From phishing attacks to hacking, there are countless security threats facing your business every day and sharing your login information is an error that can compromise your computer system and any data you have generated.
OEC takes privacy very seriously and we do everything in our power to protect our customers’ data. It’s important that our customers also take the necessary steps to safeguard their business, such as securely protecting all passwords and login credentials to prevent security breaches. If the information stored on your computer, including customer information and data, is hacked or stolen, it can create issues beyond your parts business. A security breach can impact your customers and, at the very least, damage your reputation, but there’s also the potential for larger legal ramifications. Read on for a few reasons why it’s best to keep your login credentials private.
REASON 1: COMPETITIVE DATA
The information you store within your OEC solutions is incredibly important to keep secure and private. Anyone with access to your OEC portal login information can see your customers’ information, customer pricing quotes, inventory data, orders, and your business-specific trends and analytics. This may seem like “no big deal” because you probably trust the person, you’re sharing your credentials with, but it can be particularly problematic.
Just think, you’ve given friendly dealership access to your system so they can locate parts. That same parts manager now has access to your customer list and invoice data. They could even start calling your customers to make them an offer that’s better than your quote. This type of information, in the wrong hands, can be detrimental to your business.
Additionally, once you share your password, there’s an increased probability of your password being shared repeatedly. Simply speaking, your business-critical information can get in the hands of more than just the person you trusted with your credentials. A shared password can snowball in a hurry and, before you realize it, your competitors can access the information your business relies on to be successful.
REASON 2: PRIVACY LAWS
Additionally, your software solutions store a lot of private customer information and, depending on your state laws, any shared personal data without consent can lead to some legal ramifications.
For example, The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), effective since January 1, 2020, requires dealerships to adhere to new privacy requirements including measures to secure VINs and protect against transmitting or processing information beyond its intended use. Dealerships not in compliance are subject to hefty fines that can, according to Helion Technologies, “cost as much as $7,500.” The official fine, however, does not include the cost of reputation management, lost revenue, or legal fees outside of the punitive sum, and those numbers could be scary to see, especially when they represent actual dollars leaving your dealership.
These types of regulations are not widespread yet, however, they will be in the future. Regardless, protecting customer privacy is still critically important.
REASON 3: ACCESS TO COMPANY INFORMATION
Protecting your company data is another critical privacy concern. Some applications connect to your dealership’s DMS where you store company-sensitive information. If a hacker tampers with this data, or if someone changes the data accidentally, it can drastically disrupt the accuracy and information in the DMS.
Remember, someone using your login can see all the information you see within the application – including items you likely don’t want others to see. It’s important to protect these all-encompassing systems that house valuable information for the parts department and other areas of the dealership.
For example, if someone were to hack into your computer, access your software solutions, and look through your DMS, you will likely be sharing the following unknowingly:
- Vehicle pricing
- Warranty claims
- Sales tracking
- Parts ordering
- Cash/financial transactions
- Credit applications
There’s a lot at stake…
The risk a business runs when sharing login information is much greater than what people initially realize. In many cases, at the very least, it violates most companies’ terms and conditions, but there’s often much more at stake. Think of this issue like an iceberg: there’s a lot more going on than what’s on the surface. You can never be sure who has – or could have – access to secured information at another dealership. Sharing your password might seem like a nice gesture, but the situation can quickly turn into massive legal trouble that can destroy your finances, sully your reputation, and ruin your business. It’s just not worth the risk to ever share your login information, usernames, or passwords with anyone other than your dealership’s authorized users.