Two of the focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money and Business/Entrepreneurship. If your business involves the creation of some sort of ‘intellectual property’, it’s critical that you protect it as there are thieves who will readily steal it from you in order to profit from it themselves. The following contributed post is entitled, 3 Ways To Prevent Your Ideas From Being Stolen.
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Good ideas are rare to find – especially if they’re unique. If you’ve come up with an excellent idea, the last thing you need is for it to be stolen. People have their ideas taken from them all the time. Even if someone gets a portion of your idea, they can take it and run. So, how do you stop this from happening? In an age that’s full of technology – and everything is connected – can you stop people from stealing your ideas?
The short answer is, yes, you can. It involves a bit of legal work, and there are other steps you should also take before reaching the legal stages. Here are the three ways you can protect your ideas from being stolen:
Get a copyright
Copyright law basically means that you own the rights to something that others can’t copy. Typically, this refers to intellectual property – like product designs, brand names, etc. I don’t think you can get a copyright for things like general business ideas, but you should speak to intellectual property lawyers just in case. Regardless, you need to copyright key parts of your idea that other people can steal. If you’ve come up with a new product, be sure you have a copyright on all of the designs. So, if someone manages to get a glimpse of them, they can’t use your ideas. If they do, you have the power to sue them and gain a lot of money.
Avoid conducting business on unsecured networks
Have you ever gone to a coffee shop and started doing work on your laptop? Perhaps you’ve created documents with business ideas on them; maybe you’ve emailed some thoughts to colleagues? In doing so, you put all of your ideas at risk due to the unsecured network. Coffee shops – and other public places – offer free WiFi for people to use. The downside of it being free is that it’s an open network for anyone to use. There’s no security, making it easy for a hacker to see what you’re doing. Who knows if someone is watching your every move and subtly stealing all of your knowledge? It’s best to conduct business on a secured network at all times. Password protected networks are the best, but you can add another layer of security with a VPN. Often, a VPN will also let you use open WiFi networks with more protection.
Keep your circle small
Don’t shout about your business ideas to everyone and anyone. It’s tempting, but you need to keep your circle as small as can be. Only tell people that you can trust. Otherwise, all it takes is for one person to say something to their friend, and then their friend tells someone else, and pretty soon, your idea has been stolen. Keep things under wraps until you can register trademarks and get copyrights.
All of these points are valid, but the second one deserves lots of attention. It’s so easy for a hacker to break into your computer and find all of your valuable information. They do it for fun, but they can see your idea and sell it to someone for a lot of money. Always take precautions when you’re online, and don’t forget the other two tips as well.