You’ve made the decision to move all of your documents, contracts, and various client information online. While this can be one of the best ideas when you want to contribute to business growth (and you want to make it easier for your employees and yourself), it can also leave a lot of valuable information open to hackers or those who would take advantage of it. If this is a concern, you need to think of ways that you can protect that information and to make sure that your clients have a reason to trust you.
Here are some ways you can help to keep your business secure.
1. Make sure your clients are careful when sending information
Everyone has their own levels of comfortability with housing information online. Some clients might feel strange about giving their social security numbers, email addresses, and more. Others might give you everything without thinking twice—even if their security is in jeopardy. Before asking clients to send over information, you’ll want to put together a process that securely protects information. This includes passwords and programs that hide information from those who will use it for ill.
2. Use an online data room
The best way to protect clients’ information is to invest in a virtual data room. Not only can you access essential documents at any time, you also know that it will be difficult for others to hack into them. Using an online data room offers a safe place where your employees can look up documents relating to clients, send them contracts, and know the specific needs and payment information. While keeping this information on an open system like Google might seem like a good idea, it actually is better to have a system specifically designed for your business needs.
3. Be wary about who you share passwords with
Having a password-protected account can be one of the most secure ways to keep information safe. However, it is easy to give out passwords more than necessary and giving it out to people who shouldn’t have it to begin with. Before you think about offering that information to employees, clients, or anyone else, think about whether they will need this information long term or whether it is just convenient for you in the moment.
You’ll also want to constantly update your passwords to make sure that clients know that you are taking an active role in making sure that their information is secure. Consider doing it once a month (or even more frequently if you have crucial info stored) so you know that you’re updating it on a regular basis.
4. Take time to listen to your clients and their needs
Knowing which information needs to be safe is sometimes the most difficult part of keeping your information online. Programs can become bogged down if you insert too much information, and it can make it harder for your employees to find what they need. Make sure to ask clients in person on through a survey what they would be most upset about losing if they were hacked. Once you know this, you can decide what you want to collect from clients and what you want to make available to others.
Now more than ever, finding solid solutions for keeping your information online is easy. However, keeping it secret takes more thought and proper applications in order to assure that you clients don’t have to worry about having their important information stolen by others. It’s your job as a business owner to maintain trust with your clients and to assure them that you care about their security.