again. For premier customized IT services that fit a business of any size, trust C3 Tech.

Our Office Technology

Here at C3, we also offer office technology to complement our range of IT services. We can provide your company with business copiers and multifunction printers alongside comprehensive maintenance and repair services from expert technicians. Our managed print services are also available to help you find the best printer solution for the lowest possible cost. We have digital whiteboards, professional displays, and several software programs available for purchase, along with on-site document management services. Equip your office and your team for success with office technology products from C3 Tech.

If you’d like to find out more about C3 Tech and what we offer, give us a call today. We would be happy to analyze your IT and office technology needs and provide you with a customized service plan that will put you on the right path. We love to see our clients succeed, which is why we strive to give you the tools that you need to flourish in the modern digital space. To get started with a C3 Tech IT service plan today, give us a call at (714) 689-1700.