May 12, 2021

How to protect your customers’ sensitive information

Learn the best ways to protect your customers’ personal data

If your business needs to collect sensitive data from your customers, it is essential that you keep it protected. Losing customer sensitive information in a data breach has devastating consequences to both your customers and your business. 

Cyber crime is a big business and brings in a lot more profit than you might expect. In 2018, cybercriminals obtained, laundered, spent, and invested around $1.5 trillion worldwide. [1] 

High profile data breaches happen often, and they make customers concerned about the security of their personal information within businesses. That’s why it’s important for you to protect customer sensitive information and make your data protection policies clear to your clients. 

Continue reading to learn our top 6 ways to protect customer sensitive information. 

#1: Create a clear privacy policy. 

Customers need to trust your business before they feel safe enough to share their personal information, and it’s important not to mislead your customers about how their data is collected and used. 

Make sure you have a clear and honest privacy policy that your customers can refer to that states how their private information is saved and protected. 

#2: Limit access to sensitive information.

Not everyone in your company needs access to customer’s sensitive information. Limit the number of people who can view this data to limit the risk of an internal data breach—whether accidental or purposeful. 

#3: Utilize a password management tool. 

Login points are very vulnerable to data breaches. It’s important to create strong and unique passwords in order to access sensitive information. However, it can be difficult to force complex passwords that are hard to remember. 

That’s why it’s a good idea to use a password management tool. Password management tools create and store complex passwords for all the tools and software logins your business needs. When someone needs to login, they’ll pull the password from the tool. 

These password management tools also encrypt the login information and make it indecipherable to anyone without an encryption key. 

Learn more:

 Your top 5 password security questions, answered

#4: Download security updates.

Many businesses postpone their security updates which increases the risk of an attack because hackers seek ways to use security vulnerabilities to their advantage. It’s crucial to update and patch any software as soon as needed to minimize this risk and keep your customer sensitive information safe. 

#5: Only collect necessary information. 

By asking customers for more valuable information, your business becomes a bigger target for hackers. Avoid using highly sensitive data, such as social security numbers, and focus on only collecting data that is necessary to help decrease the risk of a data breach and increase your customers’ trust. 

It’s also important to evaluate what data your business actually needs. Audit every piece of data and ask if it would change the way your business operated if you didn’t collect it. Doing this periodically will help decrease the amount of customer sensitive information you need to store. 

#6: Encrypt customers’ data. 

Encrypting customer sensitive information is an important and effective way to protect it. Any personal information on your business’s servers should be encrypted to lower the threat of hacking. 

Along with this, educate and train employees on the best practices for protecting customers’ personal data. They should be kept-up-to date about new fraud schemes or cyber security risks and know not to respond or open suspicious emails or messages.

Learn more:

Spam emails 101: 5 ways to spot a suspicious email 

How we can help protect your customer’s sensitive information

We offer a wide range of IT security packages uniquely tailored to fit your business’s needs. Our comprehensive services help keep your business, your team, and your customers safe from cyber security threats. 

Ready to get started? 

Contact us today to learn more. 

Sources:

1: Bronium | Hyper-Connected Web of Profit Emerges, as Global Cybercriminal Revenues Hit $1.5 Trillion Annually  

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