Data Protection – our top tips

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If you missed Data Protection Day on 28 January, fear not.  We thought we’d highlight our top five tips to help protect your data:

Tip 1 – assess your risk

Do you know what data you have that needs to be protected, and where your vulnerabilities are?  The Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) states that you should have security that is appropriate to the nature of the information you hold, and the harm that might result from improper use, accidental loss or damage to such data.  Without a risk assessment to consider the equipment that you use, the security procedures you have and the staff you employ, your business is vulnerable.

Tip 2 – understand the legislation

The DPA is due to be replaced in 2016 by the General Data Protection Regulation which will completely change the face of UK data protection law.  Did you know that under the GDPR, your organisation may face fines of up to 4% of global turnover where there is a breach of data security and that you may need to employ a Data Protection Officer to oversee compliance with the new regime?

Tip 3 – be proactive

Get ready now for the challenges that you may face in the future.  Have a strategy in place for improving data protection measures in your organisation, and learn from your mistakes.

Tip 4 – invest now, save later

Investing time and money dealing with data protection before problems occur will save damage to reputation and the possibility of financial penalties in the future.  Data protection is becoming a boardroom issue, with executives wary of becoming the next high-profile media story.

Tip 5 – education, education, education

When many people think of data protection, they worry about hacking, but many incidents are the result of mistakes and bad practice by employees.  Promoting a culture in which data protection issues and awareness guide employees’ actions and encourages reporting of potential problems; and equipping employees by providing training, are effective ways of minimising risk.

For more information, help or advice on data protection please contact Alan Grisedale on 0191 211 7956 or email [email protected].