When running a business, regardless of how big or small, all business owners and employees have a responsibility to keep customer data as safe and secure as possible. This remains especially true of businesses where transactions are often completed over the Internet, such as online businesses and eCommerce stores where check and credit card processing occurs. Hackers, viruses, and malicious files can compromise customer information such as usernames, passwords, and even bank account information if the proper steps are not taken. Fortunately, there are some simple steps that any business owner can take to better protect customer data.
First of all, it is important to realize just how vital a business owner’s role is in protecting this data. In the event that there is a breach in security and a customer’s information is compromised, it is possible that the business owner could end up being the one sued if it is determined that he or she did not adequately protect the customer’s information. Such lawsuits can easily send a company out of business, which is why taking the necessary precautionary steps is so important.
The first thing to consider for business owners who have merchant services that offer credit card processing is the importance of keeping information, such as receipts and transaction records, in a secure place on one’s personal computer. It is advised that business owners do not save such transaction records on computers that are accessible by other employees or even family or friends of the owner. Instead, keeping transaction records on one’s personal laptop in a password protected folder can make all the difference.
Furthermore, while it may be tempting to connect to a public and open wireless connection to conduct business while on the go, this is also a surefire way to get data stolen. Public wireless Internet connections can be accessed by anybody, and all it takes is a somewhat proficient hacker to tap into any computer on the network while it is connected. Instead, business owners are encouraged to invest in a personal wireless card that is secure so as to protect customer information that runs through credit card processing and merchant services.