Your business doesn’t have time for IT problems!

Call us now and we will work with you to find a solution any computer or network issues impacting your business. We’ll get the computer problems plaguing your office patched up quickly, and if you’ll allow us to, we’ll look into what is causing your problems in the first place.

With proactive monitoring, we  can help you prevent  your computer issues entirely! With our Managed IT Services we identify computer and network issues before they cause downtime or loss of productivity.
We can help provide a solution to turn your current IT mess into a beautiful system you love.

Call us now at (888) 799-4777 and we’ll start working on resolving your pressing computer issues.

2 Use Cases for AI That Will Boost Productivity in Your Business Now


Harnessing the Power of AI in Your Business Today

In today’s rapidly evolving business landscape, leveraging cutting-edge technologies like AI can be a game-changer for your organization. By embracing AI tools such as Bard, ChatGPT, and Bing AI, businesses can unlock many opportunities to streamline operations, boost productivity, and enhance customer experiences. And even beyond Bard or ChatGPT, many other software developers are creating new software applications daily that could be useful to your business. In this article, however, we will focus on just two uses of AI that can revolutionize your business right now.

AI Tools: Bard, ChatGPT, and Bing AI

Before delving into the specific use cases, it’s important to understand the specific AI tools we’re focusing on in this article. Bard, ChatGPT, and Bing AI are powerful platforms that provide valuable assistance across various tasks. Having personally used all three of these tools, I prefer Bard and ChatGPT as of this writing. Both tools offer unique benefits and capabilities that are better than Bing AI. While this article focuses on Bard and ChatGPT, I recommend experimenting with all three tools to determine which best suits your business needs.

Writing Assistance

One of the most versatile applications of AI in business lies in its ability to aid in various writing tasks. Bard and ChatGPT can be invaluable assets in streamlining the writing process, enhancing content quality, and saving time. Consider the following applications:

  1. Editing: AI tools can effectively proofread documents for grammar and spelling errors, ensuring professional and error-free content.
  2. Rewriting: AI makes transforming a document into a different style or format easier. It can help revamp articles or documents while preserving the core message. If prompted, it can even rewrite anything in the style of a known person, like Hemmingway, Martin Luther King, Jr., or John Grisham, for example.
  3. Generating Suggestions: AI tools can provide valuable feedback or recommendations on areas for improvement in an article or document, assisting in enhancing its overall quality.
  4. Outlining: Bard and ChatGPT can aid in creating outlines for articles, emails, and other documents, offering a solid framework for your writing tasks.
  5. Generating Content: AI tools can generate comprehensive content for various purposes, from providing topic-based article writing to conducting research and offering references.
  6. Research Assistance: Leveraging AI’s capabilities, use it to research specific topics, expanding your knowledge base and providing valuable insights.
  7. Refining: Create an ongoing dialogue with the AI tools. If the AI writes anything you’re not happy with, prompt the AI to rewrite it again. You can ask the AI to rewrite certain sections or specific sentences. Keep asking it in different ways over and over until it produces exactly what you’re looking for.
  8. Fact-Checking: While AI tools are proficient in generating content, it is essential to cross-reference the information provided. Ask the AI for references, and it will give them to you. Use those references as a starting point to verify the facts on your own.

By harnessing AI for your writing needs, you can expedite important tasks such as composing emails, creating blog posts, developing Standard Operating Procedures, crafting sales scripts, writing a memo to your employees, or even drafting speeches. The assistance offered by AI enables you to communicate more effectively, saving time and improving the quality of your written communication.

It is best to remember that tools like ChatGPT or Bard are there to be helpful to you. In your writings, use these tools to help you quickly get 25% of the way or even 90% of the way to the finish line of your task. Anything that the AI produces will need some personal touch to finish it just right.

Summarizing Meeting Transcripts and Creating Task Lists

Meetings are integral to business operations, and AI can simplify summarizing and extracting actionable insights from meeting transcripts. Here’s how:

Step 1: Transcription Acquisition

A written transcript of the meeting is needed to begin. Depending on the meeting venue, there are multiple ways to obtain a transcription.

Virtual meeting platforms such as Microsoft Teams or Zoom have features that allow you to transcribe your meeting or have the meeting recorded. If you can get a recording, send it to your favorite transcription service to have it transcribed for you. If you can get a transcription from the meeting, you’re ready for the next step.

Record the audio using your phone for in-person meetings and send it to a transcription service.

In the case of phone calls, obtain the audio file from the call recording feature of your phone system and send it for transcription.

Explore transcription services like for accurate and efficient transcriptions.

Step 2: Summarization and Task List Creation

Once you have the written transcript, copy and paste it to ChatGPT or Bard and request a summary and task list. Witness the magic unfold as the AI summarizes the meeting and creates an organized list of actionable items within seconds.

That’s all there is to it.

Now, after any meeting, you no longer need to wonder what tasks you must complete. If you’re the organizer of the meeting, when the meeting is over, you now have an easy way to send everyone their assignments. If someone else was supposed to attend the meeting but couldn’t, you can easily send the summary.

Last week, I tried this for the first time in one of my Microsoft Teams meetings. At the beginning of the meeting, I turned on the transcription feature. At the end of the meeting, a document was generated for me. I copied the entire transcription and then pasted it into Bard and ChatGPT both as an experiment. I prompted the AI to “summarize this transcription and create a task list.” About 3 seconds later, I had a summary paragraph of the meeting and a nice list of action items with the name of the person responsible for completing that item. I then copied and pasted that into an email to all the meeting participants.

Businesses can use this process for online meetings, customer or prospect meetings, department or team meetings, employee reviews, meetings with vendors, patient exams, training sessions, and many other meeting scenarios.

Embrace AI in Your Business

By embracing AI for tasks like writing assistance and meeting summarization, your business can experience immediate benefits. Getting started in using AI for these simple tasks will put you in a position to use it for more and more tasks down the road. Moreover, as AI advances and integrates further into existing software and platforms, you will be well-prepared to leverage technology for future success.

Incorporating AI tools like Bard and ChatGPT into your business processes can yield substantial advantages. From improving writing efficiency and quality to simplifying meeting summarization and task management, AI empowers you to accomplish more in less time. Remember to experiment with different AI tools to find the one that aligns best with your unique requirements.

About AZCOMP Technologies

AZCOMP Technologies, as a full-service IT solutions provider in the Phoenix/Mesa area, is committed to assisting you in implementing AI solutions for your business. By embracing AI now, you position your business to stay at the forefront of technological innovation and drive growth in the future. We’re also helping businesses establish a solid technological foundation to grow and achieve their business goals. Should you require any guidance or support in harnessing the power of AI, feel free to reach out to us. Let us know how we can help your business by requesting a technology consultation.

Microsoft 365 Migration Horror Stories – And How To Avoid Them

MIcrosoft 365

Microsoft 365, formerly Office 365, needs no introduction in the current business space.

