A digital presence is practically non-negotiable for businesses of all sizes in the modern economy, yet that creates significant risk for non-tech-savvy enterprises. Data, and its management, can be a huge risk for businesses; one Forbes study found that a data breach reduced stock price by 7.72% on average. While this seems like a big company problem, it really isn’t – reputational damage is correlated with data breaches and any suggestion that a business cannot manage its online presence. For those getting to grips with what that means, step one involves proper data retention.
The minute a business has an online presence, it will process data. The clicks and visitors to your website will create data points that someone will be collecting, if not you. This is both a blessing and a curse – data is a valuable way to market a business in a smart manner but must be collected safely to be effective. A simplified web archive that retains your data according to corporate policy is an essential first step. Behind the archive should be a cogent data retention policy, constructed in the mind of what the New York Times highlights are a wide range of data protection laws. it is important to check your state and region for further guidance as these laws differ from region to region. Ignorance is never an excuse.
Maintaining customer faith in your operation is key to holding your reputation. Having the credentials to manage your data properly is the first step, but letting your customers know how their data is managed is the next. Ensuring that your notices of data collection and retention are made in line with the relevant guidelines and statutes, and communicating this to customers, will develop the level of assurance you are presenting.
Data privacy and protection laws are fast-moving. There may yet be a unified US policy in line with the rules in other parts of the world, such as GDPR. Being agile to these risks, and flexible to change will ensure that you are ready to meet change as soon as it becomes apparent and that you will be able to continue effectively managing your customer’s data.
This, in turn, will give you an assured presence online. In what can sometimes be a tumultuous and difficult online scene, that will benefit any small business. In an industry that demands a positive reputation, that will bring you a level of resilience that other firms will envy.