Data Protection: Why it Matters and How to Implement a Policy

What’s one thing that we have seen in headlines more and more? Data breaches. Big companies are coming forward and revealing data breaches where tons of personal information may have been compromised. Who’s personal information? Consumers. And not just specific consumers, but consumers from all over the world. More than 98.2 million individuals were impacted by the 10 biggest data breaches in the first half of 2021. Every person who has any online presence is at risk with these types of incidents!

Who’s Being Targeted?

Data privacy and protection is becoming more highlighted, especially in an increasingly digital world. Hackers are focusing less and less on stealing individual identities and focusing more on what pays the most: ransomware attacks and targeting unsecure databases. The average ransomware payout in 2018 was less than $10,000. In 2020, that figure grew to more than $233,000 per ransomware attack! 

Ransomware is hurting individual companies more, but hackers targeting unsecured databases are affecting consumers. By hacking databases, cyber criminals could potentially access social security numbers, login credentials, bank account information and so much more. The bigger the company, the more data that is at risk. 

cyber security

So, what factors can lead to more unsecured databases? There are a few elements to look at:

Consider sources: As companies grow, there are more chances of collecting fake or useless data. This negatively affects any type of marketing analysis from the data, along with increasing disorganization within the database. Increased disorganization = increased vulnerability.

Consider security of stored data: If companies don’t place an emphasis on security measures for their collected data (encryption, firewalls, etc), it’s going to be susceptible to cyber attacks. 

Consider data protection laws: Regulations have been put into place to protect data privacy/consumer privacy, therefore impeding cyber criminals. If a company remains cognizant of these laws and regulations while following suggested procedures, the outcome for their data protection will be far better. 

Laws and Regulations 

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was created in Europe to help govern the use of personal data. It’s a set of rules that controls what organizations do with collected data and also offers more transparency about the collection process. GDPR emphasizes securing data, along with encouraging companies to not gather more data than they truly need. Too much data means more to lose, plus less organization and security.  

GDPR may be based in Europe, but it applies to any company doing business with European citizens. For instance, if a company based in Texas mainly interacts with Americans, but also has customers in Europe, GDPR applies and compliance is required. 

So far in the United States, there are only three states that have created protective regulations involving data/personal information: California, Colorado and Virginia. It’s a good idea for companies to consider regulations like GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act when building their own data and privacy policies. With bigger businesses, there’s going to be customers from Europe and more regulated states. This means rules like the GDPR and CCPA will have to be considered no matter what. Companies should incorporate this into their plan, further progressing along with the ever-evolving realm of data protection. 

Privacy Policies are the Best Policy... 

It is a good idea to create a privacy policy that is not only informative for the customer, but complies with laws like GDPR. Not only will this create more trust, but it can also prevent security issues down the line. 

Data privacy policy creates transparency

A privacy policy creates more transparency between businesses and their customers. It lets the customer know what data is being collected and what’s being done with that data. It also tends to make it more clear how the data is being gathered, whether through cookies or a pop-up form. 

Privacy policies can also describe things like data storage, how long the company will keep the data stored, and who may have access. Next time you go on a website and the privacy notice pops up, take a deeper look into what it involves! There are free privacy policy generators online and the Better Business Bureau is another free reference to get started.

CRM Solutions and What They Can Do for Your Company

A Customer Relationship Management solution is an important player in the big business and marketing game. CRMs manage customer data, analyzing the customer experience and supplying insight to what marketing tactics are working. They offer information to improve sales and lead acquisition. 

Zoho CRM solutions

What does this have to do with data protection and privacy? CRM solutions like Zoho take data privacy seriously and incorporate it into their business practice. Once GDPR came around in 2018, Zoho has been compliant in all aspects of their services. Zoho also offers much more than just the typical CRM options:

Zoho SalesIQ: This option tracks and interacts with website visitors while remaining GDPR compliant. 

• Zoho Assist: This option helps with remote support and controls remote access to your device. Without your consent, no access will be given.

 • Zoho Vault: A secure and convenient way to keep track of company passwords. 

Wrapping Up 

Privacy and data protection

The world is becoming increasingly more digital and data-focused. The risks to privacy and data protection are at an all-time high. It is more important than ever to stay ahead of the never-ending changes and developments, especially if you want to continue to grow your business! 

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