Inside LiveChat

LiveChat Legal: Crafting Your Data Security Policy

Malgorzata Sikora
4 min read
May 7, 2020
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There is no question that data security is important. If you run an online-related business, you should know how to apply good data security standards for your company. It was a difficult process for us, and now we’re ready to share that experience with you. 

Let’s start with what a data security policy should and shouldn’t be. It’s tricky because many online businesses operate internationally, and if you use LiveChat to scale your business, you need to be ready to receive traffic from around the world. That means you need to be concerned about different governing laws and security standards for both your business and your customers. 

What is a data security policy?

It’s a policy that shows how your company handles data security standards. However, that’s not the most important question. The most important question you should ask is who will need the data security policy you create? 

Of course, you need to protect your business and address the legal aspects of data security. But it’s also important to provide value for your customers with the policy you create. Simply speaking, make your customers’ life easier by having a clear and precise data security policy and documentation. 

How to start creating a data security policy

Your data security policy should address all the standards used by your company to ensure data safety. Consequently, it should point out different areas where those standards are applied. Let’s look at LiveChat’s Security Policy

It’s divided into six main parts and starts with very general information. In this section, you’ll find information related to where the servers are located, the standards used to protect data (in our case, it’s SSAE16), and data storage limitations. You’ll also see how to contact us in case of an emergency. 

The sections after that are related to the specifics of your business and how much information you want to include. We provide a detailed description of our domain usage, webhooks, and usage of the product. To determine which areas you should include, try to think about how you communicate with your users. 

Do you provide a panel to log in? If yes, then password storage safety is one area. Do you enable any technical communication with your product/service (for example with API or webhooks)? If that’s true, you should cover this in your policy. Additionally, if you invest in high-quality providers for your business, that’s also something worth sharing in your policy. 

Why should I care about having a reliable data security policy?

Operating an online business is a great opportunity, but it comes with a great deal of responsibility. Having a reliable brand is valuable, and it should be protected. Regardless of how your business model shapes the relationship you have with your customers, both B2B and B2C, you’re responsible for taking care of their data. 

Your data security policy should ensure that your customers feel safe. If you provide a product, as we do, it’s also added value for the customer because they know they can trust you. They need to know that placing you among their subprocessors is a safe and reliable choice.

What shouldn’t be included in your data security policy?

Remember, apart from the added value your data security policy provides, it’s still a policy and not a sales document. The best advice here is to show your strengths, but also be honest about your fully-implemented solutions. If you’re planning to add a brand new safety standard, wait until you fully implement it before you add it to your data security policy. 

Your customers may check your data security policy to determine if it suits their needs or if your product can be used with their risk assessment and safety standards. So, the information included in the policy should always be current. 

Your choice matters - use reliable tools

Your data security policy is about what you do internally as a company, but it’s also about the choices you make and the tools you use. Server providers, email hosts, CRMs, and chat providers, among many more, all matter in your data security policy because they affect your customers. That’s why, like us, you need to be diligent and provide the best data security policy possible and keep it transparent. 

In order to make sure that the data security policy you provide is accurate, try to challenge the safety standards of the tools you use. It will help you keep your company safe from data security violations and maintain professionalism in the eyes of your customers. When you run risk assessments, having high-quality subprocessors will comply with your policy and keep your internal documentation consistent.

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