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Do Your Customers Trust You with Their Data?

Having the trust of your customers by your side is one of the best ways (oftentimes the only way) to turn a profit in today’s business world.

Stop for a moment and think about where you’d be without your customers (current and potential ones) trusting you and your brand.

Much of a company’s financial success hinges on word-of-mouth referrals.

If some customers left after doing business with you with a bad taste in their mouths, they aren’t very likely to be gleefully promoting your brand to those they know.

With that being the case, what are you doing to earn and maintain the trust of customers on a daily basis?

Security Can Never Be Taken for Granted

When it relates to your company’s security and keeping the personal/financial information of customers safe, what grade would you give your business?

Unfortunately, some companies would probably have to give themselves a failing grade (at least if they were being honest about it) following a number of online security lapses in recent years.

Cyber-criminals have struck quickly and often in numerous instances, leaving both customers and those they do business with searching for answers. In the end, both the customer and the brand can be seeing lots of their hard-earned dollars going bye-bye.

With that in mind, are you following these precautions with your brand, decreasing the chances that cyber-criminals will make your business their next target?

Such precautions should revolve around:

  1. Server safety – The server you’ve chosen for your business needs is the workhorse allowing you to do so much on the Internet etc. With that being the case, you can’t afford to take a chance on a bad server provider. It is critical that your server provider takes security precautions to the umpteenth degree and back. If you’re not 100 percent trustworthy of your server provider, shop around for another. Remember, you’re the one with so much to lose if your site is infiltrated. When that happens, many customers will no longer want to do business with you;
  2. Employee safety – Do you have one or more employees’ not taking Internet safety seriously enough? If so, sit down and have a chat with them immediately. Your workers need to be able to safely share sensitive information, especially when that information revolves around customers. Employees should never share customer data unless it is for work-related reasons (i.e. accounting or customer service). For one employee to tell another employee about how much a customer spent on a certain product or service, what the customer’s credit card information is, where that client lives etc. is grounds for not only questioning that worker, but possibly disciplining them. It is even more critical that they not share such details online, be it through company emails or private texting. Given the fact just one cyber-criminal could have hacked into a company or private email, the potential for chaos is certainly there;
  3. Outside safety – It isn’t uncommon for employees needing to travel to meet with clients, attend conferences or networking events etc. As a result, many of them will take their laptops and/or mobile devices to such gatherings. Make sure employees are warned (and practice what you preach to others) about using servers outside of the office. When using computer connections in hotels or motels, libraries, coffee shops, airports, one doesn’t know that the computer set-up is 100 percent secure. While the majority of those places will be just fine to operate in, always assume that there could be a problem. Make sure not to divulge sensitive company and/or customer data over such connections, instead saving such transactions to when back in the office or by regular conversation. It just takes that one bad episode to throw your business into a dire situation.

No matter the size of your business, having a high level of trust between you and your customers is a necessity.

Even if you’re a small business, don’t think cyber-criminals won’t come after you.

The last thing you want for your online reputation as a small business owner is that you dropped the ball when it came to Internet security.

If you do drop the ball, consider it more than just a casual fumble or turnover.