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Data Protection Issues for Businesses

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Regardless of the size of a business, all too often there are gaps, trip ups or glitches that can occur when securing a good data protection plan.  In order to avoid the unpleasant aftermath that can follow, just take a few simple steps. 

Educate all employees about ID theft and ways to prevent it.  Let them know it is not just their personal information that is at risk it is also the information of the company's customers/clients that is also at risk.  In the event of a customers/clients personal information about their company or themselves were to leak out, the outcome could result in a lawsuit against you. 

Assure all customers/clients that their company or personal information is safe and that your company takes every precaution in protecting that information.  If you encounter a customer that is clearly hesitant about providing their personal information just tell them what precautions you will take to protect these details.

Explain on your company website how customer or client information is handled.  Clearly show on your website that information furnished by a customer or client is held in the strictest confidence.

Have adequate security for your website as well as all data on the network. 

Inform all employees that giving out company information either on a website, email or over the phone is putting the company at risk for ID theft.  This includes company credit card information, financial reports, even passwords used to access sensitive company information.

When signing any contracts for work being done by sub contractors such as IT professionals, cable installers, PC repairman or network maintenance engineers make sure to include a clause in the contract that clearly states that the sub contractor is certified or has proper clearance to handle sensitive information or is authorized to enforce your procedures for data protection.  Back up the contract with a release that enables you to enforce financial penalties on the company of the sub contractor in the event of loss of data belong to your company or customers or clients.  Check all sub contractors work thoroughly and advise them you are to be kept informed of every function they perform and why they are performing it.

 

Ensure data protection by storing data offsite and providing copies that are stored in several different locations.  Back up as often as possible always include the back up of the operating system, software, software update, applications and application settings. Create a schedule of when to perform overall network backups.  It's best to schedule these during off peak business hours as this type of backup consumes a lot of bandwidth.  Unless there are updates to applications, software or the operating system overall network backups can be performed once a month.  All subsequent backup for document, presentations, reports, emails, financial reports, etc. should be backed up several times a week.

Taking the time to devise a plan to protect confidential company information as well as information gathered from customers or clients could be the difference between financial loss due to lawsuits and customers and clients having a strong sense of confidentiality and trust which could possibly increase your company profits.

- Adelaide Business Computer Services