Whether we like it or not, we live in a digital age, with most of us carrying around more data on a phone in our pocket than could ever have been imagined even 20 years ago. Whilst this of course is super handy, it can also be risky if it isn’t protected adequately. If your data is leaked or hacked, you could be at risk of identity theft, or even financial theft if certain information including passwords becomes accessible. Therefore, it is so important that you take steps to ensure that you are protecting your data, and this includes ensuring that whomever your data is held by, it is as protected as possible.
However, what about when you entrust your data with others? How can you be sure that they are taking the appropriate steps to protect you?
Well, at PaperRocket Accounting, we are very happy to announce that for the second year running, we have been awarded our Cyber Essentials certification, meaning that you can trust in us to keep your personal data safe and secure in line with the GDPR.
GDPR – What it is?
The GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) is the toughest privacy and security law in the world. If you cast your minds back to 2018 (PP- pre pandemic if you will!), you may remember having an inbox flooded with emails from pretty much any company you’ve ever had any dealings with regarding new privacy policies, and opt in marketing requests. This is because, as part of the GDPR, any organisations who hold data on individuals are required to have certain measures in place to protect this data, be it from misuse or potential hackers. And if the UK body in charge of these regulations, the ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office) find that a company has violated these rules, severe penalties can be levied (up to €20 million, or 4% annual global turnover).
What your accountant should be doing to protect your information (and what PaperRocket are doing!)
If you have an accountant, then chances are, they hold a lot of personal information on you, be that address, date of birth, national insurance number, bank account details etc. Therefore, your accountants are certainly one of the ‘data processors’ that you want to ensure are protecting your data well. Some of the ways they should do this are:
- Maintaining firewalls on their computers.
- Ensuring anything with access to personal data is password protected with a ‘strong’ password, not to be held anywhere other than a secure password manager, and not to be repeated for any other application.
- Ensure only current employees have access to any client information or login details.
- Any security updates to be automatically installed on company hardware.
- All staff to have regular training on GDPR and the specific company data protection policies.
These are just a few of the ways that your data should be protected, there are many more.
What is Cyber Essentials?
Cyber Essentials provides a framework for businesses to protect themselves against a whole range of the most common cyber attacks. Rigorous annual reviews are carried out to check a company’s compliance and maintain certification. There are a variety of steps (including the ones above) that organisations must undertake to gain this accreditation. It is backed by the UK government and overseen by the National Cyber Security Centre.
So with PaperRocket maintaining our Cyber Essentials certification, this, as well as so many other reasons, is why we are safe hands for you and your business.
PaperRocket are a multi award winning accounting practice, and Accredited FreeAgent Practitioners.
We specialise in providing friendly, non-accounting jargon, services for contractors, freelancers, sole traders, and landlords across the UK.
Our fixed fee monthly accounting packages all include a FreeAgent subscription as standard and unlimited support from your allocated accountant.
To find out how we can help you please get in touch now.