Thursday, April 4, 2013

If the only person with access to your business' online accounts dies, are you in trouble?

Only one key employee can access all of your small business’ crucial online accounts: your cloud-based payroll software, Twitter account, Facebook account and bank account. That’s fine. But what happens if that employee should die suddenly? Would you know the passwords to your company’s online bank account? What about that cloud-based payroll service? And if you did, are you legally be able to access the online accounts after this employee dies?

A big issue

The Wall Street Journal recently covered this issue on its Web site. It might seem like an obscure matter, something that could never impact your company. But give it some thought: How important has the cloud become to your business? How about the Web? Do you run an active social media campaign, connecting regularly with your customers? You might not be able to access your business’ Twitter or Facebook sites if the only person who knew their passwords has died. Do you have vendors to pay? You might not be able to if you can’t gain access to your company’s online bank account. And what about your staff members? They need to get paid on time, right? They might not if you suddenly can’t open your company’s cloud-based payroll software.

The cloud isn’t fail-proof

The Wall Street Journal says that too many small business owners have a false sense of security when it comes to using the cloud. They don't really worry about losing valuable files or information because, they assume, they're safely tucked away in the cloud. Even so the cloud isn't perfect. It, too, may be at risk of hackers. And since everything kept in the cloud needs passwords, getting access to you important information can be challenging when the one person who knew all those passwords suddenly passes away.

Solutions

Solving this problem, thankfully, isn’t difficult: You just need to make sure that more than one employee knows the passwords for your online accounts. And also you needs to be equally certain that your important accounts are either registered to your company or more than one staff member. This way, should that key employee die, you’ll always be able to conduct business normally.

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