In today’s world, it’s hard to keep anything private. Many businesses maintain electronic records, use online clouds for storage, and communicate through the internet. These practices often make for a more efficient work day, but they do leave companies exposed to data breaches. While impossible to completely prevent hackers from entering the system, it’s important that business owners take steps to protect information and prepare themselves for recovery. Here are three things that could offer some levels of protection.
Secure Your System
Understand that people might try to break into the system. If that happens, the company could be liable for the exposure of customer information. Rather than be reactive, be proactive and hire a network security consulting group that can work with the issue as soon as it happens. Research companies and look for one that understands your software, monitors it regularly and guards against viruses.
It can get annoying to see the change password box pop up; however, it is an important step in offering security. You’ll want anyone accessing information to have an individual log-in; also, they should not share codes with anyone (even other workers). In addition, encourage employees to use difficult codes. It’s tempting to use personal names, favorite pets, or number combinations, yet these are not secure. People should also avoid anything they use in their personal emails or systems. Work with your IT group to understand how often you need to change codes and what specifications work best.
Most items are online, but some information is handwritten and should not be placed directly in the trash. For instance, customers often fill out paperwork when they arrive at the office, usually providing phone numbers, credit card information and other sensitive data. Later, you entered it into the system, and now no longer need it. That paper, though, could still expose the client. To avoid identify theft, place all papers to the side and in a stack. Then, dispose of them in a shredder. If your company does not own one, you can contact other businesses who might do it for you.
If something happens, be open and honest about it. Contact customers immediately, and notify them of the breach. Inform them of any steps the company is taking to fix the issue, and, then, consider offering to monitor their credit or identity. This forthright, take-charge approach could show them your passion to keep the client a priority.