Every business knows the importance of building trust in an audience. In 2023, consumers around the world are far more aware of their data privacy and how it is being used while they are online. As a business, you likely collect user data, and you are (hopefully!) doing it for all the right reasons. But your customers don’t know this.
Right now, consumers are looking to implement good internet hygiene; it’s not just about protecting logins anymore, but recognising the scope of the threat and minimising the digital footprint that they leave behind. More and more users know how to delete personal info from the internet and stop representing a profit to data brokers, but they are also growing more principled about the sorts of businesses they lend their data to.
The best businesses demonstrate how their practices and scruples differ from all the other companies looking to collect user data for their own means, eradicating ethics for monetisation and putting users at risk of cybercriminals. And, to do this, you will need to follow the 5 essential cornerstones of data privacy.
A Culture Of Privacy
First off, you need to make sure that privacy is not just an afterthought. If you’re following GDPR, CCPA, or any other data policy, then you’re not just doing so because you have to, but because following them efficiently and transparently is what your customers deserve and want.
For this reason, you should place data privacy at the centre of operations, re-analysing your existing systems, determining which privacy regulations must apply, carrying out regular internal audits, and keeping a finger on the pulse of legislation to be ready for any changes or advancements.
Compliance Is Key
We should also mention that, although there are many reasons why you should be following government frameworks for businesses, the important thing is that the rules are followed and you avoid violating any of them.
Compliance is key for any business, so it’s important not to overlook the importance of compliance in the pursuit of other, additional methods – even if you think you’re doing the right thing by changing things up.
Prevention Rather Than Mitigation
Proactive rather than reactive. This saying can be applied to many areas of your business, but it is never going to be more apt in this instance. Far too many businesses have attempted to mitigate risk of loss after a data breach, rather than put in all the right steps to prevent it in the first place.
When you consider how much a data breach can cost you – Yahoo’s seismic data breach cost the company more than $120 million, and most SMEs go out of business within 6 months of being breached – it should be a top priority to keep your data security strong.
We mentioned before that customers are becoming more aware of data privacy, and how their data is being put at risk when they’re online. For that reason, you need to be transparent about what you are doing to protect them and set yourself apart from other businesses who do not take the same precautions.
According to a recent study, it was confirmed that 94% of consumers prefer brands that practise transparency, and this is even more true when it comes to their data.
Lastly, it’s important that you keep data privacy in small circles. Just as you should be minimising the amount of data that you collect, you should also be minimising who has access to that data. With this in mind, you should set aside the time and work out how to train employees who are involved.
They need to know all of the company-specific guidelines to data collection, as well as be regularly kept up to date with new government regulations and practices that need to be actualised. Knowledge is key, after all, and everyone involved with someone else’s data needs to know exactly how to handle it.