Cooking Up Easier PCI Compliance with National Restaurant Association and ANX eBusiness

At the National Restaurant Association (NRA) tradeshow that kicked off this weekend and runs through today, the NRA, EarthLink and ANX eBusiness announced an exciting new relationship designed to make it easier for restaurateurs to meet Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) requirements.  The PCI Compliance solutions offered by EarthLink and ANX provide a single trusted source for the IT and communication services they need to effectively run their restaurant and point-of-sale systems while safeguarding customer data. Working with the NRA as the exclusive PCI compliance and secure connectivity solution for their members, EarthLink and ANX will actively market the offering to NRA members, including via email campaigns, educational webinars and blog posts, networking events, and participation in NRA’s educational programs council. Click here to read the press release.  EarthLink also exhibited at the event, and the team met with many prospective new customers. Restaurateurs are an increasingly important focus for EarthLink’s retail sector, as our solutions are an ideal fit for multi-site, distributed enterprises.

L. to R:  Chad Leedy, ANX; and Chicago-based EarthLinkers Chris Johnson and Amos Biggers..

L. to R: Chad Leedy, ANX; and Chicago-based EarthLinkers Chris Johnson and Amos Biggers..

Restaurants continue to be a primary target for hackers, with the vast majority of data breaches occurring at small operations. Restaurants are targeted for a number of reasons, including outdated Point of Sale systems, operating systems, and security, and because they lack the time and resources to effectively manage security and achieve PCI compliance.

“We are excited about our relationship with the National Restaurant Association, because for the first time their members will have access to simple, affordable, and comprehensive PCI compliance solutions from a trusted source,” said Greg Griffiths, Vice President of Retail Solutions at EarthLink Business. “Together we can strengthen data security, for NRA members, their customers, and for the restaurant industry as a whole.”

Watch for more news and views from EarthLinkers at the NRA show in coming posts!

SSL Certificate – Give Your Customers Peace of Mind

SSL certificates give online shoppers peace of mind…and since online shopping is an important part of modern commerce, and your business should make sure to take full advantage.

https ssl certificateOnline shoppers love convenience but hate risk. No one wants to be unsure about placing a purchase because they might be giving their financial information to an insecure site.  Don’t let that happen to your business: give your customer a guarantee.

This guarantee is a digital certificate.  Also known as an “SSL Certificate,”it encrypts your site’s online shopping cart, making it incredibly tough for a third party to snatch the credit card/mailing info your customers provide you.

And how will your customers know you’ve encrypted your website?  Firstly, you can display a graphic (showing a seal of the certificate, or a lock, etc) on your site, but…more importantly…if your cart is properly encrypted, the “http://” in your store’s web address will display as “https://” (the “s” literally stands for “secure”, and there is no way to get it without encryption).

With a secure website, your customers can buy without worry.  So include an SSL Certificate as a part of your ecommerce web hosting plan!

4 Email Account Security Tips

submitted by Peter Chronis

These days criminals are using a variety of techniques to compromise and gain access to accounts across the Internet.  They then often use these compromised accounts to send spam or gain unauthorized access to a victim’s private information (emails, banking information, etc.).

Just take a look at all the recent stories about stolen passwords and hacked accounts from some of the most popular sites on the Internet today.

phishingpasswordsTo reduce the risk of getting your accounts hacked into or compromised, we recommend that you take the following precautions to protect yourself:

1. Be Careful What You Click
Never reply to emails or click on email links that ask for your username and password. Our spam prevention partners have tracked a significant increase in phishing worldwide. Criminals often use phishing scams to help gather credentials.  Phishing is a term used to describe false emails sent from spammers claiming to be sent from a legitimate company (for example, EarthLink or well-known banks) and asking for your username and password. These fraudulent emails may look quite authentic – so beware.

2. Use Varying Usernames and Passwords
Don’t use the same username and password across multiple sites like email, banking and social network sites. Recent security research revealed that, on average, people use the same credentials to log into 49 different sites. Email usernames and passwords can be acquired from security breaches suffered by other service or product providers (tens of millions of credentials have been reported this year alone by other service or product providers). If you are using the same password for your EarthLink account as other accounts that were breached, then spammers may use this information to access your EarthLink email and send spam.

For these reasons, it’s good to have a system to generate strong, unique passwords for all the sites you use. Just follow these three simple steps.

You can change your EarthLink password here at any time.

3. Run an Antivirus Program to Curb Malware Infections
Some malware today is designed to run stealthily on your computer while it records the usernames and passwords to sites you access (your Web Mail, online banking, etc.).  Some security firms are reporting malware infection rates as high as 1 in 3 computers worldwide.  To protect yourself, the first step is to run an antivirus scan on your computer.  This can be done with any antivirus program of your choice.  EarthLink offers Norton 360 Online as a premium antivirus subscription with a Free 30-Day Trial if you want to check it out.

4. Choose Your Secret Hint and Word Wisely
A secret word or hint is often used to verify your identity when account changes are being made. You should not use information associated with you that is readily available on the Internet or through other sources. If you are unsure, try doing a quick Internet search for yourself to see what you can find.  If you can find it, so can a hacker.

Stay safe out there and never hesitate to reach out if you have additional questions around email or password security.

For further support from EarthLink, visit our Knowledgebase Support Center.

EarthLinkers Keep Pace with the Boston Marathon

4/15/13, 5:45 p.m. EST. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and individuals whose lives were touched by the tragic explosions at today’s Boston Marathon. We are grateful to report that we have accounted for the safety of our employees in attendance there today as spectators and runners.

Monday, April 15th marks the 117th Boston Marathon. Race day is always exciting for EarthLink, and not only because the company is the Boston Athletic Association’s (B.A.A.’s) official IT services provider. One team of EarthLinkers has been busily preparing, monitoring and proactively routing web traffic for the Boston Marathon, ensuring that the web site for the iconic event is accessible for the more than 1 million site visits and 12 million page views during the event, while another team of EarthLinkers is preparing to run the race!

Team EarthLink at the Boston Marathon

“EarthLink is a great partner to have our back with web traffic on race day. They provide us with the peace of mind to know that we have ample data storage and servers in our arsenal. Even if we get 100 million site visits, we know we can provide a good experience to each and every one of them,” said T.K. Skenderian, Marketing and Sponsorship Manager, Boston Athletic Association. Click here to view the full press release, and click here to view our B.A.A. case study.

For five lucky EarthLink employees, Monday is the day they will run the Marathon after winning a company contest for complimentary race waivers. Mark Clementi – Circuit Design Tech, Rochester; Christine Antonini – Provisioning Team Lead, Rochester; Justin Davidson – Manager Network Support, Burlington; Scott Turner – Manager System Administration, Atlanta, and Linda Scavarda – General Ledger Accountant, Huntsville will each fulfill a lifelong dream when they compete in the Marathon.

Scott Turner wrote, “I ‘m not as fast as most Boston Marathoners but my goal is to be like a freight train – unstoppable!  Life is more of a distance race than a sprint and thanks to the EarthLink waiver, I get to fulfill my dream — running the Boston Marathon on my 60th birthday!’  And Justin Davidson also shared, “I remember the first time I ran this race for our company in 2011. While running I remember saying to myself, ‘I know it is a race, but I really wish it never ended.’ 

Congratulations to everyone on Team EarthLink, whether running in the Marathon or keeping the technology infrastructure operating at peak performance!

For the latest EarthLink updates, visit our press release page, follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook and LinkedIn.