Privacy is one of the biggest buzzwords at the minute in business. Now that most businesses operate online, entrepreneurs need to make sure that all of their digital and online data and sensitive information stays safe and secure. Otherwise, it could all be stolen during a security breach or hacker attack.
It’s not only business owners who now have privacy on their mind, as it is also a very important matter for customers as well. Customers and consumers now want to know that the companies and business they deal with have a strong stance on privacy and take good care of all the data that they collect. All it takes is one hacker or ransomware attack to put a company’s entire customer base at risk of having their personal details stolen.
So, if you want to attract and keep loyal customers, you need to be able to show that your company takes privacy extremely seriously. You can do just that by following these useful tips.
Only Store the Data You Need
When your customers use your online store or fill out questionnaires, they will provide you with some of their personal information. It will most likely be things such as addresses, contact details, and bank information. Most companies store this in their system even if they will not need it in the future. This is bad practice as storing unnecessary data and information puts it at risk of being stolen.
One rule of thumb that you should live by is that you can’t lose what you don’t have, so it’s always best to delete any data that you won’t need again. Of course, you might want to keep your customers’ email addresses if you send out regular newsletters. But make sure you store them very securely!
Invest In a VPS
A VPS is a virtual private server. It’s just like a shared hosting site, except it is completely private so there is no risk of any other user stealing the data you put on it. If you click here, you can get an idea of the different prices and amount of storage that often comes with them.
As well as improving your company’s privacy, a VPS provides you with your very own operating system which can be customized to your own tastes. Not only that, though, but you also have complete control over your own VPS.
Be Open With Your Customers
The general public really respects honesty, so it will definitely pay off if you are transparent about your privacy practices. All companies have a legal obligation to have a privacy statement somewhere visible on their website. It is important that yours is as detailed as possible so that your customers are aware of how their information is being used.
If you share their data with a third party, you need to let them know and give them the opportunity to opt out of this. Generally speaking, though, it is always a bad idea to pass data onto a third party as it could also put your own data at risk.
Never Underestimate the Risk of a Threat
The risk of an attack by a hacker or finding a virus on your computer system is always there. Never think that you are not at risk! For this reason, you need to make sure that your system is always protected by the most up to date version of an anti-malware program or software.
Once you have one installed, you should also ensure that you regularly update it whenever there is an update available. As hackers and viruses are continually becoming a lot more sophisticated in their methods, they can quickly overcome security software. The only way to stay one step ahead of them is to make sure your software is the latest version.
Get Multiple Layers of Security
Just having antivirus software may not be enough to keep all the data on your system safe. As well as this kind of software, you also need to make sure that you have some spam filters in place that will get rid of any phishing or malware scams that try to make it into your system.
It is also good practice to put a firewall in place as this can prevent hackers from gaining access to your system. The firewall will turn your computer system into a fortress and ensure that all your sensitive data is well protected.
Train All Your Employees
If your employees aren’t well trained in the best practices for privacy, then they could be unwittingly putting your whole company at risk. As every member of staff will probably be handling customer data on a daily basis, you should see their training as a valuable investment for the company. Make sure that their training covers the latest fraud schemes so that they can quickly detect them should they ever need to.
There are also some very basic practices that your employees need to all be aware of, such as not opening suspicious attachments and not clicking on links in unexpected emails.
Don’t Forget Your Smartphones
While most companies already understand the importance of protecting their computer system against security breaches, many forget to protect mobile devices. Ideally, all smartphones, tablet devices, and laptops that are used by employees need to have sufficient security protection as they are also at risk from hackers and malware.
You also need to keep these mobile devices safe from theft. Ensure that every employee knows the importance of looking after their device whenever they take it out and about with them. When items are left in the office overnight, the whole building should be securely locked. It’s also worth adding some extra security features, such as CCTV cameras and burglar alarms.
Ensuring that your company and your customers’ privacy is secured is exceptionally important in this day and age. Not only will it save you from any nightmare situations, but it will also help you to increase your customer base. Plus, the loyalty between you and your customers will really strengthen!