employee information

5 Best Practices for Protecting Sensitive Employee Information

As an employer, it’s your responsibility to keep your employee information safe. This not only helps protect your employees against identity theft and fraud but it can also help protect you against a lawsuit if your company is the victim of a security breach. 

There are several steps you can take to make sure your employee records and information are safe. Keep reading to find out more. 

1. Develop and Define Your Policies and Procedures 

The first thing you should do to protect employee information is to develop and clearly define your policies and procedures. Define what information your company will protect and how they will protect it. Make sure you only collect the data that is necessary for your business purposes. 

When you take steps to reduce the amount of data your employees give to you, you’re lowering your risk of unauthorized access in the first place. 

Have a plan in place for what information you’re going to keep, how you’re going to protect it, and stick to it. 

2. Maintain Record Security 

How exactly should you go about protecting this information? Your first step should be locking up any physical records of important employee information. Then, you should encrypt and password protect your digital files. 

Change your passwords frequently and maintain a secure server. Regularly maintain your electronic systems to make sure that newly developed security risks don’t threaten your business’ security. 

3. Shred Unnecessary Documents

As soon as your business doesn’t need a piece of information anymore, get rid of it. You should dispose of all employee records at the end of your legally mandated retention period. This has to be done in such a way that they can no longer be read or reconstructed. 

To comply with federal regulations, contact a third-party vendor to shred and dispose of the records

4. Restrict Access

Another way to make sure your employee information stays safe is to restrict the number of people who can access it in the first place. Only employees or vendors who need to know the information should be able to access it in any way. 

Keep a log of everyone who accesses this important information. Record who they are, when they looked at it, and their reasoning for doing so. For digital records, ensure your software can log this information as well. 

5. Avoid Using SSNs

Avoid transmitting, printing, and using employee social security numbers when possible. Many places have laws that restrict the employer’s use of social security numbers in the first place. 

Don’t require your employees to use their SSNs for employee IDs, and discard the information as soon as you no longer need it. Employee IDs are unique numbers you can use to track your employees once the initial tax information has been set up. 

Keep Your Employee Information Secure

It’s of dire importance that you comply with all federal, state, and local laws when it comes to maintaining employee information. No one thinks that a security breach can happen to them until it does, and at that point, it’s too late to protect your employees, and yourself, from fraud. 

For more information about how to properly dispose of employee information, contact us today