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Business Blog 21 June 2023: How Safe Is Your Intellectual Property?

For salon owners, this is a crucial question!

After years of building a successful business, how safe is your data - client data base, client preferences, turnover records, profit & loss history, sales history - all the information that makes up your intellectual property?

Computers have a finite lifespan

As a general rule, it is better to be cloud-based (online) than to have your system sit on your computer. This is because all hardware has a life but can also break down unexpectedly and for any number of reasons. Unless you back up your data regularly (ideally daily) you will lose it and will have to start again. If you are cloud-based and your computer breaks down or gets stolen, you just use another device (laptop, tablet or even your smart phone).

Virus Threats

A second threat is viruses. Whether you use a server base or online system, every time you use the internet, even for just emails, you are at risk of viruses getting in to your system and 'having their way' with your data. Needless to say, keep your anti-virus programme must be kept up to date.

Last but not least is the threat from within.

I know it's difficult to believe, however not everyone is as honest as they should be and, like most companies, staff should be assessed regarding access to your salon's data.

Firstly, all staff using the system MUST have their own username and password which should not be shared with colleagues. This will allow the Administrator to know exactly who did what, and when.

Secondly, staff should be given minimal access according the role they play in the salon. This can range from just making appointments, handling stock takes and orders, cashing up at the end of the day or being able to access all data to create a set of financials.

Any good salon software should be able to block functions, menus and even buttons making it personalised for your business. As a rule-of-thumb, the delete button, the print button and even the ability to change dates and details should require administrative override.

Outside help may be a good idea

You work hard for your business so it's worth doing a security risk analysis every now and then, so speak to your IT support company or your salon software provider.

It's better to be safe than sorry.

- Terry Miles, MD of MySalon Software


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