Small businesses are probably more likely to fall foul of legislation or malicious intent as they do not have the resources or specialist knowledge that larger corporations can draw on. Entrepreneurs are also more vulnerable because if something goes wrong it is probably more likely to fatally wound the company.
Legal compliance topics that business owners need to keep on top of include:
- Data protection – Data protection is a set of laws, regulations and best practice directing the collection and use of personal data about individuals.
- Information security – practice of defending a range of information from unauthorised access, use, modification or disruption.
- The new report from BITC highlights that 40% of small businesses have not undertaken any cyber security action in the last 12 months, with around a third having no strategy in place to cope with the impact of a cyber-attack. Click here for a quick quiz to focus the mind – https://www.bitc.org.uk/toolkit/would-you-be-ready-guide-for-small-businesses/
- To prevent virus’ and malware getting into your systems, set your PC or laptop to virus check daily…and check from time to time that it is actually doing the scans.
- Schedule a backup for your PC or laptop daily to a cloud storage system (OneNote, DropBox, iDrive, etc) or an external drive which is not permanently connected to the device.
- Most businesses will hold personal data so will need to register at the ICO. There is a great self assessment tool here for small businesses – https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/resources-and-support/data-protection-self-assessment/assessment-for-small-business-owners-and-sole-traders/
- Keep up to date with the latest scams – they are becoming increasingly hard to tell from reality. It’s important that you, your staff or anyone who helps you with your business understands the risks so they can spot them before it is too late. You can check recent scams on Action Fraud’s website – https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/news , and common financial scams on the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) website – https://www.fca.org.uk/consumers/protect-yourself-scams .
- Clearly and easily let people unsubscribe from your communications. Be diligent with ‘unsubscribes’ and respect their wishes. Be sure to update ALL lists in MailChimp where the unsubsciber might be, for example. It won’t seek them out across all lists for you.
Hopefully, by following these tips you will protect your precious small business in which you have invested so much energy and resources.
PLEASE NOTE: I AM NOT A LEGAL EXPERT BUT DO HAVE SOME INSIGHTS INTO LEGAL COMPLIANCE WHICH I AM HAPPY TO SHARE. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS CHECK WITH A LEGAL EXPERT FOR FULL GUIDANCE OR IF YOU ARE UNSURE.