Photo by CC user http://nyphotographic.com/ and http://www.thebluediamondgallery.com/
What scares you as a business owner?
There are a number of issues and problems that can crop up on an almost regular basis for those running their own companies.
Some of the more common ones include matters such as slow economic times, difficulties with vendors, an employee or two who are simply not working out, budgetary issues when you need to spend more on sales and marketing etc.
One issue that likely does not receive the attention it should is battling identity theft.
In a day and age where identity theft thieves can strike at a moment’s notice, is your business truly prepared to fight off such attacks?
Don’t Take Internet Security for Granted
For your business to keep identity theft thieves at an arm’s length from both you and your customers, make sure you are practicing the following:
- Server security – Do you totally trust your server provider? Do you feel like they are doing everything possible to give you the most secure server? Do you think there are better options out there for you and your business? If any of these questions keep you thinking too much, ease your fears and address them. Your server’s security is the main locked door to keep identity theft thieves and their ilk away from you and your customers;
- Employee smarts – Stop for a moment and think about your home computer setup. You more than likely have protection in placer to ward off identity theft culprits, so shouldn’t you have the same amount of computer security for your digital life in the office too? Along with such protection goes using commonsense when on the Internet. Yes, you likely practice it, but are all your workers doing the same? If not, it just takes one lapse in judgment by an employee to open the online door to trouble. For each and every employee that you hire, make sure you instruct them on the do’s and don’ts when online at work. Employees should never share customer and/or company data online. Even in the workplace, they should not be passing such details around with one another, unless of course it is strictly for business purposes. Finally, don’t assume that one or more employees couldn’t turn on you at a moment’s notice. While it doesn’t happen in mass numbers, there are well-documented cases of employees actually being the identity theft thieves themselves, be they current or former workers. Anytime an employee leaves your place of business (takes another job, layoff, fired etc.), be sure to remove their log-in information at once. As for those employees you might have who are independent contractors, giving them administrative access at times to complete certain job functions is fine, but make sure they know the rules of the game when it comes to customer and company data;
- Social media without being too social – Finally, your business all but needs to have a regular presence on social networking sites. In doing so, your brand exposes itself to millions and millions of eyes (hopefully if you’re on top of your social game) on a regular basis. As part of this, it is important to know that some of those eyes watching your social posts do not have your best thoughts in mind. Just as you likely wouldn’t leave a large sum of cash sitting around for people to snatch, the same holds true for leaving too much personal company and/or customer data on social sites. If you are using social media on a regular basis, it is even more imperative that you have trusted anti-virus software protection in place. Identity theft thieves can take what you thought was a worthwhile trip on social media and turn it into a financial nightmare for you and your brand.
Just as your home computer/s need 100 percent protection, the same holds true for those machines in your business.
Remember, technology is ever-changing, so staying a step or two ahead of online criminals should always be a top priority as a business owner.
If that isn’t of major importance to you, your business and your wallet could end up suffering when all is said and done.