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Five Simple Ways To Protect Your Business

Fourty-five percent of over 1,000 small businesses surveyed reported data loss, with an average data recovery fee of $9,000, according to a Spiceworks-Carbonite survey. Data loss and other business crises will happen, but your small businesses can weather the storm by planning ahead. Use simple techniques to prevent data loss that don’t need to cost a lot.

Success in business.1. Protect Your Product with USPTO.gov

USPTO.gov, the Web site of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, can help your business with patents and trademarks. Search its database for similar trademarks, read basic facts about patents and trademarks and get help completing paperwork or filing fees at USPTO.gov. Without a trademark, your business, product or service may be at risk of direct competition if a competitor tries to steal your idea. This could slash your revenue in half, as it did for one of Matthew Swyers clients profiled in CNN Money.

2. Protect Business data with a double backup

Don’t let data loss or corruption take down your small business. Adopt a two-pronged approach of backing up data in-house using external hard drives and keeping an external cloud-based backup. This way, you have built-in redundancy should your external hard drive break, your office burn down in a fire or your cloud vendor’s data center lose internet access. For internal backup, schedule regular, automated backups to an external hard drive. For cloud-based backup, SBA.gov recommends Dropbox, Carbonite, Amazon S3 or Mozy.

3. Tackle BYOD — and Business data loss — with BlackBerry

Bring Your Own Device or BYOD can be an attractive and convenient money-saving method for small businesses. If you do require (or allow) your staff to bring their own laptop, tablet or smartphone, one option is to use BlackBerry’s Mobility Management tool to view, update and manage all iPhones, Android and BlackBerry phones on your network. If a user’s phone is stolen, remotely wipe sensitive business data from the device. With Blackberry and enterprise mobility, your business can save money and protect business data.

4. Stay Safe from Cybercrime with Software

Nearly 50 percent of the 621 data breaches reported in 2012 occurred at businesses with under 1000 employees, according to the Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report. Businesses with fewer than 250 employees experienced nearly one-third of such cybercrime. To protect your business data from hackers, secure your wireless network and set up a firewall, which parses data packets for security. Run a combined antivirus-spyware-malware software on every office computer.

5. Solve Financial Problems with Accounting Software

As a small business owner, you are expected to keep the business books or hire an accountant. When you can’t afford to do the latter, give yourself a leg up with accounting software. PCWorld recommends Acclivity AccountEdge Pro (which retails for $299), Intuit QuickBooks Premier (which retails for $230) or Sage 50 Complete accounting (which retails for $369). Acclivity offers a payroll service and allows you to license multiple users. Intuit QuickBooks offers a comprehensive basic package for users without accounting skills and add-ons that appeal to those with more knowledge. The Sage offers inventory management and a range of customization that those with some accounting knowledge will appreciate.


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