Tag Archives: online security

More on Data Security

ID-100288994You can be forgiven if you read that title as “moron data security,” given recent events. Anyhoo…

You know the old UPS slogan, “What can Brown do for you?” I would answer, “How about protecting my data!?”

Yep, the UPS Store is one of the latest businesses to be data-hacked (by data-hackers!) 51 stores in 24 states, apparently. You can check out the locations at the UPS site.

And just a few days ago, it was Jimmy John’s sandwich shops. I actually went there a while back. Thankfully, I used cash. You can read all about it on their site, as well.

So, that’s UPS, Michael’s, Target, PF Chang’s, Goodwill, the entire  South Carolina Social Security system…the list goes on and on.

Two weeks ago, they had the “Biggest Hack in History,” in which Russian hackers stole over ONE BILLION user names and passwords. People downplayed it, saying that Usernames and PWs are not as bad as credit card information.

BUT… the problem is that we are lazy. We tend to use the same Usernames and PWs across many accounts. So, as soon as the hacker punks crack your Bi-Lo Savers Club account, it’s a short walk to hacking your Discover Card.

So, CHANGE YOUR PASSWORDS. Today. Don’t use the same User and PW for every account. While you’re at it maybe look at fraud protection. Soon, it’s going to be as necessary as homeowners insurance.

And, for more info on protecting your data, visit the Federal Trade Commission site, or check out this review site for data protection services. And have a great weekend!

PS… remember when we were all supposedly marching toward a “cashless society” where it would be all plastic, all the time? THIS is the reason that will never happen – not for me anyway!

MindField: Committed to Data Security!

internet_securityWhen it comes to online security, the sad fact is that the good guys have to get it right every single time, but the bad guys have to get it right just once.

What can the good guys do to keep their data – and that of their clients and customers – safe? They have to be PROACTIVE. They can’t just cross their fingers and hope for the best. And, although no system will ever be 120% secure, they have to study their systems with a critical eye, look for any potential weaknesses and then do something about them, BEFORE they become a problem.

By the way, in this scenario we – MindField Online – are the good guys.

Some members have experienced some password, login and cash out problems in the past few days. Some have seen a Client Maintenance prompt, asking them to complete or update security information. Some folks have also had difficulty getting to surveys right away, and that’s frustrating.

The good news is that this system check and upgrade is almost finished. We ask that you provide the info requested, and please be patient. We swear it’s all in the name of a tighter, more secure system that will better protect member data AND provide a more reliable product for our clients.

For more information about MindField Online security, you can visit the security page at our website. And, you are always welcome to contact the helpdesk during regular business hours at [email protected] or 800.969.9235.

Tweeting Too Much?

twitter-bird-white-on-bluePersonal information, that is. The answer is probably Yes, according to Consumer Affairs.com:

Social media users compromise their privacy all the time. They post pictures while they are on vacation, for example, advertising the fact they aren’t at home. They reveal other personal information that ought to be private. ConsumerAffairs.com

One big reason is geo-tracking. You have GPS turned on, and your tweet goes out there with really accurate location info for all to see. Other times, it’s the info you carelessly blab in your tweets.

Anyway, the article tells of a grad student in California who has studied people’s tweets and is able to map out their activities, online and real-world. He says they are usually pretty shocked what he knows about them! He has developed a site, geosocialfootprint.com, to help educate folks on privacy issues.

Now, this isn’t a indictment of Twitter. This is about personal responsibility. If you don’t like sharing all of this information, you can take steps to change it. So, what do you think? Is this a big deal, or just paranoia? Do you care if people know this stuff about you? What about your kids? Give us your thoughts over at the MindField Online Facebook page, and have a great weekend!

Smartphone Security

“While we enjoy the benefits of technology, we must also be aware of the risks it presents. Criminals have turned to technology as access points for key personal information. The best way for consumers to protect themselves is to make sure their technological devices are secure.”  ConsumerAffairs.com

So, we had that huge Zappos hack a couple of weeks back, where 24 million passwords were exposed. It points out once again the importance of online security, both on your home PC and your mobile devices.

About half of us are carrying smartphones these days, and ConsumerAffairs.com has put together a list of common sense tips for keeping them safe. Highlights include:

  • Password Protect Your Phone: Seems obvious, but I still haven’t gotten around to it!
  • Remote Wipe:  Allows you to destroy all data on your phone if it’s lost or stolen.
  • Unfamiliar Apps: Man this makes me furious! It claims to be protecting you from viruses, but is actually malware. ONLY use trusted suppliers!
  • Geo-tagging: You’re seeing these cute geo-tag notices on Facebook, like, “Susan is at Northwoods Mall.” I don’t care that Susan is out for the day, but the guy planning to rob her house probably appreciates the info. So, use geo-tagging sparingly!
  • Surf with Care: Pretty obvious. You do it home… if some link has a weird suffix like “.ru” (for Russia) instead of “.com” you tend to avoid clicking. Same here.
  • Online Banking and Shopping: I feel like a stick in the mud, but I am not yet comfortable with financial transactions on my phone. Heck, even at home I unplug the wi-fi and go cable for my online banking!

These are the highlights. Learn more at the original article. Let’s be safe out there!

Older Folks and Online Security

"Where do I slide the card through?"

Now, my 70-year-old mom happens to be one of the most computer-savvy people I know. But I actually knew a guy whose mom was worried that a virus in her PC could also make HER sick!

Older folks are catching up when it comes to the computer, but one thing they still aren’t sure about is the security of online shopping.

The survey found that 77% of consumers 55 and older say they worry about being a victim of online fraud. And 46% say they don’t feel secure that merchants are protecting their safety and security when shopping online. Internet Retailer

Their snot-nosed 18-25 year old kids and grandkids share these concerns, at a slightly lower rate: 62% worry about online fraud, and 27% think retailers aren’t doing enough about it.

The big difference seems to be what happens NEXT. The youngsters research a company more thoroughly, it seems. As a result, while older folks are more worried about fraud, they are also more likely to get ripped off: 46% have gotten scammed at some point, compared to only 35% of the younger folks.

So, caveat emptor*, y’all. And do your research! Do YOU worry about online fraud? Ever been scammed? Let us know!

* “Let the buyer beware.”