Business data protection helps secure customer details, financial information, sales figures and other key business data, protecting one of your most important assets.
Good business data protection keeps information safe, as well as ensuring you comply with relevant data protection rules and legislation. You should think about business data protection alongside your backup options to ensure your data is safe, even if you suffer a data protection breach.
Problems with data could cost your company. For instance:
You need safeguards, policies and systems to stop a data protection breach.
The first step to ensuring good business data protection is identify all data in your business and where it’s stored. You can then evaluate its sensitivity and decide what steps to take to comply with data protection rules.
It’s important you keep data accurate and up to date. Maintaining outdated records can be as bad as having no data at all, so implement procedures for regularly reviewing and updating records.
Duplicate records can be problematic too. You might end up mailing customers twice, or be unable to build up a picture of people’s purchasing history. Many database systems allow you to identify duplicates automatically.
If you store data about people – like customers or employees – let them view the information you keep and indicate how they’ll allow you to use it. Many businesses do this by establishing an area on their website where customers can log in, update their details and indicate their email marketing preferences.
The Data Protection Act 1998 is the key piece of legislation relating to how your business stores and uses data. It applies to any personal information you store about living individuals.
If the Act applies to your business, there are a number of steps you must take to comply with the data protection rules. Notably, you must:
Complying with the Data Protection Act is largely common sense, but you should seek advice if you’re at all unsure about your obligations.
Put systems, procedures and policies in place to reduce the chance of a data protection breach. You’ll want to ensure that sensitive data is best protected:
Ultimately, you need to create a culture of responsibility to ensure strong business data protection. This doesn’t just mean writing procedures for your staff to follow. It also means offering guidance and training so they understand why data protection rules matter.
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