Archive for July 6, 2017

Guest Post: NordVPN Survey Suggests Many Online Shoppers Are Still Not Aware of the Risks

Posted in Commentary with tags on July 6, 2017 by itnerd

Online shopping fraud and identity theft are on the rise. While hackers and fraudsters are developing new hacking methods, many online shoppers are still unaware of basic online privacy rules.

NordVPN (Virtual Private Network) has recently conducted a survey, where it was found that as many as one third of respondents believe that various activities – such as checking email, logging into a social media account, shopping online or checking a bank account – are safe on public WiFi.

While checking a bank account on a public hotspot is assumed to be very risky (less than 2% agree that is safe), entering banking credentials to make a purchase online is seen as a lesser risk (23% think it is safe).

“This points to a lack of understanding of just how vulnerable users can be on public networks, where the level of security is unknown and anyone with basic hacking skills can access sensitive data of everyone connected,” said Marty P. Kamden, CMO of NordVPN.

E-commerce merchants will be spending $9.2 billion annually in fraud-detection by 2020, up 30 percent from current spending, according to Juniper Research.

Javelin said the number of U.S. identity-theft victims rose to a record 15.4 million last year from 13.1 million in 2015.

“Online fraud usually happens when people are not careful with their online activities – not using strong passwords, entering credit card information without making sure the website is not a fake, and doing any online transaction on unsecured hotspots,” said Marty P. Kamden.

Here are the main rules to avoid online fraud:

  1. https

The first thing you should always see while making an online payment is whether the payment gateway has an https URL. The ‘s’ in the URL means that it is a secure protocol and your data is encrypted properly.

  1. Be wary

Being vigilant can help you a lot with the task of shopping online securely. Whenever a website requests for more information than is usually required, like your Social Service number or any other kind of personal information, it usually spells fraud. You should always be cautious before giving your personal or financial details anywhere on the internet.

  1. Stay away from public terminals

It cannot be stressed enough how dangerous it is to share your personal or financial information with any website or any person over the internet while using a public internet connection. Public Wi-Fi networks are common hunting grounds for attackers and data snoopers who try to access your personal information and use it for their benefit at your expense. Since public networks have negligible security, you should try and avoid using them while making online payments. If you must do online transactions while using a public network, then you have to use a VPN to stay safe.

  1. Use a VPN

VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) encrypt Internet traffic on any website. They are the best security mechanism you can employ to make sure your Internet traffic is safe from prying eyes and remains confidential. NordVPN is one of the most advanced VPNs on the market that uses the latest encryption protocols. From the moment a user turns on NordVPN, their Internet data becomes encrypted. It becomes invisible to third party snoopers or hackers and even NordVPN. Being based in Panama, which is Internet-friendly country and does not require data storage or reporting, NordVPN keeps no user logs.

  1. Stronger Passwords

Perhaps the most basic requirement for any online account setup is using strong passwords. Weak passwords make it simple for hackers to break into your account and cause severe damage. It’s always advised to change passwords in order to stay safe online, and that means having to use a unique password for each site or account. Apps such as 1Password for Families allow a family to share passwords, credit cards, and other sensitive information.


Guest Post: Awesome Ways People Are Solving Problems The Banking System Can’t

Posted in Commentary with tags on July 6, 2017 by itnerd

By: Liina Lass – Paxful Ninja

In this day and age when bitcoin is booming you would expect it to be really easy to get your hands on some bitcoins, right? Wrong. The more popular this awesome crypto becomes the harder it seems for a first time user to get their hands on bitcoin. It’s all well and good if you are a tech savvy crypto enthusiast but what about when you’re just getting into it? 

How to buy bitcoin if you’re in a hurry?

The largest and most popular places to obtain bitcoins are exchanges. This is all good when you’ve set your account up and got verified already. Not so good when you need to buy bitcoin fast. Right now a lot of bitcoin exchanges are struggling to keep up with the huge demand and it might take days, even weeks to get your account verified. Before you’ve done this, there is no way for you to buy bitcoin with a credit card for example.

