2021 was another productive year for Guardian Computer. We celebrated 25 years of revolutionary service for 117 clients in 15 states. Since the beginning, our team has offered intelligent problem-solving and a diverse skill set to companies looking for anything from fully managed IT services to disaster recovery.

This year, we managed more than 1,500 computers and an additional 1,000 mobile devices. Our purpose is to deliver reliable, secure, and stress-free IT services to businesses that depend on technology for their success. Hurricane Ida was a catastrophic event for us in southeast Louisiana in 2021. Our dedicated team continued supporting our clients – even while evacuated.

Hurricane Ida Clean Up

Natural disasters can disrupt the technology you need to run your business. Hurricane Ida was no different. However, if your business is waste management, downtime is not an option. Guardian Computer assisted a local landfill with getting their systems fully functional as quickly as possible.

Hurricane Ida made landfall on Sunday, August 29, 2021 and heavily damaged the landfill. The scale house was hit hardest by the storm which is where the servers were located.  Everything within the entire facility relied on the damaged server pictured. Adding to the stressful situation, by law, the landfill had to be operational in just a few days to accept storm debris.

Guardian Computer maintained support for the facility while evacuated. The team had to find a way to reconfigure the landfill’s systems. By Tuesday, August 31, the support team at Guardian Computer migrated servers to the cloud and setup the necessary infrastructure in a temporary location.

A category 4 hurricane hit on a Sunday, and by the following Monday, the landfill was back to fully operational. Guardian Computer understands the impact of natural disasters on your business. Trade your downtime for technological peace of mind with the dedicated expertise of the Guardian Computer support team.

Guardian Computer In The News

Our team is comprised of highly skilled individuals who love to share their knowledge with the community. We’ve rounded up our favorite 2021 publications from across the web featuring our incredible team.

Ryan Prejean, IT Support Specialist

Ryan’s commentary has been featured in an article on Reader’s Digest, called “What is Smishing?”  published on

Ryan’s commentary was featured in an article on Reader’s Digest called “What is Smishing?” published on November 30, 2021. This thoughtful and informative article defines smishing, why it’s on the rise, and tips to protect yourself.

Ryan has a knack for translating difficult concepts to have an easy entry point for all. In fact, this article has already been republished on MSN.com and another news site!

David Neil, IT Support Specialist

As one of Guardian Computer’s IT Support Specialists, David provides frontline support by answering clients’ calls, chat messages, and help-request tickets.

This year, David shared his thoughts on the Day in the Life of an IT Support Specialist published on OwlGuru.com.

Byron Chance, IT Support Specialist

Byron’s responsibilities at Guardian Computer include many facets of IT support, such as fielding client calls, navigating Helpdesk needs, managing user accounts, maintaining Microsoft 365 systems, and monitoring RingCentral.

His expert commentary was featured in an article on Free BSD Made Easy that went live on January 8, 2021. The article discusses the Most Anticipated Cloud Computing Trends in 2021. Read it here.

Charles “Andy” Andrews, CISSP, Senior Technical Engineer

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As a Senior Technical Consultant at Guardian Computer, Charles “Andy” Andrews tackles a wide array of responsibilities, from research and development for exciting new advancements to security audits to specialized project assignments.  His skills are also fortified by an extensive background in technical engineering, which stretches back 14 years.

Andy had another busy year sharing his wealth of expertise with news outlets. This year, his expert commentary was featured on TechTarget, published on January 25, 2021. Read his thoughts on comparing the pros and cons of CS Degrees vs. Cloud Certifications here.

In addition to the article above, Andy was also featured in an article on Reader’s Digest, published in March called How to Turn Off Location Tracking on Your iPhone.

Jeremy Wirtz, Senior Technical Engineer

Jeremy’s role includes network and server maintenance, research and development, and supporting Level 1 Helpdesk te

Jeremy’s role includes network and server maintenance, research and development, and mentoring helpdesk specialists. Jeremy works to strike a balance between the regulatory and technical aspects that each project brings, ultimately providing clients with secure, user-friendly service.

Providing secure solutions is an important aspect of Jeremy’s job. His expert commentary was featured in an article on Zeguro published on January 19, 2021. In addition, Jeremy was a panelist of cybersecurity experts and business leaders who were asked, “What is the most important thing SMBs overlook when it comes to ransomware?” Read the responses here. 

As your business scales, you may run into technology issues such as the need for remote connections to servers, a rise in security threats to your website, and inefficiencies in backing up your company’s data. Keeping your business running properly takes a well-equipped IT system with the tools and assets to support your technology needs.

