Security solutions: Protect privacy with diligence

| Print |  Email
Monday, January 01, 2007

Today, more than ever before, small-business owners nationwide are clamoring to reclaim a measure of privacy in their business and personal lives. Some of the same technology that has been so liberating for small business — putting entrepreneurs on the same plane with much larger companies — has also put business owner privacy at greater risk.

And with big companies focusing more and more on the small-business market, business owners are starting to react. “Small-business owners have gone from being largely ignored by the Fortune 500 to being the belle of the ball,” says John Warrillow, whose firm Warrillow & Co. advises big business on how to reach the small-business market.

“They’re getting pitched constantly and now place a higher premium on their privacy than ever before.”

Respect for privacy is now the No. 2 reason among 60 “drivers” that spur business owners to select a vendor themselves or recommend one to fellow entrepreneurs. The only thing more important was easy-to-use products or services. But opening yourself to excessive sales pitches is only one of many privacy concerns small-business owners have. Many see the Web as a powerful resource but fear ordering or requesting information there because it will only lead to more sales calls or emails. And fear of fraud or identity theft due to availability of business information is also widespread.

So what can you do as a business owner to protect yourself, your business and your privacy? Lots, actually.

Here are three keys to small-business privacy protection:

  1. Make your domain registrations private. When you register a domain name on the Internet, you’ll be asked to provide details such as your business name, address, phone number, e-mail contact and other details. That information goes into a massive database and is often a reason your e-mail address winds up on some spammer’s list. Most domain registrars, such as GoDaddy, Network Solutions and others, let you protect your information with “private registration” services that mask your identity. It costs a small annual fee but is well worth it.

  2. Know your privacy rights. Start with guarding your Social Security number (SSN) more closely. When dealing with government or banking matters, you SSN may be required. But while many businesses request your SSN, you are not legally required to provide it unless it involves an IRS notification of some kind. Whenever possible, use your business Employer Identification Number (EIN) instead.

  3. Fight back against telemarketers, spam and other unwanted and intrusive ads. When you do get a call, don’t just hang up. Ask who the caller represents and request that your name be place on their internal do-not-call list. Federal and state laws allow you to take legal action against telemarketers who do not add your number to their internal do-not-call list and who call you back within 12 months of requesting to be placed on that list.


— Daniel Kehrer, editor
www.business.com
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 

More Articles

Cache and Curry

March 2015
Monday, February 23, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Power Lunch at Swagat in Hillsboro.


Read more...

Editor's Letter: Tortoise and the Hare

February 2015
Monday, January 26, 2015

The day after this issue goes to press, the city of Medford will host its annual business conference. The event features Minoli Ratnatunga, co-author of the Milken Institute’s annual “Best-Performing Cities” report. Preliminary data suggests that Medford is likely to retain its No. 1 ranking among best-performing small cities for having a higher concentration of high-tech firms than the national average. 


Read more...

5 companies react to lower fuel prices

The Latest
Thursday, January 15, 2015
thumb-shutterstock 233787049BY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Consumers love the savings they get from low oil prices, but how has business been affected?


Read more...

That's Not a Watch (This Is a Watch)

February 2015
Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Smartwatches are all the rage. But old-fashioned timepieces keep on ticking.


Read more...

The Carbon Calculus

February 2015
Friday, January 23, 2015
BY KIM MOORE | OB RESEARCH EDITOR

Carbon pricing is gaining momentum in Oregon, sparking concern for energy-intensive businesses — but also opportunity to expand a homespun green economy.


Read more...

Tweeting Portland's State of the City address

News
Friday, January 30, 2015
Screen Shot 2015-01-30 at 3.08.19 PMBY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

For those who were working, here are a few highlights of Charlie Hales' State of the City address.


Read more...

6 chiefs of staff dish on their bosses

The Latest
Thursday, February 05, 2015
legilistiblog-thumbBY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

We ask chiefs of staff for the scoop on Oregon legislators.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS