Security Updates

Security updates are an important part of staying in business and keeping your customers happy. Famous hacking stories like Target and JC Penney’s having their customer data stolen remind us why it’s a good idea to have a security company review your protocols every so often.

As a national company, Store Secure knows many small business owners in each state. Orlando, Florida is one of our most visited locations because that city plays host to numerous networking events that we’ve attended. At the most recent event, we had the opportunity of catching up with Orlando Pool Decks, a pool deck repair and resurfacing company, and owner of As a leader in pool decks and concrete work, their CEO is very vigilant when it comes to the privacy of customer data. We offered to review their security setup as a courtesy after having a great conversation at the latest event.

Orlando Pool Decks’ website is a simple one, containing one form on each page that requests customer name, city, phone, and description of the service they require. The information is required to contact them. The great news for their customers is that the data is protected by 128-bit key encryption. This is made possible by the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), a mainstream encryption algorithm that protects many websites. Their company is a shining example of the type of security protocols everyone should have. Unfortunately, many local contractors have nothing anywhere near this good. To start, we recommend that businesses get SSL certificates for their websites. This at least secures part of the site and aids in removing potential security risks.

Preparing for the CEO’s Arrival

Our security company’s home office in Irving, Texas is about 6,000 square feet, situated 100 yards off a main road, right in the middle of the city. And yesterday was the day that most employees dread, but smart ones get excited about – the day the Chief Executive Officer pops in to visit.  The CEO implemented strict policies for dress code, attendance, security, and just about everything the company does, so we knew we needed to make the day perfect.  A few weeks ago, we put together a planning committee to make sure the even runs smoothly.  The CEO would visit for a total of 4 hours, so we needed to have a conference room prepared, lunch ready, and then he would be in meetings with the executive staff the rest of the time.

We started preparing the conference room for the lecture by removing all the chairs to clear the room. Then, we hired a local company, Irving Carpet Cleaning, to sanitize the carpeting and clean the room.  The carpet cleaners spent an hour and a half vacuuming the large floor and steam cleaning the rugs.  After that, our volunteer employees helped bring the chairs back into the room and organize them like an auditorium in rows.  We needed to make sure there was space for the CEO to walk down the aisles if he wanted to get some crowd interaction.  Finally, we tested the microphone on stage to make sure everything was working.

After finishing the conference room, we directed all managers to inform their staff that professional dress code is in effect for the day and they should all be 5 minutes early for the event.  The CEO arrived in his private jet right on time and rolled into the event in style.  A few of the employees got to meet him and had a short conversation before he headed on stage to begin speaking.  The speech lasted about 45 minutes, covering the company’s performance for the first half of the year, new cybersecurity techniques, and goals for the remaining 6 months.  Overall, it was a great experience that went well because of our steadfast preparation in the days leading up to the event.

Top 10 Cyber Tips to Stay Safe Online

Cyber security threats are becoming more advanced but so are the information security systems. However, the weakest point of any security solution are humans. One careless action of a user can crumble any security system no matter how expensive or well-designed it may be.

Do not be that one careless user that the cyber hackers adore. Get informed with these cyber security tips and protect your system and your data from undesirable cyber attacks.

  1. First off, it is important that you know that you are not immune to these cyber attacks and that you can be a potential victim just like most of the unsuspecting public. By knowing this, you can be more aware of your actions and be more vigilant of the possible cyber security threats.


  1. Strengthen your passwords and update them regularly. To make a strong password, mix up alphanumeric characters, use symbols if it is allowed, and make it long with more than just eight characters. Make it complicated but, at the same time, memorable. Never make it so simple for the reason that you do not want to forget it. Also, try not to use only one password for multiple accounts – change the passwords up a bit so they are still easy to remember but slightly different from each other.


  1. Another cyber security tip is to always lock your devices and computers when you are not using them or when you leave them unattended. Never let even a short moment of vulnerability happen as this is the perfect chance for a cyber attack. Without locking your devices and computers, other people can easily access and download your information, which will then be used for malicious purposes.


  1. This may be the most overused cyber security tip but beware of links and attachments from unknown email senders as they often lead to harmful domain where a malware will be instantly downloaded and installed into your computer system. Always think and double-check before clicking anything that may seem suspicious.


  1. When you are using other people’s devices and public computers and when you are connected to the public WiFi (which you should avoid, by the way), do not browse or access any of your sensitive information such as your online banking account, business email, etc. Chances are, your data can be easily copied or stolen.


