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Are You Communicating Securely? 6 Tips to Keep Your Conversations Safe

In an age where cloud computing and mobile communications are becoming the norm, rather than the exception, how can you know that the information you’re sharing on a daily basis is really secure? It’s particularly important for businesses that deal with sensitive data, such as customer contact information and payment methods, that the highest level of security be consistently achieved. Here are a few helpful tips to help you keep that important data safe.

Understand the Law – Depending on the industry you work in, there may be specific laws and regulations set forth that govern how communications should be handled. Understanding these laws will help keep you out of trouble and provide the foundation upon which you can build your internal communication policy.

Establish Clear Policies – Develop a plan for how sensitive communications will be kept safe, solidify it and make sure it is clearly communicated to everyone who works for you. Include it in employee handbooks, if you have them, or as part of the on-boarding process for new employees. The more you hammer the point home, the higher level of compliance you’ll experience among your team.

Always Use Encryption – It’s easy, it’s free – in fact, in most cases it’s free. There’s really no excuse for you to ever be sending sensitive data without encrypting it for security purposes first.

Be Careful with Cellphone Use – In such a mobile society, it’s no surprise that more and more people are moving away from landlines and relying solely on cell phones for their communications. Just remember, though, that cell phones are not fully secure, so be careful not to say anything sensitive that you wouldn’t feel comfortable getting out there.

Enforce the Use of Strong Passwords – You might be surprised to know how many people fail to use caution when they create passwords (i.e. using “password” or “12345”). Make it clear to your employees that they should be carefully choosing passwords that would be difficult to compromise. Set your systems to only accept alphanumerical passwords of a certain length for better security.

Keep Important Data Under Lock and Key – Whether it’s your servers for your electronic data or your paperwork for the physical information that is sensitive, make sure that it is always kept safe, under lock and key, and be extremely careful about who you grant access to. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

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posted by Rebecca Daneault @ 6:17 PM