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How Data Policies Affect Your Brand Reputation

I'm the owner and founder of PIT Designs. I love creating digital presence and creative digital solutions for our clients.


Posted 3 weeks ago on September 8th, 2022.

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Customers now expect all brands to have an online presence. With the proliferation of social media, customers can easily voice their opinion about your brand, whether good or bad.

And while brand reputation management is important, many marketers are confused about where to start.

Drivers of Brand Reputation

There are several factors that influence brand reputation. The brand’s values, promises, and perceived product quality all influence brand reputation. However, one factor that’s often overlooked is data policies.

Data policies affect your brand’s reputation because they influence how customers perceive your brand.

When customers think about the brands they trust, they tend to think about the security of the data they supply to them. The “data breach” has become synonymous with identity theft and fraud.

The ability of a company to keep data safe has a direct impact on whether or not customers trust it and stay loyal over time.

If a company has a data breach and does not handle it properly, trust can swiftly erode. Although consumers may wait to observe how a company responds to the security breach before deciding on their future relationship with the firm, some people may choose to cut ties if they believe the company was not upfront or responsive enough.

When clients lose faith in a company and go elsewhere to do business, it can have major financial consequences. What can businesses do to safeguard themselves in light of this?

How to Avoid Reputational Damage

Keep up to date on consumer privacy laws

Data privacy rules and regulations have evolved over the last decade to prevent thieves and drive organizations to strengthen their security and privacy initiatives. It's vital to spend time learning about the current regulatory landscape so that you can not only satisfy current standards but also plan for what's coming next.

With laws like the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) for healthcare, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) for financial services, and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) for education, the United States has traditionally taken a sectoral approach to consumer privacy and data protection legislation.

To ensure that all consumers are protected, numerous states, like California, Colorado, and Virginia, have established comprehensive data privacy laws that dictate how businesses must protect their customers' personal information and maintain their privacy.

Many countries, notably Canada, the United Kingdom, and the European Union, already have comprehensive privacy regulations. If a company works worldwide, it should be aware of these regulations as well, as governments regularly enact new legislation or change existing legislation.

Develop comprehensive data protection strategies that include all types of information

Knowing what sorts of data the firm gathers, where it is held, and with whom and how it is shared is the first step in building a comprehensive data security plan. The company should then assess the data's possible dangers and determine whether the data is stored in electronic or physical form (or both).

Compromise or loss of electronic data can occur as a result of malware, phishing, theft, or human error. Theft of paper documents or equipment that stores secret information, such as laptops, external storage media, cell phones, and so on, might also pose security concerns. Once a company understands the types of data it has and the risks that threaten it, it may choose the best combination of safeguards and controls.

Businesses should consider using a document destruction service to pick up and safely destroy confidential material that is no longer needed on a regular basis to preserve physical data. It may also want to implement a system for collecting and discarding old hard drives or laptops that are no longer in use.

Keep in mind that you can’t simply delete electronic data whenever you want. Some types of data must be retained for a length of time mandated by law.  If confidential data must be retained, it can be stored in a secure cloud archive that complies with applicable privacy laws. 

Ensure that employees keep data secure no matter where they are

Given the current hybrid work environment, it's critical to guarantee that employees know your internal communication strategy and have access to the tools they need to protect data security while working remotely, whether from home or in a public location.

No matter where an employee logs in, you can lower the risk of data leakage by implementing these data protection techniques:

  • Demand the usage of virtual private networks (VPNs)
  • Require multi-factor authentication and strong passwords
  • Consider educating remote employees to safely keep all forms of data secure
  • Encourage employees to be alert to potential threats and to report any suspicious activity 
  • Establish procedures for handling a data breach 

Conclusion

Customer retention depends on data security, and firms should take a holistic strategy to protect data. A corporation can avoid costly breaches that could have long-term implications by paying attention to both physical and digital dangers and developing ways to mitigate them.

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