What Should Small Businesses Know About Handling Data Effectively?

The modern business world runs on data. Your clients share their personal contact information with you, trusting that you will care for it responsibly. If you make online sales, you may have credit card numbers and other account numbers stored in your system. Most people think that data breaches are the concern of large companies with tons of data. However, small businesses with lower levels of security can be an easy target for hackers. Not only is this a data breach, but your customers may see it as a breach of trust. Small businesses need to be responsible with data.

Never Slack on Security

A couple of decades ago, the primary concern about security was an employee walking off with a disk full of sensitive data. Thanks to the internet, small businesses are now connected to the world. This opens all sorts of business possibilities, but it also exposes them to new security threats. Security begins with your employees. Make sure that everyone understands the importance of strong passwords, and train everyone to recognize the danger of phishing emails. Finally, do your due diligence and make certain that your firewall is strong, your data is encrypted and your remote connections are as secure as possible.

Don’t Trust Your Processes Too Much

As technology improves, many businesses are taking advantage of automated data-processing programs, thinking they can avoid human error. However, machine-learning programs are still in their infancy. According to Deepen AI, efficient pre-labeling can be a highly useful tool for annotation and tagging, but the only real way to ensure pixel- or point-level accuracy is by having a human-driven vetting process for each label and each frame. Overdependence on technology can be a major failure for a business. You still want a pair of human eyes making certain that data is properly processed. Sometimes, what seems like lost data is simply data that was misfiled or misinterpreted by an AI processor.

Prepare for the Unexpected

If you store your business data on a local server in your workplace, you are taking a risk. No one expects equipment loss from a building fire or natural disaster. Especially in these days of climate-change concerns, you need to prepare for equipment failure. If your server is damaged by fire or flood, the data it holds may be permanently lost. You should consider several backup options for important data. Many cloud-computing platforms offer affordable ways to store your data securely on servers in several locations. Even if you cannot access your local server, you can still access your data and carry on business as usual.

Just like building security, data security must be part of your business plan. Your customers trust you with their important information. When you care about your customer data, you improve your reputation as a responsible business.

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