Jul 242008

I really try not to make too much of a habit of talking about where I work here in the old blog.  As a general rule it’s really not a good idea, because once you’ve associated your job with your online presence you kind of run the risk of getting in trouble at said job if something about your online presence irks a fellow employee or customer.

Of course, the easy solution to that is never doing anything online that would get you in trouble with your job.  With as connected as things are getting these days it’s a really good habit to get in to anyway.  More and more companies are looking at places like MySpace to see if you have any half-naked pictures of yourself doing questionable things with farm animals before they hire you, so it’s really not a good idea to have that stuff out there to begin with.

And really, what did that chicken ever do to you anyway?

I read an article this morning, though, that actually gave me a moment of job pride and inspired me to write about it, and since we don’t have a work blog my only outlet is doing so here.

It appears that about 75% of banking websites “have design flaws that could expose bank customers to financial loss or identity theft.”  These design flaws are things like login forms on unsecured pages, redirects to other web sites without warning the visitor they are leaving the bank site, allowing customers to choose insecure passwords and emailing private information in the open.

Of the list above, the only one that we may be guilty of is the password selection, but I’m not entirely sure.  My password is pretty old and was moved into our current home banking prodcut from a previous one, and I’m pretty sure we started enforcing stricter rules on password selection after that.  The rest, though?  Not guilty.  Of any of it.

Some of you may recall the saga of my weekend at Dragon*Con last year.  You know, where I spent most of the weekend locked up in the hotel room and working instead of getting drunk and ogling hot cosplayers?  One of the big things that kept me in there is that we were doing everything in our power to deliver a product that our Marketing department wanted while making sure that it met the security standards we had set for ourselves.  Ultimately we couldn’t deliver the product as requested without compromising security, and the decision was made to gimp that product instead of risking member account infomation.  It pretty much killed that product, to be honest, but keeping our members safe was more important than giving them a neat toy to play with.

We were just audited by the NCUA, and one of the things they audit is your IT Security.  We passed with flying colors.  They had some areas we needed to improve in, of course.  Nobody is perfect. Our overall status was excellent, though – if I understand correctly – better than most.

One of the things that has kept me here for over five years now is that it’s truly one of the first companies I’ve ever worked for where I can say I believe that we really do offer a great service to our members.  I know there have been exceptions to that (the ordeal my friend Scott went through with his credit card comes to mind), but all in all I think we really do give a lot of bang for the banking buck of our members.  On top of that?  We’re not feeling a huge impact from the whole housing market bubble burst.  Why?  We didn’t make sub-prime loans.  We didn’t take advantage of that huge cash cow because we knew it didn’t make sense to loan money to someone who couldn’t realistically repay it.

I know…crazy talk.

So yeah, I’m pretty proud of old Grow Financial this morning.  Compared to the nightmare that was working for my previous employer, it’s a refreshing change.

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