In a world that is increasingly becoming health and fitness conscious, spas are becoming an attractive investment option. Clients come to spas to relax, to enjoy beauty treatments, massages, to recover from injuries, and to manage some medical conditions – usually requiring pain relief. The client membership records usually include sensitive personal information, payment details, and in some cases, even the client’s medical history. Every spa needs to have a robust system in place that understands the client data the spa is holding, how it is used, where it is stored, and how it is disposed of. This guide will underline the importance of customer data safeguarding by Spas.
It is required by Law
Even before the digital age, there have always been laws and regulations in place to protect sensitive client data. There is a particular legal focus on the protection of client payment and medical data. As more services are being offered on digital platforms, new laws and customer protection regulators are being put in place to safeguard customer data. It is therefore important for spas to ensure that their entire data handling structures, including the data collection, usage, storage and disposal; do not violate the existing data protection laws and regulations. Breaching these laws attracts large fines and other punishments on the organization and its decision-makers.
It protects an organization’s reputation
The entrepreneurial space is increasingly becoming competitive, and the spa industry has not been left behind. In a competitive market, how a brand is perceived becomes one of the most important assets any business can have. Data breaches, especially those that can be traced back to incompetence on the organization’s part can irreparably damage a brand’s reputation. Existing and potential customers need to be confident that they are dealing with a reliable and professional business when they consider bringing business to a spa. Considering the sensitive nature of the data the spas collect and store from their customers, a spa needs to have a robust framework in place to safeguard customer data as part of their efforts to maintain a positive brand image in the market(s) it operates in.
Failure exposes a company to lawsuits
While this guide has touched upon the legal and regulatory frameworks in place in many global jurisdictions, a company can still be legally exposed without these protections being in place. A business can be sued by its clients if they suffer any damage or loss coming from a business’s failure to properly safeguard their data. These lawsuits are expensive in terms of the cost of fighting them in court, or in any damages that might be awarded to the lawsuit plaintiffs. The issue of a damaged professional reputation from a high-profile lawsuit should also be considered. Therefore, even in jurisdictions without robust customer data protection laws in place, a spa needs to protect its clients’ data to avoid civil proceedings through lawsuits.
Customer data is actively targeted by criminals
Any business that holds anything of value needs to protect it from any unscrupulous third parties that seek to access it for fraudulent purposes. The reason why so many global jurisdictions are fast-tracking customer data protection laws is the value that this sensitive data has to criminals and businesses. Personal data and payment info data can be used to steal clients’ identities and fraudulently steal from their bank accounts and/or credit card balances. Online advertising trackers and other digital marketing platforms are also always seeking to collect user data across various platforms. With many laws in place to protect client data, and the reputation hit that a business can get after suffering a data breach – every spa needs to have a reliable policy that actively safeguards customer data.
There are many data protection tools available in the market
There is an abundance of affordable tools and techniques that are available to businesses of any size that wish to have strong data protection systems. When one is spoilt for choice, no spa has a valid excuse for not being able to protect its customer’s data. There are cloud-based business management systems that use state of the art encryption that is already compliant with global data protection standards. When it comes to data that is stored and used on-site, there are reliable services that can help a business dispose of the data in its storage systems. In most cases, the hard-disks and servers can still be re-used by the organization. If recycling is not necessary, then data destruction is one of the most reliable data disposal options. Either through physical storage disk destruction or demagnetisation, customer data that is no longer in use can be purged from a business’s storage systems. The options are almost limitless.
In conclusion, any business needs to place a lot of emphasis on the systems it has in place to protect customer data. This is particularly important for businesses like spas, which contain sensitive data like payment details and medical records. Failure to do so exposes a business to prosecution, lawsuits, financial consequences and permanent reputational damage.
Author Bio: This article was written by Eloise Tobler, Marketing and Sales at Wisetek. Wisetek specialize in both ITAD and Data Destruction.