Technology problems shouldn’t be scary

If you depend on your computer network to run your business (and who doesn’t?) you’ll want someone treating your data as securely as they would their own.

Not knowing what’s going on behind the scenes should scare the crap out of you. It is NOT unreasonable that your IT company is monitoring your network 24/7/365.

Stop paying for substandard support. It’s important for you to interview your current company to ensure they are up to your standards. This will help you determine if it’s time for a change (and so you can sleep at night).

The top 3 questions to ask include:

  1. “Do you provide detailed invoices clearly outlining what we are paying for?”
    If your auto draft is just sending a traditional monthly payment without explanation, something isn’t right. Each invoice needs to show what services each dollar covers, just to ensure you aren’t being nickel and dimed outside of what’s covered in your contract.
  2. “Do you provide status reports on new projects?”
    Or if they’re working on an in-process project? It’s on them to provide updates and give you ETAs on when work will be completed.
  3. “Do you offer guarantees on services?”
    Any IT company should back their services 100%. Any updates, additions, subtractions, etc should not be an additional charge and should be guaranteed to work the first time, without having to submit an additional ticket.

To talk with a company who will provide quality support, book a discovery call with Panurgy today!

What is your stripper name?

Anyone active on social media has seen those seemingly harmless quizzes that someone in your newsfeed takes and then shares… the ones that ask you to enter your first name, your middle name and the street you grew up on to create your “new name.” Joe + Schmo + Blow Avenue equals your stripper name.

Turns out, they aren’t so harmless.

A hacker could use any of this info to get past firewalls into your accounts (financial or otherwise) by filling in answers to gain passwords.

They can also use this information to hack into your profile. Then, by controlling your account, they are able to reach out to friends and colleagues, sending messages as you, which can quickly damage your reputation.

According to the FTC, customers in 2021 reported losing about $770 million to fraud that started on social media. That’s an 18-fold increase since 2017 and affected more than twice the 2020 number of customers. In 2021, it affected more than 95,000 people.

Socialcatfish.com ranked Facebook as the most popular platform of online scams.

Other common social media scams include:

  • Giveaways, where you’re told you have won but you need to submit payment info to receive your prize
  • Profile hacking, where someone poses as an online “friend” and asks for money to get out of a bad situation
  • Job offers, where what you think is a legitimate work-from-home opportunity might require you to pay a fee to “start” or a guarantee for a high paycheck for a menial task

The best way to avoid these scams is to just be wary. Be careful of oversharing online. Does something seem too good to be true? Is your “friend” speaking in an unusual way? Reach out offline. Know that only scammers ask for money via a wire transfer or gift card. And if you really can’t resist a fun online quiz (because everyone else is taking it), just make up the answers.

If you do notice a scam, you can report it to the BBB Spam Tracker and ReportFraud.ftc.gov to help others.

If you want to discuss more with Panurgy, book a discovery call to see how we can help you today!

How To Find Your Passwords (And Never Need To Reset Them Again)

There are two types of people…which one are you?

1.The frustrated, constant updater: You find yourself having to constantly click on “Forgot My Password” and verify your account, check your texts, scan a finger (give a pint of blood…maybe not that one) so you can reset your password. And it’s probably a brand-new one because you can’t use one you’ve used before, so this situation will happen again and again and again.

2. The weary optimist: You use the same password for every site, even though you know you shouldn’t because you’re tired of dealing with the above situation. This makes it SUPER-easy for hackers because chances are your password is available for sale on the dark web right now. But…you HOPE this doesn’t happen to you or you think you’re too small to worry about this because they only care about the “big fish.”

If you’re Person Type 1, it’s annoying, time-consuming and frustrating.

If you’re Person Type 2, it’s only a matter of time before you’re hacked, and it doesn’t end with you but can affect any business computers you use that lead to access of client, customer or patient records, and the results can be a total disaster.

But there’s a simple solution. A password manager.

A password manager is like a digital vault. Your passwords, addresses, payment info and logins are encrypted in the software. You will have one master password you use to “unlock the vault.” If the password manager gets breached, your data is not at stake because your master password is either stored on a server and encrypted or it’s stored locally on your computer.

What’s the difference between using a password manager and one that’s included on your web browser, such as storing that information in Chrome or Safari? The biggest difference is that browser storage cannot be shared with others. For those who work in an office and need to collaborate with teammates, most password managers let you encrypt the data to pass along if someone else needs to access a site. If you have data stored on your browser and then, for instance, decide to make a purchase through the Instagram app, that credit card data will not pass through since it’s outside the browser.

There are free and paid versions, and they each have some pros and cons. Here’s a quick breakdown of the four we get asked about most.

Bitwarden – Free forever. That free version contains unlimited passwords on unlimited devices, with the ability to share with one other user. For $10/year, you can add in two-factor authentication and security reports. And if you’re looking to join with a team, you can do so for as little as $3/month per user. If you’re moving from a different password manager, you can import logins without having to copy and paste each individually.

