Protecting Your Small Business Against Digital Exposures

Digital exposure is inevitable for any size of business nowadays. If you collect data from employees, clients, vendors, or even have some form of digital presence, you could be exposed to cybercrime and must take every necessary precaution to defend your business against virtual threats. 

One form of small business liability insurance, i.e. cyber liability insurance, is specifically designed to protect businesses against any legal repercussions they could face as a result of being involved in a cybercrime event. Data breaches and ransomware can seriously cost your business’ reputation – and you may even find yourself with a hefty lawsuit at the end of it. That being said, insurance isn’t a catch-all, and you shouldn’t use it as your fallback. You need to take adequate security measures in order to protect your small business and all the information that has been delegated to you. At Bullfrog Insurance, we understand the unique needs of small businesses in Ontario. As a top provider of small business insurance, we go beyond offering excellent coverage tailored to your specific requirements.  

Discover how our comprehensive Bullfrog’s small business liability insurance solutions can benefit your business. 

Here’s how to protect your small business against digital exposures. 

Know how data breaches can occur. 

In today’s rapidly evolving technological landscape, even small businesses in Ontario need to be vigilant about the risks of data breaches and their potential impact on daily operations. Data breaches, a prevalent form of cybercrime, occur when unauthorized individuals or parties gain access to and steal confidential, personal, or sensitive information. With the COVID-19 pandemic leading to a surge in remote work and the use of insecure networks, the frequency of cybercrime incidents has significantly increased. It is essential to understand that data breaches can transpire in various ways, emphasizing the importance of robust cybersecurity measures and adequate insurance coverage for small businesses in Ontario. Protect your business against the risks of cybercrime by exploring comprehensive small business insurance options tailored to the unique needs of Ontario businesses at Bullfrog Insurance. 

  • They can happen via human error. Human error, or accidental exposure, is when an employee uploads a document containing private information onto a cloud service and doesn’t include a secure password. It happens when a human employee clicks a malicious link. 
  • Malware or ransomware is another means of data breaches. A hacker who enters into an organization’s network (via a phishing email, let’s say) might infect that network with malware, which permits them instant access.  
  • Don’t underestimate the potential of disgruntled employees. A malicious insider could be working with a hacker to provide network information that they can then steal for their own use. With smaller businesses, this is less common but not impossible. 
  • Network or software vulnerabilities are a potential, wherein hackers exploit outdated software and use hidden backdoors in your system to access data. 
  • Finally, data breaches can occur through physical theft. A hacker or cybercriminal can steal a mobile device used for work at a public place, or hack into your work system via a business laptop that was left on your passenger seat overnight. 

How to protect yourself against potential exposures 

While having insurance is crucial for small businesses in Ontario, it should not be seen as a sole solution. Instead, we must proactively implement preventive measures to safeguard our businesses from digital vulnerabilities. By taking strategic steps before any mishaps occur, we can effectively protect our valuable assets. Here are some valuable tips on how to fortify your small business against accidental exposures and ensure its long-term security. 

  • Consider your provincial or even federal regulations when determining your data retention needs. Some vendors and clients might need different schedules for destruction versus employee data. Destroy any data that is no longer needed. Any remaining data is subject to a breach, so long as it’s there and available. 
  • Educate your employees. Human error is the no. 1 cause of data breaches, and they tend to occur because of clicked links on emails or accessing business data through insecure networks. Consider implementing a mandatory cybersecurity training program for all employees to take. 
  • Invest in antivirus and firewall software and commit to keeping these on all devices – updated and patched with the latest security protocol. 
  • Be sure to have backups stored off-site (especially in the event of a fire) that you can regularly verify for accuracy in the event you need to recover following a cyberattack. 
  • Use a password manager for all employees and implement strict rules for two-factor authentication and biometrics. Make sure all employees are using complex passphrases, not easy-to-guess passwords. 
  • Do a forensic security audit. Conduct an inventory of all your existing confidential data and security practices to see where changes may need to be made. Assume a zero-trust policy for all devices that are connected to your business’ network. 

