If you operate a B2B company, you probably know the importance of securing the contact data of prospects and buyers. When leaked, this data could be sold on the black market to other companies, as well as hackers or other nefarious individuals, which can adversely affect your B2B company's sales strategy and revenue.
While you probably won't intentionally share your B2B company's contact data with other companies or individuals, you may inadvertently share it if you use an email plugin. There are dozens of contact plugins for Outlook and Gmail that allow you to give access to the contacts whom you email. If you happen to use one of these plugins, your B2B company's contact data could be vulnerable to exposure. Emailing a vendor, for instance, with a list of contacts could result in the plugin developer receiving those contacts. So, what steps can you take to keep your B2B company's contact data secure?
Beware of Contact-Harvesting Plugins
First and foremost, you should avoid using any email plugins that harvest contact data. Even if a contact-harvesting plugin looks legitimate, it may steal your B2B company's contact data. These plugins are a major contributing factor to data breaches. Unless you're willing to take that risk with your B2B company (hint: you shouldn't), avoid using contact-harvesting plugins.
Block Unauthorized Plugins
In addition to avoiding contact-harvesting plugins, you should configure your B2B company's information technology (IT) infrastructure to automatically block unauthorized plugins. Malicious plugins may force their way onto your computer or device. By blocking unauthorized plugins, though, your B2B company's IT infrastructure will be protected against this privacy threat.
Maintain Anti-Virus Software
Some types of contact-harvesting plugins and software are identified as viruses by anti-virus software. Therefore, you should maintain anti-virus software on all your B2B company's computers and devices. If the anti-virus software detects a malicious contact-harvesting plugin or software, it will provide options to remove or quarantine it.
Source High-Quality Contact Data
Don't underestimate the importance of sourcing high-quality contact data. For instance, have you ever received an email that says, "Do you want the list of attendees from (trade show)?" This is not coming from the trade show. It's coming from an unreliable third party that is just trying to re-sell a low-quality general list that isn't from the trade show.
SalesLeads provides Project Reports and Target Account Sales Intelligence, both of which are high quality content. It's best to stay with companies that utilizes researchers to uncover the right information and scrutinize its content even before it's released to you. That's why its important to partner with reputable firms for your sales leads and contact lists.