Guide to Improving Your Company's Data Management

Data is the lifeblood of modern businesses. It fuels insights, drives decision-making, and ultimately shapes your company's success. But in today's information age, data can quickly become overwhelming.

Scattered spreadsheets, siloed databases, and inconsistent formatting. All these create a data management nightmare. This hinders your ability to leverage this valuable asset.

Let this guide serve as your roadmap to data management success. We'll explore the challenges of poor data management. Then, outline best practices for improvement. Lastly, we’ll equip you with strategies to transform your company's data landscape. Read on to go from chaotic clutter to a well-organized, accessible source of truth.

The Pitfalls of Poor Data Management

The consequences of neglecting data management are far-reaching. Here's how poor data management can cripple your business:

Inefficient Operations

Struggling to find the data you need wastes time and resources. Manual processes for data analysis become cumbersome and error prone. This hurts your ability to operate efficiently.

Seventy-three percent of workers spend an average of 1-3 hours a day trying to find data.

Poor Decision-Making

Inconsistent or inaccurate data leads to flawed insights. Without reliable data, you risk making decisions based on faulty information. This could potentially jeopardize growth opportunities or hold back strategic initiatives.

Compliance Issues

Data privacy regulations are becoming increasingly stringent. Poor data management makes it difficult to comply with these regulations. This could result in hefty fines and reputational damage.

Reduced Customer Satisfaction

Inaccurate customer data leads to poor customer experiences. For example, incorrect contact information can hinder communication. Outdated customer preferences can result in irrelevant marketing campaigns.

Key Principles of Effective Data Management

Developing a robust data management strategy is crucial. It can unlock the true potential of your data. Here are the key principles to keep in mind:

Strategies for Effective Data Management

Transforming your company's data management approach requires a strategic plan. Here are some actionable strategies to consider:

The Benefits of Effective Data Management

Using these data best practices unlocks a world of benefits for your company:

Enhanced Operational Efficiency

Good data management leads to increased operational efficiency and productivity gains. It helps your business:

Data-Driven Decision Making

Reliable data empowers informed decision-making at all levels of the organization. Strategic initiatives become data driven. This leads to improved outcomes and a competitive advantage.

Improved Customer Experience

Accurate customer data allows for personalized marketing campaigns. As well as targeted offerings and better customer service interactions. Up-to-date customer data also drives faster response times for support issues.

Reduced Risk of Compliance Issues

Robust data management practices make it easier to meet data privacy regulations. This minimizes legal risks and potential fines. It also makes it easier to put data security policies in place.

Unleashing the Power of Data Analytics

Clean and organized data fuels powerful data analytics. Gain deeper insights into things like:

This enables you to make informed decisions that propel your business forward.

Get Help Setting Up a Great Data Management System

Don’t let the influx of data bog your company down. Our team can help you set up an effective data management system. One that puts the power of data at your fingertips.

Contact PC Geeks today to schedule a chat.

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4 Ways Small Businesses Can Leverage Copilot for Microsoft 365

What are some of the key differentiators that can propel small businesses forward? They include efficiency, productivity, and innovation. Microsoft has expanded the availability of one of its most dynamic tools to SMBs. A tool that can be a real game-changer for growth.

Copilot for Microsoft 365 is a powerful new addition to the M365 suite. It was first offered to enterprise customers only. But Copilot is now open to businesses of all sizes. As long as they have Microsoft 365 Business Standard or Business Premium.

Microsoft has positioned Copilot to revolutionize the way SMBs work. This innovative AI tool empowers users to generate creative content. It also streamlines workflows and unlocks new levels of productivity.

Let's explore the exciting possibilities Copilot unlocks for your growing business.

How Copilot Streamlines Workflows

Copilot leverages the power of large language models (LLMs). LLMs are AI models trained on massive datasets. This enables Copilot to understand natural language and generate contextual responses. It offers intelligent suggestions and content within your Microsoft 365 applications.

Here's how Copilot translates this technology into real-world benefits for your small business:

Effortless Content Creation

Struggling with writer's block or repetitive tasks like email writing? Copilot can suggest text responses and complete sentences. It can even draft entire emails based on your initial input.

With just a few guiding prompts, your team can:

Enhanced Productivity

Copilot automates repetitive tasks and streamlines workflows by offering intelligent suggestions. This can free up valuable time for your employees. It allows them to focus on more strategic initiatives. As well as high-value projects or core business activities. Imagine automatically generating reports or automating data entry tasks. This unleashes your team's energy for creative problem-solving and innovation.

Improved Communication and Collaboration

Clear and concise communication is vital for any successful business. Copilot facilitates this by doing things like:

Improved communication fosters better collaboration within teams. This can lead to streamlined project execution and enhanced client interactions.

Reduced Learning Curve for New Technologies

Copilot provides context-aware guidance and suggestions. All while you work with your familiar Microsoft 365 applications. This can significantly reduce the learning curve for new employees. It allows them to become proficient in using the full potential of the suite more quickly. Imagine onboarding new team members with ease. As well as empowering them to contribute meaningfully from day one.

