• ATG Digital

6 Best ways to protect your visitor's and staffs’ personal information

People who do business with your organization trust that any information they give you will be kept safe and private. It doesn’t matter if it’s a high-level business deal between stakeholders, paying customers providing financial details, or a guest in your office handing in their visitor data—it’s your responsibility to protect their information and privacy.

Ensuring all these goes beyond protecting your business from cyberattacks. As a business, you have to go out of your way to implement the right tools and procedures that will allow everyone your business interacts with to build trust with your company. To that end, here are some best practices that will help ensure you keep the privacy of your office visitors:



1. Collect only data you actually need

There is a lot of possible information that you could collect from visitors who want to enter your premises. There are, however, very few things that are actually relevant and necessary to your guest’s security and safety within your office. This would usually include their name, primary contact details, and purpose of the visit.

As much as you may like to collect extra information about your guest’s identities before granting them access to your facility, from a privacy standpoint, it makes sense to minimize collected data. Not only does this shorten the guest check-in process at your front desk, it also minimizes possible damages should there be a hack or security breach in your office.

2. Ensure compliance

The POPI act has recently been implemented as of the 1st of July 2020, giving organizations a deadline of 1 year to comply. With this being said, it does present a lot of good guidelines that can highlight a company’s efforts to protect visitor privacy. It therefore wouldn’t hurt to start incorporating some of their rules into your own processes.



3. Create effective data management policies

Even the simple process of collecting visitor data needs to be managed in order to protect the information you gather. At the end of the day, your business is responsible for all the data it collects. Should your guest’s name or contact details get leaked, your business will ultimately be responsible for it.

Preventing this requires consistent security efforts, including the use of a firewall, and regulating access to areas where data is stored (both digital and paper documents). If your business is using visitor management software, be sure to look into the platform’s security features to get a clear idea on how the tools you’re using comply with regulations and ensure security.

4. Properly dispose of data

Once you no longer have a need for a visitor’s data, what do you do with it? Simply throwing it out is not enough. Best practices dictate that you need to implement procedures to ensure information is discarded safely. If you use manual processes for visitor sign-in, this means you’re probably using a pen and paper to log your guests in and require a shredder to properly dispose of the documents.

An access control or visitor management system in the workplace makes the whole process a lot easier. As a client, you can set a timeframe you would like to keep the data for eg. 1 month, 1 year, etc.


5. Keep personal information away from public spaces

Privacy isn’t just about keeping your computers and electronic devices containing sensitive business data behind a firewall or a password. It’s also about physically protecting personal details and making sure personal data isn’t out there for all incoming guests to see.

This is especially difficult if you’re still using pen and paper sign in methods. To ensure the whole process is efficient and speedy, you normally have to keep the clipboard and sign-up sheet out on display, with information of previous guests easily readable by the next person in line.

However, if you have visitor management or access control software that uses device-based sign in processes, data can be easily concealed after each person logs in, even if the system is displayed in the reception area. You should also avoid verbally confirming personal details out loud, especially if your entry point happens to be very busy.



6. Invest in the right tools

To simplify the whole process, it pays to invest in the right tools. Streamlining your visitor check in process using a visitor management platform not only minimizes tedious, manual work, it also automates data gathering and storage, reduces errors, ensures visitor information is protected, and that security processes are compliant with government guidelines.



Remember, respecting visitors' privacy isn't just about avoiding data hacks or fines. It's your moral responsibility to protect your visitors' privacy to ensure their safety. So, start by following the above best practices, and keep learning as new privacy regulations and concerns evolve.

If you want to find out how ATG can protect and secure your visitor data, give us a call today on 010 500 8611 or email us on popi@atthegate.biz

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