Cyber Monday Shopping Tips

By | November 28th, 2014|Uncategorized|

Cyber MondayCyber Monday’s coming up – fast. Shoppers may be feeling a little antsy because of the major retailer breaches that have occurred over the past year, especially the Target breach that happened right around this busy time last year. We’re determined to see a breach-free shopping season this winter, so here are a few suggestions to take into consideration as you gear up for Monday’s online shopping extravaganza.

Purchase on a safe network
Planning on doing some online shopping on Cyber Monday? Avoid making purchases on public Wi-Fi – like in a coffee shop – and stick to making purchases while you are at home on a secure network. Public Wi-Fi hot spots are susceptible to man-in-the-middle attacks that allow cyber criminals to intercept your personal and credit information when you are making an online purchase.

Look out for phishing attempts
Cyber criminals will be using email phishing scams, enticing consumers with hot holiday deals to get them to click on an insecure URL. Look up store deals by going directly to the website of that business.

Don’t store credit card information
Many websites will want you to store credit card information for an easy, one-click purchase experience. While it sounds convenient, storing your credit card also create unnecessary risk. If you lose your mobile device or if an online account is compromised, cyber criminals will have easy access to the stored credit card information. To take this a step further, consider encouraging your favorite shopping sites to store their data in dedicated servers, as these servers can help prevent cyber criminals from gaining access to any credit card information. 

Reset passwords
Reset passwords for high value accounts like email, social media and banking accounts after Cyber Monday. Use unique, long and strong password combinations. This will help ensure that even if there is a breach, these high value accounts will remain safe.

Use reputable retail sites to shop
Look for HTTPS in the URL to make sure the site is safe while you’re shopping. Stick to retailers you know are reputable, have good return policies and are secure.

Use a credit card for online purchases
It’s much more difficult to recover money lost due to fraudulent purchases on debit cards compared to credit cards. Use a credit card in preparation for the worst-case scenario – a retail breach.

Any additional security best practices you plan on using this Cyber Monday? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter and Facebook, and be sure to check out our Tumblr for the latest industry news stories.

Five Simple Security Resolutions for the New Year

By | January 8th, 2014|Uncategorized|

new year blogDo you have room for one more new year’s resolution? Beyond getting fitter, healthier or smarter, vow to be more secure. Here are five simple actions you can take for a more secure year.

Refresh your passwords

Take a minute to refresh your personal and professional passwords. Make them long and use a mix of numbers, letters and symbols, and avoid using the same passwords across multiple sites. Require that your employees, customers and family do the same. Check out our Consumer Password Habits Unveiled blog post for more password advice.

Update software

Keeping your device software up-to-date can help keep your device and identity secure. So this year, whenever you see that “update available” notice pop up, click “yes”! It only takes a few moments to keep your software updated.

Shred, wipe and reformat

Erase your tracks. Shred unneeded documents, wipe old devices and reformat old hard drives so identity thieves cannot retrieve any sensitive information. Tax season will be here before you know it, and the overwhelming number of tax identity theft cases that occurred last year indicates that identity thieves are prone to using year-old information to collect refunds.

Protect your privacy

Update privacy settings on your social media pages, mobile apps and web browsers to protect against identity theft and manage your online reputation. Be sure to continually check your privacy settings, as privacy rules tend to change frequently online.

Turn on two-factor authentication

When offered, turn on two-factor authentication services for an extra layer of security. You can already do so for popular sites like Gmail, Twitter, Apple, and Dropbox.

Which of these do you plan to adopt? What other simple security resolutions have you made for the new year? As always, let us know on Twitter and Facebook.

December Recap: Giving, Celebrating and Prepping for a New Year

By | January 3rd, 2014|Uncategorized|

In the spirit of the holiday season, December was a time for giving back and getting ready for the upcoming year. Take a look at our activities this past month and see what’s ahead for CSID in 2014.

Spreading holiday cheer – in the office and local community

At the beginning of December, we partnered with Barton Hills Elementary School and LifeWorks to donate gifts to two local families in need during the holiday season. As the days inched closer to December 25, we celebrated CSID’s “Five Days of Holiday Cheer” in the office. From holiday bingo to an ugly Christmas sweater party to a cross-country gingerbread house contest (our San Diego and Boston offices participated as well!), we had fun spending quality time with fellow colleagues. See our full “Five Days of Holiday Cheer” schedule below and take a look at all of our holiday photos on Facebook.

CSID’s Five Days of Holiday CheerXmas Sweaters

Day 1 – Holiday Bingo

Day 2 – Ugly Christmas Sweater Party

Day 3 – Gingerbread House Contest

Day 4 – Chili Cookoff

Day 5 – Christmas PJs and White Elephant Gift Exchange

Philanthropic giving

Earlier this year, we partnered with Oxford Commercial to help us move into our new Austin headquarters. As part of Oxford Commercial’s Giving Program, they donated $8,000 of the moving costs to four charities of CSID’s choice, including LifeWorks, the ALS Association, the American Cancer Society and the Capital Area Food Bank. Check out the full details of donation on our website and see what other philanthropic activities CSID has participated in this year.

More from Joe Ross in the Huffington Post

We were blown away at the record-breaking number of people making purchases on their mobile devices for Cyber Monday this year. CSID President Joe Ross explored the security implications of mobile ecommerce and provided tips for protecting your purchases and sales on Huffington Post.

Wrapping up 2013 and preparing for 2014

It’s safe to say that 2013 was a transformational year for security. Major enterprises were breached this year, despite being security compliant. More and more businesses began adopting “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) policies. And hackers tended to destroy data, rather than steal it. We took a look at what other security experts and publications predicted for 2014’s security trends and came up with 8 Cyber Security Predictions for 2014. We look forward to sharing more trends, news recap stories and tips on protecting your business with you this upcoming year.

What we’re looking forward to in 2014

It’s early yet, but we think 2014 will be an exciting, innovative year for the industry and CSID. One thing in particular we are looking forward to is participating in two SXSWi panels in March, including “When Good Technology Goes Bad: Mobile Security” and “That Was The Old Me: Managing Online Reputation.” More details to follow on dates and times for those panels.

Thanks to all for an excellent 2013 and cheers to 2014. Any security New Year’s resolutions you’d like to share with us? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn and be sure to keep up with our Tumblr for up-to-date security new stories.

November Recap: Holiday Tips, New Video and More

By | December 2nd, 2013|Uncategorized|

Now that holiday season is in full swing and 2013 is coming to a close, we’re spending these last few months reviewing our successes and being proactive – preparing for another great year ahead. And beyond that, we’re continuing to develop new technologies, share our expertise and get out in the community. Take a closer look at what we were up to in November, and see what we have in store for December.

Holiday Season Brings Increased Security Risks

We spent much of November educating individuals and businesses about the security risks that come during the holidays, especially when it comes to holiday travel and online holiday shopping. Does your business have an online store? Here are our top 6 tips to prepare your online shop for a busy – and secure – holiday season. Look for more holiday tips and discussions throughout the month of December.

Introducing: ETI

Over the course of the year we’ve been rolling out a new enterprise product, Enterprise Threat Intelligence (ETI). And this month, we’re excited to finally showcase ETI in a new animated video! Watch the short video to see what ETI is all about. What do you think?

November RecapTexas Conference for Women

We find that boosts of inspiration are valuable and motivating. A group from CSID’s Austin HQ got that boost at the Texas Conference for Women, where we were not only inspired, but also moved by all the support for women entrepreneurs and women in technology. We were honored to be in a room among such smart, creative and powerful minds.

More from Joe Ross in the Huffington Post

CSID President Joe Ross contributed another blog post to his column in the Huffington Post: “Understanding Identity Theft.” Follow Joe’s column and let us know if you have additional tips to share or questions you’d like him to answer.

CSID does Thanksgivukkuh

Each year our Austin office hosts a Thanksgiving potluck, and this year was no exception (with the addition of Hanukkah). From pumpkin pies to green bean casseroles, we are still recovering from the food coma.

What We’re Looking Forward to in December

December should be a good one. We’re expecting another proactive yet busy month, as we’ll be educating others about keeping security up during the holidays, reviewing our efforts in 2013 and preparing for a productive new year. Join us on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn for more updates.

‘Tis the Season: Secure Your Business’ Online Shop

By | November 14th, 2013|Uncategorized|

‘Tis the Season: Secure Your Business’ Online Shopholiday blog pic

Holiday season is just around the corner. Most people are aware that online holiday shopping opens up a number of security risks for consumers, and last year we outlined security tips for the online shopper during holiday seasons – but this year? Let’s tackle the issue from the business side.

Businesses with online shops are surely looking forward to the season, especially Cyber Monday, the Monday after Thanksgiving, during which they’ll likely see a huge boost in sales and popularity among their shoppers. But what about the security risks that come with managing an online shop? Consider these tips to keep your business – and your shoppers – secure this holiday season.

Keep your machines clean

Make sure your employees’ devices are using up-to-date software and are running the latest anti-virus technologies. Keeping your machines clean and running smoothly will help defend against internal viruses and malware.

Train everyone in security and privacy basics

Education is key. Teach your employees about the basics in security and privacy, including what types of customer information should be kept confidential. Also check that they are practicing best security practices internally, such as keeping strong passwords.

Create user accounts for each customer

Require that customers create individual user accounts. This will help you keep their information organized and secure on an internal level, while also adding an extra layer of security on the user’s side of the online shopping experience.

Encourage strong passwords

For these user accounts, require that your customers use strong passwords. Passwords should be long and feature a mix of letters, numbers and symbols. Ask that customers change their passwords at least on an annual basis.

Protect sensitive customer information

One of the most important tips in this list – protect your customers’ sensitive information. This includes their account credentials, their credit card information, their mailing address and any other information you acquire from them. Ensure that this information is all encrypted, or better yet, don’t house it internally at all. There are many trusted third party services to help manage such data.

Secure your site and provide advice for shoppers

Work with your IT team to secure your website – it should say HTTPS in front of the URL. Also consider reminding shoppers to confirm that they are using a secure Internet network prior to inputting any credit card information.

Are you prepared to run a secure online shop this holiday season? Do you have any tips to add? Let us know what you think! As always, join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

October Recap: National Cyber Security Month and More

By | November 4th, 2013|Uncategorized|

Despite the ever-warm temperatures at our Austin headquarters, Fall has officially arrived. We welcomed the last few months of the year with a new partnership with the state of South Carolina and have been hard at work spreading the word about National Cyber Security Awareness Month, along with many companies and organizations across the nation. Take a closer look at what we did in October and what’s to come in November:

National Cyber Security Awareness Month

October was the 10th annual National Cyber Security Month (NCSAM) – a month dedicated to education and awareness about cyber security issues. To take part, we posted daily security tips on Twitter, engaged in conversations about NCSAM in the social media sphere, and even co-hosted a Twitter chat with fellow security industry experts. Check out our blog post about NCSAM for more on cyber security awareness.

Co-Hosted #ChatSTC for NCSAM

As mentioned above, we were an honored co-host for an official NCSAM edition of #ChatSTC, a regular Twitter chat hosted by STOP. THINK. CONNECT. and the National Cyber Security Alliance. This chat was full of fellow industry experts, including folks from Visa Security, AT&T, FTC, Department of Homeland Security and ESET. Check out our discussion on cybercrime and how to protect against it as a business or individual.

South Carolina Identity Protection Partnership

This month we announced a partnership with the state of South Carolina. For the next year, we will be providing identity protection services to South Carolina taxpayers impacted by a statewide security breach. Those eligible can enroll for the identity protection program at

More from Joe Ross on Huffington Post

CSID President Joe Ross contributed three additional pieces to his column in the Huffington Post: “How to Start Creating Smart Online Habits,” “Tips for Creating Smart Online Habits,” and “Your Business’ Security Is Online as Strong As Your Employee’s Weakest Tweet.” Take a look and let us know if you have additional tips to share or questions from Joe.

UT Center for Identity Symposium

We always look forward to events hosted by The University of Texas Center for Identity, as they gather the best experts from all parts of the security industry. This month we mingled and learned from the best at another UT Center for Identity Symposium. Learn more about the center and their events.

mad med picCSID Does Halloween

Each year our Austin office hosts an exceptional Halloween costume contest – and this year was no let down. We saw some great get-ups, from Doc Brown to the crew from Anchorman to the gang from Mad Men. Congratulations to the winners! Check out all the photos on our Facebook page.

What We’re Looking Forward to in November – we’re looking forward to a proactive month, educating individuals and businesses about the security risks that come during the holidays and preparing for a productive new year. Join us on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn for more updates.

Industry News Recap: Holiday Scams

By | February 18th, 2013|Uncategorized|

holiday_scamsThe holidays are a time to celebrate with family, friends and loved ones, but the holidays are also filled with scams. With Valentine’s Day festivities come and gone, it’s an opportune time for thieves to prey on victims when they’re most vulnerable – in love or alone. Here’s a recap of some of the top holiday scams to look out for around Valentine’s and any holiday season.

USA Today reported that money transfer companies, like MoneyGram will make more than 30 calls today to victims of romance scams. “Scammers can prey on victims’ loneliness following the holiday season, which grows leading up to and just after Valentine’s Day,” says Kim Garner, senior vice president of global security and investigations for MoneyGram.

Yahoo! News noted that scammers are infecting singles, too. They know that if you’re not shopping for that special someone, you’re probably looking for him or her. They hope to infect computers with malicious email attachments or to direct potential victims to Web pages where private details are demanded.

Thinking about signing up for an online match service? Think again. PCMag said that cyber criminals are creating phony profiles and using them to steal identity information and financial information from their unlucky-in-love victims. They include details that many people look for in a potential mate—someone who is wealthy, has a steady job, and is looking for that special someone to “love” and “trust.”

For a complete laundry list, check out BitDefender’s top 10 scams for Valentine’s Day. Be sure to show your loved one that you care by being aware of these scams around Valentine’s and any other holiday.

Have you come across one of these scams before? Let us know in the comments section below or on Twitter and Facebook. Also, be sure to check out our Tumblr page for the latest industry news stories.

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