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.

IT Security – Should it Be Outsourced?

IT security is often a confusing area for small and medium businesses because, typically, only large companies can afford to deploy their own comprehensive security teams, armed with the knowledge and tools necessary to protect information assets against ongoing attacks or compromise. Smaller and mid-size firms just don’t have the capital or resources to commit to a top notch security team, which is why many are starting to consider outsourcing. Here are the 3 things to think about when considering outsourcing your IT security needs…

Security experts at your fingertips

If your company cannot endure the cost of deploying your own security team, why not hire one? For the overhead cost of employing a single, well rounded security veteran you can outsource at the same cost or less, and have and entire team of experts at the helm. In today job market, good IT security experts are expensive and hard to find. Security firms hire experts that have worked in multiple industries and can reach out to other team members to deliver your security needs. Think of it as employing an entire army of security professionals that are already trained and educated in your industry, all for the overhead cost of one.

Focus on driving your business needs

Outsourcing IT security can help companies stay focused on driving their business. Keep building and expanding your business by concentrating on your core products and let the experts help maintain and manage information security. If your company makes furniture, make furniture and let someone else manage IT security.

Buy what you need and only what you need

With outsourcing you only pay for what you need. It’s like buying cable television. If you don’t watch the movie channels then why pay for them? If all you need is someone to manage your firewall and to keep the bad guys out, then why hire an expensive security expert or rely on other internal resources that “know enough about IT security to be dangerous?” Pay for a monthly service and be confident that you are receiving only the services you need. For smaller firms, this approach will allow you to scale IT security needs with your business. IT security outsourcing reduces operating expenses by eliminating the need to train security staff and the need to purchase and update dedicated equipment.

When deciding what security functions to outsource, consider any security service a managed IT security firm can provide better, and at a lower cost, than you can deliver internally. EarthLink’s offers a suite of managed security services, contact your EarthLink representative to learn more.

 

 

Password Security – Change them After the Holidays

Password security is always important (for tips, check out this article!), but EarthLink would like to remind you to be especially aware during the holidays.  Thanks to massive retailer discounts and promotions, the time around December is the largest online shopping season.  This means that credit card information is being entered more often than any other time in the year…and this is attractive to phishers (here is an article letting you know how to spot spammy fraud email) and hackers.

An easy solution is to change your passwords to and delete your credit card information from retail sites (like Amazon.com or Walmart.com) when you’re done using them for gift purchases. And always make sure that you follow the general guidelines of password security, and have a happy holiday season!