The convenience of doing business online in the modern world comes at a price and creates a need for payment security. That price is putting extra measures and processes in place to ensure your salon clients’ credit card information and personal details are safe when a transaction goes through a payment terminal, an app on a phone or tablet, or other mobile payment services like Apple Pay.
Your clients also deserve to know and feel secure about your payment process. That security is what helps them build trust with your business. Without proper salon security procedures, you could be putting your clients’ personal information and their trust in you at risk.
Put these eight cybersecurity measures in place so you, your staff, and your guests can enjoy much greater peace of mind.
1. Educate Your Team
The first step to better salon cybersecurity is to establish best practices and make sure all your employees understand them fully. These practices should include password protocols, internet guidelines, and how to safely handle credit card and payment data. For example, employees should not save their clients’ credit card information in areas of the system that aren’t secure, such as client notes or formula fields.
Put your guidelines in your employee handbook, on your internal website, and in the back room. Discuss them with employees regularly at staff meetings and one-on-ones. Make this task easier by only giving employees access to the software they need to do their job.
Finally, hold your team accountable if they violate security rules—your guest’s identity or financial information could be at stake.
2. Secure Your Software & Internet
Secure operating systems and a private network can help protect your salon from cybersecurity threats. All of your salon’s computers should be equipped with antivirus software that checks all your systems automatically on a regular basis. In addition, set up a firewall to prevent anyone from accessing data on your network.
It’s also important to keep up with your operating system and application updates. Software companies constantly make security improvements designed to protect your payment network and other systems.
And remember to protect all pages on your public-facing websites as well, not just your online booking or ecommerce pages.
3. Always Back Up Information
With cloud-based software, back-ups happen regularly and automatically. However, you should still regularly check that all of your important documents, databases, spreadsheets, human resources info, accounts payable, and more are securely backed up on the cloud or offsite every week.
Backing up your guests’ personal information and payment data is important because it provides you with a secure archive if something were to happen to your system. Data backup also protects that information from human error, viruses, hardware failure, and other threats.
4. Implement a Password Policy
At least every three months, require employees to change their unique passwords. Put strong password requirements in place and regularly change your staff PIN to keep your system secure.
Do you have vendors that handle sensitive data for your salon? Find out if they offer multi-factor authentication as well.
A standard and automatic process for updating passwords is one of the best salon security procedures to set up.
5. Protect Your Mobile Devices
Mobile payment options are becoming more and more popular every day. As of 2020, there were 2.3 billion mobile payment app users worldwide, a number that has surely gone up since then.
With stylists booking clients and checking schedules on their phones all day long with tools like the SalonBiz Stylist App, and clients making appointments and paying for products on your public-facing salon app, protecting your mobile apps and devices is more important than ever.
Require all employees to password-protect their devices and install salon security apps to protect their client information when phones are on public networks. Also, create reporting procedures for lost or stolen devices.
6. Control Your Computers
Lock computers up when unattended—particularly tablets and laptops, as they are easily stolen. Create separate user accounts for every employee and, again, require strong passwords.
Administrative privileges should also only be given to trusted IT staff and managers. Limiting the number of people who can access secure payment and account information will help keep it secure.
7. Secure Your Wi-Fi
Offering Wi-Fi to guests is a must for an excellent customer service experience, but they shouldn’t be on the same network as your staff.
Make sure the Wi-Fi for your team is secure, encrypted, and hidden. To hide your network, set up your wireless access point or router so it doesn’t broadcast the network name to the public and password protect access.
8. Make Sure You’re PCI Compliant
The last thing you want is your guests’ credit card security compromised. Being PCI (payment card industry) compliant means following the requirements put in place by the PCI Security Standards Council for companies that process, store, and transmit credit card information to prevent fraud and data breaches.
Work with your bank or processor to ensure they’re using best-in-class PCI-compliant practices to protect financial information.
9. Don’t forget to protect yourself too.
Part of securing your guests’ payment data is securing your salon’s payment processes too. One thing to look out for is chargeback fraud.
Chargeback fraud is when a customer contacts their credit card company to dispute a charge for a legitimate purchase. For instance, a guest may call their credit card company and falsely claim your salon charged them for a hair dye service when all they received was a haircut.
Keeping track of and fighting chargeback fraud can be challenging and time-consuming. Protecting yourself against it also protects your revenue, merchandise, and entire team. When you know the payments you receive are secure, you can focus on securing your customers’ information.
Ease Clients’ Minds & Protect Their Data with Secure Integrated Payments
The simplest way to ensure your salon clients’ information is safe is to use a software that has safety and security built right into it.
SalonBiz Payments solution allows you to process credit and debit transactions securely, or even store cards on file for easier payments in the future. All these transactions are protected by industry-leading security protocols to keep your guests’ information safe.
Want to learn more about salon security procedures and tools that can help? Book a demo of SalonBiz today!