Today, more than ever, protecting your data is essential to the success of your salon, spa, or clinic. A data breach or cyber-attack can interrupt your business and even cause long-lasting damage to your reputation.
We’ve all heard about the 2021 attacks on Waikato District Health Board (New Zealand) and Channel Nine (Australia) when both organisations experienced significant IT issues, interruptions to their business, and stolen data. It’s a good reminder of how essential it is to be proactive with your data security and put preventive measures in place to help safeguard your business.
Here are four steps you can take to protect your business and client data.
1. Research privacy and data protection laws
As you collect, use, and/or store customer information such as names, phone numbers or credit card details, make sure that you’re familiar with the laws and regulations relevant to your industry.
Here are some great resources to get you started:
- Data toolkit for The Privacy Act (NZ)
- A guide to the General Data Protection Regulation (UK)
- How-to: the Privacy Act 1988 (AUS)*
*If your business is located in Australia, you may have a legal obligation to comply with the Privacy Act 1988 and it’s best to check with a lawyer or a consultant.
2. Put processes and procedures in place
Your client information is your business’s most valuable asset. It’s important to have clear well-documented policies and procedures around staff access and permission. This allows your staff to use the salon software features they need to do their jobs while keeping sensitive information safe. For instance, when a staff member leaves your business, it’s important to have a failsafe process to deactivate access rights and passwords.
With Kitomba, you are in complete control of your client data and personal information. Kitomba’s salon management software has customisable security levels that allow individual staff members and external partners, such as accountants and marketers, to access key features and information they need while keeping your business data safe.
3. Choose your software wisely
At your salon, spa or clinic, you will likely be using many applications and software programs to run your business, such as salon management software, email, accounting tools, point of sale (POS) software, payment systems and so on.
When choosing new software, there are a few things you should do:
- Spend a good amount of time researching the software provider on their website or signing up for a demo, as well as talking to other business owners who use the software.
- Look for trusted market leaders who have been in the industry for many years.
- Find companies that keep digital safety and data protection as their top priority. They will be easily identifiable as they’ll demonstrate this by providing regular security updates and will have strict policies that prevent unauthorised remote access to your business data. For example, they’ll ask if they have your permission to access your software and record your consent.
- Be cautious of software providers who offer free software, even though it may be tempting to choose it to save money. It’s important to know that by using free software, you may be allowing the software provider to own your data, which means they can share it with third parties for marketing purposes.
4. Teach the basics to your team
Your salon, spa or clinic staff need to know the basics when it comes to data and privacy protection. This should include practical tips such as how to:
- create strong passwords and regularly update them,
- lock your screen when you’re away from your desk,
- be wary of suspicious or phishing emails,
- protect the personal details of your clients.
It’s also crucial for your staff to understand the financial and reputational repercussions that your business may face if data protection is overlooked.
Protect your hair and beauty business
Nowadays businesses rely heavily on IT and digital tools, so business owners need to be proactive to protect their systems and customers’ data. It pays to invest in quality salon management software to mitigate the costs of business disruption and to ensure peace of mind when it comes to privacy and data security.
By upgrading to Kitomba Salon and Spa Software you’ll receive an extensive range of features along with unbeatable customer support to manage and grow your business. Plus you can be confident in the knowledge you’re partnering with a trusted software company that focuses on keeping your business’ information safe and secure. If you’d like to find out how Kitomba can help you, book your free demo or contact us.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on 10 Apr 2015 and has been completely updated for relevance and comprehensiveness.
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