The old saying “prevention is better than cure” certainly applies to data privacy. A small amount of harmful code uploaded to your website can cause massive damage, ranging from an opening of a pop-up, to a stolen session or password and even complete system compromise. As part of your data security guidelines you should specify how often and when your system scans for this type of malicious code, and what safeguards are in place to limit the risk.

Update any scripts or software platforms that you employ on your site regularly. Hackers are constantly looking for security flaws in popular web software applications and the absence of timely updates opens your system up to attack. In addition, you should restrict access to networks or databases to the minimum number of people required to perform their jobs.

Develop a response plan to address potential breaches and designate an employee to oversee this procedure. Depending on your company you may need to notify customers, law enforcement agencies, and credit bureaus. This is a serious issue which should be planned in advance.

Implement strong password requirements on consumer accounts. Ensure that you have a method for storing passwords, for example, requiring the use of lower and uppercase letters, numerals and special characters or using salt and hash functions that are slow. Avoid unnecessarily storing confidential information about users, and if you do, reduce the risk by encrypting the data or the deletion of it after a set period of time.

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