Between the lines: Your data is safe with us
By Gwen Kautz, General Manager
gkautz at dawsonpower.com
Data drives every business. Here at Dawson PPD, we use data for many things. We use data for system planning and to develop our construction plan.
News about Facebook’s data gathering practices has alarmed many. Data breaches at Equifax, Yahoo, Target, Dun & Bradstreet, plus many more* are alarming. At Dawson PPD, we are very diligent about protecting your data.
Credit and Debit Cards
If you use a credit or debit card to pay your bill at Dawson PPD, we want you to know we put high levels of data security in place for your protection. We are PCI or payment card industry compliant, which means we use vendors that provide multiple layers of defense and a secure data protection model that combines virtual and physical security methods. Virtual security includes authorization, authentication, encryption and passwords, while physical security involves restricted access and server/storage modules plus appropriate firewalls.
Our employees don’t have access to your credit/debit card data, nor do we host (store) that data on our computer system. Customers paying with a card at the office can swipe it themselves using our Verifone card terminal. Users of our online bill payment portal/energy usage data reporting program, SmartHub, can rest assured that our vendor protects their private information. Special security features are also in place for those wishing to pay their bill over the phone through the IVR system.
Data Storage, Access and Use
Dawson PPD uses a PCI compliant vendor. Social Security numbers display only the last four digits. It can only be accessed by our employees who have specific permissions.
While there are customers who are concerned about Dawson PPD monitoring their energy usage, I can assure you that our employees are trained to uphold your privacy. Policies approved by the board include prohibiting us from sharing customer data with another customer or other companies.
On occasion, it is necessary to share account information with a company working on our behalf, but it is logged by account number and no names are provided. We may provide aggregate data, such as all residential services or irrigation services, in order to determine if a program will be of benefit to us or our customers. Any request for specific customer information must have the written permission of the customer unless we have been asked to provide such information through legal means.
Credit checks are done by an offsite provider and results are provided to us using a five-star quality rating scale. Dawson PPD employees never see a customer’s actual credit score. Any paperwork containing sensitive customer information is shredded when the task is complete.
We take protecting all customer information very seriously. These safeguards are of utmost importance when using data to conduct business.