Today is a pretty bad day for small businesses with old credit card readers

Today, October 1 2015, is going to be a bad day for small businesses with the old swipe-only credit card readers. 

Effective today, all merchants in the U.S. will be held liable for ANY fraudulent transactions that take place in their business if they are still using the “old” swipe-only credit card readers. 

The shift, called the EMV initiative, mandates all simple-swipe readers need to have been retired or disabled by today, and new card readers that allow for the insertion of chip-embedded cards must be in place instead. No exceptions. 

While big companies like WalMart and Target have had these card readers in place for over a year now, any small business or mom & pop shop that missed the memo from their credit card processors are in for a devastating surprise the next time they contest a false charge or are hit with a massive chargeback from their credit card processing company.

If you see any small businesses with the old swipe-only readers, or if you know anyone running a small business with a swipe-only card reader, tell them to talk to their credit card processing company ASAP to get an upgrade to a chip-reading card reader. They are much more expensive than the plain swipe-only versions, but the liability risk is now FAR too high to ignore.

You can also send them the discussion about the EMV initiative, the terminal types now required, the liability shift concern, and how big a pain this has been to adopt.

Check your Google music page for half off any album $15 or less

I just signed in to check my Google music account page and saw a surprise banner ad saying “for a limited time only, get 50% off the current store price of any music album priced $15 or less… only users who receive this offer in their Google Play account are eligible.”

Sure enough, clicking on any album that’s marked $15 or less showed up half off!

My bank account is about to cry a little bit.

Where to find your BitLocker key for Windows 10 or Surface pro

Hopefully you will never ever need to know this, but in case you ever have to re-format or “refresh” your Windows 10 and/or Surface Pro device, you’re going to need to know where to find the BitLocker key for your device.

To find your BitLocker key, just go to…

Log in with the SAME Microsoft ID you used for your Windows 10 or Surface Pro device. In a few moments, a list of all your BitLocker recovery keys will show up. Choose the BitLocker key that corresponds with the hardware you are repairing and you’re set.

Unfortunately, if you are ever asked for your BitLocker key, it means you’re in the process of restoring the former Windows 10 or Surface Pro device from zero, so you won’t be able to copy and paste the BitLocker key directly – you will have to type in the 48 character code manually across devices.