Get All Access for $5/mo

The Hard Truth about Preventable Data Privacy Breaches

By Nina Kaufman

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

More 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.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Business News

Jack Dorsey Says It Will Soon Be 'Impossible to Tell' if Deepfakes Are Real: 'Like You're in a Simulation'

Dorsey said we will "not know what is real and what is fake" in the next five to 10 years.

Money & Finance

Avoid These 10 Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make with Money

Despite the challenging statistic that only 5% of startups survive beyond five years, common financial pitfalls often contribute to their failure. Through personal observation, I've identified the prevalent financial mistakes made by entrepreneurs.

Business Ideas

63 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.

Business News

50 Cent Once Sued Taco Bell for $4 Million. Here's How the Fast-Food Giant Got on the Rapper's Bad Side.

The brand suggested that 50 Cent change his name to match its "Why Pay More?" value menu promotion prices. The rapper was not amused.

Business News

Some Car Dealerships Are Selling Cars the Old Fashioned Way Following Massive Cyberattack

CDK software services an estimated 15,000 dealerships in the U.S.

Thought Leaders

The 8 Taylor Swift Strategies Every Tech Leader Should Apply in 2024

From more progressive intellectual property management to breakthrough community engagement, here's what tech entrepreneurs can learn from Taylor Swift.