February 26, 2024

Post: Handling Information Across Your Small Business

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Handling information isn’t an easy thing to do. Often, small businesses overlook the responsibilities they have. This usually includes choosing reputable payment processors, cybersecurity, and backing up sensitive data. So here’s a quick guide reference you can use.

So, What is Data?

In computer science, data is information that has been put into a form that makes it easy to move or process. In terms of computers and ways to send information today, data is information that has been turned into 1 and 0 binary digital form. Data can be used as either a singular or plural subject. It is information about your business’s finances, transactions, inventory, employees, and customers. Data management advisors such as WCI Data Solutions can show you how to handle and use digital data in a way that will help your business in the future.

Handling Information in a Protective Way

You might not think that you are a target and that your information is safe. But small businesses are the target of almost half of all cyberattacks. One of the main reasons is that hackers take advantage of the naivety of small business owners who think their businesses are too small to bother with. A cyberattack, on the other hand, can happen at any time. In addition, most cyberattacks on your business will try to get customer payment information and money from your business. So it is best if you protect these at all costs, or your business may not recover.

Use Secure Payment Processors

A lot of people worry about their personal and financial information being safe. Banks can handle money transfers between accounts and payments to merchants. It’s not always secure, though. For online transactions, you should use a payment processor that you can trust. Shopify and Magento are two reputable eCommerce payment processors. Also, some public liability insurance policies can safeguard your online business so that you can get any money or customer funds that were lost in an attack back and maintain your professional reputation.

Protect Customer Payment Information

You must safeguard customer credit card information because of this. If you don’t have to, you shouldn’t keep information about cardholders. But customers may choose to save their information, which may be necessary for your business. In this case, you should use Card Data Discovery (CDD) tools to look for unencrypted data in your event logs, financial sheets, and database systems. This way, you can keep risk to a minimum if you understand what types of information to maintain and for how long before purging it from your secure systems.

Best Types of Apps for Managing Data

General apps try to keep track of different sets of data and work well enough with individual tasks. But specific apps gather detailed data. You can also automate tasks that you do often to speed up processes and get more done. Here are some of the best kinds of data apps:

  • KPI and performance monitoring apps like Virtual Data Room.
  • Data analytics tools such as Google Analytics.
  • Project management apps like Trello.
  • Apps and systems for remote work and meetings such as Teams.
  • Apps for process automation like Mail Chimp.

Modern business is connected and runs in real-time, which can be overwhelming if it is not organized well or managed well. With features that are easy to use and apps that are easy to find, there’s no reason not to at least manage projects together with collaboration apps.

Managing Sensitive Data

All data is sensitive, whether it is in the right or wrong hands. Sensitive data could be business information that can’t be shared, information about an employee, or personal information like medical records. Anyone or anything can be used against someone or to do something wrong. Identity theft, blackmail, and selling information on the dark web are a few examples. All of these things can ruin a business or a person’s life. But there are ways to leave traces for backtracking and keep all necessary company and customer information safe at the same time.

Record All Changes to Data Systems

When you run a business online, you must keep track of all transactions and changes to data. These include your office transactions and services, as well as your website. Any of these things can hurt the user experience and hurt your business. If you keep track of changes, you can undo any bad effects. This can help if you are attacked or if your data gets lost or stolen. It can also help you figure out what went wrong with the data. Version control, being able to save records more than once, and being able to save data to the cloud are all recommended.

Handling Information Includes Encrypting It

Wireless systems are common ways to send data over public networks that are not secure. Personal information and credit card payment data are pinged through your online payment system, so they need to be safe. Most payment processor platforms come with an encryption service. But not all of them are good enough. So, when you set up your online business, you must choose a payment processor that provides encryption as standard since not all of them do. So, choose one that is well-known for eCommerce data protection services, such as Shopify.

Use Audience Data for Increased Business

With modern tools at their disposal, digital marketing agencies are crucial for comprehending the correlation between your brand and your audience. And are therefore vital for continued online success. Online business marketing is a special kind of advertising that aids growing businesses in building their brand and growing. It covers everything, from email marketing to marketing on social media and SEO. If you want to be successful with your online business or even start one, you need to learn how to use the digital tools that you have at your disposal. 

Summary

It can become overwhelming when handling information as a small business. Not least because of the sheer volume of data we are exposed to. You can help your business by using secure payment processors, recording changes, and encrypting data to make it useless if stolen.

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