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Six quick tips for safer online shopping this Christmas

Just a quick blog post related to online shopping - at a time when many of us break out the credit cards to make sure gifts are under the Christmas tree. There is an increased effort to help share details to keep consumers secure, as numerous data breaches proved to be a serious wake-up call to Americans.


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The Amica Mutual Insurance Company offers the following advice:


  1. Update security software prior to making purchases
  2. Beware of good deals from companies that don't look familiar. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is
  3. Shop with trustworthy companies. If interested in purchasing from an unfamiliar company, do background research to ensure they are reliable
  4. Never respond to unsolicited emails or "spam."
  5. If asked to act quickly or respond to an emergency through email, it may be a scam
  6. Save records of online transactions, including the product description, price and return policy


Now, I know that these steps are fairly basic - and most of us are familiar with them - but you probably know a couple of people that would be able to benefit from a quick reminder. If it wasn't such a big deal, it wouldn't be in the news and on websites every day leading up to Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Learning from Chef Gordon Ramsay's social media abilities

In honor of the start of the second season of MasterChef Junior tonight on Fox, I wanted to give kudos to super chef Gordon Ramsay's excellent social media skills.


Ramsay has 1.98 million followers on Twitter (@gordonramsay), and is quite active on the social media network, with more than 10,200 total tweets. Ramsay's Facebook page has more than 3.3 million likes, and it only takes minutes before his shared comments, links, images, and videos have thousands of likes from followers.


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It's not all about shameless self-promotion, as he frequently tweets and posts Facebook updates about his personal life, including his love of triathlons, intense passion for good food, and his family.


For PR and marketing reps, observing how Ramsay uses social media offers tidbits that can be used by others in their social media campaign. Ramsay doesn't do anything overly complicated on social media; instead, he typically chooses light-hearted updates about where he is and what he has been up to. It's a lighter side to the person that seemingly is always featured on TV shows yelling at everyone in sight.

Continue reading 'Learning from Chef Gordon Ramsay's social media abilities' (full post)

Lessons learned from JPMorgan Chase data breach, as attacks increase

The need for sophisticated cybersecurity is necessary for companies, but is absolutely paramount for financial institutions responsible for safeguarding billions of dollars. However, a successful cyberattack that breached JPMorgan Chase over the summer revealed just how susceptible they are to attack from foreign criminals.


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After JPMorgan Chase was attacked, phishing and vishing (voice phishing) attacks began to hit some Chase bank customers. After a company has been successfully breached, many of the records end up on the black market, where other criminals can purchase customer personal information for their own activities.


JPMorgan Chase reportedly spends $250 million per year on network and system security, which we all saw was rather ineffective. CEO Jamie Dimon noted his company could end up increasing the amount, upwards of $500 million per year, to help try to defend against future attacks that are becoming almost routine.

Continue reading 'Lessons learned from JPMorgan Chase data breach, as attacks increase' (full post)

Mobile payments won't go away, and the market is evolving rapidly

Mobile payments have garnered a significant amount of attention in the past few months, especially with Apple's announcement of the Apple Pay service.


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It seems consumers will be able to determine the long-term winner of the mobile payment war - but let's not forget that there are other options beyond CurrentC and Apple Pay. Ironically, Starbucks claims to control 90 percent of the current mobile payments market, as 16 percent of all its customers currently use mobile payments.


I think Meijer's decision to support both CurrentC and Apple Pay, much to the horror of the Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX), indicates how retailers want to allow their customers to use whatever mobile payment service they want to.


I currently own a Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone - and not an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus - so Apple Pay already is out. Nor would I purchase an iPhone just because I want to use the company's mobile payment system. It's unknown if Apple can win the mobile wallet war, but with many consumers using Google Android-powered smartphones, then stores should have at least one alternative service in place for the rest of us.

Continue reading 'Mobile payments won't go away, and the market is evolving rapidly' (full post)

Collaborative work environments in co-working spots lead to success

It can be all about the co-working space for startups and entrepreneurs, providing a great opportunity for some geeks to create the next major influential company. I absolutely enjoyed visiting the Hacker Dojo in Mountain View, California, which allows developers and tech geeks to share an open workspace. Events and private workspaces are available, with a full calendar of events to keep everyone learning.


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Another major success is RocketSpace, a San Francisco-based co-working space that has grown large enough it can provide an office-as-a-service for growing tech companies. This type of work environment flourishes in San Francisco because of the large amount of talent within 50 miles of the City.


