Categories ArchivesConsumer Security

Do you know your IT? standard

This post is mostly going to apply to smaller companies as I would HOPE (tongue in cheek a bit here) that larger merchants wouldn’t have this problem. Small- and Medium-sized businesses (SMBs) have more advanced software tools available to them today than ever before. Cloud-based solutions allow for multi-million dollar software packages to be available to SMBs at affordable monthly subscription prices. This level of business analytics, automation, and intelligence can make a big difference in how a business competes.  What once would take dedicated headcount can now be automated and scaled. But with great power, comes great responsibility. SMBs that entrust their business or data to these third parties must invest time and effort to understand not only what ...

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Hey Friends, I’m Over Here! standard

I recently gave a presentation to a graduate advertising class about social media with ideas on how it might be used as a part of an overall marketing and advertising strategy ((I’ll get this posted soon. I’ve just gotten my templates fixed (Thank you Angry Porcupine!) and will be able to move the material shortly.)). One of the things I covered was the concept of geo-tagging and how it relates to social media. There are tremendous privacy concerns related to geo-tagging, but also interesting market opportunities as well. We ignored the unintended geo-tagging that occurs when people use location services in their mobile phones, or use cameras that are location aware and focused on check-in applications.  Some examples of these ...

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Do Small Service Providers Scare You? standard

Take PCI off the table for a minute. Do you get nervous when dealing with a small service provider that performs some niche service for your company?  It doesn’t have to be cardholder data related, but it definitely needs to be some kind of data that is either regulated or is classified as something other than public—data like PII, healthcare, or even intellectual property. Smaller providers can sometimes provide higher or better security than larger ones, and that may be beneficial long term—especially when doing the value proposition. But in some cases, smaller providers are providing a niche service to a larger customer, and are operating on a skeleton crew.  Imagine if a company like Ford Motor Company selected Brando’s ...

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A Facebook Reality Check standard

It has been a pretty tough couple of weeks for Facebook. I find the reaction to the privacy controls and the people leaving Facebook in droves especially entertaining. People get fired over comments they put on Twitter, pictures they are tagged in on Facebook, and content posted online using their employer’s assets, yet we are still shocked when our online profiles are disclosed? The real shock to me is, how have we not figured this out yet? My first internet account was a Netcom shell account in the early 90s. Soon after, I had my very own Linux installation (kernel 1.2.8) running on my school’s network, and not long after that I figured out I could read all of the ...

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More Advice when using Public WiFi standard

Scott Carmichael from the great travel blog Gadling published a post yesterday with tips on keeping your data safe when connecting to public wireless hotspots.  There are some really good tips for everyone here, but I wanted to add to a few of the options. One of the recommendations is to get a 3G or 4G data card.  In working for a Telco for a few weeks, I did learn a thing or two about these networks and how laptops of employees can be locked down almost to be unusable.  This is definitely a fantastic recommendation but has two key drawbacks—cost and usability. While data cards can be obtained reasonably cheap, and depending on how you connect to the internet ...

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Securing your Social Networking Brand standard

This post originally appeared on Jennifer Leggio’s Social Business blog at ZDNet (now with more links!). Social networking sites as innocent as LinkedIn and as provocative as Twitter (have you seen my stream?) have now become a personal branding vehicle for many professionals. Some of us have had the unfortunate experience of losing a job we barely had thanks to social networking. Others have seen it as the boost to their career they have been wanting for years. Let’s talk about security in the context of the latter. When I moved my blog to a setup I administered, I made two commitments to myself. The first is that I would make frequent backups because there has yet to be a ...

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The Social Security Office, an Identity Thief’s Heaven! standard

My wife is not into technology.  Or security.  Or UNIX.  Basically she looks at her Macbook as a way to check email, buy shoes, organize photos and videos, and make checklists for the babysitter.  So when she takes an interest in what I do, I REALLY perk up. She is very attentive to the things I do with our mail and sensitive information, only because she hears me talking about it all the time.  She knows not to give out passwords or personally identifying information.  She shreds expired cards and junk mail. She’s definitely more in tune to security than the average citizen. We recently noticed a reporting error from the Social Security Administration and the only way to clear ...

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Data Destruction is YOUR Responsibility! standard

Matt Springfield (formerly of I-Net Solutions, those were the days) posted about a problem he is having with his Apple Time Capsule, and what happens to the data when they blow up.  In his situation, a bad power supply prematurely ended the life of his device.  When he asked an Apple representative what they do with the old hard drive contained inside the device, she responded that there was no data destruction policy. No data destruction policy?  Wow, there must be some fun stuff in old equipment at Apple. For the record, I’m a Mac user.  The first computers I used were early generation Macs (think System 6), and then I switched to a PC for a while in college.  ...

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