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4 Ways to Protect Yourself After a Retail Data Breach

source: http://www.komando.com/happening-now/257524/p-f-changs-investigating-data-breach-stolen-credit-card-numbers

A new e-mail pops up in your inbox. It’s from your favorite store! But this time it’s not a coupon or a special sale. It’s an alert that their systems protecting customer information were breached. And your information, along with that of thousands of others, was probably compromised. Your credit card numbers. E-mail address. Billing address. In a flash, you turn from a happy customer to a wary shopper.

Though there is little you can do to control what happens to other companies, there are some simple steps you can take to protecting yourself in these cases:

1. Monitor your bank account
Keep an eye out for unauthorized purchases, big and small. As another general rule, you should periodically check your credit report to monitor any fluctuations in your score.

2. Order a new debit card
If a breach is big enough, it is much better to cancel your debit/credit card, than wait to see if unauthorized charges to show up on your statement.

3. Set up fraud alerts
Most online banking sites have settings to send you alerts for suspicious activity. Setting up e-mail and phone alerts can keep you a step ahead of fraudulent charges, big and small.

4. Change passwords to online accounts
Did you recently place an order from the company’s website? In the event of a breach, always take control of your account and change your password. If you have any other web accounts that use the same username and/or password as the compromised account, update those passwords as well.

Remember, using the same password for multiple accounts is like giving hackers an all-access pass to your assets. Use LionLock’s password generator to give your accounts unique passwords. Then store them in the encrypted vaults to keep them safe.

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Why are passwords so important anyway?

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Why are passwords so important anyway? For your online accounts, the only door protecting Joe Schmoe from getting to your private information is your username & password. Usernames identify who you are. Passwords validate your identity.

In some cases, it may seem like passwords are totally unnecessary (say for coupon sites or downloading free pictures…come on, seriously?)! But this security is very important for online accounts that store private and controlled information (like your company’s social media profiles, e-mails, files in DropBox, online payments, website hosting, etc.). And what is the only thing ensuring the control and confidentiality of this information? Your password.

With this in mind, here are 10 questions to ask your team right now.

  1. Are any of your passwords written down on paper?
  2. Does every account have a unique password?
  3. Do you keep passwords saved in your browser?
  4. Do you change all of your passwords regularly?
  5. Are passwords ever known by more than one individual at a time?
  6. Which passwords do you need to have memorized?
  7. Do you use strong, randomly generated, passwords?
  8. Do you use the same passwords between work and home?
  9. Are you using your personal e-mail address for any work accounts?
  10. Do you store passwords in a secure encrypted location?

LionLock will not only store your passwords, but help generate complex and unique passwords for all of your accounts. By using our secure and encrypted vaults, you can ensure that your team’s passwords are protected and there for you anytime you need them!

5 Solid Online Safety Tips for the Business Traveler

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For the travelling entrepreneur, there are times when you just cannot afford to unplug. Sometimes we just have to squeeze in that last e-mail and check back in to our social media accounts to make sure our pre-scheduled posts have gone live! So whether with family or for business, make sure you’re exercising these tips to stay secure this travelling season.

1. Use public Wi-Fi with caution

Using public Wi-Fi is a lot like swimming in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. It is vast, there are tons of other creatures, and there are sharks lurking in places that you cannot see! Think about how many people have accessed your local Starbucks or Airport Wi-Fi network today alone!

“It takes zero hacking skills to surreptitiously monitor and/or hijack communications over a public Wi-Fi network. Widely available freeware makes eavesdropping on emails and web browsing as simple as pressing a button.” (Source: Forbes)

Just remember, each time you use public Wi-Fi, you must do so with the premise that everything you do is visible to others connected to the network.

2. Use Two-Factor Authentication

Using Two-Factor authentication extends the log-in process, but it adds an extra layer of protection to your accounts. Adding an extra factor makes it much harder for unauthorized users to access your accounts.

Facebook, for example, has a two-factor authentication setting to link your account with your mobile device. This can be enabled so that anytime you try to log-in to your Facebook, you must also enter a unique pin code that they send to your mobile phone via text message.

3. Avoid over-sharing on social media

Birth dates on Facebook. Occupation on LinkedIn. Location check-ins on FourSquare. With social media embedded in our lives, all of this information is not only available. It is easily accessible. Though it can be exciting to share your Spring breaks and work vacations, think twice about the information you reveal to publicly. If you must share that picture of the beautiful sunset or snow-capped mountain, be sure to keep your privacy settings as high as possible.

4. Use common sense

Protecting your belongings and privacy is not a product you can simply purchase. It’s a practice.

  • Lock all of your devices when they are not in use.
  • Take advantage of the hotel safe to store your belongings.
  • Tone down your volume when discussing business or personal matters over the phone.
  • Place a name tag on your luggage, laptop, and any important valuables so that they can be returned to you, should they be lost or stolen.

