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Data Privacy In 2020: If You Collect It, Protect It

With 2020 off to a bumpy start with the California Consumer Privacy Act, small businesses are feeling the pressure to comply with increasingly complicated and burdensome data privacy regulations. 

Limited financial resources and unintentional violations could cost small businesses millions. So, on days like Data Privacy Day, it’s more important than ever to stay brushed up on best practices for protecting your customers’ – and your own – data.

1. Keep your privacy settings up to date. 

Keeping your online privacy settings updated ensures that any sensitive information – like names, addresses, phone numbers, social security numbers, and credit card numbers – remains as airtight as possible. 

The National Cyber Security Alliance’s list of privacy settings by service is a useful way to explore how to lock up your data more effectively.

2. Strengthen your passwords.

If any of your accounts use the word “password” or any variations on that theme (we’re looking at you, “passw0rd” and “12345”), your data is at risk. 

Instead, opt for a password with the following characteristics

  • At least eight characters
  • Upper and lowercase letters
  • Numbers
  • Symbols (i.e. $, %, @, etc.)

3. Actually install those software updates.

Stop playing the forever “Remind Me Later” game and install periodic software updates on your business computers. Updates help protect your computers from attacks while covering any security loopholes in the current version.

4. Get an antivirus tool. 

Antivirus software detects and prevents cyberattacks while protecting your and your customers’ data from phishing scams, ransomware, and malware. 

Even free software is better than nothing. Check out these affordable tools recommended for small businesses.

5. Educate your employees.

Avoid careless mistakes and unintended data breaches by holding a mini data privacy workshop. The National Cyber Security Alliance, with help from the Department of Homeland Security and leaders in online technology, has developed resources and training materials to help empower your team with data privacy literacy.

The road to keeping your customers’ data safe may be ever-changing – but 3C will be with you every step of the way. See how 3C is working to help digitally-empowered small businesses thrive in a complex digital landscape.

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