Without noticing, we continuously leave traces in the virtual world while surfing the web. When we place an order at a webshop, interact on social media, or register on a website, we provide companies with our data. It is very easy for them to track our clicks and overall behavior. Tools like cookies, pixels, and online forms provide businesses with important information about their customers’ preferences, behaviors, and private data.
What Is a Data Breach?
Let’s start with what a data breach is, so you know why data privacy is of such great importance. A data breach takes place when a cybercriminal sneaks into a data source and withdraws sensitive information. In the three quarters of 2020, there were 2,935 publicly reported breaches. It represents a 51% decrease compared to the same period in 2019, but the numbers are nevertheless scary.
If you forget your USB flash drive at your workplace and someone uses the pictures you have saved in it, this can be considered a data breach. The same thing can happen with the information your customers have shared with you while fulfilling one or more of your funnel’s steps. It can, unfortunately, also happen with messaging apps where people tend to share information that is not for a third party’s eyes. In order to avoid this, businesses need to make sure they are using the safest apps and environments to interact with their customers.
What Is Data Privacy?
And this is where data privacy comes into play. Data privacy is the way businesses protect their customers’ data online. It manages the ways data is collected and used. In other words, when a customer creates an account on your website, they agree to share sensitive information like address, telephone number, email address, etc. And data privacy exists to ensure that this information is only accessible and used for legal purposes.
So What’s the Difference Between Data Security and Data Privacy?
Security and privacy go hand in hand, but there are some core differences. Data privacy is mostly about how individuals and organizations can legally gather, stock, and use data. In contrast, data security stands for protecting data from malicious threats, like internal and external hackers. Data privacy is related to regulations and guarantees that each individual controls their personally identifiable information (PII).
Understanding the relevance of data privacy is essential not only within one’s business but also personally. In this way, everyone can build their digital autonomy and learn how to prevent improper data disclosure and handle policy breaches and privacy issues. Furthermore, we can see data security as the second layer of protection, an asset to reinforce data privacy.
In brief, it encompasses technologies and techniques developed to prevent unauthorized access to data. Key management, encryption, and authentication, for instance, are some of the methods used to ensure data security. WhatsApp currently provides their customers with all of these data security methods.
How Can Businesses Ensure Data Security?
Data privacy and security are important to your customers, so you need to make sure you protect both theirs and your data well. Your customers will have trust in your company and will use your services with ease. One of the ways to ensure all of this is using reliable messaging platforms like WhatsApp. With their end-to-end encryption and the recently-developed biometric authentication for their desktop versions, they add a strong layer of protection to users and businesses.
Still, there are some things that you as a business can do, to make sure your customers’ data is safe:
Collect Fewer Data from Your Customers
It is best to simply provide your customers with their username and password, instead of collecting a lot of data such as an address, social security numbers, phone numbers, etc. The golden rule here is – if you don’t need the information – don’t collect it.
Use Strong Encryption Methods
To protect the data you are collecting from your customers, it is best to use strong encryption methods. One such method is end-to-end encryption. It is better not to risk it with low-encryption cloud software and put your customers’ data at stake. Using a decentralized database with SHA 256-bit encryption is a far better option.
Show Transparency About Your Data Privacy
Ensure Training on Data Privacy for your Employees
Your employees are most frequently the ones that are in direct contact with your customers, especially your customer service department. In order to maintain a great level of data security, you need to have your employees well-trained and following the policy.
Use and Update Data Protection Programs
Firewalls, anti-spyware, and anti-virus software are helpful when it comes to protecting your data. But you can also take cyber insurance into account as a reinforcement, especially for business. You need to make sure to update all these programs if there is an update released. Since there is one, there is a good reason for it.
By all means, no one wants to be the victim of a cyberattack, but measures like the ones mentioned above can help in preventing data breaches. Understanding data privacy enables you to develop autonomy in the digital world. And if you own a business online, you can build a trustworthy relationship with your consumers by respecting the legislation and offering them secure access.
To ensure cybersecurity for your customers, start using the widely-trusted and safe WhatsApp for Business today!