employee privacy

Employee Privacy Laws: How to Protect Employee Privacy

Employee privacy and information is crucial data that must be protected at all costs. Failure to do so can lead to petty arguments about pay all the way up to multi-million dollar lawsuits. Yet many employers are so caught up in the day-to-day running of their business, they forget to put the right measures in place.

Follow these guidelines if you have recently found yourself concerned about whether or not you are doing the right things.

Protect Employee Privacy with Cyber Security

Over 14 million businesses in the US are at risk of being targeted by hackers. From email phishing campaigns to DDoS attacks, once your servers are compromised, anything is up for grabs.

Businesses worry about their client’s data and their own trade secrets. But they forget that vital employee data like social security numbers and bank accounts are all stored as well. 

It’s vital your IT department is given the resources and training to prevent and even block an attack should it happen. 

While you can by software to help, you ultimately need a dedicated person or team working to keep your records safe.

Limit Access to Information

Managing employee information and payroll is a special task that requires confidentiality and trust. But even then, accidents happen and people can make mistakes. That’s why it’s advised to diversify the tasks among employees. This way, they only have access to certain parts of the information but not all of it. 

For example, if someone’s role is to handle wages, then they don’t need to be the one also dealing with tax-withholding forms and other data. Of course. this can be difficult if you are a small business and only have one person working on this or use a software program. In these situations, you should work with the software help center. Often, they are able to advise on restricting access, limiting information, and even offer enhanced security measures. 

Never assume the data is secure and safe until it’s been checked over by a professional.

Avoid Accidental Leaks

Another issue that businesses have faced in the past is privacy leaks from word-of-mouth or even glances at a computer screen.

When you hire people to handle sensitive data it is important to give them proper training and guidance. Rules such as ensuring they have exited the software before leaving their desks and changing passwords frequently can help.

You should also stress the risks of disclosing information and layout enforceable consequences should it happen. Confidentiality agreements and provisions for immediate termination are great ways to make this happen if local policies allow it.

Employees handling sensitive information should also be given their own private spaces to work. An employee passing by or coming up to talk may accidentally see information they shouldn’t have. If they share it without thinking, it could lead to issues and even liability.

Open plan spaces are only fine for departments which have ad-hoc projects and collaboration.  

Be Thorough

As your business grows and becomes more complex it’s essential to reevaluate older policies and practices.

If you think your security measures need to be updated to protect employee privacy then start working on it immediately. 

Check out our services and see how our processes ensure all handled data is safe and secure.