Giving Your Customers a Secure Way to Buy

The boom of internet shopping is a double-edged sword.  The more retailers offer online shopping, the easier it is for customers to buy what they want from the comfort of their homes.  But, the more sites customers give their information to, the more chances hackers or other “unsavory” online entities have to get at it.

This is why every online store should have a digital certificate.  Also called an SSL Certificate, it keeps a website’s shopping cart encrypted, and gives customers the confidence they need to know they’re completing only secure online transactions!

How do customers know if a shopping cart is secure?  Most online sellers with a certificate display a graphic seal of the certificate on their page, but most importantly, the “http://” in the seller’s web address changes to “https://” (the “s” stands for “secure”).  When a website is secure, customers can buy with confidence.  So get make sure to include an SSL Certificate as a part of your ecommerce web hosting plan!

Do We Need a New Internet to be Secure?

Unknown to many, a second internet (aptly named “Internet 2”) already exists. An intra-university and research network, it was designed for one thing: performance.

Now, thanks to an onslaught of security concerns, many in the internet community are calling for a new, third internet.  One built for security that would replace our current web (which we’ll lovingly call Internet 1).

Even the FBI agrees.  Shawn Henry, the bureau’s executive assistant director, says that “critical systems are under increasing threat from terror groups looking to buy or lease the computer skills and malware needed to launch a cyber attack,” and admits that the most secure solution would be to build a separate, highly secure internet.

How this actually plays out remains to be seen. Will a new internet be built?  Will tech companies simply enhance existing security features?  Will it be up to us to stay secure by taking matters into our own hands (like knowing how to keep fresh passwords and protect your online accounts from being hijacked)?

Whatever the result, rest assured that, as a web surfer, functions you’ve come to love and appreciate from your online services (be it your bank, internet provider like EarthLink, or google) would not be affected by the building of a new internet.  But it’s always nice to know what poeple are discussing behind the scenes.

Understanding the 419 scam

The 419 or advance fee fraud is one of the most commonly perpetrated scams on the internet. The scam involves offering a large payout to victims if the victim makes a smaller investment. The number “419” refers to the article of Nigerian law covering this type of criminal activity. Don’t think that all these scammers are from Nigeria though. This type of fraud is a worldwide issue and con artists using this scam steal millions of dollars every year.
Criminals send an email offering payment to deposit checks or soliciting the victim to pay for legal fees to cover their expenses to send the victim an inheritance. In 2008, a US citizen lost $400,000 to a 419, after an e-mail told her she had inherited money from her long-lost grandfather. 419s are generally pretty easy to spot if you know what to look for. The messages stress the urgency of the request and the need to keep the transaction confidential. The criminal may claim to be a member of a foreign government or bank. Often victims will fulfill multiple requests for money or travel to a foreign nation where the criminals operate.
Report these scams to using webmail

Identity Theft and the Internet

What is Identity Theft?
Identity theft starts when someone uses your personal information to commit a crime without your knowledge. Personal information like your name, social security number and credit card number is very valuable to criminals. Often, identity theft goes undetected, is hard to investigate and can occur far from the victim’s home. The Federal Trade Commission estimates that as many as 9 million Americans have their identities stolen each year. Thieves often use the stolen information to obtain fraudulent credit cards, create fraudulent documentation like driver’s licenses, obtain an bank account in your name or obtain a loan in your name. Often victims are not responsible for these fraudulent accounts, but, resolving these issues is a time consuming and often frustrating experience.
They key to reduce your risk from identity theft is education and prevention.

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