How to protect your small business from a data privacy disaster

Megan Smith 2/9/21 12:25 PM

eCommerce businesses continuously collect customer data. Some of this data is critical to business operations, and some is personal customer data. Either way, this comes with the responsibility to keep customer data safe and secure in the case of a disaster. 

The results of not creating a complete data privacy plan can be devastating to your business. Legal action, including government fines and investigations, can be extremely costly, and damaging to your reputation. 

It also is important to customers that their data is secure. In fact, 92% of Canadians expressed some level of concern about their digital privacy, and 37% stated they’re extremely concerned. 

The steps to avoid a data privacy policy aren’t complex, but necessary in order to protect your business, and instil confidence in customers.

 

Keep policies up-to-date

With the many moving parts involved with running a business, it can be really easy to overlook a privacy policy review. However, your privacy policy is one of the most important documents on your website. Since it is legally required, it's your first line of defence if a data privacy disaster were to occur. 

A data privacy policy documents how a company collects, handles, and processes data from customers. Not only does Shopify require this document, but visitors and customers need and want to know how you are protecting and using their data.

In fact, 63% of customers say most companies aren’t transparent with how their data is being used.

This is a great opportunity to showcase the procedures put in place to protect their data and gain their trust.

privacy policy page generator

 

Additionally, the financial costs to your business are devastating if a proper data security policy is not in place. GDPR violation fines up to €20 million can be applied to companies and individuals by the EU - yikes.

We recommend updating this document at least once a year. But do not wait to make changes as government regulations and your third party apps evolve. By reviewing this document to ensure all data usage is disclosed, there will be peace of mind knowing you’re compliant. 

Read more: 4 steps to choosing the best Shopify Privacy Policy Template in 2021

 

Make it easy for customers to request information

A part of avoiding a data privacy disaster is giving your customers a way to access, update, or delete their data. A unsubscribe link in your marketing emails isn’t sufficient, and there are many other ways to empower your customers to take ownership over their data. 

For instance, customers are legally entitled to request a copy of their data, delete all of their data, and unsubscribe from marketing emails. Making this process easy and seamless is a great opportunity to build trust, and show your customers that you truly care about their data security needs. This can have a positive compounding effect on your business, as a survey of 1,000 customers revealed that 65% of respondents said that feeling like a brand cares about them creates an emotional connection with that brand. 

 

data privacy request

Make it easy to implement this powerful tool with Enzuzo’s privacy policy page. It integrates with your website or Shopify store and allows customers to request their data right from your policy. 

 

Complete a data audit 

Spring cleaning not only applies to your home, but also third party apps being used to run your business. As previously mentioned, government regulations change, mistakes can be costly, and you can’t predict when a data privacy disaster may occur. Not only is the information your business collects important to disclose on your privacy policy, but some third party apps also require the same documentation. 

yearly privacy audit

Schedule a placeholder in your calendar at least once a year to review all your apps, and processes to ensure all necessary information is included in your privacy policy. Some guiding questions to help complete a data audit:

  • What new technologies or processes have been implemented? Are they missing from the privacy policy?
  • Does the terms and conditions of third party apps require documentation in the privacy policy?
  • Does successful implementation require additional employee training?
  • What government regulations have been recently introduced and impact the privacy policy?

 

Don’t wait for a disaster to occur

Having a solid privacy policy plays a vital role in protecting your business from financial, reputational, and data losses.

By making the necessary updates to the policy at least once a year, mitigates the risk of a data privacy disaster, complies with legal requirements, and gives you peace of mind about the security of your customer data. 

As privacy policy experts, we partner with Shopify store owners like Vidyard and D2L to streamline and automate their customers’ privacy policy. Create your own policy in less than 10 minutes with Enzuzo.

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