Cybersecurity, sometimes referred to as information technology security, is how organizations protect their networked technologies, information, and customer data. This includes preventing data theft or corruption, as well as damage to the organization’s hardware, software, or disruption of services.
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While cybersecurity may sound like something only IT departments should worry about, it can make or break the overall usability and experience of a site or app. In an increasingly digital age, consumer data is used and shared at nearly every touchpoint in a journey, so it’s critical that users feel their data is safe and that they trust a website or app enough to share it.
If you’re not sure how your cybersecurity holds up to today’s digital demands, checking in your users is a great place to start.
You can quickly and easily test your site or apps trustworthiness, for example, by asking users to navigate through the experience, and asking them if they’d be comfortable sharing their personal information, and explaining why or why not.
You can also start with quantitative data from your site or app. Cart abandonment or high bounce rates could be an indication of a lack of user trust, or a more malicious cause like a data breech.
Cybersecurity has many layers, some of which are out of the control of UX, UI, and CX designers. But there are some best practices that experience teams can employ to help improve cybersecurity in the digital experiences they create.
One of the biggest complains consumers have about data security is that it’s often difficult to understand. People don’t know how their data will be used and are reluctant to share as a result. Plain language is nearly always the best approach, but even more so with sensitive topics like privacy and security. Be sure your messaging and policies are clear and easy to understand, and test with your target audinece to confirm before adding that messaging to your site or app.
With so much data about users available to organizations, it’s tempting to try to collect as much as possible. This can backfire, however, leading users to wonder why, for example, a site or app really needs to know their birthdate when they’re buying toilet paper in bulk online.
No matter which team is ultimate responsible for cybersecurity at your organization, championing a customer-centric approach is beneficial to everyone. Keeping customers—including internal customers like employees—at the center of cybersecurity policies, strategy, testing, and implementation will ensure your organization is not only keeping its data and networks secure, but is ensuring customers feel secure as well.