By now we’re sure you’ve heard about the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) regulations that went into effect earlier this year.  While the policy was specifically designed under European laws, it still has impacted many US companies (specifically those that do business with and send emails to European consumers).

If you’ve already implemented GDPR required processes, run through this quick refresher to ensure you’ve covered all the bases.  If you haven’t implemented the required processes yet, then you better get cracking before you receive a hefty fine for being in violation of the policy!

Why GDPR was Enacted

GDPR PolicyToo many consumers are finding themselves exploited by criminals who post as legitimate businesses in their phishing scams.  Today’s technology makes it far too easy for criminals to create emails that look almost identical to the real emails companies send out.

This is essentially why GDPR was created.  The GDPR regulations help consumers by protecting their information, giving them the power to determine how businesses handle their information.

GDPR also protects marketers by establishing a set of protocols, that if followed, will enhance their email marketing strategy performances and increase inbox deliverability rates.  Additionally, the regulation establishes a set of rules that help ISPs (Internet Service Providers) review and validate emails, ensuring they are legitimate and not spam before they land in the user’s inbox.

So basically, the GDPR policy protects European consumers, ISPs, and global marketers while it strengthens the trust between all three entities.

GDPR Implementation Tips

Now, remember, this only impacts your business if you have European consumers, which let’s face it, in today’s global market, is pretty much everyone.  So unless you are planning on blocking those users in the future, you’re going to want to implement and maintain the proper protocols to stay compliant.

If your business website is hosted by a provider, such as WordPress, HostGator, or GoDaddy, then check out their FAQs or developer knowledge base and follow the GDPR compliance instructions they provided.

Should you host your own website, then you’ll have a bit more heavy lifting to do on your side.  Check out the eSecurity Plant guide on how to set up your GDPR compliance efforts.

To make sure you’re covering everything, here is a quick rundown of things to review and plan for with your company’s GDPR implementation:

  • Hire a Data Protection Officer (DPO) or Consultant –  The GDPR assigns liability to the data processors and controllers, so this isn’t something you want to mess around with.  If possible, hire someone to be your point person and manage the process for the long-game; however, if your structure doesn’t allow for this position, then consider hiring a consultant who can come in and get your systems up to the regulatory standards.  One of their first steps will, no doubt, be to complete a thorough audit of your current data security system and identify high-risk areas and create a plan for resolution.
  • Educate your staff. Although the bulk of the responsibility falls on your security staff, anyone who handles information needs to be educated about GDPR. This includes staff that interacts with new customers or users, those that maintain CRM systems, and even data entry personnel.
  • Update your tools and features in order to ensure privacy. Every day there are more and more companies popping up with pseudonymization solutions and other ways to keep compliant. Do your research and stay on top of your features, structures, and processes, ensuring that they remaining compliant going forward.
  • Reach out and work with third-party providers who are GDPR-compliant. This includes your email service provider or ISP, your CRM services, your outside vendors, and your marketing and PR agency or departments. It’s important to ensure that all aspects of your data processing are in compliance.

Looking for more ways to stay GDPR compliant and improve your overall inbox deliverability rate?  Download our FREE guide on Email Deliverability!

 

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