7 Ways to Protect Client and Consumer Information in your Business

7 Ways to Protect Client and Consumer Information in your Business

Loose lips sink ships, and every business owner is constantly wary of accidentally breaking customer confidentiality or leaking information due to the fast-paced and demanding nature of work. That’s why coordination, alertness, and vigilance are critical when handling customer information. It’s not enough simply to keep your mouth shut, particularly today where no information seems to be safe.

1) Using Common-sense

Of course, it should go without saying, but it still needs to be said. Carelessness or overconfidence may jeopardise your client’s information. Don’t speak to clients about their business in public places. Leave all customer information and their cases in your office.

Don’t be tempted to speak to your spouse, close neighbour or family member about it. If you have received text messages from your clients, make sure to delete them immediately so that no one else can see them. Never talk to customers on the phone when someone else is listening or when they can overhear your chat. They could well pick up some information about your client that could jeopardise his/her affairs. And never post on your social media accounts about it, no matter how proud you are.

2) Document Security

Notwithstanding advances in technology, certain laws will always apply: Hold files of your clients in a secure cabinet. Use the paper shredder. Never leave records where people will have easy access to them. What about transporting confidential documents? Should you FedEx them, or do you check them on the plane? Each option has risks, but it’s much more likely that documentation will go missing during travel.

3) Data Security

In the course of normal business, the customer’s information is at risk many times when transferring files over the Internet. Be aware of the risks involved. Certain communication methods are more vulnerable than others, with social media, unreliable networks and unencrypted emails topping the list. Make sure important documents are transmitted securely.

Storing files on local devices Of course, it goes without saying that people must not share passwords, but it’s risky even to store files locally while keeping your password secret. When properly implemented, storing data in the cloud is indeed the safest place for data from your clients.

4) Proper Management

Mark confidential files, both physical and online, as “confidential information”. It will serve as a reminder that the files inside need to be taken good care of. You can also encrypt the password of certain files, so if someone hacks your computer, they have to decrypt the sensitive folders too.

5) Ethics

Clearly, when you are in a position where the integrity of your client’s case is at stake, you always have to make rational and moral decisions. If you’re torn between two important choices, choose the one that prioritises the benefit of your client first. Carefully review the suggestions above and follow them. You can also ask attorneys how they protect information about their clients and follow some useful methods that can benefit you and your client concerning issues of violations of confidentiality.

6) Check Employees

Conducting a thorough employee background check is an incredibly important step towards ensuring the safety of your client and his/her information. Take a lesson from the government, which checks for factors that have proven to make workers untrustworthy (and clearly still make mistakes). Someone with a drug problem is much more likely to be prone to fraud or ethical lapses. Your customers deserve the same kind of people handling their documents as those that the NSA uses in handling its documents.

7) Don’t Be Overconfident!

The advice in this post may sound self-evident. Nevertheless, the task is to remain alert in protecting confidentiality even when it doesn’t seem to be that difficult. The easiest way for things to go wrong is to make a mistake about the simple things – as they seem so simple!.

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