Small Business Guide to Identity Theft Prevention and Data Security

Many small-business owners are a little overwhelmed when it comes to computer and network security. Over the last year, we've heard many news stories about data breaches. And yet, it's rare to hear anyone actually talk about what you can do to protect your business and prevent identity theft and data breaches.

That's why we've put together this guide that outlines a series of steps that any small business can take to protect its data.

Why Is Computer and Network Security Important for Small Businesses?

FierceCIO, a computer security firm, found that companies can expect to lose up to 33 percent of their customers after a data breach. Because the effects of data breaches are so drastic, small-business owners need to take steps to prevent data breaches and have a plan in place to minimize the damage if one occurs.

This guide walks you through…

  • Setting up your data security plan.
  • Identifying your cyber risks.
  • Learning federal and state data protection laws.
  • Improving your network security.

What Data Do I Need to Protect?

Let's start with the basics. The first thing you need to understand is that as a small-business owner, you have all kinds of data you need to protect. Any data that contain logins, passwords, addresses, phone numbers, financial / credit card information, and even email addresses needs to be secured. Hackers can use any of this information to try to steal money from your customers or make fraudulent purchases.

What Happens if My Business Is Hacked and Customer Data Is Stolen?

Customer identity theft is a nightmare. Not only can your customers sue you, but your business will also lose sales, suffer damage to its reputation, and incur other losses that can last years. Protecting your data is as much about protecting your customers as it is about shielding your business from devastating costs and burdensome lawsuits that can follow a data breach.

How Do You Prevent Identity Theft at Your Business?

Data protection is complicated and it requires adopting a comprehensive strategy across all levels of your business. We'll break it down step by step in this guide. Use the navigation panel at right to read on.

70% of businesses raise prices or cut hiring when sued