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The Hard Truth about Preventable Data Privacy Breaches

security-breach-protect.jpgMore and more states have enacted legislation concerning data breaches . . . but the rogue hacker is not the only way small businesses gets breached.

It's tempting to think that firewalls are the only security protection your computer data needs. But increasingly, data gets into the wrong hands for more prosaic reasons. It's not the lone hacker, toiling away through lines of code in a basement, or the foreign virus that gets uploaded through an attachment--although vigilance is needed there, too.

As Google Apps' Jonathan Rochell discussed at Small Business Technology's recent Taste of Technology Small Business Series, data and privacy breaches occur, quite simply, because we lose things. Drop things. Leave things on the seat next to us in the bus, the taxi, at the doctor's office. Small things, like a smartphone (which, the slimmer it gets, the less it weighs) or a USB flash drive (which can now hold multiple gigabytes of data).

So sure, be concerned about the "cloud" and your computer network. But also be sure to keep track of how and where you transport data away from your main computer terminal. Consider encrypting you data and password protecting your devices. At Gotham Media Venture's Digital Breakfast presentation on "Privacy, Information, and Security in s Digital World," panelists told the audience that some of the most common passwords were pathetically easy to hack: 1234, for example. Or your dog's name (which you have prominently displayed on your Facebook profile). Don't make your data easy to breach for the next guy. Because once it's breached, by law, you may have to notify all your clients, which won't do much to foster their trust in you.

What precautions have you taken to make sure your data isn't breached?

Nina L. Kaufman, Esq. is an award-winning New York City attorney, edutainer and author. Under her Ask The Business Lawyer brand, she reaches thousands of entrepreneurs and small business owners with her legal services, professional speaking, information products, and LexAppeal weekly ezine. She also writes the Making It Legal blog.

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