Privacy Issues In Tech:
How Does It Affect Your Business?
We’re all becoming increasingly connected these days, researching, purchasing, and ordering online products and services on our connected devices. Many of our interactions with social media and search sites ask that we share our preferences, and all of this data is being collected by the mobile and desktop apps, internet providers, and other entities.
Consumers share information like their photos and opinions every day on their social media pages and don’t think twice about it, but when it comes to the more personal pieces of data related to health, finances, or family, they become concerned with privacy. As a business owner, you probably feel the same way, too.
As a matter of fact, some current studies show that over ¾ of all Americans are more concerned with their online privacy and security than they were even just a year ago. Privacy issues in tech are affecting everyone, and business owners are certainly no different.
When your customers visit your website to view and purchase your products and services, you want them to feel safe while doing so. Demonstrating your commitment to their privacy is going to be very important in attracting and retaining your clientele online. If your clientele is not convinced of the safety of your app or website they will stop visiting you – it’s just that simple.
To demonstrate to your clientele that your business takes their privacy seriously, you may want to provide customers with tips on safeguarding their own privacy when conducting business, for example. These tips can include:
- Changing their passwords often, using complex combinations of words and numbers.
- Using two-step authentication for critical logins, such as for financial or health-related websites.
- Using a VPN, or Virtual Private Network, can be helpful in masking the IP address of a laptop or phone.
I have some ideas here that a business owner can focus on as he or she addresses privacy concerns:
This commitment to privacy will need to be embedded in all your normal interactions with your customers; it won’t be enough to just put out a statement on your homepage or to share it in your mission statement. You will need to show your customers that the protection of their privacy is top-of-mind with your company. A security breach can disrupt your customer’s experience, and possibly damage the reputation of your company, negatively impacting your brand.
Safeguarding the privacy of your customer base can actually be more than just a protective measure. It can also be a strategic opportunity for you to grow your brand, as well as a potential business opportunity for startups and entrepreneurs. Attracting clientele by ensuring that their interactions with you are as safe as they can be is a strong marketing strategy.
It is being projected that over 20 billion connected devices, including phones, computers, tablets, etc. will be in use worldwide in the very near future if we haven’t reached that number already. This increase in our connected devices, together with the increasing consumer concern around security and privacy breaches, means that pretty substantial business opportunities are being created around privacy for both individuals and businesses. The previous focus of “Big Tech” has been on collecting data, but it’s now looking like the new focus will be on protecting that data. Something for all the entrepreneurs to think about! I’m Anna-Vija McClain, and I’m all about finding proactive solutions for the challenges that small business owners face every day. If you are considering making some changes to expand the protection of your customers’ privacy and need help deciding what your best course of action might be, I would love to sit down and talk with you about options, trends, and tools and get you in position to achieve your business goals.