By Rachelle Wilber

Many consumers fill prescriptions, purchase medical devices or supplies online. This can lead to situations in which confidential information about a medical condition must be shared. Businesses have a responsibility under the law to protect confidential information during any type of transaction, including online transactions. Consider these four ways of safeguarding your customers’ information.

Using Encryption Programs

Using encryption programs is a key way to safeguard consumer information during online transactions. There are many methods of encryption that can be set up within your eCommerce platform, including ciphertext, hashing, symmetric, and asymmetric. The type that you choose could depend on the setup of your eCommerce platform, the databases that retain information, and how much protection you want the data to have.

Scheduling HIPAA Training

The Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) applied strict regulations around the collection and release of personal health information. Your business must comply with these standards. For example, anyone who will have access to the data must schedule HIPAA training. A training session explains what is considered health information and how it must be safeguarded physically and digitally.

Participating in Learning and Development Services

Participating in learning and development services also helps your business to safeguard personal information during an online transaction. You can learn more info about how to implement passwords for databases and how to track who is accessing the information. These services also provide you with education about developing policies and procedures in your business for handling consumer data.

Collecting Only What Is Needed

Many businesses collect pieces of data just because they can. Consider limiting what data you collect. The less you collect, the less can be accessed without permission. Keep in mind what you plan to do with the data. For example, unless you deal with payroll taxes, there is no need for you to request a consumer’s social security number. If you only collect what is required for the transaction, such as mailing address, payment, name and customer number, you will have less confidential information to protect.

Each time you engage in electronic commerce, your business collects data. By minimizing the pieces of data that you collect and educating your staff about what the law requires in terms of protecting information, you can help to safeguard customer data. You can also set strict policies about access to data, tracking who uses the data and implementing rules about what can be done with the data that your business collects from customers.

Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook: @RachelleWilber; Facebook.