However, maintaining an in-house IT team capable of keeping up with rapid technology changes requires time and money. By choosing a Managed Services Provider (MSP) to take care of your IT needs, you will keep your network and information safe and secure, minimizing downtime and improving your business flow.

Guardian Computer, recently recognized as one of the fastest-growing MSP, provides scalable managed IT services to take your business to the next level.

MSP Benefits for Your Business Infographic

Full Service, Top-to-Bottom

A Managed Service Provider (MSP) is an outsourced partnership that remotely manages your business’s information technology infrastructure.

Small and medium size businesses, nonprofit and government agencies hire MSPs to perform a defined set of day-to-day technology management services. Some examples of these services include help desk support, POS device maintenance, security and compliance management.

By working with an MSP, your organization can gain access to business-grade technology and leverage tools that help increase the reliability of your IT infrastructure.

There’s also a cost saving benefit.

Predictable Costs through Managed Support

Clients can predict their IT cost on a month-to-month basis when working with a Managed Service Provider. A company without a dedicated IT team tends to rely on employees who are given technical tasks outside of their core area of expertise, slowing productivity and preventing the business from growing. Leave it to the pros, not the new intern you hired.

Security is also enhanced when working with an MSP. Guardian can detect potential disturbances and vulnerabilities, allowing you to resolve these problems before they develop into more critical threats.

Your business is your livelihood. Keep it running with Guardian.

Trade your downtime for technology peace of mind with Guardian. Our company was recently recognized as one of the fastest growing MSPs by Channel Futures. This recognition was due in part to our innovation, technical excellence, efficiency, and client satisfaction.

If you’re looking for a complete care suite, one that offers every service in our repertoire and an unrivaled level of customer service on a consistent and upkept basis – you’re in the right place.

Give Us a Call

We are pleased to share that Channel Futures has recognized Guardian Computer on its list of the world’s 101 fastest growing managed service providers.

Channel Futures is a media, marketing, communications, and networking giant in the IT industry. Of the 501 MSPs from around the globe already recognized by Channel Futures in 2021 for their innovation, technical excellence, efficiency, and client satisfaction, just 101 were selected after careful review for this special recognition.

Guardian Computer is honored to be acknowledged for our growth and scalability in the IT industry, especially since these have been goals of ours since our founding 25 years ago. “We have experienced growth, whether small or large, every single year for 25 years,” said our CEO, John Prejean.

We owe this success to our commitment to trustworthy client relationships, outstanding client results, and above-and-beyond customer service. As one of our clients, Blake Couch, the Chief Operating Officer of Legacy Environmental, puts it, “The decision to move our IT services to Guardian Computer was one of the best things we have done as a company. Not only did it take that burden off of our internal team, but it also allowed us to grow faster and easier as an organization.”

Our hardworking, dedicated team has made it all possible, allowing us to expand our business and serve clients across industries both locally and nationally. As a Microsoft Gold-Certified Partner, Cisco Registered Partner, and Dell EMC Authorized Partner, among others, we are always looking for opportunities to innovate and make the most of our clients’ technology. In addition to ranking as one of the fastest growing MSPs, Channel Futures has also ranked Guardian Computer #23 in its South Central regional rankings and #4 in our home state of Louisiana.

According to our CEO, the most exciting part of Guardian Computer’s future is potential growth. One especially appealing area for us is working with more private equity backed companies, which can bring with them great opportunities for networking, connection, and significant growth.

We’d like to thank Channel Futures once again for this recognition, as well as all of our clients and employees for their trust and for giving us the opportunity to achieve this success.

We are excited to announce that Guardian Computer has ranked on the 2021 LSU 100.

The LSU 100 recognizes the fastest growing businesses that are owned or led by graduates of Louisiana State University. Nominees must also demonstrate integrity and reflect LSU’s values, which include holding themselves to the highest standards academically, personally, and socially, as well as acting honestly, responsibly, and compassionately.

“We are honored to be recognized for our team’s hard work, significant growth, and strong values,” said John Prejean, Guardian Computer’s CEO. “Our team is proud to serve as an example for future generations of LSU entrepreneurs.” Both John and Guardian’s President, Jean Prejean, hold bachelor’s degrees in Computer Science from LSU.

As a leading, globally recognized IT managed service provider, Guardian Computer is constantly on the lookout for new innovations in our industry and opportunities to improve our customers’ technology systems. We are a Microsoft Gold-Certified Partner, Cisco Registered Partner, and Dell EMC Authorized Partner, among others. In 25 years of business, we have built our reputation as a trusted partner that puts the well-being of our customers above all else. We pride ourselves on helping clients make the most of their IT.

