Spent a few hours yesterday getting some education about internet security and search optimization. This was the event I wrote about back in March – see Action Workshops for Home Based Business Operators – Lismore, Australia – put on by our local Northern Rivers Business Advisory Service with state government assistance under its program to support home based business development.

I have a few stories to tell from the day’s activities. As I like to hear and share success stories about home based businesses I’ll start by mentioning the story of one of the day’s presenters, Robert McAdam, CEO of Pure Hacking, based in Sydney, Australia.Formerly a policeman, Rob moved into internet security and was with IBM before setting up his own business.

Although his clients now tend to be financial institutions and other large corporate or government enterprises, Rob had some practical advice on security for those of us present who are still working out of our own homes. One suggestion came out of a question about making payments online: the suggestion was to have a credit card with a very low limit, say $300, to enable you to make those smaller purchases but limit your risk. As Rob wisely reminded us, there are always risks in business and the trick is to narrow the risk gap (my paraphrase).

Even if your budget doesn’t run to hiring a company like Rob’s, his site is worth a visit for some of the interesting information about security threats, which can create havoc just as much, proportionately, for a small home based business as for a large enterprise. 

And the risk may be nearer than we think. Just this morning a colleague told me that his ISP had finally worked out why he was having trouble accessing his home based account – a person in a neighbouring suburb had hacked his user name and password and was regularly logging in as if it were my colleague doing so.

And the success story? Well, Rob told me he started out as a home based business owner. Now, three short years later, he has a million dollar business, with five employees, so can’t fit in the house any more!

His company is also credentialled as an Australian Government endorsed supplier – a certification which I know from experience the government does not hand out like candy. 

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