Despite the best intentions of mice and men, your private information is never secure on the Internet once your computer is connected to it. Notice that there has been tremendous taxpayer and private money thrown at privacy and security issues. Yet the problem has increased ten fold! When the world's largest banks, corporations, institutions and companies that handle your credit reports and your internet security have been hacked into, what makes you think that your data is ever secure.
Regarding computers themselves, Microsoft, Linux and Apple all have been posting constant security updates. The Small Businessman uses their programs on faith. The Small Businessman has a good idea what each program actually does to protect its data, but once accessed we can never fully guarantee clients protection. The Small Businessman is connected to the Internet full time with routing and firewalls. Despite all the security innovations used and despite all the warnings in the world, you are not guaranteed security even at the most fundamental levels, or for that matter, even when shopping or dining out in "brick and mortar establishments.
Security laws and policies are actually created to protect large companies (that are inherently insecure by their nature) from small business competition. The costs to instigate rules laid out in the Sarbanes-Oxley and Internet Security Act of 2000 are insurmountable for smaller companies. This eliminates the variety of security responses in the business world, encumbers the customer with extra costs and finally centralizes your personal data for use by only large companies and the Federal government. These are big targets indeed. Thousands of "crackers" around the world covet the idea of successfully breaking into these centralized institutions while few would blink an eye at a break into the Small Businessman's operations. Having the U.S. Government manage corporate and private security is like letting the fox guard the hen house. Think of all the lives and money thrown into the government to protect us from war, poverty, terrorism and diseases. Are we now free from war, poverty, terrorism and disease? And for those of us that feel safe, is that because of new government laws or because of the efforts of private companies like the Small Businessman?
With that said, the Small Businessman makes no guarantees, nor do we believe in the effectiveness of government mandated security measures. Enron, World Com, Microsoft (founder of the first major world wide virus) and Experian (perhaps the largest compromised corporate entity - its been hacked) all represent the tip of the security nightmare.
What the Small Businessman does do is use PayPal for your purchases so that customers entrust their sensitive data with only one or two companies rather than with the Small Businessman and everyone else on the Internet. You will notice that upon submission, your data has gone to their secure servers. In addition, you can always use snail mail or make a phone call. Unlike many monopolies and large Internet businesses, the Small Businessman doesn't hide from its customers. (916) 435-9090. There's the phone number.
When you do give the Small Businessman information via email or by telephone, you do so at your own risk as with any similar contact with other businesses on the net. Use PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) or other similar encryption if you have email concerns. Use land lines when you make phone calls. Any data flying through the air is almost open game. Remember, even if you never use the Internet at all, you are a known entity on the Internet.
All methods of communication have been compromised in the past and probably will be in the future. However, the Small Businessman never intentionally gives out your information to any third party without your express permission. In the event the Small Businessman sells its interest in a given product or service, it reserves the right to pass on your contact data to the purchasing party with the express agreement to honor your privacy and security along the lines of the Small Businessman's policy expressed on this page.
The Small Businessman reserves the right to change this policy at any time to comply with new regulations and improvements in the security apparatus.
Thank you for your faith in The Small Businessman. I hope I and my company never let you down.
Michael P. Murphy
The Small Businessman
5503 Butte View Court
Rocklin CA 95765
Policies updated 11/4/07