Not too long ago we witnessed the implementation of the GDPR by the European Union, and now California is taking a similar step towards protecting the privacy of consumers. The California Consumer Privacy Act will go into effect January 1st, 2020. But what does this mean for businesses? It means that data protection is becoming more of a concern for the general public, and businesses will have to adjust accordingly.
CCPA gives people the right to know all the data businesses have collected about them and stop businesses from selling their information. A lot of corporations may see themselves being impacted hard as these privacy standards begin spreading through the US. But small businesses shouldn’t ignore this even if it doesn’t directly affect them. Here are 7 tips to help you work towards being more secure.
1. People value their privacy, having your own standards in place to protect your customers information will give your customers peace of mind. Cyber security is not a luxury anymore, everyone must take better care on the internet. Having an SSL lets visitors know that you value their security and that your site is legitimate.
2. Minimize the amount of information you are keeping on a client and how long you’re keeping it. Some businesses will gather information for the future even though they don’t need it at the time and that can increase the risk of that data being stolen by hackers.
3. Make sure you are encrypting any sensitive data in order to keep the information safe from cyber-attacks. Or finding different ways to keep it secure so it won’t be compromised during a cyber-attack.
4. Make sure you or your web developer are running a malware monitoring service to notify you if your website becomes compromised. This will protect you and your visitors from getting infected with dangerous malware.
5. Restricting access to personal information, only a limited amount of people should have access to sensitive customer files. Keep those files in a centralized location, preferably encrypted for safety and set so only a few people can access it through special permissions.
6. Sensitive paper documents should be shredded once they are no longer needed to insure, they don’t fall into the wrong hands.
7. Have a plan in case of a breach, this includes halting everything and notifying your customers while you isolate the issue. Quick action often prevents major losses and if you are backing up properly a breach shouldn’t set you back too much. Plus, when you act quickly and efficiently your reputation as being a reliable company is maintained vs if you panicked and allowed more damage to be done.
Cyber security is a crucial investment, whether you handle in house and hire a team or have an outsourced company do it. They can give you valuable insight on your weak areas that could use more protection as well as how to best set up in case of a breach. You can also investigate migrating to the cloud because of the added security compared to regular servers and can add an extra layer of security between you and hackers.