How to Protect Your Customers’ Data and Build Trust
Every business that collects consumer data is susceptible to hackers. From Uber and Tik Tok, businesses of all sizes have experienced data breaches.
Cybercriminals target personally identifiable information because it offers them maximum profit. If hackers gain access to email addresses and credit card data belonging to your business, they could cause irreparable harm to its reputation and bottom line.
1. Be transparent
Transparency is crucial when it comes to protecting customer data. From developing back-up plans and training employees on disaster response procedures to being open and honest about processes and what could go wrong can help build trust while quickly solving any potential problems that may arise.
Customers want businesses that take their privacy seriously regardless of the industry in which they work. Since almost all retail and ecommerce companies collect some form of customer data that could potentially be targeted by hackers, if customers do not feel secure that their information is being protected they could move their custom elsewhere.
Transparency can also serve as a symbol of your ethical values – this is especially relevant in tech and ecommerce sectors where consumers tend to shun businesses that engage in unfair business practices or partner with environmentally hazardous suppliers.
2. Keep it simple
As a marketer, your responsibility is to safeguard customer data. Consumers simply won’t trust a brand if it keeps sensitive details on file.
Cybercriminals make millions by breaking into systems, stealing data, reselling it for ransom or holding onto it as ransomware. To stay out of their reach and stay protected yourself from fraudsters’ schemes, always consider data protection when working with clients.
Start by understanding what data your business collects and its location. Next, establish a system to categorize that information based on its sensitivity and use case.
Implement a policy that restricts who can access data. Better still, implement an automatic deletion system for files no longer needed by employees or customers. When recycling computers or paper documents, always be sure to use special software designed specifically for this task to completely erase their storage media before disposing.
3. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
As with any data storage method, keeping and sharing customer information can present risks. Data breaches have become more frequent since 2022 and customers expect companies to safeguard their personal information (PII).
Marketers have more power than they realize when it comes to protecting customer data, including an email address which is considered personally identifiable information (PII) and must be protected.
Cybercriminals make money from hacking systems and stealing data to sell or hold for ransom, so when you take steps to lower the external value of your PII, hackers are less likely to invest time and resources into hacking your business. By adhering to applicable regional regulations and training employees on best practices for data handling, you can decrease the risk of data breaches significantly. Keeping backup copies also provides time buy should ransomware strike your system down completely.
4. Don’t be afraid to apologize
When companies make mistakes, it’s essential for them to acknowledge them quickly and sincerely apologise. Doing this will build trust with customers while showing they take customer data seriously. However, when writing their apology they should use carefully chosen language so as to not appear defensive – an apology that sounds sincere is more likely to generate trust than one which comes across accusatory.
Customer data security is of utmost importance for any business. Breaches can lead to damaged consumer trust, customer migration away from a business, fines or lawsuits being issued as a result, fines being levied against you by regulators in your region and hackers accessing customer records without your knowledge. In order to protect customer privacy and keep customer records secure, make sure your operations adhere to regional data protection regulations while taking preventive steps against access by hackers.
Marketers have more power over protecting customer data than they realize. Even information like an email address constitutes personally identifiable information (PII), so any reduction of its external value makes this data less appealing to hackers who prefer high-value targets.