Safeguarding your business’ online privacy takes more than having latest firewall or Internet security software — because some breaches of privacy don’t always originate from the outside. Online privacy breaches that compromise your network are often the result of an employee’s action — knowingly or unknowingly.
Here are some things that you, as a business owner, can do to mitigate the risk of an online privacy breach.
Establish a Clear Electronic Media Policy
For the employees currently working for you, it’s wise to have electronic media policy that spells out exactly what is and what is not acceptable use of company resources such as:
- company issued cell phones
Understand that there may be times when it may be necessary for your employees to check their personal e-mail at their workstation, but your electronic media policy should define the times and circumstances under which personal use is permitted on company-owned and controlled electronic resources.
Make sure your electronic media policy makes especially clear that employees aren’t guaranteed the right to privacy when using company owned electronic resources. As the business owner, you have the right to know what type of information is being sent and received via e-mail, phones, faxes, and other forms of communication in order to keep your business from becoming the victim of an online privacy breach.
Have a Crisis Team in Place
If a breach in online privacy were to occur, does your business have a plan in place to handle the breach? What impact would an online privacy breach have on your business from your client’s point of view? What will public perception be once word gets out that your business had customer information stolen?
That’s why it’s best to have a team in place to handle a crisis. Having key IT and public relations employees as a part of your crisis team is a good start. You also want to make sure you have an Internet lawyer on speed dial, as you must follow certain legal steps in the event of a data breach.
Enlist an Experienced Online Privacy Lawyer
Get an online privacy breach plan ready before problems arise. Have an experienced online privacy lawyer conduct an audit of your business. After all, you know what they say about being prepared.