E-commerce: How to Protect Consumer Privacy

E-commerce: How to Protect Consumer Privacy

E-commerce How Can Protecting Consumer Privacy

Are you properly protecting your customer’s privacy?

If you’re not sure if you’re properly protecting your customer’s privacy, the chances are you’re not. Follow these simple steps to ensure that you’re properly protecting your customers.

With all the customer privacy violations that have been flooding the news stream recently, now is an excellent time to ensure that your business is well-equipped to protect the privacy of your customers. By ensuring that your company has proper measures in place to protect customer privacy, you will be able to build and maintain trust with your customers and even avoid the potential of being sued. Protecting customer privacy has become a necessity nowadays as customers have become savvier about the information companies have on them and about the best online practices they can exercise to protect themselves from fraud and other malicious online activities.

Protecting customer information is not only the law but companies are also morally obligated to treat customer’s private data respectfully and fairly. It seems, though, that many companies overlook this obligation because they believe it is too time-consuming or costly. With these helpful steps, though, ensuring that your customer’s information is well protected will not only be efficient and effective, but you will also create customer goodwill and increase sales, all while reducing business and legal risks.

How to Protect Customer Privacy

Step 1: Data Privacy Audit

This first step when it comes to protecting customer’s personal information is to conduct a data privacy audit. While many businesses collect more data than they realize, it is essential to understand what data your business needs and what data it’s collecting, how that data is being stored, and how securely that data is protected. Remember: a lack of attention to data collection is what often sparks a major crisis like the one we’ve recently seen involving Facebook.

Step 2: Data Collection Minimization

As the role of producers in protecting customer rights has increased, companies have taken on more responsibility for keeping customer data secure. The best way to ensure that you’re properly protecting your customer’s data is to only keep data that is necessary on file. Many privacy advocates recommend that companies collect and store only the data they absolutely need to deliver their product or service.

Step 3: Secure Data

As you only collect the data that is necessary for your business to be successful, it is essential to protect all data you collect. Data can easily be lost or stolen by hackers and when this happens, it will be a very costly mistake for your company. Make sure your network, databases, and website are all secure to keep your customer’s data out of the hands of online hackers.

Step 4: Privacy Policy

An essential step to follow when verifying the security of your customer’s data is to post a privacy policy on your website. This is not only required by law but will also help save you if any future discrepancies were to happen. Make sure, though, that you don’t just copy and paste a boilerplate policy. Your privacy policy is a legally binding agreement between you and your customers, so make sure it will properly protect you if anything malicious were to happen to their data.

Step 5: Communication

While a privacy policy is a legally binding agreement, customers rarely read it. At the same time, though, they expect simple and clear descriptions of company data practices at key moments like when they’re asked to provide their data, when you add new features to your product or service, and when you make policy changes. Keep communication about data you collect direct and upfront with your customers.

Step 6: Provide a Customer Forum

Many customers today expect you to offer them settings and features that will let them choose whether to share data. Make sure you offer these features so your customers know that you’re serving them and not selling them. Also, provide a customer forum to allow customers to communicate their privacy problems or concerns with you. Be sure to respond to their messages though. If not, they will likely take to social media to voice their concerns, letting the whole world know, instead of just your company.

How to Build Trust in Personal Customer Data

Emily Pribanic
Emily Pribanic
Emily is a graduate of the University of North Texas. She has her B.A. in Advertising with a concentration in Copywriting. Emily has been writing since she was young and has a creative imagination. She lives in Dallas, Texas with her family and two cats.
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