LastPass – LastPass does not store your master password on their servers. The free version only includes one device, and for $3/month for premium, you also get 1 GB of storage to back up sensitive documents such as passports, home and car titles, wills, etc. Their team version is $4/month per user.

1Password – Just like LastPass, this software offers a free Chrome extension so it can autofill on sites without you having to do anything. It works on Edge and Brave as well. While there is no free version, for $2.99/month you can try free first for 14 days. One neat feature is to go into travel mode, so you can pull sensitive data from your device before you travel and then restore it once you’re back home, with just one click.

Keeper – Winner of PC Mag’s Best Of The Year for 2021. For $2.92/month, you get unlimited password storage on unlimited devices, with sync features. This software also allows for fingerprint and face ID logins, so there is one fewer password to remember. Families can use it for $6.25/month and share streaming and WiFi passwords too.

If you would like to discuss how to set up a password manager for your business, schedule an appointment to discuss with Panurgy: https://go.appointmentcore.com/guest/book/RDsiTsrEQ

Are You On A Bad Date And Don’t Even Know It?

They don’t call you back, they don’t text back, and when you get time with them, they are disheveled, rude and uninterested, doing barely enough to keep things going.

This sounds like a bad date…and it’s one that many businesses are on with their current IT guy.

You have a problem, need a password, the Internet is down, you have site problems, need a new computer part and you “submit a ticket” only to wait hours, days or even weeks to hear back, much less get the problem resolved.

The #1 complaint businesses have that causes them to “break up” with their current IT guy is that he simply wasn’t responsive.

Just like you wouldn’t stand for this in your personal life, you shouldn’t stand for it in your professional life…especially when you’re paying them!!!

If your current company doesn’t have a response-time guarantee, you’re probably on a bad date.

Most IT firms offer a 60-minute or 30-minute response time to your call during normal business hours. Be very wary of someone who doesn’t have a guaranteed response time IN WRITING – that’s a sign they are too disorganized, understaffed or overwhelmed to handle your request.

A good IT firm should be able to show you statistics from their PSA (professional services automation) software, where all client problems (tickets) get responded to and tracked. Ask to see a report on average ticket response and resolution times.

Also, any good IT company will answer their phones LIVE (not voice mail or phone trees) and respond from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. every weekday. But many CEOs and executives work outside normal “9 to 5” hours and need IT support both nights and weekends, so ask about their guarantees for after-hours issues as well.

Not having a guaranteed response time is just one way you know you’re on a bad date… Download our IT Buyers Guide to see if you’re on a “bad date,” *https://www.panurgy.com/itbuyersguide/

This ONE Person Can Sink Your Company

It’s not just cybercriminals who hack into networks and steal data.

Most business owners erroneously think cybercrime is limited to hackers based in China or Russia, but the evidence is overwhelming that disgruntled employees, both of your company and your vendors, can cause significant losses due to their knowledge of your organization and access to your data and systems. What damage can they do?

  • They leave with YOUR company’s files, client data and confidential information stored on personal devices, as well as retaining access to cloud applications, such as social media sites and file-sharing sites (Dropbox or OneDrive, for example), that your IT department doesn’t know about or forgets to change the password to.

    In fact, according to an in-depth study conducted by Osterman Research, 69% of businesses experience data loss due to employee turnover and 87% of employees who leave take data with them. What do they do with that information? Sell it to competitors, BECOME a competitor or retain it to use at their next job.
     
  • Funds, inventory, trade secrets, client lists and HOURS stolen. There are dozens of sneaky ways employees steal, and it’s happening a LOT more than businesses care to admit. According to the website StatisticBrain, 75% of all employees have stolen from their employers at some point. From stealing inventory to check and credit card fraud, your hard-earned money can easily be stolen over time in small amounts that you never catch.

    Here’s the most COMMON way they steal: They waste HOURS of time on your dime to do personal errands, shop, play games, check social media feeds, gamble, read the news and a LONG list of non-work-related activities. Of course, YOU are paying them for a 40-hour week, but you might only be getting half of that. Then they complain about being “overwhelmed” and “overworked.” They tell you, “You need to hire more people!” so you do. All of this is a giant suck on profits if you allow it. Further, if your IT company is not monitoring what employees do and limiting what sites they can visit, they could do things that put you in legal jeopardy, like downloading illegal music and video files, visiting adult content websites, gaming and gambling – all of these sites fall under HIGH RISK for viruses and phishing scams.
  • They DELETE everything. A common scenario: An employee is fired or quits because they are unhappy with how they are being treated – but before they leave, they permanently delete ALL of their e-mails and any critical files they can get their hands on. If you don’t have that data backed up, you lose it ALL. Even if you sue them and win, the legal costs, time wasted on the lawsuit and on recovering the data, not to mention the aggravation and distraction of dealing with it all, are all greater costs than what you might get awarded if you win the lawsuit, might collect in damages.

Do you really think this can’t happen to you?

Think again.  You have to be proactive in protecting your organization.

To find out if your IT company is doing everything in their power to protect you, download our free guide at:  https://www.panurgy.com/cybersecurity-business-owners-crisis/. You can also schedule a free and confidential cybersecurity risk assessment.