Good security comes from good planning, so you need to carefully consider how to handle customer information in order to be successful. It’s your responsibility to make your customers feel safe and let them know that they can trust you. A large part of that is keeping your own computer systems safe. Because if you can’t protect your software, how can you protect sensitive customer information?
Collecting customer information is a delicate act of balancing expectations with results. You have to be straightforward and plan diligently in order to prove that you’re trustworthy and have the right safeguards in place to protect against breaches and loss of private information.
Build trust between your business and your customers
Establishing a good relationship with your customer base is one of the most effective ways of ensuring that they continue to do business with you. Part of earning that trust is being upfront about what info you’re collecting, how you’re storing and protecting it, and how they can opt out. No one likes surprises when it comes to sensitive personal information, so err on the side of caution and lay everything out for them.
Here are a few simple ways to establish trust with your customers:
Properly dispose of unneeded information
If you no longer need a customer’s information, delete or dispose of it immediately, using only secure methods. Make sure the data contained within the files, whether paper or digital, are not recoverable. Communicate this process clearly to customers so they know that when their information changes or if they’re no longer a customer, their information won’t be left to linger.
Protect the information you collect
Properly (and frequently) updating security software, your OS, and web browsers is the best defense against cyber threats. Ensuring you have active and updated firewall and spam filters also contributes to more secure connections when retrieving or storing customer information.
Once you have their trust, do what’s necessary to strengthen that relationship:
- Back up your records securely, ensuring that they’re stored off site. Use encryptions and strong passwords to maintain the defenses of any backup your company uses.
- Limit access to paper and online documents. Only certain employees in your company should have access to customer information, and when you limit who has access, you limit the risk of internal and external breaches.
- Know what to do in response to a breach. By creating a breach response template, you’ll set up a plan for how to handle—and recover from—potential cyber attacks. This not only serves to reassure customers, but it better prepares your employees for such events.
- Use proven software from reputable vendors. One of the reasons why they are reputable is because they have already proven themselves trustworthy with handling data and security for their software
- Keep your software up-to-date and patched. Software companies regularly release security updates and patches to keep your software secure from the latest hacks and bugs. Neglecting to update your software leaves you and your customer information vulnerable.
Gain you customer’s trust and then show them that they’ve put their information in the hands of the right company. Back up your claims with intelligent protocols and secure data storage.
Are you properly protecting your customers’ information?
If you don’t have secure methods to back up your data, you’re putting both yourself and your customers at risk. Learn more about how a proven backup solution can protect both you and your customers and eliminate risks for your business.