"We've also seen an evolution of co-working space," said Duncan Logan, founder and CEO of Rocket Space, in a recent interview in Entrepreneur. "It used to be only startups but increasingly we see larger companies looking at this as office as a service. Some started here and could afford their own space but will stay as long as we keep providing more desks. Others, like Spotify, are based somewhere else but use this as a satellite office."


Entrepreneur recently published a great interview with Logan and I highly recommend giving it a read.

Parking Panda teams up with Baltimore Ravens for easier parking

In a rather curious news release, online parking reservation company Parking Panda has teamed up with the Baltimore Ravens, playing in the M&T Bank Stadium. Pre-purchased electronic parking passes can be purchased online and tickets can be shown on smartphones.


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Customers can park in nearby parking garages and logs in advance for both preseason and regular season games.


"We're absolutely thrilled about this partnership and for the extraordinary opportunity to transform the experience for the best football fans in the world," said Nick Miller, Parking Panda CEO, in a press statement. "Parking Panda is deeply committed to our hometown of Baltimore and our goal of making parking painless. This partnership bridges our passions together, and we look forward to providing a seamless parking experience to allow our fans and every-goers to fully enjoy their experience."


Parking at NFL stadiums on game day can be a chaotic experience, with thousands of cars streaming into each lot. Having an integrated system to help quickly scam vehicles into the lot, providing a realistic third-party parking strategy.

Continue reading 'Parking Panda teams up with Baltimore Ravens for easier parking' (full post)

Tour of California Shimano CM-1000 sports camera footage

The Tour of California cycling race, which saw Sir Bradley Wiggins capture the overall general classification, was the testing ground for Shimano's new CM-1000 sports camera.


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Cycling favorite Jens Voigt also took the camera for a spin:



Footage of the peloton screaming down a descent, topping speeds of 55+ mph on two wheels:



Final three kilometers of stage 8:



It's going to be difficult to try and break the strangle hold GoPro has on action sports, but the market certainly could do with a few additional competitors.

PG&E boosts security, lawmaker wants to create law demanding change

An attack on a PG&E substation located near San Jose last year sent up alarm bells in regards to security, and California Senator Jerry Hill introduced legislation that would force utility companies to submit security plans to the State Public Utilities Commission.


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In the incident last year, gunshots knocked out 17 transformers, causing more than $15 million in damage, while also knocking out power in select Silicon Valley locations.


PG&E representatives described the attack as a "game-changer" for PG&E and other utility providers, bringing new attention to security. PG&E is boosting security by creating fenced-off buffer zones, trimming back vegetation and adding better intruder detection systems.

Continue reading 'PG&E boosts security, lawmaker wants to create law demanding change' (full post)

Phishing 101: Regular Internet users must be aware of the dangers

Every time you connect to the Internet, there is someone interested in stealing data about you, including your personal and banking information, and anything else they can sell or trade.


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Looking back at 2013, there were an estimated 450,000 attacks that generated a record $5.9 billion in consumer loss, remaining a major threat to users, according to the RSA "2013 A Year in Review" report focused on phishing.


Cybercriminals have a vast underground in which they are able to share technologies and tools used to launch attacks. Free mass-mailing guides can be found on some of these forums, with in-depth guides available for low prices, it's even easier to launch attacks.


The top five countries targeted by phishing attacks, according to RSA: United States, United Kingdom, Germany, India, and South Africa - North America garnered 26 percent of all phishing attacks worldwide.

Continue reading 'Phishing 101: Regular Internet users must be aware of the dangers' (full post)

Catbird Security aims to boost enterprise cloud security environment

Security company Catbird announced it will work with Trapezoid to combine security solutions to improve security and compliance. Security companies have to wade through multiple layers of government bureaucracy for multiple industries, which creates opportunities for these types of enterprise offerings.


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"Catbird's comprehensive security, compliance, and policy enforcement engine leverages Trapezoid's integrity, boundary, and trust events for real-time enforcement actions and alerts to policy violations creating mechanisms for potential remediation actions based on the integrity and trust degradation of the cloud platform that is hosting the assets Catbird is monitoring," said Robert Rounsavall, Trapezoid president and cofounder, in a press statement.


Creating working relationships continues to be a major initiative during the 2014 RSA Conference in San Francisco, with companies teaming up to defend against cyberattacks, create new solutions, and enhance customer offerings.

Continue reading 'Catbird Security aims to boost enterprise cloud security environment' (full post)

Please Note: This blog is not edited by TweakTown staff, and may not represent the thoughts or opinions of TweakTown or its editors.

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