As an event/meeting planner you take the security of your attendees very seriously. What about protecting their information, specifically personal information? With the increasing theft of personal information it is important for planners and event/meeting hosts to protect this information. This protects attendees from ID theft and is significant for liability purposes.
Almost all types of events/meetings can be at risk this includes: trade shows, conferences, fundraisers, receptions, parties, luncheons, networking happy hours…any place where credit card information might be taken, or personal information might be received. First things first, it is key to identify what information needs to be secured. All information should be secured; specifically though:
“Personally identifiable information (PII), or Sensitive Personal Information (SPI), as used in US privacy law and information security, is information that can be used on its own or with other information to identify, contact, or locate a single person, or to identify an individual in context,” as defined by Wikipedia.
Protecting information can be done, and here are five simple “hacks” to help guard the information.
1) Keep it Under Lock and Key
Sensitive information should always be secure. If you are using physical forms, ensure that the forms are stored in a secure location, yes, with a lock and key. For information that is collected in a digital format password protection is critical, more encryption is encouraged.
2) Get Rid of It
Don’t store sensitive information longer than necessary. The longer you have the information, the more you increase the opportunity for it to be “stolen.” Make sure that the information is disposed of properly. Don’t just throw it in a trash can; shred it. A quick delete off of your server might not do the trick either. Check with your IT expert on the best method for your office.
3) Limit Access
This is very simple, only those who absolutely need access to the information should have access. Don’t share the information either. If you have sponsorships that include access to attendee contact information, make sure that you have defined who has access to attendee information. This information needs to be shared with the attendees, and there needs to be an opt-out option.
Make sure you have a clearly and well defined policy on collection and storage of personal information. Include what to do if someone witnesses misuse of sensitive information. If appropriate, list consequences if data is misused. This policy needs to be understood by anyone and everyone who could come in contact with the information.
5) Proper Training
All staff AND volunteers who work with the sensitive information need to be properly trained on how to handle the information. Having everyone who touches the information sign/date that they’ve received the training, agree to it and understand the policies is also a good idea.
The safety of your attendees is the most important element of any event. Protecting their information is critical as well. Your event should be perfect, and it should exceed your expectations. We will collaborate with you to understand your needs, concerns, and goals. Then we will work with you to execute a program dedicated to meeting your goals, all to ensure that you receive exceptional outcomes. Email us today at firstname.lastname@example.org, discover what Cultivating Exceptional Outcomes means.