Check out our graphic or keep reading for a testimonial from one of our clients, Lisa Bowling.

These values are the cornerstone of our success and our customers’ satisfaction. As one of our clients, Lisa Bowling of Cultivate, puts it, “My company has been using Guardian for our IT support for over a year. I have never hesitated to reach out for help as they treat every major or minor issue with the same importance. Every staff member I have encountered has been amazing. I can’t say enough nice things.”

As the name suggests, only 100 businesses are included on the LSU 100 every year. We are grateful to our clients for trusting us with their technology and making this accomplishment possible, as well as LSU for their consideration and recognition. We also thank the steadfast employees at Guardian Computer for their loyalty and tireless efforts to maintain both the technical and the human side of our business.

For more company news and insights, check out our blog and follow us on LinkedIn.

Guardian Computer is proudly celebrating 25 years of business this month. Over the years, we’ve served more than 250 clients across 23 states and grown a team with over 100 years of combined IT experience. We owe this success to our team’s client-first approach, adaptability to changing technology, and commitment to integrity, efficiency, and innovation.

Starting in 1996

In 1996, Guardian Computer was founded to support businesses as technology evolved and became increasingly important for growth. From the beginning, client relationships were key. In those days, without remote access, we often joined clients on-premises to provide solutions and ensure their satisfaction.

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Today, we can provide constant monitoring, identify problems as they occur, and offer real-time support. Business in 2021 is quite different than 1996, but our adaptability is why we’ve thrived. As CEO John Prejean puts it, “We like change. That’s what gets us excited about getting up every day.” 

Achieving Success with Innovation and Trust

Throughout the years, our team has remained passionate about anticipating client needs and streamlining IT as it evolves, from migrating to the cloud to mobile device management and much more. Our commitment to innovation has been recognized with MSP 501 awards in 2020 and 2021, as well as becoming a Microsoft Partner with Gold and Silver competencies. We also are a Cisco Registered Partner, Dell EMC Authorized Partner, and member of the Gulf South LGBT Chamber of Commerce, among others.

Even more important to us is the trust and esteem we’ve earned from our clients. We pride ourselves on the close working relationships we develop, looking out for our clients’ needs and interests before our own and ensuring that they are always in direct contact with the team members working on their IT. Strong word of mouth has been essential to our expansion as well as our mission of providing outstanding solutions and customer service.

As longtime client Dan Dooley, President and CEO of MorrisAnderson, said, “John and Jean Prejean and their company Guardian Computer have worked with my firm MorrisAnderson for over 20 years. We work exclusively with Guardian on all IT issues. In today’s world of the cloud and the internet, your IT provider no longer needs to be local but your IT provider must be accessible and responsive when you have a problem. John, Jean and Guardian provide that level of service and more!”

Thank You to Our Clients and Employees

Our employees are another huge reason for our success. “For me, it is extremely important that everybody here is happy and wants to stay,” said John. We are grateful for the hard work and dedication of everyone who has worked with us over the past 25 years.

We also thank each of our clients, who have trusted us with the technology they rely on. Every day, we are proud to protect your information and use technology to support your business objectives. For more information about our company, check out our blog or follow us on LinkedIn.

Guardian Computer is pleased to announce that for the second year in a row, we have ranked in the prestigious Channel Futures MSP 501. 

Channel Futures is a renowned media, marketing, communications, and networking platform for the IT industry. Fielding applicants from across the globe, the MSP 501 ranks the managed service providers who are shaping the future of IT. Passing a rigorous review, winners stand out for their superior technical knowledge and solutions, innovation, client satisfaction, and operational efficiency. 

For 25 years, Guardian Computer has built our company on a client-first approach and commitment to integrity and innovation. Serving clients in a variety of industries across the nation, our team continually upskills to stay ahead of changing technology, anticipate our clients’ needs, and streamline their IT. We are a proud Microsoft Partner with Gold competency in Cloud Platform and Silver competency in Application Development and Small and Midmarket Cloud Solutions.

A graphic highlighting the quote below from our CEO, John Prejean, about Guardian Computer being named a 2021 MSP 501 winner.

“We are incredibly pleased to be selected for this award a second year in a row and recognized for our innovation, adaptability, and commitment to our clients,” said John Prejean, Guardian Computer’s CEO. “While every MSP is concerned with maintaining client satisfaction, I believe we truly go above and beyond in the genuine, honest, trusting relationships we build. It is ingrained in our values to always look out for our clients’ best interest, even before our own.”

