5 ways small businesses can protect customer data

Image by Darwin Laganzon from Pixabay

By Henry Brown

If you’re a business owner with a growing customer base, you probably know how sacrosanct your customer data is. Your responsibility is ultimately to ensure that this data is secure from cybercriminals. Unfortunately, with the growth of cybercrime cases targeted at businesses, consumers are becoming worried about their personal data security and privacy. Data breaches can significantly affect your bottom line and cause costly productivity losses to downtime. So, have you taken measures to secure your customer data? If not, here are five ways your small business can protect customer data.

1) Outsource data security issues to professionals

Perhaps, data security and its myriad of complications isn’t something you or your team are well-equipped to deal with, but that’s no reason to ignore it. Or perhaps, you consider data security strategies to be too tasking or time-consuming. In that case, outsourcing to a reliable data security expert is your best option. You can take advantage of outsourced IT services, and cloud security providers specialized in data protection and IT security against hackers and cybercrime in general.

Outsourcing gives you two major benefits. First, you leave your data security issues with competent experts who will offer proactive protection solutions. And two, you free up time to focus on other pressing areas of your business.

2) Create a security policy and conduct due diligence 

While there are various software tools and programs you can use, proper data security measures always start with a well-thought-through security policy. Regardless of how small your business is, as long as you manage a growing amount of customer data, it is prudent to establish a security policy. Even if you only have a few workers in your organization, take the time to formalize any security strategy you use and ensure that every worker knows how to deal with customer data.

3) Know your data

It’s pretty much impossible to secure what you don’t know. That means a major step to ensuring data security is making a comprehensive list of every customer data you have or continue to collect. From information like customer names and email addresses to billing information and contact numbers, have every customer data compiled in a single file and create a secure backup. Also, note where you store this data, whether online or in a physical filing system.

4) Secure your point of sale

If your small business has moved to embrace EMV chip technology, away from using magnetic stripe cards, you’ve made the first step towards securing your point of sale transactions. Research has shown that most hackers consider card transactions as their preferred point of entry, which is usually an easier route. And with many businesses moving toward chip technology, hackers are now desperate to use stolen data before such data goes obsolete.

5) Use email encryption

If your customers communicate with you using emails, then email encryption will help ensure that only the intended recipient will be able to access or read email content. Most modern email encryption solutions are simple enough to use and yet, complex enough for hackers. Plus, you can integrate modern email encryption into almost any email platform.


Henry Brown is an online marketing executive. When he isn’t talking shop, he’s roaming the streets of London, uncovering the extra-ordinary in the ordinary.

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