6 Steps to Protect Your Online Information

AdobeStock_117197883.png

Passwords are the first line of defense against unauthorized entry to your accounts. In a world that is ever-growing with hacking and cyber attacks, it is important to take all the steps you can to protect your information, money, and privacy.

SolidTrust Pay is dedicated to making your time online with us comfortable and safe. This article will help you to understand your passwords, and what you can do to make your online experiences safer.


1. Don’t leave devices open, unlocked, or unattended.
The majority of us wouldn’t leave our wallets or purses unattended, so why should our computers/devices be any different? It’s 2017, and most of us use online banking, social media, or have personal files stored away on our phones and computers. Leaving your devices unattended, especially when they are open, is like indirectly telling a thief it is okay to take your wallet that is laying on an unsupervised table – it WILL be stolen. Keep your electronics close when you are out in public and do not leave them unlocked. This is also very dangerous when you have your information stored in your browser’s Autofill. Clear your cache, cookies, erase your browsing history, and disable your Autofill when you can (see paragraph 3).

2. Don’t write your passwords down.
As tempting as it may be, never write down your passwords. It may seem easy and convenient, but this puts your accounts at risk of being accessed by an unauthorized source. All it takes is for someone to snoop around your desk or in your bag, only for them to find a treasure trove of your passwords on a piece of paper! Make it difficult and inconvenient for people to access your accounts by not writing them down. What’s in your brain can only be accessed by you.


3. Never save your passwords in your browser when given the option.
This is important, especially if you are on a device that is shared with other users. Autofill options retain your data, and if someone other than you logs into a device where this is enabled, well, there’s no guessing when it comes to answering your security questions, usernames, and passwords. Autofill applications, which come preloaded in most browsers, arguably do more harm than good. Disable your autofill whenever you can. If you’re not sure how to do so, you can find helpful guides on Google (i.e., “how do I disable my autofill in Google Chrome?”).  

4. Create a difficult and long password – use the Acronym Method.
A good way to create a strong password is to use the Acronym Method. Think of a lengthy sentence that will be easy to remember. For example:


My daughter was born on January 1, 1987, in Hamilton, Ontario.

This sentence can be turned into an acronym:

MdwboJ1,1987iH,O.

This password meets SolidTrust Pay’s requirements (an uppercase letter near the middle, a lowercase letter, a number, a punctuation mark, and at least 6 characters long). The more capitals and punctuation you put into a password, the better. The same can be said for the length of a password. Bigger is better.  We recommend adding memorable punctuation to the sequence. For example:

MdwboJ1,1987iH,O.!!

!! could be added because you were very excited (!!) when your daughter was born. Or how about:

My first bank account was opened at the Royal Bank of Canada in 2007.

MfbawoatRBoCi2007.+$

^$ could be added because you want more (+) money ($) in your bank account.

This method creates passwords that are easier to remember, versus a password that is created by a password generator. Make your password fun to remember, and choose something that’s unique to you.

5. Generate and store passwords with KeePass.
If your memory isn’t quite good, there is still hope. KeePass is a free open source password manager, which helps you to manage your passwords in a secure way. You can put all your passwords in one database, which is locked with one master key or a key file. So you only have to remember one single master password or select the key file to unlock the whole database. The databases are encrypted using the best and most secure encryption algorithms currently known (AES and Twofish).


6. Never give your passwords out to anyone.
SolidTrust Pay will NEVER ask for your passwords. This rule usually applies to all areas of the web. If someone is asking for your passwords to your online banking/financial sites and social media profiles, you should be asking why they require this information. If it seems a bit sketchy, it likely is. Be aware of phishing scams as well!

 

Although we cannot prevent hacking, we can all take steps to make it more difficult for hackers to access personal information – your password is your first defense, so make it count!


Reflecting, Regretting, and Never Forgetting

flanders-fields-poppies-remembrance-day

Remembrance Day is here, and on this day we reflect on the lives lost and the families divided due to the tragic events of war. As we take the time to remember the lives that have been lost, let us take the lessons we learn and devote the same level of care. The saying “Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it” is a very accurate one. When we continually focus and vilify differences we have with other people we create a divide. This divide makes space for hatred and mistrust to form. We as people must focus more on the things we share in common, and encourage the wonderful ways we experience things differently.

One thing we all have in common is the experience of loss. We all have lost someone or something special to us. Our CEO has personally lost over 500 members of her family, counting extended family and family by marriage. Her own father and mother had barely survived the Holocaust. Many families have been torn apart by the wars that have occurred in the past.

Another thing that we as people have in common is that we all are a part of a family. A family these days is different for each person, but the feelings around it should stay the same. If we come together and foster peace instead of encouraging fighting and war we would be able to make the world and the lives of everyone better.

