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Are you at risk?

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What small business owners can learn from LinkedIn's security data disaster.

Washington Post | June 15, 2012

Small businesses live and die by the quality of their contacts – specifically, the degree to which they care for and build trust with the customer, vendor and community networks that make them profitable.

This special “link” makes Wednesday’s social networking data breach particularly troubling to small businesses. After the leakage of a combined 8 million LinkedIn and eHarmony passwords, business owners are rightfully wary of the fallout. The greatest risks: phishing, extortion, and ultimately fraud or identity theft.

According to Javelin Strategy & Research, small businesses experience fraud 50 percent more often than individuals. So, not only are businesses more dependent on tools like LinkedIn for success, they are also more likely to be targeted by fraudsters using data like that exposed this week. Take it from someone who has been there – exposing sensitive business information can destroy everything you’ve built.

My identity was stolen through my business and used to commit numerous crimes, including embezzling nearly $300,000 from my clients. The thief operated using my identity, so I was held legally and financially responsible for his actions. Before I had the fortune and experience to write and speak professionally on this topic, I spent two years of my life just fighting to stay out of jail for crimes I did not commit. I lost my small business and aim to keep the same from happening to you.

Fortunately, there are simple tips to get you started on protection, but you must act quickly. Waiting to take action could threaten your firms’s survival and may have untold consequences.

Foe the four tips, click here.

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