As a business owner, it’s important that you make the safety and security of your customers or clients a top priority for you. We’ve all seen what can happen to a business’s reputation when a security breach happens. Along with losing valuable information for your business, you also lose the trust and business of many customers or clients. So to help ensure that this doesn’t happen to your business, here are three ways you can help protect your customers’ or clients’ identities.
Don’t Keep What You Don’t Need
Many modern businesses like to get information from their clients or customers to help make their business relationship easier to manage. When you keep some of this sensitive information on file, like their address or phone number or even their credit card information, it can make the purchase or shipping processes much easier in the future. However, holding onto this information also put it at risk. So according to the Federal Trade Commission, it’s a good practice that if you don’t need to keep certain information, you should just get rid of it. Also, if you don’t even need to get certain information, like a social security number, don’t even bother asking for it. This can make protecting information easier since you won’t have as much information to protect.
Keep Your Stuff Separate
Because most businesses use digital servers to hold all their business information, you likely keep the majority of your customers’ or clients’ information on these servers. But if you have a smaller business, you may not be taking the necessary precautions to protect these servers, especially if they’re shared with other entities. So to put greater protection around the information you’re storing, Intuit QuickBooks recommends using a dedicated server just for your business needs and information. While this can be more expensive than using a shared server, you can also better protect what’s stored there when you have sole access and possession.
To best protect customer or client information that you’re needing to send, encryption is a must. According to the staff at Inc.com, although encryption doesn’t make it any more difficult for malicious people to gain access to your data, it does make it harder for that data to be useful to them in any way. So before you choose to send data or even keep sensitive data stored somewhere, consider your options for encryption.
If you have a business that keeps track of your customers’ or clients’ sensitive information, you may want to consider using some of the tips mentioned above to ensure that you can keep their identities safe and not run the risk of undermining your business through a large-scale data breach.