It’s becoming an everyday occurrence to see news articles on Personal Data Protection due to an increasing level of data breaches. Even the most recognisable, large brands down to the smallest organisations are challenged by protecting data from potential and imminent cyber attacks. As technological advancements continue to evolve and become more sophisticated, which enable consumers to have quicker, simpler purchasing experiences online, the more critical it is for organisations and companies to protect its clients', employees', and business data.
Personal Data Protection (PDP) Variations
PDP may vary from country to country. In Malaysia data protection is governed by the Personal Data Protection Act 2010. The act defines any personal data collected shall not be misused and companies must obtain consent from the individual before collecting or sharing their personal data with any third parties.
Like Malaysia, Singapore’s act is governed under their own PDPA. The act outlines how companies are only allowed to collect personal data by getting consent from the individual and include the reason for using their information.
Essentially, data protection is governed differently in each country, yet the principles of data management remains the same. It is important for both consumers and companies to understand these regulations, to ensure that companies are accountable to protect personal data and individuals understand their rights.
How to Protect Customer Information On Your Website
- The first step to understanding how to protect the personal data your business collects is to examine what information you ask consumers to provide. If you don't have a documented process on why you collect what you collect and where that information goes and is then stored and for how long, you should make it a priority to journey map your end user's experience from start to finish.
- Once you know your current business process, it's a smart idea to confirm you truly need all the data you capture. Do you need ages, birthdays, or information on children? What information can you eliminate to not only streamline the process but help your consumers feel more secure about giving you some of their information rather than too much.
- One of the most important steps to understanding personal data protection and implementing a plan to protect personal details is to review your current website, particularly how you capture information and where it is then transferred. Everyday web technologies change and provide improvements, but there can also be loopholes and vulnerabilities cyber attackers identify and penetrate. When they hack into a site and find personal data of consumers or employees, they can then sell that information on the black market. Once you lose the trust of your consumers, it will be difficult and costly to regain. Make sure you have audit procedures in place to validate the security of your website.
- Penetration testing. Many businesses these days hire someone to perform a mock cyber attack on their systems to determine vulnerability. While the results can be either positive or daunting, receiving penetration analytics can help you identify the areas where your website needs to improve.
- It's incredibly important to be transparent with your website visitors and those who do business with you in regard to your policies and procedures around personal data protection and also what you do with the data they approve you to collect. Displaying a badge in the footer on your website with any security protection you have in place is a great way to start building trust and legitimacy. If your website provides a transaction experience, such as the purchase of products, it's also a smart idea to provide some short copy on how their information will be protected and used by your company to service them as your customer.
Personal Data Protection becomes more important every day with the technological advances occurring in our world. The rise of mobile phones and accessibility to make a purchase or transaction from anywhere at anytime also has demanded businesses be more vigilant in their protection of data. Learn more about websites and how they have become much more than just a place to visit online.
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