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Privacy concerns should be high priorities for Utah businesses

The year 2020 wasn’t just one for the books for all the obvious reasons. It was also a big one on the privacy front. There were more than 30 Utah privacy bills that were being bandied about in the legislature, while California’s Consumer Protection Act re-wrote the rules in that state, with others possibly following suit this year.

All of this means that your customers and clients are clearly thinking about privacy concerns more as technology continues to evolve (and to get abused by those with criminal intent). And, privacy is clearly at the forefront in the business world, so it’s likely a major concern for your employees as well.

To that end, Utah Business hired Carley Herrick, a privacy attorney at Parson Behle and Latimer in Salt Lake City, to write about the main privacy concerns businesses should address for 2021. Your customer’s data should be a huge part of the plan to make privacy a higher priority.

First Utah Bank also has privacy in mind when it comes to all of its services, and that includes the three options for business checking accounts, each of which can help streamline and organize a business’ finances the right way.

The ‘people’ portion of privacy

One of the most important things a business can do to boost privacy is train employees better. Herrick points out in her article that the leading source of security breaches last year in the US were employee-based. Consistent and thorough training is a must to help combat this. “If your employees handle personal data, they should be trained on key privacy terms, the general requirements of (federal and international) data privacy laws, and company policies and procedures for keeping personal information safe,” Herrick writes.

It’s also a good idea to review privacy policies in the new year, and update them as needed when you start to collect customers’ personal data in a new way or collecting new types of data from your base. Making sure that customers can easily find these policies should also be an important step to maintaining the most privacy.

Two other areas to consider: review the privacy and security policies of vendors before working with them, and also use the new LDU feature on Facebook, so that the popular social media site is prevented for using your customers’ data for its own purposes.

Keeping that data in the right hands 

Almost half of Herrick’s suggestions concern company data, starting with the idea that you should be acutely aware of who is sharing it, how it’s being used, and how it’s being collected. This is to make sure that risks are mitigated and that customers can receive quick responses when it comes to data use.

“Investing time and money in a map that shows all data entering the company and its path around and out of the organization will prove invaluable when managing vendors,” Herrick writes. The map can also be used “for responding to access and deletion requests, and identifying cross-border data transfers subject to international privacy laws,” she continues.

There’s also a data protection impact assessment, or DPIA, to consider adding to your privacy duties. This is especially effective before starting new projects so you can get a better grasp of the security risk and the measures you’ll need to take to eliminate those risks. It’s also key to encrypt all of your databases that have employee information that may be sensitive, such as bank account or credit card numbers, as well as Social Security numbers.

Lastly, having a data retention plan should be a big part of a company’s focus on better protection of this important asset. “Remember, you can’t lose data you don’t have,” Herrick notes. “To retain certain data for analytics purposes after the retention period has expired, consider anonymizing the data so it is no longer subject to data privacy laws.”

Several options for a business checking account for Utah businesses

Secure checking accounts for your business should also be a priority for you as the new year continues. As your community financial resource, First Utah Bank has three different options for you when it comes to business checking accounts.

The free business checking option features unlimited deposits and Visa debit card transactions with no minimum balance requirement and free entertainment banking. This option is for those with 100 ACH debits and checks per month. There’s also a specialized checking account for registered non-profit organizations with no monthly service charges and no minimum balance requirements.

Our commercial checking option is great for those who do higher business volumes. There’s a competitive earnings credit rate that may offset monthly service feeds, and it also can be linked to other eligible checking accounts to increase available earning credits. Plus, it’s federally insured to the legal maximum.

To learn more about our services for businesses, go to our website.