If you think protecting customer data just affects the big box stores, think again.
I recently attended a forum about data security. I, too, thought the event would revolve around the big company credit card hackers and bank breaches that made headlines nationwide; I was wrong.
You see, it’s not just the big companies that are hacked by the unseen “Bad Guys.” Small businesses are victimized, too; and sometimes much more easily.
While the Target and Home Depot security breaches generated days of news, showing how the large stores had trouble maintaining information security, there is an entire worldwide network of hackers looking at myriad points of entry into companies of all sizes. In fact, there is an online marketplace of businesses with revenues of $100,000 having stolen data available for purchase. (Sadly, it seems these hackers are small business people, too.)
How can you protect the data and credit card information of your customers? Look into necessary security systems, take precautions, and ensure that your systems are as secure as possible.
While some security breaches are invisible to the naked eye, there are physical things you can do to protect your business. For instance, lock up your data, including hard drives, backup drives, and laptops. Limit access to sensitive information to only select (and screened) employees. Discourage use of USB (or thumb) drives where employees can download and spirit away information. Set clear policies on how your employees treat and handle customer info. And if you work on sensitive topics (law, health), encrypt your emails. Be sure to create passwords that are difficult to figure out — “password” and “123456” are never good passwords.
Be sure to be diligent when safeguarding customer information, and your customers will feel secure and turn to your business more frequently.
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