5 Dangerous Misconceptions When Sharing Our Personal Data

personal data

  • Many consumers are exposing themselves to risk by not understanding how data security works
  • The five biggest myths around personal data security are explained by security specialists Eckoh

Consumers in the UK have little understanding of the complexities surrounding the security of their personal data and are falling prey to a host of myths that could put them at risk according to a leading data specialist.

Relying on these misconceptions can lead people to fail to take adequate precautions and can expose valuable personal data to hackers and criminals.

Eckoh, specialists in managing secure payment systems and implementing contact centre technologies have drawn up a list of the five most common data security myths.

Cameron Ross, Director of Payments Strategy, Eckoh said: “We find that many people are concerned about keeping their data secure but aren’t always sure of the best way to do it. There are lots of common myths when it comes to dealing with contact centres, some of which are a long way from the reality.”

1. Call recording is purely for training purposes

“This is primarily about protecting both the customer and the call agent.  Call recording prevents the customer from making claims that the wrong order was taken as any discrepancies can be checked. Looking at it the other way, ‘Pause and resume’ systems can be used to manipulate the customer into giving away additional details ‘off the record’ or to allow agents to be rude to the customer without leaving any evidence.”

2. Speaking my payment details directly over the phone is the most secure method

“Many people believe that when they give details over the phone it is completely secure, however both ends of the line are at risk from others listening in. Additionally, there are all sorts of situations where details are written down on Post-it Notes or scraps of paper.  This is often due to ignorance rather than any sinister motivation, for example, popping off to check stock levels or to ask a question on behalf of the customer.  This is particularly an issue in those organisations with multiple departments operating in silos.”

3. People who process my payments are security screened

“This is just not the case. Call centre workers can be some of the lowest paid workers and many temp workers are on short-term contracts. The high churn rate means that there is no point in investing huge amounts into security checks. This is not to say that breaches of this nature are common but there is definitely a misconception around this issue.”

4. The only person my details are exposed to is the contact agent

“In actual fact, it is likely that anybody in the ordering system will be able to access these details. Databases where your details are held are often accessible to a large number of people within the organisation. We have found that details are stored in widely accessible areas in more than 5% of the contact centres we have dealt with. In some cases, we have even seen customer card numbers being used as order numbers – meaning a license to print labels with your card data on!”

5. When I give my personal details to a company, I am trusting only them with my security

“Most of the time, the organisation you are dealing with is the one that looks after your data.  You make decisions about whether to trust them based on various factors such as your own experience or their reputation.  There are exceptions.  Aggregator services such as hotel or travel booking sites will take payment and personal info and pass it on to third parties via batch files.  This sensitive data (belonging to multiple customers all in one neat bundle) is open to attack from criminals whilst in transit.  Again, with the appropriate security measures this does not have to be an issue but customers need to consider who is actually looking after their sensitive data.”

About Eckoh plc

Eckoh is a UK-headquartered company specialising in the implementation of secure payment and contact centre technologies.

Eckoh plc is global provider of secure payment products and customer contact solutions, Eckoh has a range of secure payment products that are designed to help merchants become compliant with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (‘PCI DSS’) and to reduce the risk of fraud by eliminating card data from contact centres and IT environments. Eckoh’s CallGuard product can be deployed on the customer’s site or hosted in the Cloud, and allows Contact Centres to take card payments from customers without their agents needing to see, hear or access the card data in any way. We have been a PCI DSS Level One accredited Service Provider since 2010 and we currently process over $1 billion in card payments annually.

Eckoh’s customer service solutions enable payments, transactions and enquiries to be processed without the caller needing to talk to a contact centre agent. This significantly reduces our clients’ costs, whilst freeing up their agents to deal with more complex enquiries. These solutions are delivered over the phone, web and mobile devices. Eckoh is the largest provider of such hosted services in the UK.

For more information, visit: www.eckoh.com or www.eckoh.us