This sentiment is echoed by Blake Couch, CIO of Legacy Environmental, LLC, who stated, “The decision to move our IT services to Guardian Computer was one of the best things we have done as a company. Not only did it take that burden off of our internal team, but it also allowed us to grow faster and easier as an organization.”

Among a record number of applicants, Guardian Computer was one of only 278 companies selected for the 2021 MSP 501 that were also 2020 winners. We are grateful to our clients for trusting us with the technology that runs their businesses and making our success possible, as well as Channel Futures for recognizing us with this award.

Spilled water on your hard drive? Don’t despair just yet! If handled properly, information can often be recovered from a wet hard drive. Here are 7 steps to recover data from a water damaged hard drive:

  1. Tend to the water damaged hard drive immediately.
  2. Do not attempt to plug in the hard drive.
  3. Do not dry the hard drive with a hair dryer or in the sun.
  4. Leave the protective covering on the drive. 
  5. Gently rinse with clean, cool water and seal it in a Ziploc bag.
  6. Do not let your brother-in-law touch it.
  7. Give the drive to a data recovery specialist.

Hard drive water damage is a common problem for both work and home computers. You could lose important information, waste valuable time, and even have to replace your hard drive. Take the time to learn about this issue and the steps to recover a water damaged hard drive, so you stand a better chance of successfully recovering your hard drive any time it gets wet.

Review these steps to recover data from a water damaged hard drive in our infographic so you can act fast!

Avoid the mistakes in this infographic when taking steps to recover data from a water damaged hard drive.

What Does a Hard Drive Do, Exactly?

Your hard drive is the device used to store and access data on your laptop or desktop. Not only does it keep the pictures, videos, music, files, and other information you save, but also the information required for your computer to run. For example, the files for your operating system and software programs are also kept on your hard drive, making it a critical part of your computer’s functionality.

Will Water Damage a Hard Drive?

The first question you’ll want to ask after a spill is “Will water damage my hard drive?” The answer depends on the circumstances of the incident and the actions you take.

A hard drive stores data magnetically in its platters. When a hard drive gets wet, the water could potentially cause a short circuit, especially if it dries on the platters.

But water alone will not destroy a hard drive or delete its data. While water can damage a hard drive’s electronics, the data itself is stored magnetically. It will remain there on the platters, which is why professionals can still recover information from a water damaged hard drive.

Depending on the circumstances, however, the data may become more difficult or perhaps impossible to retrieve. This is because the disks of hard drives have little, fine heads that read the information stored on the platters. When the water dries, it can leave a film or residue over the platters and heads, making it much harder to recover data as the platters begin to degrade over time.

It is for this reason that none of our 7 steps to recover data from a water damaged hard drive include attempting to dry the drive. It is actually best to keep the hard drive wet! We recommend placing it in a Ziploc bag until you can get it to a professional.

Follow These Steps to Recover Data from a Water Damaged Hard Drive

Learn more about each of our 7 steps to recover data from a water damaged hard drive below to maximize your chances of successful recovery.

Tend to a water damaged hard drive like this one immediately for best results.

1. Tend to the water damaged hard drive immediately.

Acting fast is critical to reducing the likelihood of hard drive water damage. A quick response is key to a quick recovery!

The first step you should take is to immediately remove the hard drive from water. The longer your hard drive is submerged in water, the more likely it is that the dry parts of the drive could become water damaged. If the hard drive is on, power it down right away as well.

2. Do not attempt to plug in the hard drive.

It may be tempting to try to test your hard drive to see if it still works. But plugging it in and turning it on could just make things worse.

Plugging in a water damaged hard drive could not only cause further damage to the drive, but also to your computer or other devices. If a water damaged hard drive is turned on, it might become impossible for experts to retrieve your data. The water on the platters could cause the heads of the disks to rip off, leaving you without the ability to read the information stored on the drive.

3. Do not dry the hard drive with a hair dryer or in the sun.

If water can damage a hard drive, then surely you should try to dry it off, right? Wrong!

What many people don’t realize is that the water on your hard drive’s platters and heads does much more damage if it is allowed to dry. If you dry out the water, it can leave behind residue that makes it more difficult or even impossible to recover your data.

Drying a water damaged hard drive with a hair dryer, the sun, or any method involving heat is particularly dangerous. Excessive heat can damage the drive further.

4. Leave the protective covering on the drive.

The protective covering is there for a reason. It protects your hard drive from airborne dust and particles that can stick to the platters.

Don’t try to take a peek to see if water has gotten inside. Removing the protective covering could expose your hard drive to dust and particles or allow water to reach more of the drive.

