The deadline for compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has passed, but many companies are still not 100% ready for the changes. With the hefty fines that are part of the compliance regulations, it’s important that you give some consideration to just how prepared your company is. You may have sent out emails telling customers that you’re compliant, but are you completely prepared? If you’ve already taken steps to ensure that you avoid those fines, or you’re worried about the fact that you may not yet be compliant, then here’s everything that you should be doing right now.

Step One: Data Auditing

Businesses over the last few years have based much of their marketing strategies on the mass collection of data, with the supposition that there’s no such thing as too much. Often, that data is not even being used in any proactive or beneficial way, but the accumulation of it continues unabated. GDPR changes that in a number of ways, but most importantly it only allows businesses to collect data for very specific purposes. This is why you need to carry out an audit of the data that you hold and the ways that you collect it. Use your audit to understand just what happens to the data that you collect, paying direct attention to who has access to it, how long you keep it, and what you use it for.

Step Two: Updating Privacy Policy

Your privacy policy should already be in place, and staying compliant with GDPR could be a simple matter of updating your privacy policies to reflect the changes wrought by the new regulations. It’s a good idea to get professional advice at this point, because your privacy policy is a legal contract between you the people whose data you collect. Using companies like Bytes will make your privacy policy updates as secure as possible. Using professionals who have a more grounded understanding of the full range of GDPR requirements will help to ensure that you are not caught out by potentially costly errors.

Step Three: Staying up to date

Once your business in a better position to handle GDPR and the data collection that it hopes to address, it’s up to you to make sure that you remain updated on the requirements of it. Set up Google alerts and social media alerts that will let you know when new articles are released, and take time each week to familiarize yourself with the various aspects of the legislation. There is a lot of conflicting information available about GDPR, so do your research and try not to be overwhelmed. Remaining aware of current thinking regarding GDPR means that you stand a reduced chance of being hit unawares by an element that you have yet to consider.

GDPR is the most landmark regulation in the last decade, and data privacy is set to become one of the most important issues of the coming decade. It may be awhile before we fully realize the true impact of GDPR, but it’s essential that you take the necessary steps to ensure that you have the basic framework for compliance in place. Doing so will protect not just your customers, but your business as well.

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