Online Privacy: Become a Trusted Business

online entrepreneur and International Payments

It should come as no surprise that online privacy is a major concern for internet users. More of our lives are uploaded and distributed online, and that includes your valuable reputation and personal information like credit card numbers and addresses.

The Ponemon Institute, in honor of privacy day, released a study documenting the most trusted companies in terms of user privacy. Mozilla took the number one spot as the most trusted internet company for privacy in 2012.

Manage Your Web Presence

So what pushed Mozilla to the top of the list? How can you improve your company’s reputation for privacy online? Companies that manage online reputations, such as, can help regulate Internet presence and the way public figures and websites are viewed online. They also help keep you informed about what people are saying about your company, which enables you to sift through the garbage to see what steps you can take to improve your image.

Online Privacy

The first step to improving online privacy is to understand consumers’ concerns about privacy. Because so much of our lives is controlled online, much of that information is sensitive. Phone numbers, addresses, social security numbers, credit card numbers and the like are all used online. They are used for an almost infinite number of exchanges and transactions. When a visitor to your site gives you their credit card number or address, they are trusting you. They are trusting you that what you do with that information is going to be limited. However, many sites break this trust, and that leads to the situation on the web currently, with 59 percent of users saying they feel their privacy is diminished by social media sites, according to the Ponemon study.

Identity Protection

By operating online, you expose yourself to the risk of hacking and theft. There are going to be people who want to steal the information your customers give you. You can prevent this by creating dual-layer passwords for very sensitive information. Before customers can access their credit card numbers or social security, you have to go through the second wall of security, making it harder for hackers to access the information. Start testing your security.

Don’t be sketchy. This is perhaps the most obvious, and the least followed piece of advice for online companies. Although it may tempt to make a quick buck by selling user information, that is the quickest way to break consumer’s trust.

Setting an Example

Mozilla, upon receiving the award, had some interesting things to say about the state of online privacy. It means we as an industry all have a lot more work to do, Mozilla wrote on their blog. It is unfortunate that users largely distrust the ecosystem of online service and application providers. What we really want is an environment where those of us developing Internet and social media services and applications deepen trust in a way that empowers and protects users and engenders confidence. We all have to continue our efforts both big and small to create a more trustworthy environment of online products. The environment that seamlessly integrate ease of use, transparency and user choice.