5. Gently rinse with clean, cool water and seal it in a Ziploc bag.

It may not be your first thought to rinse an already wet hard drive with more water. But if the water is contaminated with any particles, they could adhere to the drive if it starts to dry out.

Gently rinse your hard drive with clean, cool water. Then store it in a Ziploc bag or other sealed container to ensure that it won’t dry. Your first impulse is probably to dry the hard drive, but it is actually best to leave it wet, as a film may form once the water dries that makes data recovery even more difficult.

6. Do not let your brother-in-law touch it.

The thought of hard drive water damage can easily send you into a panic. What will happen to your data? How much will it cost to fix this? Will you end up having to buy a new hard drive?

You might be tempted to try to fix it yourself, either to save money or to get it done faster. Maybe you have a friend, coworker, or brother-in-law who’s handy with computers. Couldn’t they fix it for you?

Unless you have professional training, experience, and equipment for dealing with water damaged hard drives, you risk causing more harm than good. If you make the problem worse, it could take more time, cost more money, and even render your data unretrievable. It’s best to take your hard drive straight to an expert!

7. Give the drive to a data recovery specialist.

Not every IT professional is capable of handling data recovery, and not every computer repair store has the state-of-the-art equipment or clean room that will give you the best results. We recommend bringing a water damaged hard drive to a data recovery specialist.

How can you find such a specialist? To start, Business.com names Datarecovery.com as the best service for hard drive recovery in 2020. Datarecovery.com offers hard drive recovery for both internal and external hard drives. You can mail your hard drive or visit one of their locations in Edwardsville, IL; Pleasanton, CA; Phoenix, AZ; or Toronto, ON Canada.

Otherwise, search for data recovery firms in your area or ones that will take your hard drive by mail. Consider the following tips to help narrow your search:

  • Look for data recovery firms that have a cleanroom where they can safely review and repair your hard drive.
  • See if you can get a price estimate and if it fits within your budget.
  • Check how quickly they work and, if needed, whether they offer rush services.
  • Find out how the extracted data will be delivered to you and if their methods fit your needs.
  • Review their cybersecurity certifications and protocols.

If possible, get your hard drive to an expert within 24 hours. This can reduce the risk of your platters degrading. If you are unable to find a suitable option locally, you can mail your hard drive overnight to a specialist instead.

Protect Yourself from Hard Drive Water Damage

Dealing with hard drive water damage is a nuisance at best and a nightmare at worst. Even if you are careful never to eat or drink around your computer, there’s always a chance you’ll get caught in the rain with your laptop or your home will flood. There’s no guaranteed way to avoid ever damaging your hard drive, but you can still protect yourself from data loss.

Regularly backing up your data is an excellent habit, both at home and at work. You can back up your data physically, such as on an external hard drive, or digitally in the cloud.

Don’t wait until it’s too late! Before another accident happens, find a data backup method that works for you and start a routine for backing up your data. Your future self will thank you!

Annual MSP 501 Identifies Best-in-Class Global MSP Businesses & Leading Trends in Managed Services

JULY 28, 2020: Guardian Computer has been named as one of the world’s premier managed service providers on the prestigious 2020 annual Channel Futures MSP 501 rankings.

For the 13th year running, MSPs from around the globe completed an exhaustive survey and application this spring to self-report product offerings, annual total and recurring revenues, profits, revenue mix, growth opportunities and company and customer demographic information. Applicants are ranked on a unique methodology that weights revenue figures according to long-term health and viability; commitment to recurring revenue; and operational efficiency.

Channel Futures is pleased to name Guardian Computer to the 2020 MSP 501.

“We are proud to be selected for this award and to be recognized for our outstanding managed services,” said John Prejean, CEO of Guardian Computer. “Our team is constantly working to be a leader in our field, from gaining new industry certifications, to dedicating time and finding new features to provide unrivaled customer support.”

In the 13 years since its inception, the MSP 501 has evolved from a competitive ranking list into a vibrant group of service providers, vendors, distributors, consultants and industry analysts working together to define the growing managed service opportunity.

“For the third year running, the applicant pool for the annual MSP 501 has grown year-over-year, making this year’s list the most competitive in the survey’s history,” says Kris Blackmon, Senior Content Director at Channel Partners and Channel Futures. “The MSP 501 leveraged judgement methodology brand-new in 2020 to drill down into not just what makes a big managed service provider, but what makes a great managed service provider. The 2020 winners are truly the best examples of innovation, business acumen and strategic savvy on the planet. We extend our heartfelt congratulations to the 2020 winners and gratitude to the thousands of MSPs that have contributed to the continuing growth and success of both the 501 and the thriving managed services sector.”

