Morgan Grevey

About Morgan Grevey

As Marketing Manager at CSID, Morgan has her finger on the pulse of happenings at the company and in the cyber security and identity protection industries. Morgan writes about general industry news, industry events and company updates.

Introducing Family Account Management

By | February 10th, 2017|Product News|

CSIDWe’re excited to announce Family Account Management: a new feature available for our partners that makes it easy for their subscribers to extend identity protection services to family and friends.

Family Account Management allows our partners to offer quick and easy enrollment, enabling new subscribers to opt in to a family plan by inputting family or friends’ email addresses within their portal. Subscribers can invite anyone of the age of 18 to join. Every family has different security needs and preferences. This feature offers plan options that can be configured to match the primary subscriber’s current enrolled services, or customized to include a set of services that best suits each family’s needs.

The Consumer Sentinel Network, a division of the Federal Trade Commission, reported over 1.2 million fraud-related complaints in 2015. With identity fraud on the rise, we need to be more vigilant than ever before and take steps to improve our own security and the security of our loved ones. We all have unique identity elements, including birthday, email address, and Social Security number, and monitoring one person’s identity elements won’t minimize risk for other family members. That’s why Family Account Management is so important, allowing subscribers to extend coverage for what matters most – family.

“Families are more connected than ever before, but with more ways to stay connected, there are new threats putting families at risk of identity theft,” said Joe Ross, CSID President and Co-Founder. “With Family Account Management, businesses can provide their subscribers with an easy and convenient way to extend identity protection services to their loved ones.”

For more information on Family Account Management, visit our Marketing Support page and stay up to date with all CSID news on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

Secure Your Information for Data Privacy Day

By | January 26th, 2017|Online Safety|

CSIDOn January 28, cybersecurity experts around the world will recognize Data Privacy Day. With efforts led by the National Cyber Security Alliance, Data Privacy Day invites industry leaders and experts to share security insights that can help safeguard businesses and individuals from cybercrime. CSID is proud to be a registered champion of the international event.

On Thursday, Data Privacy Day was celebrated with a daylong event featuring TED-style talks, interviews and tips for staying secure. The National Cyber Security Alliance traveled to Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters, where consumers and businesses were able to watch and engage in real-time through social media.

Practicing secure habits at home and in the workplace can and should happen every day. Here are some of our top tips:

At Work:

  • Create a culture of cybersecurity by discussing threats and best practices with all employees.
  • Develop a “Bring Your Own Device” policy for your company. Be sure to include insights and standards from your IT department, risk management, and legal counsel.
  • Require your employees to create long, strong, and unique passwords. Encourage employees to take advantage of two-factor authentication wherever possible.
  • Require your employees to update their software on devices whenever prompted to help address security vulnerabilities.
  • Be mindful of how you collect, use, and store employee and consumer information.
  • Carefully vet partners and third-party vendors to see how they manage data.

At Home:

  • Discuss security and privacy habits with your family. It’s never too early (or late) to create an ongoing conversation about best practices.
  • Talk to your family about which types of information should be kept private, both online and in-person.
  • As a family, create strong passwords, especially for social media accounts.
  • Discuss how spam and scams can appear through email and private messages. Avoid clicking on links if a message seems suspicious or you do not know the sender.
  • Familiarize yourself with your child’s gadgets and apps. Understand the data collected and consider the privacy settings on each device. Always opt for the strictest security settings to help keep your – and your child’s – information safe.
  • Talk about the permanence of posting to social media, as well as manners and cyberbullying.

How will you celebrate Data Privacy Day? Share your experience with us on our social media — Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. For more information around Data Privacy Day, please visit stopthinkconnect.org.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Small Businesses Will Remain a Target in 2017

By | January 20th, 2017|Business Security|

CSIDAs we enter 2017, small businesses remain a prime target for hackers and criminal schemes. Last year, countless headlines reported on nationwide DDoS attacks, complex ransomware, and repeated hacks. These attacks, as well as phishing attempts, malware, and even simple human error, can compromise a thriving business – regardless of its size.

