BBB Tips for Keeping Customer Info Safe

February 06, 2014

Eighty-seven percent of small businesses have one or more employees who use the Internet for daily operations, according to the 2012 National Cyber Security Alliance study conducted in conjunction with Symantec. In addition, 71 percent of small businesses say their businesses are somewhat or very dependent on the Internet for day-to-day operations.

This begs the question: How safe is your customers’ information?

Keeping your customers safe requires your own computer systems to be fully protected. The best policies in the world won't protect your customers if your network and resources are at risk for preventable attacks.

Protecting your network and systems requires the same steps as protecting a single computer, only on a larger scale. This includes keeping a clean machine, regularly installing software and antivirus updates, and using a firewall and spam filters.

Your BBB offers these additional tips:

  • Have (and follow) a privacy policy: Your company’s website should have a privacy policy that tells customers what information you collect and how you use it.
  • Know what you have: Be aware of all the personal information you have about your customers, where it’s stored, how you use it, who has access to it and how you protect it.
  • Keep what you need and delete what you don't: While it's tempting to keep information for future use, the less you collect and store, the less opportunity there is for something to go wrong.
  • Protect what you’re given: If you're holding onto information about your customers, you need to keep it secure.

Start With Trust. For more information visit and click on “Data Privacy Day.” For more small business tips and information, visit