You pay with your credit card and leave with your purchase. Ever wonder what happens after that? Take a look!
Even with biometric alternatives making strides into the mainstream, passwords are not going away anytime soon. It seems that every year we have more and more passwords to deal with and become more vulnerable to hackers. While some are more obvious than others, here are some tips to help you in generating secure passwords.
1. Do not use the names of your family, friends or pets.
2. Make sure your password is at least eight characters long.
3. Do not use zip codes, house numbers, phone numbers, social security numbers, etc.
4. Do not let browsers or other programs save your passwords. Any password saved in the browser can be revealed with just a simple click using a script.
5. Secure your wireless network and remember that public hotspots might not be secure. Change your password after using a non-secure network.
6. Passwords protecting your most sensitive information should always be different than other passwords.
Techniques for Creating Powerful Passwords
Think of a sentence, phrase or song lyric that is memorable to you. Then take the first or first couple of letters from each word and add punctuation or other symbols to make a password that won’t be in a hacker’s dictionary. Here are some examples (Hint: don’t use these!)
Ltime@go-inag?ffa — A long time ago in a galaxy far far away
Msbi12/Dec,4 — My son’s birthday is 12 December 2004.
ILuv2PlayB@dm1nt()n — I love to play badminton.
String together multiple individual words that are not in any way related. Join the words with a non-alphabetic character or two and make changes to upper and lower case letters.
august,=bRICK — August & Brick
pOOl^^skWIrl — Pool & Squirrel
phuN@paPr## — Fun & Paper
Finally, there are online secure password generator websites and apps available. Enter criteria, like number of characters and types of characters to include. Here are a couple that we have found:
OMEGA Processing is catching up with past MVP honoree, Housh, Inc., which recently expanded with the launch of two additional websites aimed at the “do-it-yourself” homeowner. PoolParts.com and FixtureFarm.com joined the Housh, Inc. family of websites and share the company’s same business model of offering brand new, top-quality products from major manufacturers, in addition to consumer resources and unbiased, expert advice.
“Introducing PoolParts.com and FixtureFarm.com has allowed us to branch out into non-HVAC industries,” says Housh Founder and CEO, Will Housh IV. “It’s been quite an expansion in our product offerings. In fact, we added over 50,000 new SKUs as a result.”
PoolParts.com offers just about everything you need to maintain, repair and enjoy your pool, spa or hot tub. The site goes beyond chemicals, parts and equipment, however, to include water toys and games, as well as backyard and patio items, such as furniture, lighting, hammocks and other accessories. All orders include free shipping, and a Resource Center with “How to” guides and other information is also included on the site.
Thousands of lighting and fixture options can be found at wholesale prices on FixtureFarm.com. Lighting, plumbing, hardware and furnishings and accessories are available on the website. In addition, shoppers can enjoy “Shop by Room” and “Shop by Brand” features, as well as free shipping on all orders.
The two new sites join a revamped DiscountFurnaceFilter.com, as well as the other Housh, Inc. family of sites, including, HVAC.com, Filtration.com and Humidifiers.com. For more information on Housh, Inc., visit their website or our original OMEGA MVP blog post.
The OMEGA MVP program was organized to help recognize, celebrate and promote the Merchants, Vendors and Partners of OMEGA Processing Solutions. Housh, Inc. has been an OMEGA merchant since 2008.
OMEGA Processing is proud to have been invited to become a member of the Leadership Circle at the Cincinnati Better Business Bureau. Leadership Circle companies partner with the Center for Ethics at BBB in promoting an ethics-centered community through five major programs: the Torch Awards for Marketplace Ethics, BBB Accreditation for Charities, In Pursuit of Ethics, the Students of Integrity Scholarship Program and BBB Military Line.
Representatives from the Cincinnati BBB recently presented OMEGA with our Leadership Circle plaque. Thanks to the Cincinnati BBB for this opportunity!
Recent news articles have focused attention on the “Heartbleed” Bug, which is a vulnerability in secure web systems that could put personal information at risk. OMEGA Processing wanted to take this opportunity to explain more about the Heartbleed Bug, how to remedy the vulnerability and assure our merchants that our web servers are secure and not affected. At the time of this release, we have had no merchants report that they have been affected by the bug.