The cloud-based platform provides businesses access to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Teams, OneNote, SharePoint, OneDrive applications, and much more.

Because Microsoft 365 is so diverse and offers so many different productivity tools for businesses; naturally, Phoenix area businesses are migrating to Microsoft 365 in droves.

But migrating to Microsoft 365 isn’t as simple as you might imagine. As a business, if you don’t have a solid plan for your migration and don’t know how to implement that plan, things won’t turn out how you hoped. A lot of businesses sort of just go for it and end up being another one of the numerous Microsoft 365 migration horror stories.

Importance of a Well Thought-Out and Smooth Microsoft 365 Migration for Businesses

Migrating to Microsoft 365 can be complicated, so the process must be well thought out. A poorly executed migration can lead to lost data, downtime, and employee frustration. You don’t want that to happen to your medical practice, dental practice, or your business!  

To ensure a successful migration, have a clear plan, assess your network infrastructure and application compatibility, and provide adequate employee training and support. For a project like this, it might be way easier when you let the professionals give you a hand! Don’t you think?

Common Microsoft 365 Migration Horror Stories

Our IT professionals have encountered more than their fair share of horror stories from Arizona businesses that tried the Microsoft 365 migration on their own.

Perhaps these businesses want to cut the cost of hiring a professional service. Others think the migration process is as easy as a plug-and-play device and are shocked to find that it’s the opposite. Here is a quick list of the most common Microsoft 365 migration horror scenarios:

  • Lost Data: Often, this happens when businesses don’t have a good plan for moving data from point A to point B. Imagine a situation where your healthcare business loses crucial patient data during migration. Where do you even start? We always insist on a better understanding of cloud storage and a backup plan in case of any data loss.
  • Unexpected Downtime/Delays/Frustrations: Another typical migration horror story is unexpected downtime, delays, and frustrations. Most migration attempts are on trial and error, meaning the project often drags on forever. Most business owners calling us for help are so green that they don’t understand how things are supposed to work or don’t have the experience to execute the plan properly.
  • Incorrect User Licenses: Businesses may also encounter problems with user licenses when trying to get Microsoft 365 to work correctly for their intended use. Some businesses will often purchase the wrong application or services they don’t need. Assessing user needs and obtaining the correct user licenses is essential.
  • Employee Confusion and Frustration: These can arise during the transition period and are often connected to a lack of training or understanding of the new system. Providing adequate training and support can help employees adapt to the new system.
  • Poor Execution or Implementation: When businesses don’t have a clear plan or don’t work with an experienced IT consultant, the result may be a bungled migration process.

The Importance of Advanced Planning

Pre-Migration Assessment

Planning ahead is the best way to avoid these common migration horror stories. Assessing user needs, network infrastructure, and application compatibility is essential. A pre-migration assessment can help create a master plan and determine what Microsoft 365 can do for the company.

Planning the Data Migration

Planning the data migration involves:

  • Assessing the amount of data to be migrated.
  • Organizing it in a structured manner.
  • Determining the best approach for transferring the data to SharePoint and/or OneDrive.

Consider data dependencies like linked files or databases and user permissions to ensure a smooth transfer.

Assessing Network Infrastructure

A robust and reliable network is necessary to support the increased demand for data transfer, collaboration, remote access, and everyday use. Assessing network capacity, bandwidth, and security measures helps avoid performance issues and potential vulnerabilities.

Understanding Data and Application Security

Developing a comprehensive plan for data and application security in Microsoft 365 is crucial. So, what does this entail?

In a nutshell, it’s implementing appropriate access controls, encryption, and backup strategies. Regular backups are essential to avoid data loss and provide a safety net for the unexpected.

Planning for Training and Support

Your staff must have the knowledge and skills to utilize the new platform effectively. Comprehensive training sessions, documentation, and ongoing support will help employees adapt quickly and minimize frustration.

Why Work with an Experienced IT Consultant for Microsoft 365 Migration

Technology is constantly changing, and there’s always something new with each update. For an everyday user, Microsoft 365 migration may not be easy. This is where an experienced IT consultant comes in.

Partnering with AZCOMP Technologies for your Microsoft 365 migration project benefits your business in the following ways:

●       Expertise and Experience

AZCOMP Technologies has extensive expertise and experience in Microsoft 365 migrations. We have migrated our own business to Microsoft 365 and performed dozens of migrations for medical practices, dental practices, and other companies. Many of those migrations we’ve performed were for Phoenix area businesses stuck in the middle of a project and needed help figuring out how to get unstuck.

Our team of IT professionals understands the platform’s intricacies and can provide valuable insights and guidance throughout the migration process. Our knowledge and experience can help businesses navigate potential pitfalls and successfully transition.

●       Guidance and Support

AZCOMP Technologies can provide valuable guidance and support at every migration stage. From the initial planning and assessment to data migration, application compatibility, and security considerations, our team can offer tailored solutions that align with your business’s specific needs and goals. We can also address any concerns or challenges during the migration process.

●       Avoidance of Common Mistakes

By working with AZCOMP Technologies, you can avoid common migration mistakes leading to data loss, downtime, or employee frustration. Our experience handling various migration scenarios enables us to anticipate and mitigate potential issues, ensuring a smooth and efficient transition to Microsoft 365.

AZCOMP Technologies will Help with Your Office 365 Migration

Our expertise, guidance, and support can help you navigate the complexities of Microsoft 365 migration. This minimizes risks and maximizes the benefits of the platform. 

If you’re considering a Microsoft 365 migration for your Arizona-based healthcare or dental practice, contact AZCOMP Technologies today to learn how we can assist you in achieving a seamless and successful migration.

About AZCOMP Technologies

AZCOMP Technologies is a leading IT services and solutions provider in Mesa, AZ. We provide Managed IT Services and IT Solutions for medical offices, dental offices, and other businesses in the Phoenix Metro area and Arizona. 

We’re a little different than most IT support companies – we make IT easier. We make it easier for you and your employees to get help. We make it easier for your employees to be productive. We make it easier for upper management not to deal with IT frustrations. We make it easier for you to leverage technology in your own product or service delivery. We make it easier for you to be secure and compliant. We help your technology improve and become a driving force within your own business so you can reach your business goals.

We have been delivering phenomenal technology services since 2000 in Mesa, Tempe, Scottsdale, Chandler, Phoenix, Glendale, Apache Junction, Queen Creek, San Tan Valley, and Gold Canyon.

Request an MS365 or any other type of IT consultation today!

Ready for better technology results?

Protecting Your Business with Anti-Ransomware Software


Anti-Ransomware Software: Protect Your Phoenix Metro Arizona Business

We’re in a digital era, but keep in mind that it’s a double-edged sword. There’s a lot of good with digitization, but unlike in the past, cyber-attacks are more frequent and sophisticated. Ransomware is among the most devastating of cyber-attacks, with the potential for significant damage to a Phoenix area business. But how can Arizona businesses defend against ransomware attacks? Usually, the answer is anti-ransomware software.

