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BBB Tip of the Week: Data privacy depends on vigilance by businesses and customers

By Kirstin Davis Marketplace Director

Today is Data Privacy Day, recognized internationally each year on this date to promote the importance of respecting privacy, safeguarding data and enabling trust. Data privacy and protection are more important than ever to ensure that personal and business data area secure.

The responsibility for keeping online data secure is a collaborative effort shared by both businesses and the public.

To help secure customer data, the Better Business Bureau recommends the following business practices.

Be transparent. Be open with clients about how personal information is collected, used and shared. Keep an open dialogue with the public about what privacy means to organizations and how it’s maintained.

Host privacy training. Help employees stay up to date on safe privacy practices both at work and home. This is important for any employee, whether they have direct contact with a customer or not.

Keep employees accountable. Demonstrate to employees the vital role they play in keeping customers’ data secure. Empower employees to take charge of maintaining privacy.

Consumers should be equally vigilant when protecting their personal information. BBB recommends the following tips to ensure data privacy.

Be WiFi wise. Not all public wireless networks and hotspots are secure, which could result in someone gaining access to a computer or mobile device. Limit access to public WiFi and avoid logging into key accounts.

Lock it up. Just as someone would lock the front door, consumers need to secure their devices. Use strong passwords or pass codes to lock tablets and smartphones. Use two-step verification for added security.

Think before clicking. Be wary of emails, unsolicited phone calls and text messages requesting personal information.

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