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Don’t let Zappos happen to you!

Don’t let Zappos happen to you!

So here I was, planning to write my Timely New Technology (TNT!) brief on web security — and the biggest data theft in perhaps the last year hit the news. Please read this carefully, especially if your website stores *any* sort of personal information.

TNT: Protect your business NOW — not after you get hacked. If you didn’t hear about it already, Zappos disclosed Sunday that a data breach “compromised customer account information such as billing addresses and the last four digits of credit card numbers” — for their 24 million customers. The criminals were unable to gain access to credit card numbers and other payment information, but this is nonetheless a very black mark for their successful online business.

The timing is interesting, because just last week a reporter asked about protecting web sites from hackers. I made the point that “most small businesses are not nearly as compliant as they think they are” with the current security standards required by the payment card industry. We’ve worked with our customers for the past few years to be sure they use tokenization to protect their data.

WHY THIS MATTERS: Any sort of personal information needs to be protected, not just credit cards. Programming practices that were routine five years ago expose security holes today.

Please call us today if your site is a few years old, especially if you store any sensitive personal information — addresses, phone numbers, etc., or *especially* credit card numbers — from your customers. With a few simple questions, we’ll be able to advise you.

Wishing you a happy and profitable week,

Ken

P.S. If you shop online, one *very* important tip: don’t use the same password on multiple e-commerce websites. You don’t want a hacker on one site able to access your account on another. Simple desktop applications like Password Safe will help you keep track of all the passwords you use. Need help with this? Again, please call!

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