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How Small Business Owners Can Guard Against Online Security Threats The question: As a small-business owner, how can I protect my business from looming online security threats?

By Dan O'Shea

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The entrepreneurial adventure often starts with a single employee running a home-based operation, with no IT staff and little time to stay aware of Internet security threats. But those threats are not going to wait around for a new business to find its footing before striking. Especially these days, as more small businesses realize the productivity benefits of mobile technology and the promotional power of social media, they are treading on very active breeding grounds for viruses and worms. (Ewww.)

That means entrepreneurs need to at least take some baseline, practical steps to securing any IT devices. "For the smallest entrepreneurial businesses, the biggest thing they can do is install anti-virus and malware software on all their computers and servers," says Jeff Horne, director of threat research at Broomfield, Colo.-based Internet security software company Webroot. "You would be amazed how many businesspeople put the anti-virus software on their workstations but not on their servers, where file-sharing viruses still have an impact."

Mobile viruses, meanwhile, tend to steal personal information, Horne says, so change passwords frequently and lock your phone (and store those, uh, compromising photos elsewhere).

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