Best Practices for Securely Storing PII Data

In today’s digital age, it is essential to store personal identifiable information (PII) securely. PII refers to any sensitive data that can be used to identify an individual, such as name, Social Security number, driver’s license number, and more.

As a business owner or organization that collects and stores personal information from clients or customers, you must comply with various regulations governing the protection of PII data. One of the most notable regulations is the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which became effective on May 25th, 2018 in Europe.

In this blog post, we will provide detailed guidance on how to store PII data securely while complying with relevant data privacy regulations.

Identify What Constitutes Personal Identifiable Information

Before storing any type of confidential data collected from clients or customers in your database system(s), it is crucial first to identify what constitutes personal identifiable information.

Some examples include:

  • Name
  • Date of Birth
  • Address
  • Email address
  • Social security number/ National Identification Number.
  • Credit card details / Bank account numbers.

Keep Only The Necessary Information

After identifying what constitutes PII within your organization’s scope; ensure that all departments adhere strictly not to collect unnecessary/inappropriate information – doing so would only increase the risk factor for unauthorized access due to irrelevant accumulated info in storage systems.

For instance:

    A health insurance company should collect patient symptoms history rather than their social media profiles.

    An e-commerce platform doesn’t require collecting client’s birthdays if it isn’t necessary for their service delivery.

    The aim is to reduce the amount of PII data collected while ensuring your organization still delivers a quality service/product.

Encrypt and Protect Data with Passwords

One of the most effective ways to secure PII data in storage systems is by encrypting it. Encryption means converting sensitive information into unreadable codes that can only be decrypted using specific keys or passwords.

Here are some tips on properly encrypting and protecting data:

Use Strong Passwords

Using robust passwords ensures that unauthorized persons cannot access confidential information. However, keep in mind that employees who hold admin privileges should use stronger passwords due to their ability to perform more significant tasks within the system – weaker passwords could compromise organizational security.

At least an eight-character password (with symbols included) is recommended for maximum security, with regular changes practiced over time.

Two-Factor Authentication

Two-factor authentication adds another layer of protection as an extra layer of confirmation before gaining access to any database/ application. A two-step verification process requires using a user’s password plus a second form of identification such as biometrics or SMS verification code sent directly via mobile phone number recorded in user profile details.

Backup Your Data Frequently

Regular backup would ensure you never lose stored PII data through cyber-attacks, hardware failure disasters like earthquakes, etc., thus making sure all information stored remains accessible at all times when required.

Another essential factor worth mentioning when performing backups relates back-up frequency: daily backups might not necessary if new entries aren’t entered daily. Instead; weekly or monthly updates suffice – depending on how frequently new entries are added/updated.

In conclusion, storing personal identifiable information securely is crucial for maintaining trust between clients/customers and organizations. By following best practices outlined above regarding identifying sensitive info types and reducing unnecessary accumulation, encrypting data with strong passwords, regularly performing backups, and monitoring access through two-factor authentications; your organization can remain in compliance with data privacy regulations while providing quality products/services.

Share this post: