Identity Theft Threatens Every Small Business

Identity theft has become one of the fastest growing crimes in the United States. Estimates from Javelin Strategy & Research 2012 12.6 million people had their identities stolen in 2012..

Now identity thieves are taking on a new target. The target has more money, is easier to steal larger sums of money and the theft may not be noticed for quite some time. Who is the new target? Small and mid-sized businesses!

A study conducted by the Ponemon Institute found that the number of cybercrime incidents reported increased by 56 percent and the average cost to a mid-sized business now totals $6 million. Included in that estimate is the “direct, indirect, and opportunity costs that resulted from the loss of theft of information, disruption to business operations, revenue loss, and destruction of property, plant and equipment.”

The study goes on to say the time needed to respond to a cyberattack on mid-sized businesses increased from 14 days to 18 days, and the daily cost of responding to cyberattacks has increased from $17,600 to $23,000. Resolving the consequences of a data breach is costly, on average $416,000.

A recent Javelin Strategy & Research Study found that although identity fraud among small businesses had decreased since 2008, they still it at a rate of 4.1 percent in 2010, compared with 3.5 percent of consumers.

Only one in 700 identity thieves ever get caught. Relative to other crimes, identity theft is a low risk and high reward crime. Many identity thieves have turned their attention to small businesses since small business identity theft offers even higher rewards. Philip J. Bland, Javelin’s marketing director states that, “Overall there’s about $8 billion lost in this particular small business market.

The problem is so big the National Association of Secretaries of State formed a Business Identity Theft Task Force to deal with this issue. They recently met in Atlanta, Georgia to discuss small business identity theft prevention strategies and explore safeguards for state business filing systems.

Identity thieves and cybercriminals have moved from larger businesses to small businesses because they don’t have the sophisticated computer network protections, or ability to monitor for criminal activity like larger businesses and corporations. They know small businesses aren’t as aware of the problem or willing to proactively protect their information like larger businesses because the of the added expense.

At risk are their bank accounts, credit card information, and customer and employee information.

Small businesses must take proactive steps to protect against identity theft or risk going out of business from just one incident. They can’t wait or count on government agencies to guard against small business identity theft.

To prevent identity theft, businesses of every size must monitor their bank accounts and credit cards on a daily basis, monitor their Duns File and credit reports looking for unusual activity, and check their state business registration for unauthorized changes.

It is an unfortunate fact; you can’t stop or prevent identity theft. All you can do is catch the breach as quickly as possible and limit the impact on your business. Proactive monitoring efforts now could save your business in the future.

What is the Best New Small Business to Start? The Top 4 Small Business Industries to Check Out!

Running a small business is an exciting proposition for many people, but not every small business has what it takes to truly succeed. So what is the best new small business to start? Well there are a few specific industries and business types which seem to move forward and prosper better than others so here is a list of some of the top small business industries you may want to look at and why they are so successful!

The Top 4 Small Businesses to Start:

1- Freelancing: One thing to take a look at when looking at what is the best new small business to start is the idea of freelancing and offering your professional business services such as writing to various clients. You could become a ghost writer and write articles or blogs, create websites, or do other various online marketing services to help other businesses to promote themselves more effectively. Just be sure that you have been trained properly in this area by enrolling in an Online Marketing School that specializes in teaching Internet marketing techniques such as article marketing, video marketing, blogging, social media networking and so on.

2- Travel: Another exciting small business opportunity you may want to consider when asking what is the best new small business to start is in the travel industry. The best way to do this is to pair up with an online travel company that provides travel packages that you can give out in unlimited supply as incentives for clients or as a joint venture with other business endeavors.

3- Affiliate Marketing: This is a clever internet-based method of earning an income by promoting a website or service and then earning a referral bonus for each person who in turn also joins the site or purchases the service offered. For instance, an Online Marketing school may choose to reward their students for bringing in new students to enroll and become mentored as well. You can get paid in this way for doing something you probably would have already done; suggesting something for someone to try!

4- Online Marketing: If you are really wondering what is the best new small business to start, then you have to look online! Arguably, the most popular and effective of all the small business industries is with the Online Marketing Industry. As you have probably noticed we are in the middle of a full-fledged age of technology and information. The internet has intertwined itself into the very fabric of our lives in so many ways: shopping, email and communication, social networking, business and advertising. So if you are looking to start a small business, whether it be a traditional brick and mortar business, or one that you run from home you will have to learn how to market online in order to really ensure that people will know about your business and be able to find your website to purchase your products or services.

Starting your own small business is a great way to set out on the road to financial freedom, you just have to be sure to choose the right industry and be sure to have the most effective online marketing campaigns in place.

So, What is the Best New Small Business to Start?

In my opinion, a business run online is the smartest way to reach the widest audience and market possible. The financial possibilities are staggering and the potential for growth and global branding and awareness are truly enticing for any entrepreneur, you just have to be firm in your dedication and diligence to see your vision through to fruition!

Understanding Legal Issues Associated With Small Businesses

A sound knowledge of legal issues associated with small businesses is essential for the smooth operation of the any kind of small business. However, compliance of all these rules and regulations can be troublesome for the small businesses. Knowing this problem of the small businesses, and to provide help in this regard, the SBA has developed a website along with multiple federal agencies. Name URL of this website is BusinessLaw.gov. This website is an easy online resource for the small businesses to get the information about the legal issues associated with small businesses.

Legal Issues Affect Every Aspect of the Business:

When you plan any type of strategy for the growth and better management of your business, legal issues associated with small business affects almost all the aspects related with the business. Website is capable of providing information on all kinds of aspects right from basic issues up to highly specialized matters. You can get help on basic issues such as how to choose the structure of new business or how to hire a lawyer. On the other hand, you can also get information on specific issues such as exporting and e-commerce. Any information that affects the small business whether it is related with federal, local or state regulations is available on this site. It makes your job of finding the zoning codes easier and makes possible complaining to the office of the ombudsman.

Unawareness Can Lead to the Failure:

Not being aware about the legal issues associated with small business is the reason of failure of several small businesses. Not seeking the legal help at the development stage of any new small business can be fatal for the survival of the business. To run your business smoothly you should try to learn as much as possible about the legal issues associated with small businesses.

How to Choose the Structure:

The structure of the company is the first question that comes to the mind of the person who is going to start a new business. You should not take this decision in haste because the implications can be far reaching. It will be better to ask an expert attorney and get the advice on what type of business structure is most suitable to you. Before taking this decision, make up your mind about the nature and size of your business in future. Other factors to consider are the level of control you want on the business, level of structure you are comfortable to deal with, implications of different structure on taxation, vulnerability to lawsuits and profit you expect from the new business.

When you select legal counsel for dealing with the legal issues associated with small businesses, make sure that the staff attorneys of the firm you are going to hire have received their degrees from the accredited institutions. The firm should be equipped with enough knowledge and experience on how to solve the legal problems of the small businesses particularly.