Small businesses have to remember their Twitter accounts could be targeted by hackers, Deanne Katz writes. She emphasizes the need for secure passwords, malware protection and to avoid clicking on shortened links.
It's getting tough for small businesses to stay safe online, writes Daniel Kehrer. Fortunately, a few simple steps can make a big difference, such as using complex passwords, installing a network firewall and using modern payment systems. "If you aren't taking up-to-date steps to protect your business, you could be exposing yourself to serious trouble that can threaten your future," Kehrer warns.
Twitter's new targeting features, upgraded analytics tools and revamped interface all appear to be tailored to the needs of the small-business community, experts say. That shows the increasing importance of SMB ad dollars to the social network's monetization strategy. "Twitter is making its native advertising portfolio approachable to small to midsized businesses because it needs to," analyst Brian Solis says.
Several marketing trends have the potential to provide a lift to small businesses, Monika Jansen writes. Continuing growth in local advertising, SEO, use of mobile devices and real-time analytics can all help give SMBs an edge. "With this information readily available, you can make quick changes to improve your marketing and customer service," Jansen writes.
As small businesses develop stronger Web presences, they are increasingly being targeted by hackers and other digital malfeasants, writes Ryan Hanley. That's leading some bosses to consider "cyber liability" insurance, to cover losses or damages resulting from data theft, regulatory violations or other online risks.
A survey reveals small companies are not treating cyberthreats as a serious business issue requiring attention and spending and are relying on free antivirus and malware options that leave them vulnerable. "The reality is that free is not enough because the threats we're seeing today require a comprehensive approach," said Brian Burch, Symantec vice president. "Free antivirus ... is like wearing a light windbreaker in a snowstorm."