How to Protect Your Customer’s Data and Privacy

June 28, 2019

Privacy is becoming increasingly concerning to everyday consumers as larger corporations are becoming victims of privacy and security breaches. As a small business you typically do not have a budget put aside should a hacker tap your data and collect important information you’ve been storing from customers. That’s why protecting your customers’ data and privacy is important.

How can you keep a customer’s information secure from hackers you might wonder? And how can you set up steps in your business to ensure your customers feel secure about making online purchases and giving you their email addresses?

Keeping Customer Information Secure From Hackers

Follow security measures - They say if you collect it you should protect it and that’s never been more of the case than with online data collection. In essence this means you should follow security measures for your customers throughout each of your employee departments.

Understand what you’re protecting - When you work with a security company ask them for a detailed handbook on the equipment you’ve installed or ask them if they offer a tech-support guide that can walk you through what each part is. If you don’t understand what you have in place you’ll never be able to explain it to customers or know if it’s strong efficient system.

You’re not hack-proof - Understanding that you’re not hack-proof will help you take more measures to ensure you keep important data safe and follow your policies at all times. Neither Chase nor Target thought they would get hacked and both have.

It’s not just large corporations – most hackers reported that they target small businesses to see if their tactics work before trying to hack a large corporation. As a small business you have a larger chance of becoming the trial-and-error company for a larger scam.

Keep your systems updated - Just like with most electronic devices security systems need to be updated as well. Make sure you keep current on all of the latest software updates and change out any devices that may be outdated. An easy way to ensure your system stays updated is to turn on the automatic update feature of your software if available.

Scan removable devices - This one may seem like a pain but it’s very important. Before you attach any USB or other devices to your systems make sure you scan them on another computer for safety.

For in-house employees make sure you have a clause in your data or privacy policy that prohibits the use of these types of devices unless they are provided by the company and a manager has approved for them to be inserted into any machine.

Host team meetings - Holding a company-wide team meeting to discuss the latest hacker schemes is important. This can educate your staff about how to handle a fraudulent person calling and define ways to identify this type of situation. Plus you can then answer important questions like what employees should do after they realize they are on the receiving end of a fraudulent call or what to do if there is a customer lurking around trying to hear customer’s data (physical stores).

Ensuring Customers Feel Secure

Create a privacy policy - Creating a privacy policy is important for any business. Whether you’re solely collecting email addresses or you are collecting payments from customers a privacy policy that your customers can read and find online will help them feel more secure about giving you their data.

Privacy policies are not just for consumers to see but are also for internal use. If you have remote or in-house staff it’s important that each employee/team member follows a strict privacy policy to ensure the safety of your customers.

If you limit the data that your employees can see include this into the privacy policy or into a bulletin for your customers. They’ll be happy to hear that each time they call your company and need to verify their information the receiver can only see certain things. For instance if a customer calls and needs to verify the last 4-digits on their credit card for billing purposes it’s important for them to know that their entire card number is not visible and they should only repeat the last 4-digits.

Destroying data - If your company destroys user data after a certain period of time it’s important that you articulate this to the customer. Being as transparent as possible is always key and this can help customers feel better about making purchases with you in the future.

Do you need help creating a privacy policy or updating your current security measures? The team at excelerate Digital can help. We know a thing or two about ensuring our customers’ data is secure and we want to ensure our customers feel the same. Give us a call today to discuss security options for your company or if you have any questions about your account.