A ransomware cyber-attack can halt operations and compromise sensitive data. The resulting cost to the businesses could run into thousands of dollars to regain access to encrypted files.

But is the software a competent safeguard on its own against ransomware attacks? We explore more on the topic.

How Does Anti-Ransomware Software Work?

Anti-ransomware software is among the cybersecurity tools designed to protect against ransomware attacks. This program works by monitoring your network and computer for suspicious activity that could indicate the presence of ransomware. When such attacks are detected, the software immediately stops the attack in its tracks. 

But how does the anti-ransomware software detect ransomware attacks? The answer is the use of signature-based detection and behavioral analysis techniques. 

Signature-based detection is a fancy way of saying “programming.” The anti-ransomware programming is designed to compare the code of a file or program against a database of known ransomware signatures. When the program scans the files and programs and any of the code matches any of the signatures in the known ransomware database, the software will block the program or file from executing.

Because this aspect of the software relies on a database of known ransomware, it is crucial that the ransomware software is updated routinely so it always has the most current database of known ransomware.

The other aspect of anti-ransomware software is behavioral analysis. The anti-ransomware software analyzes the behavior of the files and applications on your computer or network. It looks for patterns that are consistent with ransomware attacks. This could include increased network traffic and sudden changes in file encryption. If it strides like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it’s definitely a duck!

When anti-ransomware software detects suspicious activity, the next step is to prevent the ransomware from infecting your computer or network. This could involve quarantining the affected files. The software can also stop the ransomware process or even shut down the entire system to prevent further infection. 

The Benefits of Anti-Ransomware Software

Using anti-ransomware software comes with its advantages. For example, it can prevent unauthorized encryption of important files and keep your data safe from cybercriminals. Preventing encryption is a vital safeguard because once your files are encrypted, there’s no way around it except to pay the ransom. 

On the other hand, anti-ransomware software helps you avoid the reputational and financial costs associated with a ransom attack. Your reputation is the currency for customer loyalty and should be guarded at all costs. Therefore, preventing a ransom attack can save your business tens of thousands of dollars and a potential loss of customer trust and goodwill. 

The Limitations of Anti-Ransomware Software

Keep in mind that anti-ransomware software is not the silver bullet. Undoubtedly, anti-ransomware software is an essential component of a layered cybersecurity plan, but it’s not foolproof. 

Skilled hackers can find ways to infiltrate a computer or network through other means. For example, they can exploit vulnerabilities in outdated software or use social engineering tactics to trick employees into inadvertently downloading malicious software. When a skilled hacker figures out how to get behind your anti-ransomware software, they can deploy their ransomware attack undetected.

So, what do you do? 

In addition to the anti-ransomware software, implement multiple layers of security measures as well. Ensure regular software updates and employee training. Also, implement intrusion detection systems, a Security Operations Center, Application Whitelisting, and more. All these measures can significantly reduce the risk of a successful ransomware attack on your establishment. 

Ransomware attacks can be devastating for Arizona businesses. However, anti-ransomware software can help protect your business from ransomware attacks. But keep in mind that anti-ransomware software may not be effective in isolation. Instead, implement all 15 cybersecurity measures for more comprehensive protection for your business. 


AZCOMP Technologies

AZCOMP Technologies of Mesa, AZ, is a leading provider of Managed IT services and technology solutions for businesses. AZCOMP’s mission is to help enterprises to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and increase cybersecurity through innovative tech solutions.

AZCOMP Technologies has provided technology solutions and services to businesses since 2000. AZCOMP employees offer our services in Mesa, Tempe, Scottsdale, Chandler, Phoenix, Glendale, Apache Junction, Queen Creek, San Tan Valley, and Gold Canyon. Request your IT consultation today!

Affordable IT Services in Arizona

IT Services

A Local AZ IT Services Company that Offers Affordable IT Services

In an increasingly digitized world, technology has become the extra limb for your Arizona business, regardless of size or industry. Your business gets more done with technology – more employee productivity, more sales, effective delivery, and efficient operations. IT services can help streamline these processes. 

A better working technology gives your business a much-needed competitive advantage in your industry. But there are times when technology may not work for you as expected. 

For example, technology may get in the way or cause time wastage and frustrations because of persistent IT issues. In such a case, IT acts as a barrier and hurts your business. 

Ways That Businesses Address Their IT Needs

Some of the ways Phoenix Metro Arizona businesses address their IT needs fall into four categories: 

● You may have hired an employee for a role other than IT, but the individual doubles up as the “IT guy” because they are “pretty good with computers.” 

● You hire an employee who is either trained or not trained to act as your dedicated, on-staff “IT guy.” 

● You outsource third-party IT services from a company or individual, or 

● You use some combination of the first three mentioned options

A logical argument can be made that the first 2 options are the least cost-effective and have the worst results. Sometimes, the on-staff “IT guy” might be the business owner or the president, making it an even more costly option. IT management is sensitive and time-intensive, so there may not be enough time to do it effectively. 

Our case study of an OB-GYN clinic in Gilbert, AZ, in 2019 had owners doing all the IT stuff independently. However, they had HIPAA compliance and cyber security concerns, and various issues affected their productivity. The staff at the clinic were spending too much time troubleshooting and attempting to solve the problems with the IT hardware and software. 

The third option may seem like the safer bet, but it could also turn out bad when outsourced to the wrong company or individual. Just because an outsourcing firm offers the cheapest services doesn’t mean they are the best or will benefit your business. 

Picture this:

● Suppose one IT services company provides IT services to your business for $500 per month, but your employees are still unproductive. In that case, your security posture is still weak, and nothing has improved for your business. Is that $500 well spent?

● Suppose a different IT services company provides IT services to your business for $2000 per month, but your employees are now productive with the technology. In that case, security is improved, and your business is noticeably more efficient and effective due to the enhanced technology process. Is that $2,000 a better value than the $500?

What Your IT Professional Should Do for You

The IT personnel play a vital role in the success and continuity of the business. But what do they do, or what should they do?

The IT consultant or manager ensures your computer systems work efficiently and effectively. As a result, they ensure other employees work smoothly and productively on their computers without headaches. 

It is up to them to limit disruptions, downtimes, and lost productivity due to poorly managed or faulty tech. 

If there are faulty tech or systems, the IT staff should assess the risks and determine the best way to address them cost-effectively. It is the job of your IT team to keep track of everything and ensure the systems and hardware are well-maintained and up-to-date. 

Your IT staff should make the work of crucial managers easy because they’re not spending a lot of time deliberating on IT issues. They should identify problem areas, new or current risks, new solutions, and areas for improvement. Your IT people should prepare a plan or a budget and implement the project. Their primary role is to make IT better and better and better.

