12 Ways Small Businesses Can Demonstrate Their Commitment to Data Privacy

small businesses commitment to data privacy

In today’s digital age, data privacy has become a top priority for individuals and businesses alike. Small businesses in particular need to ensure that they are taking the necessary steps to protect their customers’ personal information. By doing so, they not only comply with data protection regulations but also build trust and loyalty with their customer base.

While implementing robust data privacy measures can be challenging for small businesses with limited resources, even small steps can make a significant impact. To that end, the members of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) weighed in on the following question:

“What’s one small but effective way small businesses can show their customers they take their data privacy and protection seriously? Why is this important to do?”

Here’s what YEC community members recommend.

1. Be Upfront and Honest

“Being upfront and honest about the data you’re collecting while also providing the customer with the ability to opt out can make customers feel more in control. Customers want to know where their information is being shared. By providing them with the ability to opt out, you can often produce increased traffic due to higher trust in the brand.” ~ Jordan Edelson, Appetizer Mobile LLC

2. Email an Annual Privacy Notice

“Small businesses can do a little of what large corporations do: They can send out an annual privacy notice by email to explain what they do with data and how it’s kept secure. While larger companies send one to every customer by mail, small businesses can do it by email — and it costs virtually nothing.” ~ Baruch Labunski, Rank Secure

3. Collect Only What’s Absolutely Necessary

“Protecting your customers’ data is very important. So make sure that you collect only the information that you absolutely need from your customers. This will help you keep the information safe and protect it from a security breach.” ~ Andrew Munro, AffiliateWP

4. Display Safety Certifications

“If you’ve got the safety certifications, show them off on your website, loud and proud. You can feature them alongside other logos on your homepage, depending on how important that is for your product. Still, it’s a must to have them located anywhere near where you’re requesting customer data, such as entry forms, API calls to obtain critical information (e.g., QuickBooks) and so on.” ~ Andy Karuza, NachoNacho

5. Implement a Clear, Concise Privacy Policy

“Small businesses should implement a clear and concise privacy policy on their website that states what type of data the business collects, how they use it and who they share it with. Small businesses can demonstrate their commitment to protecting their customers’ data and build trust with their customers, leading to increased customer loyalty and repeat business.” ~ Rachel Beider, PRESS Modern Massage

6. Get Customer Consent

“One simple way to show that you take data protection seriously is to get customer consent and opt-in whenever you collect information. This means asking customers if they want to join your newsletter instead of automatically adding them or allowing customers to opt in for location tracking instead of automatically enabling it. Doing this helps build trust between your business and the customer.” ~ Blair Williams, MemberPress

7. Use Secured Platforms

“Small businesses can use secured SaaS platforms to collect any personally identifiable information (PII). For example, if collecting payment information, social security numbers or addresses, use secured systems like QuickBooks, Stripe or CRM systems to show you care about customer data. You can also show your privacy policy on these platforms to comfort the customer.” ~ Piyush Jain, Simpalm

8. Help Educate Them on Protecting Their Data

“One small and effective way to show your customers that you take their privacy seriously is by generating awareness and helping them learn how to protect their data. Not only will this help your customers consider protective measures when it comes to their personal information, but it will also enable you to build trust and earn their respect.” ~ Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms

9. Update Customers Regularly

“Send customers updates on your data protection measures on a regular basis. This shows customers that you are consistently taking steps to protect their data and they can trust your business. You can also include a link to your data privacy policy and any other relevant security resources in the updates, which helps customers stay informed about your privacy protection actions.” ~ Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner

10. Familiarize Yourself With Regulations

“Small businesses can demonstrate their commitment to data privacy by implementing clear privacy policies on their website, familiarizing themselves with and complying with regulations such as California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and communicating with customers about how their data is collected and used. This builds trust and loyalty and helps businesses avoid legal and reputational risks.” ~ Miles Jennings, Recruiter.com

11. Encourage Users to Choose Their Preferences

“One effective way small businesses can show their email subscribers that they take data privacy seriously is by encouraging new users to choose their preferences. People value privacy and want to decide how they engage with your brand. If you give users the option to choose from the moment they sign up for your email list, you’ll have a better chance of converting subscribers into customers.” ~ Daman Jeet Singh, FunnelKit

12. Require Two-Factor Authentication

“One easy and affordable method is implementing two-factor authentication. This technique sends a subtle but clear message that you value your customers’ personal information and are willing to take extra steps to protect it. In this way, two-factor authentication builds trust and loyalty with your customers while effectively protecting your customers’ data and your reputation.” ~ Vikas Agrawal, Infobrandz

Image: Depositphotos

The Young Entrepreneur Council The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.