According to Ron Mycholuk, public relations manager at the Better Business Bureau-Canada, new SMB owners are trying to build their brand and their reputation. They're doing this through advertising, word-of-mouth referrals, accreditations, etc. So, it’s vital for these SMB owners to do everything within their power to ensure their customers have a positive experience, not only during the transaction but afterwards as well.
"If the SMBs' initial clients are happy with the work and the experience," says Mycholuk, "They’ll tell others and increase the new company's exposure. Protecting the clients' privacy is an essential tool in showing that a company is trustworthy."
Mycholuk offers tips to consider:
- Ensure your network is secure. Hackers are becoming more crafty and sophisticated each year. Use passwords that are difficult to hack; never save passwords on your computers, and run regular updates on your computer’s virus scan.
- Research legislation regarding how long you need to keep your customers' financial documents. Some places are three years while others can be as long as seven years. If you’re writing down credit card numbers, buy a secure cabinet and lock your financials up at night. It’s not just online threats you need to be concerned with.
- As a business owner, when you take information—credit card numbers, home address, phone numbers—you are responsible for that information. Either don’t distribute it, or be upfront with your customers regarding where, when and with whom you are sharing their information. They need to know, in advance, what you are doing with their information.