It’s a given that SMS marketing is an effective way of reaching today’s customers, both old and new. However, every tried and true method of marketing comes with its own unique risks and downsides. These days, security is a big, hot-button issue, and the practice of SMS is not immune to the concerns that are associated with texting.
So, if you’re in charge of marketing for your company or business, what exactly are those big concerns? Sure, people can run around chanting “security, security, security”, but what of it? What specific security matters should you address before hiring a company to handle group texting for your SMS campaign and trusting them with your information?
Data represents everything that makes up a business’ identity, and that means it must be protected at all costs. A business that has its data compromised, corrupted, or destroyed is a business that suffers a blow that may very well kill it. That’s why confidentiality of data is such an important matter.
Businesses using a third-party SMS marketing company needs to make sure that the data is used only for the campaigns and promotions that the business is initiating, and nothing more. That means that no one outside of the client and the third party has access and use of that data.
Make sure that such a company has a clearly stated policy of data confidentiality, and not selling your information to some email spammers or other shady operators.
Not only do you need to be sure that the SMS company isn’t using your data or farming it out to anyone else deliberately, you need to also make sure that they are storing the data properly, with the right safeguards and security measures in place.
The data center where your information is stored must be a secure facility that’s protected not only virtually against hackers and phishers, but also protected from physical intruders who may seek to gain access to the building itself.
Not only should you get a firm commitment about virtual and physical security measures, you should also be informed about their data backup policy. How often is client information backed up, and do they store it offsite?
Data ownership is a tricky thing; just ask anyone who uploads images or text to Facebook and thinks that no one can use it without permission. Before you commit to having your data uploaded and stored with some third party company, make sure that you are not passively granting them ownership and free access to that data.
Any business that stores your data onsite for creating SMS campaigns should not only have no claim on your data, but also should be limited to using it strictly for implementation of an SMS campaign.
All of these issues have one thing in common: the need for you, the customer, to be made fully aware of what the SMS marketing company’s policies are regarding the handling, storage, and use of your data. That means getting the full picture from the prospective third party before you actually commit.
After all, if your business is indeed the sum total of its data, you need to keep that image, that brand, safe and under your firm control. Giving another company access to your data may be a necessary evil in order to have a good SMS campaign in place, but ultimately, you have the final say on who gets to use that data and how they can use it.
You should have satisfactory answers to this trio of issues that we’ve discussed. Once you’ve checked them out, take a look at the article “Security Matters: 5 Frequently Asked Questions about Mass SMS Security and Privacy” for more in-depth insights.
Stephen Jeske is an occasional contributor to HowDoyou.com and enjoys covering issues surrounding technology and Big Data
Sep 25, 2013 1
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