Blindspot2

 

“ A mind erased, a body of clues.”

Blindspot2Love it or hate it, this quote cleverly sums up the premise of an intriguing prime time drama, ‘Blindspot.’  When a beautiful woman with no memory of who she is or how she got there is discovered in a bag in New York’s Times Square, completely covered in recent tattoos, an international web of mystery begins to inextricably unfold.  The action immediately goes from 0 to Autobahnic speeds once the FBI discovers that each intricate tattoo on Jane Doe’s body is a map of clues, leading closer to the truth about her identity, future crimes, and mysteries yet to be revealed.

 

While great for an hour of nail-biting suspense, in the real world, “blindspots” in how we handle and secure our customers’ information can lead to breaches that may take years and much expense to unravel.  Cybercriminals are extremely adept at leaving their victims with this same feeling of a drug-induced amnesia.  As a business owner, you don’t want end up asking, “how did I get here?”  In this age where sensitive information can be passed along like the ease of a common cold virus, trust is an essential element of our customer relationships. When it comes to Internet security, your customers are counting on you to protect the personal information they share with you.

You and I would never knowingly put them at risk, but lax computer security practices can do just that — jeopardize your customers’ sensitive information and expose them to threats.

If your company has a website, communicates with customers via email, stores customer information in an electronic database, or sells products via e-commerce, you could be putting them at risk if you aren’t taking the necessary precautions.

Following a few simple online safety practices can protect you from incurring expensive and dangerous data breaches, and give your customers the peace of mind they deserve.

Would You Trust ‘You’ if You Were Your Customer?

Take the following Blindspot Audit and ask yourself how confident you would feel about doing business with “you” online:

Your business has (and follows) a written privacy policy…Does your company’s website have a documented privacy policy that tells customers what information you collect and how you use it?

You know what you have and where it is…. Are you aware of ALL the personal information you have about your customers, where you’re storing it, how you are using it, who has access to it and how you protect it?

You keep what you need and delete what you don’t… Most of us are secret data hoarders in need of an intervention.  It’s tempting to keep information for future use; for those “just in case” moments.  But, the less you collect and store, the less blindspots you have.  Are you a cyber hoarder?  We still love you.

 

Best Practices

Keeping your customers safe requires your own computer systems to be fully protected. This is not a Mac vs PC issue.  The best policies in the world won’t protect your customers if your network and resources are at risks for preventable attacks.

Protecting your network and systems requires a lot of the same steps as protecting a single computer, only on a larger scale.  The National Cyber Security Alliance suggests these 6 simple practices:

Keep a clean machine: Having the latest security software, web browser, and operating system are the best defenses against viruses, malware, and other online threats.

Automate software updates: Many software programs will automatically connect and update to defend against

Man without identity programing in technology enviroment with cyber icons and symbols

known risks. Turn on automatic updates if that’s an available option

Scan all new devices: Be sure to scan all USB and other devices before they are attached to the network.

Use a firewall: A good firewall keeps criminals out and sensitive data in.

Use spam filters. Spam can carry malicious software and phishing scams, some aimed directly at businesses. A good spam filter will block most of it and will make your email system safer and easier to use.

Show your commitment to security: Participate in activities such as National Cyber Security Awareness Month and Data Privacy Day to demonstrate your businesses’ commitment to security. This lets your customers know that you are serious about protecting their information.

We would add to those: have a dedicated team member or consult with professionals who can help keep your website securities current.  Don’t be left with “a mind (or system) erased and a body of clues.”  Leave the drama for the scriptwriters and prime time.  We can help evaluate your website for any potential risks and ensure it is optimized to keep up with your mobile customers.  Contact us now at 888.552.7475.  Your customers will thank you.

Written by Raymond Turner