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Resource-and-cash-strapped small businesses struggling to cut costs in a slow economy are leaving simple cost-savings options on the table and putting data at risk, according to a recent survey from Lenovo. The Lenovo-AMD Small Business Tech Survey, which sought to identify common issues and trends in technology use by small businesses, also uncovered several peculiar — and in some cases alarming — technology practices including relying on "piggybacking" on nearby WiFi networks and saving critical business files on USB thumb drives.

The survey of more than 700 small business professionals indicates that stretched-thin staff and fierce competition means more and more employees will be working on vacation over the holidays. More than four in five (85 percent) small business professionals agree they conduct work outside the office. The vast majority (72%) of respondents rarely take an e-mail-free vacation.

In order to keep up with their hefty workload, many respondents agreed they rely on a mobile device such as a laptop or smartphone. The most preferred devices are laptops (38%) and smartphones (31%), according to survey results. Despite the consequences of data loss, the survey indicated that many small businesses are backing up critical business data using highly disposable and insecure methods. While 40 percent of small businesses back up files to external hard drives, 50 percent of respondents said they or their company use USB thumb drives and CDs/DVDs to back up important information.

Other secure and cost-effective means of data storage, such as Web-based cloud storage, were seldom used by the small businesses surveyed. While 43 percent of respondents are at least somewhat familiar with cloud computing, only 13 percent say they are using an online storage service—the least of all backup methods cited.

For more, read the eWeek article: Businesses Engaging in Risky Technology Behavior: Survey.