Yahoo Breach Raises Questions about E-mail Security

Email Security Email Hosting ServicesYahoo announced late last Thursday that an undisclosed number of e-mail accounts were compromised in a cyber-hack coordinated through a compromised third party. Although Jay Rossiter, a senior vice president at Yahoo, said in a statement that the company implemented “additional measures” to prevent similar attacks from happening in the future, the breach raises a number of concerns regarding the security of free email services.

The Cost of Free Email

Web-based email services like Yahoo! and Gmail may be free in the monetary sense, but they still come at a price. In recent years security breaches of such services have increased, leaving users and their information vulnerable.

Possibly the most worrying factor about free email services is that several provide data to third-parties. While Yahoo noted in their announcement that a third-party database was the source of the hack, it is unknown whether it was a third-party database like Facebook, which allows account holders to user their Yahoo email as party of their log-in information, or if it was a database they provide information to.

The Fine Print

Have you read the fine print on your email provider’s Terms of Service? There are a few additions you may not be aware of:

Gmail:

When you upload or other submit content to our Services, you give Google (and those we work with) a worldwide license to store, reproduce, modify, create derivative works (such as those resulting from translations, adaptations and other changes we make so that you content works better with our Services), communicate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute such content.

AOL:

We collect or receive information about your interactions with AOL. Registering with AOL is optional and we may collect information even if you do not register. Depending on how you use AOL’s Services, your AOL information may include: …personal financial information, information about the searches you perform, transaction-related information….

Yahoo:

We provide the information to trusted partners who work on behalf of or with Yahoo under confidentiality agreements. These companies may use your personal information to help Yahoo communicate with you about offers from Yahoo and our marketing partners.

Such policies are disconcerting for businesses and their employees, whose emails often contain sensitive and confidential information.

The MARION Solution

As part of our integrated marketing solutions, MARION offers email hosting sites to all clients. Our hosting services feature a self-managed cloud-hosting server and immediate customer service. All email applications are backed-up every night and stored on a different server for an added level of security. Usually most email accounts and lost emails can be immediately restored if necessary.

Marion also offers an upgraded spam filter to our clients that have difficult spam issues.  The product is Symantec Cloud Spam Assassinator.  This add-on has a one-time set up fee and then a minimal monthly charge for each email box.

Additionally, Marion’s email hosting services provide a level of protection not offered by free e-mail applications. Marion’s hosting server and backup is protected by a Juniper SSG-5 Firewall, which can shield your emails from hackers and other suspicious behavior. Unlike some free email providers, we do not provide data to third party services, keeping your sensitive information safe.

If you’re concerned about the security issues that afflict free email providers, contact MARION today to learn more about our e-mail hosting services.

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Promotional Product For The Week Of Feb. 3

Customizable Ombre Ballpoint Stylus PenKeep your office on-trend with this stylish ombre pen from Marion Integrated Marketing.

Pen can be customized to feature your logo. Includes black ballpoint ink cartridge and stylus tip perfect for iPhones and iPads. Available in red, blue or black. Find this product and more at Marion Promotional Products.

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MARION’s Favorite Super Bowl Commercials

For some folks, the Super Bowl ads are better than the game itself. Fans may not remember the final score, but a commercial that goes viral will be talked about for years to come. This kind of publicity doesn’t come cheap: this year, a 30-second ad spot costs a whopping $3.5 million!  With the big game coming up this Sunday, MARION Integrated Marketing has compiled a list of our favorite Super Bowl ads.

Budweiser “Puppy Love”

“Sorry guys, but this is the best Super Bowl commercial ever.” Jeff Mysak, Project Manager

“I cried.” Lindsay Mowad, Project Manager

Volkswagen “The Force”

“Too cute.” Damon Vance, Vice President & General Manager

Tide “Talking Stain”

“This commercial always makes me laugh.” Sandra Bledsoe, Content Developer & Internet Marketing Manager

Oreo “Whisper Fight”

“This one is the best!” Abby Eftink, Accounting Assistant

What’s your favorite Super Bowl commercial? Join the conversation on Google+, LinkedInFacebookTwitter, and Pinterest.

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Healthcare Consultants Announces Website Redesign

MARION Integrated Marketing has launched a newly redesigned website for Healthcare Consultants.

The redesigned website features enhanced rich content (including an Obamacare resource center), a clean uncluttered design and streamlined navigation that allows quick and easy access to essential information about health insurance in Texas. The website also has sections with information on voluntary employee benefits services, financial services, health savings accounts, supplemental Medicare insurance policies, and videos of client testimonials.Mockup of the newly redesigned Healthcare Consultants home page.

The redesign reflects feedback from HCI clients, notably a stronger focus on making clients aware of the broad choice of insurance carriers, plans and services available to them.

“We are excited about our new website launch and the robust information it provides for our clients,” said David Neider, Founder and President of Healthcare Consultants.  “We believe that this new site will allow our visitors to have a very informative experience as we continue to grow and expand our service offerings.”

Healthcare Consultants was founded in 1995 by David Neider. Since then, the firm has grown successfully, largely due to David’s emphasis on customer service and fair prices. Currently, hundreds of groups in the Houston area rely on David and Healthcare Consultants to maintain their group healthcare plans.

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Promotional Product Of The Week: 42″ Auto Open Flashlight Umbrella

42" LED Flashlight Umbrella from Marion Integrated Marketing Promotional Products

Promote your company and protect yourself against the elements this January with this 42″ auto-open flashlight umbrella from Marion Integrated Marketing.

Umbrella features an automatic opening and has a LED flashlight incorporated into the handle. Rubberized handle with wristlet and nylon canopy. Find this product and more at Marion Promotional Products.

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