  1. Back up your data as often as every week. Back it up on several external drives or in a reliable cloud storage service.


  1. Make sure your apps and programs are updated, especially your anti-virus software. Software updates include recognition and protection of new virus or malware, which the outdated version may not have.


  1. Nowadays, we share a lot of personal information in our social media accounts (which may also be viewable by the general public). Avoid sharing your real-time location, specific details about an upcoming trip (do not let potential robbers know that your house will be empty), where you work or go to school, etc. These information, although may seem harmless at first, can be used to harm you.


  1. Another important cyber security tip is to utilize anti-virus protection and firewalls. It may be the oldest trick in the book but the reason why it is still so relevant because it actually works against cyber security threats

10. Do not use public WiFi. We understand the need during those emergency situations when the public WiFi is the only option there is. No worries! You can still use public WiFi but make sure to also use VPN, or Virtual Private Network, which encrypts the traffic between your device and the VPN server, making it more difficult for cybercriminals to gain access to your device.

Top 5 Data Privacy Concerns on Social Media that you should know

Did you know that around 7 out of 10 American adults use social media on a day-to-day basis? Whether you are chatting with friends on Whatsapp or sharing pictures about your latest trip on Facebook, social media has become a powerful tool to connect with one another. However, misinformation and data leaks on social media pose some serious risks to our security. So before signing up for a network and adding new friends and connections, it is important to be aware of the risks.

Data privacy concerns on social media

Hacking and Identity Theft

Your social media profile pages provide your personal and professional information to hackers. The major problem with social networks is that there is no inbuilt system to authenticate someone’s personal information. So you never know whether someone is who they claim to be. For instance, a hacker creates a profile on Facebook with the stolen information from your profile. Next they send out a friend’s request to your friends on Facebook, who accept the request thinking that it is you. Once your friends add the hacker to their network, that person gets access to information related to so many other people.  This can lead to major identity thefts that are becoming prevalent and are a major data privacy concern on social media.  Many hood cleaning companies like are implementing new policies to protect themselves and their employees from these problems.

Cyber bullying

Cyber bullying is referred to as the harassment that one faces on mobile phones, computers, and other digital devices. Social media makes it easy for strangers to view your photos, posts, and comments, thereby making it easy for someone to stalk you.

Also, cyber bullying has resulted in many high profile suicides of teenagers and young people across the world. In January 2018, police charged two 12-year-olds for cyber stalking after a girl committed suicide in Florida.  In 2013, many suicides were linked to, which is a social media site where people can pose questions to each other anonymously. Many such incidents have been caused due to cyber bullying.

Data Sharing with Third Parties

You need to be aware of the privacy policies of the social networks that you use. Many of these policies have clauses that enable the network to share your information with third parties. For instance, Facebook clearly mentions that it shares your personal information with advertisers, developers, and partners. This implies that companies that partner with Facebook can have access to all your personally identifiable information for the purpose of targeted marketing. This causes a serious data privacy concern as your personal data is shared with a number of parties.

Spreading Spam and Malware

Social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook are constantly used for spreading malware. Websites such as provide shortened URLs that are increasingly being used by cyber criminals to mask their URLs so that you do not know whether it is a genuine or a malicious site.

When these links are posted in a busy environment, where data is shared in the form of links and news, people who click them are directed to harmful websites. However, there are many websites that help you to know whether these shortened links are safe. Also, it is important for you to be cautious before clicking links from unknown websites.


Be careful before sharing information about your upcoming trip to Europe or an event that you and your family are excited to attend. Giving information to the online world about your whereabouts can help burglars to know that you will not be available in the house at a specific date and time.

Also, most people access social media on smartphones that automatically collect your location data and post it on social media. This puts you on an increased security risk as burglars track constant updates on people’s location on social media before committing a theft.

So the next time you post on social media ensure that you use personally identifiable information only where it is required.

Top Recent Data Breaches You Must Know About

The Internet is awesome –there is no doubt in that. With a plethora of free, easy-to-access range of online services and information that you can avail on the Internet, the modern life pattern has become much simpler. However, with the advent of the revolutionary Internet technology, several security threats & breaches also keep us awake –most of the times. In the last couple of years, several major industry giants along with other small to medium-scale online enterprises have observed significant data breaches and hacking attacks.

