Businesses have a vested interest in protecting the information they collect from you. They may use this information to target ads specifically to you or sell it to other businesses. Whatever the reason, companies take steps to protect their data. Not only is it in their best interest to protect this data, but they are also required by law to do so.
There are a few ways businesses protect the information they collect from you. Here are a few of the most common ones.
1. They encrypt it.
One of the most common ways businesses protect the information they collect from you is by encrypting it. This means that the data is turned into a code that can only be decoded by authorized personnel, making it very difficult for anyone else to access. Because of this, even if someone were to hack into a business’s system, they would not be able to read the data unless they had the key to decrypt it.
Encryption also makes it more difficult for businesses to lose data. If a business’s system is hacked and the data is stolen, the hackers would not be able to do anything with it unless they had the key to decrypt it. By encrypting data, businesses can make it much more difficult for hackers to steal and use their data for nefarious purposes.
2. They store it in a secure location.
Not every business has the same level of security, but most companies ensure that the data they collect from you is stored in a secure location. This simple measure helps protect the data from being accessed by unauthorized personnel, as well as from being physically stolen. For example, a business might store its data in a locked room that only authorized personnel can access or in a safe that qualified employees can only open with the correct code.
Some businesses also take extra measures to secure their data, such as storing it in a location that is not connected to the internet or keeping it offline altogether. This helps protect the data from being accessed by hackers and corrupted or deleted. But it also means that if the physical data is lost, it can be challenging to recover.
3. They limit access to it.
The people who can access your data are responsible for keeping it safe. So, businesses will often limit access to the data they collect from you to only those who need it. For example, a company might allow customer service representatives to access your data to provide better service. Still, it would not allow them to share this data with anyone else.
Similarly, a business can use a reliable contract delivery service to send documents containing your data, but it would not allow anyone to keep a copy of this data but you. This helps to protect your data from being mishandled or stolen.
Depending on the sensitivity of the data, a business might also require its employees to undergo background checks and sign non-disclosure agreements. Many employees are also required to undergo regular training on handling sensitive data. Companies can help ensure that their employees are less likely to mishandle or leak your data.
4. They keep it up to date.
Like any other type of data, the data businesses collect from you can become outdated. So, companies need to keep this data up to date. This helps ensure that the information is accurate and can be used for its intended purpose. For example, if a business has your home address on file, but you move to a new address, the company will need to update its records.
If they don’t, the data could be incorrect, leading to problems. For example, you could pay late fees if you don’t receive a bill because the business has your old address on file. Keeping data up to date is an integral part of protecting it.
5. They destroy it when they no longer need it.
Finally, businesses should destroy the data they collect from you when they no longer need it. This helps ensure that your information is not kept longer than necessary and is not used for purposes other than those for which it was collected. For example, a business might keep your data on file for a few years in case they need to contact you for customer service, but it would not retain your data indefinitely.
There are various ways to destroy data, such as shredding paper documents, deleting digital files, and destroying physical devices. But it’s essential to ensure that the data is genuinely destroyed and cannot be recovered. Otherwise, your data could still be at risk.
These are just a few ways businesses can protect the data they collect from you. By taking these measures, companies can help to ensure that your information is safe and secure. If you have any concerns about how a business handles your data, you can always contact them and ask questions. Remember, it’s your data, and you have a right to know how it’s being used and protected.