April 12th, 2012 by Mike Spence

Here is a real life reason why having an open WiFi connection can be a bad idea.

Recently a customer called in and explained that their credit card system was down.   That’s pretty serious and we wanted to make sure we get them up and running as soon as possible.  Our support guys started checking the usual suspects and discovered that the store could load a web page and could even log our technician in over the internet.    We checked our credit card settings and the services that are running there and everything looked great.

They then decided to troubleshoot by bypassing SP-1 and running the card directly in the processors software.  The card still did not go through.  The next step was contacting the merchant services company that they use.  It turns out that they are one of our preferred providers so we had an easy time of eliminating that as an trouble spot.  That usually leaves an internet connection as a problem but we already confirmed that the computer was connected (heck, we were logged in remotely!).

Finally after running some more tests, we discovered that this had nothing to do with the computers, our software or the merchant services at all.  It was the ISP (internet service provider) that deliberately blocked this type of internet traffic!

You see, at the store,  there was an open WiFi connection for customers.  This was simply enabled by turning on WiFi on the router.  There was virtually no security activated at the router side.   Because of this, someone using that connection was downloading things that the ISP flagged.  The ISP started turning off activity from certain ports.  That stopped the activity from the downloads but also from the credit card interface.

If you use WiFi, have a company like www.webbeams.com set it up for you so it can be secure!


Posted in Technology Tagged with: ,

September 15th, 2011 by Mike Spence

More on the on-going fight between coffee shop owners and people that want to camp in the store working on laptops etc.  This news  Grid Lock: Starbucks Covers Electrical Outlets to Curb Laptop Lingerers – TIME NewsFeed illustrates the frustration.

The issue is not that people want to hang out in the store, it’s that the customer doesn’t continue to buy product while sitting there.   Heck, I’m guessing that you want people in your store – the catch is you also want them buying product!

The best way I’ve seen to approach this without a confrontation is to use a product like WEBbeams. WEBbeams helps eliminate the whole issue by requiring a login code to access the WiFi connection.

When the customer orders product, SP-1 prints a unique, one time code.  That code is then used by the customer to log on to the WiFi system in the store.  The great thing is that the code can be for a limited amount of time.   So, if you have campers that want to sit, surf the web and stay all day, they will be forced to buy more product.

Give us a call to learn more about WEBbeams and SelbySoft!


Posted in Hardware, Order Entry, POS Features Tagged with: , ,

July 26th, 2011 by Mike Spence

Are you really secure?  Let’s ask some questions:

Do you review the security levels in SP-1 from time to time?  

If not, you should.  It’s vital to check over what access employees and managers have.  Remember that your store evolves over time.  Call us to make sure what your employees are currently allowed to do. 

Are you checking that your password is not being used by anyone else?

Check the audit reports we offer and compare them to the times you and your manager work.  If you see those employee codes used when you are not there, then you have a problem! 

Do you change your password on a regular basis?
I hope so!  In 7.60 and above, you are required (PCI / PA-DSS Standards) to change your password every 90 days.  If you are not doing that now, you should be.  It’s one of the best ways to insure you employees don’t have access to your system. 

Are you using “hard” passwords?
Is your password “1234” or your name?  That’s not OK and we all know it.  Your passwords should be at least seven characters with a combination of letters and numbers. 

Do you allow Windows access?
This is a tough one.  In some cases you may have to.  If you don’t have a specific need to, then make sure you set SP-1 up to be maximized at all times.  This helps eliminate the ability to access Windows.  If you do allow employee access, then check the Internet Explorer history on a  regular basis to see what your employees are doing online. 

What about checking your Audit Reports with Customer Service?
Call us on this.  Seriously – you need to ask about this.  Basically, we can show you any ticket that has been altered or reduced and help you stay on top of theft. 

Do your employees have a separate code to clock in?  What about employee cards or fingerprint ID?

Please don’t use one employee code or card for everyone in your store!  If you have to use codes then make sure each employee has their own.  This will allow you to track who is doing what and when! 

Hopefully, you answered all of these correctly!  If you didn’t then you might want to call us to review how we can make sure you are as safe from theft as possible. 

Contact us at:
Mike Spence
8326 Woodland Ave. E
Puyallup Wa 98371

Posted in Technology Tagged with: ,

December 16th, 2010 by ssadmin
Problems with staff and the internet? 

You are not the only one!  We have many customers that would like to lock out internet usage on their POS terminals.  There are a number of reasons to want to lock out employess on the POS.

No matter what else you may want to do with your POS computers, remember that you purchased them to operate first and foremost as point of sale stations.

Employee access to the internet on POS systems can result in many issues in your store including some of the below: 

  • PCI and Credit Card security can be comprimised.
  • Potential for virus, spyware or malware is increased.
  • Software corruption due to issues with above.
  • Potenial illegal downloads of movies, music etc.

Ok, so we have some reasons why we don’t want employees to have unfettered access to the internet.   How do we accomplish this?

Well, it’s not completly something to be covered in a short blog but there are some suggestions that we can help you with. 
Start by looking at your Internet Explorer options.  Under the Tools, Internet Options, and then Content tab, you can set many different ways to control content access.
Another great way to stop unauthorized access is to secure your station with different user access through Windows.   
When we setup our SP-1 Touch Screen systems, we utilize the different user accounts under Windows to lock down the Internet Explorer access. 
So there you have it – a couple ways to help make sure you have things locked down and secured!
Contact us at:

Mike Spence
8326 Woodland Ave. E
Puyallup Wa 98371

Posted in Technology, Uncategorized Tagged with: , ,