Visible Divers Demystifies “The Cloud”

visible-divers-200gifVisible Divers President Stephen Ellis Demystifies “The Cloud” and Explains Visible Divers’ Security and Privacy Policies

When talking about Visible Divers, stores and manufacturers frequently feel like a fish out of water. We’re not the BCD or regulator they intimately understand. We’re an extremely advanced (and easy) online technology that is designed to strengthen their businesses by reducing effort and improving sales. But because this industry has suffered from a lack of modern technology tools, we often encounter a lack of understanding about online technologies. In fact, some people know so little about these services that they are extremely fearful of the technological unknown. Here are some of the common questions we receive. Hopefully this will help people to understand a little more about online technologies.

Q: What is “The Cloud”?

A: In its simplest terms, it is a set of redundant computers that work together to provide a common service. There is no single “cloud.” There are actually many “clouds” out there, easily counting in the hundreds of thousands. Each company can have one or more cloud services for their customers. “The Cloud” is just another of those industry buzz-words that sounds cool and friendly. The Internet is not “the cloud,” though there are many clouds accessible through the Internet.

Q: Are Clouds safe?

A: It depends on whose cloud we’re talking about. Some companies ignore threats to security and privacy, while others intentionally expose and share information as their standard operating procedure. Computers in a cloud have the same risks of attack as any other, and it’s up to the companies that own them to protect them. Many companies take security very seriously, and they are quite safe. A secure cloud you use frequently is that of your bank.

Q: What’s the advantage of a Cloud?

A: The biggest advantage of a “cloud” setup is the reliability of the service and data. Most cloud services have 99.999% or better uptime, so the service is always available to users. There’s a lot of redundant equipment to ensure constant availability of the service. Another advantage is that you don’t lose your information if your computer crashes.

Q: Is Visible Divers in a cloud?

A: Yes, Visible Divers runs in a privately owned and operated set of redundant servers. Only appropriate Visible Divers staff members have access to these systems for maintenance and upgrades.

Q: Does Visible Divers share any of my information?

A: No. We do not sell, rent, or share any private or confidential information. Period. The only information we share is information that is public knowledge. As an example, any user can view our Global Product Catalog – the world’s largest catalog of official product information in this industry. But we will not publish private information like dealer discounts and pricing of those products. We also share information like Certification Agency names and courses. However, we do not share any non-public information. For example, you can log the certifications you have earned into our system, but that particular information is considered private. You have the option of sharing it, but by default, it is treated as private. Think of us as the opposite of Facebook.

Q: Is Visible Divers safe/secure?

A: Yes. Every communication and connection with Visible Divers technology is secured with encryption 10x stronger than most banks, even our home page. We take security very seriously, and have an excellent industry background in data security to safeguard our users and the data within our systems. We undergo monthly PCI security scans and assessments, and always exceed bank-grade security requirements. We are fully PCI DSS certified, and are happy to show off our certification.

Q: Even Target was hacked. Doesn’t that mean no one is safe?

A: No. Target willfully violated legal security policies, which is how they were vulnerable for attacks. The PCI security policies I mentioned earlier are what they willfully abandoned. Beyond that though, if a company only addresses the minimum security to pass a test, I wouldn’t call them terribly secure. For example, banks use cloud technologies, but when is the last time you heard of a bank being successfully hacked online? Security is as good as those that take it seriously. Visible Divers employs constantly evolving state-of-the-art security measures that go far beyond minimum requirements by law. We’re a little bit nerdy in this regard, but whenever we are evaluated by technical engineers, they are always impressed by the extraordinary measures we take beyond the minimum requirements. When it comes to security, we think it’s better to go all-in.

Q: PCI? Does that mean you store credit card information?

A: No. Unlike Target, we do not store credit card information. We securely pass that encrypted information off to the processing gateways like Authorize.Net and FirstData to transact cards for us. However, because we do business with credit cards, we follow and exceed all PCI DSS policies and procedures.

Q: How can I be sure you’re secure and safe?

A: It would be nice to say you can take our word for it, but you don’t know us yet. So we encourage you to contact us. Check out our security certificates. Evaluate our security and privacy enforcement. Read our Privacy Policy. Contact that super-tech-nerd down the street and have him/her call us too. We’re happy to impress anyone with our extreme take on security. Feel free to contact the dozens of manufacturers that use and endorse us. We’ll even let you talk to some stores that use us (at their discretion). We’re not shy about our security.

Q: The information that Visible Divers has is unprecedented in the industry. Won’t you be tempted to sell it or leverage it against some companies?

A: Aside from the fact that it would be flat-out illegal to do that (there are severe penalties for violating US anti-competition laws), we didn’t build the company for that purpose. Our success comes from being completely neutral. Think of us as a digital Switzerland…the vault itself. We focus on providing technology for businesses to be successful. That is the entire purpose of our company. If we were to go against that, we would be out of business in a day.

If you notice, there are no advertisements on our site. We don’t push any particular brands or products. We won’t engage in exclusive contracts. We won’t even voice any personal bias or recommendations. We will not engage in any activity that compromises our ability to remain completely neutral and beneficial for all of our clients.

Q: Is Visible Divers owned wholly or partially by any company in the SCUBA industry?

A: No. Visible Divers is privately held. To remain the “Switzerland” of the industry, we cannot allow any potential client companies to own shares of the company.

Q: You’re able to keep my customers informed about my store. Do you spam them? Are they now your customers?

A: No. Your customers are yours. They will frequently become users of Visible Divers, but we will never sell products or services to your store’s customers. Our services are always free to consumers/divers.

Our objective is to strengthen Dive Centers, not undermine them. We are the tool to empower your business. Currently, Visible Divers notifies your customers of relevant activities and interactions for your store, but we never spam your customers. Because we do not sell to them, we have no interest in emailing them other than the automated notifications stemming from your store (things like digital delivery of receipts). As with everything else, we treat customer information with the highest regard to privacy and security.

Visible Divers is the ultimate Dive Center Management System. With complete Point of Sale, inventory management, adaptive Purchase Orders, CRM, event scheduling, mobile access and so much more, it is the most advanced, most affordable, and easiest program to run your dive center or company. With features for divers, stores, and manufacturers, its patent-pending technology can be used anywhere in the world on any device (even smart phones), online or offline. Contact us and see why we are endorsed and used by the top manufacturers and stores in the industry.   At only $1.00 for a 30-day trial, can you really afford not to?

For more information:
Visible Divers:

About Gene Muchanski

Executive Director at Dive Industry Association. Board Member at Dive Industry Foundation. Marketing Consultant to the Diving Industry. I have been a certified Scuba Diver since I was 15 years old and have been a passionate waterman for as long as I can remember.
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