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Do You Own a Business? You Could Be At Risk!

Identity theft is rampant and it looks like it’s getting even worse every year. According to Javelin Strategies, a prominent research firm that often reports on identity theft, identity theft crime increased by 11% from 2008 to 2009 affecting the lives of 11 million Americans. If these numbers prove to be a pattern, 1 in every 20 Americans risks being a victim this year.

Think those statistics are bad? Well the odds are even worse if you are a small business owner. Research agencies have found that small businesses tend to be very active on the Internet. They are constantly working on getting their website to rank better in the search engines. They are actively blogging. They sell products on their website. They are managing their reputation on social media sites. And they are even buying things themselves. The more Internet activity a small business produces, the larger the target they are to be scammed or be victims of identity theft. Small business owners tend to complete a large number of financial transactions over the Internet, often using their personal accounts and home address to aid in processing these transactions. They don’t often have the legal protection or business structure that larger companies have, so they are essentially sitting ducks for thieves and hackers.

Whether your odds are 1 in 20 or 1 in 4 of becoming an identity theft victim this year, those are very high odds; high enough that they should encourage you to act. You don’t need to live in paranoia that something horrible is going to go wrong. If you do your part to set up proper security measures, you are diminishing the target on your chest. Hackers love to go after the low hanging fruit—the sites easiest to hack. So by making it more difficult for hackers to get through your defenses, they will likely move on and find an easier victim to hack.

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