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Why protect data privacy?

Protection of personal data is essential for companies for several reasons. First of all, it is a legal requirement. If you fail to protect personal data, you risk fines and legal consequences. Protecting personal data also maintains the company’s reputation and customer trust, while guarding against cybercrime. It shows that as a company you respect customers, employees and contacts. This blog is about how you as a company can protect the personal data you have at your disposal.

Did you know that cyber attacks are the cause of 31% of all data breaches? (Ponemon Institute)

How to protect data privacy as a company

At a time when personal data has become a valuable resource and asset for many companies, it is critical to understand and maintain high standards for the protection of this information. With changing legislation such as GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) and increased public awareness of privacy, it is not only an ethical obligation, but also a legal necessity to protect the personal data at your disposal. Here are 6 important steps every business should take to protect personal data.

1. Understand and document which data you process
2. Implement strong security measures
3. Develop and implement a data protection policy
4. Educate and train the employees
5. Comply with applicable data protection laws
6. Respond proactively to security breaches

Protecting personal data is not just a task, it is an obligation for every company. It is an investment in your reputation and in maintaining the trust of your customers and stakeholders. By taking these steps, you can not only meet legislative requirements, but also ensure that personal data is processed securely and responsibly.

Start your GDPR cleanup where it is needed the most

Sensitive data can tends to accumulate in the employees' e-mails. With a GDPR Risk Scan from DataMapper, you get a report that shows any potential GDPR risks in the company's e-mails.

1. Understand and document which data you process

The first step to protecting personal data is to have a clear understanding of what data you collect, process and store. Make a detailed overview of all types of personal data you handle and how you use it. This will form the basis of your data protection policy and procedures. Read how you can find your personal data here.

2. Implement strong security measures

The security around the storage and processing of personal data should be top class. This includes the use of strong access controls, encryption of data in transit and storage, and regular monitoring of systems for potential security breaches. Access to personal data should only be given to those employees who have a legitimate reason to use it. Read more about technical and organisational measures to protect personal data here.

3. Develop and implement a data protection policy

A clearly defined data protection policy is essential to ensure that all employees understand their responsibilities in relation to personal data. This policy should describe how data is collected, used, stored and deleted. It should also include guidelines on how to report data breaches or breaches. Download a free privacy policy here.

4. Educate and train the employees

Employees are a company’s first line of defense against data breaches. Therefore, it is important to ensure that they understand the importance of data protection and have the necessary education and training to handle personal data securely. Hold regular training exercises and updates to keep staff informed of the latest threats and best practices. Read more about awareness training here.

5. Comply with applicable data protection laws

Depending on your location and the extent of personal data you process, you must comply with applicable data protection laws such as GDPR in the EU or CCPA in California. This includes obtaining consent from individuals when necessary and allowing them to access, amend or delete their data. Read more about how you comply with GDPR here.

6. Respond proactively to security breaches

Even with the best measures, security breaches can still occur. It is important to have a plan for handling these situations. This includes informing affected individuals and authorities in accordance with legal requirements as well as taking steps to prevent similar breaches in the future. Read more about data breaches here.

Protecting personal data is not just a task, it is an obligation for every company. It is an investment in your reputation and in maintaining the trust of your customers and stakeholders. By taking these steps, you can not only meet legislative requirements, but also ensure that personal data is processed securely and responsibly.

Need help protecting data privacy?

In our newsletter you get tips and tricks for dealing with privacy management from our founder Sebastian Allerelli.

When you sign up for our newsletter you get a license for one user to ShareSimple, which will give you a secure email in Outlook. This special offer is for new customers only, with a limit of one freebie per company.

Make data privacy part of your brand

If you manage to protect your personal data, you should therefore communicate openly and clearly about how you do it. This can be a crucial tool for building trust among your customers and stakeholders. Once you have prepared a clearly understandable data protection policy that is easily accessible on your website, you should include how you protect data. Avoid technical jargon and use simple and clear terms that everyone can understand. Also use concrete examples, if relevant, to illustrate how personal data is processed securely. You can advantageously use other communication channels such as social media, newsletters and blog posts to remind customers of your commitment to data protection. Be available to answer questions and concerns and be proactive in communicating any changes to your data protection practices. Read more about the benefits of complying with GDPR here.

Small business owner checks customer data carefully before filling order

Get started protecting data privacy

People’s trust in companies in general is decreasing, but that doesn’t have to be the case for your company. Show people that their privacy matters to you and that you have taken steps to protect it. Making data privacy a priority is a great way to make a genuine connection with your customers and earn their trust and loyalty for the long haul. 

When starting to protect data privacy, the first step is to find your personal data in your systems. At Safe Online, we have built a Data Discovery tool, DataMapper, for that purpose.

Sebastian Allerelli

Founder & COO at Safe Online
Governance, Risk & Compliance Specialist
Follow me on LinkedIn to get tips on GDPR →

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