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The Resource Center Identity Theft & Protection | article

Why Identity Thieves Target Small Business Owners

National Entrepreneurship Week takes honors the hard-working spirit that has helped some of the biggest companies in the country grow from humble beginnings. Every business has to start somewhere, and it's no easy feat creating a small business from scratch and eventually turning it into a successful enterprise, hopefully even making a profit.

If you are starting your own small business, chances are you are taking a risk with your own savings as well as that of investors, and if the venture doesn't take off, you could potentially lose it all. However, there are some ways that companies fail that have nothing to do with a bad idea for a product or a poor economy. In many cases, identity thieves take advantage of small businesses for personal gain, and at the expense of the entrepreneur who had the bravery to get the company off the ground in the first place.

Poor cyber-security can take its toll
One reason identity thieves target small businesses is because they generally tend to lack the security precautions that are in place at larger, more established corporations. Whether it's insufficient funds to purchase software that could help protect a company's sensitive documents, such as personnel information that contains employee Social Security numbers, or simply a lack of experience, many small businesses find themselves ill-prepared to battle identity theft.

There is a lot at stake if the company's hard drive is compromised
If a thief is able to hack onto the hard drive of a small business, they could potentially access not only the personal information of those employed by the enterprise, but they may even find information that will lead them to the company's finances. Should a hacker access the venture's financial information, they could drain bank accounts or even open up new lines of credit using the business's name. This could result in limiting the availability of potential lending, starving the enterprise of vital start-up funding.

In order to protect their brand, entrepreneurs should make sure that they use top-of-the-line virus protection software on their computers, and update it often. All computers at the company should be password protected as well, and security updates should be installed constantly to ensure the best available safety measures are in place. An identity monitoring service can also let entrepreneurs know if certain activity is taking place in their name, or help keep an eye on finances.