What’s The Most Underrated Obstacle Small Business Face?

Imagine this for a minute: you come into work, boot up your computer, and find the whole thing blank.  You’re clicking through where your files used to be and there’s nothing.  Scary, right?  If you have a small business, you know that data is king, so it probably freaks you out to hear statistics like the ones in this report, which show that nearly half of small businesses have suffered some sort of data loss.  Luckily, there are simple steps you can take to make sure yours stays at home where it belongs.  SimpliSafe Home Security put together this simple list of data security tips, so that you’re never faced with an empty folder.

Back It Up

Lots of things can mess with your data, from hardware failure to viruses to your coworker shooting a Nerf dart at you at the exact wrong moment, causing your finger to slip and press “delete.”  The solution?  Back it up, and then back it up some more.  There are tons of ways to copy and store your data.  Choose one you like and get to it.  Better yet, choose a few — redundancy can help you cover the bases, and certain solutions that help you out in some situations are bad for others (for example, external hard drives are a one-time cost and can’t be hacked remotely, but have limited storage space and mobility; online cloud storage lets you access your files anywhere, but might be more costly).  No matter how you do it, automate your backups so that you don’t have to worry about them!

Don’t Be A Hack

What’s worse than your data getting lost?  Your data getting kidnapped.  According to the FBI, “US businesses lose $67.2 billion annually due to computer-related crime.”   A good internet security setup protects against passive attacks by malware (which steals passwords, account numbers, or other information after you log into a website or open an email) and more active, targeted hacks. Depending on your business’s needs, you may want to set up a firewall, a Virtual Private Network, and/or a way to monitor company email content and web traffic.  Finally, the House Committee on Small Businesses recently recommended data encryption as a final layer of protection — that way even if your data ends up in front of the wrong eyes, they won’t be able to read it.

Remember Your Real Windows

So your online files are safe from accidents and internet thieves.  But don’t sit back just yet!  Even in these cyberspacey days, old-fashioned criminals are still prowling around in the physical world.  All the time you spent filling up that external hard drive is wasted if a burglar nabs it, and you’ll feel pretty dumb if you scan and encrypt a bunch of confidential files and then the originals get nabbed from the cabinet next to your desk.  Whether you work from home or in an office, a security system is a must for any small business.  And as wireless, cellular, and no-contract security systems become more and more popular, ensuring your business’s physical security can be just as high-tech, remotely manageable, and low-cost as online protection is.

This guest post was written by Cara Giaimo, a blogger for SimpliSafe.  Cara covers issues regarding home security, safety, consumer technology, and crime; in her spare time, she likes running, jamming with friends, and making strange types of ice cream.  SimpliSafe is a leader in the wireless home security field.

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