Insight

6 Customer Data Protection Tips for 2019 and Beyond

Customers are concerned about their data privacy. Here are six tips to help protect your customers.

October 14 2019

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For every lock, there is someone out there trying to pick it.

- David Bernstein

Cyber Security Ventures predicts that cybercrime will cost up to $6 trillion dollars by 2021. However, data protection is about more than money, it’s about making your customers feel safe to do business with you.

Here are our top six customer data protection tips for 2019 and beyond.

1. Add layers of authentication

A customer can create the strongest password they can think of, a dash of their great aunt’s maiden name and a sprinkle of their first pet’s date of birth and yet, a determined hacker will still find a way to get into their account.

How is it even possible?

Because a password, regardless of how strong it is, is only a single layer of protection. Real protection consists of many layers.

When customers complete an action that could impact their account--for example, logging in or changing their personal details--an extra layer of authentication will protect them. It’s another way for them to confirm that they are who they say they are.

You can do this with two-factor authentication (2FA), or Mobile Identity, or both. If you’re using 2FA, make sure it’s a strong multi-factor authentication (MFA), and also that you take advantage of all possible 2FA channels. This includes 2FA through SMS, chat apps, voice and push notifications.

Use One-Time PINS to protect customers

Push notifications are a great way to send One-Time PINs that users can then enter to confirm their identity and authorize a transaction. To make it even easier, you can also deliver messages that contain YES and NO buttons for authorizing transactions.

Another process that is equally secure and far more convenient for customers is Mobile Identity. This is an automated way of verifying users through their mobile operator. Enabled by our worldwide connection with mobile operators, it ensures fast and secure user verification in less than 5 seconds.

According to a study by Google, people have 2x more interactions with brands on mobile than anywhere else, so mobile protection is important.

2. Use secure methods of communication

Customers like to communicate in a variety of ways, so it’s important for your business to be available across all channels. However, some channels are more secure than others and therefore better suited to sharing sensitive information.

WhatsApp Business allows companies to send tailored communications to customers on one of the most popular chat apps in the world. It also gives brands the ability to send automated messages and access important messaging metrics.

This channel is ideal for data protection because all WhatsApp messages are secured with end-to-end encryption, ensuring that the messages are only read between the two parties communicating. Not even WhatsApp can read the messages delivered over this channel.

3. Send real-time alerts

Sending real-time alerts related to unusual account activity helps customers act fast to prevent fraud. For example, if someone attempts to withdraw a large sum of money in another country, the customer can either allow or deny that transaction based on their own activity.

If you have your own app then a good way to send real-time alerts is through Mobile App Messaging. You can send push notifications that will alert your customers instantly:

Use timely alerts and notifications to protect customers

When using push notifications it helps to set SMS as a failover option. If, for some reason, the message cannot be delivered through the mobile app, it will be sent over SMS.

4. Educate customers

Help your customers help themselves by offering advice on what makes a strong password and how to spot suspicious emails. You could create content for your customers, like these examples:

Always be open with your customers about exactly how you manage and protect their data. And aim to make this education a clear part of your onboarding strategy.

5. Mask users’ numbers

Customers’ phone numbers are more than just a way for people to contact them. People can use their numbers to sign up for different accounts and as a layer of authentication. So it is important to keep numbers private and protected.

When customers need to talk to your support team, ensure their privacy by masking their numbers to give them anonymity and peace of mind.

According to a survey of internet users, only 21% of people trust that companies handle their data with care. By providing an option that allows customers to keep their phone number private, they will feel more comfortable and ready to communicate.

For more about number masking, check out our blog about how number masking can benefit you.

6. Keep customer data in one place

Storing all of your customer data in one place will not only help you protect it (by limiting access), but it will also allow you to unify your customer experience.

Customer experience is becoming increasingly more important. In fact, by 2020, it is set to overtake price and product as a key brand differentiator.

Unified customer data will help improve experiences by facilitating the creation of customized customer profiles. These comprehensive profiles, including parameters such as channel preferences and communication history, will allow you to create a more personalized experience for your customers.

Thanks for reading

According to a 2018 survey, 73% of adults in the US said their concerns regarding the privacy of their personal data have risen over the past few years, and 66% of consumers have also taken steps towards securing their data. In fact, 38% of respondents reported that they use social media less - all over privacy concerns. 

With data protection at the forefront of so many people’s minds, now is the perfect time to take control of data protection for your customers.

For more information on ways to use the communication channels mentioned in this article, download our free eBook, the Ultimate Guide on Messaging.

DOWNLOAD THE ULTIMATE GUIDE ON MESSAGING