We must look back on all the atrocities war has brought on to our nations and consider how this emphasis on difference has lead to death, injury and misfortune for everyone involved. We must educate our younger generations not just in the general subjects, but in respect, peace, and love of mankind as a whole and only in this way we can prevent war from being inevitable. We must take a stand and say never again through our thoughts, actions, and words.

We must teach people to encourage and value difference instead of ridicule and fear it, and only then can the future not be a rehash of past wars, and the future becomes a more collaborative experience for all. With the right education, we can accomplish the impossible, prevent the inevitable, and build.


Have You Thought About Accepting Bitcoin?

 

AdobeStock_163897780 (1).png

 

SolidTrust Pay gives you reasons why you should start accepting Bitcoin for free and teaches you how to start!

Do you want your business to be more modern? How about more convenient for your customers? Look no further! Bitcoins are becoming more mainstream, and to prove that, here is a great article about which major companies are now accepting bitcoin as payment. Blockchain, a popular wallet provider, also posted on their blog about cool places where you can spend bitcoins. How convenient that you can now purchase a footlong meatball marinara sub from Subway with bitcoin? How about booking your next hotel room with the thriving cryptocurrency? We are really excited about the spread of Bitcoin over here at SolidTrust Pay, so much so that we want to tell you why you should apply to accept this increasingly popular and decentralized currency.  


First of all, did you know it’s free to upgrade your STPay merchant account to accept bitcoin payments? Apart from this sweet deal, here is a list of other benefits of accepting bitcoin payments:

  • You get paid quick, which means money in your pocket sooner
  • Bitcoin transactions have some of the lowest transaction fees, which means more profit for you
  • There is a low risk of fraud with bitcoin
  • No risk of chargebacks
  • Bitcoin is a modern, fancy pants, hip digital currency that is growing in popularity (we all want to be ahead of the curve, right?)
  • It is a convenient payment option for those who do not own a debit/credit card


By applying to accept bitcoins at your checkout, you will be able to say that you give your customers more payment options compared to other merchants, which in return can attract more business! You can also brag to your grandkids that you were one of the first few merchants on the internet to accept this currency. If you already have a merchant account with us, you can apply for a Bitcoin payment button by selecting the 
Accept Bitcoins option in your Merchant Zone. If you don’t have a merchant account, you can sign up and start accepting bitcoin payments today!


Remember, here at SolidTrust Pay we have top of the line customer service. No robots here, just real people to help you every step of the way. Join the list of leading-edge companies accepting Bitcoin!


Solidarity with Women

image 1

In the wake of the hashtag #metoo and seeing the immense impact it has made on hundreds of thousands of people around the world, we wanted to speak up about our support to all women, not only survivors of sexual assault but also any woman who has come across barriers in life and business because of their gender. Here at SolidTrust Pay, we encourage women to be entrepreneurs and we believe that a woman deserves to be her own boss. As a payment processor, we are happy to provide the services that are required to make that a reality.

 

Did you know that over 70% of the staff at SolidTrust Pay are women? The company was also started by our female CEO Stella Hiemstra who had overcome all odds and barriers to create this company 11 years ago in a strongly male-dominated industry.

 

As an ethical payment processor, our staff regardless of gender, start at the same pay scale and increases are earned based on performance without any gender considerations. We also take the extra steps and time to monitor funds so that they don’t end up being used for human trafficking or any other purpose that would hurt the rights and freedoms of women.

 

SolidTrust Pay wants to provide women with opportunities that may not be feasible to them right now due to any number of reasons. For instance, according to UN Women: “women bear disproportionate responsibility for unpaid care work. Women devote 1 to 3 hours more a day to housework than men; 2 to 10 times the amount of time a day to care (for children, elderly, and the sick), and 1 to 4 hours less a day to market activities.” The benefits of women in the workforce far outnumber the reasons for not being in the workforce. The same can be said about closing the wage gap. UN Women also said:

“It is calculated that women could increase their income globally by up to 76 percent if the employment participation gap and the wage gap between women and men were closed. This is calculated to have a global value of USD 17 trillion. Women’s economic equality is good for business. Companies greatly benefit from increasing leadership opportunities for women, which is shown to increase organizational effectiveness. It is estimated that companies with three or more women in senior management functions score higher in all dimensions of organizational effectiveness”.

 

Even though SolidTrust Pay alone won’t solve gender inequality, we want to create a space that promotes growth and support for all current and future female users and merchants. It is our hope that in the near future all women will have the opportunity to create their own success and that the barriers that are blocking so many today will no longer exist.