Small Business Resources - Tips and TricksThe recent exposure and publication of the emails of a law firm showed how easily confidential information can be posted on the Net. However, a more troubling problem is the proximity of any web user to malware, or malicious software or content, even through seemingly trustable websites and businesses.

A recent report by Websense shows that on average any user is just two clicks away from malware. From a business point of view, the last thing you want to do is be seen to be responsible for infecting your potential customer’s computers, however unknowingly that may have occurred. From an internet marketing agency point of view, particularly when finding backlinks, or banner sharing etc, it is vital that you do not unwittingly expose your clients to such dangers by linking to sites in bad neighbourhoods.

Interestingly, one of the points of entry to such sites is through trending topics, rather than through more obvious routes such as sexual content. This is not to say that adult and gaming sites do not pose a critical risk, but breaking news or top topics, such as “World Cup 2010” earlier this summer, showed 25% of the search results were “poisoned”. Other trending news items have been even higher.

Users of the top 1000 websites were rarely more than 2 clicks aware from malware, as well as 70% of the top news sites and forums, and 50% of the social networking sites. Whilst needing to secure your business by educating your employees who are using the Net, it is also wise to use a competent internet marketing agency who will not expose you to such risks through their marketing activities.

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About the author:

A practising internet marketing consultant since 1996, Lindsey Annison helps companies improve their website marketing, online PR and information architecture. Lindsey is also a qualified adult education lecturer and author. As co-founder of the Access to Broadband Campaign, she has been instrumental in the provision of high-speed internet access to rural areas in the UK. Lindsey is also a past winner of's Outstanding Contribution to UK Technology