In summary, it boils down to these 6 points:

● Reduce IT Frustrations:

Better working IT systems and infrastructure is an asset for any Arizona business. However, the people working on such systems are as important. Getting someone to handle your systems and infrastructure because they’re “pretty good with computers” is never enough. It is a recipe for IT frustrations and can hurt your business. 

Before we became their outsourced IT partner, the staff at the Lily of the Valley OB-GYN clinic in Gilbert, AZ, were not tech-savvy, and issues with the equipment would cause frustrations and delays. These frustrations would spill over to patients and reduce their service satisfaction. 

So, does your IT provider ensure the systems are working effectively and efficiently to support productivity? If not, they’re not helping your business, and you must rethink your IT strategy. 

● Improve Employee Productivity:

Like others, your business looks to continually improve productivity to grow and succeed in an increasingly competitive market. Good working IT systems and support are the foundation of such productivity. 

Therefore, investing in technologies, tools, and IT support can automate repetitive tasks and streamline workflows. Your employees can then focus on strategic and more important issues, which increases their productivity. 

● Enhance Operations:

You can achieve business growth by enhancing operations, and your choice of IT support services has a big say. When technology and tools are used right, businesses can optimize processes, automate routine tasks and streamline operations. Qualified IT staff can help implement enterprise resource planning (ERP) tools for inventory, supply chain, and financials. Or even customer relationship management (CRM) to track sales, automate marketing campaigns, and manage customer interactions. 

Combining tools and IT services can reduce costs and improve operational efficiency. They can also help your business make better decisions based on real-time data. 

● Better Customer Service: 

Your customers are the lifeline for your business, and the goal is to establish long-lasting relationships with clients. Unlike in the past, customers now have higher expectations of the quality of customer service you offer. They expect the service to be responsive, fast, and personalized across multiple channels. 

But how can your business achieve this? 

By leveraging technologies that offer seamless customer experiences, such as social media, chatbots, and mobile apps. Efficient IT support services can ensure you use customer feedback tools correctly and securely. This helps you measure customer satisfaction and point out areas for improvement. 

● The Burden of IT Management is Removed from the Owner:

IT issues can take a considerable chunk of your time which you should use in other vital areas. But by outsourcing your IT management, you leave the technical aspects to experts, and you can shift your focus to other core competencies. Competent IT service providers can manage IT networks, infrastructure, and systems, ensuring they’re up-to-date, secure, and functioning correctly. You can therefore improve system reliability and reduce costly downtimes. 

● Predictable IT Expenses:

Not knowing how much it will cost you to keep the IT systems working can be a source of anxiety. On the other hand, managed IT services with flexible pricing and custom services can help you budget and plan effectively. Your IT expenses become predictable, and you avoid unpredictable costs such as IT emergencies and downtimes. You can then invest in IT infrastructure to take your business to the next level. After all, you know that no IT issue will surprise you, and you can only go up. 

Dedicated in-staff personnel that most often fulfill all the above roles are not budget-friendly. That’s where managed IT services come in. 

Why You Need Managed IT Services

One of the reasons the popularity of managed IT services is busting in popularity is its cost-effectiveness and efficiency in technology management. 

The affordability of IT services is a significant issue for small businesses with limited resources. The cost of hiring a full-time IT employee or outsourcing the services can be pretty prohibitive to some companies. So, what do you do? 

AZCOMP Technologies is a local IT services firm that prides itself in affordable IT services to small and medium businesses in Phoenix and surrounding areas.

AZCOMP Technologies – Providers of Affordable IT Services

Affordable and quality IT services for your business are not always readily available; if they are, they may not be the best fit for your business. So why choose AZCOMP Technologies?

● Affordability: AZCOMP Technologies have been providers of cost-effective and efficient solutions for businesses for a long time. While it doesn’t necessarily mean that our services are the cheapest, we offer the best value at a fair price. 

We achieve all the objectives of what an IT manager should do, so we have a process for doing it well. This means we achieve good results and can repeat the process with any company – predictable results every time. It doesn’t mean we’re cheap, but we deliver exceptional results at a fair price. Our range of managed IT services is available at competitive prices to help your business get the most out of technology investments. 

Our managed IT services use the best team of qualified IT professionals who do away with the cost of hiring full-time IT personnel. Our pricing options are flexible, transparent, and straightforward. There are no hidden fees because we aim to help your business achieve its objectives and goals while keeping your IT infrastructure reliable, secure, and efficient. 

● Expertise: we have a dedicated team of qualified IT professionals who provide customers with the highest level of service and support. AZCOMP Technologies works with businesses of all sizes, from startups to huge corporations. We pride ourselves on offering customized IT solutions that meet your business’s unique needs. Our expertise and professionalism have kept our clients happy and confident about their IT and business. 

● Proactive IT management: working with AZCOMP benefits your business in various ways, including a proactive approach to IT management. That means we take action before something happens that affects your IT systems. The result is fewer disruptions, less downtime, and increased productivity. 

● A range of other IT services: AZCOMP’s services available to your business include data backup and recovery, network security, cloud computing, and more. We ensure that your IT infrastructure is reliable, secure, and efficient. We aim to help you leverage technology cost-effectively to achieve your goals and objectives. 

● 24/7 support: we understand that IT issues don’t wait for work hours to happen. You don’t have to suffer through the weekend or the night before you can get IT solutions. AZCOMP support is available throughout so you can reach out in case of any challenge or query. We provide regular reports and updates to keep you in the loop about our progress and ensure you get the most from our services. 

So, are you after affordable IT services for your business and quality, proactive, and professionally managed IT services?  

Contact us at AZCOMP Technologies today to learn how we can help you with your IT infrastructure to achieve your goals and objectives. 

About AZCOMP Technologies

AZCOMP Technologies of Mesa, AZ, is a leading provider of technology solutions and services for businesses of all sizes looking to automate their processes. AZCOMP’s mission is to help enterprises to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and increase cybersecurity through innovative tech solutions.

AZCOMP Technologies has provided technology solutions and services to businesses since 2000. AZCOMP employees provide our services in Mesa, Tempe, Scottsdale, Chandler, Phoenix, Glendale, Apache Junction, Queen Creek, San Tan Valley, and Gold Canyon. Request your IT consultation today!

Phishing Scams Exposed: How to Keep Your Data Secure

Phishing Scams - Secure Data

How to Keep Your Data Secure From Phishing Scams

“Congratulations, Tom! Your Lucky Number 73789 was drawn. Get your iPhone 14 here: <URL>”

Chances are that you’ve also received an email or text message saying you’ve won a contest or prize. But could you be so lucky to win something you never entered? No! Don’t fall for it! It’s a phishing scam!

These types of mail and text messages are sent out with a hidden agenda, which is to steal your personal information. They then use the information for malicious purposes.

Sadly, many people become victims of these scams.

