Your Data is Safe with CSI

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Vivian Volz, AIA, CSI, CCS, LEED AP BD+C
Electronic Communications Chair, San Francisco CSI

If you're concerned about your personal information online, you're not alone. The recently revealed "Heartbleed" vulnerability has big portals like Google and Yahoo warning us to change our passwords and keep an eye on our accounts. Luckily, San Francisco CSI and the Institute are well-defended.

Most of your financial interactions with the Chapter occur through Cvent, our online registration and payment site. We received the following statement from Cvent via email on April 15: 

Rest assured, Cvent has checked its servers and found them to be not vulnerable to the Heartbleed bug. We have not been compromised and remain secure.

 Our Chapter web site is part of CSI's domain and servers, CSInet.org, so our security and CSI's are interwoven. With that in mind, I contacted CSI's Director of Information Technology, Eric Kestler. Eric assured me, in great detail, that CSI protects our personal and financial data vigilantly. Our financial interactions with the Institute go through PayPal, which was never vulnerable via Heartbleed. Our personal membership information is in a database that is carefully guarded with firewalls and frequent software updates. Moreover, Eric assured me,

 All communication [with the membership database] is done over a secure channel that is NOT susceptible to the recent “Heartbleed” OpenSSL hack.

 Further, many of us now interact with CSI through mobile applications on smartphones and tablets. Eric explained:

Both Microsoft and Apple have confirmed that their mobile software is NOT affected by “Heartbleed”. Samsung and Google, on the other hand, have admitted that they are vulnerable.  If you have an Android mobile [CSI] product, you should consider changing your [CSI] passwords.

 In fact, the Google password is the most important password for us all to change, no matter how little or how much we interact with Google and its properties. 

So, take good care of your online information, with confidence that CSI and San Francisco CSI are doing our part to keep your data safe.

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