Ten MSP 501 special award winners will be recognized at the MSP 501 Awards Gala at Channel Partners Virtual: Digital Events for the Modern Channel on September 8 – 10. Nominations for these special awards, including Digital Innovator of the Year, Executive of the Year and the Newcomer Award, were included in the MSP 501 application, and all candidates were encouraged to submit for them.

The data collected by the annual MSP 501 program drives Channel Partners’s and Channel Futures’s market intelligence insights, creating robust data sets and data-based trend reports that support our editorial coverage, event programming, community and networking strategies and educational offerings. It serves as a lynchpin to dozens of programs and initiatives.

The complete 2020 MSP 501 list is available at Channel Futures.

Background

The 2020 MSP 501 list is based on data collected by Channel Futures and its sister site, Channel Partners. Data was collected online from Mar. 1 through June 30, 2020. The MSP 501 list recognizes top managed service providers based on metrics including recurring revenue, profit margin and other factors.

About Guardian Computer

Guardian Computer is a leading business IT provider, offering services for IT support projects as well as fully managed IT. The company’s areas of expertise include security, networking, cloud management, data backup/recovery, help desk support, and IT due diligence. Founded in New Orleans in 1996, the company has grown to serve a wide range of clients across the United States. With over 100 combined years of experience in the IT field, Guardian Computer serves clients in any industry, including turnaround management, equity investment, healthcare, legal, and many others.

About Informa Tech

Channel Futures, Channel Partners Online, Channel Partners Conference & Expo and Channel Partners Evolution are part of Informa Tech, a market-leading B2B information provider with depth and specialization in the Information and Communications (ICT) Technology sector. We help drive the future by inspiring the Technology community to design, build and run a better digital world through our market-leading research, media, training and event brands. Every year, we welcome 7,400+ subscribers to our research, more than 3.8 million unique visitors a month to our digital communities, 18,200+ students to our training programs and 225,000 delegates to our events.

In 2017, the number of exposed records and data breaches reached an all-time high according to Statista. The 1,579 data breaches serve as a reminder that our accounts aren’t always as safe as we think they are! The simple “username and password” log-in approach can be compromised within minutes by skilled hackers. Even with your longest and complicated passwords! Your business needs an additional security layer that addresses the vulnerabilities of a standard password-only approach.

What is Two Factor Authentication?

Two Factor Authentication, commonly abbreviated, 2FA, is a method of securing online accounts through two means of authorization. In the case of two factor authentication, you’ll need two factors (or verifications) to successfully log in. This includes something you know, usually a password, and some other method of verifying your identity. This is usually a code sent via text or email. It’s essentially an extra layer of protection designed to ensure that you’re the only person who can access your account, even if someone else knows your password.

Purpose of Two Factor Authentication

An email or any other cloud-based application hack can cost a company thousands of dollars. Hackers aren’t reading your emails for fun. They’re going in to learn how your company works. They’re waiting to see how they can utilize that information to their own gain. Hackers can look through emails for private client information like bank account numbers, or personally identifying information. Once the hacker finds the information they need, they can steal huge amounts of money.

Phishing scams, where fake but authentic-looking emails are used to steal information, are one of the easiest ways hackers can gain password information. When two factor authentication is used, it makes it considerably harder for a hacker to be successful in logging into the account.

Even if the hacker is able to crack your password, they won’t be able to log into the account without access to your second factor. Some of the benefits of two factor authentication include improved security, reduction of fraud and theft, and the increase of productivity and flexibility.

Security Solutions for You and Your Business

The easiest and most common way to implement two factor is by receiving a text message with an access code every time you log into an account. But, no solution is 100% secure. Getting two factor authentication from text messaging does have some vulnerabilities. Specifically, it leaves you exposed if someone steals your smartphone or its SIM card.

For businesses with high-security needs, hardware-based two factor authentication is the most secure option. Instead of typing in a passcode from a text message to log in, a physical security key has to be plugged into your device when prompted. This method is often used for highly sensitive systems used industries such as the financial and healthcare industries. Security keys can be found online for as low as $20 and are available for both desktop computers and mobile phones!

Our Favorite Free 2FA Applications

Many websites you use for business have some sort of two factor authentication built in such as Dropbox, Google Drive, Amazon, and Rackspace. To protect your other online accounts, there are apps specifically for providing two factor security. Our two favorite 2FA apps are Authy and Google Authenticator.