Our data online is constantly under threat due to the frequently occurring data breaches and hacking attempts that are made on the Internet world. Here are some of the top, latest data breaches that made us realize the vulnerability of the Internet & its services:

  • Aadhaar: With a whopping number of over 1.1 billion data records breached, the Aadhaar breaching was recorded on 3rd January, It came into light when in January, some reporters with the Tribune News Service paid some amount asking for the login credentials to a service that was being anonymously offered over WhatsApp. Using the particular service, the reporters were able to get access to any Aadhaar number –the 12-digit unique number used as a primary means of identification in India.


  • Exactis: Exactis –a leading marketing & data aggregation firm in Florida recorded data breaching of around 340 million data records on 26th June, A security researcher discovered that the firm had left an important database exposed on the server that was publicly accessible. The database containing around 2TB of information like the personal details of millions of Americans as well as businesses was breached easily.


  • Under Armour: It was on May 25th, 2018 that Under Armour came to know that some individual had gained unauthorized access to around 150 million data records from MyFitnessPal –a platform that was used for tracking the diet & exercise information about the users. CNBC released the reports that the criminals were responsible for breaching the usernames, addresses, hashed passwords, and much more.


  • Facebook: No one can easily forget the major data scandal that took place on 17th March, 2018 on Facebook. The reporters were able to debug how a political data organization named Cambridge Analytica was able to collect personal information of around 87 million Facebook users via some app that scraped their personal information.


Know about some of the latest data breaches around the world!

How to Improve Your Online Data Privacy?

With the advent of the Internet & its applications, the users have gained ample benefits towards accessing information in a seamless manner. In addition to the benefits, there are several security concerns that threaten most of the users across the globe. Massive data breaches happen across the worldwide every now & then.

It has become the need of the hour to remain cautious when online as there are tons of hackers & spammers out there that keep looking for ways to breach your confidential information. As such, it becomes immensely important for the global Internet users to improve the online data privacy measures to remain safe from such malicious attacks. Here are some ways to achieve the same:

  • Check Your Social Privacy Settings: If you are active on social accounts, you must remember that these platforms contain a lot of information about you. You would be even surprised to know that much of your information is easily visible to others unless you have applied some strict social privacy settings. This is the reason the experts recommend that you must strengthen your social security by updating your privacy settings. You must decide it for yourself to give access to strangers towards retrieving information about your profile.


  • Do Not Use Social Storage for Private Information: Though public or social storages might not come with any limits, it is still advisable to refrain yourself from making use of social storage spaces. For instance, Google Docs is not considered an ideal place for storing your passwords. Similarly, Dropbox is not considered the best spot for keeping your passport scans unless you store them in some encrypted drive.


  • Keep Your Primary Email Address & Contact Number Private: If you do share your primary email address and contact number anywhere on the Internet, you only get the reward of tons of spam in your email box and never-ending robocalls on your phone. If it is unavoidable for you to share this information with social media sites or online stores, you should remain safe from sharing it with random people or unauthorized online services. Try creating an alternative email address that you can share with online portals & services


  • Make Use of Secure Passwords: If you to protect your confidential information from breaching, it is vital that you secure your online accounts with the help of strong passwords. You can consider making use of the 2-factor authentication process to enhance your online security. Try making use of different passwords for each online service. You can also consider availing services from some reliable antivirus program to keep your online activities secure from any malicious attack.


Online security is a major concern in the recent times. With the ever-rising instances of significant online breaches, it is high time that you consider upgrading your online security measures. This will help in protecting your data online.

SSL Connection: Changing from HTTP to HTTPS

The latest question on the minds of internet marketers and search engine optimization companies is what to do about SSL.  SSL stands for “secure sockets layer”, and it’s the basis behind “https” website connections.  There have been many articles published about the SEO benefits of switching over to a secure connection, but many companies still haven’t implemented it because it often involves redirection.  And if done incorrectly, 301 redirects can ruin a website’s rankings overnight. This post will cover everything about https – what it is, how it works, and why you should start using it immediately, but will not cover the SEO impact.  To learn more about the effect of SSL and HTTPS on SEO, we recommend visiting

What’s the Difference Between HTTP & HTTPS?

HTTP stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol.  HTTPS is simply a secure version of the same thing.  When computers use HTTPS, they agree on a digital code that they scramble before sending data and unscramble when it’s received.  SSL and it’s latest upgrade, known as Transport Layer Security (TLS), encrypt information so it can be sent over a network securely.  Encrypted communication is primarily used to protect confidential transactions, such as banking and online shopping.