Real-World Applications of Copilot within Your SMB

Copilot's capabilities extend beyond generic productivity enhancements. Here's a glimpse into how different roles within your SMB can leverage Copilot:

Marketing and Sales Teams

Generate compelling marketing copy for social media campaigns. Craft tailored sales emails with targeted messaging. Develop engaging presentations with Copilot's creative text suggestions and language model capabilities.

Customer Service Representatives

Respond to customer inquiries with increased efficiency and accuracy. Use Copilot's AI-powered suggestions for crafting clear and concise responses. Imagine resolving customer issues faster and fostering a more positive customer experience.

Project Managers

Develop comprehensive project plans. Automate progress reports with a few text prompts. Collaborate seamlessly with team members using Copilot's intelligent features. Streamline project management. Ensure everyone is on the same page from conception to completion.

Content Creators

Overcome writer's block and generate fresh ideas for website copy. Teams can leverage Copilot's help in brainstorming and content creation in many areas. Imagine producing high-quality content consistently. All while keeping modern audiences engaged and driving brand awareness.

Finance and Accounting Teams

Automate data entry tasks and improve data analysis with Copilot's intelligent features. Generate reports with prompts for enhanced clarity. Imagine no more struggling to create reports. Gain valuable insights from data faster.

Getting Started with Copilot for Microsoft 365

The good news is that Copilot for Microsoft 365 is readily accessible to SMBs. It integrates seamlessly with your existing environment. Here's how you can empower your team to leverage this powerful tool:

Improve Your Team’s Use of Microsoft 365

Copilot for Microsoft 365 is not just another software update. It's a game-changer for small businesses. By embracing this innovative AI tool, you can unlock a new level of efficiency. As well as empower your employees to achieve more.

Need some help from Microsoft 365 experts? PC Geeks can guide you in using this resource to the fullest.

Contact PC Geeks today to learn more.

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Introducing the New Microsoft Planner (Everything You Need to Know)

Calendars, task lists, and project planning are important business tools. Many people use Microsoft’s apps to power these processes. Including Planner, Microsoft To Do, and Project for the web.

These tools help keep processes on track and enable task accountability. But they’re separate apps. Switching between apps can be cumbersome. It adds more complexity to a workflow.

On average, employees switch between 22 different apps 350 times per day.

Microsoft is putting a dent in app overload. The company is rolling out a brand-new version of Microsoft Planner in early 2024. It’s packed with exciting features designed to simplify your project management journey.

What apps does the new Planner include?

The new Microsoft Planner combines:

The new Planner promises to be a powerful tool for staying organized. As well as boosting collaboration and achieving your goals with more ease.

Unifying Your Workflow: Tasks, Plans & Projects in One Place

Say goodbye to juggling several apps and hello to a streamlined experience. The new Planner goes beyond basic to-do lists. It seamlessly integrates tasks, plans, and projects under one roof.

This means you can manage everything from large to small. Including simple daily tasks to complex multi-phased projects. And do it all within a single, intuitive interface.

You can use the new Microsoft Planner from within Microsoft Teams or via a web browser. Here are some of the exciting things you will be able to do with it.

Enhanced Collaboration: Working Together Made Easy

Collaboration is key in today's fast-paced world. Working remotely has become the new normal. Meaning tools need to keep people coordinated wherever they are.

The new Planner empowers teams to work together seamlessly. Real-time updates ensure everyone stays on the same page. Features like shared task ownership and comments foster clear communication and efficient collaboration.

AI-Powered Insights: Your Smart Copilot for Success

The new Planner incorporates the power of AI with Microsoft Copilot built in. This intelligent assistant helps you stay on top of your work. It can suggest relevant plans, tasks, and goals based on your needs and context. It can even analyze your progress and suggest adjustments to keep you on track.

Scaling with Your Needs: From Simple Tasks to Enterprise Projects

One size doesn't fit all. The new Planner understands that. It offers flexibility to cater to both individual needs and complex enterprise projects. Microsoft Planner can adapt to your specific requirements. It’s flexible for use to fill big or small needs. Use it for managing a personal grocery list. Or to plan and deploy a large-scale company transformation.

Pre-Built Templates: Get Started Fast & Save Time

You don’t have to start from “square 1,” unless you want to. Microsoft Planner provides several ready-made templates. You can use these to get started on a new project or goal quickly.

You’ll see templates for things like:

Here's a sneak peek at some key features of the new Microsoft Planner 2024:

Access and Availability

Mark your calendars! The new Planner will be available in preview in early 2024. It will become generally available soon after. Some features will roll out later in the year. You can visit Microsoft’s site to sign up for updates and see a feature roadmap.

The Future of Tasks, Planning & Project Management

The new Microsoft Planner 2024 is an example of a trend we’ve seen in the digital world. Less is more. Meaning, fewer apps to juggle and more streamlined interfaces.