  • Authy simplifies using 2FA on your online accounts using your smartphone. It generates a code each time you open the app. You’ll have 20 seconds to log in after which Authy will generate a new code. It’s free, desktop and mobile-friendly, and available Windows, Mac, iOS, Android and Chrome.
  • Google Authenticator is a mobile-only app, so you’ll need to have your phone with you. This provides stronger security for your Google Account. A small authenticator is tied to a single device, you must manually change it in your Google settings when you switch phones.

Personal Use of Two Factor Authentication

We don’t just recommend this for businesses, it’s important to protect your personal accounts as well. Many of the social platforms that you use every day have options for enhancing security.

Facebook, Pinterest, Snapchat, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter all have options for two factor authentication. Go to the settings of your account, then scroll down to security. Each application has different options including the texting feature we’ve mentioned. Utilizing two factor authentication whenever possible will help to keep you safe online!

John On Two Factor Authentication:


Two factor authentication is only one step in security. There are many ways to keep yourself protected online, such as using secure cloud storage, secure online backup, and a VPN solution. We help our clients to ensure the security covers all of their users! Let’s chat about how we can improve your business security!

The holidays are right around the corner, making it the best time to treat yourself or your business to some new tech! The whole Guardian Computer team got together to pick out these awesome options for our 2018 tech gift guide. From hands-free assistants to wireless headphones to a handheld translator, we’ve got all the tech gifts you need this holiday season for personal and business use in the Guardian Computer Tech Gift Guide!

Tech Gift Guide For Businesses

PNY Elite-X 512GB USB 3.1 Flash Drive ($100)Guardian Computers Tech Gift Guide flash-drive

When asked about the perfect gift this holiday season, Charles suggested the PNY Elite-X flash drive. “Nothing is as handy as keeping your entire music, movie, pictures and well…everything right in your pocket.” This easy to encrypt USB is perfect for safe and on-the-go storage. It provides speedy files transfers with 200 MB per second. It’s also compatible with most PC and Mac laptop and desktop computers. This gift is perfect for anyone but especially those in the education, finance, or legal industry to use at the office, at home, and at school. Also, this flash drive is great for emergency data recovery, with 512gb of storage, this can be used to keep your most important files with you.


 Eufy Smart Scale ($30)

Guardian Computers Tech Gift Guide Scale

Jeremy suggests The Eufy Smart Scale, “a stylish and affordable scale that works in conjunction with an app you can use on your smartphone or tablet.” The app helps to track multiple aspects of your health to provide you with insight into your well-being. The Smart Scale also connects with the Google Fit and Apple Health apps to sync data. With the ability to sync up to 20 user accounts, the Eufy Smart Scale is perfect for families who are all about fitness or for your colleague who works in the healthcare industry!


Google Wifi Mesh ($249)

Guardian Computers Tech Gift Guide Google wifi Mesh

Our President, Jean said, “Google Wifi is the easiest and most manageable router, period.” It’s a Wifi router that works well, even in old houses with thick walls. No more connecting to other someone’s public wifi! Unlike the traditional router, Google Wifi Mesh sets up multiple points throughout your home to create a “mesh” network that delivers a consistently strong, secure signal. It might not be flashy with lots of controls, but it more than makes up for it in unmatched simplicity! This gift is perfect for business owners in old New Orleans buildings and work-from-homers.


Adobe Acrobat Pro DC ($14.99/month)

Dani suggests giving the gift of Adobe this holiday season! With Adobe Acrobat Pro DC, you can create, edit, share and sign PDFs. This program also allows you to collaborate with people in remote locations! Rather than being Windows or Mac specified, users on all platforms can use this and its features are the same. This makes working with PDFs easily accessible from any device while on-the-go! It also integrates with Microsoft Office 2016 and Office 365. “With PDFs being optionally secured to be both read-only and tamper-evident, they are the preferred file format for most legal documents,” Dani says. This makes the perfect gift for someone in the legal industry!


ili Translator ($199)

Guardian Computers Tech Gift Guide I am ili

The ili translator is so awesome! You simply just press the button, speak into the mic, and it translates your sentence from English to Spanish, Mandarin or Japanese (one-way) in as little as 0.2 seconds. Charlie says, “The device is primarily designed for travel, however, I’ve used it for many other day-to-day quick communications.” It also has a built-in library of short sentences and common travel sentences. No wi-fi is required so this pocket translator is perfect to use anywhere you want!


Google Home Mini ($29)

Guardian Computers Tech Gift Guide Google home

Get hands-free help in any room. Ryan says that “the Google Home Mini is a bargain for the value and ever-increasing options.” With this device, you can play music from your favorite streaming service, set reminders, create to-do lists, play your favorite radio stations, ask questions powered by the Google Assistant, and control any smart home devices you may have around the house. It’s also built for kid-friendly fun, including trivia games or read-a-longs that help to bring stories to life with music and sound effects. This is a great gift for anyone in the education industry to implement inside the classroom!