Part of keeping your small business safe is addressing the digital side of things. Be vigilant and proactive; yes, it takes some time, and you may need to invest some money into it, but safety should always come first. It’s your business, and your hard work. Don’t let it go to waste. With Bullfrog Insurance, you can have peace of mind knowing that your small business is backed by reliable and comprehensive insurance coverage. 

A Risk Management 101 for Professionals

What is risk management? Why do professionals need to know about risk management? These are great questions to ask as a professional – whether you’re a consultant, a lawyer, a financial advisor, etc. Risk management will look different for every profession and every industry, but this risk management 101 provides tips for professionals all across the board.

It is critical to manage your risk as a working professional, not just as a business owner. Professionals face a different level of risk than your average worker does and, without properly addressing the issue or taking the necessary steps to mitigating your risk, your business may be severely impacted by a loss which could threaten to put you out of work for good.

Professional liability insurance is just one piece of the puzzle. Here’s the rest:

First of all, what is risk management?

Risk management is the practice of evaluating risks which could potentially harm your business’ operations – as well as its profitability – and taking the necessary action to mitigate the devastation of these risks or avoiding them altogether.

Risk management can look like:

  • Mitigation – When you avidly reduce the impact of the potential risk
  • Acceptance – Accepting that the risk may occur and creating an emergency preparedness response for if it does happen
  • Avoidance – Taking away the risk altogether by avoiding taking on certain clients/working in a certain location/etc.
  • Transference – Transferring all or a portion of the risk to a third-party, like through the purchase of insurance.

Risk management may take the form of the following steps:

  1. Acknowledging or identifying a risk that exists
  2. Determining the severity that the risk could cause to your business
  3. Identifying the source of the risk
  4. Navigating a process to mitigate or avoid the risk
  5. Navigating a process to recover from the risk.

Not every risk can be mitigated, avoided, or even managed. Some risks may simply need to be accepted (which is, in fact, a part of the risk management process!) As such, it is imperative that you focus only on the risks that are the most impactful to your business.

How does risk management help my business?

As a hard-working professional, you love what you do. You excel at what you do. You want to better your business, and risk management is one of many ways to do just that. Here are just a few of the ways that risk management can help better your business:

  • Allows your business to be adaptable to change
  • Boosts your teams’ communication skills
  • Hels aid in project/contract negotiations
  • Allows you to meet deadlines with success
  • Keeps long-term costs affordable
  • Allows your business to operate smoothly without a hitch

There are plenty more benefits than just those that we have listed here. Working with your team is imperative to acknowledging, weighing, and managing your risk. It just depends on your company’s individual risk and how seriously you take the process of risk management.

Not all risks can be mitigated

Part of risk management is accepting that some things may just happen, no matter the precautions we take and no matter the measures we instill to avoid them. Planning for risks can be a difficult endeavour, but there are some risks that we may simply have to accept. Part of our risk management plan can then be a “risk response plan,” for how we get back to normal following an emergency or incident.

For any business, the following scenarios can be significantly impactful:

  • Cyberattack/data breach
  • Medical emergencies
  • Storm damage
  • Fire damage

For your emergency response plan, you should consider orienting your team members on how best to handle the threat of a natural disaster. Include an evacuation plan, a muster point, and give each employee corresponding roles for if an emergency does occur.

Technology and data can be vulnerable spots when it comes to risk management as cyber-attacks become an ever-increasing issue for Canadian businesses. You need to be aware of these risks and how to handle your business accordingly if something does occur (such as a breach.)

Professional liability insurance may not be able to prevent a risk from occurring, but it can be a huge aid if something does happen. Professional liability insurance is designed for businesses and individuals of a professional nature and can cover you for legal defense costs if a client should ever sue for alleged, perceived, or actual negligence resulting in their financial loss.

