In this ultra-connected world where most personal data are handled every day, it’s important that data providers can feel reassured it won’t get into the wrong hands. With today’s many risks, data protection has never been essential than ever. In fact, the introduction of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), makes it more important. To keep your information secure, here are some valuable tips:

Prioritize Encryption

Before, strong encryption was only necessary for the most sensitive data. These days, it must be standard practise for any type of personal information. Any business should cover both at-rest-data like those stored on physical servers and in-transit data including information transmitted to and from cloud services. Look for an algorithm like Advanced Encryption Standard that provides a minimum of 128-bit encryption. For very sensitive data, 256-bit encryption may be appropriate. To add an additional layer of security, use HTTPs web connections.

Train your People

Managers and employees must know what is expected of them in any situation. Also, they should know how to practise good data security. You need to highlight the need for discretion in communications, not including personal information in emails unless justifiable. Make sure your staff access to systems that have personal data is limited to areas directly linked to their professional services.

Reduce the Use of Data

When it comes to both data capture and data consumption, only use necessary personal data. As you profile for marketing, remember that is maybe only as effective when psuedonymised. Some fields, like people’s titles, are usually not needed. In terms of consumption, what matters is just the requested data from customers. You don’t have to ask for their age or educational background.

Store Just Important Data

It is not a good practice to keep data you don’t actually need. Keep in mind that much personal information evolves and changes over time such as home address and mobile phone numbers. Focus on limiting the time data you can store before asking customers to re-confirm and update details. Also, reassure them that they will be in control of how their information is used.

Ensure Proper Password Management

Strong password protection is important to secure your virtual office to anyone who wants to walk in. Effective password policies are vital for each business. Make sure that passwords are required to be changed regularly, like every 90 days, and that old passwords should not be used. Audit password changes so you can keep track of when they change.