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Privacy matters for SMEs

Friday, October 21, 2016

In the ever-changing digital world in which we live and work, it’s so important for SMES to understand their privacy obligations.

A recent study from an Australian law firm – LegalVision, showed that 68% of small businesses are unaware of the Australian Privacy Principles, which raises the need for greater awareness on privacy to ensure that both intellectual property and customer and employee information remains secure.

The same study also highlights some interesting trends across the SME sector, as well as some common gaps in privacy and legal obligations that business owners may not be aware of, including:

  • 40% of those surveyed planned to register a trademark within the next twelve months;
  • 65% of respondents that have a registered trademark have never checked or infrequently check their trademarks for infringement, even though it is the responsibility of the trademark owner to diligently do so;
  • Most interestingly, many small business owners are now turning to online systems as their primary customer-facing outlet, which saw a 120% increase in online business enquiries across a range of small businesses.

Further to the rapid growth in online enterprises, business owners now have greater access to resources to help launch a new business or improve existing products and services. In turn, these resources also work to raise awareness on a few key measures that SME owners can use to safeguard their business and meet their privacy and legal obligations.

At SWAG, we recommend that SME owners take a look at the Australian Government’s Small Business Guide to stay smart online, which also provides some handy hints on keeping information secure.

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