For many businesses, it makes sense for you to gather certain pieces of information about your customers or clients in order to effectively and efficiently conduct your business together. But once that data has been given to you, it’s now your responsibility to ensure that you protect that data from anyone that might try to hack it from you. But for a business, this can often be easier said than done since there’s so much data being gathered and so many moving parts of your organization.
So to help ensure that your business doesn’t fall victim to being hacked, here are three tips for protecting customer and client information collected for business purposes.
Only Take What You Need
First and foremost, when you’re collecting data and other information from your customers or clients, the FTC advises that you only take what you need. If you don’t actually have a need for gathering certain pieces of information from your customers or clients, then simply don’t bother getting that information in the first place.
Things like social security numbers, credit card information, and other pieces of personal information often aren’t necessary to keep on-file for an indeterminate amount of time. So if you don’t need to know something, don’t put your organization at risk by needing to protect that data. And once you’ve used the information for its intended purpose, it’s best to then get rid of it.
Use Your Employees As Your First Line Of Defense
To best protect the information that you do have from your customers and clients, Daryl Nerl, a contributor to Small Business Trends, shares that your first line of defense is to properly train and educate your employees on how to handle this data.
Not only should you only give your employees access to the pieces of data that they need in order to complete their specific job, but you should also train your employees on how to handle suspicious emails they get to their work accounts or that they open when using company devices. You should also encourage them to always log off and lock their devices as well as using strong passwords that they never share and consistently change on a regular basis.
Stay Current On Best Practices For Encryption
To better ensure that the data you’ve gathered from customers and clients can’t be effectively used even if it does fall into the wrong hands, Daniel Burrus, a contributor to the Huffington Post, advises that you always stay current on what the best practices for encryption are. If any of the encryption technology you’re using is out of date or hasn’t been updated in a while, it’s probably time to look into this.
If your business collects sensitive data and information from your customers and clients, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you better protect whatever it is you have.