Stealing company information used to be the specialty of spies
and conspirators. It was something that only happened to the most
powerful of corporations and branches of government.
Nowadays, stealing data is commonplace and anyone can become a
victim at any time. The person standing in line behind you might
be running a profitable side business stealing other peoples???
sensitive data. The reality is, however, that ???inside??? jobs are
the most common when discussing business data theft.
Instead of looking through the crowds trying to pick out the law
breakers, and instead of spending boatloads of money conducting
thorough background checks on all those whom you encounter in
your business, it???s easier to simply protect your data from
prying eyes and malicious intentions.
Easier, yes. But protecting company data isn???t something that
many small business owners do. Into their computer programs they
input their products and pricing, their vendors, their EINs and
TINs, their checking account numbers, email addresses of family
members, their proprietary information, their marketing plans and
formulas ??" everything goes into the computer.
What???s worse is when a business owner stores this type of
information on a laptop computer, an item especially vulnerable
to theft. Someone stealing laptops probably could care less about
the information that is stored on them, but why take that risk.
If you???re going to protect your sensitive company data, it???s all
And protecting data is definitely your responsibility if you are
an accountant or you specialize in other types of financial
businesses. Your clients assume you are protecting their
financial documents and their other sensitive records. But are
you? Kudos to you, if you are. If you are not, you better take
this issue seriously right now, before the damage occurs.
The best way to protect data is by using encryption software.
Encryption means making data unreadable to everybody except those
who know or understand the key or the code. When data is
encrypted, it is far more secure than it is if just protected
using a password.
Passwords that are required to login to a program are considered
authentication methods, where the identity of the person logging
in is simply authenticated, or verified. But passwords are easy
to figure out and anyone capable of figuring out passwords will
still have access to the data contained within.
So for data to truly be protected, you???ve got to go the extra
step and encrypt it. There are many encryption programs available
today. The most sophisticated of those protect our nation???s
But for the small business owner, who has minimal understanding
of encryption methodologies or terminology, and wants it to stay
this way, ease of use is what???s important.
Behind the scenes, all encryption software uses an algorithm or
some other complex mathematical processes to scramble the data.
Keys or strings of binary numbers (bits) are created and are what
is used to mix up the data. The binary numbers and the data mix
together and the result are data that is unreadable.
When more binary numbers are used, more encryption combinations
are possible. Therefore, longer strings (more binary numbers or
bits) are preferred when encrypting because this makes the code
even more difficult to break. So it makes sense that 128-bit
encryption software is more secure than 56-bit encryption
Data that is encrypted is safe from prying eyes which means that
your business data is safe. To view data that has been encrypted,
it must be decrypted.
Whether you need to protect your e-commerce website, your email,
your business data or that of your clients, be sure you use
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