Maryland Small business fraud prevention tips  – 5 quick tips for data storage

Maryland small business owners should read the news.  At least once a week there is a story about some company having its data storage hacked, stolen, lost, or corrupted.  For example, just last year a Maryland lawyer lost a back-up hard drive that contained client medical records.  Local IT companies are actually doing a good job of trying to warn of the perils of improper data storage (take this article by Next Level Technology for example). Additionally, some Maryland small businesses are more susceptible than others and have greater consequences if there is a data storage breach (i.e. medical, law, or retailers with credit card data).  A data loss can mean a financial loss, fraud issues, regulatory issues, loss of client trust, and possibly civil and criminal penalties.  With all the dangers, here are five simple tips Maryland small businesses can do to help ensure safe data storage.

  1. Password lock all computers and hard drives (and encrypt them if necessary).  If a thief steals your computer, all it’s good for is use as a paperweight or doorstop.
  2. Use SpiderOak (our choice) or some other off-site data storage center.  We prefer SpiderOak because the encryption is client-side and you (the client) has the only password.  It runs nicely in the background and is free up to 2 GB.
  3. Don’t use portable hard drives – even if encrypted – see article above.
  4. Scan and shred unused paper documents.
  5. Try true crypt for more stringent security needs.  Even the NSA can’t hack true crypt (if you believe their web site).

Frankly, unless you are in a heavily regulated industry with client data issues, like the law or medicine, encrypted hard drives are probably not necessary.  But the use of simple deterrents to prevent loss to theft or fraud is generally enough to prevent basic data storage losses. Remember, if you find yourself, as the owner of a Maryland small business, in the position of dealing with the aftermath of a data storage breach, be sure to contact your Maryland lawyer.  We have access to forensic computer experts, private investigators, and are Maryland lawyers with experience dealing with the issues that arise from data storage losses.