Some businesses are on it like a hawk, and some businesses don’t bother communicating it as much, but schooling your staff in data protection processes might be the thing that will save your business in more ways than one! Looking after your data should be your top priority when you are dealing with sensitive information, or you are scaling up your business to take on more employees. Why is dealing with data so important, and what can you do to make sure your staff know about the best ways to handle sensitive information?
The mishandling of data has been all over the news in recent years. With the amount of data hacks and important government documents being leaked, it has highlighted that nobody can be overly protective of their information. As the information, you are likely to carry is of names, addresses, phone numbers, etc. in other words, sensitive data, you need to make sure that you are taking care of it to the best of your ability. The physical data you may have, such as papers and documents can be secured by storing them away in filing cabinets and similar facilities. In large companies, people can easily steal documents to sell to your competitors or use for their own gain. Information like bank details could be used to steal money, and if your company is held responsible for it, you can face hefty fines that could potentially bankrupt your business. It won't help your reputation either, and if you rely on the relationship you have with your customers, their faith in you as a trusted brand will be shaken.
Computerized data can be secured in many ways, from antivirus programs to encryption processes. As well as the standard methods, you should also communicate the best ways for each member of staff to secure their information. The best way to achieve total security in a business is to reinforce the fact that everyone should take responsibility for their workstations and computer systems. From changing their passwords regularly to removing any sensitive documents from their desks at the end of the day and putting them away, each member of staff can do small duties to help out the business. The removal of sensitive data is a key aspect of data protection, and while there are security measures in software like the cloud, there are businesses that need to make sure that their hard drives are clear of any sensitive data before the computers are disposed of. This can be something that people often overlook, and think that deleting an item from their desktop means it is gone from the computer. The only way to really ensure that an item is deleted from the hard drive is to use an NSA listed degausser which removes data from your hard drive by using a magnetic field. Keeping customer data for longer than necessary is not good practice, and as well as promoting a sense of mistrust, it is illegal in some countries.
Mishandling sensitive information can come at a price, and it is in the best interests of your business to make sure you do it to the best of your ability.