Sunday, December 20, 2009

What do you mean, there's no Internet?

That's not something you want to hear when you have packages to ship. Today, Internet service is pretty reliable. But there are system outages, cut cables, and other Broadband connection disasters that happen. And anytime your Internet service goes down, you know that sinking feeling since you don't know if it's going to be gone for 2 minutes, 2 days or 2 weeks. When you depend, as so many do today, on the Internet for your shipping and other business functions (your VOIP phone system!), being without the Internet for even an hour can be a real problem. Even worse, you cannot control this. Or can you?

Well, there is something you can do. Get a second Internet service. If you use DSL, get cable. If you're using cable, get DSL. If one fails, it's very likely the other will be working. Normally you'll use the fastest connection for your day-to-day operations, changing only if there is a problem. After you sign up for the second Internet service, making it work is pretty simple. You can do something as simple as move the network cable between the router and your network switch from the DSL router to the cable router. A more elegant solution (and not that costly) is to use a Dual WAN router that connects to both Internet modems. The Hotbrick router is one example of a Dual WAN router. Connect both modems to the Dual WAN router, then setup the router to connect to the cable and DSL services.

That's it, and you've just added a great layer of inexpensive insurance for your business. Now, your shipping department, your VOIP phone system, the email connection to your customers - all of your mission critical business functions are protected with this inexpensive, redundant Internet connection. Another plus? The right Dual WAN router can let you use both Internet services at the same time to give you an even faster connection when they are both working. You win both ways with this.

Happy Connected Holidays!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Beware of Credit Card Fraud Schemes Coming from Singapore

We normally don’t discuss these types of issues but we felt this could potentially affect many of our customers and readers. The U.S. Department of Commerce recently received reports from companies in Florida that were almost victims of this latest credit card scheme. Thanks to the Department of Commerce alerts, the companies avoided being swindled. But if you are not careful, your company might not be so lucky.

American Internet retailers selling globally remain a primary target for credit card fraud schemes using Singapore as the purported ordering point and shipping destination. Detailed information on these fraud schemes can be found at:

The orders normally range from US $5,000 to US $30,000. The buyer places the order via telephone or Internet email correspondence. The buyer either splits the total purchase price between several cards or makes several attempts (using multiple credit card numbers) to complete the transaction. Once the transaction/credit card number(s) are accepted, the buyer requests immediate air shipment. Not aware of the fraud that has just occurred; the merchant complies with the customer’s request of an expedited shipment to a legitimate freight forwarder in Singapore. The merchant will then receive a chargeback from the credit card company after the card is reported stolen. By that time the goods have been transshipped out of Singapore and are unrecoverable.

The FBI is working with the Singapore Police and other law enforcement agencies in the region to combat this crime. If you suspect that you are in receipt of a fraudulent order and would like to verify its legitimacy, please contact your local U.S. Department of Commerce office, or the Commercial Service at the U.S. Embassy in Singapore at:

U.S. Commercial Service
Tel: [+65] 6476-9037
Fax: [+65] 6476-9080