How a Business Can Protect Consumer’s Personal Information

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By Kelly Trevino, Regional Director, Corpus Christi Better Business Bureau

Data breaches are still a common issue in our ubiquitously connected world. It’s only been a few weeks since Under Armour, Inc. announced that its MyFitnessPal app had been breached, and that information on its 150 million users had been accessed by an unknown entity.

Under Armour says the “the affected information included usernames, email addresses, and hashed passwords – the majority with the hashtag function called bcrypt used to secure passwords.” The company’s press release said no government-issued identifiers (i.e., Social Security or driver’s license numbers) or credit card information were affected. The company is working with a data security firm and law enforcement authorities to investigate the breach.

Better Business Bureau Serving the Heart of Texas has these tips for businesses on how they can ensure their customers that their personal information is safe:

PROTECT THE INFORMATION THAT YOU HAVE
• Work with banks or processors to ensure the most trusted and validated tools and anti-fraud
services are being used.
• Make sure the WIFI network at your business is secure and encrypted.
• Have the latest firewall protection program installed on all computers.
• Consider using an intrusion detection system to detect any network breaches when they occur.
• Keep all physical copies of anything in a locked room or filing cabinet.

TRAIN EMPLOYEES ON SECURITY MEASURES
• Establish a security policy for all employees. This includes requiring strong passwords that
must updated regularly. These should be upgraded every three months or so.
• Establish guidelines for the company’s cybersecurity policy and penalties for violating those
guidelines.

SCALE DOWN
• Keep only what you need for your business.
• Don’t keep customer credit card information unless you have a need for it. Keeping this
information for any longer than necessary raises the risk of identity theft.
• Streamline access employees have to data. They should only access to resources relevant to
their particular job.

Kelly Trevino is the Regional Director for the Corpus Christi/Victoria area of Better Business Bureau serving the Heart of Texas. Kelly is available for media interviews and speaking engagements. You can reach her by phone: (361) 945-7352 or email: ktrevino@corpuschristi.bbb.org.