As data breaches continually hit the news, consumers are increasingly concerned about their information. The problem is that while most people are worried about cybercrime, they often don’t protect themselves. In a survey released by Symantec, 45 percent of the 20,907 consumers surveyed felt overwhelmed by the amount of information they need to protect. With consumers overwhelmed, they look to businesses to offer assurances regarding the protection of this information. This means that online businesses need to focus on how to protect information to be able to build their customer base.
Training employees are the easiest and more important thing that a business can do to protect information. The top mistakes that employees make are things like sharing passwords or leaving work computers unattended when they bring them home. In addition, over 87 percent of business owners upload information to a personal cloud or storage server. While this may seem like a way to work efficiently, it means that the information is moving to and from different types of security levels. Most businesses use servers that are developed to professionally protect information while most individuals use servers like Dropbox and Google. This means that sharing the information to these servers puts the customer information at risk.
Employees using personal devices in the workplace is rapidly becoming one of the biggest risks for businesses. Legal experts at Steinepreis Paganin suggest writing policies for employees to try to keep these risks down. When employees bring mobile devices into the workplace, they often bring viruses and other possible breach access points with them. A mobile phone with a virus that gets plugged into a work computer to charge can cause a security breach that can affect customer information.
Making sure to update application and operating systems regularly seems mostly geared towards having them work correctly. However, many of these intend to close gaps in systems. In addition, many times hackers are aware of the updates and work quickly to find ways to exploit them. Updating systems and applications and then restarting computers takes time and feels annoying. Not updating, however, can leave customer information at risk.
Finally, think about the ways in which protecting your business protect your customers as well. Simple solutions such as using strong passwords and making sure that emails, texts, and instant messaging programs are encrypted can give your customers confidence when they work with you.
Protecting yourself means protecting the information in your care, and sometimes that information belongs to customers. Easing people’s fears about how your business handles their information can be the first step towards building their trust as customers.
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