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Small business owners have got a lot to think about. Should they hire more staff? Should they open a new location? Does their business offer products or services that aren’t generating enough income? But here’s something that quite a few business owners don’t think about: What happens if the one person who has access to all your small business’ online accounts – everything from your business’ online bank accounts to its social media sites to its cloud-based payroll software – suddenly dies? Are you able to access these important accounts?

A big issue

The Wall Street Journal recently covered this concern on its Web site. It may seem like an obscure matter, an issue that could never impact your small business. But think about it: 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 have the ability 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 get access to your company’s online bank account. And what about your employees? They want to get paid on time, right? They won’t 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 fear losing valuable files or data because, they assume, they’re safely hidden away in the cloud. But the cloud isn’t perfect. It, too, may be at risk of hackers. And since everything stored in the cloud needs passwords, getting at important information can be challenging when the one person who knew those passwords suddenly passes away.


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