The Internet has opened up corporations to a whole new world of security threats, and this means personally identifiable information can easily be at risk. This is why it’s imperative safeguards are put in place, and programs such as the FTC Start with Security education initiative are there to help guide corporations towards the best practices.
With its latest program, the Federal Trade Commission has reiterated its commitment to keeping personal information safe and detailed the steps it is taking to keep our sensitive data secure. As you can probably imagine, the commission has been pretty busy with enforcement activities.
FTC enforcement activities
To show just how serious the Federal Trade Commission is about keeping data from being misused, it regularly undertakes enforcement activities. In recent years, the FTC has brought numerous cases against companies regarding privacy and security issues, so you really can’t be careful enough with your customers’ information – especially when you are storing vast amounts of personal data.
However, it is just as strict on companies that send spam or who are found to be misleading about the way they use consumers’ details, so it is essential that your business stays abreast of any new changes in data law or e-mail communications regulations if you want to stay on the right side of the FTC.
While the Federal Trade Commission had highlighted the actions it’s prepared to take to crackdown on breaches, it’s also a useful reminder of what corporations can do, too.
Guidelines for specific businesses
Depending on the sector your company works in, you’ll need to adhere to the best practices outlined by the FTC. Whether you are working in healthcare, selling/buying debts, or your business needs to store or dispose of data, there’s a specific set of best practices and step by step plans that apply. The FTC makes copies of these available online – make sure you follow them.
What else can you learn from the FTC start with security initiative?
Keeping your customers’ data safe
Unless you want to fall afoul of the Federal Trade Commission, there are several steps your business needs to take to keep personally identifiable information secure.
First, the FTC advises companies to only hold as much data as they need and to inform customers how their personal information will be used. This will help to limit the impact should data be compromised, and advising customers how their data will be utilized creates a greater transparency, which helps to improve consumer trust.
The use of smartphones and tablets have soared in recent years, and while this brings added convenience it also means there is a new set of security risks that comes with it. One of the biggest potential problem areas is remote access, so make sure these access points are protected from hackers.
Give customers options
The FTC also stresses the importance of allowing consumers options when it comes to their personal privacy, and where possible it encourages companies to limit access to data. Due to the risks posed by cyber threats, corporations are told to have their own measures in place to safeguard the security of people’s personal details.
Have a security plan
It is advisable to have a security in plan should the worst come to the worst, and make sure that these details are kept safe. Also, always adhere to FTC guidelines for protecting data – that way and your company is covered should a breach happen.
The FTC’s start with security education initiative is a crucial reminder of what the Federal Trade Commission does to protect our information, but it is also an important guide to the efforts that corporations must take to protect their customers. Follow the above tips, protect passwords, monitor networks, check for vulnerabilities, adhere to best practices and have sound policies in place – this will help make the information you hold much safer.