The cybercriminals may ask for your bank information or Social Security number, claiming to verify your identity. In reality, they are collecting these to sell on the dark web.

Phishing Scams Affect Businesses as well

Phishing scams affect not only individuals but also businesses in the Phoenix metro area. Symantec Security Center estimates that the average employee will receive at least two scam emails every week. That means an organization with 10 employees would be targeted more than 1000 times within a year!

But does it mean employees are too trusting online?

Not exactly! All it takes is one click to open the network to various cybercrime attacks. That one click tells the sender the account is active, and they can focus more on spam and attacks.

In the worst-case scenario, a single click could download spyware, ransomware, or virus that compromises an entire network. This could result in recording passwords and other login information to access bank accounts and client databases. The employee could also enter sensitive information into a scammy website that appears legit.

The US Small Business Administration estimates that these attacks cost small businesses over $2.8 billion in damages in 2020. Verizon says the costs were up to $653,587.

What can Businesses do to Safeguard themselves from Phishing Scams?

Not having sufficient protection and proper training can be disastrous for any business. Preventive measures can prevent millions in losses and keep your business running.

Wouldn’t these preventative measures cost an arm and leg?

Indeed, there are easy and free ways to protect your business and employees from phishing scams and other cyber risks. These measures include:

  • Employee awareness: make sure all your employees are aware of scams in general. Have them read articles like this to make sure they understand what a scam is. You’d be surprised how many adults are naïve about scams.
  • Employee training: properly training your staff about cyber threats and the best practices for a safer online workspace can significantly reduce the risks of an attack. Your employees should be taught how to be vigilant and recognize signs of a scam email.
  • Technical solutions: Technical solutions such as prohibited access to illegitimate sites and spam blocking can play a vital role in keeping your business safe. While most email providers offer built-in spam filters, additional protection measures are essential.
    • Other protection measures include antivirus software, firewalls, and intrusion detection systems.
  • Ensure network security: You can significantly reduce the risk of a cyber-attack by keeping the hardware and software up to date. Conduct penetration audits and regular security audits to point out any threats.

Best Practices You Can Implement for Your Employees

Your employees should be educated on identifying suspicious emails, attachments, and links. Provide them with guidelines on steps to take when they encounter suspicious emails and activity.

Some of the best practices your establishment should implement include:

  • Verification of the sender: The employee should first verify the sender before they can open the email. Check the sender’s email, and contact them through a different channel just to be sure.
  • Be extra cautious with emails requiring personal info: emails requesting banking information, social security number, and credit card details should be treated with a pinch of salt.
  • Never click on suspicious links: All staff members should be advised never to click on any attachments or links inside the email from unknown sources. Phishing scams capitalize on malicious attachments and links to hook victims and collect personal information.
  • Anti-spam filters can filter out or block unwanted or suspicious emails and keep their inboxes clutter-free.

Cyber threats are a genuine concern for any Arizona business, and staff awareness is vital to ensure a safe and secure workspace. At a minimum, employees know how to identify cybersecurity risks and what they should do. Conduct regular training and implement technical solutions to secure the data and systems.

The cost of a cyberattack is much higher than that of technical solutions and proper employee training. Simple preventative measures can prevent business closure. It’s a simple choice, really!

To see how to stop being a sitting duck and instead take control of your security, simply call AZCOMP, and we’ll walk you through your options.

About AZCOMP Technologies

AZCOMP Technologies opened its doors in 2000 and has been providing managed IT services to companies across industries in Phoenix, Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert, Tempe, and Scottsdale. Most of our time is spent working on our client’s computers and networks to prevent unexpected interruptions and cyber risks. We ensure organizations do business with peace of mind.

Contact us today for more information about managed IT services in Phoenix.

Maximize Employee Productivity AND Satisfaction With This 3-Step System

Unlock Maximum Productivity AND Satisfaction

Chances are that you’ve come across the phrase, “Get with the program!” It’s a common term used to get individuals to align with how things should be done at the establishment. Of course, there’s always a way that things should be done to ensure consistency in productivity. You can call them the best practices.

Unfortunately, most Phoenix Metro businesses (small and big alike) lack a straightforward program for the staff to follow. The result is inconsistent and unsatisfactory results. Both employer and employee get frustrated, and productivity suffers.

With rising inflation, bank failures and a turbulent stock market the current economic environment is not at its best.As a result, businesses should ensure all their employees are “with the program” by doing what they should do to optimize results. There’s no longer a place for hires that aren’t “with the program.”

What it Means to Get with the Program

For most people, a program sounds like a strict step-by-step manual for every little task. But that’s not the case. A program involves a well-thought-out and clearly-communicated set of expectations and results for every staff member. It’s more in line with a job scorecard.

For example, the reception’s central role should not be restricted to answering calls to the business and ushering in visitors. It’s more than that. The receptionist must be the director of first impressions. They should ensure that all prospects and people calling the office get the best image of the business. The callers shouldn’t get lost in the phone tree maze.

Most Phoenix Metro businesses may ask their new hires to the receptionist role to ‘just answer the phone.’ But anyone can do that, even those with no idea about the intricacies of customer service. How often have you asked to speak with sales, or customer service, only to be left enraged? You get the idea! It’s not about who can do the job but who can do it as it should be done. That’s where a scorecard comes in!

In a nutshell, a job scorecard provides the most straightforward mission definition for any position. It also defines the key results to be achieved and their specific responsibilities.

The Job Scorecard

As mentioned, how a job scorecard defines a role is typically three-pronged:

  • Based on the position’s mission: why does the position exist? Is it to delight customers, grow sales, or ensure repeat business? This is your starting point before you start filling positions.

The benefit of knowing the position is that it eliminates ambiguousness. Employees understand the bigger picture and their role in the company’s success. Why should they report to work daily, year in and year out? Does it mean something to work for your business?

  • Based on the key results: once you identify the mission, the next step is to articulate the key results. What should your personnel achieve? And is it measurable? As Peter Drucker famously said, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.”  

For sales and marketing professionals, securing a certain amount of new sales or generating a certain number of leads might be the result. They’re measurable. For example, secure $500,000 in sales for the first quarter.

For customer service representatives, quantifiable results might be something like a decrease in canceled services. It could also be increased upgrades or subscriptions after an encounter with the customer representatives.

Everyone understands what they need to do to succeed in their role and how far they are from achieving it. The key result for leaders is hitting profitability and revenue targets. When goals are quantifiable, the drama or disagreements in performance evaluations reduces or is no longer there.

  • Based on responsibilities: particular responsibilities define the tasks, actions, and duties that every employee must fulfill. Well-defined responsibilities are vital for the smooth running of operations. It prevents a case of overbooked tasks and dropped balls. The workers understand what’s expected of them, and it serves as motivation to achieve the desired results.

Once you have the scorecards and roles, share them with the entire team to create a culture of accountability.

