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As a business, you cannot afford to lose sensitive data, such as client login credentials, medical records, and credit card information. If you happen to lose such data, let it be a PR standpoint or legal, your business will have to have disastrous consequences.
When it comes to businesses, trust is undoubtedly a crucial factor in customer relationships. While conducting business and catering for all the customers, a company always has to collect data. In the past, data privacy was not a complicated issue as it was safely secured in the locked filing cabinets.
Unfortunately, in the current digital environment, data breaches are all over the news each passing day. Hence, proper data storage, especially personal information, has become paramount, and customers trust that their data will be protected.
Therefore, taking a few online safety practices is paramount and will help protect from incurring expensive as well as dangerous data breaches. Fortunately, you can take some easy steps to safeguard your business against those security breaches.
Here are some quick and useful tips to ensure that customer information is highly protected;
The first thing to ensure secure customer information is by developing clear company policies on how data should be approached. The procedures should guide the stuff accordingly, and they can as well be sent to the customers and will show them how reliable you're and that you're trustworthy to work with.
The policies should broadly include securing data via locked storage and encryption, passwords, pin IDs when accessing the data, secure servers, and databases.
They say the only way to learn is by being aware of any potential threat. Once you're aware of the routes, then one can be able to counter the risks. Therefore, always ensure that you learn from conferences, research, forums, and websites as well as from the industry peers.
That way, you'll be aware of all the new trends and the technologies that will help you prevent any possible data breaches. Websites like
Is there a dependable website to keep yourself updated on internet security and privacy? Lucky for us, we have websites like Privacy Savvy that shares actionable information with regards to internet security and privacy. They have done heaps of the legwork when it comes to evaluating performance, security, and safety of tools used to keep users safe online alongside the best practices.
Having a centralized monitoring system is another best way to ensure that you're secure. The system helps to monitor the servers and databases efficiently. Besides, you need to have a backup power supply for your servers if there's a power outage.
Ensure that all the staff members are educated regarding data privacy, which includes the need for inventory as well as account for every portable technology device. You need to create a security culture with the company.
The employees should well know all the possible risks and vulnerabilities, and they should learn how to protect the information continuously. Also, they should be educated on what to do in case such a data breach happens.
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Collecting a lot of information from the customers not only requires a lot of space for storage but also provides a larger target for cyber hackers.
Moreover, sometimes it can make customers nervous, asking for a lot of information. Therefore, collect only the most essential info for business purposes. You can also offer an option for customers as to whether they're okay with sharing personal information.
Some of the breaches usually take place right at the dumpster. Therefore, there's a need to dispose of electronic and paper waste correctly.
Ensure that the paper documents are shredded before disposal. If it's about decommissioning a computer, ensure that you pull out the hard drive and physically destroy it.
As much as you prepare to ensure that a data breach doesn't happen, you don't have to assume the fact that it might happen. Therefore, you need to have a Crisis Management Plan in place that covers detailed procedures that should be followed if a breach occurs.
The plan should outline the investigation process as well as the steps, such as the disconnection of printers, computers, and all the equipment connected to the affected network by the breach.
With new technology constantly evolving, new tricks and ways are also coming up that data hackers use to access data. Therefore, to ensure that your customer data is protected, you should regularly update your computers with the latest security software.
You should have up-to-date anti-viruses and anti-malware regularly installed. Moreover, it would help if you had a well-configured firewall for screening all the incoming as well as outgoing traffic.
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You should not give access to sensitive client data to everyone. Everyone does not need to have that.
I am not saying all your employees can have evil thoughts of damaging your firm. A tired employee or lax security protocols can leave you vulnerable to security threats such as data breaches. Limiting the number of systems and people who can access private data at a company is among the easiest methods to cut down on possible leaks.
That is all common sense. It leaves you with a handful of systems to protect, and you also have fewer employees who could make a mistake.
Fraud prevention and data security are two of the most significant challenges that businesses face today. When scammers get their hands on sensitive information like customer data, personal information, and login credentials, the results can be catastrophic.
You can end up leaking your clients' credit card information, security codes, and PIN numbers. Even at a small business, an information breach might also lead to identity theft, data mining, social security number theft, or even your accounts' control loss.
While many might think scammers target on the big firms, small businesses also get affected often. In fact, as per the ACFE (Association of Certified Fraud Examiners) report, small businesses tend to lose nearly twice as much money every year than larger companies.
Nevertheless, no company can knowingly put customer information at risk, but lax security practices can jeopardize sensitive data and expose them to threats. Therefore, taking precautions will gain you the trust of the customers and increase your company's reputation.