5 Top Tips For Protecting Business Data

The Data Privacy Act will enforce protection of personal data. The act, also known as Republic Act 10173 understands the need for data protection as it recognizes the important role of information and communications technology. The National Privacy Commission will ensure compliance with the new law. The law is expected to boost the country’s BPO industry and increase job openings.

There are many causes of security breaches. Unintended disclosure, hacking, payment card fraud and lost or stolen documents or devices can all wreak havoc on a business. Business owners should take precautions to protect their data. There are five simple steps business owners can take to protect themselves.

Identify your sensitive information

The first step is to identify your sensitive information. You cannot protect your data if you don’t know what you have. Take inventory of all potentially damaging information. Make sure it’s accounted for and know where it is.

Isolate and segregate

Once you know what sensitive information you have, try to isolate the data from the rest of the network as much as possible. Put it on separate computers or servers and pare it down. The fewer copies you have, the easier it is to keep track of.

Protect information

The third step is to protect the data. Encrypt sensitive information. In the event of a breach, encrypted data is more likely to remain safe. Encrypted data is secure and does not need to be reported if breached. Use SSL to protect data as it travels across the Internet. Be sure to keep anti-virus and anti-spyware programs up to date. Brief employees on how to download secure applications. Don’t let a hacker get in via malware. Many businesses are operating under an unsecured connection. Make sure you’re using a good firewall and secure connection. Finally, use strong passwords and change them regularly.

Be careful who you hire

Do a background check on all employees before hire. Be sure to get at least two references for job candidates and follow through with them. Your information is only as safe as your employees allow it to be.

Watch what you say

Be careful who you talk to and never divulge sensitive information in public. Watch how you use social media. Hackers can get into your Facebook or Twitter account or even falsify their identity to get access as a contact. Watch what you send via email. Never hit “reply to all” when sending any email. Too many accidents happen that way.

Finally, protect hard copies of data. Shred copies of credit card and Social Security information. Keep laptops secured and watch where you use them. Don’t view sensitive information on your computer in a public place.

Robert Dean has worked in the confidential shredding industry for several years and currently works for TheShreddingAlliance.co.uk. He believes in the importance of data security in protecting companies and their clients, and for more information visit the Shredding Alliance environment page.

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