Cultivating a successful relationship with customers is critical for any business, and part of that cultivation needs to include you taking solid steps to protect any customer data that you collect.

Businesses these days, especially online businesses, can collect a large number of sensitive customer data, such as addresses or financial information. Even while collecting this data may be necessary for your business, you still need to be very responsible with it and keep it safe.

Here are the top five security tips to protect customer data:

1 – Use Cryptography and Encryption To Protect Data

Cryptography and encryption are both solid ways you can store sensitive customer information both while it is being transmitted and when it is stored. Hire experts to set and configure these basic security measures properly. If encryption is wrongly applied, it will mean that both transmitted and stored data are under risk of being viewed and stolen by hackers.

2 – Continuously Test Your Software For Vulnerabilities

Whenever you will be using new software in your business, follow all of the security guidelines that the platform directs you to follow. You also will need to have your engineers or IT experts test your software on a regular basis for vulnerabilities. Software is not something you just want to set up and leave alone.

3 – Never Collect More Data Than Is Necessary

The more data about your customers you collect, then the more at risk they are. Therefore, one of the most effective ways to ensure that customer data is not lost or compromised is to limit the amount of data that you collect in the first place. A good rule of thumb to follow is to only ask for data that is truly necessary to conduct a transaction.

4 – Keep Your Network Shielded From Remote Access

A large portion of data breaches happen due to remote access. This means you need to severely restrict third party access to your network and set up sufficient end point security.

5 – Don’t Forget About Physical Documents

Don’t forget that some of your customer data may not even be online but rather in paper form. In this case, keep all physical documents properly organized and secured in a safe and locked location.

In addition, remember to properly dispose of physical documents that are no longer needed. Never just wrinkle them up and toss them away in a trash. Rather, shred the documents and then dispose of them. Make sure that the physical documents are no longer needed for verifying customer transactions.

Protecting Customer Data

Avoiding security issues that would negatively affect your customers should be a top priority for any business. In addition to following each of the security tips we have just covered, you should also be on the continuous lookout for weaknesses in your security system so your customers will not be exploited.

If customer data is lost or compromised in any way, not only will you make your customers upset, you could also face legal repercussions as well.