Consumers trust companies with their data not because they want to, but because they have to. Sadly, it’s been reported that only 25% of people believe that most companies are handling their sensitive data with adequate care. If consumers had their way, the majority would likely choose to never share their data with your company at all.
This pervasive lack of trust illustrates why it’s so important to protect user information at all costs: Not only are you working against an overwhelming negative public perception here, but consumers who find reason not to trust your business may go elsewhere, causing you to lose revenue from them and anyone in their networks.
You must continually work to earn the trust of your customers and assure them you are doing the right thing with their data. One way to maintain a positive relationship with your consumers is to remain compliant in all things data security. From the newly established GDPR laws in Europe to FTC regulations in the United States, the way you collect and store sensitive customer data must be done by the book.
Here are some of the ways you can leverage security compliance to foster a sense of trust among your consumers.
Compliance Increases Transparency
Data security laws and regulations have been built around the notion that transparency is at the core of data protection and customer trust. Remaining up to par on security practices means finding a way to marry ethical practices and technology. Since a cringe-worthy 73% of consumers believe that companies prioritize profits over their security measures, it’s up to you to prove them wrong.
Create transparency and trust through compliance by:
- Adhering to all opt-out regulations. Allow people to opt out of sharing data that you would like to have but don’t need. Make the choice clear to consumers, so people don’t look back and think they were tricked into giving consent.
- Letting consumers know exactly how you’re using their sensitive information. With so much distrust about how companies are using their data, consumers will want to know why you need their home address or social security number. Informed consent should be the standard (and, in the case of GDPR, it now quite literally is the standard).
- Maintaining the proper level of encryption and providing consumers with clear indications of what you’re doing to secure their information.
- Utilizing two-step verification for all information storage and transfer and empowering consumers to further protect themselves by showing them how to create strong, unique passwords.
Better Security Translates to Fewer Betrayals
The chances of being compromised are not something you can ignore — there is about a 1 in 4 chance that a company will be the victim of a data breach. While remaining compliant doesn’t eliminate the chance of a breach altogether, it certainly helps.
Naturally, customers view data breaches as a betrayal. In fact, almost 60% of people report that they are unlikely to engage in a transaction with a company that has had a breach of customer information.
While offering full transparency about your compliance efforts will generate more trust on the front end, the work you do behind the scenes to actually maintain that compliance can stave off disasters and secure future trust. By remaining compliant and protecting yourself from cyberattacks, you are doing critical work to remain in the good graces of your current customers and earn the business of potential future customers.
Security breaches are expensive in more ways than one. The average estimated cost of a single hacking incident was more than $3 million in 2017, and the figure is only expected to rise. It’s also nearly impossible to estimate how much money you lose from potential customers who never engage with you in the first place due to negative PR after a hacking, so the loss may actually be significantly greater than what is currently reported.
Security compliance is your most powerful weapon against being hacked and losing customer trust. Acting now will pay off big in the long run — so what will you do today to earn trust through compliance? How are you actively working to build consumer trust? Working with a company like Sentek Cyber can help you become and remain compliant with data security standards. We offer PCI compliance services, penetration testing to assess your vulnerability when it comes to cyberattacks, training, and more.
Sentek Cyber is a trusted firm with a wealth of experience spanning multiple industries. We would love to find out more about your company and your specific needs. Contact us today to start a conversation.