5. Check credit score and bank statements

Staying up to date with your bank statements will help you identify any unauthorized purchases and suspicious activity. For those that travel often, paying extra attention to your statements and credit score is vital, as you are more likely to make sporadic purchases.

Sharing is caring.

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When it comes to team building, sharing is caring. Sharing files. Ideas. Projects. News articles. Goals. Statistics. Even passwords.

I know what you’re thinking. “We don’t share passwords with anyone!” Truth be told, as your business grows, there will be occasions when your employees need access to certain passwords. Just imagine:

  • Graphic design consultant needs temporary access to your website’s back-end.
  • The book keepers are trialing new software and have to share a single account.
  • The only employee with the company’s Facebook password quits unexpectedly.
  • The boss goes on vacation, and none of the employees have ANY passwords!

Unfortunately, common methods of sharing passwords in plain text (e.g. text messaging, e-mail, Word files) leaves you exposed to hackers. After that, it also becomes impossible to keep track of which employees have the ability to access your passwords.

How does LionLock help?

LionLock’s lets you share access to specific Secrets with team members, while keeping your information encrypted.

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Sharing Secrets in LionLock

1. Add a new Secret, or click on an existing Secret that you would like to share

2. Click the “Add User” button

3. Under “Add User”, type in the e-mail address of the person you want to share with.

4. Grant a level of access they should have.

5. Click “Add & Save”

And voila! When your team member signs into LionLock, the shared Secret will appear in his or her vault. You can also revoke access to the Secret at any time. LionLock lets you choose if your teammate can see the password or if you want to keep it hidden. You can also view reports of all the passwords you are sharing, so you always know who can access what, and when they have done so.

This is a more secure way of sharing your passwords, helping your business stay productive and protected!

7 Tips for Cyber Monday/online shopping

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December 2nd marks Cyber Monday, one of the biggest online shopping days of the year. Before kicking off your holiday season shopping, be sure to strap on your helmets! Here are our 7 Tips for shopping online:

1. Shop on sites that you trust
One benefit of online shopping is how easy it is to find the cheapest bargains. When hunting for the best deals, be sure to stick with brands and merchants you trust. If you’re shopping on e-commerce sites like e-Bay or Etsy, always look into your merchant’s website to confirm the seller’s physical address and phone number to validate their authenticity.

2. Use strong passwords
If you need to create an online account, create a strong password–at least 8 characters, with a combination of numbers, symbols, and upper and lower case letters. Use unique passwords for each site, and never share your passwords with anyone. (hint: LionLock helps you generate strong passwords and stores them so you never have to worry about memorizing them!)

3. Shop with a credit card
Unlike debit cards, credit cards are protected by the Fair Credit Billing Act which protects you from unfair billing practices/errors and goods not delivered as agreed. In the event that your credit cards numbers are stolen, many card issuers also have a “zero liability” under which the card holder pays nothing for unauthorized purchases.If you are going to shop on classifieds web sites like Craigslist, never wire money and only buy locally. (hint: LionLock stores Credit Card information, too!)

4. Secure your online transactions – look for the “S”
Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is a technology to encrypt the credit card information that you send over the Internet. When submitting your financial information online, be sure the website address bar in your browser reads “https” (not just http). The “s” stands for “secure” and indicates that communication with the webpage is encrypted. If there is no “s”, avoid the transaction altogether and stick with a secure website.
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5. Check your receipts & credit card statements
We recommend checking your bank statements daily or weekly. This will keep you on top of transactions posted to your account and help you monitor suspicious activity. You can also set up banking alerts to notify you when large transactions have been made to your account. You should also keep a paper trail of all of your receipts.

6. Beware of phishing e-mails & pop-ups
Set your browser to block pop-up messages. If you get an e-mail or pop-up message that asks for your financial information while you’re browsing, don’t reply or follow the link. Legitimate companies won’t ever dispute your transaction through e-mail and certainly won’t request financial information in a pop-up message. Should one of these “phishy” alerts arise, go with your instinct; click NOTHING and delete the e-mail or close out of the pop-up message.

If you’re unsure of the e-mail’s authenticity, BBB recommends calling the contact number on the website where the purchase was made to confirm that there really is a problem with the transaction.

7. Do NOT shop on public networks or computers
Public Wi-Fi is inherently unsafe for online shopping, as everything you do is visible to a third-party stranger with access to that network. Likewise, public computers may contain malicious software that steals your personal and credit card information when you are placing an order online. Our advice, shop from home on your own password protected network.

Do you have any other tips for shopping secure online? Comment below!

Source 1: BBB (Better Business Bureau)
Source 2: USA Today – Free WiFi? Beware of security risks