Real Work at Home Business

Real work at home business on the Internet is perhaps one of the fastest growing markets on the planet. As of now, there are over 34 million web pages available and still more are being put up each day. For someone who is only starting in online real work at home business, this number is certainly depressing. Competition is sure to be cutthroat and success in such a venture seems like only a distant dream. But is it really? You will be surprised to find how easy real work at home business can be.

Opportunities numbering by the thousands  literally are out there just ready to be plucked; all you need to do is open your eyes for the ones that are legitimate and lucrative at the same time. When it comes to real work at home businesses, the most first logical step you ought to take is to pick a business that naturally interests you. After all, success in something which you like doing is hard enough, how much more if you don’t like what you do? So your preference is actually tantamount to your success in the real work at home business venture.

Now, assuming that you already know what sort of real work at home business you’d like to dabble in whether it is a home-based Internet business selling products you made yourself, or selling e-books, etc.  the next big challenge that you will find yourself facing is how to handle the competition. Yes, there is going to be competition and more likely it is going to be heavy. Regardless of how unique you think your product might be, chances are that someone else has thought about it too. So, now the challenge is how to handle the competition so your real work at home business will emerge on top.

Productivity and Success The main issue in today’s employment scene is that employees are unable to achieve their maximum level of productivity because of too many distractions afforded by the open plan spaces of many company offices. The constant noise, phones ringing, and colleagues interrupting can stop many people from getting their work done. Because it is work from the home, real work at home businesses greatly help in boosting the productivity level of one person. Here are a few rules to help you gain maximum levels of productivity with your real work at home business:

* Establish a routine. You might say that the main reason that you left your previous job is that it was all routine and you are frankly tired of it. However, routines are not all that bad. If anything, routine helps establish discipline and that is something that you need if you decide to start your own real work at home business. Remember that you stand to lose more with real work at home business since it is your business, hence, your personal time, effort, and money.

* Establish a schedule. Having a schedule helps you slip into the role of real work at home business operator without any seams. Decide when you will start your day and what time you’re going to end. Include breaks.

* Plan your day. Plan ahead. You should have an idea what you’re going to do today, what short-term goals you hope to achieve, and what work you need finished. In this way, your real work at home business is going to run like a well-oiled machine.

Work at Home Computer Jobs

Are you considering a work at home computer job? But how will you handle taxes with self-employment? Below are a few tips and some legal information about taxes that you might find useful as you take a work at home computer job. Work at Home Computer Job .

Tip 1: Record Everything This should be rule no. 1. Keep all records of everything, from receipts, to old bills, credit card statements, etc. etc. You never know when you’re going to need it. Of course, you are probably doing this already but just to make things clear cut: it is so easy to lose track of receipts, bills, and other information that you might need in the future. Work at Home Computer Job

Tip 2: Don’t Throw Anything This is just related to the first tip of keeping tabs of everything. However, most important in handling taxes with a work at home computer job is to never throw out anything that has to do with business. Whether they are paper works for utilities, homeowner’s insurance, property taxes, office supplies and equipment  you need to keep every single receipt so if problems arise in your taxes in the future, you’ll have a way to trace them back or confirm them through your records. Work at Home Computer Job

Tip 3: Organize We are sure that you don’t want your house to be just one big filing cabinet. As you work at your work at home computer job, you don’t want to get a headache trying to figure out where to work since your working table is strewn with all sorts of records. Get your files organized from the beginning. One way to do this is to take care of things the moment they come in. Sort out the ones that you will need to keep and store them neatly in an old shoe box or a drawer in your desk. The rest belong to the trash bag. Work at Home Computer

Job Tip 4: Clean your Office There are many added benefits to having only a home office tax. However, there are requirements for it. To make sure that you are eligible for such, you must be able to show that the area in your home where you perform your work at home computer job really looks like an office. That is, your work at home computer job office should be used regularly and exclusively as your office and not for other things. This further means that if your work at home computer job office also serves as the family room, you won’t qualify. Therefore, make sure that you have a room in your house that you can call your office. Work at Home Computer Job

Tip 5: Get a License Let’s say for instance that your work at home computer job consists of managing a day care facility. Home tax deductions are possible if you state that your home is used for a day care facility. However, in order for deductions to apply, you must first get a license for your work at home computer job from your state. A license is definitely worth the extra effort; exemptions such as these can really help you out at tax time.

