When you run your own business from home, you tend to face many things on a smaller scale than a large company would. You won’t be committed to carrying out huge marketing campaigns and ad campaigns. You won’t have a team of staff who you’re committed to protecting. You won’t have a huge office space to maintain. But some things don’t scale down when you have a small company. Data is one of them. When you’re taking and handling customers’ data, you need to take just as much responsibility and deal with the data just as professionally as any major corporation. There are serious data protection rules and regulations in place to assure this. Here are some of the basics that you need to know to manage your small business’ data correctly.
What is Data?
First and foremost, let’s clear up what data is. It’s a term that’s thrown about a lot, but what actually is it? Well, data is pretty much any piece of information that your business generates or takes. It could be a figure,a number, a measurement, or a simple observation. Data can be pretty much anything notable! Now, this might not sound all too serious. But when you think about it in a practical context, you’ll realise that protecting data is extremely important. Within your business, data that you are likely to take includes customers’ email addresses, customers’ physical addresses and customers’ payment details. As you can imagine, the wrong person accessing this data could result in all sorts of trouble. Not only would the data breach impact your customers, but it would impact your relationship with them and your future sales too!
Protecting Your Data
The easiest and most straightforward way to protect your data is to use a data management company or data specialists like LexisNexis. They’ll be able to take all the hard work off your hands and leave you to run the rest of your business. But it is important to know the basics of safe data storage yourself too. Two important steps you’ll have to take to achieve this include saving all of your files securely and backing your data up properly. Generally speaking, all data should be saved in a secure Cloud. All data should also be backed up to the Cloud, or even a physical hard drive as well as the cloud if you’re being particularly vigilant. Any physical data you have should be shredded when you are done with it.
Managing Your Systems
Of course, data breaches can occur no matter how well you store and back up your data. It’s a good idea to have proper antivirus, malware and other measures that will prevent cyber criminals and hackers from infiltrating your systems.
Data really is integral to your business’ success, so you do need to take it. But storing your data properly and protecting your data from theft or attack is even more important. Hopefully, some of the above information gets you started out in the right direction!