Planner’s powerful features make it an invaluable tool. One that both individuals and teams alike can leverage to streamline workflows. It also has an intuitive interface and AI-powered assistant to drive productivity.

Get Expert Business Software Support & Management

Managing both legacy and new cloud tools can be complex. Features often go underutilized. And security can be a big problem if it’s not done right. Our team of business software experts is here to help you.

Contact PC Geeks today to schedule a chat about how we can help!

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How Small Businesses Are Unlocking Growth With Generative AI

Staying ahead in business often means embracing cutting-edge technologies. New tools can unlock new avenues for growth especially for small businesses. SMBs are often looking for affordable ways to gain a competitive advantage.

One such transformative force is Generative Artificial Intelligence (GenAI). This is a technology that goes beyond automation and the AI we used to know. It can create content, solutions, and possibilities before unimaginable. It’s so revolutionary that it’s hard to go online without seeing it everywhere.

Do you have a small business seeking to grow? Looking for innovative ways to navigate the competitive landscape? Generative AI can be a powerful ally to drive creativity, efficiency, and growth.

Let’s look at how small businesses are harnessing the potential of Generative AI. Using it to elevate their marketing strategies, streamline operations, and foster innovation.

The Rise of Generative AI in Small Business Marketing

The landscape of small business marketing is evolving rapidly. The integration of AI technologies is reshaping strategies for growth. Small businesses are turning to GenAI to enhance their marketing efforts. This is one example of how they are leveraging it to improve profitability.

60% of SMBs say attracting new customers is their biggest challenge. While 30% say it’s marketing to prospective clients. Not surprisingly, 74% expressed interest in using AI to help.

91% of surveyed SMBs say AI has made their business more successful.

This advanced form of AI enables businesses to generate things like:

Companies can do it at the push of a button. This reduces manual effort and unlocks new possibilities for creativity.

How Are Small Businesses Using GenAI?

1. Image & Content Creation and Personalization

Generative AI is revolutionizing image and content creation. It automates the generation of diverse and engaging visuals. Using text prompts, you can generate countless image styles. Plus, create photos and graphics that resonate with target audiences.

Small businesses can leverage GenAI to personalize marketing messages. This improves customer engagement and builds stronger connections.

2. Enhanced Customer Experience

Small businesses strive to differentiate themselves through exceptional customer experiences. Generative AI can play a pivotal role. AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants provide instant responses. They offer a seamless and efficient communication channel.

This enhances customer satisfaction. It also frees up staff to focus on strategic aspects of relationship management.

3. Data Analysis and Decision-Making

Generative AI excels at analyzing vast datasets. As well as extracting insights and informing data-driven decision-making. Small businesses can harness the power of AI algorithms. It can help them understand market trends as well as customer behaviors and competitive landscapes.

This data-driven approach enables more informed marketing strategies. This helps business owners optimize resource allocation. As well as maximize the impact of marketing campaigns.

4. Innovative Product Development

The creative capabilities of GenAI extend to product development. Businesses can use AI to generate innovative ideas and concepts. This includes designing new products and refining existing ones.

AI-driven tools provide a unique perspective. One that can spark creativity as well as set small businesses on a path of continuous innovation.

5. Efficient Social Media Management

Social media has become a cornerstone of small business marketing. Generative AI is streamlining social media management. AI tools can analyze social media trends. They can also schedule posts for optimal engagement. And even generate relevant hashtags and captions. This automation allows small businesses to maintain a consistent social media presence.

Empowering Small Businesses for Future Growth

Generative AI stands at the forefront of technological innovation. It offers small businesses a gateway. One to enhance creativity, efficiency, and growth.

Those who harness the power of AI will gain a competitive edge. It can help smaller companies reach new heights of success. As well as do it affordably.

Small businesses that embrace GenAI can streamline their operations and marketing. They can also foster a culture of innovation that propels them into the future.

We’re now in a world where adaptability is key. GenAI provides small businesses with the tools to keep pace with industry changes. It also gives them the power to lead the way.

The growth potential unlocked by Generative AI extends beyond marketing. It permeates every aspect of business operations. This paves the way for a future where small businesses thrive. Well, the ones that capitalize on the innovation and strategic advantage.

Get Expert Guidance to Keep Your SMB Technologically Competitive

Things have always moved fast in the digital world. But GenAI seems to have accelerated that even more. Don’t let your small business get left behind. Our team of technology experts can help.

We’ll take a look at your current business needs as well as how your technology is meeting them. Next, we’ll explore ways that newer solutions can cut costs and improve efficiency.

Contact us today to schedule a chat.

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Office 365 Through Godaddy: Hidden Costs, Fewer Features

Microsoft Office 365 has become an indispensable tool for businesses all over the world, offering a comprehensive suite of productivity applications and collaboration services. While GoDaddy also offers Office 365 subscriptions, many businesses find that purchasing Office 365 directly from Microsoft offers distinct advantages. In this article, we'll delve into why using Office 365 is often considered superior to using Office 365 through GoDaddy.

