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Each one of us does it nearly every day, sometimes multiple times a day. We share. We monitor. We post. We pay. From wearable devices that tell us how healthy we are to reconciling bank statements from our Smart Phones, information sharing on the Internet is common every day practice. And according to Cisco, it is helping to drive nearly $65 trillion in global trade.

The way we do business is evolving as it always has, but at a remarkably fast pace. Everyone everywhere seems to be connected 24/7… so what does that mean for your company and for its privacy? Are you levering interconnectivity in a way that both benefits your bottom line and safeguards your company’s information against theft?

According to Mark Magdon, Chief Technology Officer at Site2, the following useful tips can help your company protect their client, employee and vendor information:

  1. Share only what you need to share, with who needs it – social media tools like Twitter and Facebook have made many people comfortable with sharing very personal moments with the whole world. When it comes to work documents, and confidential information, that needs to be shared with only the people who’s job role allows it and who need it to perform their job or project.
  2. Control Access – tools like Drop Box and the iCloud are often used by employees to share information with their clients. The problem is that the accounts for these tools are often owned by the employee.  So if the employee is terminated or voluntarily leaves the company, they leave with accounts that have company information in them. Companies need to adopt policies that restrict their employees from using these accounts. In their place, organizations need to provide information sharing tools through which the company retains access and control over its data in the accounts.
  3. Retention – Companies must retain information only for as long as they are needed. Often copies of information/files remain on personal computers, laptops, and file shares far longer than they are needed – sometimes even after the employee that they belong to has left the company. If necessary, files should be archived for compliance and historical reference purposes. But usually only one copy is needed for these purposes, and access to those files should be made available to only those individuals who have a need to know – not those who inherited someone else’s computer!

The reality is that the more you share, the less privacy you have. As the Internet evolves to include more than iPads and laptops and into assembly lines, parking meters, and transportation, it’s important to remember that vigilance is the best protection small businesses can take against sharing too much.

Interconnectivity provides us efficiencies that we’ve never enjoyed before which opens entrepreneurs and managers up to innovative and unique ways of hiring, producing, paying and connecting. But it can also leave you vulnerable to loss. The Internet is having a never-seen-before impact on everything about your business from infrastructure to security and especially on your IT systems…Are you ready?