What is the Point of HTTPS?

HTTPS serves two purposes:

First, it verifies that you are communicating with the correct server.  Without this, you could be tricked into sending your confidential data somewhere else, possibly without you even knowing.

Second, it protects all information that’s transmitted.  So, only the intended server can read what you sent, and only you can read anything it sends back.  Even if someone intercepts the messages being sent, they won’t be able to read the data.

How is the SSL Connection Established?

First, the client sends the initial message to the target server.  This message includes one or more ciphers and the highest SSL version supported by the client.  The server responds with similar information and automatically decides on the best SSL version to use, taking into account the client’s preferences.

Second, with the connection established, the server must provide its identity to the client.  To do this, the server sends over an SSL certificate with information about the owner of the server, the domain name its related to, the date of the certificate, the digital signature, and other related information.  The client receives the certificate and checks it for validity with the help of a Certificate of Authority.  This all happens in seconds as the data is transmitted between the servers.

Next, the message itself is encrypted and sent over the network to the target server with the help of a symmetric algorithm; these use a single key to encrypt and decrypt transmitted files.  The single key that’s used in the transaction is what was agreed upon during the initial message.  Now, the relationship between the client and the server is established, so it’s smooth sailing.  Information can be sent back and forth securely.  And, in the event that someone is able to intercept the message, they won’t be able to read of change any of its contents.

Why Do I Need HTTPS?

With countless websites and companies being hacked daily, it’s become ever-more important to secure your data and ensure that your company and customers are protected.  Google announced recently that it’s Chrome software would soon point out whether or not websites were secure, which could have a huge impact on traffic.  Imagine going to a website and seeing a banner that the website may not be safe.  This will likely cause consumers to exit the site and go elsewhere, which will hurt SEO and as a result, hurt the companies who haven’t changed their websites to support HTTPS.  There are a number of free and paid SSL solutions that can be found with a quick search.  Cloudflare is one example that’s free to start with.  We highly recommend looking into this sooner rather than later for the sake of your customers and your bottom line.



Top Cybersecurity Trends You Must Look Out for

As each year passes by, newer forms of cyber threats keep coming up. This puts us in a dire need for strengthening the cyber security systems even more –both on an organizational level as well as personally. In the recent times, there have been several major forms of data breaches and security threats that have created a sense of fear amongst the global Internet users. As such, the leading cyber security companies & service providers keep coming up with the latest, cutting-edge cyber security techniques to ensure the safeguarding of data & vital information of the users worldwide.

If you are looking out for the best-in-class cyber security technique that has been trending across the globe, here are some top cyber security trends that you can look out for:

  • Introduction of the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation): The world, especially Europe, is gearing up for the introduction of the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) towards safeguarding cyber data and information online that is prone to common data breaches and cyber threats. With its recent enforcement, under the GDPR provisions, an infringement could provoke major fines up to 20 Million Euros or around 4 percent of the total worldwide turnover of the previous financial year.


  • Machine Learning & AI Boosting Cyber Defenses: The high-end technologies like machine learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are about to enhance the overall pace and might start impacting more industries across the globe. As such, these technologies are expected to play a major role in boosting the overall cyber security measures. As the battle with criminals involved in the cyber threats tends to proceed rapidly, advanced machine learning models could accurately predict & identify major cyber attacks seamlessly.


  • Ransomware Pro-activeness: Ransomware is undeniably serving to be an advancing threat in the last few years. However, it only continues to claim the high-end profiles or victims. With the latest WannaCry ransomware attack, it has been indeed highlighted that there is a great to back up on a regular basis, keep updating & patching systems, and boost the real-time defenses regularly. When organizations would implement these simple defensive steps, the overall impact of ransomware could be drastically reduced.


  • Handling Data Breaches Effectively: It might impossible to get rid of potential data breaches completely. However, every organization tends to have the needed power for lessening the massive blow of data breaches effectively by handling its aftermath properly. Through practices like delaying data breaching exposure, misleading the victims, and failing to patch the given vulnerability –all of these could serve to be bad moves towards handling data breaches.


  • IoT Might be a Weak Link: As the world is rolling over more sensor-powered, Internet-connected networks & devices, the Internet of Things (IoT) applications might serve to be a weaker link for effective cyber defenses. As such, there is a great need to properly secure IoT & its applications towards ensuring top-notch cyber security.


Enhance your cyber security measures now!