Overhead view of two people at a table working with a Microsoft laptop and notebook

Seamless Integration and Compatibility

Office 365:

  1. Native Integration: Office 365 is designed to seamlessly integrate with other Microsoft products and services, such as SharePoint, Teams, and OneDrive. This ensures smooth workflows and enhanced collaboration across your organization.

GoDaddy:

  1. Limited Integration: While GoDaddy does offer Office 365, its integration capabilities with other third-party services may be limited, potentially hindering productivity and collaboration.

Advanced Customization and Flexibility

Office 365:

  1. Flexible Plans: Microsoft offers a wide range of Office 365 plans tailored to meet the diverse needs of businesses, allowing for greater customization and scalability.
  2. Add-Ons and Extensions: Office 365 provides access to a marketplace of add-ons and extensions developed by Microsoft and third-party vendors, offering additional features and functionalities.

GoDaddy:

  1. Limited Customization: GoDaddy's Office 365 plans may offer limited customization options compared to Microsoft, restricting your ability to tailor the subscription to your specific business requirements.

Enhanced Security and Compliance

Office 365:

  1. Advanced Security Features: Microsoft continuously invests in developing advanced security features and compliance tools to protect Office 365 users from cyber threats and ensure data integrity.
  2. Regular Updates and Patches: Office 365 subscribers benefit from regular updates and patches released directly by Microsoft, addressing security vulnerabilities and improving overall system performance.

GoDaddy:

  1. Basic Security Measures: While GoDaddy does implement basic security measures for its Office 365 offerings, it may not provide the same level of advanced security features and compliance tools as Microsoft.

Comprehensive Support and Resources

Office 365:

  1. Dedicated Support: Microsoft offers dedicated customer support for Office 365 subscribers, providing timely assistance and expert guidance to resolve issues and optimize performance.
  2. Training and Resources: Office 365 subscribers gain access to a wealth of training materials, tutorials, and community forums, empowering users to maximize their productivity and proficiency with the platform.

GoDaddy:

  1. General Support: GoDaddy's support for Office 365 may be more generalized, lacking the specialized expertise and resources available from Microsoft's dedicated support team.

Cost-Effectiveness in the Long Run

Office 365:

  1. Value for Money: Despite potentially higher upfront costs, Office 365 offers better value for money in the long run, considering its advanced features, comprehensive support, and regular updates.

GoDaddy:

  1. Hidden Costs: While GoDaddy's Office 365 plans may appear cost-effective initially, businesses may encounter hidden costs associated with limited customization, additional services, and potential upgrades.

Defederating

Businesses often get stuck with using Godaddy-managed Office365 because moving to direct-bill through Microsoft seems like a daunting task. Fortunately, T-Minus 365 has published exactly what you need to do to take control of your Microsoft account.

PC Geeks defederates Godaddy Office 365 accounts regularly, so if you're looking to get the full feature set, contact us today to get started!

Conclusion

While GoDaddy's Office 365 offerings may be suitable for some businesses, especially those looking for simplified billing and domain integration, many organizations find that purchasing Office 365 directly from Microsoft provides a superior experience in terms of integration, customization, security, support, and cost-effectiveness.

By opting for Office 365, businesses can leverage Microsoft's extensive ecosystem of products and services to drive innovation, enhance collaboration, and achieve long-term success. Investing in a direct relationship with Microsoft ensures that you have access to the latest features, updates, and support, enabling you to stay competitive in today's fast-paced digital landscape.

Online Security: Addressing the Dangers of Browser Extensions

Browser extensions have become as common as mobile apps. People tend to download many and use few. There are over 176,000 browser extensions available on Google Chrome alone. These extensions offer users extra functionalities and customization options.

While browser extensions enhance the browsing experience, they also pose a danger which can mean significant risks to online security and privacy.

In this article, we unravel the dangers associated with browser extensions. We’ll shed light on the potential threats they pose as well as provide insights into safeguarding your online presence.

The Allure and Perils of Browser Extensions

Browser extensions are often hailed for their convenience and versatility. They are modules that users can add to their web browsers. They extend functionality and add customizable elements.

From ad blockers and password managers to productivity tools, the variety is vast. But the ease with which users can install these extensions is a weakness because it also introduces inherent security risks.

Next, we’ll delve into the hazards associated with browser extensions. It is imperative to strike a balance between the benefits and dangers.

Key Risks Posed by Browser Extensions

Privacy Intrusions

Many browser extensions request broad permissions. If abused, they can compromise user privacy. Some of these include accessing browsing history and monitoring keystrokes. Certain extensions may overstep their intended functionality. This can lead to the unauthorized collection of sensitive information.

Users often grant permissions without thoroughly reviewing them. This causes them to unintentionally expose personal data to potential misuse.

Malicious Intent

There are many extensions developed with genuine intentions. But some extensions harbor malicious code. This code can exploit users for financial gain or other malicious purposes. These rogue extensions may inject unwanted ads. As well as track user activities or even deliver malware.