For our business, we are leveraging a dashboard tool called BrightGauge to help us with our scorecard. BrightGauge connects directly to our main business management software and gives us real-time statistics to measure our performance. With this, most team members have a way to see their results easily and then easily report to the whole team  every week.

We simply use an Excel spreadsheet located on our company SharePoint site. That way all employees can access the sheet and enter their metrics for that week. On Tuesday of every week, our designated team member sends a broadcast email to all employees at AZCOMP with the summarized report for our element of team accountability. It’s simple that way.

Your business can do something like this too. We understand that all businesses are not made equal, so we offer customized solutions. When we have IT strategy sessions with our clients, we help discover the best collaboration tools and strategies to unlock maximum productivity.

Your success as a business depends on a straightforward program that everyone follows. It’s vital that everyone ‘gets in line!’ We’re talking about a job scorecard to define the mission, key results, and particular responsibilities. This is a success factor.

Your business could benefit significantly from the collaboration tools. Keep everyone on track and accountable today. Contact us at AZCOMP for a personalized consultation to help you explore and leverage the various tools for productivity.

About  AZCOMP Technologies

AZCOMP Technologies Mesa, AZ, is a leading provider of managed IT services, technology solutions, and services for businesses of all sizes. We’ve helped many businesses automate their processes and achieve productivity.

AZCOMP’s mission is to help enterprises to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and increase cybersecurity through innovative tech solutions. We’re your partner for success.

AZCOMP Technologies has provided technology solutions and services to businesses since 2000. AZCOMP employees offer our services in Mesa, Tempe, Scottsdale, Chandler, Phoenix, Glendale, Apache Junction, Queen Creek, San Tan Valley, and Gold Canyon. Request your IT consultation today!

Is an Antivirus Software Really Needed?

Antivirus software

Why You Need an Antivirus Software

While increasingly advanced technology is making work easier and more convenient, it has risks. It is a double-edged sword. Cyber attacks are now more common, which is why a robust security system is vital for any Arizona business. Read the 15-Ways to Protect Your Business From a Cyber Attack article on our site to learn how to protect your business from potential threats and how antivirus software can help. 

Your first line of defense is usually antivirus software, but there are other safeguards you need to keep secure. 

Free Antivirus Programs Are Not Enough

While free antivirus programs are bundled with many Windows computers, they’re not sufficient on their own. In other words, free antivirus programs cannot protect your computers or network from cyber-attacks. Your antivirus software is just one of the many tools you must have in your entire security system.

Many still think that antivirus software is all that’s needed to keep your enterprise safe. This is mainly because 20 years ago, that was the only security tool available. However, antivirus software is insufficient to defend your network from most cyber-attacks. You need a comprehensive security system with many defensive layers.

Antivirus Software Only Identifies a Defined Set of Threats

An antivirus program works because it is programmed to identify a defined set of threats like worms, Trojans, adware, and more. Anti-ransomware software is different and is programmed to detect various threats. Suppose a threat is something other than what the antivirus software is programmed for. In that case, it will not detect the risk, and the cybercriminals will get past your antivirus program. 

Once cybercriminals can access your computer or other systems, they can do whatever they want. Your antivirus program is useless at that point.

Failure to Keep Antivirus Software Updated and Monitored is a Major Risk

Among common mistakes Arizona computer users make regarding antivirus software is that they do not keep it up-to-date. Sometimes, they have no idea if it’s even on or working. To maintain security, the computer user or IT professional must monitor and manage the antivirus program. When available, updates must be installed, and someone needs to check it on a routine basis (preferably daily!) to ensure that the system is running and identify any threats.

It is common for weeks, months, or even years to pass by without anybody checking to see if the program is on or doing anything. This means that your system has been vulnerable during that period. It’s scary to think that your business would have been attacked, and your antivirus program would have done nothing to stop it.

Continuous Monitoring of Antivirus Software

When meeting with prospects for the first time and assessing their system, we encountered situations where an antivirus program was disabled for over a year. The particular server had been infected with a virus, causing them problems. To make matters worse, they didn’t even know about it. 

IT professionals should have a way to monitor your antivirus program continuously. They should receive alerts if anything is wrong with the system and fix it remotely. AZCOMP monitors all our clients’ antivirus programs remotely and receives alerts when the program has gone offline, hasn’t been updated, or if any threat needs to be addressed.

Do you have any questions about your antivirus software or any other aspects of network security? Feel free to call for a free cybersecurity consultation anytime.

About AZCOMP Technologies

AZCOMP Technologies of Mesa, AZ, is a leading provider of cybersecurity solutions and services for businesses of all sizes. AZCOMP’s mission is to help enterprises to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and increase cybersecurity through innovative tech solutions.

AZCOMP Technologies has provided technology solutions and services to businesses since 2000. Request your IT consultation today!

If I’m Going to Get Hacked Anyway, Why Bother Spending Money on Cyber Security?

Cyber Security

Is it Really Worth it to Spend Money on Cyber Security?

Although the colossal cyber security threats businesses face in the age of automation and artificial intelligence, many continue to overlook the importance of cyber security protection. The excuses given against investing in professional cyber security are numerous. 

A common justification our IT experts at AZCOMP Technologies often encounter is, “If I’m going to get hacked anyway, why bother spending on cyber security?” Many businesses don’t want to spend money on cyber security. 

But why is this the case, and what are the repercussions for adopting this thinking? 

Unwillingness to Spend Money on Cyber Security Protection

“If my business is going to get hacked anyway, why bother spending on cyber security?” 

As a business owner, this is one of the most flawed ways of thinking for several reasons. 

For one, making business decisions out of the desire to avoid spending money on cybersecurity protection can be costly. But let me explain. 

Failing to invest in the right cyber protection measures can be the difference between staying in business or shutting it down after a cyberattack event. 

In his hardcover, The Road Less Stupid, Keith Cunningham says that making it in business is about “doing fewer dumb things” and “doing more smart things.” Choosing not to invest and put weight on cybersecurity protection add to the “dumb things” you do, as the author suggests, and the repercussions are anything but pretty. 

Hackers will not overlook your business because it is a small player in the industry. You’re at risk if you use the internet in your business, use email, and have customers and a bank account. You’re even more at risk if you’re processing payments, have client lists, use online banking, or have any other accounts you’re logging onto from your computers. Every business has something valuable for attackers.

Digital assets such as credit cards, medical records, social security numbers, customer information, lists of email addresses, lists of passwords, and more are all valuable to the dark web. 

Ransomware and Dark Web 

Cybercriminals target millions of small businesses yearly because they’re easier targets. You see, the primary thinking of small business owners is that they have nothing of interest to attackers. But there’s always money to steal from your business or information to sell on the dark web. That makes small businesses an easier target in the mind of a cybercriminal because you’re not protected in the same way as larger corporations. 

