“If you build it, they will come” is no longer applicable when you’re doing business.…
Data Privacy for Business Owners
Being an online business owner means more than just having a website or engaging in social media marketing. It also means safeguarding sensitive information that can impact your bottom line if it falls into the wrong hands.
So, whether you’re a brick-and-mortar shop or purely online, here are some tips for securing both your physical office space and virtual operations so that no one else gets access to your customer data without permission.
Why Securing Your Business Data Matters
Your data is your business. You’re the one who has spent years building and investing in it, so you may as well take steps to make sure that nothing bad ever happens to it.
It doesn’t matter if you’re working out of a home office or renting space in an office building. Your data represents everything that makes your business what it is: customer information, financial records, logos, design files, and more.
If someone were to get access to this information without your knowledge, they could steal all your hard work right before your eyes.
Access control is the process of granting or denying access to a resource. It is done at the point of entry to a system, network, or physical location. It’s used to protect information and resources from unauthorised use, disclosure, or modification.
It can be implemented through technology such as passwords that must be entered before someone can gain access to something like a file server.
Secure Your Devices
Your devices are a major weak spot in your company’s data security strategy. Don’t let them be a liability:
- Encrypt all of the data on your hard drive or drives. If you have data stored on removable media, such as USB flash drives and SD cards, encrypt those too.
- Set strong passwords for each user account so that even if someone gets into one device, they won’t be able to access another one without knowing the password. (And do make sure that all of these passwords are different from each other—this is particularly important for employees who share computers.)
- Enable screen locks after periods of time so that if an unauthorised person picks up a phone or tablet left lying around by accident, they will not be able to access any sensitive information without unlocking it first.
- Biometric identification methods like fingerprint scanning may also increase security—but make sure you don’t rely solely upon them. Biometric systems can fail due to human error just like anything else does.
Protect Your Internet Connection
The best way to protect your business’s data privacy is to make sure that you are using a secure wireless network. This can be done by either connecting to a secure network or using a VPN service, which encrypts all of your online traffic so that it cannot be intercepted by hackers.
Additionally, you should use strong passwords for all of the accounts that have access to sensitive information about your business. It’s also good practice not to use public Wi-Fi networks because they tend not to be as secure as private ones.
Encrypt Your Files and Emails
Encryption is the process of encoding data so that only specific parties can access it.
If you’re reading this and thinking, “I encrypt my files already,” it’s not enough. Encrypting your files is essential, but there are many ways that encryption can be weakened. If you want to keep your data safe, then you need to know how to protect yourself from the most common pitfalls.
First off: use a strong password. It’s easy for hackers to guess or crack weak passwords—so don’t store yours with your file. Instead, write it down somewhere safe. Make sure that even someone who knows where it is can’t just read what it says over your shoulder while they wait for their turn at the keyboard.
Next: make sure that when you send an encrypted email or transfer an encrypted file onto another device, no one has access except the intended recipient of said file until after they’ve unlocked its contents using their own unique key.
Shred Sensitive Documents
- Get a cross-cut shredder.
- Don’t use a paper shredder that cuts only in one direction, as it’s much easier for identity thieves to piece together your documents than with a machine that cuts in both directions.
Use Firewalls and Antivirus Software
The first step to protecting your business from data breaches is to use firewalls and antivirus software. A firewall is a piece of software that prevents unauthorised access to sensitive files on your computer by creating a barrier between your computers and the Internet. Antivirus software scans for malicious software, such as viruses and worms, that can damage or destroy data stored on your computer or network.
These tools are essential because they protect you from hackers looking for weaknesses in your system so they can exploit them for their own gain, as well as other threats like malware, spyware, worms, and Trojans.
Update Your Operating Systems and Applications Regularly.
- Update Your Operating Systems and Applications Regularly.
Updates are free, so don’t skip them. Updates fix bugs and vulnerabilities that hackers can take advantage of to gain access to your data. They can be automated, so you don’t have to worry about manually checking for them or downloading new versions of your software every day.
By taking these steps to improve your company’s data security, you can make your business more competitive while ensuring that customer data is more secure than ever before.
Protecting personal information is critical to maintaining a good reputation among customers and even employees. If someone at the company loses a laptop or has their email account hacked by a hacker, it can affect reputations across all levels of the business—especially if sensitive information like Social Security numbers gets leaked.
Data security also makes businesses more attractive to customers who are concerned about identity theft or privacy violations. In fact, many consumers won’t do business with companies that don’t have strong security practices in place. This can be especially important for small businesses competing against larger companies with stronger brand recognition but less concern for data privacy issues. You’ll want that edge when it comes time for choosing vendors or placing bids on contracts.
With the prevalence of cyber attacks on businesses today, it’s more important than ever to protect yourself from data breaches. We hope that this article has helped to educate you on how to do so.
Cornerstone Digital is a WordPress development company in Sydney. We’d be glad to talk to you about making your website more secure. Call us on (02) 8211 0668 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A self-professed book and digital marketing nerd, Darlyn Herradura focuses on building trust between customers and businesses with the written word. She understands that creating valuable content is the best way to get found online and happily spends her time doing that.