These extensions often use deceptive practices. They make it challenging for users to distinguish between legitimate and malicious software.

Outdated or Abandoned Extensions

Extensions that are no longer maintained or updated pose a significant security risk. Outdated extensions may have unresolved vulnerabilities. Hackers can exploit them to gain access to a user's browser as well as potentially compromising their entire system. Without regular updates and security patches, these extensions become a liability. This is why PC Geeks regularly works with clients to do regular patching of both native and 3rd party apps and extensions.

Phishing and Social Engineering

Some malicious extensions engage in phishing attacks as well as social engineering tactics. These attacks can trick users into divulging sensitive information.

This can include creating fake login pages or mimicking popular websites. These tactics lead unsuspecting users to unknowingly provide data. Sensitive data, like usernames, passwords, or other confidential details.

Browser Performance Impact

Certain extensions can significantly impact browser performance. This can happen due to being poorly coded or laden with unnecessary features. This results in a subpar user experience. It can also lead to system slowdowns, crashes, or freezing. PC Geeks often sees these slowdowns via our monitoring software, and have occasionally had to remove extensions to increase computer performance. An extension's perceived benefits may attract users but they end up unwittingly sacrificing performance.

Mitigating the Risks: Best Practices for Browser Extension Security

1. Stick to Official Marketplaces

Download extensions only from official browser marketplaces such as those connected with the browser developer (Google, Microsoft, etc.). These platforms have stringent security measures in place. This reduces the likelihood of encountering malicious software.

2. Review Permissions Carefully

Before installing any extension, carefully review the permissions it requests. Be cautious if an extension seeks access to unusual data such as data that seems unrelated to its core functionality. Limit permissions to only what is essential for the extension's intended purpose.

3. Keep Extensions Updated

Regularly update your browser extensions. This ensures you have the latest security patches. Developers release updates to address vulnerabilities and enhance security. If an extension is no longer receiving updates, consider finding an alternative.

4. Limit the Number of Extensions

It’s tempting to install several extensions for various functionalities. But each added extension increases the potential attack surface. Only install extensions that are genuinely needed. Regularly review and uninstall those that are no longer in use.

5. Use Security Software

Use reputable antivirus and anti-malware software. This adds an extra layer of protection against malicious extensions. These tools can detect and remove threats that may bypass browser security. PC Geeks' clients are provided with high quality security software and remote monitoring to help mitigate risk

6. Educate Yourself

Stay informed about the potential risks associated with browser extensions. Understand the permissions you grant. Be aware of the types of threats that can arise from malicious software. Education is a powerful tool in mitigating security risks.

7. Report Suspicious Extensions

If you encounter a suspicious extension, report it. You should report it to the official browser extension marketplace and your IT team. This proactive step helps browser developers take prompt action. That action protects users from potential threats.

8. Regularly Audit Your Extensions

Conduct regular audits of the extensions installed on your browser. Remove any that are unnecessary or pose potential security risks. Maintain a lean and secure browsing environment. This is a key aspect of online security.

Contact PC Geeks for Help with Online Cybersecurity

Browser extensions are just one way you or your employees can put a network at risk. Online security is multi-layered. It includes protections from phishing, endpoint threats, and more.

Don’t stay in the dark about your defenses. We can assess your cybersecurity measures and provide proactive steps for better protection.

Give us a call today to schedule a chat.

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Workspaces, a VPN & More - Learn the Newest Microsoft Edge Features

Microsoft Edge continues to redefine user experiences. This is due to Microsoft’s commitment to innovation. The latest updates bring a host of features. These are designed to enhance productivity, security, and browsing satisfaction.

Chrome may have been number one for years. But Edge has been steadily gaining popularity. It is now the third most popular browser worldwide. Overtaking Firefox a while back, it’s now just behind Chrome (1) and Safari (2).

From personalized workspaces to a built-in VPN, Microsoft Edge is not just a browser. It's a comprehensive toolkit for users navigating the digital landscape. Let's delve into the newest Microsoft Edge features. They promise to elevate your online journey.

A New Era of Productivity: Microsoft Edge Workspaces

Introduction to Workspaces

Workspaces in Microsoft Edge represent a paradigm shift. A shift in how users organize and manage their online tasks. Imagine having a dedicated space for each project. One that seamlessly integrates relevant tabs, documents, and websites.

Microsoft Edge Workspaces makes this a reality. It allows users to create custom workspaces. Each workspace represents different aspects of their digital lives. Whether you're working on a project, planning a trip, or pursuing a hobby. Workspaces offer a tailored and organized browsing environment.

Workspaces
Image source: Microsoft

Key Features of Microsoft Edge Workspaces

  1. Personalization: Users can customize Workspaces with a unique name and color. This makes it easier to distinguish between different projects or activities.
  2. Easy Access: With a single click, users can switch between Workspaces. This instantly transitions them between different sets of tabs and online resources. Users associate each Workspace with specific projects or interests.
  3. Persistence: Workspaces keep their configurations. This is the case even when users close and reopen the browser. This ensures that users can seamlessly resume their work. There is no need to reconstruct their customized environments each time.
  4. Efficient Task Management: Workspaces make task-focused browsing easier, minimizing distractions. This helps users maintain focus on the specific project or activity at hand.

