While data protection laws have remained a key component of the business world for more than two decades, there is no doubt that the emergence of the Internet has complicated the ease of compliance with these regulations.
This is especially true for small businesses, who often lack the resources to make sweeping changes to their existing infrastructure. Recently passed EU guidelines could make this situation even more difficult for small business owners, with the FSB and the British Bankers Association (BBA) suggesting that they could cost independent firms an estimated £75,000 each year.
Complying with the Data Protection Act: 3 Steps for Success
With this in mind, what practical steps can small business owners take to comply with data protection laws without spending outside of their means? Consider the following ideas: -
1. Start with a Culture of Confidentiality within the Workplace
In many cases, breaches of the Data Protection Act arise as a result of employee carelessness or human error.
In many ways, this can be the most difficult challenge to overcome, as while technological faults can be manipulated and corrected human error will remain an Omnipresent factor in the commercial world.
To minimize this risk, however you should consider creating a culture of confidentiality within the workplace, where the security and privacy of consumer information becomes a key priority that influences working methods and operational practices.
Your employees should be particularly careful with sensitive customer personal data. A breach of confidentiality can result in costly legal battles for your business. Only authorized personnel should be allowed to access confidential customer information.
If you work with third party data processors, be careful of what you pass on to to them and make sure they perfectly understand your confidentiality agreement about protecting your clients data.
2. Protect all Workplace Hardware and Internal Servers
Cyber-crime and identity theft are significant threats, as hackers become increasingly sophisticated and gain access to more advanced software. This means that you must take significant steps as a small business owner to protect the integrity of your customers and their financial information.
To achieve this, it is imperative that each workplace computer or company laptop is safeguarded with a unique pass codes, while all internal servers must also be protected by a reputable web hosting company.
If you are concerned about costs, consider utilizing a Cloud based firm that can also respond to all issues and security breaches in real-time.
3. Dispose of All Paper Documents Safely and Responsibly
While many offices dream of becoming paperless, this remains a distant dream for the majority of companies. With this and stringent data protection laws in mind, disposing of physical documents and data can provide a real headache for small business owners.
Lombard Recycling specializes in disposing of sensitive consumer data in a secure and environmentally responsible manner.
This has multiple benefits for your business, and it may even enable you to cut costs over time.
Consumer and business using internet on daily basis now want to have a lot more control over how their data is used online. Take every necessary step to ensure that your costumers or users are fairly protected from hackers and unauthorized.