Cyber Criminals Target Small Businesses

In the 43 years that Larry McElwain owned the Warren-McElwain Mortuary, he didn’t worry much about cyber thieves hacking customer information. He said that most people couldn’t charge enough credit to pay for his funeral services on their cards, so it never crossed his mind that it could be a big problem for businesses around the world. It wasn’t until he took his granddaughters to a restaurant in San Diego and had his own credit card information stolen that he began to realize just how important credit card security is to customers and businessmen alike.

“It’s important that people know this can happen,” McElwain, who has sold his business and is now the president and CEO of the Chamber of Lawrence, said. “It’s unbelievable that people spend their time thinking of ways to cheat other people, but that’s how it works.”

Information from The Hartford. Infographic by Callie Byrnes.

Although big companies such as Target and Home Depot are under fire for large-scale information hacks that have compromised millions of customers’ credit card information, small businesses are becoming the targets for cyber thieves and data hackers. According to the Wall Street Journal, the switch to computerized records and digital systems have made small businesses the main target for system hackings. However, with the larger hackings overtaking the news, the danger of information compromises in small businesses is often overlooked.

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