The Ever-Growing Importance of Cybersecurity

Technology has brought incredible advantages to our lives and living standards. Presence of people on online sites, whether it’s social media accounts, online marketing, or internet trends is increasing in every second. People are using the internet as an intermediary to share their work, personal data and hobbies. Social media channels gained popularity at the same time technology advances. Nowadays, most people use these platforms daily to freely express any thought, feeling, idea, and more.  However, at the same time they need to be aware that they must not be neglecting the security terms and conditions in order to avoid risk of data loss. Unfortunately, they have forgotten two major parts of cyber security, data protection and privacy, while using their favorite smart devices.  This has made it easy for hackers to damage our lives and steal personal data.

Cyber security is the one of the most essential and important features for organizational success. Cyber Security deals with prevention of crimes online, and is closely liked to information security, which deals with the preservation of data.  Cyber criminals are a great threat to corporate culture. Lack of awareness and laziness are two of the biggest factors that have caused gigantic data losses at companies like Target, Walmart, and more. There are some easy to do thing in which a person can actually participate towards cyber security.

Password: One must have a strong enough password as it represents your identity in surfing  emails , shopping sites, social media accounts and banking etc. You must have a policy of your own to verify whether your password is hack able or not. According to surveys and facts 73% of the people uses common passwords which makes cyber crime a bit easier for criminals. It is better to go through Strong password guidelines before setting a new password.

Things to avoid:

  • Never disclose usernames and passwords to third parties
  • Never write your username or passwords on paper
  • Update your account password at least every 6 months
  • Do not use passwords that have been used in the past
  • Never provide credentials when requested through email

Organizations need to motivate and teach people the importance of cyber security continuing education, whether in  the form of awareness training programs, or something else. Introducing cyber security at the moment is left to each organization individually, while it may be better off left to the government.

Data protection and data privacy is another essential for keeping the important data from malicious attacks and maintaining the confidentiality, integrity & availability of the personal data. It is the process of handling the data in the market sector to prevent financial loss and credibility. January 28 is celebrated as Data Privacy day in an attempt to make people familiar with the concept and to make them realize its importance in modern society.

Google’s recent announcement on GDPR is a clear example of this.  GDPR is regulation affecting the EU that controls how organizations protect the data and privacy of the people who use their products and services.  Very strict guidelines were just put in place, and the penalties for going astray are quite large.

Social Media security: Common risks and tips

At the present, the majority of people are consumed by technology and all the incredible advances that science have done so far. Even though technology has brought to our lives innumerable advantages, there are some things that you should be aware of. Possibly you have social accounts such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc., and that’s ok, they’re a great option to keep in touch with people we love and also, they are now the main marketing channel for business.

Online marketing is increasing every year and people are using social media as an intermediate to accomplish different business, share their hobbies, work, and more. However, many users have been victims of privacy negligence inasmuch as cybercriminals are using social media to attack their victims. Today more than ever, cybersecurity is becoming increasingly significant and you have to be aware of what to do and what not to do to avoid any risk with your personal information.

Social media channels gained popularity at the same time technology advances. Nowadays, most people use these platforms per day to freely express any thought, feeling, idea, and more. Engaging with the entire world has become easier, you just need a smart device and that’s all. Unfortunately, while you’re immersed in this world, you may forget about the cybersecurity that is affecting directly confidential information.

Thanks to social platforms we have a quick way to communicate and interact with the world. However, we can’t forget our security, that is why we’ll show you common risks you have while using these tools and some actions you can take to avoid them efficiently without affecting your social life.

Common risks:

  • Avoid scams. Scams everywhere! You can get them in the mail and also, on social media. Doesn’t matter which one you use, you’ll sooner or later, run into a scammer. What can you do? Don’t click on anything that isn’t trustworthy. Recent scams can create you a new profile and even sends requests to your friends and also, puts at risk your personal information.
  • Malicious Apps. Viruses and spyware have found their way onto social media and also, into apps you may be tented to download. Has become easy for hackers to damage the apps users have on their smartphone and so, affecting your security. Don’t download any app that doesn’t have a high reputation.
  • Be aware. Human disinterest is one of the main risks. Why? If you do not pay attention to your accounts you are exposing your information to be infected. If you decide to open any social media, read the contract, the security settings, and stay connected with it. If you don’t have the motivation or simply, don’t like it, the better option is closing your profiles. On the other hand, don’t forget that uploading information in a social network can be transmitted virally, so, be careful with your information and think cautiously about the content you’ll share with others.