Enhanced Security with Edge Secure Network VPN

Built-in VPN

Microsoft Edge takes a giant leap in prioritizing user privacy and security. The Edge Secure Network uses a new built-in VPN. VPNs, or Virtual Private Networks, encrypt internet connections. This helps ensure a secure and private browsing experience. Microsoft Edge now provides users with 5GB of free VPN data per month. This further protects their online presence.

Key Benefits of the VPN in Microsoft Edge

  1. Enhanced Privacy: VPNs mask users' IP addresses. This makes it challenging for malicious actors to track their online activities. This is particularly crucial when accessing public Wi-Fi networks. As well as sensitive information.
  2. Secure Browsing: The VPN has an encrypted connection. This ensures that data transmitted between the user's device and internet is secure. It reduces the risk of interception by hackers.
  3. Geographic Consistency: Edge’s VPN will mask your specific location. Websites will see a location similar to yours. So, when you look up movie times or nearby services, you see what you expect. You cannot choose a specific region to route traffic from.
  4. Complimentary 5GB Data: Microsoft Edge users receive 5GB of free VPN data each month. To conserve the data limit, content streaming sites aren’t routed through the VPN. These are sites like Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, etc.

Other New Features Added to Microsoft Edge Browser

Microsoft is continuously updating Edge. Here are a few more new features you can enjoy.

  1. Autofill for Forms: Edge makes filling out forms online easier. It will suggest completions when you start typing into fields. This includes name, email, address, etc.
  2. Web Capture: Using Web Capture in Edge makes it easy to take a screenshot. You can select an area or a full page. Then paste it into any of your files.
  3. Copilot: Use the Copilot icon at the top of Edge to access AI features. This includes creating AI-generated images as well as creating quick email drafts and more.
  4. Read Aloud: Need to step away from the screen for a moment? Let Edge read content for you out loud. Enabling you to multi-task like there’s no tomorrow!

Get Help Exploring Your Microsoft Services

Microsoft Edge establishes itself as a comprehensive solution. It’s great for those seeking a more productivity-focused browser. As well as a secure and private online environment. Microsoft Edge's latest features enhance the way we work, explore, and connect.

Is your company in need of help exploring what Microsoft has to offer? From Edge enhancements to Microsoft 365 tools, we have experts to guide you.

Don’t miss out on all that these solutions have to offer. Our Microsoft experts can help set up, manage, and secure your digital workflows.

Give us a call today to schedule a chat.

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Examples of How a Data Breach Can Cost Your Business for Years

In the digital age, data is the lifeblood of businesses. It fuels operations, decision-making, and customer interactions. But there is a dark underbelly of this data-centric landscape. It's the persistent threat of data breaches.

The repercussions of a data breach extend far beyond the immediate aftermath. They often haunt businesses for years. Only 51% of data breach costs occur within the first year of an incident. The other 49% happen in year two and beyond.

We’ll take a look at the long-term consequences of a data breach. As well as examine a real-world example. You’ll see how a single breach can have enduring implications. Ones that impact a business's reputation, finances, and regulatory standing.

The Unseen Costs of a Data Breach

Introduction to the First American Title Insurance Co. Case

The 2019 cybersecurity breach at First American serves as a stark illustration. It reminds us of the far-reaching consequences of a data breach. In this case, the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) imposed a $1 million fine. Cybersecurity sites announced the fine in the fall of 2023. The company’s fine was for failing to safeguard sensitive consumer information.

The breach exposed over 880 million documents. These files contained personal and financial data. The breach represented a significant violation of data protection standards.

This is one example of how costs can come long after an initial breach. Here are some other ways security incidents can haunt businesses for years.

Lingering Impacts of a Data Breach

Financial Repercussions

The financial toll of a data breach is significant. Immediate costs include things like:

Beyond those, businesses face long-term expenses. These relate to legal battles, regulatory fines, and reparations. Regulatory penalties are just one facet of the financial repercussions. Others include potential legal actions from affected individuals. As well as class-action lawsuits adding to the monetary strain.

Reputation Damage

The impact on a business's reputation is arguably the most enduring consequence. Customers lose trust in a company's ability to protect their sensitive information. This loss of trust can result in a decline in customer retention. As well as acquisition difficulties and long-lasting damage to the brand image.

Rebuilding a tarnished reputation takes time. It also takes concerted efforts. These may involve public relations campaigns and enhanced security measures. These actions help assure stakeholders of renewed commitment to data protection.

Regulatory Scrutiny

Regulatory bodies increasingly hold businesses accountable for safeguarding consumer data. A data breach triggers regulatory scrutiny. This may lead to fines and ongoing compliance requirements.

