Data Protection: 5 tips for your business

How to protect your business data

Updated as of November 2023 for the latest insights and practices in data protection.

With GDPR and the increasing threat of black hat hackers accessing your data… what can you do to ensure your business is safe?

1. Automate Software Updates for Enhanced Data Protection

Keeping your operating systems up to date is vital to minimise security risks The most efficient way to do this is by automating any available updates, and keeping your security up-to-date too.

By turning automatic updates on, you can be reassured that employees are using the most up-to-date software. PCs will automatically install security bugs and patches for the operating system as developers come up with new ways to prevent malware attacks and hackers from accessing user data. 

2. Take care of privacy settings on Mobile devices

When setting up a new mobile device or downloading an app, privacy settings are important to be aware of within your company policy. The permissions you give to a certain device system or app could grant access to hackers.

For example, some apps request the user’s location, which is fine for certain location-targeting apps and Google Maps, but not for other applications. Always be wary – some applications may request contact details and other sensitive information which, once given, you won’t be able to get back.

Continue to check what information employees are offering to their devices via mobile settings and app permissions.

3. Watch out for Impersonators

With communication in the online world being mainly through email and messages, you often don’t directly see who you are talking to.

To prevent phishing attacks within your business, encourage employee training when it comes to emails. It’s advisable to put steps in place for recognising emails that could put your company data at risk.

Always read emails carefully and look for elements like spelling mistakes, mistyped email addresses, and unforeseen attachments. If the email looks like a potential scam, delete it or report it to security management. If you are ever unsure if an email is genuine, call the sender and ask them directly.

Sometimes impersonations go as far as to copy genuine reputable sites, such as banking and social media logins. Always look for the HTTPS:/ and lock icon left of the webpage link, these tell you a site is genuine.

Make sure you prioritise Data Protection

4. Recognise Signs of Data Breaches for Swift Data Protection Measures

At times, you may only realise your data has been breached when it is already too late. But there are still things you can do to prevent an imposter from getting more information and causing more damage. Look for the warning signs that someone else is using your data.

  • Someone tells you they have received an email from you that you did not send.
  • Small transactions leaving your banking account which you did not pay for. Sometimes imposters do this to siphon money without the account owner realising it.
  • Unwanted posts coming from your account on social media. Hacking of one social media account is a common occurrence, and if one of your accounts has fallen victim, others may be vulnerable as well.
  • 5. Destroy old data and dispose of IT equipment properly

    Client information, once finished, needs to be destroyed or wiped under GDPR law to prevent unwanted users from accessing information. If data is not disposed of appropriately, hefty fines of millions of pounds can be issued by the ICO.

    Opting for destruction through a recycling company provides peace of mind by preventing data leakage. It additionally provides you with certificates of destruction, supplying clients with evidence that their data has been securely handled.

    Advice on the Right to Erasure by the ICO – go to page 116.

    Additional Tip: Use strong passwords and multi-factor authentication (MFA) for Data Protection

    Strong passwords are essential for protecting your data, but they are not enough on their own.

    MFA adds an extra layer of security by requiring users to enter a second factor, such as a code sent to their phone, in addition to their password.

    This makes it much more difficult for unauthorised users to access your systems.

    Do you have an IT recycling requirement?