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Businesses today have a greater responsibility to their customers than ever before. It’s no longer enough to provide a great product or service — you’ve also got to provide them with security.
If your customer’s data gets breached, you can expect to lose their business. At worst, you might even face a lawsuit.
Data breaches are becoming all-too-common so you want to prepare for the worst.
So what do you do to protect such sensitive data?
Here are the basic steps on how to keep customer data safe:
Build Your Reputation
The first step is to actually make sure your company has a strong reputation. Any damage to your reputation is enough to deter customers. It’s enough to make them lose trust in sharing their data with you.
For example, if you work with smartphones you should look on this site to learn about WISE certification.
If you sell products online, make sure you offer your customers a range of payment authorization services. These can include Paypal, Stripe, Authorize.net, etc.
This gives them more comfort than if you simply request their credit card information without third-party software.
If your business requires customers to create online accounts, make sure they choose strong passwords.
At best, they should be required to change their passwords every 60 days. Create stringent criteria on the type of passwords they can use.
An example of such criteria can be:
- Minimum of 12 characters
- A mixture of uppercase and lowercase letters
- Must use at least 1 number
- Must use at least 1 special character
This ensures that your customers don’t choose a password that a hacker can easily figure out.
You should also consider implementing a two-factor authentication system as well. This will require your customers to confirm their identity via email or phone before logging in.
This way, even if someone has access to your user’s password, they won’t be able to log in until they have access to their phone as well. 2 factor authentication system is one of the best ways to ensure that no one else can access your store’s database without permission.
Allow Different Payment Options
This continues with offering different payment services. The more payment choices your customer has, the more secure they’ll feel.
PayPal is often preferred because it masks credit card and bank information from the merchant. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are also harder to hack and more private.
You can also allow customers to pay via check or COD for ultimate protection and privacy.
Don’t Collect All the Customer’s Data
In a world of constant data-sharing, this seems like an oxymoron. But this is actually the best way to protect your customer’s data.
It’s a lot more convenient to have our payment information saved to our accounts.
But you should prohibit collecting this information. Request that your customers enter their information for each purchase. Let them know that this inconvenience helps protect their data.
If your business involves shipping, ask customers to use P.O. boxes or virtual mailboxes. This is a lot safer than providing their home address and making them targets.
Protect Your Customers
Follow this guide and you’ll be better prepared to protect your customer’s data.
Remember that even a minor data breach is enough to harm your business. Try to collect as little information as possible. Offer your customers an array of payment options.
Also, encourage them to protect their data by demanding harder passwords and mailboxes.
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