Protecting customer data: Why it matters and how to keep info safe
Do you collect customer data? Discover everything you need to know about data protection.
If you provide a service or product, there's a good chance you've collected customer information at some stage. Not all the data you collect may not be sensitive, but some of it may be confidential and need to be protected.
In this article, we explain why protecting data is crucial and how you can keep confidential information safe.
What is customer data?
Customer data is any information your business collects and stores about a customer or prospect. It can include personal information such as names, phone numbers, and email addresses.
Why it's important to protect customer data
Here's why protecting confidential client information is in your best interest:
Maintaining customer trust: Customers trust you with their personal information and expect you to handle it with care. If you fail to protect their data, they may lose confidence in you and take their business elsewhere.
Legal and regulatory compliance: Many countries have strict data protection laws you must follow. If you don't obey these laws, you may have to pay a fine or face legal action. Non-compliance can damage your business's reputation and financial health.
Protecting sensitive information: Customer data can include sensitive information. If this information falls into the wrong hands, criminals may use it for identity theft, fraud or other illegal activities.
Reputation management: News travels fast online, which means data breaches can become public knowledge in no time. You need to protect customer data to protect your reputation and retain customers.
How to protect customer data
Digital technology is a valuable tool for your business, but your data may be vulnerable to hackers without security measures. Here's what you can do to protect your customer data:
Limit access to data
Not everyone in your company needs access to all your customer information. Limiting access reduces the risk of data falling into the wrong hands. It also makes it easier to find out how information may have been accessed if there's a data breach. Because you know who has access, it's easier to find out how data was leaked and prevent it from happening again.
Store data on a password-protected system
Unlike paper systems or documents on your computer, securing data stored on a password-protected system is easier. Only users with a password can access information, keeping data safe from unauthorised users. To create a smart password, use a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols. Better yet, use a password generator.
Use a virtual private network (VPN)
A VPN enables secure and private connections between your devices over a public network such as the internet. It also uses encryption to protect your data. If a hacker gains access to the data, they won't be able to read or understand it. VPNs offer an effective way to keep confidential customer data safe, whether your team is working in the office or off-site.
Avoid data silos
Data silos are isolated data storage systems other departments or people in your business can't access. When you store data in silos, tracking and securing data can be challenging, and you may not detect data breaches immediately. The best solution is to keep all your data in one place. You can eliminate data silos and improve data management with a system like Field Service Management Software.
Only collect the information you need
Big companies often fall victim to cyber-attacks because they have data hackers want. If you only collect the information you need, you'll no longer be as big a target for cybercriminals. If you request unnecessary data, your customers may wonder why you need the information and question your motives. Gathering as little information as possible can increase customer confidence.
Use a password management tool
Password-protected systems are only safe if you protect your passwords. Unauthorised users can access your data if they find your passwords. Rather than writing down passwords or storing them on your devices, use a password management tool. The technology uses encryption to store passwords, making them unreadable to hackers.
Securing customer data is crucial. It's the key to maintaining trust with customers, staying compliant, and protecting your reputation. It's important to remember that protecting data should be an ongoing process. You must track and update your security measures as your business grows and hackers find new ways to access your data.
There are no comments for this story
Be the first to respond and start the conversation.