Update your Amazon account with two-factor authentication

Finally, Amazon has added 2FA (two-factor authentication) onto accounts.  It takes just a minute or two, and you can add your cell phone on as the second-factor for verification (after your password).  Choose from SMS messages or use something like Google Authenticator app to generate the codes you’ll need.

Source: It’s time to secure your Amazon account with two-factor authentication

Microsoft Security Essentials — free anti-virus for Windows computers

Looking for an anti-virus software for your home PC? Want a great application for FREE? Try out Microsoft’s Security Essentials. This program will run in the background protecting your computer from all the nasties out there that might come your way on the Internet.
After suffering from years of bad publicity about how susceptible Windows computers are to viruses, Microsoft came out with this free software for users. And, it works really well.
So, goodbye to the those other free anti-virus programs like AVG Free and hello MSE.

Security Tip: Regularly Check Your Website Scripts For Updates

If you are a website owner, you might think that once you get your site up and running you no longer have to do much. But consider how easy it is for your website to be hacked. You WANT people to visit it and look around. You WANT to show off the cool functionality of your site.

Well, that same functionality can get outdated pretty quickly. Code that was written five or six years ago probably didn’t even check the validity of requests to pages. A simple example of an attack is a site that uses ID numbers, for example http://www.somedomain.com/index.php?id=12 — what happens when that isn’t a number, or that ID is missing? Did the programmer check for those possibilities?

There are some wonderful open source web applications out there, including WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla, to name just a few. However, every week new vulnerabilities are discovered on those platforms — security hacks, SQL injections, cross-site scripting, etc. Luckily many of those open source applications also have a robust community to write updates to protect against those attacks.

As a website owner, you should check for any updates to your website scripts regularly. This also includes to make sure your passwords are strong and safe. And, have regular backups of the site made that you can download to your computer for safe storage (as even hosting sites aren’t immune to attacks).

It’s a real pain to have your website hacked. You struggle to uncover how the attack was done. You work to get the site updated and back to where it was. You try to clear your name with any search engine that might say your site is “suspicious”. Meanwhile you lose visitors that might never come back.

If you don’t take care of your site yourself, then talk to the developers who built it and ask them to help you backup, upgrade, and lock down your site before you get hacked.

Security is an ongoing process, just like those updates on your computer…

PayPal: Add Basic E-Commerce To Your Website

If you’ve never used or seen PayPal before, then you have probably been hiding under a rock, since PayPal is one of the top ways to pay online in the US. You can often find PayPal as an option for checkouts on many e-commerce websites. This article will briefly explain WHY PayPal is so popular so you can see if it might be right for your site.

If you have a web site now with some product and no e-commerce functionality, PayPal can add it in, very quickly and easily without the need for a new site. And, if you later decide to move into a full e-commerce website, PayPal can still be used as a payment option.

Paypal allows you to offer web visitors to pay for products on your web site with options other than mailing you a check or money order. You can accept credit cards transactions.

How much does it cost? PayPal is FREE to sign up and then only takes a percentage of each transaction. There are no recurring monthly fees like there are for standard merchant accounts (like with your bank or Authorize.net). However, the percentage of the fee on transactions is a little higher than with standard merchant accounts.

How do I get paid? PayPal takes a percentage off the transaction and then puts the rest into your PayPal account. From there, you can either request a check (for a fee), or have it deposited into your bank account.

How do I create an account? If you visit Paypal, make sure you specify you want a BUSINESS or PREMIER account. Those allows you the options to easily sell online. If you are doing business as (DBA) a different name and want the bills in that name, specify BUSINESS while registering. Otherwise you can just use your own name with the PREMIER option.
Sign up for PayPal and start accepting credit card payments instantly.
During registration, PayPal will ask for some information, including your bank account information. PayPal will deposit 2 transactions into your bank account (say .64 and .42 cents) so that you can verify with them you received it. You must wait until those transactions clear your bank (typically a week) before you can start selling.

OK, I’m verified, now what? Log into your account and you will see some Merchant Tools. You can easily create a button for any item on your site that will include the price and details. Copy the HTML code into your site. A button will now be there. When a visitor clicks that button it takes them to Paypal to do the check out and complete the transaction. You will receive an email notification that someone has paid from PayPal, and the visitor receives a confirmation of their purchase automatically from PayPal. Plus, you can even set up “shopping cart” functionality with PayPal, allowing your visitor to add multiple products and amounts into their cart before they checkout.
And, as your business grows, PayPal can grow with you; many sites offer PayPal AND standard merchant Credit Card options on their websites.

Sounds easy, are there any drawbacks? PayPal, while one of the most used methods of online payment, isn’t without its problems. However, for an easy solution to adding e-commerce to your website without monthly fees, PayPal is hard to beat. Visit PayPal’s site to read their FAQs to see if PayPal might be right for your business.

Check out my other posts: E-Commerce With PayPal and E-Commerce Resources for some additional information.

[note: originally published on HMAUS]