Regulatory authorities take a stringent stance on data security. As well as on companies that fail to meet cybersecurity standards. The fallout includes financial penalties. As well as increased oversight and mandatory security improvements.

Operational Disruption

The aftermath of a data breach disrupts normal business operations. Companies must take remediation efforts and put in place enhanced security measures. These can divert resources away from core business functions.

The company feels the impact across departments, affecting productivity and efficiency. The ripple effect of operational disruption can extend for years. This impedes growth and hinders the organization's ability to adapt to market changes.

Customer Churn and Acquisition Challenges

A data breach often leads to customer churn. Individuals lose confidence in the business's ability to protect their data. Acquiring new customers becomes challenging. Potential clients are wary of associating with a brand that has suffered a breach. The prolonged effects on customer acquisition can hinder the company's growth. As well as its market competitiveness.

A Cautionary Tale for Businesses Everywhere

The repercussions of a data breach extend far beyond the immediate incident. They can impact the financial health and reputation of a business for years. As well as its regulatory standing.

The frequency and sophistication of cyber threats continue to rise. Proactive cybersecurity measures are not just a necessity. They are a strategic imperative for safeguarding the long-term success of businesses.

The true cost of a data breach is not always immediately evident. It's a complex interplay of things like:

These impacts can persist for years. It’s important to learn from real-world examples. As well as focusing on robust cybersecurity measures. This helps businesses mitigate the risks associated with data breaches. As well as safeguarding their immediate interests and their long-term viability.

Need a Cybersecurity Assessment to Prevent an Unexpected Breach?

There are many ways that hackers can breach a network. From endpoints to cloud tools, you must run a tight security ship. Need some help?

Schedule a cybersecurity assessment today. This is the first positive step into understanding and addressing your risk. As well as avoiding the consequences of a data breach.

Give us a call today to schedule a chat.

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This Article has been Republished with Permission from The Technology Press.

5 Cybersecurity Predictions for 2024 You Should Plan For

Cybersecurity is a constantly evolving field. There are new threats, technologies, and opportunities emerging every year. As we enter 2024, organizations need to be aware of current and future cyber threats. Businesses of all sizes and sectors should plan accordingly.

Staying ahead of the curve is paramount to safeguarding digital assets. Significant changes are coming to the cybersecurity landscape. Driving these changes are emerging technologies and evolving threats. As well as shifting
global dynamics.

Next, we'll explore key cybersecurity predictions for 2024 that you should consider.

1. AI Will Be a Double-edged Sword

Artificial intelligence (AI) has been a game-changer for cybersecurity. It has enabled faster and more accurate threat detection, response, and prevention. But AI also poses new risks. Such as adversarial AI, exploited vulnerabilities, and misinformation.

For example, malicious actors use chatbots and other large language models to generate:

This malicious content can deceive or manipulate users. Organizations will need to put in place robust security protocols. This includes embracing a human-in- the-loop approach. As well as regularly tracking and reviewing their AI systems. These steps will help them mitigate these risks and harness the power of AI for a more secure future.

2. Quantum Computing Will Become a Looming Threat

Quantum computing is still a few years away from reaching its full potential. But it is already a serious threat to the security of current encryption standards.

Quantum computers can potentially break asymmetric encryption algorithms. These algorithms are widely used to protect data in transit and at rest. This means that quantum-enabled hackers could compromise sensitive data, like financial transactions.

Organizations will need to start preparing for this scenario. They can do this by assessing their potential risks first. Then, adopting quantum-resistant technologies and deploying quantum-safe architectures.

3. Hacktivism Will Rise in Prominence

Hacktivism is the use of hacking techniques to promote a political or social cause such as exposing corruption, protesting injustice, or supporting a movement.

Hacktivism has been around for decades. But it's expected to increase in 2024. Particularly during major global events. These may include the Paris Olympics and the U.S. Presidential Election as well as specific geopolitical conflicts.

Hacktivists may target organizations that they perceive as adversaries or opponents. This can include governments, corporations, or media outlets. These attacks can disrupt their operations. As well as leak their data or deface their websites.

Organizations will need to be vigilant against potential hacktivist attacks. This includes being proactive in defending their networks, systems, and reputation.

4. Ransomware Will Remain a Persistent Threat

Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts the victim's data. The attacker then demands a ransom for its decryption. Ransomware has been one of the most damaging types of cyberattacks in recent years.

In 2023, ransomware attacks increased by more than 95% over the prior year.

Ransomware attacks are likely to continue increasing in 2024. Due to new variants, tactics, and targets emerging. For example, ransomware attackers may leverage AI to enhance their encryption algorithms as well as evade detection and customize their ransom demands.

Hackers may also target cloud services, IoT devices, or industrial control systems. This could cause more disruption and damage. Organizations will need to put in place comprehensive ransomware prevention and response strategies. Including:

5. Cyber Insurance Will Become More Influential

Cyber insurance covers the losses and liabilities resulting from cyberattacks. It has become more popular and important in recent years. This is due to cyberattacks becoming more frequent and costly.

