Did the Centrum Café call a customer a hacker & data criminal

I have no way of confirming the story I read earlier this evening. Of course I was not present when these events took place. But I can tell you that it makes me think twice about doing business with this cafe. It also makes me glad I’ve never dined in or used our laptop at their business. Interesting how even though the employee was told the person was a writer there was no concern about negative publicity. Shows how clueless business owners and employees are about how the Internet can effect your brand name and sometimes your employment. While any company has the right to refuse business. These matters should always be handled with the utmost care.

If the employee had solid evidence that a customer was stealing company records by electronic means. You would think one of the first things that person would do is contact the police before confronting the customer. I have a feeling that maybe the employee had just seen a certain face one to many times and felt they had overstayed their welcome. However it’s not unusual for people to sit at a restaurant or cafe that offers free Internet for long periods of time. Sometimes a polite comment is needed to let these people know they are in a place of business. Meaning buy more product or move on down the road for a bit.

Maybe since it was close to closing time the employee was just trying to discourage what they felt was late night loitering. No matter what may have caused the altercation. The way things were handled definitely wasn’t right. This is also a very good way to lose customers. After reading how this person was treated at the Centrum Café it makes me want to not do business with them. While we have never had any issues when making purchases from them. I wouldn’t want to take a chance on being the next person to be on the receiving end of an outburst.

To me it looks as if some serious allegations where being made. It interest me that no further actions where taken if the employee was being honest with the accusations. Accusing someone of stealing business data is very serious. You shouldn’t use this as a way to discourage an unwanted customer. Especially when there is a good chance their side of the story could end up being written online and having an effect on your bottom line. From what I have seen in the past other than soccer moms and couples. Young laptop users seem to give the Centrum Café business. While they may not buy as much as the business would like. These types of customers are normally well aware of how to speak their mind when they want to. It would be interesting to hear the other side of this story. Was there a legitimate reason for the confrontation? Did the business have solid evidence that a crime had been committed? If so it doesn’t seem as if that was presented to the customer or solid enough to make a call to the police.

This a good example of why you should take laptop security seriously. Your data can be easily intercepted when using an open wireless network. At the very least you should be running a software firewall and antivirus. Especially when you are using a public network of any type.

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Matthew Ryan (matthew_ryan) on Twitter

Centrum Café

CentrumCafe (CentrumCafe) on Twitter

Twitter / Iggy: Did you contact the Centrum Café on Twitter or elsewhere for an explanation or comment on events?

Here is a quote from a comment on the customers website.

“Mathew, since you are running your login account with full admin rights (a major security no no) is it possible your computer has some sort of malicious software?”

While that statement is partially true. We all know there are various reasons using the other available account types is a major pain. Security advice has always been to use a non administrator account. Honestly I have never followed this advice. With a good antivirus that is updated on a daily basis and with a software firewall product the need to run in a limited account is greatly reduced. If an infection had occurred both products would in different ways alert you to the fact that your machine had been compromised. So if the customer’s machine had been taken over by malicious software the problem is with the security setup of that machine. It would be easy to determine if the machine was infected and causing the unwanted activity on the network. Either way the situation was not handled properly by the cafe. This is a serious allegation and proper analysis should have been undertaken before any accusations were made.