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The old adage “prevention is better than cure” certainly applies to data privacy. A tiny bit of harmful code posted on your website could cause a huge amount of damage. From an ad-hoc pop-up to a system breach, or even an unintentional theft of passwords or sessions. You should include in your data security policies how often and when you are able to check your system for malicious code, and what security measures are in place to limit the risk.

Update your software or scripts that you utilize on your website regularly. Hackers are targeting security holes within popular web software, and a lack timely updates leaves your system vulnerable. You should also restrict access to your network or database to a minimum number of people necessary to perform their task.

Develop a plan of action to address any potential breaches. Then, designate a staff member to oversee the process. Depending on the nature of your business, you might require notification of consumers, law enforcement agencies, customers, and credit bureaus. This is an important action that must be planned out in advance.

Implement strong password requirements on consumer accounts. Also, make sure you have a good method for storing passwords, including the use of lower and uppercase numerals, letters, and special characters or using salt and hash functions that are slow. Avoid storing sensitive user data, and when you do, lower the risk level by encrypting the data or eliminating it after a certain amount of time.

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