There can be many obstacles to starting a successful small business, but 2020 has completely changed the things to look out for. The post-pandemic financial uncertainty and inability to keep up with obligations, combined with a hostile digital environment, might have a much higher impact on how many new businesses will emerge.
Harder to keep up with obligations
One in four Americans either lost their job or had a pay cut during the pandemic, but are expected to provide for their family more than usual.
If in 2019 parents did not consider getting a personal laptop for their preschoolers, this year they will be purchasing one to make sure their child can participate in remote schooling. Computers and subscriptions alone will amount to $711, and the overall back-to-school shopping might have required $1,135 on average. This accounts for one-third of the sum required to start a small business.
Back-to-school spending obligations might become a significant setback for US-based parents who want to start side hustles in 2020: according to the Federal Reserve Bank, most new small businesses in the US are financed using credit card funds.
It seems that hackers have improved their social engineering techniques, luring people into their trap. A prime example of this is Twitter: some prominent accounts have been breached on the social media platform, including those belonging to Barack Obama and Kanye West.
“2020 is extremely hostile towards businesses, both large and small. The pandemic opened the gate to hackers, as most employees have been working from home and become unprotected without the office’s cybersecurity shields,“ says Daniel Markuson, digital privacy expert at NordVPN.
Some organizations seized operating for an extended period of time after their internal systems or user data had been compromised. However, industrial companies account for 11% of the overall number of corporate victims, while health, education, and small businesses make up half of the incidents.
The digital privacy expert notes that to avoid falling victim to a cyber attack, cyber hygiene must be considered essential rather than optional:
Create strong and unique passwords, especially for your sensitive accounts. A password manager can be a handy tool.Be careful while working on public Wi-Fi — always use a VPN when connected to a public hotspot.Keep your customer data in protected databases, and avoid storing such information on a physical device.Cybercriminals rely on social engineering techniques. Never click on suspicious links and always check twice if any sensitive data is requested. Hackers usually pretend to be co-workers, representatives of financial institutions, or start-up angels.
This guest post was authored by Daniel Markuson
Daniel Markuson is a digital privacy enthusiast and an Internet security expert at NordVPN, a leading virtual private network (VPN) provider. Daniel loves to serve up generous helpings of news, stories, and tips to help people stay private and secure.
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