Important Things That All Businesses Should Know About Data Privacy
Data privacy, also known as information privacy, covers processes and obligations that are involved in protecting access to personally identifiable information, also known as PII. These days, many businesses collect data on their customers that can be used for a number of different purposes. However, this data can be accessed by a larger number of people, even if it’s unintentional.
As a result of this, businesses have to think hard about how they protect customer data and ensure privacy. So here are a couple of things your business needs to understand about data privacy.
Data privacy and data security are not the same things
There’s a common misconception that data privacy and data security are similar things or interchangeable terms. However, the reality is that there’s a distinction between the two. Data security focuses more on the systems that are used to prevent people from accessing data. On the other hand, data privacy is more focused on the ethical and legal use of sensitive data and PII.
A great example to visualize this is to imagine an online store. When customers place orders and create accounts, it generates a large amount of data that can include PII such as their real name, address, phone number, and so on.
Data privacy ensures that this data is only accessible to the relevant people in your business that need it in order to do their jobs. For example, a customer support representative may need a customer’s address and details to process a refund.
On the other hand, data security would cover the systems and processes involved if the company was ever to be hacked. This can involve firewalls, edge computing, data encryption, and the use of a virtual private network to protect sensitive customer information. These are the main differences that are worth understanding when it comes to data privacy versus data security, but they are both equally just as important.
Educating your staff about data privacy is important
Your staff may not care about the fact they have access to important customer information. After all, they need it to do their jobs and it’s probably natural for them to see things like addresses and phone numbers. However, it’s a good idea to remind your staff just how sensitive the data is and the responsibilities they have to protect it. There are many simple things that they can do in order to better protect data internally. Here are some of the things you can do to educate your staff.
- Encourage them to lock their computers when they’re not in use so that people can’t go on their computers to access customer data.
- Always use secure methods to transfer data so that there’s less chance that it can be intercepted by someone.
- Don’t talk about sensitive data with people that aren’t qualified. This means keeping all sensitive data and talking about it within the company or departments that it originates from.
By focusing on these considerations, you can better educate your staff on the importance of data privacy.