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Data Security 101: A Guide for Small Businesses

Data Security 101: A Guide for Small Businesses
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Being a small-business owner means you have to wear many hats. It may require you to be an expert accountant, skilled salesperson, and an IT guru. But when you started your business, you may not have predicted that you’d need to be a security expert as well.

But as a small business, you likely collect sensitive customer information, and you’re responsible for ensuring that it’s protected from those who want to steal it. Thankfully, the Federal Trade Commission put together a few steps small businesses can take to make sure their data (and thus, their liability) is safe.

  1. Take Stock. Evaluate what personal information you’re collecting and storing both in your files and on your computers.
  2. Scale Down. Only collect the information that’s absolutely necessary to conduct your business. You’re liable for every piece of personally identifiable information you collect, so collecting less can reduce your risk.
  3. Lock it. Be sure your Webroot SecureAnywhere Small Business AntiVirus software is installed on every device, and be sure you have physical security measures in place to protection any paper files and network devices.
  4. Pitch it. Don’t keep information you don’t need. Be sure to shred any physical information, and enlist the help of software that can help you securely wipe any digital files.
  5. Plan ahead. Every small business needs to know exactly how they’ll react if a data breach occurs. Webroot has some tips on the first 5 steps you should take following a data breach, and the FTC has more information as well.
Clearly, each of these steps require diligence, research, and proactivity to ensure files are secure, but securing your data is worth the time and energy it requires. For more details on each of the steps above, you can visit the FTC website.

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