If you’re like most business owners, you’re using a lot of different apps and software programs. In fact, a recent study found that small businesses use an average of 73 different apps!  

Every time you download a new app or program, you’re prompted to agree to their terms and conditions. Almost no one reads them—but you should! Even if you don’t read the whole thing, you’ll want to pay attention to the data privacy policy.

We know, it’s long, and boring, and full of complex legal terms. But it’s also important to know what they’re doing with your information—and possibly that of your clients! Here are a few things you need to watch out for.

What Do They Collect and Why?

Since almost all programs collect some type of information, there’s really no way to get out of it. After all, there are some types of business software you definitely need. However, before you agree, make sure you take a look at what they’re collecting.

Some common data points that companies collect may include your name, location, and credit card information. However, if they’re collecting an excessive amount of information, ask yourself whether it’s actually relevant to the service they’re providing. If not – what are they doing with it?

How Long Do They Store Your Data?

It’s also a good idea to look at whether the company is collecting your information one time, or on an ongoing basis?  Another important question is how long will they keep your information on file? If you’re not comfortable with their timeframes, consider moving on to a different service.

How Secure is Your Data?

This one is super important. If a company that collects your data has a security breach, you could have your identity stolen—and nobody wants to deal with that!

Look for companies that use SSL (Secure Socket Layer) encryption on their data as this will help protect it from hackers. Also, look to see whether the company says they can sell your data. The more people who have access to it, the less secure it is.

Watch Out for “Free” Services  

Always be extra careful when using “free” services. Chances are, if you’re not spending money to use a product or service, you’re paying for it with your data. In most cases, this isn’t worth it.

It’s almost always a better idea to pay for a service from a well-known company and have the peace of mind that comes with knowing they’ll protect your data. 

The Data Privacy Policy is Just the Beginning

When choosing software and apps for your business, understanding the data privacy policy is just the beginning. You’ll also need to make sure it will work cohesively with the rest of your system. Instead of using the trial-and-error method, save yourself the hassle by consulting with a professional IT team.

The experts at Inception Network Strategies are here to consult with you on all your business IT needs. Contact us today to learn more.