Work at Home Internet Job

If there’s any one thing that’s considered vital to any work at home Internet job, then that would be vision. A work at home Internet job, or any other, whether it is in the conventional job market or any one of a number of home-based ventures, requires only one thing  vision. Vision helps you see the whole portrait as it should be seen  balanced, controlled, and proportionate. While focus is also just important, it has the tendency to see only one aspect of the whole. But don’t get this wrong.

Focus is also important for you to succeed in your chosen work at home Internet job. And as long as you don’t lose sight of vision, focus is not a bad thing. In a work at home Internet job, there are several things you need to take into account if you want your road to success to remain stable and strong. Here is a list of these things: Objectives When you’re just starting in your work at home Internet job, consider your goal, both short-term and long-term, your target date in accomplishing those goals, and your overall objectives.

Ask yourself the following questions: Why do I want to go into business? Where do I want to be in three months time, in six months, in a year? What will it take for me to get there? And last but not the least, Do I believe in what I’m selling?  It is very important that you believe in your own product. This gives you the necessary foundation on which you base the rest of your work at home Internet job goals on. Knowledge Base Basically, your knowledge base outlines how well you know the subject of your work at home Internet job.

Are you familiar with anything and everything that pertains to the products and services you are offering? Remember that you will represent these products and services you offer and it is important that you at least familiarize yourself with all the nooks, hooks, and what-have-you. Also, try to ask yourself: Do I have immediate access to training materials and technical support if I need it? Do I know where to get the materials and training? Do your research. This would help you do better represent the product you offer as your work at home Internet job.

Using your Resources Knowing which resources are available to you is the key to good management. A good manager not only knows the strengths and weaknesses of his people, but also his own strong points and areas needing improvement. In order to be successful at your work at home Internet job, you need to look at yourself and assess your capabilities as objectively as you can.

Internet Marketer – Working From Home Online

Working From Home Online as an Internet Marketer Unfortunately many think of the internet as a place where it is possible to make a lot of money really fast. I was guilty of that as well when I first started out. I believe that is why only a few of those who set out to make money online as internet marketers, actually do make good money and why there is a tendency to give up after just a few months if the money doesn’t come right away. To succeed working online from home, I think it is important to adapt the right mindset – otherwise it will just be too overwhelming and frustrating with all the information and too good to be true-offers out there.

Internet marketing is not a quick and easy money making machine it is a business like any other business. To succeed online we need to take the time to learn new skills that are necessary such as how to set up a simple webpage, search engine optimization (SEO), keyword research, the different ways to get traffic to your website etc. It may feel a little bit overwhelming at first, but we do need to learn these skills and implement them to have success as an internet marketer. The good news is that we only need to learn these skills once  once we’ve learned them, we can implement them over and over again.

Learning new skills and establishing our business takes time and hard work  as with any other new business. Internet businesses are no different. The best way to get started as an internet marketer in my opinion is to find a good how to make money online-program and stick to it! Too many people spend $27 or more on a program just to give up and move on to the next one, or give up for good, if there’s no money right away.

To find a good program, spend some time researching. Don’t jump too fast into the first program you find. What works for others may not work for you, so make sure you find a program that is suited for you. Most good programs usually offer something valuable for free first. If the program you are looking into gives you free and helpful information that actually does help you in one way or another, it is a good indication that the program is a good one to buy. Just remember to stick with it for a while and not disregard it right away  it does take time to make money online.