Today’s fitness industry increasingly relies on digital platforms to manage client information, schedule appointments, and streamline operations. But businesses are also burdened with the mammoth task of ensuring data protection. However, many don’t know why stringent measures are imperative for preserving individual privacy within the healthcare sector.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss how prioritizing privacy can contribute to both customer trust and legal compliance. But first, let’s talk about the GDPR, as it often comes under discussion along with data protection.
What is GDPR?
General Data Protection Legislation, or GDPR, is a law that talks about the use of personal information. The European Union (EU) passed the regulation in 2018 to ensure the safety of private data. It bounds businesses on how they can capture, process, store, and use information relevant to their clients.
7 Reasons Why Data Protection Is Important for Fitness Brands
Now, let’s explore why data protection is not just a necessity but a cornerstone for the sustainability of any business.
Legal Compliance and Regulatory Mandates
Fitness brands operate in a business domain where data protection regulations are becoming increasingly stringent. And it isn’t just a matter of ethical practice but a legal obligation. Countries, even provinces and states, are now implementing data protection laws. Companies may have to face severe penalties, fines, and legal consequences in case of non-compliance.
For example, UK businesses are bound to adhere to the GDPR. Similarly, the state of California has its own Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) in place for business entities.
Preservation of Customer Trust
Trust is the linchpin when it comes to building customer relationships. Customers expect businesses to handle their personal information with care and diligence. A minor mistake can cause a data breach, which can erode this trust irreparably. Therefore, you should prioritize data protection to signal customers that their privacy is a top priority.
For instance, gym software provides management tools to hundreds of businesses simultaneously and manages their data. So, they have taken preventive data privacy measures because a minor loophole in the system can instantly cause a major data leak.
Protection Against Cyber Threats
There’s no doubt that the digital landscape is rife with cyber threats, ranging from phishing attacks to ransomware. Businesses, especially fitness brands, are attractive targets for hackers and cybercriminals. They are always looking for loopholes, seeking to exploit vulnerabilities in your systems. To limit this from happening, you should implement robust data protection measures as a formidable defence.
Fitness businesses need to focus on encryption and do regular security audits for this purpose. Furthermore, employee training can contribute to a fortified digital infrastructure and reduce the risk of data breaches.
Business Continuity and Resilience
Data is the lifeblood of modern businesses as it helps them in operations and critical decision-making. This means that a loss of critical data due to a breach or other unforeseen events can disrupt operations. As a result, your business may have to bear financial losses and reputational damage.
So, to ensure the continuity of operations, prioritize data protection by implementing secure backup and recovery processes. This resilience is a critical aspect of weathering challenges and maintaining seamless business operations.
Ethical Responsibility and Corporate Citizenship
We have discussed the legal obligation and financial benefits of data privacy protection. But if you look beyond legal obligations, it’s also an ethical responsibility of corporate companies. They collect data from customers to streamline operations, but ensuring it remains secure is their moral responsibility.
Businesses demonstrate their commitment to ethical business practices by embracing data protection policies. Protecting consumer data is a positive corporate culture and social responsibility.
5 Steps to Protect Data Privacy Online
It becomes more crucial to protect data privacy once you are aware of its importance. It’s essential for your brand as it helps in building trust with your customers. Below are some easy ways to ensure data protection online and on your website.
Step 1: Implement SSL Certificate
In case you aren’t aware, SSL is an encryption technology that ensures a secure online connection. The internet connects browsers’ devices with the website server, which can be interrupted. Hackers can read and modify the information when it’s being transferred between servers. SSL safeguards the data and ensures secure transfer when you are providing information or using payment methods.
Websites or portals with SSL certificates are secure from online data theft. So, make sure your fitness business has an SSL certificate and it’s implemented where necessary.
Step 2: Update Plugins and Software Regularly
Software and plugins are prone to data theft because technology keeps evolving over time. That’s why companies keep updating their technology stack to ensure they’ve got a better chance against hackers.
So, whenever you see that a third party has released a new version of the software, update it. We recommend you enable auto-updates to ensure your CRM and plugins always have protection.
Step 3: Ensure Multi-Factor Authentication
In addition to updating your tech stack, you should also implement multi-factor authentication measures. It’s an extra layer of security that asks the user to provide authentication before allowing data access. You can detect malicious activities to control suspicious login activity in the very beginning.
Ahmad writes that one big mistake that healthcare companies and people make is that they share data to get discounts.
“People don’t realize that they are selling critical information in exchange for discount deals. Even if you have to share or copy promo codes, do it with a verified third-party coupon website.”
Step 4: Pay Attention to Data Storage
Fitness businesses usually have to deal with sensitive personal data, such as health records and payment information. It’s your duty to keep the data secure that people have trusted you with. For that, fitness brands should ensure their data storage is safe and well-protected. We recommend you utilize encryption techniques to protect stored data when it’s transferred and stored.
Step 5: Display Data Privacy Policies
Data protection is an ongoing process that requires effort on your part as a fitness business. It’s your responsibility to do frequent testing in order to identify and mitigate potential vulnerabilities. So, fitness brands should conduct regular data security audits to address issues promptly to fortify their website’s defences.