Protect Now or Pay Later

It's that time of year - shopping season!  An online is becoming a bigger and bigger part of it. Here's some reminders of what to do and NOT to do to keep your online identity safe.

What's a consumer to do in the age of online holiday shopping?

Where there's money there are thieves nearby. That's the biggest risk facing online shoppers today, whether through phishing, stolen credit cards, mobile malware, or worse, stolen identities.

It's only going to get worse, experts predict. In the next three years, online sales are forecasted to increase by more than 50% to $520 billion annually, according to Forrester Research. Consequently, we should expect to see at least an equal rise (if not more) in the number of attempted theft.

What's a consumer to do, especially as we approach what's expected to be another record year for online holiday shopping? Here are some helpful tips, according to the latest security advisories.

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Safe Online Shopping

 'Tis the season! Soon...

The shopping season is coming and if you're a modern consumer you're going to be doing at least some of your holiday shopping online. The problem is that some of the most dangerous places on the web aren't places selling products and services. So while that super special deal on the hottest new toy or gadget might seem hard to resist, you'll be paying for it time and again if you purchase from a compromised website.

One of the worst things that can happen when you're using the Internet is for your financial information to be compromised, but that's exactly what can happen when you use the Internet for purchases. A third-party attacker can gain access to your financial information and wreak havoc on your bank account through malicious or fake websites.

If you plan to do any online shopping this year, it's important to know how to identify a secure online website. The best way to protect yourself from cybercriminals is to be educated about online shopping threats, and the recourses available to you.

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Small Business-An Easy Cybercrime Target

Editor's note - "Can't happen here!", you say. Our experience is different. Nearly every week, our staff responds to security and other concerns that falls into the area of cybercrime. Most are fairly minor issues, however, we've worked with local clients with potentially devastating and costly breaches.

As an entrepreneur, you probably think hackers won’t bother with you because your business is too small to care about. In reality, cybercrime targeting smaller companies is on the rise. Why are cybercriminals after your business—and what can you do about it?

Cybercrimes cost smaller companies 12% more in 2015 than in 2013. Not only is it growing, it disproportionately affects small businesses. Visa estimates 95% of credit-card data breaches it finds happen to its smallest business customers.

When it happens, the consequences of cybercrime can be devastating to a small company. Cybercrime costs small businesses 4.2 times more per employee than it does larger businesses, and 60% of small businesses that experience a data breach go out of business within six months.

What makes your business such a tempting target for cybercriminals? Here are some of the weaknesses that attract hackers—and how you can best defend yourself against each.

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Ransomware - A Growing Menace

Ransomware is tough subject. It's getting worse. There has been a significant increase in activity by a malicious ransomware software called Troldesh.

We have recognized that systems that are not actively managed or have no system access management policies are exceptionally susceptible to the current version of ransomware. The same can be said for systems with poorly implemented security systems.

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Avoiding Public Wi-Fi Woes

Some of us travel a lot for business and even more of us travel occassionally for pleasure. Connecting to Wi-Fi is a regular activity while traveling. Unfortunately, not all Wi-Fi connections are secure and some of them are completely crooked. This article from our friends at Norton discusses public Wi-Fi access and how to keep your information safe.

Now that summer is here, it's not just families that will be filling airports and hotels. While other people may be vacationing, business travelers will continue to work their way around the country and the world. According to the quarterly GBTA Sentiment Business Traveler Index, these working travelers face challenges in staying productive on the go — and mobile connectivity is a large factor in the success of a business trip. Although often overlooked, staying secure on public Wi-Fi should also be an important part of business travel.

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