Are you keeping your customer information as secure as possible? If your answer is ‘I’m not sure,’ it’s time to prioritize this critical practice. Data breaches, leaked information, and insecure websites can take down a company, especially small businesses. This, in turn, can eat into your profits and business dreams! If you want to learn more about best practices for protecting your customer’s data, keep reading this article by WyzGuys Cybersecurity for more information below.
Know Your Data
The first step in protecting your customer data is to know all the potential sources where data is collected. Make a list of all the avenues through which data is collected – this could be on newsletter signups, giveaway notifications, or shipping information pages. Then, list down what particular data sets you have – most businesses will have things like name, billing information, physical addresses, and email addresses. Knowing all your data specifics will give you a comprehensive picture of your customer data and where it resides on the cloud.
Protect Your Invoices
Invoices are an easy way for sensitive data to get breached, and this is because the information can get hacked into during the transfer of documents. Encrypting a PDF version of your invoice is the best way to prevent fraudulent access. Use an online invoice generator that allows you to choose from ready-to-use templates that you can customize with your business’s specifics, photos, logo, and more. Invoice maker free will also allow you to download your invoice in a PDF format for added convenience and security.
Secure Your Point of Sale
According to Cybersecurity Insiders, point-of-sale (POS) hacks have skyrocketed and are expected to rise even more in coming years. A big part of this is that the U.S. is moving away from magnetic stripe cards and embracing EMV chip card technology. However, these changes have increased fraud potential as hackers want to use stolen data before the switch to EMV cards is complete. If you’re a business that accepts card transactions, you need to secure your point of sale through systems that offer protection. Some of our favorite cybersecurity software include Square, Shopify, and Lightspeed.
Scale Down Access to Data
If you don’t have a reason to access certain sensitive information, it is best not to keep it or collect it. For example, businesses use social security numbers for reporting employee taxes. But there is no need to use an SSN to identify employees! Similarly, don’t collect data like credit card information from customers unless you absolutely need to. Keeping extra information increases the risk that the information could be hacked into. Another important tip is to be mindful of which employees have access to data. The ‘principle of least privilege’ is a good rule of thumb to follow here, as it states that only employees needing data information for their job should be able to access it. This will significantly reduce your potential for mistakes surrounding cybersecurity.
Make Sure You’re PCI Compliant
This term refers to the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard. It is an initiative that allows business owners to keep their customer’s data secure. For example, it will help businesses store, process, and safely transmit credit card information to ensure it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. Ensuring you’re PCI compliant can be a time-consuming and costly process. However, it is well worth the time and will offer you more safety and assurance in the long run.
According to the SEC, 60% of all cyberattacks and phishing targets are small businesses. The same study reported that over 60% of the companies that get hacked in this manner go out of business within six months. Thus, it is imperative to protect your customer’s data through the right strategies. After all, it’s your business that’s on the line!
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