There’s a reason data security has become a big concern for businesses and customers alike. Information has value, and that means a database is as attractive as an unguarded bank vault. High-profile data breaches involving some of the world’s largest companies have alerted customers to the need for good data security. When you’re able to assure your clients that you’re acting responsibly with their data, you earn their trust. Here’s how you can get greater protection for one of your most valuable assets: your data.
Securing Your Network
Most data breaches aren’t acts of dedicated malice. They’re crimes of opportunity. Data used to exist only in a few stationary nodes, such as your intra-office network and possibly your desktop computer at home. Now, data’s spread across a host of devices and on the cloud. You and your customers are more mobile than ever, doing business on smartphones, tablets, and laptops, so it’s easier for that widespread data to be lost or stolen. Entrusting your customer data to a company with a history of outstanding data security and hygiene that trains its personnel in data governance is a smart choice.
Offering Customers Choices
When you ask leads for information, you take on a responsibility to treat that data with care. One way to encourage prospects to give you their data is to ask for it in stages. A system that requests more detailed information only after prospective customers get to know and trust you helps them feel more comfortable sharing data with you. Give subscribers to your newsletter a wider range of opt-down choices so they can choose their own level of comfort is another way to earn long-term loyalty. Creating these defined and non-redundant forms help your clientele feel safe.
Collecting Anonymous Data
Some of your most valuable data doesn’t even need a name attached to it. Anonymous browser cookies collect behavioral information from site visitors and give you a clear picture of how leads interact with you, but because these bits of data aren’t directly linked to more sensitive data, they offer a higher level of security. These anonymous data points still give you useful insights about users’ IP addresses, telling you where your leads are located, how they arrived at your site, and which content they’re viewing, but they don’t reveal sensitive information.
Customers are right to be cautious about sharing their information. When you provide them with a transparent data collection and usage policy, opt-in and opt-down programs that give them choices, and a marketing database that’s built with data security in mind, you’re well on your way to earning their trust and personal information.