From data breaches to lost information, there is always a reason to be concern when it comes to security, especially if it affects your customers. Your first and utmost priority is to deliver a service or product that is satisfactory, but you also have the responsibility to keep your customer’s private information between the two of you. When you fail to do so, it can have detrimental effects on your reputation, undercutting the trust you share with your customer base. To avoid any unnecessary problems, it’s best to shore up your defences against external attacks.
Who is Responsible?
While it is true that protecting your online privacy should fall to your IT department, the responsibility does’t just lay with that one department. In fact, every employee with any sort of access to customer information is accountable to protecting sensitive data. If you have not already, be sure to set up a meeting with your employees outlining the policies and rules around handling sensitive customer information and to discuss what can and cannot leave the office premises. Include this information during your training for new hires and don’t be afraid to revisit the topic every year. After all, it only takes one stolen or lost laptop to cause a security breach that could damaging to your image and brand. Naturally, any employees that don’t need any sort of customer information to execute their jobs should be given restricted access to customer info.
Keeping Up With Updates
If you’re using any online services to service your customers, be sure to download the latest updates as they come out. These updates often patch vulnerabilities or security holes the previous versions may have been prone to. Additionally, staying on top of encryption technologies keeps you ahead of the game and less susceptible to security threats.
Hackers with hidden agendas are constantly searching for ways to breach security, and there’s no better place find these vulnerabilities than companies with weak or simple security protocols. To prevent yourself from becoming a sitting duck for hackers, it’s always a smart idea to build on your security. The more layers of security you have, the harder it becomes for anyone to gain access to your information. Consider adding additional login pages, security questions or two-factor authentication into the mix. Also be careful about how you’re transmitting sensitive information – never allow this information to be sent through texts or emails. If your privacy is compromised, you need strict and specific protocols for employees to follow.
In regards to passwords, you should never use the same password for anything. If you can’t think of a unique password, consider using a random password generator. The same can be said of PIN numbers; never rely on simple patterns and always find ways to complicate things. Use the 6 number PIN option if it is available to further secure your devices.
Protecting Your Identity
If you own any sort of business, chances are you’ve run into marketers spamming your inboxes. Naturally, this is not so much a security threat than an minor annoyance. However, if you’re looking for something to curb spam, or looking to further protect your identity, consider these tactics:
- Use contact forms instead of email addresses.
- Privatize WHOIS records.
- Use a PO Box instead of a residential mailing address.
- Rent a spot at a coworking space.
- Use separate emails for personal and professional correspondence.
- Set up a separate phone number.
Any type of security threat against your brand or business should be considered a high priority. If you’re still looking to patch up other vulnerabilities, be sure to check out our other articles on protecting yourself. If you have customers who have worries about their security, be sure to provide some extra assistance to those clients, as their privacy is just as important as the service or product you are providing them.
There is no denying that in an age where technology is so popular, more and more methods are being discovered to crack down current security systems to gain access to vital information within companies and even individuals. It’s important to stay on top of updates, and to understand the consequences of saving money on the security side in hopes that you will not get hacked.
What are you doing to protect yourself?