Welcome to June! Hopefully as you read this, you have spent some time strolling around the delightful Royal Bath & West Show, perhaps slurping on an ice-cream, or tucking into one of those delicious venison burgers …… but I digress. You will note that the title of this piece is ‘GDPR’. As much as I might wish that these initials stood for the ‘Great Dorset Piddletown Railway’, sadly, they don’t. GDPR actually stands for General Data Protection Regulations (exciting!), and they have actually been in force since 25th May.
Many of us who have to initiate policies and train staff to ensure that we comply with the new regulations may be groaning slightly from the extra work involved, but actually, it’s not a bad thing. Not only should we all be saved many of those irritating emails and phone calls from organisations we know nothing of and aren’t remotely interested in, but also, we should be able to rest a bit easier in our beds, in this time when our personal data is vulnerable to annoying people who mess around illegally in our on-line world.
It’s always a shame when what should be a perfectly straightforward and uncomplicated way of doing things is messed up by a few, but it is far wiser for us to be prepared. We could complain that we are using a sledgehammer to crack a nut, but in a worst-case scenario, we may lose a lot and find our lives utterly up-ended if our important data is not carefully stored and protected. In a way, as a friend recently pointed out, it seemed much the same with our blessed Health & Safety regulations. To a very small business, they seem completely ‘over the top’, but how many thousands of lives have been saved in factories and on building sites since they have been a part of our working lives?
Thus, it is with …er… enthusiasm and cheerful determination that we have been setting up our safeguards and writing our policies. We are as confident as possible that nothing that we send to our clients on the Magical Inter Web and nothing that we save on the big Cloud that is our IT server now, can be hacked into by someone with a bright mind, a computer and too much time on their hands. These regulations are also designed to put you in the driving seat with those who hold your details so that you have some way in what they do with them. It is definitely worth your while to get to know a bit about GDPR, and to ensure that you are happy with how your information is being looked after.
If you have any concerns, as usual, my advice would be to contact your professional advisers, and ask them for help. After all, looking after you, our clients, is the reason we exist.
Enjoy this lovely month, and I wish you many, many hours of sunshine!