On a day-to-day basis, your business deals with a ton of sensitive information.
And although keeping your most important data under lock and key might seem like a no-brainer, the fact remains that many companies are surprisingly loose with their own information to their own peril.
Think about it. From third-party platforms and non-disclosure agreements to companies integrating security into their cultures, there’s a reason why top companies are so focused on avoiding PR nightmares and security snafus.
Reality check: failing to mind your sensitive information can spell disaster for your business.
But what sort of data are we talking about? And why does it matter so much?
Good question. Highlighted below are four examples of crucial business information that companies must be careful with.
Data breaches and loss of customer data are bad news. In an era of transparency, just one security shake-up could spell disaster in the eyes of your customers. That’s why so many companies are doubling-down when it comes to buyer information.
“Data is the new gold,” notes Reciprocity Labs. “Getting yours breached, no matter where it occurs, could cause staggering fines, penalties, and reputational damage.”
The takeaway here is that anyone who’s willing to hand over their payment information shouldn’t have to second-guess themselves. Anything you can do to signal yourself as a reputable, reliable company security-wise is a major plus.
Some businesses like to take their followers “behind the scenes” in terms of their marketing campaigns, noting metrics like open rates, conversion rates and revenue to highlight their success.
That’s fine, but there’s a fine line between highlighting your success and giving away your secrets, so to speak. Sensitive marketing metrics are something that is best reserved for your team; meanwhile, specifics in terms of your customer base should against be left behind the curtain.
Just as you shouldn’t be too open with your own data, you should necessarily take others at face value. Many companies conduct competitive SEO analysis and you have the capability to do the same if you’re curious about what others are doing or how you can stack up.
Company Logins and Accounts
This is a big one if you’re dealing with freelancers and contractors.
Logins to the likes of WordPress, Google or your social accounts aren’t something you should pass around without care. Guest logins and permissions are important here, as is the practice of frequently changing up passwords. This is where crafting an airtight NDA comes into play, as does being particular about who you give access to company accounts in the first place.
The concept of sharing employee salaries has grown more popular in recent years but it’s not without its caveats. For example, comparing salaries between roles can be the cause of conflict, creating an unhealthy sense of competition among workers.
This also true for hiring contractors at different rates. While everyone should indeed be paid a fair wage, businesses should also have the freedom to set rates as they see fit without being scrutinized.
How transparent you are is ultimately up to you in terms of employee salaries. Regardless, some employers err on the side of not giving too much away up front and allowing for monetary discussions to happen on a one-on-one basis.
Every business obviously strives to keep themselves safe, yet accidentally leaking sensitive information happens much more often than you might assume. As a result, companies but pay keen attention to their communications and compliance efforts alike to avoid unnecessary security blunders.