By Linsey Knerl –
Most consumers today have been a victim of theft. While not everyone has had the harrowing experience of a home burglary or stolen car, a compromised email password or Social Security number has affected almost everyone. The FCC reports the theft of digital information has surpassed that of physical theft in the U.S. to become the most rampant type of fraud today.
As a small business owner, your risk is even greater. Any commercial task you conduct through the internet is especially prone to exposing your customers to this often-devastating criminal activity. How then, should a responsible company approach cybersecurity? Here are some of the best practices that wise entrepreneurs are implementing today. (more…)
By Eric Rosenberg
Identity theft impacts more than 17 million Americans per year, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, and businesses are not immune. The same havoc that identity thieves cause for individuals can harm a business’s finances and credit history. And, unlike individuals, when a business is attacked it could threaten the livelihood of many employees and customers who rely on the company. If you want to avoid identity theft for your business, follow these seven steps.
1. Switch to Digital Statements
Mail theft is a simple but common entry point for bad guys looking to steal a business’s information. Bank statements, credit card bills, human resources files, and other mail can be used to attack the business or others. To end susceptibility of mail theft, turn off the mail. (more…)
By Scott Gerlach
Passwords are broken.
OK, now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s talk about why, and some ways to help protect your business online.
To make passwords hard for computers to guess, you have to make passwords hard to remember. To prevent one compromised account from destroying the security of all of your online services, you should use different, hard-to-remember passwords. This predicament leads people to use one easy-to-remember password for everything. Which wouldn’t be bad except you don’t want your Facebook password to cough up your online banking credentials. Nor would you want to lose your domain names and hosting sites to a slip of a Twitter credential. (more…)
By Whitney Lemon
Lesson Highlight: Keep your business accounts secure with strong passwords
On top of that, many people use the same, easy-to-guess password. According to this CBS news story, the most common passwords of 2013 were: “123456,” “password,” and “12345678.”
Online security is an important topic for everyone, including small businesses new to the web. There are steps you can take to protect yourself and your online accounts. How? Create strong, secure passwords. It’s the simplest, and perhaps the most important thing you can do to protect yourself online.
Many people use one password for all their online accounts. That’s like using one key for everything: your home, car, office, etc.
If you are using any of these passwords for your accounts, please speed-read through this post then change your passwords to make them secure. Here are tips from Google’s Safety Center: (more…)
As consumers demand greater access to information, offers and payment functionality—anytime, anywhere—the lines between in-store commerce, eCommerce and mobile commerce are blurring. In this emerging Universal Commerce environment, it is therefore crucial to accurately identify potential new vulnerabilities and build effective defenses to stay ahead of data thieves. This short quiz will help us explore some of the myths and realities of security in the age of Universal Commerce.
Fact or Fiction: Fraudsters will actively look to siphon account information from phones and EMV cards.
Answer: Fact AND Fiction.
For passive devices like contactless cards, this is technically possible for criminals to do by picking a consumer’s pocket and attempting to circumvent the devices’ security features. However, it is practically unlikely and has compensating controls to prevent it from being an efficient method of data theft. For active devices (e.g., smartphones, tablets) with secure elements, remote data removal and encryptions, this is unlikely, and to reach the information, it would require a device-level “hack” to penetrate the layers of security. (more…)
Your customers expect you to keep their personal cardholder data safe – not an unreasonable expectation and merchants must take it seriously. Such protection requires merchants to make an ongoing commitment to human and monetary resources, including new technologies, stronger policies and continuous diligence.
*NOTE: The following list is a selection of suggestions only and not intended to be an exhaustive or comprehensive list of data security tips.
Ensure your business is PCI DSS compliant
The Payment Card Industry (PCI) establishes and enforces security requirements for it constituents.
Ongoing compliance with the PCI DSS (Data Security Standard) is the critical first step towards a successful data security program.
Review how data is used in your payments system
Before you can protect it, you must understand the ins and outs of the confidential data in your system: (more…)
The decisions you make about protecting your computer data, networks and PCs are critical to your company’s success and, often, its survival. So you may have some initial skepticism about the advisability of using free security software.
Be assured that a group of security products available at the Microsoft website are built on the company’s track record of world-class, secure software and technology solutions. Microsoft understands that, especially for small businesses, every dollar counts and every digital document is crucial.
So these security offerings are perfect for SMBs with limited IT budgets and smaller IT infrastructures that need to be managed. I urge you to consider checking out these solutions to gain peace-of-mind regarding your business’s digital security: (more…)
It seems not a day goes by that I don’t get a question from a reader about what antivirus program to use. This can be a tricky question because every tech-guy you run into will have a different opinion.
The necessity to “buy” an antivirus program is slowly going away. Large companies are now adding them in to their software offerings at little or no charge. Sometimes, when you buy a new computer, you will get a “free for a limited time” installation of some program, but eventually they will start hounding you for money.
As of this week, my favorite antivirus program is Microsoft Security Essentials. For my Mac friends, check out iAntivirus.They run unobtrusively in the background and have been very good at finding these nasty digital creatures. (more…)