The internet is ever-present in all of our lives, both in a business and personal sense.
The prevalent use of the internet among consumers almost necessitates its use by small business owners. And why not? It’s a free way of engaging and attracting new consumers, while retaining past customers and encouraging referrals.
Social media has the power to bring in new clients at very little cost to the business. Owning your own website, your places on sites like Google, Bing and Yahoo, creates a space where you can challenge your competitors and make your business known to the virtual world. At the BBB, we can be found on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and of course, through our website and countless claimed pages.
An online presence, as I’ve said before, is crucial to modern business success. However, the more entrenched we become in online business operations, the less privacy we are able to maintain for our business. Cookies and data tracking systems make it nearly impossible to escape the glaring eye of the internet with your business’ privacy still intact.
And yes, while you might feel like hiding at times when you read about Facebook’s face recognition programs or Google’s new tracking system, there are some easy ways to protect your business from being without shelter in our present privacy struggles.
Arm yourself with knowledge. If there is one thing that is pivotal, it’s to be aware of the problem. Stay up to date on recent privacy law news. Knowing that there is a problem with help you attempt to shore up any of the holes in your business’ online confidentiality policies.
Go to battle with a plan. There are several ways that small businesses can fight back against the tyranny of the social media giants. First, adjust your online privacy settings through your browser. You can choose whether or not to allow cookies. Second, consider using an online company that will put in place tools and services that allow companies to decide when and how their information is shared. While a service such as that does come with a price tag, if your business relies on maintaining its privacy, it may be worth it.
So, there should be no more hiding from the internet, and especially no more blindly wading through its pages. Online privacy is an ongoing issue that requires constant attention from small business owners. Walk softly and carry a big knowledge of privacy law and policies, and you can’t go wrong.
For more information about privacy online or assistance in securing your internet presence, contact your BBB online at bbb.org or by phone at 858.637.6199.