For example, attackers can hold your information at ransom because they know how valuable it is for continuity in your industry. In the ever-competitive business space, a downtime event due to ransomware can cost you new sales and loss of revenue due to the inability to serve your customers. 

A ransomware attack generally makes it impossible to run your business. This means you’ve basically lost your ability to generate income which can be crippling.

Ransomware poses a real threat and can be devastating for any business. Imagine a situation where all business emails and work files disappear. Where do you start? The price of recovering from a cyberattack can be so significant that it takes years to get where you were. 

Investing in professional cybersecurity protection services can prevent such devastating events for your business. The amount you’d spend on the protection pales in significance to how much you’d pay to recover from an attack. It’s a simple choice, really!

We’ll Just Get an Insurance Policy, Back Up the Data, and Take the Hit

This is another common excuse by business owners that never hold water. It is a flawed plan for several reasons. 

Insurance firms are not in the business of paying out claims but making money. Picture this: the profits for most cyber insurance carriers have been from 70% of premiums. What’s paid out is only 30% of the claims. 

While those figures have recently changed, it doesn’t get any better. The CEO of Zurich Insurance Group predicts a future of uninsurable cyberattacks. So where does that leave your business that solely depends on insurance in case of an attack? 

On the other hand, there are minimum requirements to fulfill when taking a cyber insurance policy, and ignorance doesn’t count among them. A cyber liability policy demands proof of having security measures in place, such as endpoint protection, multi-factor authentication, password management, and tested and proven data backup solutions. 

Most carriers will also want to see a WISP or business continuity plan, cyber security awareness training, and phishing training. The list can be longer depending on the coverage you’re contemplating. 

While backup plans seem like a failsafe plan, hackers are usually a step ahead. They create ransomware that also takes out your backup by corrupting the data they hold. 

Access to backup files means the attackers have a free hand with your critical information. For example, they can release client contacts, employee lists, and all email communications or financial information. Insurance carriers cannot cover that, so your competitors would have a field day!

One of the newer fads in ransomware attacks is for the criminals to threaten their victim with the fact that they will run a negative publicity campaign against you and release all the information they stole from you to the public if you don’t pay the ransom. So, even if you can wipe your entire system and restore your backup to circumvent the ransomware attack (which is still a massive ordeal, by the way), they still inflict significant amounts of pain on you by destroying your character and credibility, and business by releasing everything. It’s better to prevent a ransomware attack than just letting it happen and dealing with the consequences.

Having cybersecurity protections is no guarantee of never getting hacked, but it helps significantly by blocking many attempts. The protection also prevents the extent of the damage and your business from becoming a low-hanging fruit. The protection also enables you to demonstrate good faith in case of any lawsuits or with getting your insurance to pay out on the claim.

Think of cybersecurity as wearing a seatbelt, practicing good driving habits, not texting while driving, and investing in a safe vehicle. While all these measures will not guarantee you’ll never get into an accident, they significantly reduce the risk of death and severe injury. Cybersecurity protection is the security measure that may prevent the loss of your livelihood – the death of your business. 

Book a consult or call us to discuss custom cybersecurity protection for your business. Remember, if you’re connected to the internet, are using email, and have a bank account, you’re a cybercrime target. Are you protected? 

About AZCOMP Technologies

AZCOMP Technologies of Mesa, AZ, is a leading provider of technology solutions and cybersecurity for businesses of all sizes. AZCOMP’s mission is to help enterprises to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and increase cybersecurity through innovative tech solutions.

AZCOMP Technologies has provided technology solutions and services to businesses since 2000. Our experienced and committed professionals spend most of their time working on clients’ computers and systems. 

Contact us today for more information about our cybersecurity solutions in Phoenix. 

Automation Strategies Businesses Must Have Now

Automation Strategies

3 Tech And Automation Strategies Businesses Must Have Now To Stay Competitive, Profitable, And Thriving This Year

While the Covid-19 pandemic significantly impacted every aspect of life, it ushered in an era of doing things differently. For many, this has meant accelerating automation strategies and new technologies to remain relevant in an increasingly competitive business space. 

While automation tech, including machine learning and artificial intelligence, has been around for some time, Covid-19 was the single event that fast-tracked its adoption. This is particularly true for startups and small establishments without the deep pockets of large organizations. Businesses must leverage automation technology for efficiency, cost reduction, and streamlined operations. 

There’s no turning back with the new ways of doing business, and you might as well adapt to stay profitable and maintain growth. A whole heap of these changes is here to stay!

Here are three tech and automation strategies that your business must have to keep its head above the waters of an increasingly competitive market:

Cybersecurity Protection

Warren Buffet has two rules for making money: the first, don’t lose money, and the second, don’t forget the first rule. 

Spending money on cybersecurity protection is the least favorite for most business owners. After all, nobody thinks they’re at risk of an attack until they become victims, and it costs them an arm and a leg to salvage their business. Cyberattacks on businesses have increased in frequency in the wake of the pandemic, especially during the lockdowns. This was when droves were forced to embrace remote working with unsecured home Wi-Fi and other devices. 

A Trend Micro Annual Cybersecurity report identified 16 million cyber threats in 2020 alone. Another report by Business Wire said that 81% of global organizations faced increased cyber threats, and 79% of them experienced downtimes. Whenever there is downtime and whenever there is a security event, it’s going to be costly to the business. Costly in the form of losing actual revenue due to the business losing the ability to operate, and costly in terms of having increased IT expenses to fix the cybersecurity mess.

But you can stop this loss of money by investing in adequate cybersecurity measures such as VPNs, firewalls, antimalware and antivirus software, application whitelisting, and many other security tools. Stop becoming the latest cyberattack victim who gets robbed blind and taken out. Have a plan in place and invest in the proper cybersecurity protection. If you need ideas on where to get started, check out our 15-ways to protect your business from cyberattack infographic. In addition, equip your employees with the necessary cybersecurity skills through regular cybersecurity awareness training.

Using Tech to Get More Effective with Fewer Staff

At the start of 2020, the US unemployment rate had been steadily declining to as much as under 3% from 10%. The Covid shutdowns briefly covered up the deficit. Fortunately, the shutdowns are behind us, but lingering issues remain. The labor shortage is crippling for businesses trying to pick up from wherever they left off or operate at full capacity. The issue isn’t only with finding the right people but also with the growing salary demands and other hiring costs. 

So, what are businesses doing to circumvent this hurdle? They are implementing artificial intelligence and automated systems to compensate for the deficit and reduce labor costs. 

New software is regularly becoming available with impressive capabilities that can help any business. For the most part, these new tools don’t necessarily eliminate the need for employees, but they can help a growing company continue to grow without hiring new employees, or they can help a company with no growth shave off a percentage of employees to help keep costs low. 

Automation and AI-driven software are streamlining processes and getting more productivity for businesses.

For example, in our business, all departments (marketing, sales, admin, and service delivery teams) have implemented new software programs to help us get more done and deliver better service.

As one simple example, our support team recently implemented TimeZest. The main reason we implemented this was to allow customers the ability to schedule an appointment with one of our support engineers without having to talk to anyone or send emails back and forth. This has lightened the load of our support coordinator and is one way we’re able to support more clients with the same number of staff.

Systems like TimeZest and many other tools achieve efficiency and productivity by reducing the “paperwork” and the manual labor tasks that take up most of the working hours. We’ve grown without needing to increase the number of employees as we would 5 years ago. 

Online Ordering and Fulfillment

With lockdowns and other restrictions, businesses had to adapt quickly or perish. There was no way in between. Online order fulfillment emerged, and those who embraced it thrived. For example, large brands such as Camping World, which were able to transition swiftly to online ordering and fulfillment, took an early lead against the competition. 

Also, at this time, many restaurants started or increased online ordering and delivery. Some even became pickup-only establishments without indoor seating and service. 

Even if you’re not an online retailer like Camping World or a restaurant, each business industry has so much new technology to help facilitate selling their products and fulfilling their services to their customers.

No matter what industry your business is in— big or small, new or old, B2B or B2C, there is AI-driven and process-based automation software and project management software that can help. There is a wide range of online tools like remote doctor visits, online self-serve scheduling, automated quoting, contract delivery, automatic payment collection (or at least online payment requests and collection) that are connected to your accounting software, document sharing, and on-demand video training. These software solutions can also automate all or a portion of your sales process and fulfill your products and services to your customers.

Businesses in any industry that doesn’t embrace the new way of doing business risk being permanently left behind and struggling to stay afloat. 

As an entrepreneur, asking yourself how to add online, digital, or automated ordering and fulfillment is overdue. Embrace the technology available to help your business so that it is easier for your customers to do business with you and easier for you to deliver your products and services to them.

As you ponder investing in technology and automation (always keeping cyber security in mind 😉),  book a consultation or call us to discuss your ideas or questions so we can help you implement new technology into your business.

About AZCOMP Technologies

AZCOMP Technologies of Mesa, AZ, is a leading provider of technology solutions and services for businesses of all sizes looking to automate their processes. AZCOMP’s mission is to help businesses to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and increase cybersecurity through innovative tech solutions.

AZCOMP Technologies has provided technology solutions and services to businesses since 2000. Our experienced and committed professionals spend most of their time working on clients’ computers and systems. 

Contact us today for more information about our cybersecurity solutions in Phoenix.  

password management

Password Management

password management

Believe it or not, we still talk to people on a routine basis that thinks their digital security is “done” because they installed a free anti-virus program on their computer a while back. Protecting your business from a cyber attack is a much more complicated task than you might realize, which is why we produced this guide called The 15 Ways To Protect Your Business From a Cyber Attack. Having all these different ways to protect your business is called a “layered approach” to security. In this article, we’ll be discussing layer #1 – password management.

As you might imagine, there is a lot to consider as it relates to password management, but it is pretty straightforward. Here’s the outline of what password management covers.

  1. Use complex passwords or passphrases
  2. Use unique passwords or passphrases
  3. Critical accounts deserve better passwords
  4. Change your passwords
  5. Use a password manager

Let’s jump into the details!

Creating Complex Passwords or Passphrases

As mentioned in the 15 Ways to Protect Your Business From Cyber Attack article, the first step in password management is to create strong passwords or passphrases.

Here are some points for creating strong passwords, or passphrases:

  • Use a blend of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, symbols, and spaces.
  • Make your secret word at least 12 characters long, but the longer the better!
  • Avoid using dictionary words or everyday phrases. But, you can take everyday dictionary words and give them a twist. If you really like the word “password” for your passwords, then give it a little upgrade. For example, “Pa$$ w0rD $$” could be a way to mix it up a little bit. That is a 12-character password that uses upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters.

Did you know that hackers have special software to crack passwords?

If you use passwords with all lowercase letters that are only 8 letters or shorter, the password-cracking software can figure out your password nearly instantly.

If you use a 12-character password that has a combination of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols, it would take 3,000 years to crack the password.

Check out this chart produced by to get a sense of how using complex passphrases is an absolute must!

Time it takes to hack a password

Use Unique Passwords

For every website or app that you have an account with, you should have a unique or different password for that account.

This means that you should not use the same password for your Netflix account and your banking website account.

This isn’t just a weird rule a crazy IT guy came up with to ruin your life and make you miserable. There is a good reason for this, and it is quite simple.

It is very common that a large site will get hacked, like Target. When this happens, huge amounts of usernames and passwords get leaked. Now the bad guys know your password and the email address associated with your Target account.

From there, the bad guys can now try that same username and password on all the banking websites, Gmail, Microsoft, Amazon, all retirement management and stock management sites, etc. etc.

If you used the same password on your banking website as your Target account, then you’re in trouble.

The bottom line, use different passwords everywhere.

Critical Accounts Deserve Better Passwords

A password with 12 or more characters that include lower and uppercase letters, numbers, and symbols is obviously a very strong password. When it comes to your more critical or sensitive accounts, you should do better than that though. Consider at least 16 or even 20+ characters.

Your most critical accounts include things like your Windows login on your computer, your QuickBooks account, your retirement account, your banking account, your company financial institutions, your company CRM, your email accounts, and any other account that has sensitive information. Accounts like these are gold mines for hackers, so do everything you can to protect them well.

Changing Your Passwords Regularly

Finally, regularly change your passwords to ensure that they remain secure. As a rule of thumb, change your passwords every three to six months. This can help prevent hackers from guessing or cracking your password and protect you if your password is somehow compromised.

Use Password Management

If you use a unique and complex password for every account that you have, and if you change that password routinely, I’m pretty sure that nobody has a good enough memory to remember all those passwords.

Don’t write your passwords down on a sheet of paper. Don’t store all your passwords on a spreadsheet on your computer or your phone. Instead, use a professional password manager.

Before I started using a password manager, I tried so hard to not write them down somewhere, and I tried to not enter them into a spreadsheet. I knew that both of those things were a bad idea, but I didn’t know what else to do. Remembering passwords was one of the biggest frustrations in my life.

Now that I use a password manager, passwords are only slightly annoying to me. It’s the safest and most convenient way to store all the passwords to all your accounts.

Feel free to do your own research on which password management tool to use. There are a lot of articles that have been written giving full reviews of all the most popular management tools. The password manager we recommend to our clients is called Keeper.

About AZCOMP Technologies

AZCOMP Technologies opened its doors in 2000 and has been providing managed IT services to companies across industries in Phoenix. Most of our time is spent working on our client’s computers and networks to prevent unexpected interruptions. Our task is to ensure establishments do business with peace of mind. We’re partners to your success!

Contact us today for more info about managed IT services in Phoenix.