The Heartbleed Bug has revealed that it is possible for a malicious user to retrieve sensitive information — including usernames, passwords and other personal or financial data — from secure web servers. The programming flaw is contained in certain versions of OpenSSL (Secure Sockets Layer), which is the standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. Most websites with an address beginning with “https:\” are vulnerable, as well as webmail, instant messaging, firewalls, routers, database servers and other services that run SSL. Microsoft’s IIS web server does not utilize the OpenSSL library, so it is not impacted, but other network devices could be.
Vulnerability and Mitigation
OMEGA Processing’s scanning vendor has scanned the servers of our merchants who are enrolled in our Data Protection Program. Those merchants who were possibly affected by the Heartbleed bug are being individually notified by, our data protection partner.
The following versions of OpenSSL are vulnerable to the Heartbleed bug:
1.0.1 through 1.0.1f
To rectify the vulnerability, these OpenSSL versions should be upgraded to 1.01g and 1.02-beta2. More information on upgrading OpenSSL versions can be found at https://www.openssl.org/.
Any secret (private) keys that were generated with a vulnerable version of OpenSSL should be considered compromised and regenerated using the upgraded SSL version. Also, any passwords that were used in any vulnerable system should be updated, as the old ones might have been compromised.
OMEGA Processing Security
OMEGA Processing’s web servers have been scanned by our independent vendor and deemed unaffected by the Heartbleed Bug.
If you have any questions about your payments process and its vulnerability to the Heartbleed Bug, please contact OMEGA Processing’s customer service department at 866.888.9724 Ext. 7.
There wasn’t a better way to finish our TRANSACT 14 sessions than with a Processor CEO Roundtable discussion. We heard some very insightful comments both about the industry and business as a whole. Read on for more details…..
- Robert Carr: Chairman and CEO, Heartland Payment Systems
- Mark Pyke: Presidnet, TSYS
- Jeffrey Sloan: President and CEO Global Payment Systems
- RC: Pick a business that you are really interested, get it right and make the cusotmers happy; control your growth
- MP: Become a subject matter expert
- JS: It’s a people-based business. At the end of the day you have to build the right team and work together for a common goal; It’s OK to screw up
On Disrupters and Opportunities
- BC: Disruptors take the frustration out of the transaction
- MP Retention is all about innovation; Learn from the disruptors
- BC: The breaches are not going to go away — there will be another big one
- MP: The banks do not have a mandate from the Issuers to issue EMV cards
- JS: Change of consumer behavior is tough
- BC: Anonymity makes it suspect
- MP: Interesting technology but it’s a commodity not a currency
What is the one opportunity in the industry
- BC: Reputation of the ISO is improving
- MP: Opportunity to harvest our merchants to generate more revenue for our customers
- JS: Ability to grow the markets…vertical markets… digital wallets, loyalty, gift, couponing
Time to go home and digest all the information, technology and products we have been exposed to this week. The goal? Make electronic payment processing with OMEGA Processing easier, more efficient and more secure.
Here’s what we took away from the roundtable discussion featuring noted start-up investors.
Moderator: Steve McLaughlin, Managing Partner, FT Partners
- Dan Rosen, General Partner, Commerce Ventures
- Sean Flynn, Shasta Ventures
- Rick Young, Principal, NEA
- Benjamin Malka, MBA, General Partner, North Hill Ventures
The Payment is the CORE of the transaction. The DATA associated with the payment is what merchants are looking for — i.e. what does the customer buy, how often do they buy, how do they shop, etc. Merchants throw that data away every night!
How do you make it dead simple for the merchants. It has to be cheap, and you have to make it easy.
A great deal of consolidation is ahead for the industry. You need to build the right mousetrap or partner with a few key select partners.
Acquirers must innovate!
You have to find a way to DRIVE REVENUE for merchants.
If you are afraid to talk to your existing customers, then somebody else will. Find ways to add value.
Change the world and leave it a better place — that should be everyone’s goal. If you take care of your customer, the rest of it will take care of itself.
And, that’s a good note to finish on for now. Stay tuned for more.