Is GDPR Important for Small Business Websites? If So, Why?
Small and medium-sized businesses are the backbone of the economy. Most businesses fall into this category, so there is no doubt when we talk about how essential their existence is. Despite that, it seems like all small business owners have been left to fend for themselves in the rush for GDPR compliance. GDPR is equal for everyone, but small businesses need to put a lot more effort if they want to follow the rules: simply, their budgets and resources sometimes are not enough.
What is exactly GDPR, why is it an important part of privacy protection, and how it can affect small businesses and their websites? This guide will help you understand everything you need to know about GDPR, from consent to data protection, gathering, and use.
What is GDPR?
General Data Protection Regulation also known as GDPR is a wide-ranging regulation that can impact many areas of a business, but we’ll talk here how it impacts most websites. The GDPR is a set of rules made to give EU citizens more control over their data. But, as EU citizens use sites worldwide, GDPR spreads beyond EU borders. It applies to anyone, anywhere, who processes the personal data of an EU citizen. Given the global nature of the internet, this effectively applies to every site in the world. “Personal data” in the borders of GDPR definition has a wide range and includes much more general information about website visitors than you may think.
GDPR is all about data sharing and awareness. It gives you an option to decide whether or not you share some personal information with websites. Many customers will be okay with their data being collected like it’s always been, but some of them will want better control over their data. With GDPR regulations, all businesses and their websites must comply with those desires since data privacy is now a customer right. Giving customers more rights and control over how their data is used, accessed, and stored, GDPR notifies them that they can:
- Access personal their own personal data and to know the ways how it’s been used at any time;
- Ask for their data and move it to another location or share it with some other company;
- To be informed which data your website is collecting and the ways how it’s been collected before they give any permission;
- Select data they want to share and restrict what they don’t want to;
- The statement that they’ll be notified within 72 hours if it comes to a data breach or they’re compromised.
The question is how can small business owners on their websites provide all of these requirements, and how it can affect their business. If you have a small business, it means that you probably won’t need the same amount of data as the big enterprises, but it doesn’t mean that you won’t need GDPR. Failing to comply with this regulation can cost you a lot. To prevent any uncomfortable and potentially cost-risky situations you need to A substantial impact that could shut down a business permanently. There are several steps that you, as a small business owner, should take to protect your business and ensure obedience with these regulations.
Have someone who will work as a data protection administrator
It’s completely normal that you don’t have time or enough knowledge to keep everything in order in your company, so security audits can be a recommended choice. Find someone who will be responsible for understanding GDPR, for data that your website and business collect, and to keep the system safe and secure for customers and visitors. It’s also highly recommended to train all your employees about the potential threat: most of the threats (like cyber attacks) are indeed online, but you don’t know.
First of all, check your hosting provider to be sure if you have all security measures in your hosting package. A long term relationship with a reliable hosting provider will keep all your data safe and secure. Hostinger is highly recommended because it’s a high-security level in all packages and it’s also very affordable. Second of all, give your employees a short course about cybersecurity – for not to open any suspicious emails, to keep their passwords confidential, etc. This will help eliminate all potential internal threats.
How can accommodate your website to GDPR
Adapt a website design
It will help you in many ways. As your website is one of the main collectors of customer’s data, make sure everything will be transparent so customers can decide whether or not they’re going to give you their personal information.
Think about third part evaluation
Sometimes hiring specialists in GDPR and personal information protection is the best way to ensure that your business is fully compliant. You can do it in the beginning and just continue to maintain it because it can save you time and money.
Always keep reports of compliance and stand behind it
If something goes wrong or somebody comes with a complaint you can transparently display all GDPR compliance.
Create a policy violation report
It’s one of the crucial steps. Websites of small businesses are easy to target for hackers more than websites because of the lack of protection. Bigger companies invest tons of money in security systems for their online channels, so hackers rather decide to attack small businesses. Besides data protection make sure that you have a policy violation report because it’s also one of the GDPR requirements – to inform customers about potential information leaking within 72 hours.
Ensure your data storage is accommodate with GDPR requirements
It’s not just important that data is stored on your systems, but it’s also important that it is protected appropriately. GDPR requires its own standards for all kinds of information, so be updated properly.
As we said earlier, as a small business owner it’s much harder to answer all GDPR requirements. But it’s also very important to keep them properly updated because keeping everything in order is less risky than having potential problems with information leaking and lawyers. If you aren’t sure how to establish a stable system, hire some specialists and think about that as an investment in your business reputation – safe data collecting keeps a happy and long-term relationship with customers.