The importance of personal data protection for your website
You obviously have heard about the Facebook Cambridge Analytica scandal that happened in 2018. It shined on the light of how irresponsibly big tech companies were being handling the personal data of its users. If even big brands like Facebook can face such scrutiny over leak of personal user data, then it raises a question over personal data protection over every website on the internet. As technology continues to grow, it becomes critically important for them to protect the data of their users.
Personal Data Protection vary from country to country
Personal Data protection acts differ from country to country. In Malaysia, it is governed by the Personal Data Protection Act, which was introduced in 2010.
The act specifies that companies will not misuse any personal data collected by the user, and the company will consent with the user before collecting or sharing their personal data with any third party companies or entities.
Like Malaysia, Singapore also has its own version of a PDP Act. The act says that companies are allowed to collect personal data only after the user gives permission, and only if the company provides the user with information about where the data will be used.
Data protection policies keep changing as we move from country to country. But the principles of data management remain the same. The government should focus on making policies that are better for both the companies and their consumers who use those services. They ensure that the companies are held accountable for the protection of personal data of users from their platform.
How can you protect your consumer information on your website?
1. Install SSL certificate
Google has made it clear that the sites which have a secure SSL certificate installed will be given more priority over the sites that don’t. The SSL certificate encrypts data between the user and the server that does the job of keeping the data. It also comes handy for ecommerce websites as it prevents hackers from stealing payment information from transit.
2. Do you need all the data?
Before you start to ask your users data such as birthdays, ages, gender, and other such information, ask yourself, is it essential? Think about what information you can eliminate not only to streamline the process but also to ensure the user that their data is protected and not too much information has been taken from them.
3. Review your current site regularly:
One of the most important steps to ensure that the data is protected and develop a proper plan to do that is reviewing your existing website. You should pay attention to where the data collection begins and where it is transferred later on. Change keeps happening in everyday technology, and this often creates vulnerabilities and loopholes that enable the hackers to identify them and penetrate your platform.
They can hack into your site, access the data of your customer, and sell it to the highest bidder online. Once this happens, your brand loses all the credibility and trust of customers. So make sure you audit your site at regular intervals to keep it away from cybersecurity attacks.
4. Backup relevant data at periodic time intervals:
You don’t know which data breach can corrupt your database and render everything useless. So building everything from scratch can be a daunting task. This is why you should keep taking backup of your system regularly, which can be used later on to reduce the downtime by restoring the earlier backed up version.
5. Develop a cybersecurity plan:
To respond efficiently to a cyberattack, it is essential that you plan accordingly. If you have a plan made earlier, then it is easy to avoid the chaos and state of confusion after an attack. When you are prepared to face such a situation, it becomes easier to deal with the after-effects. Also, carry out drills regularly so that you can find vulnerabilities in your plans and can take the appropriate response to improve them.
6. Be transparent to your visitors:
It is essential that your customers and the people with whom you conduct business have a clear idea about the procedures and policies in regard to personal data protection. Displaying a message at the footer of your website gives your visitors a sense of trust and legitimacy.
The rise in the use of smartphones and everyday changing technology is making our day to day activities more and easier. The ability to call a taxi anywhere by providing your location, ability to make payments using just your smartphones demand more awareness about the use of our personal data. With only proper knowledge about the Personal Data protection laws in our country, we can take specific actions against its violations.