Have you thought about online data and privacy?

This article is a guest post by Jezz Gobran of specialist online security company i-Secured.

cyber security, online privacy and data collection guest blog post

Would you give your personal details to a complete stranger?

Probably not. But when you have a website that operates with cookies or captures personal data (such as through a contact form), that’s exactly what happens. A privacy policy is the one thing that gives visitors assurance that their personal data will be collected and managed in line with legal obligations. That assurance helps build trust.

Just think about that for a minute. Trust is the foundation of any relationship. If your website doesn’t give assurance in terms of how seriously you take the security of your client’s personal data, then the chances are it will have a negative impact on your business.

But don’t take my word for it. The 2015 TRUSTe Consumer Confidence Index confirms my thoughts. There was a significant rise in internet users worried about their privacy when on the net. A huge 92% of internet users are worried about their privacy. The driver of this is a fear of companies collecting personal data to share with other companies (48%), online security threats (35%), and government surveillance (21%).

What does this mean for your business?

If you have a privacy policy that supports how you manage personal data then you’re on the right track. But if you don’t then it will have a negative effect on how your online business is perceived. Around 80% of users limit their use of the web because of privacy concerns and 89% said that “they avoid companies they do not believe protect their privacy”.

What can you do?

A privacy policy is the starting point. It’s a legal requirement and – what’s more – with the changing Data Protection Regulations these legal obligations are on the rise. This should help to give your clients the assurance they need and to build trust which should ultimately lead to increased business. But only if it’s done properly.

What’s next?

If building your business is important to you, if reputation is important to you, and you want to build trust and confidence in your clients, then get in touch with jgobran@i-Secured.co.uk.