Protecting Customer Data and Privacy in the Digital Age

Businesses collect a lot of user information, with the responsibility of protecting such data falling on the people who handle, store, and retrieve that data. There have been a lot of data breaches in the past few years where customer data has been stolen and their privacy breached. It is therefore important, now more than ever, that businesses make an effort to protect this data and their customers’ privacy. How can your small business do that? Below, we will look at a few ways.

Use a Web Host That Protects Your Website

A lot of data breaches happen because of vulnerabilities on the server or the software used to host the website. A good web host should have software that is up to date and provide protection against simple hacks like SQL injections. Although every system can be hacked, there is no need to make it easy to do so by not having the server and its software up to date or not selecting a web host with a stellar reputation for protecting against data breaches.

Install SSL

Man in the middle attacks happen when malicious third parties are able to intercept communications between a website and the destination server. Installing an SSL certificate encrypts all data sent between the website and server. This makes it so that any data obtained before it reaches the server is useless to the third party.

Protect Privacy When Collecting Emails

Businesses use emails to teach their customers and sell products to them. When collecting emails, ensure that you do it on a secure platform to reduce the chances of it reaching third parties.

If you want to give your customers peace of mind, you can always use the double opt-in email feature provided by most email marketing software. This is where the user has to go into their inbox after giving you their email and click on a link that lets you know that they consent to the collection of their data.

Although this is not a security issue, it is a privacy one. It gives users peace of mind in knowing that you are collecting their email for legitimate reasons and gives you some legal protection should these emails or data fall into the wrong hands.

Secure Your Website and App

Customer data is a very important asset that should be protected at all costs. Ensure that your server and website are both secure. If your business operates a mobile application, then invest in a system that can ensure a secure mobile app for your employees, clients, and customers. In addition to providing these basic protections, also protect the privacy of your customers by providing a double opt-in feature so your customers know they are handing their information over to a trusted party.

A lot of people forget that once a malicious third party gets access to your email address or user name, they can brute-force your website until they log in. It is therefore important to

  • Use a very strong password. These usually have capital and small letters, numbers, and symbols. If you cannot remember this password, use a password manager.
  • Reduce the number of times one can try to log in. This provides basic protection against brute-forcing and locks the login feature if someone tries the wrong password five times, for example.