5 ways to protect customer information

Big corporations aren't the only ones who need to worry about data security.

Recent attacks on retailers such as Target and Home Depot have more and more customers worried about the security of their personal information. It's also made business like these double down on data security making them less likely candidates for cyber attacks. 

The new target: small business who have let security fall to the wayside. Don't let your reputation and your bottom line suffer from an attack. Here are five way to protect your business.

Improve network and software security. Treat customer data as you would your own financial data. Guidelines published by the PCI Security Standards Council are a good place to start.

Set high security standards for your partners and vendors. Those who require access to customer information should have the same or better  security standards as you do. Be sure to get specifics on how they're handling customer data so that it doesn't get compromised. 

Keep your staff up to date. Educated employees are the best defense against security threats. Develop a training plan for employees whose job requires them to handle customer information. 

Limit data access. Don't cave to employees who want constant access to data. The more people have access the greater the risk of a breach. Only staff members who need it for their work should be allowed access. 

Seek legal advice. Make sure you know what information you need to disclose to customers if a breach occurs and when the notifications need to be sent. Check to see if disclaimers, customer documentation and vendor contracts are up to date. 

If you own your own business and are in need of credit card processing software to better protect your customers' finances, be sure to contact 911 Software today.

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