Devleoping a data breach informational website that helps people become more self-sufficient

This “Data Breach Response – How To” article is part of our larger series by Heather Noonan.

Informational website? What is that? Well, if you don’t mind, I’m going to recommend it.  It’s a definite must have for any data breach response. You will find that most people today turn to the internet to find answers. They will still call a toll-free number, but if you give them the option, they will go straight to Google. I still pick up the phone, but if it is something I can easily go to a website for, I’m looking it up right now. People simply don’t have the time or want to make the effort to call in and talk to someone. They want immediate answers and on their time. The term instant gratification comes to mind.

An informational website will tell the affected individuals what happened and what is being done to repair the situation. The website will provide recommendations and tools if someone does fall victim to identity theft. It will also provide information on how to place a fraud alert, a security freeze, and how to contact the credit reporting agencies. An informational website can provide a multitude of things whether the incident is credit card theft or healthcare fraud, the website can answer a large facet of questions.

Still not convinced? I will provide a list of the benefits for your company and the affected individuals. Don’t get me wrong. You still need and want a toll-free number, but a website will make your life and everyone else’s a whole lot easier.

Top 10 reasons an informational website is important to a company and the affected individuals:

  1. Everyone has the same question – Who, what, where, when and why. You will find that the same questions are always asked.
  2. Empower – Give people the tools to help themselves.
  3. Decrease costs – Having a website will cut down on phone maintenance and costs.
  4. Decrease call volume – Most people today will go to a website for information. Less and less are picking up the phone.
  5. Follow federal and state requirements – HITECH already requires a toll-free number, email address, postal address, or website for people to ask questions and learn additional information. U.S. states and territories have similar requirements and many are headed in that direction.
  6. Continued productivity – Less time on the phone means more employees and affected individuals continuing with their job and daily activities.
  7. Privacy – A lot of people will be upset by the incident and will want privacy. They don’t want documentation that they called in or needed assistance.
  8. Direct information – A website is a lot easier to pull information from. “You said the FTC address is 600 Pennsylvania or did you say 6000? Pennsylvania? Is that spelled with one n?”
  9. Choices – Give people a choice. If the website doesn’t provide all the answers, give them the alternative and option to call a toll-free number.
  10. Simplicity – Websites are easy to control and easy to access. Making content management easy.

-Heather Noonan

heather.noonan@databreachwatch.org

Senior Project Manager-Data Breach Response Team

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