As many companies keep their customers’ personal information on file for invoicing and other business purposes, there is a growing need for effective data security measures to prevent this information from falling into the wrong hands. Rising cybercrime is expected to exceed $2 trillion by 2019, while a growing number of consumers, 68%, don’t trust brands to handle their personal information appropriately.
To determine the best data protection measures a business can take, while also keeping their customers aware of how their information is handled, I asked nine members of the Young Entrepreneur Council:
How do you protect your customers’ personal information and make this transparent to them?
Their best answers are below:
1. Use multiple authentication layers
We explain the security process we use on our website in a very clear way, so they understand how their data is protected through multiple layers of authentication. This ensures that the right person is accessing their account and conducting the transaction. – John Rampton, Due
2. Check for PCI compliance
If you accept credit card payments, make sure you’re PCI compliant. To be compliant, you’ll need to follow a list of best practices that help ensure the safety of your customers’ information. From encryption to employee procedures, PCI compliance covers a variety of topics and must be maintained to ensure safety. Once compliant, advertise it in the footer of your website and during checkout. – Kyle Goguen, Pawstruck
3. Use SSL and Passpack
As an internet technology company, our clients’ projects are complex, and private information, such as credentials, is needed to access their website, social media accounts and server. Passpack is the perfect solution to transfer passcodes through an encrypted account that is only accessible to the recipient via email. We also make sure that any transaction happens through an encrypted server. – Duran Inci, Optimum7
4. Destroy after use
Make privacy a competitive advantage for your company. Do the unthinkable and don’t store customers’ personal information. Let your customers know that this is how your business operates and use this transparency to set yourself apart from the rest. Your customers will find it unusual but when they see how strict you are about privacy, they will take notice. – Diego Orjuela, Cables & Sensors
6. Prioritize customers and build trust
We always prioritize our users and we have a very strict privacy pledge that states that we never sell, rent or share information about our customers. We’ve built a sophisticated technology platform that enables seamless integration. So, when our customers use Updater, they can rest assured that we use their personal information only in accordance with our privacy pledge. – David Greenberg, Updater
7. Have audit trails and NDAs in place
You can protect a customer’s personal information by providing them with a mutual non-disclosure agreement. This protects both parties’ interests. Informing a customer of potentially conflicting interests upfront also helps build transparency and trust. Finally, utilize a project management system for the purposes of building an audit trail for communications with the customer. – Jordan Edelson, Appetizer Mobile LLC
8. Use the latest in financial technology
I seek service providers who are developing the most cutting-edge technology in security systems for my company. To protect personal client information, and for it to be transparent, I implement the latest in financial technology, and current projects include a mobile app utilizing biometric authentication and another that will instead integrate facial and voice recognition for security purposes. – Luigi Wewege, Vivier Group
9. Use bulge-bracket investment banking level data and security rooms
We use bulge-bracket investment banking level data and security rooms. The businesses we service share sensitive information with us, including financials. We need this information to provide accurate advice on mergers, acquisitions and divestitures. – Thomas Smale, FE International
This post is part of our contributor series. The views expressed are the author's own and not necessarily shared by TNW.