The increased collection of detailed personal information by private companies is a major concern among consumers. As security breaches become more frequent, companies are under increased pressure to ensure the safety of customers’ personal information.
Consumers concerns center are the unauthorized release of personal data including chat logs, files, images and emails. These worries aren’t unwarranted, as an unsecured firm can be compromised to the point where customers’ private data could be accessed by third parties. It is the organizations’ responsibility to avoid security breaches.
Here are tips for organizations to help keep customer data safe.
Tips for Maintaining Privacy of Customer Data
- Make sure that your network, email protection and endpoint can effectively avoid dangerous types of files, malware and spam.
- Keep staff trained on how to effectively identify, report and deal with potentially dangerous emails, such as messages that include suspicious attachments or possible phishing links.
- Implement a patch assessment tool that automatically applies security updates to programs and operating systems, preventing potential exploits.
- Having a secure gateway and/or endpoint protection application can identify and prevent exploits before your systems can be hit.
- While many companies might believe that attackers could be satisfied with only a few pieces of private data, the reality is that these criminals want to gain full access to user databases and entire networks, where they can access all available personal information en masse. To avoid this, you might want to separate each of your own internal departments with multiple top-of-the-line firewalls, as opposed to relying on a single firewall that, once exploited, can leave all of your systems vulnerable.
- Device control strategies can be effective in keeping dangerous removable storage devices away. Companies can make it so that any personal data for customers is impossible to store on external devices, and avoid potential exploit kits that might be stored on them.
- When sharing any sensitive information internally, utilize full disc protection and securely encrypt all private information that’s located on private servers or any external devices.
- Make sure that you aren’t using any applications that are unnecessary and potentially detract from system security.
- Create and stick with a data protection policy that provides detailed instructions on how to keep all private information secure from possible threats.
- When transitioning to cloud services, organizations should make data encryption a top priority.
How Consumers Can Help
- Consumers should create strong passwords that aren’t easy to figure out, avoiding the use of any information that others may know. A good password consists of a complex combination of letters, numbers, punctuation and capitalization to make it more difficult to compromise, but consumers should create one that’s not difficult for them to recall.
- When making purchases with independent sellers on eBay or other online outlets, consumers should stick with PayPal or credit card payments in order to avoid scams.
- Consumers should always look carefully through emails before clicking on links or opening attachments. If they are from people with whom they’ve had no previous contact, or if the email doesn’t include enough detail to appear legitimate, it could be an email intended to phish personal information or infect computer systems with malware.
As network technology continues to develop, so does that of crooks looking to steal personal information, This is why both businesses and consumers need to put in more effort in securing data.