Fitbit Charge 3 ($150)

Guardian Computers Tech Gift Guide Fitbit

Charles suggests getting the tech-loving fitness guru in your life a Fitbit Charge 3. “It’s one of, if not, the most advanced fitness trackers on the market,” Charles says. This lightweight fitness tracker tracks your heart rate, calories burned, hours of sleep, distance and more with a battery life of up to 7 days! Also, the Fitbit app lets you customize your workout routine and allows you to run reports, so you can see your progress come alive. This gift is perfect for the tech and health nut in your life.


Samsung Gear IconX wireless earbuds ($180)

Guardian Computers Tech Gift Guide headphones

“If you own a Samsung smartphone, your next purchase should be the Samsung Gear IconX wireless earbuds,” John says. He has always hated earbuds because they don’t stay in his ears for more than 2 minutes but these wireless earbuds have a small wing that tucks in just right to keep them securely in your ears. The Gear IconX earbuds also work as standalone media players when you upload music from your phone. You can play playlists, navigate tracks, and turn up the volume with simple taps and swipes! Also, the batteries last for days. This is the perfect gift for anyone always on-the-go!


RoboForm Password Manager ($40/user/year)

Guardian Computers Tech Gift Guide roboform

With so many apps and programs that require a login these days, it’s become hard to keep up and remember so many passwords! Sherri suggested getting RoboForm this holiday season, “this little gem of software can be used not only in the work environment ANYONE can and should use it!” RoboForm does all the remembering and creating for you. You only need to remember one password which will give you access and logins to all your different accounts in just a couple of clicks! This is perfect for any and everyone no matter what industry you’re in.


Plantronics CS530 Wireless Headset ($245)

Guardian Computers Tech Gift Guide headset

According to Dani, this is the most comfortable and lightweight wireless headset. Being on the phone all day, she needs something that doesn’t hurt her ear and audio that is crystal clear. Plantronics CS530 Wireless Headset’s quality digital sound is combined with both mobility and multitasking! It supports multi-headset conferencing for up to four headsets with a low probability of interference. You can get up to six hours of talk time and range up to 350 feet from your desk phone. The Plantronics Wireless Headset is a must-have if you are on the phone all day.


OnePlus Bullets ($20)

Image result for oneplus bullets type c

“The era of analog headphones is behind us. If you own a flagship iPhone as well as many leading Android brands, you may be dealing with no headphone jack. The OnePlus Bullets are what the basic earbuds from a convenience store used to provide,” Ryan says. These wireless headphones provide great sound quality and are designed for durability and comfort. You can also switch between music, calls, and Google Assistant effortlessly. Whether you’re heading to work, working out or relaxing, these headphones will stay in place!


Ring Video Doorbell Pro ($249)

Guardian Computers Tech Gift Guide doorbell

Kids at home while you’re still at work? Jean Prejean suggests the Ring Video Doorbell Pro as a great way to keep an eye on them! The motion detector alerts you on your phone when someone approaches the door, so you not only know when your kids get home, but you also know when friends or strangers have arrived, even after dark. You also have the option to talk to the person at the door from wherever you are. Jean says the biggest plus is that it was easy to install!


Dropbox ($12.50/month)

Want to work better, safer, and together? Dani suggests Dropbox which allows you to easily store and share your documents, videos, and photos while also having easy access on any device whenever needed! “With 3 ways to access – the desktop application, online, and the DropBox mobile application – it’s more than convenient to use,” Dani says! Dropbox syncs and backs up on its own, so you don’t have to worry about losing anything and if you accidentally delete something it can be easily restored. If changes are made on one document, on one device, they will sync to appear on all other linked devices. Also, it enables HIPAA compliance!


Logitech K480 Keyboard ($50)

Guardian Computers Tech Gift Guide Keyboard

Jeremy suggests getting this affordable, high-quality little Bluetooth keyboard that works perfectly with your computer, tablet, and smartphone this year. To switch between your wireless devices, simply turn the easy-switch dial. Also, there is an integrated cradle that holds your phone or tablet at just the right angle for you to read while you type!


We admit it, this fun tech gift guide aside, we’re technology fanatics! We’re always keeping up to date on the latest and greatest technology. We use our technical know-how to help our clients gain productivity by helping them choose and utilize the best products for their business. Want to talk all things keyboards, flash drives, or wifi? Contact us!