Online document protection: how to not destroy your reputation
How to destroy your reputation in one easy step, because of a lack of online document protection and why not doing this can result in your business going up in smoke
As a mortgage broker or customer-facing professional you’ll have no doubt spent years building up your client base and your reputation. However, your entire credibility and business will quickly be worth nothing if you don’t pay attention to one major thing – your clients’ personal privacy.
According to the Australian Privacy Act, all businesses must make sure that the name, address, medical records and bank details is not accessed by unauthorised parties. In today’s increasingly digital world, while it is easier than ever to collect and store data, it is imperative to make sure that the systems you use have in-built encryption that will protect your clients’ privacy.
The Consequences of Insufficient Online Document Protection
Many agencies around Australia, including banks, phone companies and private advisors have come into the spotlight for failing to adequately protect the personal information of clients and customers. This includes Telstra, which was fined several thousands dollars in 2014 after it was found to have failed to adequately protect the personal information of over 15,000 customers.
For an individual, having their personal information leaked or stolen can have serious consequences. It is not only their money that is under threat, but their personal safety and even that of their family.
As a business, if you are deemed responsible for data getting into the wrong hands, you face legal action. Updates to the Australian Privacy Act that took effect in 2014 give the Privacy Commissioner the ability to fine organisations that aren’t compliant in protecting their clients’ data.
The maximum fine is up to $1.7 million for companies and $340,000 for individuals.
A Privacy Act breach that goes public can have disastrous results for your business and its reputation in the long term by disintegrating the trust that you have worked to build up over time.
Read more: Why more brokers are using ezidox ™
Protecting Your Clients’ Online Documents
In order to protect your clients’ personal information, the Australian Government recommends that you:
- Consider whether the collection and holding of information is necessary in order to carry out your functions or activities
- Plan how personal information with be handled – this includes embedding privacy protections into the design of information handling practices
- Assess the risks associated with collecting personal information
- Use strategies to protect personal information
- Destroy, remove or de-identify personal information when it is no longer needed
When it comes to sensitive information, Australia’s National Privacy Principles require organisations to take ‘reasonable steps to protect the personal information it holds from misuse and loss and from unauthorised access, modification or disclosure’.
In the case of online documents, password protection and data encryption are particularly important to prevent hacking, leakers and the theft of private personal information.
Online Document Protection – Make It Easy
When choosing the online systems you will use to collect and store data, make sure that they will adequately protect your clients’ privacy.
Apps such as ezidox™ are a step in the right direction in this instance, allowing you to easily gather and share information with your clients, while also protecting their privacy and complying with Australian regulations.
Stop wondering if your business is compliant and start using ezidox™ today.