As bitcoin prices fluctuate a lot, by the time that you’ve got your account verified the price might already not be the one you were looking to buy at.

What if you don’t want to buy using a credit card? What if you haven’t got one and have no way of obtaining it? When bitcoin arrived it promised very fast and free transactions all over the world, for everyone. This would truly be the case, if everyone had Bitcoin. Yet it seems that as time passes it is taking a lot longer and you need to jump through more hoops to get your first bitcoin.

The problem

Two friends trying to buy and sell bitcoin online to make ends meet, realised that there were all sorts of roadblocks. The deeper they looked into it they realized there was even a bigger problem for a vast amount of people. 2.5 billion people today have no access to financial services. Not because they choose to, they have restraints due to their credit ratings, their income or the part of the world they were born in.

Thanks to their coding skills they were able to create Paxful, a bitcoin marketplace. This is a place where people can meet and exchange all sorts of payments for bitcoin. Like Ebay for online payments if you like. Be it gift cards, cash, online transfers or card payments.

Paxful was founded in 2015 and is based in Tallinn, the hottest startup capital of Europe.

Currently with a userbase of 700 000 and growing fast, Paxful connects 50 000 people every single day. The weekly volume has doubled compared to the beginning of 2017 and is hitting over $5 million on a regular basis.

After talking to the customers and gathering feedback they realized that people aren’t doing this to make a profit or for investing in Bitcoin. These were people that had no way of paying online. Some cases came up that they’d not even thought of. People in Nigeria for example, trying to buy something online but due to the restrictions from their banks were limited to only very small amounts. To solve this issue, they buy gift cards with cash, exchange them into bitcoin and then find someone that turns the coins into Alipay for example. Give people the tools and they will find a way.

Bitcoin is a problem solver

Everyone should have a way to pay. There are so many cool things you can do and buy on the internet, that many people can only dream of. That is just not right. Yes, it might be something that in the grand scheme of things that may seem unimportant, like wanting that iPhone. It may also be something a lot more deep that can save lives, for example sending money to relatives at an area of conflict.

Bitcoin allows us to do this, and there should be no restrictions of entry. Different people from all over the world with different stories and situations can meet and exchange values with one another.

You may quickly need bitcoin to pay for the things your bank won’t let you.

No authority should have the right to restrict people from using their hard earned money.

It may just be the need to make some use of the gift cards people got from someone that are now gathering dust in a drawer (sorry, grandma). Almost any payment option is available to convert to bitcoin on Paxful and vice versa.

ICO Boom

ICO’s have become the next big thing and everyone wants in on it. People that are already familiar with Bitcoin are also looking at other altcoins. Ethereum has paved the way for crowd sales and some remarkable things are being created at a vast speed. Even though Paxful was originally created as a marketplace for Bitcoin, people are now creating offers to buy altcoins like Ethereum on the platform. Development is now in process to allow people to do that better.

Altcoins and tokens are now too slowly but steadily going mainstream and the Paxful team is finding ways to introduce these to the crypto first timers.





Guest Post: Data Cleaning Checklist By ADVIZOR Solutions

Posted in Commentary with tags on July 6, 2017 by itnerd

Data cleaning and data organizing should be a top priority for any business that has to maintain large stores of customer data. Keeping your data clean minimizes the inefficiencies that can bring the wheels of your organization to a grinding halt and improve the speed with which you serve your customers. Organizing your data any number of ways won’t make a difference if that data is rife with incomplete information, outdated data points or inconsistent formatting. It’s only when your databases are populated with consistent and clean data that you can receive the full benefit of those databases. Otherwise, you and your personnel may be wasting time chasing outdated contacts or missing information that has not been properly organized.

The accompanying checklist from ADVIZOR Solutions outlines the basic steps you and your organization should take when cleaning your data.