RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - When you do business with your neighborhood cleaners or exterminator or handyman, do you know what they're doing to protect your information?
If not, you may be at risk and not even know it. Some small and mid-size businesses are making cyber security a top priority.
Pestmasters of Richmond is in the business of getting rid of and warding off bugs and rodents, but owner David Boose understands it's just as important to ward off cyber thieves. He was one of a number of local business owners who recently took part in the Cyber Security Seminar.
"We need to know what the resources are and how to prevent as best as we can from hackers getting into your data," Boose said.
"We gotta be sure that the people who we're doing business with are really sensitive to this," said Tom Gallagher of the Richmond Better Business Bureau.
Gallagher says this type of cyber checkup is just as important as keeping good financial records.
"I need to know that the person that comes to my house has got security in mind when they're taking my information," Gallagher said.
Eric Strickler specializes in providing cyber security for smaller businesses.
"You need network security; you need employees using best practices, password management; you need to make sure your computers are up to date not running outdated operating systems," Strickler said.
He says staying on top of those areas costs money, but not nearly as much as a breech could.
"If you mishandle data or somehow your network is compromised and you lose that information and it falls into the wrong hands, you are personally liable for losses and damages that will be incurred by the credit card company as they make good on possibly bad charges," Strickler said.
It's one reason why Boose stays in compliance with all security regulations. He takes cyber security seriously and he says consumers should too.
"They should be asking companies they deal with what are you doing to protect my data," Boose said.
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