Customers look to the companies they do business with to keep their information safe. People are going to pay with a credit card. This means that it's up to you to find a payment solutions provider that minimizes the likelihood of a credit card breach. There are several tips to follow to help keep your customers safe with each and every transaction that you conduct on-site and online.
Change Passwords Frequently
It's important to change your passwords on a regular basis. Otherwise, you run the risk of passwords being known by employees who no longer work for you. While you would hope former employees forget the password and move on, this isn't always the case.
You should work to create passwords that are complicated. This includes a combination of lowercase and uppercase letters as well as the use of numbers and symbols. It will be more difficult for hackers to get into your systems when you have a comprehensive password.
It's best to set a reminder so that you know when it's time to change passwords. Be sure that you only share the passwords with employees who absolutely need access. Limiting the access to credit card information and other questionable information will help you to lock down security.
Install Software Updates
Often, businesses don't install the software updates on their POS software because they're afraid an update will cause some kind of issue with their POS software. However, the updates are of the utmost importance. They help to take care of the various security threats that are out there. If you fail to install them, you are putting yourself at undue risk.
You might want to assign a person, whether in your IT department or elsewhere, to be responsible for installing updates as they come out. This will make it easier to know that they are done. You will also maintain PCI compliance at all times because of being able to have the latest and greatest security measures in place.
Use PCI Compliant Hosting
PCI compliance might be provided by the payment solutions provider. However, you should also have PCI compliant hosting in place. The benefit to this is that your host will also be following the card industry data security standards. As credit cards are transmitted across the Internet, you don't have to worry about the numbers or any other information falling into the wrong hands.
It's important not to make an assumption as to what the payment solutions provider is and is not providing. Seeing the PCI acronym is great, but you need to make sure it is all encompassing. Paying a little extra to ensure that the PCI goes hand-in-hand with your hosting is also critical so that you can keep your customers safe with each transaction that occurs.
Use Chip Card Readers
When you have transactions carried out on premises, be sure to have a chip card reader. Stolen strip card information is highly valuable to hackers. It would allow them to create fake cards or use the card information online. A chip card doesn't have the security code, which means the information is much less valuable.
It's an easy step to have a chip card reader within your POS system. You ensure that you can accept credit cards without putting your customers in danger of their card information being stolen from your systems. It's a small initial investment but one worth making.
Dispose of Sensitive Data Properly
There might be times when you have to hand write credit card information, such as on a contract. It's important to be vigilant when handling sensitive data. This includes shredding documents whenever there is confidential information on them. If you get rid of any electronic devices, whether it's a computer or a smartphone, you also need to ensure that all data is removed from it.
Part of this involves training your employees. Employees need to be aware that personally identifiable information (PII) is capable of identifying customers. It's the same information that can lead to a credit card breach, too. You don't want any of this information falling into the wrong hands. Train your employees to identify this information and dispose of it all the right way.
With so many ways to keep your customers safe, there's no reason not to take the necessary actions. It's not just about adhering to the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). You need to go above and beyond as a way to build trust with your customers. Otherwise, one credit card breach occurs and you potentially lose the trust. That's the last thing you want to do. It doesn't take much to tighten the security, but you have to work with a solutions provider who is going to deliver the needed tools. It will make all the difference in the world and ensure that you are providing customers with the best possible experience.