If you browse the internet when you aren’t at work, then I’m sure you’ve encountered some internet security/privacy advertisements. But how often do you think about data privacy when you’re going about your marketing business?

Today, I am going to explain why it’s important for marketing software to be secure, and the steps that you can take in order to keep your company’s data private.

Why Marketing Software Should Be Secure

In marketing, there seems to be a mentality of like, “privacy doesn’t matter” for some weird reason.

… Okay, it’s not a weird reason. I get it. Big companies use minor details to sell to marketers to better sell to the consumer in the end.

But this mentality shouldn’t be literally everywhere in marketing software. I’m willing to bet that 99% of marketers don’t even read the privacy policy of the stuff that they buy, right?

I’m also willing to bet that

65% of people only read headlines

Good, now that I have your attention by calling you out, you need to hear this…

Most of the time when you use an online marketing software, you are willingly giving your clients information to a 3rd party.

If you use a web-based tool, there’s a 100% chance that the service that you’re using is collecting your data, then passing it on to the next guy.

So What?

That seems to be the mentality that most marketers have. So what? Gets my name out there, right? Free backlinks? Also, isn’t this information already out there?

Well, sure, that’s one way to put it. But then again, why would you pay for a tool that you willingly give data to, and then the vendor sells your data. You’re literally paying a company to sell your data and for what? A little bit of data in return?

Let’s Do A Quick Example

Let’s say that I am a paying user of SurferSEO. According to their Regulations, you only purchase the right to present the data as its given from the tool.

Isn’t the point only to present the data, though?

Well that depends… What happens when you decide to stop paying your subscription?

This is the question that I want you to ask yourself. In reality, nothing. I highly doubt that they would come after you for presenting the information if you stop paying. But they could, in theory. It just wouldn’t be worth their efforts.

But I think the more interesting question is what happens when they decide to stop paying for their servers? Phrased another way, what happens if they go out of business?

The biggest problem I see with just about every B2B marketing SaaS, is you put data into them, and expect that they’ll be around forever. I know that they’ll probably stick around for the next 3-5 years. But 10 years out, I can’t tell you. I can’t even tell you if the price will be the same (hint: it won’t be).

You might be asking, “Andrew, why does this matter? They’re around now” and you’re right. But with them being a web based business, they can change their EULA at any time. And slowly, but surely, EULAs have been in use in order to strip consumer’s rights away.

Louis Rossman calls it “EULA roofying”, where they give you a EULA, then later on down the line, change the terms of service and force you to agree with them in order to use the product.

We see this all the time with companies like Roku creating a forced arbitration agreement on their TVs and only having an agree button.

We’ve all seen these, and you know what? I should be able to disagree. I should be able to continue using the product like I did when I bought it.

How to Keep Data Private

I got a little off track… My bad. Anyways, let’s talk a little bit about how to keep company data private… Especially your client’s company data. That’s not yours and you should protect it more than you protect your own in my opinion.

Don’t Get The Data In The First Place

I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve seen someone ask for a piece of data only to NEVER USE IT. Take, for example, free trials. Why are you asking for my credit card for a free trial? You don’t need my credit card yet.

That’s why I don’t do free trials (at the moment) for Back SEO Agencies. I’m not going to give up my dignity and ask for your credit card before the trial. I don’t even ping my own servers to check if your copy is legit because that’s an anticonsumer practice… Just ask anyone that played The Crew why that’s a bad idea.

You’ll thank me later. The way that many of these marketing/SEO SaaS tools don’t treat your data with respect, and I don’t agree with that. I don’t want to handle your data, just look at all the antitrust lawsuits going on.

Don’t Use “The Cloud”

The “cloud” is just a buzzword for “someone else’s computer”. If you thought it was in any way a good thing for you… It’s really not. Here are a few reasons why:

It’s WAY MORE EXPENSIVE

Than owning your own hardware. If you use the cloud for like, storage and you’re paying monthly, if you had just invested in a few hard drives and a low-spec used PC from Facebook Marketplace and set up your own server. There are plenty of channels on YouTube that tell you how to set up cloud storage, and it’s surprisingly cheap.

You Don’t Own It

You will own nothing and be happy amirite? I hate this mentality. I don’t want to rent server space on someone else’s computer. Even if I needed to do something like Cloud Computing, which I get why it’s there, but not owning the hardware is SO EXPENSIVE.

Just take my personal PC for example. I have a Ryzen 7 1700 (8 cores, 16 threads) with 16gb or RAM, and an Nvidia RTX 2070. It cost me ~$1,100. If I were to use the cloud, it would cost me well over $100/month.

But here’s the thing, you’re reading this on a computer (unless you printed it out and are reading this on paper… in that case, KUDOS). It’s not doing anything, I see no reason why your computer that you’re using right now can’t compute stuff.

This is why I create native software. I want to own my software, and I want you to own it, too.

Vulnerable to Attacks

If you didn’t know… Clouds get hacked all the time. Regular people do, too. But more people target cloud servers because they have a lot of data on them. Even if you fully can trust the cloud provider 100%, you’re still adding a new layer of vulnerability and a new point of failure. It’s honestly not worth the risk to me.

Be Careful Who You Trust

I do marketing. I don’t want to say I have trust issues, but I’m skeptical of the people I do business with, obviously. Not paranoid skeptical, but a healthy amount to ask “why are you asking for my SSN” or something whenever someone asks. Or “why do I have to create an account for this?”.

But let’s go back to me doing marketing… Do you know how many people have just given me their social media account information? And I’m not even talking about their own social medias. I’ve been hired by agencies before and they handed me social media logins of their clients. It’s actually ridiculous. It was hard times, I was just looking to make some money on Fiverr, and what do you know, I logged into strangers social medias.

But I always made sure that their social medias were safe and secure. I used new phones whenever they specifically wanted a phone, and I wiped their data off the second that the project was finished.

Conclusion

The security in B2B interactions always seems to be there until the marketing department is reached… Then it’s the wild west. I don’t think that’s a good thing and I want to give you the tools that you need to protect yourself and also save your money.


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