Privacy – why it is GOOD for business.
Many businesses use personal information for legitimate communicative purposes. It’s how a company distinguishes clients from one another and how a clients’ needs are determined.
Why personal information should remain private?
The most obvious reason for keeping your clients’ personal information private is the prevention of Identity Theft. Also known as Identity Fraud, this is when personal information is stolen and misused to impersonate the victim.
Other reasons for businesses to keep personal data private include:
· Protecting Banking Information
· Defending the Business in legal proceedings
· Personal information is the gateway to finances, medical records and credit information
· Can be misused by criminals, third parties and marketers
· Preventing spam, scams and fraud
How to protect the privacy of your clients
· Familiarise yourself with personal and business privacy laws. There are privacy policies, process and procedures that apply to every business that are there by law, or those that have been put in place by company management.
· Keep all personal information secure. Whether this is digital information or physical files. Keep away from unauthorised access at all times, and take all means necessary to destroy the information when it is no longer needed.
· Only collect personal information you need. The data you have collected, the more there is to steal. If you need more information later, collect it later.
· Know your company’s data breach response plan. Respond appropriately and quickly to any form of data breach, and follow actions written in the privacy processes and procedures if such an event occurs.
· Who is allowed to access the personal information? Within your company, certain individuals will be allowed access to personal information- only if it is written in the employees’ job description. Otherwise, limited access to data is essential and information is only accessed if absolutely necessary.
· Take care when handling sensitive information. Sensitive information includes information providing a clients’ racial and ethnic origin, religious beliefs, affiliations, sexual orientation or practices, health, genetics and biometrics. In many cases, sensitive information can only be collected by consent.
· Only use private information for intended purposes. You are only allowed to use or disclose information for the purpose it was provided.
Privacy is an essential part of running a business, and is a practice as fundamental as customer service. Due to recent advances in technology, identity thieves are smarter, meaning clients are thinking twice about which businesses they release their personal information to. It could also be viewed that Privacy is a competitive marketing technique for businesses, with some offering better protection than others. Many businesses often state that their destruction methods are thorough, meaning when the confidential information is no longer needed, it is destroyed. Which also appeals to many potential customers, knowing that their information won’t be passed onto third parties.
Looking for a secure way of destroying personal documents of digital information? Contact ShredEasy today for document shredding and e-waste management solutions.