Ever remember setting your password as ‘Password123’? Come on, at some point we have all used that example! In the early days of internet security, did we ever believe that IT intruders would want our information? We never considered that it would be of any use to anyone else and would happily tap our bank card number into a website to make a purchase, without giving much further thought. In fact, at the time that type of security just wasn’t on our minds, we were probably more worried about where we stored our bank card pin numbers.
Where security stands today
Roll on 20 years and protecting consumer data through watertight security has never been so crucial. In a recent article by celsolicitors.co.uk, it quoted that through recent research, “data was expected to have added £322 billion to the British economy during 2015 to 2020”.
The fact is, that our data is now one of, if not the biggest commodity. Everything from personal finance details to where we like to shop, where we like to go on holiday and what we like to eat, all has a value and one that the hackers would love to get their hands on. The reason being is by accessing our data, they can hold the companies who own and store data to ransom. Known as ransomware, they will demand ultimate sums of money to release the customer information back to the business owner.
Consequently, this is not only bad for the business brand and their customers individual security but can also result in a hefty company fine, through the ICO (Information Commissioners Office).
Turning consumer data security around to become secure
There is light at the end of the tunnel, as long as businesses are educated enough on consumer data security and keep up with security as they evolve.
- Encourage password use which mixes uppercase and lowercase letters, also use numbers and symbols.
- Where possible, apply two factor authentication or one-time pass codes to login into accounts.
- Ensure that the company website carries an SSL certificate (You’ll see the padlock in the browser, by the URL address).
- Reset passwords regularly and delete old employees and dormant accounts.
- Ensure IT security is running the latest updates with firewalls and antivirus protection activated.
- Where possible, apply a VPN (Virtual private network).
Here at WeAnswer, we take our responsibility when managing consumer data security, extremely seriously. When working with data on behalf of businesses, all information is held under secure servers and monitored through our ISO 27001 Information Security Management accreditation. To find out more about how we can assist your business with our UK customer services expertise and help your company to build stronger customer relationships, please contact us.
Find out more about the ICO at: https://ico.org.uk/