In our own survey, we found that while the majority (58 percent) of small businesses know to be vigilant and proactive about cyber attacks, most are not taking proactive measures to combat these threats. These companies are also not allocating budgets for risk mitigation and response services. The reason is surprising. Of the companies we surveyed, 51 percent were not aware that they were storing at-risk data, although many were collecting email addresses, billing addresses, Social Security numbers, and credit/debit card numbers. This data, belonging to customers and employees, can be easily compromised by malicious activity.

Last year, to help businesses of all sizes and stages protect their sensitive information, we launched our white-labeled Small Business Monitoring product. This service includes two features: Defense and Restoration.

To help defend against threats, our proprietary dark web surveillance technology, CyberAgent, monitors for compromised business information and alerts the business if we find a match to employee credentials, company URLs and domains. If compromised, users will have access to our CSID specialists who can assist with restoration for a wide range of identity theft types. Our case workers are CITRMS, FCRA, and FACTA certified.

This year, take action to help keep your business, employees, and customers safe from cyber threats. To learn more about our small business product, visit csid.com/sb.

To stay up to date with all CSID news, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

How Consumers Can Respond to the Yahoo Breach

By | December 16th, 2016|Industry News|

CSIDYahoo recently disclosed that it has discovered a breach of more than one billion user accounts that occurred in August 2013. This is believed to be a separate attack from the breach Yahoo reported in September.

Bob Lord, chief information security officer at Yahoo, said the stolen user account information may include names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, hashed passwords, and in some cases, encrypted or unencrypted security questions and answers. Whether or not you have a Yahoo account, this is a great reminder to make sure you’re following best practices when it comes to your online security.

Create Strong Passwords
Take a look at the most common passwords from last year and it’s a canvas of simplicity. “123456” and “password” are the two most common, with other easy-to-guess passwords like “football” and “abc123” high up on the list.

While these are easy to remember, they’re also quite easy to guess. Refrain from using your name, birthday, or pet’s name in your passwords; instead, use long, strong, unique passwords with a mix of numbers, letters, and special characters. Don’t reuse passwords across multiple apps and sites and also be sure to update your passwords regularly – it’ll help further protect your information from being accessed.

Stay Updated
When your computer or an app asks if you’d like to update to the latest version, do you typically ignore it, or click “Remind Me Later?” Get out of that habit – those updates are there for a reason. Developers are constantly fixing bugs and adding security adjustments and patches to make your devices safer.

Keep an Eye out for Phishing Scams
Phishing scams often come in the form of a fraudulent email message. Though they can occur at any time, they’re even more prevalent during the holidays, with cyber criminals sending what appears to be a legitimate offer. Avoid clicking on links or downloading attachments from suspicious emails, especially if you don’t know the sender. Be wary of emails that ask for personal information or refer you to a website to input your information, even if it appears to come from a retailer you do business with. The best way to confirm if the retailer really sent the email, is to call the legitimate entity directly to confirm the email is legitimate.

Monitor Your Payments
Keep records of online transactions and monitor bank and credit card statements to ensure there aren’t any fraudulent charges. Contact your bank or credit card company immediately to report suspicious activity or charges – even small ones. Oftentimes, cyber criminals test small amounts to ensure the account is active. Take the time to set up monitoring services to help you keep an eye on all your financial accounts.

This latest breach is another reminder that no company is safe from cyber attack. However, by taking a proactive approach to online security, you’re doing your part in safeguarding your information and minimizing your vulnerability to attack.

Do you have any other best practices for ensuring online security? Share your tips with us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

Safe Shopping Tips During the Holidays

By | December 9th, 2016|Identity Protection, Online Safety|

CSIDThe holiday season is a whirlwind of wintry weather, family and friends, and shopping – a lot of shopping. The National Retail Federation predicts retail sales in November and December will increase 3.6 percent, reaching $655.8 billion. Online shopping is expected to increase between seven and ten percent from last year to a staggering $117 billion.

Whether you’re battling the crowds or shopping from your smartphone, it’s important to protect your information.

When Shopping In Stores:

  • Before you leave for an afternoon of shopping, edit the contents of your purse and wallet. Only carry the cards and information you absolutely need. Not writing checks? Leave your checkbook at home. It’s important to note that you should avoid carrying your Social Security number with you year-round.
  • Protect your PIN when shopping by keeping a watchful eye on other shoppers, and covering the key pad.
  • Be aware of the information being collected (email, address, zip code, etc.) by retailers. Only share what is required, and feel comfortable asking how your information will be stored and used during future purchases.
  • Avoid sharing and accessing sensitive information over public Wi-Fi, including banking apps, social media, and online shopping. If there is no secured Wi-Fi network available, consider using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) while you shop.
  • Stay alert to your surroundings, and keep a close eye on your belongings. Never leave your purse and wallet in a car unattended.

When Shopping Online:

  • Be familiar with your merchant and ensure you’re using reputable online sites. First and foremost, always look for the HTTPS and green padlock icon in the address bar. You should avoid entering your credit card number or financial information if you don’t see this.
  • Create unique, cryptic passwords for each online customer account. Avoid using the same password across multiple websites and apps.
  • Take the time to logout of all online shopping accounts when your transaction is complete.
  • Make sure your devices are up-to-date, and that the latest security software and operating systems are being used for your phones, tablets, and computers.
  • Keep an eye out for phishing scams, as these fraudulent email messages are intended to look like legitimate offers during the holiday season. Never click on links in emails from unknown senders, and be wary of “too good to be true” deals. When in doubt, visit the retailer’s website directly or call their customer service to ensure the deal or email is legitimate.

Whether you are shopping at home or in-person, it’s important to keep track of your payments. Save records of your online purchases and check your bank account daily during this high-activity time. If you notice an unauthorized purchase, contact your bank or credit card company immediately.

We hope your holiday shopping is a breeze this season! What are your safe shopping tips? Share your advice with us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

Educating Family on Security Best Practices

By | November 22nd, 2016|Online Safety|

CSIDThe winter holiday season is a special time of year. We see more festive lights, hear more cheerful music, and spend more time with family.

Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most lucrative seasons for cybercriminals. Forty-percent of all yearly cybercrime occurs during October, November, and December. While you may consider yourself cyber-aware, others in your family may not be. Here are a few things to look for during this holiday season, and how you can educate your family around staying secure:

Be Wary of Downloads
While many advertisements this holiday season are perfectly legitimate, there are also malware-infected advertisements designed to bring harm to your computer. Make sure you know exactly what you’re getting when you’re downloading a product, and only click on links from websites you trust. Teach your family members to do the same. Clicking on a malware-infected ad could not only bring up inappropriate images or videos, but could also install a virus or spyware on your computer, allowing a cybercriminal to access your files or personal information. Encourage children to ask before downloading anything from the Internet and help oversee their activity to prevent potential damage.

Be Proactive
Some of your relatives might not realize that two-factor authentication (2FA) exists, or how to set up monitoring services. These are layers of security that aren’t difficult to set up, and your family members will feel safer knowing they are taking additional steps to help secure their personal information and online accounts.

Additionally, most people tend to shop more around the holidays, which give scammers a better chance to steal their information. Keep a close eye on your billing statements. If you do not recognize a charge, report the suspicious activity to your bank or credit card issuer immediately. Talk to your relatives about setting up credit card alerts. Most credit card companies can give daily, weekly, or monthly updates on account balance, or can send a text message for transactions over a certain, pre-determined amount.

When in Doubt, Ask
During the holiday season, it’s no surprise to see a company offering a deal on their products or services. You probably have a family member that considers himself or herself a real bargain hunter, and perhaps they even take pride in seeing how much they can discount their purchase. This holiday season, tell them to take a moment to consider the deal – if it’s too good to be true, it probably is. If they receive an offer through email or find one on a site they don’t normally visit, a quick search online, even just the retailer’s name plus “scam,” is a good way to ensure validity.

Another imposter scam typically targets the elderly, but can affect anyone. A scammer will claim to be a grandchild or another family member who needs money to get out of an accident or another fabricated incident. Tell your grandparents, aunts, and uncles to be on the lookout for this kind of scam – and to contact the supposed person directly. They could also check in with someone who knows the person, and they should never send money unless they’re positive the person calling is indeed who they say they are.

Do you have any other advice for the holidays? Has one of your relatives fallen for a scam before? Join the conversation on FacebookTwitter or LinkedIn.

A Recap of NCSAM 2016

By | November 4th, 2016|Industry News|

CSIDEach October, we band together with other businesses, nonprofits, and agencies to observe National Cyber Security Awareness Month. Now in its 13th year, NCSAM is a collaborative effort between the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Alliance to educate consumers, corporations, and institutions about cybersecurity awareness.

The past four weeks we have been sharing our tips and insights in weekly themed #ChatSTC Twitter chats, hosted by our friends at STOP. THINK. CONNECT. Below, learn more about the topics we explored and key takeaways on important issues discussed.

Every Day Steps Towards Online Safety:
Creating new cybersecurity habits does not need to be daunting. There are simple steps and easily adoptable actions that can help keep your private information safe online.

  • We recommend getting started by creating a conversation at home. Late last year, it was reported that teens spend nearly nine hours every day in front of some form of media channel. Talk to your children and your partner about the types of information that should remain private and the importance of safeguarding this information.
  • Create strong, cryptic passwords that are a complex combination of letters, numbers, and special characters. Take care to avoid your name, birthday, or pet’s name, and don’t reuse passwords across multiple sites and apps. We also recommend using two-factor authentication whenever possible.
  • Check your privacy settings on your devices and apps. Certain apps may have default settings that may share your sensitive information. Disable or permanently delete programs and apps you no longer use.

Cyber from the Break Room to the Board Room:
Businesses of all sizes need to implement cybersecurity practices and understand the threats facing their organization, like phishing scams and malware. Every person in an organization plays a role in keeping a business secure and creating a culture of security.

Our Continuously Connected Lives:
Lastly, we explored the Internet of Things. According to Cisco, there are already 10 billion things that can connect to the Internet. This number is expected to grow substantially within the next few years. Cisco predicts that by 2020, the number of devices connected to the Internet will exceed 50 billion. However, the cybersecurity standards within these devices remains somewhat unchartered territory.

  • Whether a wearable, smart fridge, or connected car, it is important for users to understand what data is being collected and stored.
  • Always password protect new devices and use biometric authentication whenever possible.

You can learn more about all of these topics in our Firewall Chats podcast series, and by searching the hashtag #ChatSTC on Twitter. CSID is proud to be a champion of National Cyber Security Awareness Month. Let us know your top cybersecurity tips on FacebookTwitter or LinkedIn.

Cats, Geotags, and the Risks of Oversharing

By | November 1st, 2016|Online Safety|

CSIDIt’s important to remember that when we’re sharing selfies, back to school photos, and pictures of our kittens on social media, we’re also sharing much more.

I Know Where Your Cat Lives” is a project created by an associate professor at Florida State University, featuring one million Instagram, Twitpic, and Flickr pictures of cats (found through the hashtag #cat) from around the world. The online visualization is possible thanks to geotags, which are provided by photo sharing websites and publicly available APIs. After the initial cuteness of the cats wears off, it’s alarming to realize that these photos reveal the homes and locations of many individuals.

Geotags can be added to many different forms of media, including pictures and video, websites, and SMS messages. These meta tags can include latitude and longitude coordinates, altitude, bearing, distance, place names, and even time stamps. It is this data that makes aggregated sites like IKWYCL possible.

Sharing geotags can pose a risk to your safety and security. Whether you’re tagging animals in your home or your feet in the sand on an exotic vacation, you are alerting friends and strangers to your exact location. It’s important to note that some social platforms by default, like Instagram, do not reveal a user’s location coordinates. However, many users elect to add their location. This may put yourself or your belongings in danger, alerting criminals to your whereabouts.

If you hang around the cat site long enough, you are sure to see a gray box stating “Photo removed by user.” Users unsettled by the location of their cats can change the privacy setting in their apps to remove the data and their images from the site.

Regardless of your favorite social platform, it’s important to be cognizant about the information you’re sharing. Always opt for the strictest security settings to help keep your information safe.

Are you concerned about over sharing on social? Weigh in with us on FacebookTwitter or LinkedIn.

 

The Next Frontier: Cybersecurity in Space

By | October 20th, 2016|Industry News|

CSIDResearch organization Chatham House made headlines earlier this month with a new report that calls for a “radical review of cybersecurity in space” and points to the rarely discussed, but increasing threat of satellite attacks. As so much of our world’s infrastructure – including GPS navigation, financial transactions, weather and environmental monitoring – relies on satellite data, it’s important to recognize that satellites and other space assets, just as any piece of technology on Earth, are vulnerable to cyber-attack.

According to the report, such attacks might include jamming, spoofing and hacking attacks on communication networks; target control systems or mission packages; and attacks on ground infrastructure like satellite control centers. There are a few reasons why satellites and space systems may be more vulnerable to attack. Here are some of those key factors listed in the report:

  • The first GPS systems were introduced more than three decades ago and technology is evolving at a rapid pace, making it hard to execute a timely response to space cyber threats. Younger individuals are using space-based and cyber communications in ways that older generations – often times the key decision makers – may not understand the range of threats.
  • Backdoor holes in encryption and otherwise secure control systems.
  • Increasing number of individual satellites and constellations providing an ever-increasing number of entry points.
  • Speed to market compromising important security controls.

The researchers leading this project insist that it will take a concerted and collaborative international effort, made up of “able states and stakeholders within the international space supply chain and insurance industry” to combat these growing threats.

But what can we do as consumers? Just as our day-to-day actions impact our security in the Internet of Things, these actions may also impact our security in space. It’s imperative that we take action to secure our personal data (check out some tips on how to help secure your data in five minutes), business owners educate employees on cyber security best practices, and that manufacturers and developers keep security top-of-mind when bringing new products to market.

Where do you think the future of cyber security in space is headed? Share your thoughts with us on FacebookTwitter or LinkedIn.

All Eyes on Encryption: Facebook Steps Up Its Game

By | October 13th, 2016|Industry News|

CSIDMore than 900 million people around the world use Facebook’s Messenger app to communicate with friends and family while on the go. The mobile messenger app is a way for users to communicate privately, but until recently, there hasn’t been much public information available around how Facebook is ensuring these messages are kept private and secure.

Recently, Facebook announced that the company is offering encrypted messaging technology to mobile users worldwide in a feature it’s calling “Secret Conversations.” Facebook’s users can opt in to send messages that no one – including Facebook, the government, or intelligence agencies – will be able to read, using Signal Protocol for end-to-end encryption.

This is a big move for Facebook and for social media overall. While other apps like WhatsApp provide encrypted messages, many major social platforms do not. There is the possibility of identity theft via social media, particularly for users who aren’t selective with what they post. Having an additional layer of privacy in messaging could potentially reduce the risk of an attack.

However, in America, as more messaging services offer the ability to encrypt messages, the mindset could shift from whether encryption should be an option to whether it should be the default setting. On Facebook’s Secret Conversations, it’s currently not the default setting. Unless users opt in to the service, their messages will remain unencrypted, and each messaging chain must be selected. In other words, users must actively select which messages they wish to remain private. It’s a similar strategy to Google’s messaging app Allo, which also offers opt-in messaging encryption.

While Facebook Messenger’s new encryption feature is welcome news to privacy advocates in the United States, people in other countries may find themselves in a precarious position. Facebook is a global company, reaching nations across the world. Some of those countries have strict privacy laws, which would interfere with what Facebook is trying to do in offering encryption for all of its global users. Facebook has seen this controversy before when its WhatsApp property made international headlines.

For now, it’ll be interesting to see how many users utilize Secret Conversations. Infrequent or non-technical users may never even be aware of its existence, while others may worry that activating encryption could drive unwanted attention their way. While the messages themselves will be encrypted, the metadata won’t be, so those outside the conversation can see who is messaging each other, and how often they’re doing so.

Will you take advantage of this new encryption feature on Facebook Messenger? Do you use any other apps that offer encryption? Join the conversation and stay up to date on the latest cybersecurity news by following CSID on FacebookTwitter or LinkedIn.

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