Cyber insurance can help organizations recover from cyber incidents faster and more effectively. It provides financial compensation, legal help, or technical support.

But cyber insurance can also influence the security practices of organizations. More cyber insurers may impose certain requirements or standards on their customers. Such as implementing specific security controls or frameworks. Organizations will need to balance the benefits and costs of cyber insurance as
well as ensure that they are in compliance with their cyber insurers' expectations.

Be Proactive About Cybersecurity – Schedule an Assessment

It's clear that the cybersecurity landscape will continue to evolve rapidly. Organizations and individuals must proactively prepare for emerging threats. This includes adopting advanced technologies and prioritizing workforce development as well as staying abreast of regulatory changes.

Put a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy in place. One that encompasses these predictions. This will help you navigate the digital frontier with resilience and vigilance.

Need help ensuring a secure and trustworthy digital environment for years to come? Contact us today to schedule a cybersecurity assessment.

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This Article has been Republished with Permission from The Technology Press.

What Is Microsoft Security Copilot? Should You Use It?

It can be challenging to keep up with the ever-evolving cyber threat landscape. Companies need to process large amounts of data. As well as respond to incidents quickly and effectively. Managing an organization's security posture is complex.

That's where Microsoft Security Copilot comes in. Microsoft Security Copilot is a generative AI-powered security solution. It provides tailored insights that empower your team to defend your network. It works with other Microsoft security products. It also integrates with natural language to generate tailored guidance and insights.

In this article, we will explain what Microsoft Security Copilot is. We’ll explore its benefits and whether it's the right choice to enhance your digital defenses.

What Is Microsoft Security Copilot?

Microsoft Security Copilot is a cutting-edge cybersecurity tool. It leverages the power of AI and machine learning for threat detection and response. Copilot aims to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of cybersecurity operations.

Microsoft Security Copilot helps security teams:

It works with other Microsoft security products as well. A big benefit is that it integrates with natural language. This means you can ask questions plainly to generate tailored guidance and insights.

Security Copilot can help with end-to-end scenarios such as:

How Does Microsoft Security Copilot Work?

You can access Microsoft Security Copilot capabilities through a standalone experience. As well as embedded experiences available in other Microsoft security products.

Copilot integrates with several tools, including:

You can use natural language prompts with Security Copilot. This makes it easy to ask for information or guidance on various security topics.

For example, you can ask:

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Image source: Microsoft

Should You Use Microsoft Security Copilot?

The Pros:

1. Advanced Threat Detection

Microsoft Security Copilot employs advanced algorithms. These detect and analyze threats that may go unnoticed by traditional security measures.

It has the ability to adapt to new threats in real time. This enhances the security posture for organizations.

2. Operational Efficiency

Copilot automates threat analysis. This allows security teams to focus on strategic decision-making. It also reduces the time and effort spent on manual data analysis. The tool streamlines workflows, enabling quicker responses to potential threats.

3. Integration with Microsoft Products

Microsoft Security Copilot seamlessly integrates with several Microsoft products. This creates a comprehensive cybersecurity ecosystem. The synergy between these tools enhances threat visibility as well as response capabilities.

4. Continuous Learning

The AI and machine learning components of Copilot continuously learn from new data. This improves their ability to identify and mitigate emerging threats over time. This adaptive learning approach ensures that the tool evolves. Which is important to do alongside the ever-changing threat landscape.

5. Reduced False Positives

Copilot's advanced algorithms contribute to a more accurate threat detection process. This minimizes false positives that can overwhelm security teams. The result is a more focused and efficient response to genuine threats.

The Considerations:

1. Integration Challenges

Microsoft Security Copilot seamlessly integrates with Microsoft and other security products. But organizations using a diverse range of cybersecurity tools may face integration challenges. Consider the compatibility of Copilot with your existing cybersecurity infrastructure.

2. Resource Requirements

The deployment of advanced AI and machine learning technologies may demand extra resources. Companies should check if their existing infrastructure supports the requirements of the tool.

3. Training and Familiarization

Successfully leveraging the benefits of Copilot requires training. As well as familiarization with the tool's functionalities. Ensure that your security team is adequately trained. This will maximize the potential of this cybersecurity solution.

The Bottom Line

Microsoft Security Copilot represents a leap forward in the realm of AI-driven cybersecurity. It has an advanced capacity for real-time threat detection and operational efficiency. As well as extensive integration capabilities. These factors make it a compelling choice. Especially for businesses seeking to fortify their digital defenses.

Your unique business needs should guide the decision to adopt Microsoft Security Copilot. Consider factors such as existing cybersecurity infrastructure and resource availability. As well as the commitment to ongoing training.

Get Expert Microsoft Product Support With PC Geeks!

Microsoft is a vast ecosystem of interconnected business tools. Security Copilot is one of the newest to help you secure your online landscape. If you need some help leveraging these tools for your company, let us know. We are experienced Microsoft service providers. Our team can help you make the most of these tools.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation!