Entries tagged with “identity theft”.

The year 2015 is already becoming known for cyber security breaches regarding financial data with at least two major breaches happening in quick succession in the new year. Here’s some information about the breaches including how they could’ve been potentially avoided.

A Bitcoin company was  recently reported as compromised on January 4th. The breach was actually bad enough that the company had to stop all business immediately, which no doubt made them lose out on many potential customers.

It’s looking like the problem occurred largely because of an inside job where an employee was stealing funds from customers. One way this could’ve been potentially prevented is if all customer data was stored elsewhere by only taking funds through a payment processing service.

That way, not even employees on the inside have access to customer data, so nothing can be stolen.

A well-known investment bank recently reported that one of their employees potentially stole records of 350,000 bank clients. The employee apparently even posted 900 of these online, though it is still unclear if the employee’s breach was responsible for that part or not. The theft apparently involved something known as “Speedcoins” which is a currency similar to Bitcoin.

The breach underlines the importance of isolating important information away from where employees can access it, preferably through the use of a third-party. If employees have limited access to customer information, then the risk of customer data theft is greatly diminished.

For more information about keeping financial data safe from outsiders and insiders alike, please contact us here at ProPay.

Being a merchant nowadays is very challenging – not only do you have to worry about the rebound from our recent economic recession – you also have to now worry about cyber security. According to Tech Crunch, more and more retailers are succumbing to hackers.

Many retailers, including major clothing, home-improvement, grocery, and restaurant chains  have been attacked and successfully breached. “[one retailer] saw 56 million accounts compromised!” The article states that a major reason why most retailers are being breached is because they haven’t converted from mag stripe card readers to more up-to-date systems like chip and PIN. If there’s a takeaway to this: if you have a brick and mortar store – you should update your system to avoid any breaches. Keep in mind that whether it’s your payment processor or you that gets breached – you’ll experience a major dent to your reputation either way. Make sure to choose a cyber-secure payment processor – and update your hardware/software on your end as well.

ProPay has been providing thousands of merchants (with more joining each day) with excellent payment processor services since the 1990s. Contact us today to learn more about our state-of-the-art cyber security measures – and how we can help your business succeed further.

Cyber crime is getting more sophisticated. CryptoLock is a famous malware that’s been hot in the news recently. Cyber criminals are turning toward ransomware and moving away from stealing consumer financial information. Bricking (when cyber criminals simply destroy a machine’s software and operating system, rendering it useless) is a popular activity by mostly North Koreans. A panel of experts have forecasted that bricking and ransomware are the futures of cyber crime.

Ransomware is far easier and potentially more lucrative than other forms of cyber crime since it simply involves ransoming a user’s system. There is no need for stealing anything, or using financial information to withdraw funds from numerous banks and payment processors. With ransomware, a cyber criminal simply encrypts a user’s computer or software such that he cannot use it. The criminal then asks for a ransom, which can range from a hefty one-time fee, to a monthly usage charge for decrypting and allowing access again.

If you are planning on changing or acquiring a payment processor – make sure that they stay up-to-date on their cyber security. If your payment processor gets locked out by ransomware for even one day, you could lose a tremendous amount of profits, not only for that day – but for long-term. Your consumers will trust you less and deem your services untrustworthy and unreliable. The best thing to do is choose a stable and secure payment processor.

ProPay is a payment processor which has been in business for more than two decades. We are a subsidiary of Wells Fargo, and so our reputation is of the highest. Contact us today to learn more about our services.

As our society’s digital dependence increases, so does the average person’s credit card usage. More businesses are going paperless – leading to an increase in online payments. Also, in general, online purchases are more popular than in-store purchases. In fact, a 2013 survey by Ebates.com, involving 1,000 U.S. consumers, revealed that 84% preferred shopping online than in-store. In light of these trends, it’s even more necessary to be well-versed in safe credit card usage practices.

One easy preventive measure against fraudulent usage of your credit card, should it be physically stolen, is to opt for including a photo of yourself printed on your card. Many banks already offer this option, which makes it practically impossible for a thief to use your stolen card in physical stores. Keep in mind that this provides little protection against fraudulent online purchases.

When using your card online, check your computer for malware before inputting your card number. Often, malware, acquired via unsafe web surfing, install keyloggers which can record and transmit your credit card information as you type it.

Another method used to steal your credit card information is via phishing sites. Make sure to check the URL or address bar in your browser to make sure you aren’t on a phishing site. Phishing sites perfectly mimic the appearance and functionality of a legitimate site, like Amazon, to trick you into submitting your sensitive information.

The key to minimizing the risk of unauthorized use of your credit card is vigilance. If you approach each use of your card with caution, you’ll avoid most credit card stealing traps.Contact us to learn more about fraud prevention tips.

Living in a modern world of convenience has left us open to vulnerability and fraud. Unfortunately businesses, no matter the size, are not immune to fraud.    According to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), companies with less than 100 employees lose approximately $155,000 as a result of fraud  each year. It can happen to anyone at any time. To protect yourself and your business, here are some tips on fraud prevention for small businesses.

Credit Cards and Bank Accounts

It seems like common sense to keep this information private, but it is the most common area of fraud in the United States. The first way to protect your  business from fraud is to separate all personal credit cards and bank accounts from your business accounts. This will help protect the business if a fraudster  gets their grubby fingers on your personal information.

Make smart decisions when it comes to credit card usage. Don’t allow employees to use your card or give out your card number to anyone, employee or vendor, in person or over the phone. Making the switch from paper bills to online billing not only helps the environment, but keeps your credit card information from falling into the wrong hands. Using online billing also enables you to check your accounts on a daily basis for any unusual activity. Catching suspicious activities right away minimizes any loss or damage.

Phishing Scams

If you have an email, chances are that you have received a “phishing” email. Whether it’s the Nigerian Prince wanting to transfer money to your account or someone posing as a legitimate business asking for personal renewal information, many people fall victim to these scams every day.  Their goal is to get your personal information in order to steal your money and identity.  While many of these scams seem legit, there are easy ways to recognize if it’s real or not.  Click here to check out an article on how you can better recognize and protect yourself from these scams.

Password Policies

Having a policy in place for passwords is another huge help in protecting your company from fraud. Passwords should be changed regularly, every 60-90 days or so, and you’ll want to establish a new password for each online account. Making your passwords unique is a great precaution as well. A good password will include a combination of letters and numbers so that it’s harder to guess.

Computer Security

In today’s business world, securing your computer is vital. With increasing usage of computers, we are more susceptible to security problems.  A few precautions to take as a business owner should be to have firewalls installed, anti-virus set up to frequently scan for viruses and have routine checks for updates of the computer operating system.  You also want to exercise good care when downloading software or opening attachments.  If you ever suspect that your computer isn’t running normally, have your computer analyzed by a qualified technician.       

Staying Safe Online

One of the easiest ways that businesses get hit is online.  We’ve seen recently a number of well-known companies fall victim to cyber crimes and security breaches including Target and Home Depot.  Smaller businesses have actually started to become bigger targets because cyber criminals know they have fewer resources for defense.  Companies should assess their risks when it comes to potential cyber-attacks and see what policies or procedures they have in place to prevent it.  As companies become more dependent on the internet, they need to take necessary steps to protect sensitive information like customer data, financial records, and intellectual property.  Check out this article on assessing your risk from Staysafeonline.org.

Fraud can happen to any business, even when precautions are taken. Taking the steps to prevent it and following these tips will help lessen the blow if it does occur and help you get back on your feet faster. For more information on safeguarding your business, please contact us.